3 tips to save costs on servicing industrial machines
An acute machine issue can present major consequences for the end customer. In fact, it is often a small matter that results in serious consequences, such as an incorrect configuration, software error or operator error.
These problems mainly occur when commissioning new machines. It is almost impossible to solve such problems without access to the machine logs or inspecting the environment. This may result in a required site visit, which can quickly become expensive.
Save directly on your service cost as a machine builder with these 3 tips:
- Standardize remote machine
- Focus on machines that need attention with preventive alarms.
- Set the right requirements for your service
Tip 1. Standardize remote machine management
Internet connectivity makes remote access to machines easy. A so-called ‘remote access’ solution provides a secure connection to your machine on site. This allows you to remotely monitor the PLC, control an HMI screen and upload new instructions for your robots. When using vision cameras, you can even view live images to observe environmental influences. This means that you no longer have to go straight to the site. Instead it takes your machine service to the next level.
Using a remote access solution for each of your machines is a smart decision. This will immediately save costs for unnecessary trips and the valuable time of your service technicians. It also gives your service team more freedom, reduces waiting times and limits machine downtime. The one-time costs for a remote service solution occurs only for the purchase and installation of an industrial VPN router. You will see a return on investment after just one maintenance service.
Tip 2. Focus on machines that need attention with preventive alarms
When managing and maintaining all the machines in the field, it can be difficult to set priorities. Machine failure has a direct impact on your maintenance planning. By actively monitoring machine parameters, which can be a cause of failure, you can effectively monitor the machines remotely.
Alarms, combined with remote access to the machine, make on-site maintenance more efficient. Such preventive alarms for certain sensor values can be crucial to avoid complications. For example, to remotely monitor when solar panels get dirty and need cleaning, you can set an alarm that indicates when the power efficiency falls short of a certain limit value. In more complex machines, specified alarms can also inform your service information about specific malfunctions or defective parts. This allows service engineers to immediately take the correct replacement parts to the affected machine.
In addition to the efficiency and cost savings of avoiding downtime, setting up alarms does not need to be expensive or time-consuming. With the right solution, it is easy to configure and apply useful alarms to any machine – without any programming knowledge! Find the right parameters, configure the alarms and you’re done.
Tip 3. Set the right requirements for your service solution
It is tempting to go with the cheapest provider when trying to cut costs. However, this can be an expensive mistake – so set the right requirements for selecting your machine service solution.
An alluring deal, or existing solution, does not always mean that you have made the right choice. In addition to hidden license costs for extra users or valuable time for complex configuration and maintenance, not having the features you need is a costly mistake. If after a couple years, you decide you need to replace your solution, your overall costs will be doubled.
So keep the following in mind when considering or switching to a service solution:
- Initial cost and license fees for daily use
- Ease of use and maintenance: Time = money
- Use of industry standards and modern techniques
- Scalability and expansion options: Is it future-proof?
A Remote Service Platform to reduce costs
The added value of remote service is often underestimated. The required hardware is only a small part of the total machine or installation. The customer is often the one that decides whether such a solution will be included or not. However, there is a direct benefit for the machine builder.
A remote service platform:
- Reduces expensive service trips;
- Makes commissioning and after-sales-service of machines more efficient;
- Prevents machine downtime.
X4 Remote is the platform that makes remote service and IoT easy and accessible for every machine builder. This gives you all the tools you need to provide cost-efficient service.
Benefits of remote machine management with X4 Remote:
- Time-saving installation due to the integrated connectivity and use of templates (e.g., configuration and dashboards).
- No hidden costs for using the platform or inviting new users.
- ROI after one service call: full machine access worldwide and flexibility for your service team.
- Scalable on all levels: from number of machines to the use of machine data or integrations with external platforms.
- Future-proof: from remote service to data collection using the same hardware, without software maintenance.
Choose better service and quality
X4 Remote is a successfully used tool for machine builders worldwide. Discover the Remote Service and IoT Platform for machine builders.
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