Helping customers in the event of faults or shutdowns of existing systems is no problem for Beumer Group – even from a distance. The system provider was confronted with a completely new situation when a planned commissioning, which involves the dispatch of service personnel to the site, could not be carried out due to travel restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Beumer Group was flexible and set the course for “remote commissioning” – commissioning from a distance.
“The trigger was clearly the pandemic,” explains Peter Teichrib, a department manager in Engineering at Beumer Group. However, this is not the only scenario that requires Beumer’s new service remote commissioning. Everything that makes personal access to systems and users difficult or impossible requires new solutions.
Test run required
Beumer Group decided to launch remote commissioning as a pilot project. “The conditions were exceptionally good, which certainly cannot be taken for granted,” emphasises Teichrib. In general, a number of conditions must be met before the “remote commissioning” project can even be considered. The system must be tested in-house in advance. “With this system, we had indeed carried out an extended in-house commissioning, as the Beumer paletpac 5000 was running with the new PLC S7-1500 for the first time,” says the department manager. “We wanted to make sure that everything would work perfectly later. Finally, it was this circumstance that made remote commissioning possible in the first place.” Beumer Group also recommends supplying the Beumer stretch hood with the film tested in advance. This way, possible differences in film quality can be excluded as a source of problems during commissioning.
Know-how meets technology
In general the customer needs qualified maintenance and operating personnel who are preferably familiar with Beumer systems. This is another prerequisite for successful remote commissioning. On the hardware side, several IP cameras provide the necessary overview of the complete system, while Beumer Smart Glasses, specially developed data glasses, connect the Beumer experts audiovisually to the user on site. “A broadband Internet connection is, of course, required,” says Teichrib. The data glasses allow a detailed view: The Beumer Customer Support sees the same thing as the wearer on site and can directly specify the correct actions to be taken. In this way, the user is guided step by step through the commissioning process.
Keeping the overview
Beumer Group set up a separate back office for this project at short notice: Using four monitors and a laptop, the service staff always had an overview of the images from the IP cameras, the field of view of the Beumer Smart Glasses and the data of the system sent via the VPN client.
“Broadband Internet access, technology and know-how – at Norm LLC we encountered ideal conditions, of which we made the best possible use,” explains the department manager. “Within a very short time we were able to develop a concept that will guide us safely and reliably through future remote commissioning projects. Standardised processes enable us to eliminate sources of error and offer our customers a reliable service – quickly and flexibly.”
Regardless of external circumstances: If Beumer Group digitally takes the users by the hand via “remote commissioning”, the understanding and know-how of the systems grow. This motivates the customer’s personnel on site, a fact from which the user benefits as much as Beumer Group – a better understanding of the system will significantly simplify future remote maintenance and services.
The remote commissioning of the packaging line at Norm LLC has shown that with adequate framework conditions, such as well-trained maintenance personnel and technically high-quality IT equipment, new ground can be broken. Beumer Group’s technology and competence have impressively confirmed this.