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Innovation Spotlight: JLG AR App

Expert Q&A - Aug 21

Innovation Spotlight: JLG AR App

Jennifer Stiansen
Director of Marketing
JLG Industries

A big debut in 2020 for JLG was the augmented reality (AR) app, expanding our portfolio of connected solutions that provide customers with mobile phone and/or tablet-based productivity and safety advantages on the job site. Using next-generation augmented reality visualization, JLG’s AR app enables users to faster and more accurately plan projects and manage equipment onsite. 

Because telematics, connected job sites and increasing opportunities with technology are such hot topics within the access industry right now, we asked JLG’s Ara Eckel, Senior Manager of Connected Solutions, to give us insights into JLG’s AR app offering.

What has the response been to this app?
The response to JLG’s augmented reality (AR) app in the last year has been phenomenal, and it has already hit some major milestones, including being the first and only AR app available in the access industry, winning an industry award for the best “Technology Enhancement” of the year and being the fastest application to hit 1K+ users in JLG’s history.

One of the biggest benefits that we’re hearing from the field about this connected solution is that it’s helping our customers from being overloaded — and overwhelmed — by data. This is common when there’s so much data available that a customer doesn’t even know where to start to find the answers to the questions they have. With so much data at our fingertips today, it’s become increasingly difficult to access the right information at the right time.

Using the JLG AR app, users can get on-demand, digital access to information specific to a machine without ever leaving the job site. Examples would be:

  • Operators being able to scan decals and read them in their native language.
  • Project managers using the app’s machine visualization to ensure the equipment they’re ordering will fit in their workspace and reach the required areas without looking up dimensions in a manual or online.
  • Rental companies using the app’s accessory visualization to be confident that they’re ordering the right accessories to fit the models they carry without referencing a parts manual to verify fit.
  • Technicians using their phone to walk through inspection protocols to ensure they efficiently document every step.

Also, we’re hearing from the field about the opportunities users see with using the app to attract the next generation of workers. And, there’s interest in using this technology to assist newer workers with formerly cumbersome tasks. It is also going to help users drive efficiencies when workforce numbers are limited. For example, having access to service information without needing to reference a manual or make a call streamlines a technician’s job. 

How can people benefit from using this AR technology?
The biggest advantage of the JLG AR app is that it gives any and all users the ability to visualize equipment information, when and where they need it. Let’s be honest, every job site has its unique specifications and requirements, which means that selecting the right MEWP for the application can often be challenging. Choosing the right machine can lead to a more productive day’s work; whereas, having the wrong machine on site can lead to unexpected delays or inefficiencies. 

Our AR app can make machine selection more intuitive, offering machine visualization that enables users to place “to-scale” 3D machine models into the actual work environments the MEWPs will be used in. Users can then virtually move a selected MEWP through doorways, into small spaces and/or around obstacles to help determine if the particular machine can be used in the space it will need to maneuver.  

In addition, accessory visualization on the JLG AR app allows users to see the various options and accessories available for the selected MEWP in order to better visualize what may be needed to further enhance productivity on the job site.

And once the equipment is selected, this AR app can improve the operator’s experience with the machine before work begins. For example, the virtual decal viewer enables users to scan the MEWP’s safety decals in order to get the current information on ISO symbols. The JLG AR app also allows users to see an overlay of a machine’s control panel with explanations of control functions prior to machine operation. 

Technology aids aren’t just for the equipment operator. The annual inspection assistant feature in the JLG AR app provides service technicians a virtual overview of the components that need to be inspected and indicates whether each service step has passed or failed. It also allows MEWP techs to take notes and snap pictures to capture any issues, as well as store inspection documentation for future retrieval.

So, you asked how can people benefit from using this AR technology. There are many ways. It helps customers to lower their total of ownership because it is specifically designed for the needs of aerial equipment owners and operators working on real-world job sites. It reduces costs and saves time by enabling users to confidently select the right machines and accessories for the job. It helps users to navigate virtual machines around their job sites to confirm planning. It provides users with additional educational resources for safer, more efficient machine operation, including interactive guides and operating information. And, it improves machine service by providing users with an annual inspection tool to keep their fleet of access machines ready for rent. As you can see, there is a lot of benefit and value in the JLG AR app, and the best part is that it is 100% free to download and use (some limitations may apply in select global markets).

How does this technology tie-in to other JLG digital solutions and technology developments?
JLG has demonstrated its ability to deliver real-world job site value through not only it’s AR technology, but also through our other digital, connected solutions, which include ClearSky™ telematics, a BIM library and our new mobile control app that facilitates remote machine control and advanced battery monitoring capabilities on scissor lifts. All of these technological enhancements make JLG MEWPs more intuitive and safer to operate, while monitoring machine health for improved fleet management. 

The sky is the limit for expanding the use cases for these technologies and tools to advance the connected job sites of today and the smart cities of the future, while making our customer’s lives easier, more effective and more efficient.

What are customers asking for and what additional features could be expected in the future?
One of the biggest responsibilities we have as the leading global aerial equipment manufacturer is to truly understand the needs of MEWP users, what they expect from the machine and how they want to interact with the equipment. Like Rick mentioned above with the upgrades to our VR training simulator, we listened to our customers during the development of our AR solution, and we delivered what they asked for during at launch. 

That said, we aren’t resting on our laurels. We are in the process of the expanding the AR app’s tools to be even more useful on a day-to-day basis, such as expanding Annual Inspections into Machine Inspections and incorporating more value-added content like Pre-Delivery Inspections. This just scratches the surface of what our customers are asking for, and we continue to look for ways to improve and innovate our digital solutions’ offerings.

To learn more about the JLG augmented reality (AR) app, click here.

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