HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Blog
Virtual Support Engineer
1/22/2013

Using Virtual Support Engineer, OEMs access their assets in a highly secure environment exclusively using IT-approved outbound communication.   (Source: Rockwell Automation)
Using Virtual Support Engineer, OEMs access their assets in a highly secure environment exclusively using IT-approved outbound communication.
(Source: Rockwell Automation)

Return to Article

View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
<<  <  Page 2/2
Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: sometimes you have to be there
Elizabeth M   1/23/2013 7:47:20 AM
NO RATINGS
Yes, I agree with Glenn, although I think a solution like this can be helpful in some situations. But sometimes there is no replacement for a live person who can quickly assess the situation and get the job done quickly and correctly.

GlennA
User Rank
Gold
sometimes you have to be there
GlennA   1/22/2013 10:12:25 PM
NO RATINGS
I have done telephone support for industrial machines, and sometimes a technician has to be on-site to diagnose the problem.  Many times I have diagnosed a problem on-site because the operator couldn't properly describe the problem on a telephone call.  To reduce downtime, the first choice is to try to fix the machine remotely through a telephone call.

Tim
User Rank
Platinum
Time saver
Tim   1/22/2013 8:33:22 PM
NO RATINGS
This is a great application of secure connections to help with production problems.  As a practice, my company does not run external communications to our machinery due to security concerns.  These highly secure connections would help to sway our IT department.  We had a recent application that required error monitoring on a new piece of machinery, but we needed to have the supplier stay at our facility and send information back to their headquarters via e-mail.  This system got the job done, but it was inefficient.  If the supplier could continually monitor the machine, they could have had better real time data and supplied us with a solution quicker.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Virtual Support Engineer
Charles Murray   1/22/2013 8:32:10 PM
NO RATINGS
Interesting concept, Al. I'm curious, though: Is diagnostic ability limited as a result of the outbound-only communication set-up? Seems like bi-directional communication would be an important of a system like this one.  

williamlweaver
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Virtual Support Engineer
williamlweaver   1/22/2013 4:04:59 PM
NO RATINGS
Thanks for the quick reply, Al. I come from that PS/2 generation of technology fans that projected virtual reality and flying cars by 2001. I still find it difficult to integrate reality into my musings of a connected future. Maybe we are getting there, albeit, slowly. I agree that remote diagnosis is an awesome ability. Perhaps remote machine diagnosis is following the trends in remote diagnosis for humans.

apresher
User Rank
Blogger
Virtual Support Engineer
apresher   1/22/2013 3:52:26 PM
NO RATINGS
William, I can attest from first hand experience working for an automation supplier that cost, but also the speed of dealing and resolving problems, has been driving the move to remote support for easily more than 10 years. The ability of a skilled engineer or technician to immediately logon and review code in a control system is a huge benefit. For machinery builders, it definitely reduces support costs and enables (for the hardest problems) to have key engineering staff to review the app versus sending someone on the road.

williamlweaver
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Smart support for Smart Systems
williamlweaver   1/22/2013 1:56:26 PM
NO RATINGS
Al and naperlou, I wonder if it is possible to quantify how much of this movement to remote monitoring is being spurred by high cost and how much is the natural result of automation. I appreciate that there are lots of security issues and even more OEMs involved, but hasn't this capability existed since the early 1990's with the founding of ODVA.org? Perhaps there is a confluence of higher cost and lower resistance to change that is enabling this now, 20+ years after it was technologically feasible to do so. One generation later in human terms, 13+ generations in Moore's terms...

naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Smart support for Smart Systems
naperlou   1/22/2013 11:02:29 AM
NO RATINGS
Al, this is an interesting application, and a good solution to a major concern.  It makes no sense to have an engineer outside of the facility controlling machines inside the facility.  On the other hand, there is a lot one can discern about a system with a steady stream of telemetry.  In addition, as mentioned, the smart controllers can generate alerts so that support engineers can assess the health of the system.  All in all a good thing.  This was, of course, done in the computer industry, primairly in mainframes, many years ago.  Those were "smart" systems, so it was natural to do it.

<<  <  Page 2/2
Partner Zone
More Blogs
After more than a century of dedicated service, metals are still upping their game and delivering lighter, stronger bodies and frames to the auto industry.
Suppliers are chipping away at the dominance of the venerable polyvinyl chloride (PVC) electrical cable with rollouts of new environmentally safe, recyclable alternatives.
Most machine design engineers will survey existing component manufacturers for standard linear guide products, limiting what they can do with their designs. Using extruded aluminum profile guides can customize machine designs while shrinking the bill of materials.
The new entity, Celera Motion, will continue to sell Applimotion and MicroE kit-style product lines and leverage their combined integrated assembly expertise.
Weaned on the relatively effortless connectivity of today’s massive variety of consumer electronic products, automation users in the IIoT will likely not tolerate too many competing, piecemeal standards for long. And the Industrial Internet Consortium is trying to preempt history.
Design News Webinar Series
6/25/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/24/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/11/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
8/13/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Aug 3 - 7, Developing, Testing, and Troubleshooting IPv4 and IPv6 Using Wireshark
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6 |  7


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Course August 25-27:
Sponsored by Stratasys
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2015 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service