When COVID impacted a customer of ours, looking to drive product and sustainability improvements, the team here at Ultraseal utilised next-gen virtual technology to ensure the project stayed on schedule. Following on from the success of this initial case, we’ve now adopted the technology as part of our offering.
The customer is a privately owned and established Japanese company, offering machining to a wide range of sectors including automotive, who recently invested in our next generation sealing technology to accelerate their commitment to sustainability.
Their solution of choice was Ultraseal’s Semi-Automatic C size (1m cubed payload) impregnation system, combined with our pioneering sealant recycling technology.
Pre-COVID, the customer would visit Ultraseal’s UK site to undertake factory acceptance testing (FAT) before the equipment could be approved and shipped to Japan. However, the emergence of COVID prevented international travel, causing potential delays in the project – both for inspection, installation and even maintenance, as Ultraseal’s qualified engineers were also prohibited from entering Japan during the pandemic.
In looking for a solution to this challenge, Ultraseal embraced virtual technology in the shape of Microsoft’s HoloLens 2.
The key to solving many of the challenges presented by the COVID pandemic was adapting to remote work. On top of virtual reality imaging, in which a virtual object can be placed and interacted with in a physical space, HoloLens 2 also allows users to essentially see through somebody else’s eyes, via a remote PC/Device.
In practical terms, this meant an Ultraseal engineer could inspect the equipment in the UK factory, while also giving the same experience to a team of engineers in Japan. They were able to ‘walk around’ the equipment, check items for inclusion and view each module for functionality including running processes, creating faults, and testing the system for reliability and performance.
With personnel needing to self-isolate both pre and post travel, the usual lead time of 1 working week for high value equipment to be accepted and signed off would have been drastically multiplied – but with the HoloLens2, acceptance testing was achieved within just 1 day, eliminating expensive costs and delays.
With low costs, accelerated timeframes and zero airmiles and carbon footprint, we were able to fully support the customers’ environmental commitment while also ensuring the project remained firmly on track.
We’re also in discussions about using it for maintenance, giving immediate access to engineering support and opening up wider cost and productivity improvements, all of which will feed into their sustainability agenda.
For more information on Ultraseal’s unrivalled porosity sealing solutions and expertise, please get in touch today.