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Amada has designed, developed and implemented a bespoke electronic service reporting system in order to offer its customers a number of advantages.

For instance, it is now possible for remote-working Amada engineers to complete their reports at the conclusion of each job using an interactive online form.

The system completes the customer’s details and email address automatically before the engineer inputs details of parts used or recommended along with any remedial action required.

The customer’s signature is captured, using touch-screen laptop PCs, before the data is ‘wrapped up’ in an email and sent to Amada via a GSM data network.

In nearly all cases, a concise and legible standard document is waiting in the customer’s email inbox before the engineer has left the site, allowing the customer to make quick decisions on any action needed to reduce the risk of downtime and maintain production at a high level, according to the company.

The customer is also now able to keep an electronic record of all machine histories.

Amada’s document process management software archives a copy of the service report automatically and notifies all of the relevant Amada internal departments of the actions requested.

The data is also fed back to Amada’s headquarters in Japan for analysis.

Standard digital checklists ensure a continued and consistent level of planned work, while the electronic data collected allows recurring issues to be analysed quickly and dealt with using planned preventative measures.

Leo Feeney, Amada’s national service manager, said: ‘Despatching jobs by phone and relying on the postal service for the return of service reports meant that reports could take one week to reach us and be processed.

‘This was not a problem in the majority of cases as we repair 96 per cent of faults within 24 hours; however, in the small number of instances where remedial action was required, we needed a better solution for our customers.

‘With the introduction of electronic reporting, we are able to action remedial work within minutes of the engineer completing his report, keeping the amount of downtime on customer machines to a minimum,’ he added.

Other benefits of the system include functionality to provide immediate action after the engineer’s visit to ‘follow up’ any outstanding issues, information requests or quotations and a real-time replenishment of consumable parts, carried by engineers, to ensure that visits are concluded first time.

The system has been trialled for routine service work with locally hosted, digitally generated reports in the company’s service and support departments.

Amada is now developing the system further to give customers access to data through a secure portal.

Current trials are enabling pilot project customers to access their machine service history, invoices and account information online.

This is expected to be rolled out in the near future to all Amada users.

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