New service allows OEMs to securely connect to machinery to help increase uptime, improve troubleshooting, and optimize performance for their customers
MILWAUKEE, Nov. 26, 2012 — Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) who want to offer the benefits of highly secure remote monitoring and troubleshooting to their customers without investing in expensive infrastructure can now turn to the new Virtual Support Engineer service from Rockwell Automation. This scalable, cost-effective, remote-monitoring solution provides proactive, IT-friendly access that allows OEMs to identify and resolve technical issues, proactively perform scheduled and preventive maintenance, and monitor their installed base of machinery to help optimize machine performance.
“In today’s highly competitive global marketplace, the ability to offer competitively priced, yet highly secure remote support from anywhere in the world can be a unique differentiator for OEMs,” said Jon Furniss, global product manager, Rockwell Automation. “The Virtual Support Engineer service offers an industry-leading combination of price and security. The remote access it provides allows OEMs to make sure their equipment is performing optimally at all times, regardless of location.”
Using the Virtual Support Engineer service, OEMs access their assets in a highly secure environment. While most other user solutions on the market transfer data bidirectionally through a firewall, the Virtual Support Engineer service relies exclusively on IT-approved outbound communication. This helps prevent computer viruses, worms or other digital threats tied to inbound data transfer. Security is further enhanced with added features, such as recorded logins, thorough audit trails, video recording and the ability for the end user to be given the rights to grant access on demand.
“For OEMs, remote access to information generated by machines provides significant opportunity to improve service, but the potential benefits actually extend much farther. The ability to access and analyze machine data ultimately will help OEMs build more efficient and effective machines for their customers,” said Craig Resnick, vice president of consulting at ARC Advisory Group. “In the past, a main obstacle to receiving remote access has always been security concerns from end users. The Virtual Support Engineer service helps to relieve uncertainties when it comes to security by providing a more highly secure solution that is also more cost effective for OEMs of all sizes.”
OEMs using the Virtual Support Engineer service receive access to real-time alarming capabilities that can be delivered via text message or email, to themselves, their customer or a Rockwell Automation remote-support application engineer. Through the system, OEMs use a simple graphical interface to configure alarms for key tags and performance indicators, allowing for quick response to issues and proactive prevention. Alarm capabilities also can indicate potential for future equipment failures, allowing OEMs to make proactive adjustments prior to catastrophic failure – all without travelling on-site to their customer’s facility. Access to machinery alarm data and analytics information also can help inform future performance enhancements to machinery.
In emergency situations, the Virtual Support Engineer service proactively notifies OEMs when equipment goes down. The system sends a constant signal to the Rockwell Automation Service Center indicating a machine’s online status. If this connection is lost, Rockwell Automation immediately notifies the appropriate party, who can then troubleshoot the issue from anywhere. Often, remote troubleshooting and online adjustments made through the system can remedy issues, reducing travel time and costs for OEMs and minimizing downtime for their customers.
About Rockwell Automation
Rockwell Automation, Inc. (NYSE: ROK), the world’s largest company dedicated to industrial automation and information, makes its customers more productive and the world more sustainable. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., Rockwell Automation employs over 22,000 people serving customers in more than 80 countries.
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