Aberle ServiceApp for Maintenance and Repairs

With their ServiceApp, Aberle is focusing on end-to-end digitization when it comes to customer service, maintenance and repairs, with the assistance of smart devices like tablets, smartphones and supporting data glasses.

Efficiency increases through the integration of new technologies – for Aberle GmbH, Leingarten, this applies to project realization for customers as well as to after sales services. Against this background, the system integrator provides the application (App), which can support service technicians with their on-site activities. Additionally the app will also enable plant operators to handle so-called condition monitoring, themselves. They will be able to retrieve the system condition data directly from the facilities in real-time, which will enable them to e.g. maintain an overview of upcoming maintenance requirements and intervals and resolve smaller faults themselves. “The app provides technicians with direct access to circuit diagrams, spare parts stocked, maintenance intervals and legends as well as service workflows”, Stefan Weisshap, Head of Software Consulting at Aberle Logistics GmbH explains the benefits for service technicians. “The features will make onsite activities by Aberle for maintenance and repairs even faster and more efficient.”

For example, the new ServiceApp will provide technicians with detailed access to all relevant documents for hardware components and IT infrastructure while on-site – from ERP system to programmable logic controllers. The App offers technicians paperless direct access to all required documents without any media breaks, and from any location. This means information from all hierarchy levels of the intralogistics system are available united in digitized form on one mobile device. This simplifies and speeds up processes, increases service quality and reduces facility downtime to a minimum. Service or maintenance personnel can travel to sites without “heavy luggage”, as the ServiceApp provides a complete compendium of all relevant documents, independent from hardware on smartphones, laptops or tablets. 

Another additional tool in use may be so-called data glasses. These enable technicians, for example, to establish contact per video live stream with the support team in Aberle headquarters. The live stream also offers a bi-directional, visual exchange of information in real time while on site, which enables analysis and tasks to be completed more effectively with the participation of an additional expert. In the future this will be offered to customers as well. They may use the app themselves for maintenance, upkeep and repair of the facilities, as well as for training instructions. Benefit: Fast solution of problems with expert assistance. 

It really is that simple: Markers with plain writing or codes (QR or barcodes) are attached at easily accessible points of the facility. They can be scanned with a tablet or smartphone. The corresponding system part appears on the tablet or laptop together with context-related data and information, which can provide targeted assistance during planning, maintenance or repairs. The user is also provided with the most recent values for the respective system part – such as revolution speed values for drives, upcoming maintenance intervals and current number of operating hours. “Depending on which information is currently of relevance for the case in question”, Weisshap remarks. The retrieved data is used by Aberle to provide targeted information and assistance directly on the tablet. This could be status information, or information on (foreseeable) faults or malfunctions. And even more: The app also means there is no need to wait for a technician to arrive. In the event of a fault, the app provides bilateral workflow. Aberle’s service team assists users step-by-step via app with resolving the problem. “And in doing so, all facility documents, circuit diagrams and drawings related to the specific issue are available”, emphasizes Weisshap. “With the support of our service team, this is often enough to provide immediate solution assistance in many cases.”

However, the app has not only been developed to simplify repairs in logistics facilities. “With the corresponding markers in the system, the app can also be used for production machines”, Weisshap adds. “As far as software is concerned the app can also be used as a training instrument for employees when it comes to handling IT, e.g. for using functions or algorithms.”

“A new dimension for supporting maintenance, upkeep and repairs”, Weisshap puts it all in a nutshell. “Aberle’s ServiceApp will make a significant contribution towards increasing facility availability and process efficiency for all user companies.”