Keeping service technicians off the road

Machinery service technicians may be about to give up their frequent flier miles. Two new approaches to reducing the costs and the downtime caused by machinery servicing were shown recently at two fall meetings.

First, at Canada's Pac-Ex show in Toronto, Sollas Corp. (Pickering, Ont., Canada and Montgomeryville, PA) reported that Linsey Foods, Markham, Ont., will be the first user of Sollas's self-diagnostic computer-controlled machine monitoring system. The Sollas system promises to be a multilingual operator aid that will call attention to upcoming parts failures as well as monitor packaging material use. It will contain animated images of each part of the machine with numbers for easy ordering and step-by-step instructions for installation. During the fall meeting of the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute, Hartness Intl. (Greenville, SC) and Power-Data Services (Dallas, TX) demonstrated the Video Response System that is now available for Hartness equipment. The Hartness/PDC system includes a hand-held video camera for video-conferencing between the user plant and Hartness' technical service staff. Immediate service help with complete video connection is designed to get machines back in operation in minutes, instead of days. Both systems can also reduce the cost of service calls from the machine manufacturer.

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