Phoenix Contact’s Digitalization Transformation: PXR (Phoenix Contact Extended Reality)

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In this video, Director of Product Marketing Jeremy Valentine sits down with Senior Web Developer Matt Klinepeter to discuss extended reality tools and how Phoenix Contact is incorporating a variety of these technologies to better assist our customers while advancing our company’s digitalization transformation story.

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Transcipt: – We all see it, we all feel it. Technology, and specifically digitalization, well, it’s changing everything. And often, yeah, it can lead to some stress, disruption, and some negative kind of attributes, but more times than not, it creates a myriad of benefits, particularly when those advancements hit the shop floor. And that’s absolutely for sure here at Phoenix Contact. Digitalization is helping us each and every day. So one particular area that is really helping us here at Phoenix Contact is the incorporation of realities, mixed, augmented, virtual, all of those good things. And to help sort through that reality world, well, I’ve got Mr. Matt Klinepeter here. Matt, you’re our resident expert. You’ve been here, what? 14 years now?

– Yes.

– And this is kind of your jam, this is your thing, right?

– Yeah, it’s become my thing. I was hired to do a lot of web work, which we still have tons of web work, but saw a lot of value in this eXtended Reality that you have.

– So help me and everybody watching out there understand this, in mixed, virtual, which one’s which? And I began hearing an internal term, I think you coined it, so we have you to blame for this. PXR, where does that factor into all this?

– So PXR is Phoenix eXtended Reality. The industry term is extended reality, which is any reality that, you know, comes along that that helps further and advance these technologies with augmented reality, which is super imposing, you know, a virtual element on a physical element, a virtual reality, which is complete immersion in a CGI space. Mixed reality, which is interacting with augmented reality. And the newest that we’ve kind of gotten into is assisted reality, which is remote assistance using a headset, typically to facilitate some sort of remote application.

– Okay, so PXR again, that’s the umbrella term you’ve coined here that we’ve adopted it here at Phoenix Contact, but it incorporates all those different realities. And the cool thing here at Phoenix Contact is we’ve begun experimenting and incorporating pretty much all of those different ones, right?

– [Matt] Yeah.

– And the first one maybe we’ll expand on is the use of wearables, and I’m totally going to mess up on whether that’s augmented or virtual, so I’m going to take this the safe road and say, “Wearable PXR technology.” But we have incorporated wearable technology.

– Right, right, and we, so the industry calls the wearables, the usage of wearables and remote collaboration as assisted reality if we’re going to put it under this PXR umbrella. And it’s exactly that. So it’s generally a two-way video call between an operator and a specialist. And it’s, you know, to facilitate the fact that somebody can’t be on site and to get you through a build or troubleshooting or anything like that, to be the eyes and the hands of the operator to get a job done. And it has the capability of augmentation inside of these headsets where we can expand, not just as a two-way video call, but to actually annotate in real time, mark-up in real time, so you can more accurately, as a specialist on a PC, through the headset, guide that operator to the solution.

– That’s awesome, and again, I kind of alluded to this, the fact that, yeah, it’s great to apply all these definitions and thank you for helping sort through all that. But the great thing here at Phoenix Contact is we are in fact, walking the talk, if you will, and we’ve begun incorporating that type of technology. And the first experiment, if you will, using wearables was within our manufacturing area with what we internally call our AST machine, Advanced Shielding Technology, which is part of our cable production. And I guess, long story short, and we kind of have the pandemic, and necessity being the mother of all invention, really being the catalyst for us to jump into this wearable world, right? (Continued)

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