A3 secures three contracts, expands maintenance support services

Inspired by new contracts with three food and pharmaceutical manufacturers, system integrator Advanced Automation Associates Inc. (A3) recently expanded its APlus factory maintenance support services.


Inspired by new contracts with three food and pharmaceutical manufacturers, system integrator Advanced Automation Associates Inc. (A3) recently expanded its APlus factory maintenance support services. APlus now includes 24/7 staffing and monitoring capabilities, as well as enhanced customer relationship management (CRM) infrastructure.

APlus is a field support solution for manufacturing control and network systems in the pharmaceutical, specialty chemical, food and beverage, and other process industries. It helps users maximize manufacturing productivity and uptime by offering one point of contact, remote performance monitoring, and technical support management. A3 adds it offers three levels of service support based on a client’s requirements.

In plant-floor operations, A3’s engineers continuously monitor control and information systems, network connections, and data interfaces across manufacturing process lines to maximize performance and uptime. The two improvements to APlus were made to meet requests from users that had already signed up for the service.

First, to go beyond the support desk, A3 now offers 24-hour telephone and emergency dispatch services seven days per week. APlus already provided 24/7 monitoring and remote diagnostics via a secure, Web-based software solution and integrated control system technology. Consequently, at its APlus Center in Exton, PA, A3 personnel monitor repair projects; communicate with the client if needed; and track results to map failure trends. “With today’s cutbacks in plant engineering staffs, A3’s engineers are able to augment existing staffs and provide recommendations that greatly improve production performance,” says Martin Michael, A3’s sales and marketing VP.

Second, to expand A3’s CRM capabilities, Michael adds that, “The technology system has been designed to enhance customer visibility of maintenance issues and improve uptime and productivity of manufacturing plants vis-à-vis the management of key business functions and processes related to call management, technical assistance, OEM management, and emergency dispatch. Our new CRM infrastructure is a key mechanism to optimize the delivery of our APlus factory maintenance support services to end-users. The increasedcall management and technical assistance functionality will enable us to build and maintain an extensive technical knowledge base on customers’ installed configurations and service history.

“These two enhancements will allow us to resolve approximately 80% of all service requests via telephone support and enable us to provide emergency field service response on a guaranteed, rapid basis. Our goal in establishing APlus is to supplement the skills and knowledge of the client’s on-site engineering team in order to prevent unscheduled downtime, effectively deal with emergencies, and plan necessary repairs.”

—Jim Montague, news editor, Control Engineering, jmontague@reedbusiness.com

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