Nsflow is an EU-based company behind the knowledge management platform utilizing augmented reality to support frontline workers in the industrial area. Their goal is to aid companies operating in fields such as manufacturing, automotive, chemical, energy, and medical in overcoming daily challenges. Common problems include, but are not limited to, access to relevant information during work and distributing standardized knowledge company-wide. The grassroots platform contains two functional modules, Digital Workflows and Remote Support, to ensure efficient knowledge management, risk reduction, and improved quality.
The platform is addressed to manufacturing companies on the verge of digital transformation. With Nsflow, companies can reduce training costs, eliminate human error, and downtimes, improve knowledge transfer, and achieve company-wide knowledge standardization. They can automate and optimize business processes with AR without programming skills.
Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?
Nsflow: Our company is focused on industrial enterprises and integrators, as we partner with entities with their own machinery and equipment on which they train employees. We’re also open to selling licenses for out-of-the-box products to SMEs operating in the industrial sector. Our main area of interest is entering the DACH and Nordic markets, with the possibility to carry out operations in other countries.
E.E: What’s the news about new products?
Nsflow: Our platform is in an intensive development phase, as we’re working on the 2.0 version and aiming to deliver new functionalities to our clients in the upcoming months. One of the significant milestones for Nsflow was the creation of the Nsflow Box, a convenient plug&play solution meeting the highest security standards in manufacturing facilities.
New enhancements cover real-time data input during workflow execution, including documentation of process flows, streamlining inspections and service, along with live annotations in Remote Support. New features allow experts to place spatial notations, mark objects, and indicate vital areas on images from the on-site technician’s camera without stopping the footage, accelerating Remote Support sessions. Another functionality aimed at improving process execution to be added to the platform in the first half of 2023 is spatial anchors. Supporting Digital Workflows and used for attaching instructions in the working area, spatial anchors enable convenient display of the necessary information in relevant context on any device.
E.E: What are the ranges of products?
Nsflow: Nsflow is available in a flexible licensing model, depending on the module needed. By choosing the Digital Workflows module, the client gains a license per user and an unlimited number of AR/mobile devices, while the Remote Support module entails a license per device, with an unlimited number of users.
The platform is offered in various models to match clients’ requirements: SaaS, private cloud, and on-premise. Aside from the out-of-the-box deployment, we offer dedicated customizations and integration with internal systems on the client’s side.
For example, we have created a tailored solution for an automotive market leader to automate the on-site training processes. By mounting cameras and sensors in the facility, the platform guided employees through instructions while gathering data on performance and execution correctness for detailed reporting.
The fastest way to enjoy the advantages of Nsflow is the fast-track deployment of the SaaS model combined with the out-of-the-box platform, which is ready within a few days. The above-mentioned Nsflow Box is a novelty approach, allowing us to deliver the platform in the form of an industrial computer, independent of external networks and compatible with on-site equipment on the shop floor.
To ensure satisfaction and adjust the right solution, we offer a 14-day free trial period with an AR device included.
E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?
Nsflow: The European AR market is still in its infancy, but certain changes are noticeable. Global market statistics show a growth in the adoption of augmented reality among industrial enterprises and the tangible benefits it brings. The technology is relatively new, and so are dedicated devices, meaning at this stage, many stakeholders face difficulties in choosing the right solutions to recognized needs. With the dynamic development of both software and hardware solutions, the European industrial sector is gaining vast support in securing market competitiveness.
E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?
Nsflow: Augmented reality is one of the most dynamically developing technologies, with its industrial application gaining more interest. Forecasts show the growing demand for digital solutions targeted at the most severe pain points, facing knowledge outflow and generational change being two of the most prevailing across industries. The industrial sector is heavily affected by employee churn and training new generations of employees requires a new approach to cater to all needs. This is the right time to adopt AI and AR solutions to safely aggregate knowledge and distribute it company-wide, securing the company’s know-how and ensuring production continuity.
E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?
Nsflow: Augmented reality is a growing trend across industries, becoming the desired aid in e-commerce, marketing, and entertainment. As such, AR technology entails delivering an array of innovative products making it a tough act to follow, meaning I can speak mostly for my market segment.
The AR equipment market is still relatively young, with few devices yet available to the public. The pieces already launched have all their pros and cons, making it difficult for users to choose the best universal solution. Currently, the most technologically advanced device is Microsoft HoloLens 2, with built-in spatial sound and a convenient Air Tap function for manipulating objects in the distance. The headset, however, is best for indoor procedures carried out in moderate conditions, making it difficult to perform industrial operations without damaging the piece.
Knowing that a fixed hardware configuration often won’t suit individual needs, RealWear proposed an innovative approach to wearable devices. The most advanced wearable piece, the Navigator 500, has a modular construction allowing users to switch between components best suited for carrying out operations. The most recent release is a complementary thermal camera module. The piece allows workers to perform various operations in industrial conditions requiring infrared assessment – of installations, equipment, and constructions. Said new module is a dual-camera component for convenient documentation in both modes, standard and thermal. Modularity may be a future-oriented approach, simplifying the choice of AR devices for users in industrial environments and streamlining the adoption of augmented reality among professionals.
E.E: What estimations do you have for the rest of 2022?
Nsflow: The passing year 2022 is marked by the worsening recession, reduced growth, rising inflation, and a decrease in wages. While we’d like to remain optimistic, the upcoming quarters may be difficult for most market branches. The industrial sector is experiencing hardships due to the dynamic geopolitical situation, with enterprises often moving facilities to their home or neighboring countries to shorten supply chains. On the brighter side, challenging times require efficient solutions to overcome obstacles, and we’re sure that the newest technologies, including AR, will continue to strengthen the market competitiveness of industrial companies. Nsflow supports companies, streamlining communication and knowledge sharing vital for training large numbers of employees in, e.g., new manufacturing plants. With this in mind, we’re preparing for an increase in interest in 2023.
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