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Smart factories, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence: industrial manufacturing is heading towards the fourth revolution or Industry 4.0. Digitisation and automation are becoming ever more important – also in the areas of service and maintenance. Which is why XERVON Instandhaltung, XERVON’s maintenance specialists, is adding forward-looking technologies to its portfolio of services. Its goal: to save time and money and further improve quality and safety by optimising processes.
Just as is the case with manufacturing, there have been a number of fundamental innovations in the maintenance sector that make it possible to further improve processes and advance the industry. Digitisation has provided the basis for this progress. The next stage is for companies to adapt these new processes and tools to their customers’ and their own individual requirements so they can be added to their portfolio.
XERVON Instandhaltung specialises in servicing, maintaining and overhauling production facilities and plant components.
XERVON Instandhaltung has been focusing on new technologies that primarily benefit their customers. Digital solutions, new communication systems and web-based processes all play a central role here.
Maintenance projects are often complex and time sensitive
No matter how big or how small a maintenance project may be, it is always complex – often with very tight schedules, a large number of people involved and many interconnected tasks. Just how successful such projects are often depends on how quickly information can be passed on. Mobile communication devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops have been in use for a long while now. XERVON Instandhaltung recently began testing smart glasses as it believes they can offer some additional benefits. As these glasses transmit information via audio and video stream, the operatives can send images from wherever they are working in real time. Any questions they may have can be quickly clarified by talking to their colleagues and/or their client. A further advantage: as this is wearable technology, the employees have both hands free to do their work while communicating with their colleagues.
Thanks to smart glasses, sound and images can be transmitted straight from the workplace
Maintenance projects involve a chain of processes, with each stage needing a number of different tasks. In the past, the employees had to make their way back to a central point to pass on the information that their work had been completed. Nowadays, XERVON Instandhaltung’s operatives can use digital devices to provide feedback from wherever they may be. This, of course, saves time as they no longer need to walk to the central point. Instead, the completed tasks are fed into the system and everyone involved in the project can access this information immediately. The result: shorter reaction times.
Real-time communication allows questions to be clarified quickly
XERVON Instandhaltung has an extensive range of high-performance equipment. Digital solutions are used here, too, to ensure these technical resources are managed efficiently as well as to coordinate their use. What’s more, the company is also looking at the possibility of using sensor technology, RFID, chips and barcodes. It could make good business sense to use these modern ID systems for inspections and tracking machine parts. If, for example, a facility or parts of facility have to be dismantled so that a number of tasks can be carried out, then ID technology could show exactly where the individual parts were and how far the work had progressed. In addition, it could further improve the interfaces used for everyday tasks so that less time is needed to carry out chains of services.
“Unlike industrial robotics, our sector requires robots that are very mobile. Indeed they must be as mobile as a human being to be able to perform work at height. Development has only just begun here.”
Thomas Kramel, Managing Director of XERVON Instandhaltung
XERVON Instandhaltung is also making the most of digital tools for staff recruitment and development. The goal here is to find managers and specialists, to train them and to enable them to use new technologies. This, of course, involves knowledge management, documenting the experience and know-how gained and making it available to as many people in the organisation as possible.
XERVON’s portfolio of digital services includes tasks such as condition monitoring.
And what about robots? Thomas Kramel, managing director of XERVON Instandhaltung, said: “Unlike industrial robotics, our sector requires robots that are very mobile. Indeed they must be as mobile as a human being to be able to perform work at height. Development has only just begun here.” Like Industry 4.0, tomorrow’s maintenance is a future project that has only just started. How fast it will progress will, in part, depend on what advances are made in general technology.