An expanding number of end users have adopted or plan to adopt remote services to minimize and prevent downtime, optimize operations, and mitigate the impact of skills gaps in the workforce, according to a new report, Trends in Remote Services & Monitoring, published by PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies.
The report assesses post-pandemic use of remote services by end users and OEMs, examines the most important attributes driving investment in remote services and monitoring, and explores the barriers to this investment. It also examines the future role of remote services and monitoring technology.
For end users, remote support is the most popular remote service used currently or planned to be adopted, followed by remote training, remote monitoring, and predictive maintenance. End users are least interested in virtual factory acceptance tests and remote commissioning with one respondent noting, “To get a good picture of the equipment, you have to be there … the physical aspect of a factory acceptance test is crucial.”
Barriers discouraging end users from adopting remote services include the cost of the service, especially when retrofitting machines, limited in-house IT skills to maintain and update systems, cybersecurity risks, and multiple interfaces across plants and machines. However, cybersecurity risks seem to be less of a concern today as end users have strengthened their IT networks and shifted to more secure methods of remote access.
Although remote services appear likely to gain ground, particularly for troubleshooting and training, the report concludes a hybrid remote/in-person model will continue as in-person support is still preferred in some circumstances.
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