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Virtual visit a hit for Microsoft CEO

South Flank recently hosted a ‘virtual visit’ by Microsoft’s Global CEO, Satya Nadella, to showcase a partnership with BHP that is driving frontline safety improvements.

Satya ‘met’ members of the project’s Mobile Equipment Maintenance team via mixed reality – a blend of the virtual and real worlds – to explore two linked initiatives that use Microsoft technology: the 2020 BHP Safety Award-winning Dash Maintainer Tools, and the Hololens Mixed Reality Headsets which allow on and offsite people to work together.

Dash is a tool developed for BHP’s frontline Maintainers to eliminate some tasks that have injury potential.

Wireless sensors allow maintainers to remotely carry out diagnostic work on heavy mobile equipment, like haul trucks, removing them from the line of fire.

Using a special headset, the HoloLens technology allows people to move around site, view immersive 3D models and talk or videoconference with others, safely and freely.

The Dash team in Perth used it to remotely guide technicians at South Flank during the installation of the first Dash prototype onto a Komatsu 930E haul truck.

“It’s great to see the ability to take domain expertise [in maintenance], and use digital technology to make things safer, better and more efficient,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

BHP’s Digital Products Manager Alex Bertram said when you get tech like this into the hands of people at the front line, it’s amazing to see what they can achieve to make our operations safer, smarter and better.