Author Archives: PAULEY

About PAULEY

PAULEY is an internationally-recognised interactive design and innovation consulting firm based in the UK’s high-technology belt. Our expertise is underpinned by a passion for global design culture, and the creative vision of founder and concept designer Phil Pauley (http://www.philpauley.com). PAULEY develop bespoke digital and 3D solutions for brands, from leading-edge concept designs to online communication tools. At the heart of our work is a unique approach to design-led innovation. Our mission is to help companies find new ways to work more sustainably, harmoniously and profitably using the power of digital. From innovative 3D presentations, to futuristic design, to promotional videos that generate social media buzz, visual communications specialist PAULEY helps you create attention-grabbing images that get everyone talking.

578252358e0c7dd8dfe77fa63a8e873c12dcb696

An agile SME response to the Williams Report

At PAULEY, we understand the need to demonstrate the context of what we offer in relation to the environment in which we offer it.

The recently announced Rail Review, led by independent chair Keith Williams, has been established to recommend the most appropriate organisational and commercial frameworks to support the delivery of the Government’s vision for the railway of having a world-class railway; working as part of the wider transport network and delivering new opportunities across the nation. Established by the Transport Secretary, the Rail Review will recommend the most appropriate organisational and commercial frameworks to support the delivery of this mission.

As a technology focused SME, PAULEY have focused on embedding themselves into the rail industry and we try to play an active role in shaping the development of both the industry and the delivery of training within it.  Our attention has always been on the development, implementation and adoption of new and emerging technologies that help drive the productivity story. But we do need to put this into context.

In practice this means understanding two things; the first is what is happening at a sector level, so what’s the direction the industry is heading in and how do we play a part in shaping that. The second is what is happening outside our sector that can influence the environment in which we operate.

First, let’s examine what the rail industry is planning, as a result of it’s recently announced Sector Deal with Government.

The Rail Sector Deal
The Rail Sector Deal sets out a new approach to the rail industry and the Government working in partnership to transform the rail sector by taking actions to increase the use of digital technology, boost productivity, improve the service received by those who use our railways and build the skills of the UK workforce to capitalise on these opportunities.

Digital technology is at the centre of this Sector Deal – digital signalling and traffic management systems are the core components for resolving the capacity problems on the current network. The Government and industry will work together to set out a clear plan for digital signalling and traffic management interventions, which will enable industry to invest in the necessary skills and resources to deliver passenger and freight capacity and reliability for the long-term. The adoption of innovations; accelerated Industry Collaborations and the uptake of ideas are key to the success of the UK Industrial Strategy and it’s four grand challenges covering all sectors of UK business.

c736c2090ba92d59d713093e44581466fb6392bf

Advanced control systems, energy management, high value rolling stock systems, whole life asset optimisation, through life management and enhancing the customer experience are all areas of UK strength or potential. The supportive infrastructure for successful innovation has improved and the Rail Sector Deal will look to expand the space for innovation.

The challenges are clear, but as the adoption of new digital technologies accelerates and new investment increases, there is an opportunity to present the railway to a new generation of potential employees as the dynamic, attractive, futuristic industry that it is.

Formal institutions like the National College for High Speed Rail, the National Skills Academy for Rail and the National Training Academy for Rail are complemented by increasing numbers of rail facilities in the higher education and further education sectors, particularly the successful UKRRIN programme. Finally, no conversation would be complete without mention of the Network Rail Training programme and the impressive facilities at their Workforce Development Centres.

Furthermore, Andrew Haines, Chief Executive Network Rail recently stated “We need operators with top-notch competence and experience, excellent leadership skills and a system-overview that enables them to work effectively together to deliver the best outcome for passengers”.

Neil Robertson, CEO NSAR recently commented “To improve our productivity, we need to invest in new technology and in skills. In the UK we have historically underinvested in both.”

If we are to sustain the existing network and take on board and reap the benefits of digital technology, then we need to address the skills shortage. One of the core delivery plans within the Rail Sector Deal is that we invest in our people and our skills. Digital Rail skills are fundamental to the future success of the railway and feature heavily in the commitments and milestones, including looking at the possibility of a Digital Skills (virtual) Academy for the industry, mandating skills and apprenticeships through procurement contracts and developing a single industry platform to recruit, promote and support rail careers.

At PAULEY we are supporting all of these initiatives and more through our continued involvement in and support of the Williams Review; the Rail Sector Deal and our work with the Rail Supply Group.

911e6edee472c494e4b55b8e64e2c306d0751d07

We understand the key role of immersive technologies in moving the industry forward and preparing for the 4th industrial revolution. We pride ourselves on our ability to equip our customers and their workforce with the systems and processes that help drive efficiencies throughout their business which in turn provides a better service to their customers.

Technology shift and compound growth
We live in a changing and dynamic world where technological shift is of paramount importance.  PAULEY are pioneering the use of innovative technologies across the UK Rail Industry and beyond, delivering efficiencies and improved business performance to meet the needs of this challenging environment for all key stakeholders. From Training to Maintenance and Fault Finding, our collaborations across the industry are pivotal in introducing ground-breaking, innovative, digital ways of working and to creating a modern workforce for a modern industry.

The World Economic Forum’s Chief Economist, Jennifer Blanke, points out:

Our lives are being shaken to their very core by technological change, with the Fourth Industrial Revolution transforming economies as never before. The unprecedented speed of change, as well as the breadth and the depth of many radical changes unleashed by new digital, robotic and 3D technologies, is having major impacts on what we produce and do, how and where we do it and indeed how we earn a living. And while the transformation will proceed differently in advanced and developing parts of the world, no country or market will be spared from the tidal wave of change.
If we are to seize the opportunities, and avoid the pitfalls of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we must consider carefully the questions that it raises. We must rethink our ideas about economic and social development, value creation, privacy and ownership, and even individual identity. We must address, individually and collectively, moral and ethical issues raised by cutting-edge research in artificial intelligence and biotechnology, which will enable significant life extension, designer babies, and memory extraction. And we must adapt to new approaches to meeting people and nurturing relationships.

Better diagnostic and predictive systems on dated infrastructure leads to targeted maintenance, leading to less human interventions. In rail, software will control our operations to an even greater extent than they do now. We’ll need less people doing the same roles as today, but we’ll still need the people. They’ll just be doing different things.

And those people will need training more than ever before. Because the pace of change in technology is compounded by the desire to do things better, faster, more efficiently. So you have a compound effect of technology change and hunger to be first, to be best, to be the market leader. We understand all this at PAULEY. We understand that you need to train people effectively, efficiently and quickly. Which is what we do.

We also understand that the environment in which companies like PAULEY need to be able to operate, with creativity; with innovation; seeking productivity improvements and being encouraged to do so by the big players and by Government. This is why the Sector Deal and Williams Review are critical – they provide that context, the environment where companies like PAULEY can succeed, without barriers to entry or progress, for the good of the industry, the Government, its workers and above all its passengers. We believe that promoting SME Champions in the industry will encourage greater innovation, more creativity and higher levels of improvement in the way the railway operates. If we get it right, the Williams Review and the Rail Sector Deal will effectively interconnect the rail industry with the ever-evolving UK digital mobility network.

If you feel it is time take action, we are ready to help. Contact PAULEY today on [email protected].

Share
Fault Finding in Augmented Reality

Calculating the cost savings of blended learning

At PAULEY, we understand the need to demonstrate the economic argument of doing something different. That’s why we’ve devised a method for understanding the cost differential between traditional, face-to-face (death by PowerPoint) training, and a more blended learning approach using Immersive Technology (Mixed Reality).

Our COST SAVINGS CALCULATOR aims to estimate the total cost of your current training that could be replaced with Blended Learning (VR / AR / Cad Enabled E-Learning) and provide an example price to develop a blended learning solution. This provides an illustration of cost savings, to help highlight the business case when compared with traditional learning and show the return on investment over time.

We look at a number of different features of your company’s training profile that includes the following key elements:

  • Estimated, total training time – By entering the typical roles or training courses that require to be trained with the number of people in each role / course and hours of training per role / course per annum, we can then calculate the total number of training hours that you currently deliver.
  • Replaceable training time – Here we document the percentage of the total training time that you require to be replaced with blended learning, which will typically be an assumption at the early stages.
  • Estimated training cost – This is the average cost per day that you currently incur when delivering your existing training programme, these costs include (but are not limited to) staff; trainers; overheads; hire and maintenance of a venue, travel costs, lost productivity etc.
  • Estimated fixed costs – This is the total fixed cost to deliver your annual training, relating mainly to capitalised assets or indirect cost.
  • Blended learning development cost – Here we can select an option from a dropdown menu to select a Level (either Gold, Silver or Bronze). A detailed breakdown of what is provided for each level can be viewed by clicking the relevant link within the calculator. This will provide an average cost for each level.
  • Estimated saving – Our results table shows you the estimated training and fixed costs saved over 1 to 5 years based on the costs you have entered, and the percentage of training replaced by blended learning.
  • Estimated savings over time – Our results graph shows you the illustrated total costs saved over 1 to 5 years based on the estimated costs you have entered and the estimated percentage of training replaced by blended learning.

The devil really is in the detail with our cost saving methodology, and as part of it, we assess Direct Trainer time, the extent of refresher training, reduced delegate travel cost, course material production cost and the trainer / delegate ratio for specialist training.

fade

We also consider how we can avoid future costs, looking at areas such as maintaining capacity without fixed costs, investment in the training asset, lower administration and outcome / data recording, reduced attendance costs, effective quality control and change management.

Finally the benefits extend beyond lower or avoided costs, typically key areas for us include increased user engagement, a more memorable experience, heightened safety awareness (i.e. we can recreate high risk environments), reduced levels of operational impact, sharing of IPR and best practice through licensing and finally, it’s fun, delegates take more knowledge away with them, providing a quicker route to competency; making employees more economically productive and driving increased productivity / efficiencies in maintenance and operations processes.

For an accurate assessment of your requirements please contact us at [email protected] for a full quotation.

At PAULEY we understand that you need to train people effectively, efficiently and quickly. Which is what we do!

Share

Microsoft HoloLens: Getting your first content onto device

In our last blog post, we showed you how to get started with HoloLens development and set up a development environment. In this post, we will be detailing how to build your first piece of content and deploy it to a HoloLens device. We will also be covering how to construct some interactions using pre-made components contained within the HoloToolkit.
The main aim for this blog post is to get a basic application, that contains two objects and an interactive button which toggles the states of these objects, built and deployed to a device for testing. At the end of this post you will have acquired the basic skills to get a skeleton application built, as well as have access to resources that will help you find and add new features to the existing application.

Creating the main scene
Following on from the last blog post, you should have a project set up with the HoloToolkit imported and ready to use. Before we get started crafting a basic scene to use for building and deployment, navigate to the HoloToolkit example scene folder, as shown in the picture below:

first_content_fig1

Let’s start by looking through the “Interactable Object Example” which can be found in “InteractableObject_Examples.unity” unity scene file. Once the scene is opened, head to the accompanying HoloToolkit examples description page: https://github.com/Microsoft/MixedRealityToolkit-Unity/blob/master/Assets/HoloToolkit-Examples/UX/Readme/README_InteractableObjectExample.md

first_content_fig2

As can be seen from this scene, there are a number of examples of how to create interactive objects, either by use of a “button”, or through use of the object itself. Try playing the scene to explore how the various interaction styles work. When you are finished exploring the scene, create a new scene and name it “Blog2_MainScene”. You should now have a completely empty scene and are ready to start adding content in.

first_content_fig3

The first step is to add the basic necessities for a scene to run on a HoloLens device. Begin by removing already existing Main Camera and add the “MixedRealityCamera” prefab into the scene (Assets/HoloToolkit/Input/Prefabs/MixedRealityCameraParent.prefab). This is a special camera that allows the HoloLens to draw the content over the real world, while clearing the rest of the scene to transparent, allowing the user to see the real world.
Next add the “InputManager” prefab into the scene (Assets/HoloToolkit/Input/Prefabs/InputManager.prefab), this will allow the HoloLens to intercept input events from the device and provide input functionality to scripts that require it.

Finally, bring in the cursor prefab (Assets/HoloToolkit/Input/Prefabs/Cursor/ Cursor.prefab) into the scene hierarchy and attach it to “Simple Single Pointer Selector” script on “InputManager” game object. The cursor will act as the user’s pointer in the scene. Your scene hierarchy should now look as follows:

first_content_fig4

Now that you have all the necessary prefabs in the scene, you can begin adding some models that will act as your content. We require 2 models for this scenario, and we will be using the built in Unity primitives, but feel free to use any model at your disposal!
Add a sphere (or any model you have) and place it at (1, 0, 5) in the scene. Next add a cube (or any second model you have, it must be different to the first) to the scene and place it at (-1, 0, 5) in the world. Your scene and game view should now look as follows:

first_content_fig5

For the next step of this tutorial, you are going to create an interactive button which when pressed will hide one object and show the other. Pressing it again will toggle the objects. This example, whilst simple, provides everything you need to start crafting more complex interactions, and will allow you to get started crafting the UI in your application whilst knowing that it will deploy to the HoloLens and function correctly. Given the spatial and holographic nature of HoloLens content, crafting the user interface is one of the most important aspects of development and therefore is often something that should be started first, or in tandem with the first development tasks.

Now add the button that we will use for this, by dragging the “HolographicButton” prefab (Assets/HoloToolkit-Examples/UX/Prefabs/ToggleButton.prefab) into the scene. Position the button at (0, 0, 4) in the world, so that it is placed in between the two models and slightly in front. Your game and scene view should now look as follows:

first_content_fig6

Adding Basic Interactivity
Now that you have all of the component’s setup, you can start to add functionality for the button. First select “ToggleButton” game object in the scene and navigate to “InteractiveToggle” component. Here you can find a very similar setup to Unity’s Button component as it uses UnityEvents for all of the interactions with the button. To enable and disable your sphere and cube objects you only need to drag the gameobjects into ‘OnSelection()’ and ‘OnDeselection()’ events and correct ‘GameObject.SetActive’ state as shown in a picture below:

first_content_fig7

If everything is setup in order, when you click ‘Play’ button, you will be able to interact with the button and enable and disable the sphere and cube gameobjects. (To control your player inside UnityEditor: ‘WASD’ to move around, hold right mouse button to look around, hold ‘Space’ key and left mouse button to interact).

Build Process
Now that you have created a small scene with some interactivity it is time to build this application. Go to File -> Build Settings and make sure that you still have the correct settings from our previous HoloLens developer blog (http://www.pauley.co.uk/blog/microsoft-hololens-a-developers-kick-start-guide/). Under ‘Scenes In Build’ remove ‘Scenes/SampleScene’ and drag in ‘Blog2_MainScene’ in order for this scene to be included in the build. Click ‘Build’ button, select a folder where you would like the finished build to be put and wait for your first HoloLens application to finish building.

first_content_fig8

After Unity build is finished you will need to do a final compile in Visual Studio. Open the folder where you saved your build and open Visual Studio Solution file inside it. In Visual Studio at the top instead of ‘Debug’, ‘ARM’ and ‘Local Machine’ select ‘Release’, ‘x86’ and ‘Device’ for solution configuration.

first_content_fig9

When you have the correct settings selected go to Build -> Build Solution, this will kick-off a final part of the building process.
After receiving “Build: succeeded” message you will be able to start deployment onto a device.

Deploy Process
To deploy straight to your device, connect your HoloLens to your PC using a USB cable and select Build -> Deploy Solution, this will begin the process that will transfer the build onto your device.

first_content_fig10

The second way of deploying your build is to create an Appx. To do this, right click on your project inside the Solution Explorer and go to: Store -> Create App Packages.

first_content_fig11

A new window will open, select option ‘I want to create packages for sideloading’ and on the next page untick ‘x64’ and ‘ARM’ architecture. By clicking on ‘Create’ button Visual Studio you will create an app package that can be installed on any HoloLens device using Device Portal (more information can be found HERE).
After deploying a successful build onto HoloLens, you should be able to launch it and see the same view as was displayed in the editor.

first_content_fig12

Now that you have finished, try experimenting some more with your new knowledge to get more familiar on how to build apps for HoloLens. But don’t forget to check back soon for the next part of this tutorial, where we will help you setup various UX utilities to improve ease of use.
We are also planning on running some developer courses in the new year. If you require any help, or would like to get in contact with us regarding developer courses, please contact us or at http://pauley.proboards.com/.

Share
img

Digital Rail Sector Deal and the Economics of Skills Development

The launch of the Governments Rail Sector Deal (RSD) saw a number of key initiatives and a vision for the future of the industry unveiled. Delivering the benefits of new digital rail technology is at the heart of this Rail Sector Deal. The Sector Deal will enable companies to drive innovation, invest in research and development, upskill their workforce and look beyond the UK to export markets worldwide.

With a focus on enabling the UK Rail Sector to nurture, empower and retain digitally skilled workers, the RSD is at the heart of the work we do.

The impact of digital transformation in rail cannot be underestimated and it is prudent to assume that 80% of the industry will require some level of training or education over the next 20 years. This equates to around 200,000 workers requiring some form of training or education intervention. NSAR (National skills Academy Rail) has estimated that this market could be worth up to £600m, with a claw back from the Apprenticeship levy approaching £200m. So we are talking about some big numbers here.

By digital skills for rail we mean both the generic digital skill sets and the additional skills existing disciplines will need to fit, optimise and maintain new digital assets. There is already a shortage of both. The existing training market will provide some highly limited numbers of the former – without an equivalent Digital Rail Academy concept the latter will exist mainly in suppliers, who will then monopolise the market at considerable cost to efficiency and jobs. Wage inflation is already at 8.8% in signalling engineers and over 10% in the generic disciplines eg data analysts.

blog1

So something must happen. Here’s the economics logic.

Perhaps appropriately, the economics of training are themselves being transformed by new technology.

Firstly, PAULEY’s enhanced software is increasingly being used to create online, augmented and mixed reality environments that significantly enhance the learning and assessment experience.

Secondly, and related, customers expect training to be delivered in a more flexible way, at their depots, at non-traditional times and with a blend of human and virtual trainers. For example, at NTAR a growing proportion the rolling stock training is delivered via server, laptops and virtual and augmented reality headsets at depots by software and intelligence provided by PAULEY. This has transformed the training economics by reducing the biggest single training cost for existing staff – release costs.

Future academies will be virtual: (Example based on £10M Budget) – instead of spending £7m on a building, £1m on hardware, £1m on staff training and £1m on software, it may be more balanced; £3m on a software platform (designed by industry for industry), £1m on hardware, £2m on staff training and £4m on client onsite training facilities. The overall cost of training supply will not drop or change dramatically but the number of users will be higher, the experience more immersive and the release costs will halve.

So a unit cost of £200 per head per day might become £150 0r £100 per head per day over time, but a release cost of 8 hours for 4 hours training in a centre will be halved as much of the training will come to the worker. The effect of adopting PAULEY technology is already transforming the rail training market today.

Existing industry and treasury productivity work shows that there is currently already a market failure in relevant training, leading to wage inflation and costs of poor capability (rework etc). For the first time these have been modelled at the level of unit costs, at 9% and 6% respectively. Put another way, unit costs are 15% higher, now, than they could be had the investment been made.

Training and skills development is a critical element to increasing productivity. We know this. Implementing new technology and then training staff in new, contemporary skills is a double win, not only at an industry level but also at employer level.

In line with the ethos of the RSD, PAULEY have launched HoloSkills, a new product to convert any training material into next-gen Augmented Reality using Microsoft HoloLens. This platform (and others that PAULEY will deliver with strategic partners) will help the rail industry align and ensure consistency in all areas, from drivers through to maintainers, infrastructure to rolling stock, crew and beyond…

The HoloSkills platform has been tried, tested and refined as a new industry standard at NCHSR and is now ready to revolutionize rail training! HoloSkills is the first in a new line of immersive products PAULEY will launch early next year.

Invest early in the RSD and in PAULEY technology and you’ll notice the difference. Not only economically, but also from an engagement and an immersive learning perspective by delivering improved productivity and driving digital transformation within your organisation.

Share

Microsoft HoloLens: A developer’s kick-start guide

The world industries are currently in a state of transition with the emergence of digital tech and immersive Mixed Reality (XR) technology. Many systems both new and old, that have been difficult to upgrade to a screen based medium due to lack of usability may now have a clear path to digitisation through the use of XR technology due to many applications making more sense in a spatial medium than a 2D screen.
hololens1
Our time developing MS HoloLens experiences for clients has led us to discover a great many tips, tricks that are not that widely known in this exciting new world of XR development. Developing for the MS HoloLens has a great many opportunities but also limitations which may make an inexperienced developer feel that their design and application potential must also be limited.

However, our extensive usage of the platform has made it clear that the limitations are easy to overcome if the proper steps and procedures are known. This encompasses everything from creating experiences optimized for high and stable framerates, all the way to designing user interfaces to take into account and take advantage of the spatial nature of the MS HoloLens.

Over the coming months we will be releasing blog posts aimed at guiding new and experienced developers through the world of MS HoloLens development, with an aim to potentially host scripted live training sessions or developer training events for developers based in the UK or further afield.

Beginner’s Guide Setting up your first MS HoloLens Project

Get the software
In order to get started with MS HoloLens development the following software is required:

Set up Our unity environment for MS HoloLens Development
In order to get started with MS HoloLens development, we need to start a new unity project.

hololens2

hololens3
Once opened, Unity will initially be in “Standalone” platform mode. In order to develop for the MS HoloLens, we need to switch to “Universal Windows Platform”.

To do this go to: File > Build Settings. We are now presented with the platform build dialog. Select the “Universal Windows Platform” and press “Switch platform”. All the assets in the project will now be reimported as the project switches to the UWP platform.

 

 

 

 

 

hololens4Once switched over, change Our settings to
mirror these:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This ensures that we have the correct settings to perform successful optimized builds. The compression method is optional and can also be set to “Default”, however LZ4HC can perform better depending on how assets are compressed.

Acquire and Import the Mixed Reality Toolkit
The Mixed Reality Toolkit (https://github.com/Microsoft/MixedRealityToolkit-Unity) is a set of example scripts and assets to kickstart MS HoloLens development. Without this toolkit, much of the basic functionality such as gaze interaction, cursors, air tap input, spatial mapping and processing will need to be created from scratch. It is therefore recommended by Microsoft and by PAULEY that we always include the latest copy in our project.

There is currently a newer branch of the toolkit in development that is in alpha, however we will want to use the most latest complete version: HoloToolkit 2017.4.2.0 (https://github.com/Microsoft/MixedRealityToolkit-Unity/releases/tag/2017.4.2.0)

Once we have downloaded the toolkit, we need to import the folders into unity. If we have a previous version of the toolkit in the project, it is imperative that we first delete all the folders or we will be very likely to encounter errors upon import.

Once imported we will have the following folders in Our project hierarchy:

hololens5

You’re now ready to start development!

We recommend you look at some of the example scenes within the toolkit to get an idea of what working with MS HoloLens will look like.

hololens6

We suggest looking into the “SpatialMapping” folder inside of the examples as it contains a number of scenes that will help we learn how to interact with the spatial mapping; including how to place holograms and anchor them, which is one of the most important skills we will be required to grasp in order to develop an AR application.

There is a Unity Scene file in each example folder that allows we to open and run the example.

hololens7

Following on from these, another useful set of examples are inside the “Input” and “UX” folders, both contain a great number of scenes for how to model interactions within the application. Check back soon for the next part to this tutorial, where we will guide we through how to set up basic interactions and build and deploy an application to a MS HoloLens device or to the MS HoloLens Emulator.

Now that you have finished, try exploring:

  • The “Input” example scenes in the holotoolkit
  • The “UX” example scenes in the holotoolkit

We hope to be running some developer courses in the new year, on a first come first served basis. If you require any help, or would like to get in contact with us regarding developer courses, please contact us [email protected] or at our forums http://pauley.proboards.com/

Share
1

PAULEY deliver NCHSR and HS2 training technology of the future

The recent Skills, Employment and Education Strategy (SEE) document released by HS2 Ltd in October 2018 (https://www.hs2.org.uk/documents/hs2-skills-employment-and-education-strategy/) highlights the critical importance that HS2 will bring to the UK’s infrastructure portfolio, and the vital role that the scheme plays in educating and training the infrastructure and rail workforce in opening up new opportunities.

HS2 and the National College for High Speed Rail (NCHSR) share a common vision – to embrace future technology and to enable tomorrow’s workforce today. Their approach to training focuses on two key areas – how can we deploy tomorrow’s technology today and how do we make the training relevant and engaging?

image

Here at PAULEY we as industry leaders also share this vision and have been pioneering the use of Mixed Reality Technologies across the rail industry and beyond – setting the  standard for future training.  We have been changing the face of digital training for railway apprentices and engineers for nearly 5 years and demonstrate how the future of learning in the railway industry is through immersive technologies. Immersive technologies are becoming more affordable, and represent a paradigm shift in how vital technical training can be undertaken in an innovate way that offers students and delegates the opportunity to explore technically challenging scenarios first-hand without the need for expensive and sometimes dangerous equipment. There is a further fundamental point to learning this way – adopting real time data visualisation enables more effective communication with delivery teams and front-line workers, supporting higher safety and productivity levels.

HS2 will be the new high-speed backbone of Britain’s rail network, but it’s much more than just a railway. It is a catalyst for growth: revitalising the country, creating new opportunities for jobs and skills, regenerating towns and cities, and bringing us all closer as a nation.

The employment and economic potential of the HS2 Programme, with an initial opportunity to upskill the UK’s construction workforce, followed by the creation of employment opportunities generated once the railway is operational, is huge. There is a real focus on promoting increased skills and employment via the supply chain to address the skills challenges faced not only by HS2 but also in the wider transport infrastructure sector.

Part of the solution lies in the establishment of the National College for High Speed Rail (NCHSR), which opened in Birmingham and Doncaster in September 2017. The NCHSR provides an industry-led curriculum, delivering the highly skilled workforce needed to deliver the HS2 Programme and the future skills required by the UK’s rail industry. The College acts as a flagship facility for training in the railway industry, helping to attract, educate and train the talent needed by the sector. Learning is strongly focussed on practical teaching, with internal and external workshop, virtual and augmented reality and employer-based work placements.

One of the main safety challenges faced by students is limited access to an operational railway and trackside equipment, especially as it’s dangerous for them to be alongside or on live track or engineering projects without the necessary training, or competencies. In addition, the lecturers of the NCHSR wanted a way to bring the railway into the college, so students could visually see and understand through 3D digital assets, immersive Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality experiences.

This is where PAULEY really excels and is the reason we were selected to work with NCHSR.

For the past 6 months we have been helping the NCHSR improve and augment their teaching material to fit the current generation’s media consumption habits.  Producing a range of training modules using innovative technology such as AR HoloLens headsets, and VR headsets such as the Oculus Rift, our clear aim has been to help the next generation of rail workers learn the modern practises in ways that are as immersive and interesting as possible.

The creation of 3D rail scenes and components aligned to the development of a highly intuitive and immersive Augmented Reality application has enabled students to explore various rail elements and individual components of conventional and high-speed rail. In turn this has enabled them to learn where the componentry is used in the field, what it looks like and listen to the voice-over that provides the learning element of what each component is used for.

The end result is content that is far more interesting and engaging for the end user, which is extremely important in this industry where an untrained professional could lead to security, health and financial risks. By working in this way PAULEY are able to assist HS2, NCHSR and many other clients with achieving their vision of enabling tomorrow’s workforce today.

2

Through engaging students with interactive digital assets, the NCHSR and PAULEY have increased the motivation for them to learn. Previous learning assets were simple 2D black and white line drawings and emerging them in a virtual environment and allowing them to learn at their own pace only increases knowledge retention through learning by doing.

Our previous blogs have espoused the need to train new students, in new skills in a new way, that engages, excites and most of all, inspires. What PAULEY are doing with the NCHSR is putting that theory into practice. By creating a new cohort of infrastructure workers, learning in ways that are truly immersive, PAULEY are supporting HS2 and the UK infrastructure sector meet it’s challenges head on.

Share
Middle East Rail

PAULEY start to collaborate on a global stage as an Agent of Change

Often referred to as an Agent of Change, over the last few weeks Pauley has continued it’s global quest to reskill and upskill today’s and tomorrow’s workforce in its use of digital technology. What is evident is that the desire to upskill the UK’s rail workforce is not unique. All nations are seeking more efficient ways of meeting their railway obligations and driving greater productivity in the way they educate and train their workforce.

We have recently contributed to the largest rail conference and exhibition across the Middle East, North Africa, Indian Subcontinent and Central Asia – Middle East Rail.

We have supported the Rail Industry Association and the Rail Alliance, as well as the UK Government in the form of BEIS and DIT. We have joined high-level executives from all around the world for an event packed with inspiration, ideas and networking at the highest level. We sit on the brink of a new dawn in railway technology. Now, more than ever, disruptive forces are reshaping the competitive landscape. Middle East Rail brought together the biggest global innovators, futurists and gurus that have exploded onto the railway landscape in recent years to inspire you.

With more than 800 executives, from 89 countries, Middle East Rail has been critical to realising the disruptive ways in which government, state-owned rail companies and contractors plan, build, operate and maintain their regional rail networks.

Middle East Rail

Pauley is positioning itself at the forefront of the industry and working with companies overseeing $614bn worth of rail projects to demonstrate our commitment to the region.

HRH Prince Mohammad bin Salman al Saud (MBS) took the leadership in the restructuring of Saudi Arabia’s economy, which he officially announced in April 2016 when he introduced Vision 2030, the country’s strategic orientation for the next 15 years.

The Saudi Vision 2030 is a plan to reduce Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil, diversify its economy, and develop public service sectors such as health, education, infrastructure, recreation and tourism.

MBS is just 32 years old. He is Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and when he arrived in London a week prior to Middle East Rail on his first global tour since taking office, he was to be granted the reddest of red carpets. He attended lunch with the Queen at Buckingham Palace, and dinner with the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge at Clarence House as well as meeting the Prime Minister in No 10 Downing Street.

The Saudi’s are keen on UK Military and Cyber expertise to help them tackle an ever growing global threat. There is also a close defence relationship with Britain selling billions of pounds worth of arms to Saudi Arabia, on which Ministers highlight tens of thousands of highly skilled British jobs depend.

But this visit was not just a case of two allies refreshing their relationship.

The Crown Prince is looking for International support for his internal economic reforms while at the same time trying to offer reassurance to nervous International investors. And the British Government is keen to transform a security and defence relationship into one that includes broader economic ties.

Middle East Rail

Middle East Rail was officially opened by Dr Abdulla Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Chairman, Federal Transport Authority, Land and Maritime. He was joined by HRH Prince Abdulaziz Bin Faizal Al Saud of Saudi Arabia and part of the next generation of Saudi Royalty empowered to embrace change.

“The UAE, thanks to its visionary leadership, is rapidly moving towards further developing a strong infrastructure in various fields. It has achieved tangible results in this effort and advanced positions in the Global Competitiveness Index, where it was ranked fourth in the quality of infrastructure,” Al Nuaimi said.

“We are keen to learn about international best practices and to benefit from international expertise, which we believe plays an important role in sustainable development, especially in the light of transformation towards an economy based on knowledge and innovation,” he added.

HRH Prince Abdulaziz expressed an interest to be given a demonstration of our augmented reality capability. Pauley, together with National Training Academy for Rail (NTAR) developed an integrated next generation real–time fault finding and communication system for London Underground (TfL) using Microsoft HoloLens. Suitably amazed, the Prince suggested that he would like to visit National College for High Speed Rail to see how this technology is being integrated into Apprenticeships and Rail Training in the UK.

Pauley will be playing its part in supporting the Prince when he visits the UK in April. As a result of meeting at Middle East Rail and as an indication of how quickly the region is embracing change, the Prince asked us to team up with a number of forward thinking organisations to develop a new Middle East transportation consultancy, Future Solutions Ltd. Andy Hammond, Managing Director of Future Solutions Ltd says “We are a leading partner for the rail & transport industry as well as a local management consultancy and a leading advisor on investment and business strategy in the region.”

Middle East Rail

Pauley fully supports the Saudi Vision 2030, through the embracement of new and innovative technology to train and upskill a global workforce. No longer can we continue with the ‘chalk and talk’ methodology – we must explore and implement modern, technology based methods to get the most value from our precious training time.

In addition, Pauley is fully supportive of the rail industry in its desire to be a part of the Industrial Strategy. The Government is working with industries in a number of sectors to reach agreements with business on ‘sector deals’. These deals will be many and varied in form, but are intended to be agreements that help each sector meet its key challenges and allow business to invest and grow accordingly. This is an important opportunity for the rail sector to champion the substantial contribution we make to the UK economy, and to push for the necessary support to drive forward the UK rail supply chain.

The Rail Supply Group (RSG), in partnership with the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has been working with Government to develop an industry leading and transformative Rail Sector Deal proposal. The Sector Deal for rail can enable new businesses, collaborating with other complementary industrial sectors, to sell innovative products and services to rail in both the UK and export markets. It is an opportunity to transform our railway and enable the UK’s supply chain to become truly world-leading.

A successful proposal for the sector can be game-changing and transformative for Britain’s rail network, the markets, communities and customers it serves. By working together with the broader industry, the RSG and RDG are developing a proposal that has the potential to transform our railway and enable the UK’s supply chain to become truly world leading. We hope that our offer persuades the Government to prioritise the sector and help unlock its future potential.

At Pauley we absolutely ‘get’ the need to be collaborative. We don’t just talk about it either. We are active in both the export market in the Middle East, and Saudi 2030 vision in particular, and also with our involvement and innovation in the Industrial Strategy work through the RSG.

Progressing isn’t just about technology. It’s about making a change and talking to Pauley.

Share
Rail Engineer of the Future

How will digitalisation and Industry 4.0 create Smart Engineers of the future?

So much of the way we live our daily lives is driven by technological advancements over the last twenty years. Smartphones, ultra thin laptops, tablets are now all commonplace in the way we go about our lives and our business. We now live in times where digital advancement is frequently taken for granted.

Indeed our emotional state is negatively affected without a reasonably strong Wi-Fi signal or a lack of battery power in our mobile devices. Digital technology drives the way we work and the way we live.

We are too far down the road for the changes to be reversible, and the ‘prizes’ for organisations that get this right is a sustainable and profitable future.

But let’s just pause and reflect for a moment.

According to Wikipedia (another modern creation we can’t do without), Industry 4.0 is a name for the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. It includes cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things, cloud computing and cognitive computing.

There are four design principles in Industry 4.0. These principles support companies in identifying and implementing Industry 4.0 scenarios:

  • Interoperability: The ability of machines, devices, sensors, and people to connect and communicate with each other via the Internet of Things (IoT) or the Internet of People (IoP)
  • Information transparency: The ability of information systems to create a virtual copy of the physical world by enriching digital plant models with sensor data. This requires the aggregation of raw sensor data to higher-value context information.
  • Technical assistance: First, the ability of assistance systems to support humans by aggregating and visualizing information comprehensibly for making informed decisions and solving urgent problems on short notice. Second, the ability of cyber physical systems to physically support humans by conducting a range of tasks that are unpleasant, too exhausting, or unsafe for their human co-workers.
  • Decentralized decisions: The ability of cyber physical systems to make decisions on their own and to perform their tasks as autonomously as possible. Only in the case of exceptions, interferences, or conflicting goals, are tasks delegated to a higher level.

This all sounds terrifying doesn’t it?

At its purest, it actually means connected communications, IT, data and physical elements.

In reality the “connected everything” environment allows for more automation and better-personalised interactions. Note ‘better’ not fewer.

The cloud enables new levels of scalability, flexibility and responsiveness. Analytics and big data allow insights to be derived in real time from massive volumes of data. The combination of all three technologies means organisations are able to collect, store and analyse enormous amounts of data simultaneously, greatly enhancing processes across the organisation and creating a more efficient and value adding production process.

The 18th century saw the advent of mechanical production, while in the 19th and 20th century mass production was enabled through electricity. The development of electronics and IT further automated production in the 1970s, reconfiguring industry a third time.

Rail Engineer of the Future

Industry 4.0 creates as much of a fundamental change as those earlier paradigm shifts.

Enterprise is changing, and disruption is, to some degree, inevitable. Those organisations that embrace these developments will see significant rewards. At the end of this transformation process, successful organisations will become true digital enterprises, with physical products at the core, augmented by digital interfaces and data-based, innovative services. These digital enterprises will work together with customers and suppliers in industrial digital ecosystems. These developments will fundamentally change individual organisations, as well as transform market dynamics across a whole range of industries.

PwC’s 2016 Global Industry 4.0 Survey provided evidence showing that organisations embracing this approach achieved annual digital revenue increases of 2.9% on average and cost reductions of 3.6% per annum. Their survey respondents expected to achieve revenues increases of nearly $0.5bn over 5 years and cost savings of £0.4bn in the same time period. That’s a net effect on the profitability of the organisations of nearly $1bn in 5 years – a truly staggering shift in financial performance.

However the biggest challenge of industrial leaders today isn’t technology – it is the people. While digital technologies are rapidly becoming commoditised, success largely depends on how well its leaders define, lead, and communicate the transformation. This is entirely normal for a change programme. It is also dependent upon the digital capabilities, skills and occasionally, qualifications of the employees who need to roll out digital processes and services. Radical disruption is rarely comfortable for the people who make it happen, so managing change well will be fundamental for success. And with data analytics becoming a core capability for every organisation, enhancing skills and organisational structures will be critical.

This is where Pauley comes in.

We make those four design principles in Industry 4.0 a lot less frightening!

Interoperability – We can help you identify what data to extract and how to maximise existing datasets – whether you are data poor or drowning in it!

Information Transparency – We can help visualise live data in new and innovative ways – to help understand how you can benefit from this data insight for the benefit of you and your customers.

Technical Assistance – We can help transform technical specification and paper based processes into interactive, energised and responsive live systems.

Rail Engineer of the Future

Decentralised Decisions – By utilising the Cloud, AI and Blockchain we can ensure critical information is given to key individuals at the right time.

We are an organisation that is innovating, empowering and immersed in Industry 4.0, we communicate data in new and innovative ways through leading-edge technology to increase productivity, enhance performance and drive efficiency – all for your benefit.

It’s not technology for technology’s sake. It’s learning. It’s developing. And it’s making your organisation and your people more productive as a result.

Our team of highly skilled and experienced software specialists develop tailored immersive solutions for pioneering businesses within the industry. Our unique digital solutions connect data sources into a centralised environment and harness the power of leading-edge technology to visualise and collaboratively manage any environment in real-time, from anywhere.

We operate in industries that have such a strong heritage, where change can be slow to adopt, and adaptation to modern technology requires significant cultural change. However the prize is enormous.

For example, in the rail industry, we can carry more passengers on the same infrastructure, we can have a ‘predict and prevent’ maintenance regime instead of a ‘find and fix’, we can deploy less people on dangerous infrastructure and we can drive down costs and increase performance simply by embracing the technology that is, already, all around us.

But it’s the people where the rewards are greatest. Employing, educating, training and developing a digitally focused and software knowledgeable workforce creates a culture where innovation drives efficiency, in turn leading to higher levels of productivity, reducing unit costs and increasing margins. People hold the key to Industry 4.0, not technology.

That’s why our work is focused on those state of the art rail-training facilities – the National College for High Speed Rail, the National Training Academy for Rail and the Tunneling and Underground Construction Academy – we want to support the next generation through the digital 4.0 journey.

Our ambition is to create the ‘digital’ engineer of the future. We want to develop smart engineers for smart infrastructure and operation, removing the void between designer, contractor and system operator.

Our journey has already started, join us on the wave of the next revolution.

Share

What an exciting 2017! Here’s to the next digital evolution in 2018…

headerImage

Wow, its’ been an incredibly busy and successful year for us here at PAULEY, but again, as we say each year, where has the time gone!!? Well, our year has seen global travel, further advancements in digitising the rail industry, multiple TV appearances, another award won (and two awards given out) and even an Ironman Triathlon…

December is the time of year we crank up the heating a little and reflect warmly on the year that was: What worked? What didn’t? How can we improve? Then comes that sense of excitement of the looming New Year where it all starts again with heaps of new challenges, more relationship building, more advancement’s and of course what we all want, a load more shared success!!!


January

1-Jan

2017 started with a bang as we joined the RSG/Rail Alliance Mentoring Programme and were delighted to be appointed Anna Delveccio as our Mentor. Anna is a hugely respected rail professional and has been extremely supportive throughout the year. We were delighted to join NTAR (National Training Academy for Rail) to demonstrate our latest training technology to a group of Singaporean Governmental officials and we officially handed over the first raft of new training material to London Trams.


February

2-Feb

February set the tone for the year ahead as we were invited into the House of Lords to demonstrate our immersive technology to Lord (Tony) Berkeley. This was shortly followed by a call to support NCHSR (National College for High Speed Rail) with a digital curriculum demonstrate to Secretary of State Andrew Jones MP. That was followed by a Ministerial visit to NTAR were we showcased a range of virtual and augmented training material. Thankfully we were able to relax towards the end of the month at the UK RIA Awards evening where we were honoured to sponsor the YRP (Young Rail Professionals) Award.


March

3-Mar

We exhibited at the RIA innovation Conference for the first time in March and it was a fantastic event filled with the great and the good of the Rail Industry. Thereafter we provided a range of demonstrations at the Carillion Innovation Conference and attended the Innovate UK event on Connected Infrastructure. We also participated in the RSSB “Food for Thought” day. Furthermore we were invited to help host the ALSTOM training team at NTAR gain full insight into digital delivery.


April

4-Apr

We joined the Rail Freight Group at the Multimodal event in April and attended the awards dinner. In between Awards dinners we were invited by Alstom to assess the state of two Eurostar trains saved from the scrap heap and destined for the new High Speed Colleges – some imagination needed here! And we were delighted to be invited to the YRP Award dinner, which was a fantastic evening with a brilliant keynote from Michele Dix. We were also delighted to support the Get Up To Speed event in Sheffield by invitation from our good friend Lucy Prior at the Rail Alliance!


May

5-May

In May we were invited to help NTAR present the latest in immersive training technology to a Malaysia Government delegation who were so impressed they signed up right there and then! We were honoured to take centre stage on the Siemens stand at Railtex again and were the first to demonstrate the potential of Augmented Reality to the Rail Industry. Further more, we were invited to showcase our technology to the Siemens Global Education management team out in Budapest which was extremely well received.


June

6-Jun

The highlight of June was attending and presenting at Rail Live, run by Rail Alliance. It is truly a fantastic must attend event which this year was bathed in sunlight, and a well balanced mix of business and pleasure! We were delighted to be asked to join the NCHSR BIM Trailblazer group as the only SME around a table full of industry experts. To top the month off, we joined Willmott Dixon at the Construction Excellence Awards evening and walked away with the Digital Construction Award for our immersive BIM work on NCHSR.


July

7-Jul

Our supportive role continued at pace throughout July where we attended a number of HS2 outreach events. We were delighted to attend our first Digital Railway SME engagement event however we were slightly late due to being underneath Liverpool Street Station until 4am the previous evening with thermal imaging camera’s! We were also very pleased to be invited to meet with Foster and Partners at their London Head Office to showcase how augmented reality can be utilized within Architectural Design and Visualisation.


August

8-Aug In August the team attended a number of exciting events and well earned holidays! We were very pleased to show our technology to TFL Commissioner Mike Brown and be invited to talk immersive technology with Alstom at their new Academy at Widnes. We also attended a number of Military training and simulation events including being selected by Niteworks (MOD) to attend an Industry Discussion Forum to Inform Future Army (and Joint forces) Synthetic Training. And our very own Linzi completed her first Ironman in a very respectable 13hr 21mins.


September

9-Sep

In September we were asked to support the relaunch of TUCA (under new direction from PROCAT) with AR and VR for their open day delegates which was a great success. We also attended a range of very exciting Innovate UK and Digital Transformation events. And we were delighted to welcome Elaine Clark from East Midlands Forum to visit our Milton Keynes office where we officially signed up to became their newest member.


October

10-Oct

October was an incredibly busy month with an exciting appearance on the BBC One Show and BBC Breakfast supporting the official opening of the National College for High Speed Rail (NCHSR) in Doncaster and Birmingham. We took part in a briefing session led by the main Japanese Railway companies, followed by a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event- we were one of 12 out of 400 to have been invited! We were also delighted to have been the only Tech and Education company who were invited to the DFEM annual conference and dinner where we got to showcase and deliver our AR and VR Maintenance capabilities to IMechE Young Rail Professionals.


November

11-Nov

We were very pleased to demonstrate our immersive augmented and virtual reality experiences to future high speed rail engineers at the NCHSR Open Days. We partnered with NTAR and BCRRE at the RAIL SIM Tech event at the NEC. We supported the coach load of delegates to a tour of the state of the art facilities at NTAR which was extremely well received. We also were officially accepted to join the Women in Rail mentoring programme, where we hope to encourage and increase the number of women interested in taking on a career in Rail (and Technology).


December

12-Dec

We sponsored the Rolling Stock Maintenance 2017 event as the Digital Maintenance Partner where we met a number of key industry players and potential partners. We made the final amendments to our new website ready for our launch in 2018. As its such a short working month, December always feels extremely frantic but is such a strategically important time of the year for us to clear our heads for a moment and think about how to improve ourselves for the year ahead. Bring on 2018!

Share