Miele & Cie. KG, Vertriebsgesellschaft Deutschland

Miele Service Supervises 12 Decontamination Units Using Remote Technology

Vanguard: Miele Remote Service ensures rapid on-site assistance

A glance at the computer screen is enough to check that the message has arrived at Miele's Service Headquarters in Gütersloh: A coarse filter on one of the 12 decontamination units in the German city of Essen is in need of replacement. Besides that, the first inspection is due on all 12 units. Immediately, a call is placed with the Miele service engineer responsible for the large Miele installation at Vanguard Integrated Systems (formerly Instruclean). He, in turn, arranges an appointment to ensure that work at the largest contract cleaner in Germany reprocessing multi-use medical products can continue without interruption.

This system has been up and running since February 2008, relying on a total of three remote service modules to establish contact with Miele's after-sales service operation. Using data telecommunication lines, permission permitting, the operating status of all machines can also be called up from a remote location: What are the target and actual temperatures of the air and water circuits? Is the selected amount of chemicals dispensed? Is the spray arm speed within range? This and other data allows trouble-shooting staff to make an initial fault diagnosis at their computer screens as soon as a problem occurs. Miele staff can then contact the local field engineer before he even sets off to visit the installation. This ensures that the correct spares for the job are on board the technician's service vehicle.

Since roll-out, automatic service requests have been seldom, resulting only in the replacement of a limited number of parts and a software update. One specific problem could even be resolved remotely: The dispenser volume control automatically switched off one machine on account of pockets of air in the infeed lines. In a telephone conversation with Vanguard's own on-site technician, a Miele service engineer was able to explain how to run a dedicated programme to prime the dispensing system.

Future fault warnings issued by SMS, email or fax

Miele's Remote Service Assistant allows the machine's controls to port information to an external interface. In future, notification of faults will be by text message, email or fax – either to Miele Service or an in-house technician. If required by the customer, Miele also offers to install updates and new programmes remotely. For example, it will in future be possible to issue a text message containing an error code to unequivocally identify faults. Codes are already available for more than 100 different fault conditions. This information can be automatically sent to a remote service centre for evaluation.

For Klaus Sellinghoff, Managing Director at Vanguard, the new system consisting of Miele decontamination units and remote service support has already increased the efficiency of his contract reprocessing operation: "I can be certain of uninterrupted machine uptime and consistently good performance. Service is always accessible, providing a margin of safety that is important to us as no less than five hospitals and clinics as well as more than 20 surgeries in the conurbation along Rhine and Ruhr rely on us for a steady supply of perfectly reprocessed instruments." In total, the Vanguard Health Care Group provides contract services to more than 100 hospitals and clinics in Germany and Austria from their 35 branches.