Help, What's Happening?
Do you find that your customers
always seem to be geographically a long way from you? If
you identified a potential customer on your doorstop,
would they immediately assume you were hopeless simply
because you happened to be on an adjacent industrial
In an ideal world, it
wouldn't matter where you sent your machine or system,
the equipment would always function correctly and your
clients would never need any technical assistance.
Unfortunately, engineering rules dictate that your
previously unbreakable, ultra-reliable product will
experience all sorts of strange problems the further it
is away from you!
If you have ever tried to
provide support to somebody with whom you do not share a
common language, is in a different time zone, or simply
doesn't like you very much, please read on...
Top Hex can help.
Now? (Status Screens)
A screen showing the
status of inputs and outputs could be added, providing a
lifeline when you are desperate to diagnose a problem. If
you controller has a text display, you can go for
something simply like this...
If you have a PC or
touchscreen, you can opt for something far more exciting.
Really Happening Now? (Remote Diagnostics)
Wouldn't it be nice to see
exactly what your system and indeed your customer was
doing; well you can! There are various ways to log into a
remote control system, Top Hex have found a modem dial-in
to be the most reliable. Don't worry if there is no
telephone line nearby, modems are also available in a GSM
(mobile phone) format.
Calling your customer a
liar is not good for business; however life would be much
easier if you had a polygraph attached to your telephone.
The inclusion of a fault history or event log can tell
you categorically whether your machine has stopped
repeatedly, or only once during the nightshift (according
to some chap who nobody can get hold of). There are many
ways of doing this; you may wish to simply count the
number of times a particular alarm (such as machine over-temperature
or emergency stop) has occurred, or you may wish to store
the time and date of each occurrence of the alarm. Either
way your controller can act as your eyes and ears.
Although there is no such
thing as a one-size-fits-all solution, Top Hex has
experience of many different control systems. Speak with
one of our engineers to discuss the options that will
help you find out what's happening.