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Dec 2, 2020

Supporting Smelting Operations Despite Physical Distancing

While it is not possible to get the global experts onto customer sites, Metso Outotec was forced to find other ways to stay in contact and support the customers remotely. The new tools proved to be successful.
remote services smelting

COVID-19 has changed, maybe even challenged, the ways of working in a profound way. Metso Outotec professionals quickly realized that without travel it will be difficult to support the customers, therefore, it was necessary to find ways to assist them without physically being onto sites.

Internally, Metso Outotec has put IT tools into good use to secure fluent execution of delivery projects and is still exploring new tools and collaboration methods to make everything work even more efficiently despite the physical distances. Metso Outotec is now fully confident in being able to serve and help improve operations while minimizing the need for physical human interaction.

 

CHALLENGE

•   The global coronavirus pandemic has limited travels to customer sites.

 

SOLUTION

•   IT tools, such as augmented reality, video conferencing and customer portal, that help reach customer sites and assist them remotely.

 

BENEFITS

•   Experts and operators can work together despite the restriction in traveling.

•   Customers can receive assistance quickly and safely.

 

The Power of Connectivity

Metso Outotec has established tools to provide the field service technicians or site operators and personnel to tap online into the expertise of our global experts utilizing augmented reality and basic video conferencing tools. Using tools with secure real-time cloud communication platforms and video chatting possibility, sharing of drawings and annotations directly in the live feed allows the global experts to provide full support even by not being directly on site.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there have already been several cases where Metso Outotec global experts have been aiding local installation and commissioning crews using the power of augmentation and connectivity.

Mikael Jafs, Director, Digital Technology in Metals, highlights that it is crucial to maintain the quality of our services, even if they are provided remotely.

“Even in these difficult times we have stayed and are staying committed to supporting our customers in every way possible,” says Mikael. “We’ve tried to rethink the ways we establish value for operators, installation and commissioning crews and aid in continuous improvements remotely.”

Customer Portal
Customer Portal

 

Connected Analytics and Customer Portal

These days the benefits of connectivity are evident more than ever as they provide means for online monitoring and support through remote analysis of equipment and processes. Simply put, it’s just an extension to the possibility of ad-hoc remote access over VPN by enabling a more continuous flow of selected data for performance monitoring and troubleshooting of equipment and processes.

Metso Outotec has been able to assist with process related assessments and troubleshooting through online meetings and remotely analyzing process and equipment data. Modern tools and secure connectivity allowed to change the work of both experts and operators and keep the same quality despite the restriction in traveling.

One of those modern tools mentioned is a cloud-based Customer Portal. It’s self-help service on a web browser that provides users with a personalized online access and increases control of their own assets. With a single secure login, users can manage the following:

  • Log service requests, view service workflow and view history.
  • View Asset Analytics dashboards for equipment details.
  • Access interactive part catalogs, manuals and service reports related to the installed assets.
  • Find links to subscriptions, events, and social media.
  • Collaborate, attend meetings and share files from any device.

Webinars, Virtual Meetings and Trainings

Staying in touch and continue communications despite restrictions in travel is important and is actually a great opportunity to spend some time educating ourselves. Therefore, Metso Outotec has been arranging a "Series of Smelting Webinars" covering some interesting areas around the Smelting technologies.

During these challenging times it is necessary to stay united even while being physically separated. Therefore, in Metso Outotec we also continue to meet face-to-face over virtual meetings and to provide support and training services over video conferencing and simulation environments as before. These tools allow our staff and our customers stay together even while being away. That’s why, together, we are the partner for positive change.

This article is part of our Smelting Newsletter Issue 1/2020. Visit the issue front page for all articles and greetings from Jyrki Makkonen, Vice President of Smelting business line.

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