Compliance and user responsibility are a lot of work and not much fun. If you can’t afford failures or problems with authorities or inspectors, you should take extensive precautions. SICK LifeTime Services (LTS) considerably reduce the workload for system operators in this area. No other sensor manufacturer offers such extensive services from a single source. In particular, the “Smart Services” through the Internet are gaining in popularity: Hazards are detected early on, maintenance and calibration are much faster, availability and service life increase. Even old devices can often be digitally retrofitted.
Whether you’re dealing with cars or intelligent measurement systems – both last longer and work trouble-free when they are monitored, maintained and corrected with an eye to prevention. Many system operators must also prove that their emission measurement technology is reliable according to DIN 14181 and that all requirements on environmental and health protection are fulfilled. For some, however, the constant effort required for trainings, preventative and maintenance routines, recording and documentation is simply too much. Others are overwhelmed by the technical requirements. “Smaller operations in particular often make mistakes with the mandatory reports for emission measurements. That can get expensive,” explains Jan Gläser, Product Manager for Services at SICK. That is why more and more operators are falling back on the manufacturers themselves or certified service providers. SICK is perfectly situated for this with modular service concepts which can be tailored to any system. The customer can also select from layered consultation, organizational and remote services. The offer ranges from consulting and complete supervision and optimization of the measurement system to spare part management. The measures aim to prevent failures as well as achieve maximum availability and quality assurance from the beginning of the planning phase.
This integrated offer emerged as SICK grew from a product supplier into the service provider it is today, as customers become more international. “We realized that we could achieve even more added value for our customers concerning the life cycle of their systems with our service expertise,” says Daniel Schmitz, National Product Manager for LifeTime Services from SICK. “That is why we are expanding our previous LTS offer to include consulting services and project business. This also includes retrofit work which leads to system replacement. In addition, the topic of training and education was incorporated as an international product.”
Trouble-free operation at predictable costs
More and more systems are now equipped with the Meeting Point Router from SICK for remote diagnosis and maintenance. Although direct help was originally provided through point-to-point connections, telephone and modem, it is now given through state-of-the-art https and SSH-secure Internet or LTE cellular connections. After customer approval, SICK specialists in Germany directly access the controls of the analysis devices. This is how they can put analyzers and systems into operation as well as monitor, debug, correct, adjust and calibrate them – anywhere, and at any time. This ensures trouble-free operation at predicable costs. It also saves time, customer resources and, last but not least, considerable costs for service technicians. “Multi-day assistance during on-site commissioning already costs five to ten percent of the device purchase price,” explains Jan Gläser.
No problem with dispatching regulations
The use of Smart Services of course also has special charm abroad and in remote areas. Without remote diagnosis and remote debugging, it often takes days until the system is up and running again. “For example, the nearest available service technician for a system in the Congo might be in South Africa. And when he finally gets to the site, he might notice that he is lacking certain spare parts or certain expertise,” says Jan Gläser. Even in neighboring European countries, technicians often cannot help fast enough since dispatching regulations require time and effort. “Smart Services don’t have this problem.”
Can customers also operate their systems without Smart Services? “Of course, but then they have to find other ways to optimize their productivity and availability. We are naturally also happy to help here, for instance with service level agreements which guarantee the quickest possible response time of our technicians – even 24/7, if requested,” explains Daniel Schmitz. “However, Smart Services give our customers a sustainable competitive edge.”