MAN Roland opened its first sheet-fed teleSupport centre this month Initially limited to Germany, a further new unit will shortly provide back-up for the company’s sales operations in other European countries. Further expansion of the system is expected before DRUPA 2004.
This new service tool brings together the very latest capabilities offered by modern information technology in a unified architecture. All Roland 300, 500, 700, and 900 systems shipped since IPEX last year have incorporated the ability to utilize telePresenceMR. In addition, all such presses shipped since 1990 can be upgraded for integration into the new system.
Commenting on progress for the UK part of the system, Malcolm Pendlebury, sheet-fed service director, MAN Roland Great Britain, says: “We are now working with a small number of beta test sites in the UK, and adjusting our support structure with a view to making telePresenceMR generally available as of the New Year.”
TelePresenceMR will integrate the capabilities of contemporary information technology into an architecture that will easily adapt to future developments. As with MAN Roland’s PECOM computer control system, there is no specific reliance on any special hardware platform or on the Windows operating system.
Permanent dialogue with the customer will be possible for the first time, and this will lead to a reduction in service reaction times, with customer needs being recognized in advance. The system will also provide benefits for the customer when a machine is running smoothly, with retrievable records of all actions in connection with the press being maintained in a permanent and structured database.
Software is also being compiled to provide for an electronic match to necessary maintenance for any specific machine – in other words the system will know when a service is due, or a part needs replacing, reducing maintenance to an absolute minimum.
To avoid time consuming misunderstandings due to language barriers, telePresenceMR is said to take advantage of everything multimedia communication has to offer, and includes, for example, a teleconferencing platform. Every teleconferencing participant gets the data needed to handle the task. Technical documentation including wiring diagrams, spare parts catalogues and other handbooks specific to the system, as well as photos and image archives are used whenever detailed information is required. Voice communication is by voice-on-Internet, and it will also be possible to exchange files and screenshots.
Even a web based camera solution, developed by MAN Roland’s American subsidiary MRU, can be incorporated. This will facilitate the use of video clips as well as still images. These will be viewable from within the on-line conference. Once telePresenceMR has all the descriptions and images of the problem, it can be diagnosed quickly and a repair plan put into place.
An initial problem will be presented in the form of data taken from saved fault reports. Initially, these will be language independent. Service technicians will then be able to examine the information in their own respective language to get a better idea of the problem. Thanks to telePresenceMR, during the service conference it will be easy to identify the right spare part, to find the right technician, or to give the customer the help necessary to solve the problem, says MAN Roland.
Ssymmedia, of Bielefeld, Germany, has partnered MAN Roland’s software and services team in the development of this project.
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