ENGEL’s e-connect Paves Way for the Smart Factory

ENGEL’s new e-connect customer portal will be launched in North America in time for NPE2018.

e-connect will simplify and speed up communication between processors and ENGEL while providing an overview of the machinery, the processing status of service and support orders and the price and availability of spare parts – any time, anywhere. From May 7 through 11, 2018, the Austria-based injection moulding machine manufacturer and system solution provider will be demonstrating at its trade show booth W3303 in Orlando, Florida, how the new version of the customer portal is also ideally suited to meet the requirements of Industry 4.0.

e-connect facilitates entry into the world of ENGEL and opens up new opportunities for injection moulders to produce even more efficiently. “With the new software, we can now provide customers with more specific information at any time and independently of their location, establish contact with them even faster, and provide the best possible support to meet the challenges of Industry 4.0,” as Wolfgang Degwerth, Vice President Sales and Service at ENGEL Machinery Inc. in York, Pennsylvania, explains. “From now on, e-connect will be an important hub in the cooperation with our customers.”

From the first order, all machines and system solutions supplied by ENGEL are stored in the system, with the current status also shown. For the best possible overview, users can reproduce the structure of their individual machinery in the system and even assign production lines to different halls or departments online.

No time to waste in support and service cases

Making support and service enquiries online is not only convenient for users, but also speeds up order processing significantly. As soon as a customer makes a request, it is automatically forwarded to the service team so that they can start looking at it immediately. Since customers and service technicians use the same data, they have the same knowledge base at all times. In many cases, the system history this contains makes it easier to find a solution. This is also why each new service call is fully documented in e-connect. The portal makes all details relating to the service call transparent for the user, and store the service report. With sites on three continents, ENGEL ensures qualified service technicians from its internal workforce are available around the clock.

In particular, e-connect facilitates the procurement of spare parts. As price and availability are stored on the system, the customer can directly request and download a quotation from the platform. Customers can also track the spare part online up to its arrival at their plant.

Condition-based, predictive maintenance included

e-connect supports all service products in ENGEL’s inject 4.0 program. In addition to online support and remote maintenance, this includes e-connect.monitor for predictive, condition-based maintenance. The aim is to utilize the full lifespan of machine components while avoiding unscheduled system downtimes. To ensure this, sensors monitor the condition of components and residual life is calculated on the basis of mathematical models. While the condition of plasticising screws is determined in the course of regular servicing, spindles are subject to automatic online monitoring; in both cases, the results of the evaluation are stored in e-connect; they can be called up and processed by the customer at any time.

ENGEL will also be integrating future service products for the smart factory into its customer portal. “We have structured the platform so that we can quickly implement further demands of advancing digitalisation,” says Wolfgang Degwerth.

More clarity, simpler navigation

In addition to new functions, e-connect now offers greater clarity and transparency and even simpler navigation. The platform provides users with a constant wealth of information, from product descriptions and event news to latest reports from the world of ENGEL and the details of contact persons. A calendar contains the dates of trade fairs and booked seminars, while ENGEL’s e-learning platform is just one click away via e-connect.

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