Zeiss relies on a Remote Service Portal in their microscopy division to improve their support and service operations, thereby increasing customer satisfaction.
Networking state-of-the-art microscopy technologies
Carl Zeiss Microscopy GmbH is one of the world's leading manufacturers of microscopes, including light, electron, ion beam and X-ray microscopy applications. These are optimised by the addition of various image processing and documentation software. For continuous improvement of service and support operations, we collaborated with Zeiss to develop a Remote Service Portal. Based on the IoT platform ThingWorx, the portal enables ‘on demand’ remote access to log files, collection of device parameters, and analysis and interpretation of these parameters across various system and microscope types in Zeiss research facilities and laboratories around the globe.
IoT Remote Service Platform for efficient process optimisation
Customer satisfaction is a key success factor for any modern service organisation. This includes fast response and resolution times, a high level of security as well as reliability of increasingly complex systems. Based on the IoT platform ThingWorx, doubleSlash has developed a web interface to obtain important information about the condition of microscope systems at a glance.
Using this software, support and service technicians can access machines anywhere in the world using remote desktop services through a web-based interface and directly identify, analyse and resolve any anomalies. Prompt import of updates or the option of downloading log files will greatly increase access to information, enabling fast troubleshooting and maintenance.
Automation and networking of these workflows contributes significantly to reducing service costs and site visits, allowing service technicians to work even more efficiently leaving more time for other tasks. A higher level of customer satisfaction is achieved thanks to simpler and faster support, quick maintenance, individually tailored consulting services, or early fault detection before the customer is even affected.
„We chose doubleSlash as our integration partner since they had experience working with Axeda and ThingWorx. doubleSlash provided structured support throughout the project, enabling us to network 450 systems in just one year. That’s pretty impressive.“
Dr Christian Schwindling // Head of Remote Services & IT Support // Carl Zeiss Microscopy GmbH
Predictive maintenance – the key to eliminating downtime
„ZEISS Predictive Service“ is committed to minimising the risk of unplanned downtime and optimising maintenance intervals and service technician deployment in the long term. This goal can only be achieved in several small steps. We started by assessing the current state with Zeiss so that it could be evaluated strategically and in terms of business value. The following questions were asked:
- Which machines and machine components generate the greatest service effort?
- Which data is already being collected?
- What’s the quality of the data?
- Which data ideally needs to be collected in order to predict failures ahead of time?
The questions were answered in close consultation with the relevant experts.
To evaluate the quality of the data, doubleSlash used a Python software stack with Pandas and Psycopg2 libraries. Pandas offers a variety of tools for analysing tabular data, while Psycopg2 enables connection to a Postgresql database. Using Microsoft Azure, a special Data Science Virtual Machine was provided as the analysis environment. This allowed the data to be explored interactively with a detailed visualisation of the results.
The results of the data analysis are already being used to improve and enhance the platform. The quality of the collected data is set to be even better in future thanks to the next measures planned. In other words, the prerequisites are in place to get significantly closer to the goal of ‘predictive maintenance’ in the next stages of the project.
Networking for faster troubleshooting, easier maintenance and greater customer satisfaction
The individually coordinated services and technologies are defined and planned in a joint project team. Thanks to agile methodology with Scrum, the development team has sufficient flexibility to respond promptly to new insights. An individual Remote Service Portal was designed to provide a new level of transparency. As well as the service organisation, other departments such as sales, after-sales and R&D also benefit from the newly gained knowledge. What’s more, customers benefit from a considerable increase in service quality and better consulting services that are individually tailored to their needs.
- Agile project management
- IoT backend development
- IoT architecture
- Frontend development
- Agile software development
- Design and functionality
- Continuous Integration (CI) with Jenkins Build Pipeline
- Microsoft Azure
- Jupyter Notebooks
- ThingWorx extensions
- Python software stack (Pandas, Psycopg2)