Today the idea of “business as unusual” is on everyone’s mind. Within a period of mere weeks, companies were thrust feet first into a fully digital world. It soon became clear that agile, digital-minded companies were the ones who could most successfully ensure business continuity and differentiate themselves from the competition.
At Schneider Electric, we continue to focus on digitization – in the offers we bring to market and in the way we do business. For example, we’re changing the realm of equipment project delivery through the use of digital, remote factory acceptance tests. This remote testing option ensures project continuity, provides cost savings, improves sustainability, and increases project efficiency.
Remote FAT – The New Normal
Traditionally, factory acceptance tests are required for a large percentage of engineered solutions and are conducted in person at the supplying factory. Before installing the new solutions at the customer’s site, the FAT provides an opportunity to confirm that the technology meets all the necessary standards and customer requirements. This normally requires customers to travel to the testing site, which can be time consuming and expensive even under normal circumstances, but now is nearly impossible with travel restrictions. Putting a FAT on hold indefinitely is not an option, however, because that can delay project go-live dates and hurt customer satisfaction.
That’s why Remote FAT has become the new normal for all of our systems. Over 90% of our factory acceptance tests in April and May were done remotely and all of our factories are equipped to conduct Remote FAT. With this high volume of testing, customers around the world are observing a Remote FAT being conducted remotely at any given time.
Remote FAT is a cybersecure, high-quality, and low-cost alternative to conventional visits and is tailored to our customers’ needs using a variety of digitized options. Using live video, testing inspectors guide local teams through testing and broadcast it to customers anywhere in the world. This interactive experience includes two-way communication with plant engineers on site, just like a typical face-to-face meeting. Remote FAT has no limit on attendees, so testing participation can be expanded without increasing costs. We equip factory acceptance test areas with sophisticated audio and HD video systems equipped with a 360-degree camera that can zoom in on the smallest details.
Empowering customers’ project continuity
Remote FAT is providing the agility our customers need to keep their projects on schedule during abnormal circumstances. And importantly, it preserves the interactivity of traditional FAT and respects its operational processes – but with substantial time and cost savings. Already our customers worldwide are giving Remote FAT excellent reviews: 100% positive feedback.
What we’ve seen in the past months is that many formerly hands-on processes can be conducted remotely using good technology and the right mindset. FAT’s smooth transition to digital is a role model for digitization and underlines how we help customers flexibly meet their business needs.
At Schneider Electric, we’ll continue taking our agile approach to quickly adjust to changing environments and push digital boundaries.
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