hotset is expanding its temperature control system with innovative Smartglass applications
Germany-based hotset has expanded its Z‑System for partial-cyclical temperature control of injection molds to include online support based on intelligent data glasses of the Smartglass generation. With this multimedia service offer from the world of augmented reality, hotset technicians have many new opportunities with which they can optimally guide their customers in plastics processing and toolmaking through the commissioning and application of the Z‑System.
Whether OEM or supplier, injection molder or toolmaker – more and more plastics processors who aim to achieve high surface qualities and filigree structures in the production of molded parts and assemblies are now using the Z‑System from hotset. This precision-controlled tempering process avoids visible weld lines and unsightly dull spots, making it possible to achieve minimum wall thicknesses in a process-safe manner. It features a very flexible design and is configured to customer specifications so that it can be integrated into the injection mold compactly and with little effort – similar to a hot runner structure. To further simplify and accelerate practical application, hotset has now added yet another operational module to the Z‑System: Online support based on multimedia data glasses. Thanks to this digital service component from the field of augmented or mixed reality, companies are now able to relieve the installation and commissioning processes of the Z‑System, as well as many other tasks related to its optimal use, from the constraints of scheduling bottlenecks, travel restrictions, traffic obstructions, health requirements and other impediments. “In real time and without actually having to be present on site, we can connect with our contact person on the customer side using the multifunctional data glasses and see what they are seeing on their machine, tool or component. Perfectly aligned with the customer’s questions and environment, we can then immediately transmit all the important information and data relevant to the situation — as a voice, text, photo, screenshot or video sequence,” explains project manager René Schlöter.
Online assistance increases availability
In many respects, hotset’s new online assistance makes a decisive contribution to the optimal operation and 24/7 availability of the Z‑System. Because maintenance and quality assurance tasks can be carried out faster than ever before and without the time and expense of travel, thanks to the multimedia and communication capabilities of the data glasses. Concrete applications such as remote assistance via video calling, desktop sharing or screenshots are just as practicable as step-by-step instructions via apps or checklists. Process and machine data can also be retrieved and documented.
Initially, the project and service managers at hotset have their sights set on simplifying, speeding up and securing the commissioning of the Z‑System at the customers’ sites – especially those abroad — with the use of the data glasses. However, René Schlöter can already envision more far-reaching applications for the new smartglasses: “They are highly suitable for training, quality control, product evaluation, and even more complex projects. This technology can also be used to provide fast, immediate support for acute problems in production or services related to other hotset solutions – such as our D‑System for the immediate analysis of technical water circuits. In the future, we expect this modern form of direct communication to lead to even more intensive customer loyalty and an even closer technical exchange with the users of our Z‑Systems.”
On the path to Service 4.0
hotset is expanding its current range of services with the customer-oriented use of modern data glasses and is advancing into the field of digital services in line with Service 4.0. The Smartglass variant used for the Z‑System is a durable, lightweight battery-powered head-mounted tablet (Android 10) that was developed for use in industrial environments. It can be used on its own or in combination with hard hats, is drop-resistant and complies with the IP66 protection class. It provides all information channels required for the exchange of data, images, films, texts or spoken language and is equipped with a high-resolution miniature camera, a movable micro display, four microphones and a loudspeaker. During communication, the wearer always has both hands free to operate the machine, perform installation work, process the mold or show sample parts, and much more. The user is always in direct contact with a hotset technician or consultant via the data glasses, who is fully involved in the incident both via visual and audio technology. René Schlöter knows from first-hand experience: “Working with our customers this way creates a shared perspective, from which a special form of team spirit and trust emerges. The rapid and multi-media comprehensive supply to the customer certainly plays a decisive role in this.”