Engel’s Online Customer Portal To Go Live in Time for NPE
NPE will see North American debut of Engel’s e-portal for remote service, ordering spare parts, and preventive-maintenance monitoring.
The redesigned e-connect customer portal from Engel Austria has been available in parts of Europe since last fall (see October Keeping Up). It will be launched in North America by NPE showtime in May. “With the new software, we can now provide customers with more specific information at any time and independently of their location, establish contact with them even faster, and provide the best possible support to meet meet the challenges of Industry 4.0,” says Wolfgang Degwerth, v.p. sales and service at Engel’s U.S. office in York, Pa.
From the first order, all machines and system solutions supplied by Engel are stored in the portal system, with the current status shown. For the best possible overview, users can reproduce the structure of their individual machines in the system and even assign production lines to different halls or departments online. Customers and service technicians will be able to use the same knowledge base at all times. The equipment history in this knowledge base can make it quicker and easier to find solutions to service issues. And each new service call is fully documented in e-connect.
E-connect especially facilitates purchases of spare parts. Price and availability are stored on the system, so customers can download a quotation from the platform and can track the parts shipment online up to its arrival at their plant. Besides online support and remote maintenance, the portal includes the new e-connect.monitor for predictive, condition-based maintenance in order to avoid unscheduled downtime. The first two capabilities of this type are monitoring the condition of plasticating screws via an external sensor without dismantling the machine—done in the course of regular servicing—and checking condition of spindles driven by servo motors via automatic online monitoring. In both cases, results of the evaluation are stored on e-connect and are available at any time. Engel will integrate future service products for the smart factory into this customer portal, notes Degwerth.
After years of closely monitoring an increasingly worrisome labor shortage, the Plastics Industry Association’s warnings about the widening gap between the sector’s need for skilled workers and the supply of such employees have shifted to full alarm. The association calls for “collaborative response across all levels of government and all manufacturing sectors” to tackle this critical issue.
In Orlando, you’ll glimpse the future, and it’s automated and interconnected. But don’t worry, there are plenty of ways for plants of all sizes to get in on these trends.
Many attendees in Orlando in a couple of weeks, walking the aisles and seeking out new equipment, materials and services will be taking a break from another very important search that consumes them back at their facilities: the search for people.