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Efficient storage starts with service

30 August 2019

Predictive remote maintenance of storage systems

Automation and digitalisation are increasingly finding their way into intralogistics processes. Optimal service and maintenance are therefore essential for ensuring that work processes continue to run smoothly. This requirement can be successfully met with remote maintenance.

Almost every company is familiar with the problem of lengthy machinery interruptions, caused by routine maintenance work on storage systems or sudden downtime and system crashes due to deficiencies in the hardware and software. Machines and the IT technology that controls them are becoming ever more efficient, but the increase in productivity is often also associated with a greater need for maintenance and thus inspection and monitoring of the systems. Modern storage and retrieval systems therefore need continuous maintenance to ensure smooth operation and a long service life. This not only applies to the monitoring of the machines’ technical reliability, but also – given the growing importance of software solutions – the systems’ digital components. Constant monitoring of processes is therefore essential for operators of intralogistics units if they wish to achieve maximum productivity in the warehouse. Advantages of remote maintenance includes benefits such as:

  • Proactive Service
  • Less downtime
  • Minimise breakdown costs
  • Increased safety for employees
  • Optimal use of the machines
  • Maximum IT security

Until now, machines have generally been inspected by the company‘s own personnel or the manufacturer’s technical teams, which frequently involves shutting down the systems. This results in downtime and a drop in performance and revenue. The model of continuous remote maintenance of the storage units demonstrates that there is another way. This involves the manufacturer using software to permanently check the reliability of the machines. At the intralogistics manufacturer Kardex Remstar, the new, cloud-based Remote Support service makes it possible for the service engineers to permanently inspect the customer’s storage systems without having to leave their base. The innovative solution from the intralogistics specialist consists of two parts: permanent monitoring of operations (Remote Assistance) and the provision of all relevant process data in one central service tool (Remote Analytics), to which the customer has online access at any time.

Before a company takes up the service, it gives the manufacturer online access to its storage units. Only then does the manufacturer gain access to the operating data of the system it has supplied. Once this has been done, the monitoring begins and all relevant information is relayed from the customer to Kardex in real time, where it is automatically monitored. If a problem arises, the engineering team is immediately informed so that it can be quickly rectified. The biggest advantage of this solution lies in the fact that the problem can often be solved straight away online. There is no longer any need for the engineering team to visit the customer or undertake sometimes lengthy research. If the fault cannot be immediately rectified, the engineers go to the customer’s premises well prepared and can identify and correct the fault more quickly. Another feature of Remote Assistance allows the employees on the customer side to contact the manufacturer directly from the units if they identify an undesirable development. The continuous remote maintenance of the systems significantly improves the efficiency and service life of the storage systems.

Analysis from the cloud: Besides the direct support provided by the manufacturer, online service solutions offer additional advantages: If the relevant process data is concentrated online in one central location, for example, companies gain mobile access to their storage systems from anywhere and get the opportunity to check their performance. Here, too, Kardex is leading the way with its Remote Analytics feature, because it concentrates all operating data from the storage units in its new online service portal. This gives customers a perfect overview of activities in their warehouse at all times and enables them to be immediately informed if any problems arise. This service gives them maximum control of their storage systems, while also increasing their reliability.

More transparency: By gathering system data in one central location and allowing it to be viewed here, managers get a good overview of their storage systems’ processes and efficiency. The fact that the data can be accessed anytime and anywhere via a Web browser increases the transparency of the solution. Having better information makes it easier to make decisions, leading to more successful results. The Kardex portal relies on maximum security with HTTPS encryption with a system where you retain full control.

Extensive analyses (a part of Industry 4.0): Detailed analyses can be produced and predictions made with the help of the wide-ranging data and the easy access to it. If any undesirable developments arise within the storage units, they can be identified more quickly and corrected or eliminated at the earliest opportunity.

Intensive support from experts: Since the manufacturer is constantly informed about processes in the warehouse, it is on hand to assist the customer at all times in its role as a highly competent partner and can tend to all matters relating to the system, regardless of whether it involves improving existing processes, future investments, or dealing with a current problem. This saves the customer time and money and optimises efficiency in the warehouse.

All of these factors result in optimal use of the storage units combined with maximum availability. Kardex currently offers the service across their entire product range.


Industry Connections: Kardex Systems UK Ltd.

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