Remote service reduces maintenance costs

The value of remote service stood on its own merits prior to the market downturn, but now it addresses a whole new set of needs in process industries. Plants of all sizes are looking for creative ways to reduce their maintenance costs (which in most cases means reducing personnel), while facing constant demand for delivering higher reliability and performance.

07/01/2009


The value of remote service stood on its own merits prior to the market downturn, but now it addresses a whole new set of needs in process industries. Plants of all sizes are looking for creative ways to reduce their maintenance costs (which in most cases means reducing personnel), while facing constant demand for delivering higher reliability and performance.

Scaling back? The focus on system availability is even more important in plants that have reduced production, as it is critical that any system production yields as close to 100% sellable output as possible. This creates even more pressure on the plant manager and his team. Fortunately, the remote service options available today can help manufacturers operate more efficiently and cost effectively.

Expanded services

Remote service has been expanded to deliver not only all levels of technical support, but also project engineering for commissioning systems, on-demand and scheduled training, application engineering and optimization services. This gives customers the option to supplement their reduced workforce with outside support for much more than just maintenance personnel functions.

Remote connectivity has empowered intelligent devices, enabling Web-based dashboards and other Web 2.0 technologies. This kind of immediate access to asset performance data in an easy to use and easy to navigate environment addresses the age old problem of “too much data, not enough information.”

What about security?

Security issues are always a concern, but they are mitigated with today’s secure technology, and should always be balanced with the need to maintain system reliability. In many cases, enterprise remote access solutions are a lot more secure than the solutions that are currently being provided to customers to troubleshoot their own system.

Additionally, many companies go to great lengths (unnecessarily) to isolate their systems from the very experts that have to ability to significantly increase the reliability of a system through their on-demand access support and monitoring.

The notion that suppliers are introducing technologies that somehow breech or weaken security of a customer’s network is more perception than reality, given that leading remote access solutions use the exact same secure technology that plant owners currently use to protect their own networks.

Remote and retiring expertise

Everyone knows that the eldest generation of experts is nearing retirement age and that we need to somehow be able to capture and access their knowledge. Remote service provides a real advantage here, as our retiring experts will certainly be near computers and mobile computing devices that will essentially keep them connected.

While it is doubtful that they will want to return to a desk job or travel from site to site, there’s a real good chance that they’ll still want to share their knowledge. These experts are very likely to want to continue to contribute after they retire %%MDASSML%% optimally in a way that minimizes the impact on their retirement environment and lifestyle. Working from their home as a remote expert supplements their otherwise fixed income while allowing them to share their knowledge. It’s a great part-time job that provides a win-win-win scenario for customers, service providers and retired experts.

Remote and the bottom line

Remote service dramatically reduces the costs associated with on-demand field service. The customer pays for all hours associated with travel, as well as travel and living expenses. How much would your business be able to save if you could avoid the total estimated incident cost? Remote Diagnostic Service is a fixed, predictable cost that you can budget for annually.


Author Information
John DuBay is a business development manager in ABB services with specialization in remote technologies and asset management services. He has more than 15 years experience in communications, instrumentation and control. DuBay is a degreed electrical engineer.




The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by Control Engineering subscribers. Vote now (if qualified)!
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
HMI effectiveness; Distributed I/O; Engineers' Choice Award finalists; System Integrator advice; Inside Machines
Women in engineering; Engineering Leaders Under 40; PID benefits and drawbacks; Ladder logic; Cloud computing
Robotic integration and cloud connections; SCADA and cybersecurity; Motor efficiency standards; Open- and closed-loop control; Augmented reality
Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) represent the logic (decision) part of the control loop of sense, decide, and actuate. As we know, PLCs aren’t the only option for making decisions in a control loop, but they are likely why you’re here.
This digital report explains how motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
This article collection contains several articles on how advancements in vision system designs, computing power, algorithms, optics, and communications are making machine vision more cost effective than ever before.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
Cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by Control Engineering subscribers. Vote now (if qualified)!
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
HMI effectiveness; Distributed I/O; Engineers' Choice Award finalists; System Integrator advice; Inside Machines
Women in engineering; Engineering Leaders Under 40; PID benefits and drawbacks; Ladder logic; Cloud computing
Robotic integration and cloud connections; SCADA and cybersecurity; Motor efficiency standards; Open- and closed-loop control; Augmented reality
Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) represent the logic (decision) part of the control loop of sense, decide, and actuate. As we know, PLCs aren’t the only option for making decisions in a control loop, but they are likely why you’re here.
This digital report explains how motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
This article collection contains several articles on how advancements in vision system designs, computing power, algorithms, optics, and communications are making machine vision more cost effective than ever before.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
Cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by Control Engineering subscribers. Vote now (if qualified)!
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
HMI effectiveness; Distributed I/O; Engineers' Choice Award finalists; System Integrator advice; Inside Machines
Women in engineering; Engineering Leaders Under 40; PID benefits and drawbacks; Ladder logic; Cloud computing
Robotic integration and cloud connections; SCADA and cybersecurity; Motor efficiency standards; Open- and closed-loop control; Augmented reality
Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) represent the logic (decision) part of the control loop of sense, decide, and actuate. As we know, PLCs aren’t the only option for making decisions in a control loop, but they are likely why you’re here.
This digital report explains how motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
This article collection contains several articles on how advancements in vision system designs, computing power, algorithms, optics, and communications are making machine vision more cost effective than ever before.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
Cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me