Life sciences company JJ-Lurgi, a joint venture between Jebsen & Jessen Group and Air Liquide, has introduced an augmented reality (AR) headset to assist oils and fats clients, Jebsen & Jessen Group announced on 27 September.

Developed by Lenovo and powered by Artasi technology, the ThinkReality A6 AR headset would help Malaysia-headquartered JJ-Lurgi to remotely address the needs of clients in the oils and fats, oleochemicals and biofuels industries, according to the statement.

The introduction of the AR headset would be particularly helpful to clients operating through the challenges created by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the company said.

“The recent adoption of AR technology in our services portfolio has greatly improved our efficiency and productivity in providing accelerated assistance to local, regional and global customers, leading to minimal disruption and downtimes,” JJ-Lurgi CEO Jakob Helms said.

On site operators facing issues would be able to receive immediate assistance from the JJ-Lurgi technical team in Malaysia, who would provide specific instructions using voice commands, pictures, documents and videos relayed through the headset in real time, the company said.

For example, when deployed at an oleochemical plant in Sumatra, Indonesia, the AR headset and software enabled engineering personnel to investigate, troubleshoot and resolve a client’s query in 45 minutes, according to the statement. This compared to a traditional approach of sending an engineer to the site which would typically take five to seven working days.

As well as performing remote troubleshooting at the Indonesian plant, the equipment also enabled JJ-Lurgi’s team to perform a viability assessment for the start-up of a partially completed oleochemicals production complex and the pre-commissioning of a glycerine distillation plant, the company said.

Currently deployed in the southeast Asia region, the company expected the technology to be subsequently available globally.

The company said the initiative was part of its plan to adopt new technologies and, in partnership with Artasi, it was exploring ways to integrate 3D plant models with AR and virtual reality (VR) to conduct VR reviewing of planned processing plants, VR safety and operability reviews of plants being designed and AR workflow assistance for specialised technology.

JJ-Lurgi, which provides technologies for edible oil extraction, oil refining, fats modification, oleochemicals and methyl ester (biodiesel), said it was also planning to digitalise engineering processes and to introduce an interconnected platform offering central data management.

Industrial conglomerate Jebsen & Jessen Group has 10 manufacturing facilities in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam and five core business units: cable technology, ingredients, life sciences, packaging and technology.