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Solving machine problems online and in real-time

The circumstance of unexpected machine problems is certainly not something that only occurs in pharmaceutical production. However, it is particularly crucial to find a solution as quickly as possible when the production of medications or vaccines is involved. With Xpert View, a Körber team is instantly on the shop floor, ready to provide support in real time thanks to video call functionality and augmented reality. It is also possible to commission and maintain machines in this way, making travel unnecessary – which is a huge advantage especially given travel restrictions. The service app quickly reduces production downtime, lowers costs, and increases productivity.

A malfunctioning machine can bring the entire production process to a standstill. It is then of critical importance to quickly find out why the motor has stopped running. The customer’s first response is often to pick up the phone, call the manufacturer, or describe the problem in an e-mail or WhatsApp. Despite these possibilities, troubleshooting remains a challenge. In many cases, experts simply do not have enough information to be able to provide the needed assistance from a distance. If there are any technical misunderstandings as the communication goes back and forth, it is not uncommon for machines to sit idle for up to three days before the problem can be located or a replacement part can be installed. This is especially true if, as in the current pandemic situation, a technician cannot travel without restrictions.

“For our customers in pharmaceutical production, in particular, this can have disastrous consequences. Production often stops until the machine can be restarted, and every minute of downtime costs a lot of money,” says Andreas Da Ros, Head of Customer Service for Packaging Machines in the Körber Business Area Pharma of the international technology group. “It is often fairly straightforward to assist even when the technical questions are quite complex, but this is only possible if we can briefly examine the problem ourselves and take a glance over the shoulder of our point of contact on-site.”

Customers can use Xpert View to contact the Körber team with a mobile device of their choice.
Using Körber Xpert View, Körber experts can support the on-site technicians every step of the way. Fault-free maintenance can be ensured by sharing visual information in real time.

Inspect the machine without being on-site? Work together directly with the local technicians even though you are many miles away?

To make all this possible, a service app was rolled out in the Körber Group: “Using Körber Xpert View, operators can take us directly to where the problem is,” Andreas Da Ros explains. “Talking with our local contacts one-on-one is very important to us, but we are frequently having to deal with many restrictions on travel, particularly in the COVID-19 era. In these cases, our service app helps establish good contact with the customers despite all the necessary social distancing measures: When we talk to our contact persons using Xpert View, we can see what they see. That allows us to directly identify sources of faults and provide our customers with optimum support in the troubleshooting process.”

Solving problems in real time using an app

Customers all over the world can use Xpert View to contact the experts at Körber – and they can do so easily and without lengthy installation processes. All they need is a mobile device of their choice and the free Xpert View app, which can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play. “After a brief registration procedure, we can deal with the problem directly from a remote location and provide help on the machine in real time,” says Dr. Mario Holl, Chief Digital Officer in the Körber Business Area Pharma.

To make this work, users establish an audio and video connection in full HD using a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or data glasses. Augmented reality functions are of great assistance to make it easier to identify components. Users are also provided with important information through superimposed arrows and moving icons on the live images, providing them with guidance replacing defective parts, for example. Xpert View is an excellent addition to the VPN-based remote support that Körber has already established, which allows data and parameters to be read from machines operating at the customer site.

“By providing instructions through the app, our experts can support the on-site technicians every step of the way,” Mario Holl says. “And it’s not just fault-free maintenance that we ensure by sharing all this visual information in real time. With the additional data that we can read out, we have another comprehensive source of information that helps us to quickly fix problems from a distance. In addition, our documentation helps customer teams to replace components using checklists, circuit diagrams, and videos.”

lCustomer proximity despite social distancing: When we talk to our contacts, we see what they see. That allows us to directly identify sources of faults and provide our customers with optimum support in the troubleshooting process.r

Andreas Da Ros, Head of Customer Service for Packaging Machines in the Körber Business Area Pharma

Less downtime, more production quality

Support when and where you need it: Thanks to Körber Xpert View, customers will be able to submit their service requests whenever they need to. “Knowledge and expertise can be applied immediately, and problems can be worked on together,” Mario Holl explains. “All of this not only reduces downtime and associated costs for the customer but also increases quality in production.” The Körber app does more than enable effective communication; it also ensures fast troubleshooting. Experts are usually able to identify the problem within a few minutes. The fault can also frequently be rectified just as quickly. This means that additional visits by technicians are unnecessary in 60% of cases, and any required trips to the site can be even more targeted and efficient.

These time savings directly increase productivity at the customer site, with operators of production and packaging plants being able to reduce machine downtimes by up to 70% on this basis. As the number of technician deployments drops, overall costs decline through the associated reduction in labor and travel expenses. Innovative financing offers also make the service app attractive. With the time allotment model, customers determine an amount of support time that they can make use of. This gives them full control over costs as well as complete transparency regarding actual usage.

Thanks to Körber Xpert View, machine downtimes can be reduced by up to 70%.

Positive experiences in use by the customers

Several customers have already used Körber Xpert View in a variety of different scenarios, carrying out work that ranged from machine acceptance to service and troubleshooting.

For example, the use of Xpert View made it possible to accomplish the commissioning of a packaging machine without technical experts on- site. This took place in the form of a site acceptance test (SAT) at the global pharmaceutical group Aspen Pharmacare in South Africa. Körber also performed the entire machine acceptance process virtually at YaoPharma, one of China’s leading pharmaceutical producers. In addition to these examples, the app demonstrated its advantages in emergency use at the site of a pharmaceutical company in Italy: What initially began with a phone call due to a machine stoppage at the site led to a successful resumption of production thanks to Körber Xpert View and its additional camera information, as reported by the customer’s Maintenance Manager: “Thanks to Körber Xpert View, we were able to quickly find the cause of the fault and then take immediate steps to solve the problem!”

Based on this positive experience, Körber is already working on additional applications for Xpert View: Machine demonstrations will soon take place through the app, with customers around the world being able to follow everything live.

Any questions?

Do you have questions about how Körber Xpert View can help you? Feel free to contact us!

Körber – delivering the difference in pharma

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Körber Xpert View: Solving machine problems online and in real-time

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Körber Xpert View: Maschinenprobleme online und in Echtzeit lösen

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