ASM focuses on connectivity and digitalization also in its technical service and support activities. With its Remote Smart Factory, ASM is introducing the next generation of remote service infrastructure, which uses the company’s specially developed Plug-and-Work Box to integrate SIPLACE placement machines, DEK printers and other ASM systems into a local network. This network can in turn establish a secure link to ASM’s global Internet service portal while totally bypassing the user’s regular IT network. ASM’s service technicians then use this link to connect to the customer’s Remote Smart Factory LAN and all networked SMT lines to remotely analyze and troubleshoot them. Since IT security is of top-most importance at all times, remote sessions require a special customer request, and ASM’s technicians have to legitimize themselves during each access. All data transfers are encrypted, and all connections are logged in great detail. Additional functions make it possible, for example, for the customer’s technicians to use the ASM Remote Smart Factory service as an in-house chat and remote access platform. Besides providing a basis for technical support, the new platform will also be used by ASM’s process experts to deliver cost-efficient training and consulting services.
“The current service structures in electronics plants were designed mainly to troubleshoot technical problems in individual machines. But we have to change our way of thinking as more and more production components are interconnected and the support provided by equipment makers is shifting towards process consulting services. We are focusing more on software and optimized configurations, distributed errors, and the optimizing or synchronization of complex processes. To provide effective and efficient support, you must have access to process data and the settings of all machines and systems as well as be able to execute active assists and remote software uploads on the basis of predictive and preventive maintenance services. ASM Remote Smart Factory makes this possible for while complying with the highest IT security standards,” says Waldemar Christen, Senior Director Global Service at ASM Assembly Systems.
All ASM solutions connected
On the customer side, a special network component called the ASM Plug-and-Work Box is at the core of ASM Remote Smart Factory. Linking together all SIPLACE placement machines, DEK printers and ASM solutions in and adjacent to the line forms a Remote Smart Factory LAN on the customer’s shop floor. The ASM Remote Smart Factory Cockpit, a special program that ASM provides to its customers, is used to configure the network, assign rights, etc.
State-of-the-art security standards
When the customer requires technical support, the ASM Plug-and-Work Box sets up an encrypted VPN connection with transport layer security to ASM’s global Internet service portal. Any remote access must be requested by the customer via a support ticket. ASM technicians must also legitimize themselves. The customer has full control of the remote access at all times. He can even restrict it to specific technicians, activities (view, write, etc.) or machines. All data communication is encrypted, each activity during the session is logged, and any data transmitted to ASM is stored separately and automatically deleted after the session.
The benefits of the Remote Smart Factory LAN are especially apparent during technical support sessions. After logging on, the ASM service technician can analyze and optimize all machines, systems and tools to which he or she has access. The technician can even install new software. This makes the customer’s job a lot easier. The system also makes it possible for service technicians to remotely optimize complex processes that may even span multiple lines. If the hardware requires manual assists, the ASM technicians can use mobile clients like notebooks, tablets or data glasses to guide the customer’s users through the individual steps via video and chat functions.
More than a service platform
Once installed, the ASM Smart Remote Factory platform’s chat and remote functions are also available to the customer’s internal teams. In addition, it can be used for scheduled or ad-hoc training sessions and process reviews conducted by teams on both sides – always with the ability to look at real production data or transmit improvements to the customer’s equipment on the spot.
With its Remote Smart Factory, ASM is introducing the next generation of remote service infrastructure.