Remote processes: Superpowers for machine and plant manufacturers

Customer Success | min. reading time

1st of December 2021

Daniel Mirbach Blog oculavis
KraussMaffei smartassist smart glasses app screen
© oculavis & KraussMaffei
Industrial service processes are often associated with high travel expenses for experts. Unscheduled downtimes, repairs or maintenance demand a high level of customer service availability. Even so, it’s often only something small that causes a machine to fail.

Successful collaboration with the scaleup oculavis has now enabled KraussMaffei, the world-leading manufacturer of machines and systems for plastics and rubber production and processing, to apply innovative technologies and new forms of collaboration to resolve technical problems by remote.

In early 2019, KraussMaffei Technologies was looking for professional, high-performance software for its service organisation with a view to reducing machine downtimes, minimising travel costs and its carbon footprint, deploying service personnel more efficiently, and developing new digital business models. Key factors in terms of choosing a suitable partner in all cases were performance, functionality and the attractiveness of its service solution. In its search for potential providers, its choice fell in very short order on oculavis and its augmented reality platform oculavis SHARE.

KM smartassist web app
Live support from the expert's view. AR annotations enable ideal support when solving technical questions. © oculavis & KraussMaffei.

Powerful service platform for maintenance and service

Driven by New Work principles and new technologies, maintenance and service of machine and plant manufacturers are in transformation. Customer Experience and commitment are the focus of consideration, with particular reference to availability of information and real-time communication, in-house and externally. As a modular service platform, oculavis SHARE slots into this interface in which humans, machines and processes work together to perform innovative services. The core benefit of this solution lies in efficiently implementing remote processes that globally connect know-how carriers, service technicians and assets. State-of-the-art augmented reality (AR) technology, remote support and digital workflows with step-by-step instructions already enable procedures in maintenance and service to be performed with much lower use of resources.

Communication on an equal footing and with a high level of transparency from the outset

From the start of the project, communication between the decision-makers took place on an equal footing. Interaction on expectations, requirements in terms of functions, the roadmap, objectives and the available budget for implementing the project were all fully transparent. That provided the ideal basis for the successful implementation of new software in a global service organisation with more than 60 local subsidiaries and agents. In addition to creating the necessary infrastructure for the international use of KraussMaffei smartAssist, the focus was on a Cloud-based set-up combining benefits in terms of central operation, maintenance and update management in particular. Rigorously focused collaboration made it possible to finalise the platform within just two months.

Milestones and challenges in the implementation of digital service structures

Every sector has special use cases, ranging from information technologies to individual service characteristics. That was the source of one of the main challenges facing the scale-up and the company as they worked together. Coordinating essential features of the software with individual customer requirements must always include consideration of general market requirements if a young company is to be able to grow. But a customer focus with an eye to providing the best possible performance will continue to be crucial.

Transforming your own service processes opens the door to sustainable potentials for added value when expanding your range of services

By implementing its video communication platform KraussMaffei smartAssist for remote support, KraussMaffei Technologies laid the foundation for developing new digital service offerings for its customers. The basis was provided by oculavis SHARE, as a white-label option with individual corporate branding for the user interface, imprint, terms of use, and data protection and safety warnings for KraussMaffei Technologies, which enables the plant manufacturer to operate as a provider of its own remote service platform. An important part of this success lays in the fact that the extensive process and machine expertise of KraussMaffei was made globally available through an efficient visualisation and augmenting process, and anchoring this support as part of the process chain. This made the benefits of the new digital service something that could be directly experienced, while creating trust in the new solution and providing a new source of revenue for the machine manufacturer.

As part of a long-term partnership, both companies already have future potentials for development in view. For example, features include integrated rights and licence management for multivendor workspace expansion and the inclusion of autonomous service partners, or deeper segmentation down to component level via QR codes, which will one day make possible the digitalised and unique identification of spare parts.

Recipe for success with dynamic collaboration

Dr Markus Grosse Böckmann, founder and Managing Director of oculavis, believes the key to successful collaboration with global market leaders lies in identifying the requirements of a large-scale organisation and actively drawing on these in the product development process.

Markus Große Böckmann
In our case, we were able to learn from the highly branched structures and the large-scale service organisation to make improvements to oculavis SHARE”, says Dr. Markus Große Böckmann, founder and Managing Director at oculavis.

Direct routes enable agile project processes, with swift implementation as the result. With dynamism and power of innovation on one side and expertise and structures on the other, KraussMaffei Technologies and oculavis provide a good example of successful collaboration.

Foto Stefan Feldmeier
We’re pleased to have an equal partner we can work with to develop new technologies with a vision of the future and innovative service solutions,”, says Stefan Feldmeier, Product Manager Digital Solutions at KraussMaffei.

Download as pdf
You can download the original article here. It was published in November 2021 under the title "Remote processes: Superpowers for machine and plant manufacturers" in the ProduktionNRW c/o VDMA publication "Innovations made in NRW. Cooperation with start-ups".

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