In this new world we live in, distance is the new and expected normal. Working remotely can be a challenge for employees, including those who work for industrial companies which typically have a worldwide distribution of employees, supply chains and customers. However, there is significant cost associated with downtime and manufacturing and operations can’t come to a grinding halt. For example, this post showcases that “the average automotive manufacturer loses $22,000 per minute of downtime” and that there are additional costs associated on the business side with lost production, wasted labor, and depleted inventory, as well as on the human side with lack of innovation, erosion of trust, and stress.
It’s easier said than done but the situation calls for a change in perspective and a new approach for creatively solving problems. Thomas Edison famously said, “We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work”. Fortunately, we are at a point in history where technology can be a huge support and tool to rely on in these uncertain times.
Enter remote condition monitoring. Remote monitoring is a concept that’s been around for a while but the technology and enablement of it has greatly improved in the past few years as more IoT, AR and cloud solutions have become available. Remote monitoring is the ability to view a machine’s behavior, status and performance and enables people to “see” what is going on with the product in its natural setting without being in proximity. This helps organizations to prevent downtime, accelerate service or even train others on how to service a product without an expert physically being there.
One company who is continually innovating and addressing their challenges with downtime is Roche Diagnostics. Roche Diagnostics is the world’s largest biotech company and has been urgently working to develop a diagnostics test for COVID-19. They've partnered with the World Health Organization and other global health authorities to accelerate the availability of diagnostic test kits. Downtime is not an option for many right now, but especially for the organizations working to find solutions for the global health crisis. Roche is using IoT software to monitor and remotely service diagnostic testing equipment used in laboratories worldwide and are truly rising to the occasion to deliver life-saving solutions around the globe.
Augmented Reality (AR) is another tool that can enable remote work. Specifically it helps experts be in more places at once (from the safety of their homes) to train others or help them to carry out tasks onsite like operating and repairing complex machinery. It can bring together technicians and experts around the globe to communicate, collaborate and solve problems faster and more effectively. Some AR solutions let people accurately markup live views to highlight details or guide multi-step solutions, reducing costly mistakes and delays in life-saving production of products and medicine. It also reduces the number of repeat visits from service technicians and frontline workers, keeping them safer and less exposed.
PTC is offering its remote assistance product, Vuforia Chalk, at no cost, with no obligations, for those who feel this technology can help their teams better navigate the COVID-19 crisis and maintain business continuity.