The time has now come for many companies to start up all their plants and systems again. In doing so, it is important to proceed particularly carefully and cautiously in order to identify potential hazards and problems that could arise as a result of closing down or taking the wrong steps during start-up. The Dortmund-based foundry experts, ABP Induction, can provide assistance here – and thanks to the digital Expert on Demand solution, this is done completely contactless and is available virtually anytime and anywhere.
"After having shut down their plants, many customers have taken advantage of our services for extensive maintenance and repair to have the plants ready for the time when operations resume. That moment is now," explains Markus Fournell, VP Global Service & Digital Products at ABP Induction. The service workshop and the spare parts division at ABP were available around the clock, even when operations were suspended. We were able to deliver many spare parts directly from our warehouse or via partner stocks.
Maintenance and servicing are one thing, the safe restarting of systems and plants is quite another. The inspection of site safety is a fundamental measure that companies should plan for before they restart.
"It may very well be possible that plant operators only notice damage during the course of operations or in the later process – and this can result in costly production downtimes. We recommend that customers carry out all inspection, testing and maintenance procedures that have been suspended since the production shutdown now. Our experts can provide assistance here completely digitally and contactless – with Expert on Demand," says Markus Fournell, going on to explain: "The core tool here is Augmented Reality: It makes it possible for our ABP experts to see what the customer sees. They use AR glasses, a tablet or simply a smartphone."
ABP experts recommend that, as with any other recommissioning of idle machinery, standard operating procedures should be followed in order to bring idle equipment or processes back into operation in compliance with regulations. "We are able to digitally accompany these processes and provide instructions. Customers are supported by an ABP expert throughout all processes and can thus optimally benefit from ABP know-how".
How exactly does ABP help?
"We are involved, for example, in the visual inspection of the crucible for washouts and cracks – and we see everything through the eyes of the customer," says Markus Fournell. ABP experts help with commissioning: Testing the emergency stop circuit with all confirmation switches can be performed digitally, as can checking the earth fault measurements. If the system outputs a service request during restart, the ABP technician then helps to identify the correct spare part. With the virtual technology, the ABP expert can go through various settings on the system with the customer to rule out any operating errors. "He can support employees in performing simple operations that may then already resolve the problem. And: The ABP service is available at an incredible speed, as long waiting times for a service appointment or technician availability are not an issue – this is extremely important these days, when plants have to be put back into operation quickly".
ABP brings a greater level of intelligence into the furnace systems – for the highest possible productivity, maximum availability and optimum quality on the customer's side – especially when restarting after the lockdown. The digital Expert on Demand can be contacted very quickly: "Customers simply call our technical hotline +49 231 / 997-1111 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, so that a digital Expert on Demand appointment can be arranged at very short notice. Once this is done, nothing stands in the way of quick and safe recommissioning," explains Markus Fournell.