TotalEnergies Field Operators Collaborate Remotely with Connected RealWear Headsets Using Microsoft Teams
Deploying RealWear headsets using Microsoft Teams marks a significant step in TotalEnergies digital transformation.
In July 2020, TotalEnergies deployed RealWear headsets using the video conferencing platform Microsoft Team at our La Porte Polypropylene plant in La Porte, Texas in the world’s first commercial deployment. RealWear's HMT-1Z1 intrinsically safe headsets are compatible with all hard hats and run voice-enabled Microsoft Teams. The connected headset includes a camera and a video feed so that users and team members can interact with the video feed in real time. Field operators have access to use both hands for complex work procedures while remotely communicating with subject matter experts locally or across the globe.
“Connecting our field operators to TotalEnergies experts and vendors, down the street or on the other side of the world, is particularly topical at a time when travelling is restricted,” says Eric Duchesne, Senior Vice President Manufacturing and Project Division, TotalEnergies Refining and Chemicals. “But above all, the launch of Microsoft Teams on RealWear at TotalEnergies La Porte site in Texas is another step in our industrial digital transformation. It makes TotalEnergies operations safer and more efficient by executing better decisions faster. It also allows us to improve our operational excellence over the long run, and create the petrochemicals plant of tomorrow.”
In just a few clicks, TotalEnergies field workers can connect remotely with subject matter experts who are empowered to provide appropriate guidance and advice by seeing and analyzing the situation for themselves. Integrating with Microsoft Teams allows for multiple people to collaborate by sharing screens, displays, data, perspectives, and more.
“The more expert eyes we have on an issue, the higher the likelihood we troubleshoot issues faster, with higher accuracy, leading to increased safety and production performance,” stated Blake McFall, Manager – Operational Excellence, La Porte Polypropylene Plant, TotalEnergies Petrochemicals & Refining USA, Inc.
Connected headsets have a significant impact on enhancing site safety. Field operators are using PPE hard hats in potentially hazardous environments and the RealWear headset allows them to use both hands to perform necessary work. The larger teams’ responsiveness is also enhanced in a safe manner in the case of an unplanned event at the site.
“It is waterproof, dust proof, drop proof and has the ability to utilize ‘noise cancelling ear buds’ that are certified hearing protection as well and hands free and voice activated,” says Adam Hale, Superintendent – Maintenance Execution, La Porte Polypropylene Plant, TotalEnergies Petrochemicals & Refining USA, Inc.
The La Porte Polypropylene plant is North America’s largest polypropylene site and produces 2.7 billion pounds of thermoplastic polymers a year – which are pellets used to manufacture critical healthcare products such as face masks and gowns.
“Our teams have been working during a time of unprecedented challenges to maintain our business activities and bring smart technical solutions to support TotalEnergies assets,” commented Nabil Lamia, Senior Process Engineer & Digital Leader, TotalEnergies Refining and Chemicals. “The close collaboration between the La Porte Polypropylene Plant and the Industrial team was a key success factor to meet this challenge. Coupling the digital appetite of the La Porte Plant and the expertise of the Industrial team made the combination of Microsoft Teams on the RealWear device in industrial conditions a reality. This has also inspired usage for other TotalEnergies assets, which is the ultimate measure of success.”
This solution is proving popular with other TotalEnergies business segments too thanks to its safety benefits as well as its operational and financial efficiencies. Since the launch at La Porte, the use of RealWear devices has continued to grow with a target to complete the deployment of 30 devices in various TotalEnergies sites worldwide in the next few weeks.