Henkel uses PTC’s AR-powered, real-time remote assistance platform Vuforia Chalk to enable communication among employees, subject matter experts, and service providers in more than 30 Laundry and Home Care plants worldwide. Henkel and PTC have been working together for several years to drive digitalization in manufacturing worldwide: the company plans to use PTC’s AR software to implement further digital solutions across its production sites.
When companies were hit with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, Henkel also had to react quickly. The well-being of employees was the top priority. In a very short time, comprehensive safety and hygiene concepts were implemented at sites worldwide to ensure employee safety and maintain production. Henkel also quickly deployed the remote-assistance solution from PTC to ensure continued communication when COVID-19 regulations limited business travel and physical meetings at production sites.
Thanks to Henkel’s digital backbone infrastructure, mobile end devices were readily available on the shop floors. Vuforia Chalk can be installed on all end devices in well under 30 minutes and is intuitive, making it immediately ready for use. Henkel leverages the digital solution both for the exchange between employees in production and from home offices and collaboration with suppliers and customers. Vuforia Chalk offers a way to collaborate efficiently without having to meet physically.
The augmented reality-powered remote assistance tool enables problem-solving guidance, support and expertise to factory operations and service teams. Vuforia Chalk combines advanced AR collaboration tools with real-time video communications to connect a field technician with an expert so they can both see and discuss the situation at hand. Technicians and experts can draw digital annotations on a mobile screen or desktop that accurately stick to 3D physical objects in the real world, allowing the expert to guide the technician through a process, step-by-step. This saves time, travel costs, and paves the way for a new type of virtual collaboration.
“For us, the exchange between employees is essential. Vuforia Chalk has enabled us to promote virtual collaboration between employees on the production floor and employees working remotely. Despite the current situation, sharing of expertise has not been sacrificed and we can continue to drive knowledge sharing. The tool is in use and has proven its value, especially during the peak phases of the lockdown,” said Stefan Goeris, Process Consulting Manufacturing Digital Business, Henkel.
Henkel, which produces, among other things, household and hygiene products for the international market at more than 30 Laundry & Home Care plants, has been able to continue its business during the pandemic.
“We want to ensure that production remains up and running even in these difficult times,” explained Jaume Carreras, Project Manager, who is responsible for digital transformation at the Laundry & Home Care production facility in Montornès del Valles, Spain. “Vuforia Chalk has provided us with an efficient alternative to physical meetings at the plants in times of border closures and travel restrictions. We can obtain the expertise of employees from different locations internally and contact external service providers in an uncomplicated manner. The direct exchange and immediate feedback made possible via the remote assistance tool ensures efficient virtual collaboration. This fits very well into our long-term, strategic digital transformation plans.”
“We are pleased that Vuforia Chalk is making such an important contribution at Henkel,” said Nathanael Milker, Market Director at PTC. “Examples like these reinforce that digital transformation should be one of the top items on companies' agendas. This demonstrates how unforeseen situations can be managed.”
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