18. April 2021
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Remote solutions in mechanical engineering – solving problems remotely

Digitalization is also advancing in mechanical engineering; the age of remote diagnosis, remote access and remote service has dawned. Remote software offers mechanical engineers and machine operators many opportunities that they should not miss out on.

What are the relevant aspects in the different business areas? Or is it just a matter of price? 

Remote solutions in mechanical engineering

The use of remote solutions in mechanical engineering

With remote solutions, mechanical engineering companies offer their customers value-added services that can increase customer satisfaction. Quick response times, cost and time savings, simplified maintenance of machines and systems, but also the development of additional business areas are advantages that can result from remote solutions. There is no question that on-site service technician deployments will continue to be necessary, as brownfield scenarios in digitalization represent a major challenge. On-site service will remain necessary, especially for older machines, as will service for more complex operations. Below are a few examples of the benefits of using remote solutions in mechanical engineering.

1. Remote access enables fast response times

When problems arise on a machine or plant, customers using remote access software no longer have to wait for a service technician for an extended period of time. Via remote diagnosis, experts can start solving the problem immediately from the virtual view of an employee on site. This significantly reduces response time.

2. Save travel time and costs

When service technicians access plants remotely, there are no travel or accommodation costs. This saves mechanical engineers and machine operators costs and working time. This approach also helps with training, acceptance or commissioning. If these processes are also carried out using a remote solution, machines can be put into operation much more quickly.

3. Ensure maintenance of machines permanently even in crises

Times when travel is limited make it difficult to work on site. Nevertheless, it must be ensured that maintenance of plants and machines can be carried out on a regular basis. With remote access, many weak points can already be identified and remedied remotely.

4. Value-added services for a better customer relationship

By using remote software, mechanical engineers can offer value-added services to their customers. This results in an improvement in customer satisfaction and, at the same time, customer loyalty, as machine operators receive individually adapted solutions. These include, for example, regular remote diagnostics or remote access to solve problems.

5. Securing the (service) business

The digitalization of processes is particularly relevant for commissioning, maintenance, and servicing. Based on a remote solution, mechanical engineers can offer their customers after-sales services and thus digitize as many processes as possible. There is potential in smart, digital service processes, which should not be handed over to third parties.

6. Competitive advantages through new business models

Digitalizing existing processes helps to develop new business models and thus to gain competitive advantages. Remote access supports the optimization of existing processes, renders operations more effective and thus creates room for new business and new potential. 

Special features of remote solutions in mechanical engineering

Remote solutions for plants and machines are not easily comparable with the remote maintenance of computers, for example. Remote software in mechanical engineering requires additional approaches such as augmented reality, the adaptation of support and service concepts to customer needs, or machine- and component-specific sensor solutions. Once machines and components are networked and integrated into a condition monitoring solution, it is possible to switch from reactive maintenance to predictive maintenance. Predictive maintenance answers the question: “What will happen when?”

Predictive Maintenance helps solve problems before they occur

Predictive maintenance solutions analyze machines, systems, or components according to usage, wear, and condition, and thus detect error patterns and low-quality components. Predictive maintenance involves learning from historical data and, in conjunction with artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, can help to detect or even prevent problems in plants at an early stage. Comprehensive analysis of customer data, together with machine learning and in combination with remote access, makes it possible to perform regular remote diagnostics.

Simply put: Intelligent digital solutions can fix problems in plants faster than on-site appointments with service technicians. At the same time, it makes it possible to identify problems before they lead to failure or degradation of the plant. This approach, even compared to preventive maintenance strategies and routine inspections, significantly reduces costs. Predictive maintenance performs tasks when they are needed, not at arbitrarily defined times. If these tasks are performed with remote maintenance via remote software, time periods for maintenance can be further reduced, saving additional costs.

Offer your own apps and hardware

In order to stand out from the competition, many mechanical engineering companies offer their own solutions for remote access. For example, their own service apps can be integrated with the remote solution, or with data glasses or service cameras. These additional tools for service can usually also be provided in the corporate design. As a result, mechanical engineers are perceived by their customers as solution providers, not just as sellers of plants.

Order spare parts faster and avoid errors

Remote software further enables easy and fast ordering of spare parts for machines and plants. Machine operators can use augmented reality to cast a glance into the machine. The necessary spare parts can thus be correctly identified and procured in a timely manner.

Reaping the benefits of remote solutions and remote service

Remote solutions represent a vital component for industrial companies to be able to guarantee the error-free functioning of production machines. In the event of problems, a service technician can gain an insight into the situation in just a few seconds via remote access, and effectively control the repair. The virtual connection to machines is also useful during acceptance tests and training and can accelerate processes. Mechanical engineers gain a competitive advantage while saving costs, as remote solutions reduce travel and accommodation costs.

Empowering mechanical engineers

Empowering the mechanical engineer and increasing customer satisfaction – this approach is also being pursued by ADAMOS, an association of more than 20 mechanical engineers. The network's goal is to support the digital transformation of the industry via the promotion of and access to value-added services. ADAMOS offers a IIoT platform with which machines can be networked independently of manufacturers and used as a basis for IoT value-added services. In addition, the ADAMOS STORE provides a manufacturer-independent marketplace for the manufacturing industry and providers of industrial apps. The prerequisite is that all solutions offered there are integrated with the platform-independent ADAMOS HUB. This in turn makes it possible to connect the various value-added services and machines with each other.

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