ABB Robotics Service Agreements – Providing production and budget control in times of skilled labor shortage

ABB Robotics Service Agreements – Providing production and budget control in times of skilled labor shortage

In an era where industrial companies are grappling with the scarcity of well-trained specialists, professions like engineering, IT, and technology are particularly feeling the strain. This shortage is seen as the most significant threat to business development, and demographic changes are set to exacerbate the issue in the years to come. This challenge isn't confined to areas like R&D and IT; it profoundly impacts service and maintenance employees as well. In 2022, the shortage of skilled workers in the European industry exceeded the last decade's average. The percentage of companies suffering from a shortage was at a record level of 29%. While this shortage rarely crossed the 20% mark, there has been a consistent increase since 2010, with a significant interruption during the COVID-19 crisis, followed by an even steeper rise. This increasing shortage of skilled workers in the manufacturing sector affected almost all European countries over the last two years and is expected to continue (Source: ifo Institut). For enterprises, this often results in a fragile economic situation. 

To counter these operational losses due to the lack of service and maintenance capacity and adapt to evolving market demands, ABB Robotics has meticulously developed a modular service agreement offering. This offering is designed to be tailored to the specific needs and requirements of companies. It allows customers to choose precisely the service modules they may not have in-house. In times where budget control is paramount, having a service agreement that keeps equipment running at a known, fixed cost is highly recommended. Currently, ABB offers 18 services, broadly categorized into Reliability, Fast Recovery, and Competencies, and the portfolio continues to evolve to meet changing needs. 

We keep your business running
We keep your business running
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At the highest level of "Reliability", ABB combines preventive maintenance with advisory based on analysis provided by data driven services. Preventive-maintenance, scheduled on specific dates, reduces the likelihood of failures, component deterioration, or downtime by a substantial 44%. The Connected Services, utilizing operational data from robots and transmitting it directly to the cloud, offer tailored insights to maintain smooth production by analyzing event logs and alarms. These insights enable ABB's experts to perform more targeted troubleshooting when something goes wrong, ensuring faster recovery. Condition-Based Maintenance analyzes the motion cycle of each ABB robot in a factory to detect highly stressed robots in a production line. This approach has saved companies significant downtime and costs. An ABB customer from the automotive segment for instance was able to avoid six unplanned costly stops per robot, saving 5.5 hours downtime for every unplanned stop thanks to the insights delivered by the condition-based maintenance tool. Overall this eliminated a loss of up to 1,500 units per shift. 

We know when it's time for maintenance
We know when it's time for maintenance
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"Fast Recovery" services aim to swiftly eliminate faults to minimize production disruptions. The latest addition to ABB's technical support services is Remote Video Assistance, enabling real-time transmission of video and images of technical issues to remote ABB technicians who can provide expert assistance. In cases where on-site support is necessary, specialists can be dispatched within an agreed timeframe, which is crucial for companies with large production lines. In the automotive segment, even at a very conservative cost, one hour of downtime can result in $20,000 of lost production and more. 

Training that powers your success
Training that powers your success
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ABB also empowers customers to find solutions themselves through their "Competencies" category, which encompasses ABB's extensive training program. These training sessions deepen customers' understanding of ABB's robots' operation and programming, ensuring operator safety and improved efficiency. ABB's standardized training courses, offered globally in 36 training centers with multiple translations, are attended by over 20,000 students yearly.  ABB Robotics users can also use the ABB RobotStudio® simulation platform enabling the maintenance teams to train their staff on real-time simulations, without jeopardizing the running operations.  A recent addition to the service agreement module is the option to pre-purchase training packages, offering maximum flexibility as training needs evolve. Additionally, ABB's total cost of ownership services, including flat fees, provide budget predictability. These services cover all spare parts and labor needs at a fixed annual fee per robot.  The value of personalized service agreements for companies is evident: they can outsource all necessary services, reduce downtimes significantly, and have budgets well-planned. This not only minimizes the impact of labor shortages but also allows companies to focus on other essential aspects of their business. In a landscape where skilled labor is scarce, ABB Robotics' service agreements stand out as a valuable and comprehensive solution. 

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