Before the world was faced with the challenge of COVID-19, Sulzer had begun operating a remote customer equipment inspection process using a mixture of video and augmented reality technology. Today, this has become an essential tool during these times of restricted travel and social distancing.

Remote pump witness testing program in times of COVID-19

Avoiding travel and benefitting the environment

Factory acceptance tests (FAT) are an essential part of the delivery process for many products, demonstrating quality and conformity with specifications. However, recent events have led to these being completed remotely to ensure the best health and safety standards for both customers and staff. 

Even when the current restrictions are lifted, it is likely that many customers will wish to continue with this method to avoid travel expenses as well as reduce a projects’ environmental impact.

Running tests remotely and safely

Implementing remote solutions across the Sulzer network

In China, the Suzhou factory has successfully implemented this process and received thanks from several customers, who have appreciated their efforts in completing the projects. 

Meanwhile in France, all four factories have conducted remote witness tests using a variety of digital platforms. Depending on the customer’s preference, the process can be completed using Skype, MS Teams, WhatsApp, and advanced video inspection systems, such as HPE MyRoom.

The US facilities have performed live remote witness tests with customers as well. Following the test, our engineers noted that the customer was very impressed with how well everything went. With travel restrictions in place, remote witnessing saved the customer from having to hire a local inspector or delay the test. Likewise, Sulzer’s factories in Pune, India, and Vadstena, Sweden, also carried out remote inspections with similar feedback from customers.

Remote assistance in factory and field service environments

Sulzer has then developed the process one step further with online visualization using Remote Assist. This is an app, developed with partner Microsoft, that delivers video streaming to any smartphone or tablet. It is designed to support both factory and field service environments and can be leveraged when using an augmented reality headset or glasses.

The current crisis is driving change in many areas and by making better use of remote communications, Sulzer is able to continue working for its customers. In the longer term, these improvements in service will also help to reduce carbon footprints and deliver excellent customer satisfaction.

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