It is well known that technicians can only solve problems in their working environment quickly after many years of experience. Wouldn’t it be convenient for Field Service Management to have a digital assistant who can answer questions with the accumulated knowledge of all the company’s experienced technicians?
New possibilities for Field Service Management with Artificial Intelligence
The future brings new possibilities, mainly due to the achievements of Artificial Intelligence. In the future, it will be possible not only to program machines and field services rigidly, but to develop systems that learn from current human processes. So these systems will actually learn from their master like an apprentice and will constantly improve. It remains to be seen whether they will one day surpass their master, but in some special disciplines this will certainly be the case.
If such a service software is also equipped with NLP (Natural Language Processing) capabilities, you get a digital assistant that can easily document the technician’s activities for the required reporting. At the same time, it is also possible to record the knowledge and experience of the technicians, because the “annoying typing” is no longer necessary and the technicians simply have to answer questions, as they would have to do with an inexperienced technician. With simple questions such as “How did you solve the problem with the drive on the SU4343 machine?”, the “Field Service digital assistant”, who is inexperienced at the beginning, can learn to answer similar questions later.
The trainee with the digital master?
In the end, this actually results in a Field Service App with the collected knowledge of all technicians that is comparable to the omniscient master. However, the image of the apprentice and the master should be seen abstractly. It is not about a robot, but about a completely new form of interaction with special knowledge. At Tablet Solutions, for example, we are working in a research project with the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) on a Field Service Management System that can learn implicit assembly knowledge from experienced technicians in order to provide young assembly and maintenance technicians with this knowledge later. In this way, the “technical apprentice”, i.e. artificial intelligence, later becomes a technical master craftsman for new apprentices or technicians with less work experience. People are not replaced, but the system enables them to solve problems for which they would have needed expert help in the past.
Artificial Intelligence in operation
This is especially helpful when the expert is physically unavailable because the technician has to repair a plant somewhere else in the world that he has never seen before. In the future, a technician will therefore be able to draw on the knowledge of the entire installation and maintenance team and thus have access to completely new possibilities. Simple devices such as tablets and smartphones will become digital assistants whose knowledge can also be accessed by voice interaction à la Siri or Alexa.
Question of a young technician: Hello Workheld what do you know about the drive failure on machine SU4343?
Answer by Workheld: Robert Hammerer found the error last time at the blocked light barrier. If it is not blocked, it could also be in the control or power supply. Would you like more information about this?