“Using tools such as remote desktop, smart glasses, 360-degree cameras, and 3D software, specialists can advise on complex tasks without needing to travel to the site.”
At a time when travel is restricted due to COVID-19, Nestlé is expanding the use of augmented reality technology to provide remote support to its production and R&D sites and to connect with suppliers.
Experts across the company and external providers are using remote assistance tools to connect with people at factories and other facilities around the globe. This has raised efficiency across operations and allowed experts to support multiple projects at the same time.
Using tools such as remote desktop, smart glasses, 360-degree cameras, and 3D software, specialists can advise on complex tasks without needing to travel to the site.
The technology has been used in projects such as the set-up or redesign of factory lines, vital maintenance work, and checking equipment with suppliers.
David Findlay, Global Head of Manufacturing at Nestlé, said: “Protecting our people is a top priority for Nestlé, something that has been demonstrated time and time again during the COVID-19 crisis.
The remote support approach isn’t just a response to COVID-19 though. Going forward, remote assistance will become a new way of working. It will increase speed and efficiency in facilities and reduce travel to Nestlé sites, helping us reduce CO2 emissions across our operations.
I am extremely proud that our teams have been able to expand our use of remote assistance technology so quickly to ensure we were able to continue to provide technical support. That has kept our factories running smoothly and delivered new investment projects on time.”
There are many examples of remote support across Nestlé’s factories and R&D facilities. For example, R&D teams in Switzerland helped to remotely renew existing and install new production lines and technologies for a dairy ready-to-drink (RTD) factory in Navanakorn, Thailand. The factory was completed ahead of schedule.
They also supported the installation of a new production line for infant cereals in Shuangcheng, China. Additionally, R&D expert teams in the UK worked with suppliers to remotely redesign and successfully test new confectionery molds for KitKat.
Other examples include maintenance work at factories in Columbia and Ecuador or setting up a new pet food line in the United States.
Thomas Hauser, Head of Nestlé Product & Technology Development, said: “To ensure business continuity, we accelerated the use of remote assistance and augmented reality technologies across our global R&D organization. These innovative technologies enabled our experts to provide support to our factories worldwide for critical activities such as the new set-up of production lines, as well as new equipment start-up, helping us to ensure that new product launches were delivered on time to consumers.”