Sensors, cameras and virtual reality have taken remote plant acceptance tests (FAT, factory acceptance test) out of the realms of science fiction... and into the real world! With several contracts already signed across a range of businesses and industries, this is a field in which SACMI leads the way as it seeks to eliminate the distance separating customer and supplier.
During acceptance tests, the customer experience is 'total': audio-visual links and real-time data extraction from machines allow for streamlined interaction with guaranteed results and optimal customer satisfaction. SACMI, after standing shoulder to shoulder with customers all over the world since the earliest stages of the emergency, has now proven it's ready for the post-COVID phase, when virtual assistance will be an increasingly essential element during the design, start-up and after-sale assistance phases.
This epochal challenge - the remote start-up of a complete, automated line - extends beyond the SACMI factory acceptance test to include the subsequent SAT (site acceptance test), a delicate, complex phase that includes assembly of the machines at the customer's facility, followed by their start-up and testing. Thanks to the widespread diffusion of new 4.0 technologies, training local technicians step-by-step to assemble individual components and guiding personnel - who may not necessarily be trained to manage a certain type of machine - as they start up new lines is taking assistance to a whole new level.
Following several successful test completions with leading international customers in recent weeks, the remote start-up of complete, highly automated lines has taken on the form of a structured package of solutions and procedures. SACMI provides such packages for both customers who take delivery of plants in situ (SACMI machines and plants requiring assembly and start-up) and, more generally, customers who, in this new scenario, make new investments where they can rely on a sole provider capable of 'virtualising' every single stage of supply (shipping, assembly, start-up and testing) with guaranteed results.
This strategy is underpinned by the partnership principle, which lets SACMI work with customers to meet shared challenges. It has ensured that customer investments in new machines and plants (equipped with cutting-edge sensors capable of inter-communicating and interacting with the remote assistance platform) have, in recent years, yielded outstanding returns. Moreover, customers can also count on advanced virtual reality assistance packages, provided by the SACMI Customer Service Division; these are constantly being upgraded to ensure the highest levels of innovation.
SACMI's successful completion of the first fully remote SATs in the field has sent the market a clear message: the way forward is to work together on the best practices needed to accelerate the re-opening of industry and bring our expertise directly to the customer’s premises.