Cooperation boosts device manufacturer’s transition towards service business
Flowrox manufactures and sells flow adjustment and control devices for tough industrial applications in more than 50 countries. Process Genius’ product family has brought benefits to customer, distributor and personnel training, technical materials distribution, and product development, among other functions. New collaboratively developed solutions also mean new forms of business – from being a traditional device manufacturer Flowrox is now transitioning towards service business.
PGtool is streamlining Flowrox sales network
Flowrox and Process Genius cooperation kicked off in 2012 with Flowrox Pro application, which is designed on top of the PGtool platform. The purpose was to streamline sales material distribution to the sales network and bring all information easily accessible in one place. In the application, Flowrox’s products are illustrated in a 3D modelled customer process environment and the sales material for each product can be found with the product data. The application has enhanced the sales network’s knowledge of customer processes and how Flowrox’s products can be used in different subprocesses.
AR and VR technologies to enhance training and marketing
Flowrox has been developing Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) solutions since 2015. AR supports device functionality and service training and VR enhances product presentations. “Using AR, we start transferring product data directly to where the customer is working. For example, in the future maintenance instructions will be displayed in mobile devices using (AR), or they will be reflected in the visor of the maintenance worker’s helmet using HoloLens technology. We have used VR at trade fairs to present our products operating in a mining environment. Process Genius is helping us to be a forerunner in these technologies,” states Jarkko Hietasara, Product Manager of Flowrox Smart Solutions -business.
PGplant supports Flowrox’s product development
Our latest collaboratively developed solution is the Flowrox Malibu™ user interface, designed on top of the PGplant platform, which gathers and analyses data with sensors from Flowrox’s devices. The user interface is based on a 3D modelled real life customer environment enriched whit device data analytics and visualisation. “Our customers outsource their factory maintenance functions and the level of device-specific technical competence among different subcontractors can vary, even greatly so. Malibu supports and makes their work easier by ensuring that device analytics data is easily and intuitively available, be it device condition monitoring or preventive maintenance data” Hietasara points out.
Sensors connected to devices and processes communicate via the Internet, enabling Malibu to offer remote device monitoring and user support. The sensors generate data on device working conditions, facilitating the analysis of device durability and spare part needs. This data provides customers with valuable information about how the devices are working and whether they need maintenance. In addition to device monitoring, Malibu can optimize the functionalities of the devices and the surrounding processes. “The customer might be using several different process data systems that communicate using different protocols. Malibu combines the data available from several different systems and structures it for factory management or personnel, among others,” Hietasara explains.