The Corona pandemic poses some challenges to the work of employees. For example, despite home offices, contact restrictions and distance regulations, service technicians still need to maintain machines, support customers, and perform installations. In the past, many of these activities were done on-site. Currently, however, travel is limited or not possible at all. A remote service solution created specifically for Heraeus provides a remedy. Via the Heraeus Digital Hub, project participants can access a selection of remote maintenance technologies to complete their work virtually. The Heraeus IT department provides modern hardware for this purpose, such as smart glasses equipped with a camera and microphone. This allows service technicians to provide live, virtual guidance to colleagues to perform the tasks themselves. They virtually see through the eyes of the glasses’ user. The smart glasses can also be used to display notes and instructions in the user's field of vision - while keeping their hands free. This makes the technology ideally suited for plant inspections or the acceptance of machines. In addition to the glasses, smartphones are also available for video transmission. This hardware can be rented together with software for remote services, such as Teamviewer Pilot.
Solve problems remotely with Remote Services
Distance regulations, travel and contact restrictions make it difficult for Heraeus business units to collaborate with their customers. While communication within many business units already takes place almost exclusively virtually, there are still activities that require a physical presence. These include machine maintenance or plant inspections. But thanks to the remote services of the Heraeus Digital Hub and the Heraeus IT, applications and installations can be carried out very well remotely via data glasses or smartphone, even in times of the pandemic.
Digital technologies and smart glasses enable remote maintenance
"The focus of the remote service solutions is to provide digital support to our global business units, and above all to do so quickly. We succeeded in introducing the technologies within two weeks, because we at the Heraeus Digital Hub have specialists from all subdivisions and are very well networked," explains Konstantin Pfeiffer, Senior Solutions Architect at the Digital Hub. In addition to the technical requirements, such as the connection to the group-wide network, the team also took care of the corresponding licensing, data security and the approval of the use of cameras. The solutions are currently in use in Taiwan, Singapore and China, but also in Germany. Demand remains high, with the Digital Hub receiving one or two inquiries about the solution every week.
Heraeus Electronics is currently using the solution for upcoming customer audits. Since customers cannot be on site, they are given a virtual tour of the production facility by employees and can thus carry out the acceptance from a distance. Heraeus Electronics also plans to use the remote service solution to hold technical training sessions virtually in the future. The recording function of the smart glasses will be used for this purpose in compliance with data protection regulations.
"Smart Glasses represent a small revolution. It will certainly not disappear from our company after Corona, but will permanently change how we work," says Pfeiffer.