Since the advent of Covid-19 Corona Virus and especially the new variants, visits to Customer’s sites have become more problematic. In this blog, The Art of Remote Service Support, we discuss the impact of Covid-19 on how we provide service support to our customers.
It has always been possible to help Customers and their contractors to resolve their issues by phone, by email and by supplying parts. This is welcomed by Customers in the electronics industry because it not only saves them money but also it can be much quicker. They also like to learn about how their machines work so the next time they’ll be more confident about tackling it themselves before needing to call a service engineer.
Reduced down time is also desirable in the pharmaceutical industry but sometimes there won’t be suitable people within the company confident enough to try fixing an issue with remote support. Having said that, one might be surprised what they can do when critical equipment is down.
How we Provide Remote Service Support
So usually, the first step is to give guidance by email, perhaps with a circuit diagram. Once the fault is diagnosed/isolated a part may need to be quoted and ordered. We can have 90% of parts on site within 1 to 2 working days. Once it arrives, more help may be needed fitting it and in the subsequent set up procedures.
With some issues a video call e.g., WhatsApp with the camera reversed, or the use of Skype or an iPad may be beneficial if a headset/earphones and Wi-Fi or unlimited data is available. This is especially useful if lots of buttons have to be pressed and/or the Customer is unfamiliar with the machine.
With the current Weiss SiMPAC models a lot can be done to diagnose plus rectify issues, due to their ability to interface with a PC, even connecting from Weiss Service in Germany.
During a second spike in Covid-19 cases in October 2020, we had a Customer with an intermittent problem that needed diagnosing when the issue arose. What we did was, we sent them a cable and a laptop with Weiss Technik diagnostic software loaded and had the customer connect it to the chamber and Wi-Fi. Then we used TeamViewer to connect to that laptop and we could check out the machine remotely when it failed. We were able to download the required files and rectify the issue, much to the Customer’s delight. As we are the only ones able to use the software because it is password protected there was no danger of any damage being done inadvertently.
In some cases we have used WhatsApp video calls and emails to diagnose the cause of the problems. In another case we used emailed sketches and a long phone call. We also used a Skype video call where a phone was not allowed. The Customers were very willing to do this and the outcomes were positive.
As regards commissioning, although we cannot do a refrigerant leak test remotely, all other parts can be covered. The machines all come with a calibration certificate which is usually enough for our Customers. On some machines the compressor transport clamps require removal but that is simple enough and can be done by the Customer. The big one is training and, as above, a video call is all that is needed……….after the Customer reads the manual of course!
As with working from home since the start of Covid-19 this will, in some cases, become more common. This could mean decreased service revenue. However, on the up side this could also mean fast, cheap service support, so as well as keeping us all safe, it could also translate into increased machine sales in the long run.
If you would like to discuss remote service support with us please get in touch, you can contact us here.
You can also find more information about DACTEC Service Support here.