Digital maintenance solutions taken to the next level: Hannover Messe 2018

Posted on: April 11, 2018 by Stefan Zimmermann

After sales services and solutions are gaining importance within Industry 4.0. It’s all very well having smart products but what do you do if they need urgent maintenance work and you cannot deploy experts who can fix them because your customer is in a remote location?

For manufacturers, defense organizations or Energy & Utility companies it is crucial to make their maintenance efforts more efficient and agile by removing some of the key challenges such as:

  • Lack of experienced specialists causing a bottleneck in service and maintenance delivery
  • The time it takes to access information related to the context of an issue which may be distributed over various enterprise data pools and
  • Difficulties in delivering services in remote and unstable locations around the world.

What’s possible?

These challenges can be addressed with Digital Field Service. Its solutions will allow access to detailed information in real-time from anywhere meaning that the right experts can deal with an issue swiftly and remotely. For example, a remote expert in Germany can guide inexperienced resources in Lybia to execute the maintenance work of a complex gas turbine thereby allowing for maintenance business which otherwise could not have been done.

This new real-time approach to maintenance and service can foster new innovative business models for manufacturing companies leading to increased business revenue and customer loyalty. In addition, all customer groups will benefit from better and faster performance in delivery and response times that will reduce any costly business down times that would otherwise have been experienced.

You can see for yourself!

At the Hannover Industrial Fair we will be demonstrating how end-to-end service can be managed between onsite and remote resources. We will use a broken down tractor to show the use of data goggles that allow a technician to communicate with experts and peers based anywhere in the world in order to get their help in fixing the issue. Furthermore, the technician will receive his service order, the service instructions and 3D models of the tractor on a holographic work-sphere that is made visible around him by the goggles. These 3D models can be overlaid on the actual vehicle so that the technician can compare his work and see instantly if there are any discrepancies between the two.

Drones will also be used in the process and will serve two purposes: the gathering of data from the tractor and in-built sensors as well as providing additional views on the service object. Drones allow for the detection of anomalies in objects that are hard to detect from a human perspective i.e. the roof of a truck or the fuselage of a plane. The whole team, wherever they are based are able to receive necessary information and a view of the object in real-time helping them to support their colleague onsite and to provide their expertise and vice versa.

The next step in the process is the integration with backend systems such as Enterprise Resource Planning, which will speed up the ordering of spare parts by allowing the technician working on maintenance to do this onsite during his work in real time.

Using these solutions, service and maintenance work will become more agile, faster and accurate. The business benefits will be huge.

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About Stefan Zimmermann
Global Head of Incubator Portfolio Industry Manufacturing
Stefan Zimmermann is responsible for the innovation and portfolio development in Industry 4.0 at Global Atos B&PS. He aims at helping industrial companies to identify business opportunities enabled by Industry 4.0 during their digital transformation process, embracing the Industry 4.0 framework. He’s got a very strong industrial background, having worked for companies like Siemens (>10 years) and Rheinmetall Group and also comprehensive consulting skills gained when working for Roland Berger & Partner.

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