Total Scores Seamless Business Continuity with Remote Hands-Free Collaboration

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Total S.A. announced today an inspiring digital transformation story in the energy sector, making the impossible happen.

BOTTOM LINE: Microsoft Teams on Realtimear continues to be a popular intrinsically safe solution for industrial customers looking to deploy a Remote Collaboration solution for business continuity.

Using Realtimear hands-free, voice-operated devices running Microsoft Teams allows Total’s La Porte Polypropylene Plant to continue mass producing the raw materials used in the making of, among other things, essential medical supplies such as gowns and face masks. Field operators are using Realtimear award-winning HMT-1Z1 intrinsically safe headsets clipped onto PPE hard hats in potentially hazardous environments. The solution is integrated with Microsoft Teams, which helps them communicate instantly across the globe with remote experts during times of travel restrictions and social distancing.

Realtimear with Microsoft Teams is “A Game Changer” for Total’s Safety and Operational Efficiency


Total’s La Porte plant is the largest single-site polypropylene plant in the North America and produces 2.7 billion pounds of polypropylene per year. In addition to masks and gowns, the pellets are used for food packaging, tapes, carpet yarns, absorbent products, caps and closures, geotextiles, small appliances, housewares, disposables, outdoor furniture and toys.

Video of Total Deploying Realtimear Hands-Free Intrinsically Safe Devices with Microsoft Teams

Outfitting Total’s field operators with ruggedized Realtimear headsets enables them to connect with their technical and engineering staff in real-time to quickly diagnose an operational issue or handle a need for equipment maintenance. These field operators are now Connected Workers.

The set-up is simple. Field operators put on the headset and make a Microsoft Teams call with just their voice. They can even have multiple people on Teams at once to look at a problem from all different points of view, sharing screens, displays, data, and more.

According to Total, the use of the wearable solution speeds up and improves technical assistance while enhancing the teams’ responsiveness in a safe manner in case of an unplanned event at their La Porte site.

From Total’s press release:

“Connecting our field operators to experts on the other side of the world is particularly topical at a time when travel is restricted and more people work remotelyBut above all, the launch of Microsoft Teams on RealWear at Total’s La Porte site in Texas is another step in our industrial digital transformation. It makes Total’s operations safer and more efficient by executing better decisions faster. It also allows us to improve our operational excellence over the long run, and create the petrochemicals plant of tomorrow.”

Eric Duchesne
Senior Vice President Manufacturing and Project Division
Total Refining and Chemicals.

“With its high-resolution camera and noise cancellation, RealWear is able to put eyes on the job from anywhere in the world, saving travel costs while keeping everybody safely at a distance. The ability for an expert to connect to the headset remotely, view the scene on live video, examine small details captured in still photos, and speak directly with the operator enables remote teams to assess the situation as it unfolds as though they were actually on the ground themselves.”

Sanjay Jhawar
Co-founder and President

“Total’s rapid deployment of Microsoft Teams on RealWear demonstrates the unlimited possibilities of remote collaboration with RealWear and Microsoft during this ‘new normal.’ The solution is fully integrated, and has quickly become a compelling solution for our joint customers – many of whom require uptime and productivity even when logistical challenges seem insurmountable. Now for the first time at Total, experts can quickly share screens with the first line, and the first line can snap photos and share issues with knowledge workers no matter where they are. It’s possible to bring an entire plant back online, by making a single hands-free call.”

Mayank Verma
Director of Product Marketing
Microsoft 365 for Firstline Workers at Microsoft.

Total is a broad-energy company that produces and markets fuels, natural gas and low-carbon electricity. Our 100,000 employees are committed to better energy that is safer, more affordable, cleaner and accessible to as many people as possible. Active in more than 130 countries, our ambition is to become the responsible energy major.

RealWear® is a knowledge transfer platform company providing in-situ information and in-the-field training with software and hardware to help people improve safety and increase productivity at work. The company’s flagship product, the HMT-1®, is the leading ruggedized head-mounted, wearable, Android-class tablet computer that frees a worker’s hands for dangerous jobs. With an ever-growing number of hands-free software solutions, enterprise customers gain instant knowledge with remote mentor, document navigation, industrial IoT visualization, video micro-training and digital workflow solutions. Global leaders in energy, manufacturing and automotive industries trust the HMT-1 and HMT-1Z1® to empower and connect their global workforce.

We have always said that the tip of the spear of digital transformation is the frontline worker – the Connected Worker. This is more true now than ever.

In the spirit of keeping it real, we are sharing some of the poignant comments and inquiries we’ve received that demonstrate the need for a hard pivot to digital. While we’ve shown mountains of data in the past about the ROI of our devices, the instant payback and the force multiplier of connecting an entire industrial workforce, making big changes to your current operations are never easy. COVID-19 has proven to be an accelerator of these efforts as demonstrated below.

NOTE – these comments are fully stripped of ALL customer data but NONE of the emotional, heartfelt toil of current challenges in the field and factory.

“Need Support Installing Equipment”

We’re in the process of setting up large industrial manufacturing equipment in our partner’s factory in XXX. Normally, the manufacturer of the equipment would provide on-site support when installing the equipment. However, due to the coronavirus situation, they had to travel back home to XXX.  We would like to use Remote Assistance function via HMT RealWear devices to solve the installation/startup.  At a factory in XXX, a colleague uses the devices (front-end), which the expert sees on his computer (back-end) while talking to each other.

“The use of an intrinsically safe, hands-free unit capable to perform video consultation is essential.”

I am in the Oil and Gas service industry and as a CISA “essential worker” segment are being asked by super-majors to restrict our normal activity on offshore rigs. They do still need to have our advice but the use of an intrinsically safe, hands-free unit capable to perform video consultation is essential. I am being asked to immediately offer solutions to reduce COVID-19 exposure by keeping as many people on land as possible. Please let me know how you can help.

“We are looking for a solution to fulfill the main requirements of remote support.”

I’m XXX from XXX in XXX. Because of COVID-19 outbreak, most of our vendors can’t offer on-site support. We are looking for a solution to fulfill the main requirements of remote support. The below items are the requirements:
• Multiple mount options, because many Taiwanese employees are short-sighted.
• For our vendors (supporters), they can use web-based applications to communicate with our employees, share files and screen, and draw something to give our employees instructions.
• High-resolution camera. Our venders can see what our employees see in the field.
• High-quality microphone and headset (Some functionality like noise filter), because there will be noise in the field.

Download Essential Worker E-Book

“Given we have a large spread of clients across the country, we would like to be able to have an engineer onsite, who can communicate back to our office with [a] live feed.”

Our technicians in the field are supporting essential businesses and traveling via car (sometimes across multiple states) to support our customers. Our ability to support them with subject matter expertise is more important than ever. Some customer sites will not allow resources outside of their company onsite right now. So sending them a RealWear headset is a realistic support alternative that we are using. This is a quick alternative for us to support sites where we cannot travel to them. We support customers (Retail store, Healthcare, Grocery Business) across the XXX and XXX. Our technical resources are mostly working from home and unable to travel

The hands-free HMT-1 shown here can be purchased online for evaluation here in your facility here via credit card. Hard hat not included unless you purchase a Validation Kit.

“Utilizing your solution for remote assistance will allow the wider business a way to provide assistance.”

We provide drinking water, sewerage, trade waste and recycled water services to customers in XX business district. With COVID-19 now affecting our daily business activities we are relying heavily on XXX to continue our daily work lives. [We] will be deploying devices within our treatment plants and field workers, particularly to the sewage plant operators and the Electricians in our Maintenance Services & Control systems team. Both these teams have seen significant impact to work activities due to limitations from staff working from home and from social distancing requirements preventing two or more workers to share a small space like a control cabinet or complex piece of plant due to impacts from COVID-19. Utilizing your solution for remote assistance will allow the wider business who are currently working from home (including subject matter experts and supervisors) a way to provide assistance to personnel in the field whilst maintaining isolation or social distance measures.

“With the recent travel bans forcing our global team to be grounded, we really have a need for increased communication between continents.”

We need to evaluate Realtimear urgently for our remote support services to use it hopefully as a second alternative solution. The solution for remote support currently in place suffers from time to time from a natural overload in these current Corona crisis situation. We have already rolled out several HMT-1 devices to our service engineers and partners and have also a company-wide XXXX infrastructure in place.

“We’re currently experiencing a huge demand for remote support services and therefore need to provide our remote services to more and more customers.”

Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, [we] would be utilizing your solution for many use cases including Remote Guidance for power plant repair and maintenance, streamlined engineering inspections and recommendations through HMT-1 video collaboration and supporting contract requirements for inspections and shop witness tests.

“Restrictions on travel to site means we need remote collaboration between sites, office, and OEM/suppliers.”

We are looking at using this for remote support on our equipment; connecting our technicians with our customers and connecting our engineers with our technicians.

“With the advent of the coronavirus, we are facing some challenges with how we support systems and collaborate in the field.”

The improved ability for other plants to consult expertise during routine and special inspections, turnarounds and outages using live, hands-free calls brings tremendous value without experts having to travel back and forth.

“Decrease in travel due to COVID-19 has accelerated the need to meet these critical use cases of material, process and subject expertise for all of XXX.”

The solution will enhance speed of communication within each plant.

Recently a planned maintenance at one of our sites was cancelled due to Covid-19 so remote instructions were necessary to complete the maintenance.

“We are today facing the COVID-19 issue and as a company we are providing most of the diagnostics tests done on the country.”

The number of infected patients is just starting to rise, and the government is in need of faster diagnostics equipment and will start concentrating most of the test done nationally on one hospital.

The equipments installed on this hospitals are the only ones we have installed on the country so far, and we only have limited amount of field service engineers who can help on the maintenance, some of which are not allowed on the customer site for safety reasons. As a company we are interested on exploring all the possibilities on remote support we can give our customer and our field service engineers.

“We produce medical products and can’t fly our specialists in. I hope you can help me soon.”

Our main activity is to maintain engines that provide electricity to hospitals, data centers, etc. It is important to solve any energy issues faster. We think your solution will work well with our expertise at maintenance tasks.

“We are working at home for not spreading the virus so, remote mentor will be perfect for that.”

Due to COVID-19, our engineers can no longer go onsite to install/maintain/support our equipment at our customers sites.

“We are looking to continue training our machine operators while maintaining a safe distancing policy to slow the spread of COVID-19. Your tool appears to be exactly what we could use to provide this training.”

I run an electrical and water metering company base in XXXX. We are needed a solution to help keep our remote sites supported while we can not physically travel there.

“We are limiting people in our manufacturing site, but still need to support troubleshooting.”

We have been working on a remote service program for awhile and it is taking on new urgency because of the COVID-19 problems.

We are very interested in remote expert support in a manufacturing environment.

We see a future for guided work instructions and many other AR applications but the immediate need is to provide robust hands free communications between a user in our plant and a remote expert.

“We need to train staff on testing procedures and would like to use headsets to handle training while social distancing.”

As robotics team in COMPANY, we are located in COUNTRY and supporting our global service centers for robotics and automation needs. We usually travel for support on site, however we are not able to continue in the same way. So, we are looking for some alternative solutions. Live video and audio communication is our key need as a handsfree device. In addition, other interactive tools are also going to provide additional benefits. I have seen some people discussed using your products in XXX.

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