KHS supports its customers with digital systems & solutions amid Covid-19

Augmented reality service and 24/7 service helpdesk

Wearing data goggles the operator has both hands free to carry out the necessary work. Photo - KHS

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.

With its 24/7 Service HelpDesk KHS is available round the clock to assist its customers with spare parts inquiries and any technical problems.

Remote maintenance

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 data goggles our specialists can gain a clear picture of the situation on site and help the operator,” says Ingo Hackler, head of Remote Services at KHS.

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.

Always contactable

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.  

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Packaging South Asia’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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