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Digitalisation in practice at HARTING

Developed by employees: Mobile tablet solution in maintenance. An interview with Thorsten Fischer, Head of Maintenance at HARTING
Thorsten Fischer
Thorsten Fischer
Head of Maintenance, HARTING Electric

HARTING has taken another step on the way towards digitised industrial production with the introduction of an employee-initiated mobile tablet solution for maintenance.

Thorsten Fischer about "Digitalisation in practice"
Thorsten Fischer, Head of Maintenance at HARTING

What does the new tablet system offer during day-to-day work at HARTING?


T. Fischer:

Thanks to the mobile tablet solution, maintenance employees now have direct access to all machine data on every piece of machinery. By way of the integrated barcode scanner, an employee identifies the respective machine and can use his or her tablet to directly access wiring schematics, data on the machine’s history or the operating manual. Prior to the introduction of this solution, identifying and organising the right documents entailed significantly more time and effort, time that we can now save by using the tablets.

Was the time savings the main reason for the implementation of the system?


T. Fischer:

In addition to the associated work time, our objective was to handle another important resource – information – as efficiently as possible. Until now, relevant data has been recorded and documented in a variety of ways across different media. Now, employees can use a tablet to directly record machine- specific notes in one central data storage location. This lets us avoid the media discontinuity of the past, and we gain a reliable and consistent picture of the state of the relevant machinery. In addition to documenting system data, the tablets are also connected to our SAP System and create the conditions for remote maintenance, as authorised employees can now access the system from anywhere and at any time.

Why was the tablet solution developed internally at HARTING and not procured from a third party?


T. Fischer:

Within production, we formulated our ambition early on: the successful implementation of digitalisation first entails understanding what digitalisation means in concrete terms. This was the biggest motivation for our team during the devel- opment of this solution, i.e. learning what it means to integrate digital processes into production. For us, this also includes thinking more digitally about internal processes.

"If you’re seeking to achieve networked production, you’ve also got to network the people who work in it."

Thorsten Fischer, Head of Maintenance at HARTING

What does “thinking more digitally” exactly mean?

T. Fischer:

If you’re seeking to achieve networked production, you’ve also got to network the people who work in it. Consequently, we make full use of cross-functional teams when implementing solutions such as the tablet system. Right from the outset we bring together different competencies which jointly implement the project. This course has been found to be very effective in all previous projects and has provided a double benefit – we obtain an exclusive system solution and gain experience in the digitalisation of our processes.

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