“As a provider of complete solutions, our primary goal is to assist our customers with their productivity. Response times are reduced significantly thanks to the new AR-based service app, with which we equip our machines.”
KRAFT Maschinenbau, a company based in East Westphalia (Germany), develops and produces special machines and automation systems for a wide range of industries and markets. The machine manufacturer relies on a sophisticated service concept to ensure that the maintenance and servicing of machines can be carried out quickly at the customer’s site. On the manufacturer’s side, this concept requires there always being sufficient numbers of qualified personnel available.
Looking ahead – and given the increasing shortage of skilled workers – KRAFT was on the lookout for new ways of optimizing the maintenance process. With the aid of an augmented reality application*, the aim was to make it possible for the customer and/or employees on the customer’s side to carry out maintenance and servicing work independently.
The AR/VR* experts from Raumtänzer developed a service app based on an augmented reality application. KRAFT Maschinenbau equips their machines with this app and thereby enhances their functionality. The service app makes it possible for the customer’s employees to carry out both maintenance and service work by themselves. Any missing spare parts or further support can be requested directly from the application. This reduces the response time.
The KRAFT VPS 100 cardboard cutting machine was selected for the pilot project. Thanks to a “VuMark”, a marker* attached to the machine, the user on the customer’s side has direct access to the KRAFT service database. To this end, the employee takes hold of a tablet, activates the maintenance app and uses it to scan the marker. If the scan was successful, a clearly arranged menu with six selectable functions appears on the tablet’s screen.
This menu displays the KRAFT service database, which the user can use to order wear parts directly from the app, for example. Another menu item takes the user to a 3D-animated video tutorial. The 3D tutorial provides the user with a step-by-step guide to the process of replacing the spare part independently.
In the second step of the demonstration, i.e. the production order, the user is guided through the loading of the machines by the AR headset. The user is shown exactly which component is used in the machine and where it is used.
The maintenance app makes it possible for everyone to respond appropriately to the machine in the event of maintenance or a malfunction. In this regard, only a tablet is required. Direct support can be requested and spare parts can be ordered from the maintenance app. In terms of the future, the mechanical engineering company plans to extend the maintenance app by offering remote support* for remote maintenance. The maintenance incidents that arise are to be transferred to a connected content management system (CMS) automatically.
… from the end customer’s point of view
• Higher degree of safety when handling the machine
• Ability to carry out maintenance on the machine independently
• No specialist personnel required for maintenance
• Machine downtimes are thereby reduced
… from the manufacturer’s point of view
• Proving to be pioneering
• Enhances the in-house service offering
• Generates a competitive advantage
• Tackles the shortage of specialist workers
- Implementation of the analog service content by digital means
- Development of an information structure for depicting the service database
- Development of a self-explanatory design
- Research of suitable material for the marker
- Integration of the appropriate CMS for documenting maintenance incidents