Here’s a story many industrial service companies can relate to: A company purchases a piece of equipment, say an industrial refrigeration unit for the sake of the story. The unit works great for a couple years, but then breaks down one day. This customer is a cold storage provider offering storage services for local grocery stores and restaurants.
The owner calls the company that sold him the unit only to learn they cannot get a repairman for another 3 days. By this time the inventory contained in that unit would be ruined. He calls another repairman, and thankfully someone can get to him within a couple hours.
The problem is this: The contract signed with the refrigeration distributor only allows repairs done by approved companies, and the repairman the owner found is not approved. Having repairs done by this company forfeits the unit’s warranty. As the warranty still has 3 years left and this unit is quite expensive, the manager is left in a predicament.
Both sides have a valid point. The cold storage company owner should have the right to fix equipment when it breaks without disruption to his business. On the other side of the argument, the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) risks shoddy repair work that could further damage the equipment and cause a customer to redeem their warranty when they might not have had to if the work was done properly.
The best solution for both sides: Help Lightning’s Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) solution. With AR/VR, features are available enabling repair work to be completed quickly with virtual hands-on oversight by OEM-approved experts.
AR/VR technology provides the ability for technicians to work together remotely, but in a dynamic environment that makes them feel as if they were side by side. AR/VR produces a 3D setting where both sides of the screen can engage with equipment and work together to produce the desired result. This includes the ability to reach into the screen to point to components and demonstrate how to fix them.
This supports the right to repair for both the OEM and the customer. Remote support is faster and easier to provide if the OEM cannot get a technician or engineer to the customer’s physical jobsite. Instead of a phone call or a 2D video stream, AR/VR offers a level of granular oversight that ensures the repair gets done the right way. The manufacturer can therefore protect the integrity of their equipment, and the customer gets support when it’s needed.
Help Lightning is an AR-enabled merged reality platform that makes remote care feel as if it’s happening in the room. With Help Lightning, OEMs can build remote support into their service models. When customers require support to fix a piece of equipment, they can easily initiate a Help Lightning call and get an OEM-approved expert in the room quickly. Problems are resolved faster, reducing the customer’s downtime.
The merged reality created with Help Lightning enables a virtual interactive presence. Features include the ability to reach out and touch what is in the customer’s field of view, make annotations directly on the screen, freeze images, share pictures, involve tools, and more. The OEM can provide direct support, while overseeing repair work to ensure it is done according to the OEM’s requirements. They are virtually side-by-side with customers, allowing customers to get support right when they need it instead of having to wait for someone to be available for an onsite visit.
With the recent executive order pushing the Federal Trade Commission to make third-party repair easier, many OEMs are seeking ways to comply while protecting the integrity of their products. Help Lightning’s AR-enabled platform supports these objectives, ensuring manufacturers of complex equipment can support customers remotely. This removes several common barriers to repair, such as technician availability, travel time, and availability of parts.
Click here to connect with a Help Lightning and schedule a free demo on how Help Lightning can support your company’s right to repair objectives.