The Digitization of the mainstream

System monitoring and the digitization of maintenance work

When it comes to digitization, topics such as the automation of machinery or the quest for the legendary lot size 1 immediately come to mind. These trends are very contemporary and their immense impact on the future of the industry is already recognizable. However, digitization is already a reality here and now. It is conquering all work areas bit by bit, far more than just the manufacturing business.

At Tablet Solutions we want to find the ideal way to make the machinery and equipment service processes better and faster. To achieve the desired improvement, we use digital tools such as tablets to assist the technician with the right information at the right time by providing intelligence on construction plans, order data, project information or even assembly guidelines. When doing so, we don’t want to simply give the worker “access to all information”, knowing that this often provokes the contrary. We try to focus on the relevant data, eliminating anything that could be a distraction. Someone who has access to every input available has to spend time searching for the input needed and therefore ad interim knows nothing. Furthermore, the documentation of working hours, defects or material consumption needs to be simplified as much as possible. These procedures tend to be time consuming and often frustrating, making them a barrier for efficient work order processing. Only when the usability is easy, accurate data will be recorded in a timely manner.

Another major trend in digitization is that developers are focusing on creating excellent, specialized digital products that seek seamless integration with other digital services instead of trying to create unnecessarily complex universal solutions. We support this approach, as we narrow down our goal to developing the perfect companion for service technicians, assemblers and related stakeholders. In order to multiply the customer benefit we therefore strive for a high compatibility with third-party services.

One example for the mentioned trend is the recently implemented integration with a cloud operating data acquisition, which automatically determines downtimes, calculates the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and collects as well as provides other information from the production. Downtimes are thus detected automatically, triggering an immediate service request that directly informs the technician responsible. On his way to the maintenance operation, he can take a look at the machine behavior before the incident and prepare himself for the specific repair. The documentation of the service is carried out in real time, allowing the operation and the production manager to follow the process from afar. After the completion of the service operation, the key service data will automatically be reported back to the production data host which will influence the key production figures.

Even in isolation, the digital system monitoring as well as the mobile field management solution provides great benefits to its users. However, the combination of the applications yields a benefit which is greater than the sum of the individual parts. Every day, we get direct feedback from the market, telling us that simple solutions are required as an alternative to the often sluggish enterprise solutions. We are therefore very confident that the integration of various simple services will be the key to the digitization of the mainstream.

Benjamin Schwärzler
CEO, Tablet Solutions GmbH

© Benjamin Schwärzler at Tablet Solutions

Published in the Factory Magazin