RealWear Smart Glasses Deployment Enables HARDI to Reduce Downtime for Farmers

RealWear has announced that HARDI International A/S, an international leader of agricultural crop protection equipment has deployed RealWear Navigator® 520 smart glasses and the Innomize after sales concept in order to offer its customers real-time remote technical support for its highly advanced machinery. 

HARDI exports its offerings to farmers in over 100 countries. With a workforce of approximately 600 employees across the globe, its subsidiaries and production units span most continents. The company manufactures highly-advanced agricultural machinery and, given the harsh environments in which they operate, maintenance outside of scheduled servicing is required occasionally. While HARDI relies on its global sales network to successfully address technical issues for farmers in the field, there are instances where unforeseen challenges arise that require the expertise of a technical service professional from HARDI. Previously, they would have to physically travel to the location and resolve the issue.

That process incurred substantial costs and time and posed a significant hurdle if the customer was based far away from the service centre. Prior to the RealWear deployment, to resolve certain technical issues this would involve physically dispatching HARDI service technicians to address reported issues. The journey typically began with the farmer contacting their local dealership, where the machine was purchased. The dealership would then attempt to provide remote support or send a service technician to the farmer. If the on-site technician couldn’t resolve the issue, HARDI would need to be involved. This could lead to technicians being dispatched from Denmark, where HARDI is headquartered, to locations as distant as Japan or South Africa. Taking into account the geographical distances, the entire process from reporting the issue to reaching a resolution could result in significant downtime for the farmer. Uptime is critical in the weather-dependent agriculture industry, where a successful yield is closely tied to favourable weather conditions. Farmers depend on specific windows of opportunity for tasks such as spraying, so any machinery problems must be resolved promptly, limiting downtime as much as possible.

As a result, HARDI looked at various smart glasses to create a new workflow process, one in which it could resolve issues remotely where possible. Working with RealWear Gold Partner, Innomize, HARDI selected the RealWear Navigator 520 based on its ergonomic, rugged design and features like noise reduction which provides the ability to operate seamlessly amid the background clamour of heavy machinery. 

Now, when assistance is required, on-site technicians wearing a RealWear Navigator 520 can connect remotely with a HARDI expert to view what the technician is seeing in real-time through video streaming. This enables experts to guide the on-site technician visually to solve the problem which is identified faster, extra intervention costs and time are avoided, and downtime is reduced. This new way of working has minimised travel expenses and the environmental impact associated with it, while optimising the efficiency of HARDI’s service technicians, especially during peak seasons. 

The cost-saving impact of adopting RealWear smart glasses has been noteworthy. Traditionally, dispatching a technician for on-site assistance incurred a hefty expense of approximately 5,000 euros per trip, dependent on location. However, with the implementation of RealWear smart glasses, issues can be resolved within approximately one and a half hours per case on average. 

“We have deployed several RealWear devices to date in our initial phase of our global rollout”, commented Mads Ulrik Petersen, Aftermarket Manager at HARDI. “While we have used smart glasses internally in our technical service operations since 2021, we are now transitioning into a more commercial phase. HARDI now offers this solution to farmers and dealers allowing them to purchase the technology and receive faster technical support.”

The RealWear Navigator 520s being used by HARDI feature Remote Eye from Wideum, a remote video assistance software used in smart glasses. It enables both the technician and the expert to communicate hands-free. The software also incorporates an AI translator for efficient multilingual communication. Users can speak in their native language, and the system translates the conversation into another language in real-time. This unique feature has proven to be a game-changer, especially for HARDI’s global operations, facilitating effective communication and removing language barriers. 

“HARDI’s deployment of RealWear smart glasses sets a benchmark for the agricultural industry and showcases the technology’s potential impact on businesses operating in diverse and international settings. Overcoming language barriers is a pivotal aspect, especially when dealing with customers across multiple territories. It’s a challenge that, when tackled effectively, can significantly enhance global operations,” added Helle Rosenberg, Business Development Specialist at Innomize.

Looking to the future, Petersen added: “Investing in our large and intricate machines is a significant commitment for farmers, given the substantial financial outlay. These machines are packed to the brim with electronics, and any disruption to these components can render the entire machine inoperable. As part of our strategy, we are planning to integrate RealWear smart glasses into every sale of certain models in our assortment.”