Keywords: Increase Uptime, Improve Troubleshooting, Optimize Performance, Resolve Technical Issues, Preventive Maintenance, Manufacturing, Automation.
Rockwell Automation introduced a new Virtual Support Engineer service targeted at original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) who want to offer secure remote monitoring and troubleshooting capabilities of their machines to their customers without investing in infrastructure. This scalable remote-monitoring solution provides IT-oriented access that allows OEMs to identify and resolve technical issues, perform scheduled and preventive maintenance, and monitor their installed base of machinery to help optimize machine performance.
Using the Virtual Support Engineer service, OEMs access their assets in a secure environment. While some other solutions transfer data bidirectionally through a firewall, the Virtual Support Engineer service relies exclusively on IT-approved outbound communication, which helps prevent computer viruses, worms or other digital threats tied to inbound data transfer. Security is enhanced with added features, such as recorded logins, audit trails, video recording and the ability for the end user to be given the rights to grant access on demand.
OEMs using the Virtual Support Engineer service receive access to real-time alarming capabilities that can be delivered via text message or email, to themselves, their customer or a Rockwell Automation remote-support application engineer. Through the system, OEMs use a graphical interface to configure alarms for key tags and performance indicators, allowing for quicker response to issues and more proactive prevention. Alarm capabilities also can indicate potential for future equipment failures, allowing OEMs to make proactive adjustments prior to catastrophic failure without travelling on-site to their customer's facility. Access to machinery alarm data and analytics information also can inform future performance enhancements to machinery.
In emergency situations, the Virtual Support Engineer service proactively notifies OEMs when equipment goes down. The system sends a constant signal to the Rockwell Automation Service Center indicating a machine's online status. If this connection is lost, Rockwell Automation immediately notifies the appropriate party, who can then troubleshoot the issue from any location. Often, remote troubleshooting and online adjustments made through the system can remedy issues, reducing travel time and costs for OEMs and minimizing downtime for their customers.
Craig Resnick, ARC Advisory Group, commented, "For OEMs, remote access to information generated by machines provides significant opportunity to improve service, but the potential benefits actually extend much farther. The ability to access and analyze machine data ultimately will help OEMs build more efficient and effective machines for their customers. In the past, a main obstacle to receiving remote access has always been security concerns from end users. The Virtual Support Engineer service helps to relieve uncertainties when it comes to security by providing a more highly secure solution that is also more cost effective for OEMs of all sizes."
ARC Advisory Group