ITALGAS chooses OverIT's Field Service Management solution and RealWear’s HMT-1Z1s wearable devices

January 16, 2020

Italy’s largest gas distributor accelerates knowledge transfer to unskilled workers for improved uptime and safety

Thanks to OverIT’s Field Service Management solution, running on RealWear’s HMT-1Z1s intrinsically safe devices, Italgas is now capable to bring the digital transformation of its operations to a whole new level.

At Italgas, gas distribution means guaranteeing network safety, service continuity and system efficiency. To improve service quality and safety, increase distribution system effectiveness, and have a positive impact on the environment, the third-largest European utility has been investing heavily in the digitization of its operations.

Utility field workers performing maintenance activities on gas infrastructure, frequently encounter potentially hazardous situations, that require immediate remote support and visualization of real-time IoT data of specific assets. Beyond just managing work orders, Italgas’ Field Service crews are required to visualize data and read technical documents while performing manual operations.

Italgas declares that keeping hands free via voice-controlled systems, safely resolves complex issues faster and avoids additional travel or costly service downtime in extremely restricted zones, where gases are present.

The company first deployed the automated scheduling of work orders in 2004, pioneering the adoption of a Field Service Management solution to allow its workforce to avoid the need of visiting the office to collect tasks in the morning, or physically hand documents at the end of their shift.

In 2012, to efficiently manage its approximately 44,000 miles of pipelines and 7.6 million assets, Italgas became one of the first Utilities to use consumer devices for its workforce. The implementation of OverIT’s Field Service Management solution was a success, and Italgas quickly moved onto an even bigger challenge: how could workers operate hands-free and benefit from the features of the tablet app while performing manual maintenance tasks? Italgas’ Digital Factory, the firm’s innovation department, developed the idea of using Head-mounted devices (HMDs) and Assisted Reality.

Currently, the innovative solution enables Italgas’ field workers to reference documents (e.g., technical datasheets, multimedia content and asset history) while using their hands to perform the maintenance on a specific asset. Data collection via voice provides further efficiency, enabling users to update asset information without any manual input.

Italgas’ goal is to increase the number of field workers supported by the solution and expand its functionalities. At Italgas, the knowledge gained from long-tenured workers is critical: capturing their expertise and transferring it to less experienced technicians on-the-job allows the company to start a new level of digital transformation.