The carton packaging giant has started rolling out Microsoft HoloLens mixed reality headsets to Tetra Pak on-site service engineers – who are now able to work with the company’s global experts who specialise in production line problems.
A service engineer can show live video to the correct Tetra Pak expert, who guides the on-site work through Skype.
To help prevent or predict disruptions Tetra Pak is also employing Microsoft Azure Cloud technology that enable its cloud-connected machines to predict when equipment needs maintenance.
By connecting packaging lines to the cloud, Tetra Pak can collect operational data to help predict informed maintenance timing.
Johan Nilsson, Vice President Tetra Pak Services, said: “So if you’re a service engineer and you arrive at the customer, you can use a simple app to pull up the significant performance information from that customer.
“You are much more educated when you walk into the customer, and it becomes a much more informed and fact-based discussion between the service engineer and the customer.”
Nilsson added that the Microsoft HoloLens transforms the delivery of support and enables quick resolution of quality issues.
Caglayan Arkan, general manager of worldwide manufacturing at Microsoft, said: “We are excited to bring the transformative power of mixed reality and HoloLens to Tetra Pak customers to help them transform their business and enhance their service engineers’ capabilities.”
Nilsson told Packaging News both the Microsoft HoloLens and Azure Cloud technology is designed to help make packs look exactly the same.
“The better we can ensure packaging integrity, the better we can ensure food safety. This results in a more perfectly shaped pack.”
He said when creating 190bn packs consistently, these systems will help the quality and look and fit of the pack.
“For example, if you have vibration in the machines this may result in the pack being 1% out or 3% out. The better you keep that in shape and in the right condition, the better the packs are going to look and perform.”
He explained that initially the packs will look perfect, but all production lines require maintenance over time. With this Microsoft system, Tetra Pak can take action earlier so that it does not deteriorate as much and not reach a level that the pack is unacceptable to the consumer.
“So the consistency in packaging performance in terms of shape appearance and integrity will be better secured using this system.”
Tetra Pak is piloting the service in 2017 with 50 HoloLens devices, in the Greater Middle East, Europe, and the Americas, and plans to roll-out to more markets next year.
Source: News – Packaging News