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Jun 20, 2017  Düsseldorf / Germany

Close-up problem solving from a distance

Henkel and PSA tackle production issues with internet-connected ‘smart’ glasses

Henkel and, automobile giant PSA, have worked together on an innovative form of remote assistance. For the first time Henkel experts are enabled to quickly and accurately diagnose problems anywhere in any PSA production operation, without having to step outside their own office. The implementation of the new remote service system will enable PSA & Henkel to increase efficiency and react much more quickly to production glitches. Both companies will share the podium at Surcar 2017, the international meeting on automotive body finishing taking place in Cannes, France, on June 29-30.

The new service is being implemented following several months of development in collaboration with Expert Teleportation that provides a tailor-made communications package based on “smart” glasses. The glasses are equipped with a small video camera and a microphone, and come with a set of headphones – all connected to the internet. When PSA operatives switch on the glasses, an expert at Henkel’s technical service center can see and hear exactly the same things in real time, and can communicate directly with the operative to provide advice on any problem they may be having on the production line.

The remote control glasses has been designed to provide high signal quality from “difficult” environments with, for example, high noise levels and where personnel are required to wear safety equipment. Sometimes there is a need to see products with millimeter precision, and the new system allows us to do this. It works in conditions where lighting is poor, it is easy for the wearer to use, and can provide communications for up to as long as seven hours.

“Travelling to customer locations takes a long time out of schedules, so if we can provide our experts with the means to “virtually” transport them to the problem site, we can provide an almost identical service, much faster, and obviously much more economically, “says Aziz Mabrouki, Henkel’s Global Key Account Manager responsible for PSA/Renault-Nissan.

It's almost a rule that the most urgent problems occur when it is most difficult to get an expert technician to the scene quickly. “The remote control glasses is a remote solution that enables our experts from all around the world to access, on-line, any problem, anywhere, at any time. We can now solve a problem in a few minutes that in the past might have taken two days. Henkel is well-known for its outstanding quality and expertise. With this new service, we can now globally deliver and deploy ‘Experts on Demand’.”

Laurent Tollier, Adhesive & Sealant manager at PSA, says “Uptime in production is critical to all manufacturers. We are always trying to solve issues more quickly and cost-effectively. We are strong believers in Industry 4.0 and this project is an important step as we implement smart factories. We are going to completely change our way of solving production problems thanks to this new solution proposed by our supplier Henkel, who we regard as a key global partner. The results are very encouraging and we hope that our plants will be soon equipped with Wifi connections to allow much more applications of this technology.”

Henkel now considers smart glasses to be a ‘must have’ service tool and intends to extend the new remote service to more of its customers in the automotive industry.

Henkel and PSA’s presentation, “E-Technical assistance with remote control glasses”, will take place June 30th at 11:15 in the Hôtel Majestic Barrière Cannes. Presenters are Aziz Mabrouki, Global Key Account Manager PSA/Renault-Nissan at Henkel and Laurent Tollier, Adhesive & Sealant manager at PSA.