GEA designs, builds and supplies a complete range of research, development and production solutions for batch and continuous solid dosage applications.
We now offer a comprehensive suite of digital tools, including Augmented and Virtual Reality remote support assistance for planning, testing, installation and service, as well as training, modeling platforms, demonstrations and digital twins to improve the customer experience.
Virtual Reality enables a remote and detailed review of process solutions for future projects, providing customers with a far deeper understanding of the look and feel of the equipment. For example, we’re now using VR training tools that show operators how to maintain, disassemble, assemble and operate machinery even before it’s installed onsite.
Using project-specific technical drawings, an exact replica a customer’s installation is designed using VR to show how a continuous process operates and provide a better understanding of how the unit operations work together.
It’s also possible to meet your colleagues as avatars prior to visiting the actual equipment — for testing or an audit, for instance — which allows you to discuss specific components of the equipment and see how the process works prior to using it.
The “multiplayer” function allows for several people from multiple locations to meet and interact with the machinery in real-time to get a better understanding of its functionalities and review any design changes.
Step-by-step virtual reality training tutorials have been created by GEA experts. You can choose the unit operation that’s being assembled or disassembled and follow guided directions. Or, you can practice on your own in VR to test your knowledge.
GEA Remote Support allows us to present new technologies in a comprehensible way and greatly facilitates the planning and production stages of complex biopharmaceutical plant, enabling you to visualize your new facility at an early stage and optimize the set-up before it’s even built.
Equipment in a customer installation can be demonstrated, allowing for a better understanding of room dynamics and what the final plant will look like, potentially avoiding unforeseen logistical issues with positioning, which would not be possible in reality.
Key benefits are that every employee receives the same OEM training, which can be completed prior to equipment installation. As such operators and maintenance staff can be trained before the equipment is completed on site.
Eliminating the need to travel, 24/7 access to structured training modules reduces the onboarding time of new operators and allows training to take place even without the equipment, removing yet another potential bottleneck. Uncoupling the training requirements from the need to use the physical machinery decreases the time required to familiarise new staff with equipment, speeding up the onboarding time. Initial estimates from industry partners indicate a time saving of 66% from a typical 9-month onboarding time down to just 3 months using tools such as VR.
We’re constantly exploring alternative ways to ensure effective knowledge transfer and help both new and established customers with their investments and decision-making processes.