Digital communication and processes can never fully replace personal contact or the human factor. However, just how helpful virtual solutions can be when face-to-face encounters are suddenly impossible is illustrated by the current pandemic. KHS is a reliable and supportive partner to its customers during these challenging times. With its various digital systems and solutions, such as the intelligent ReDiS remote maintenance system and Basic Line Monitoring, the Dortmund engineering company ensures that production processes are efficient. Customers also benefit from fast, uncomplicated technical support through KHS’ augmented reality service and 24/7 service helpdesk.
The world has stood still since the beginning of the corona pandemic — travel and international trade are restricted. Large-scale events such as trade shows and congresses are only possible in a streamlined form, and social distancing rules have to be adhered to. For many companies, this means that the usual services performed on-site, such as overhauls or maintenance, are only possible to a certain extent or even not at all. This can have dire consequences — downtime, production stops, loss of productivity and turnover, and considerable extra expenditure to maintain production capability.
In an attempt to combat the negative impact this has, during these difficult times, KHS offers its customers a whole host of digital systems and solutions that were in place long before the pandemic. These include its Remote Diagnostic Service or ReDiS, a tried-and-tested remote maintenance system for KHS lines and machines. It allows engineers to quickly, easily, and securely access registered KHS components worldwide through a network connection at any time.
“This means that we can analyze and remedy line faults or transfer software updates and modified system parameters to the local system,” explains Ingo Hackler, head of Remote Services. “For us, ReDiS is an established model of success. We started developing the software for it at KHS as far back as in 2002; more than 2,500 customer projects are now already plugged into the system.”
For the digital monitoring of entire lines, the Dortmund systems supplier provides its web-based Innoline MES Basic Line Monitoring (BLM) module. This setup assesses a line’s efficiency and pinpoints any possible errors. In doing so, BLM helps to make ramp-up more efficient and facilitates quick identification of any weak points in the line’s operation for the customer.
Four eyes better than two
With today’s highly complex machines, it is often helpful to have additional support when troubleshooting. KHS has risen to this challenge with its Augmented Reality Service (ARS), an audiovisual solution. “Here, the operator wears data goggles,” Hackler explains. “This enables our specialists to gain a clear picture of the situation on site according to the principle of ‘I see what you see’.” With the help of these goggles, KHS headquarters can mark objects or display them to the operator. The latter has both hands free and can carry out the necessary work in real-time while a KHS expert looks over their shoulder – virtually, of course! Images or entire video sequences can also be transmitted and clear instructions issued through parallel audio communication. ARS is compatible with data goggles produced by various manufacturers.
During the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, the significance of ARS for customer support has continuously increased. “Our smart service is becoming more and more the norm,” says Hackler. It was possible to carry out format conversions at a customer plant in Greece using this service. The ramp-up phase on a returnable glass line in Mozambique was also initiated using this technology; complete lines have even been installed and commissioned in this time, such as a high-speed canning line in Nigeria.
KHS also proves itself to be a reliable partner with its 24/7 Service HelpDesk that is available round the clock for spare parts inquiries, processing technical problems, and help when machines stop. The number of hotline personnel has been increased during the corona pandemic – a precautionary measure that has turned out to be unnecessary so far due to the robustness of KHS’ plant engineering; even in crisis, KHS lines and machines continue to run reliably and without any trouble. The supply of spare and wear parts are constantly assured – and thus the high availability of the machines.
The corona crisis has proved that once again, customers can rely on the fast and uncomplicated support of KHS – also in times of great difficulty.