Hirschmann Automotive Digitally Transforms
Production Plants with RealWear

Deploying RealWear running Cisco Webex Expert on Demand allowed Hirschmann
Automotive to streamline collaboration and reduce equipment downtime.

The Hirschmann Automotive is an international automotive supplier founded in 1959. Today the company produces and develops plug connections, contacting and sensor systems, special cable solutions and plastic overmolding of various automotive components.

The Challenge

With seven factories worldwide, Hirschmann Automotive needed a more cost-effective and time-efficient knowledge-transfer approach to maintaining and repairing equipment than flying experts around the world.

The Solution

Deploying RealWear running Cisco Webex Expert on Demand allowed Hirschmann Automotive to streamline collaboration and reduce equipment downtime.

The Results

  • Reduced travel needs and costs
  • Improved maintenance and repair response
  • Streamlined information accessibility and collaboration
  • Increased first-time fix rates
  • Shortened first-time resolution time

Hands-Free Use Case

  • Remote mentoring

Hirschmann Automotive was founded in Austria in 1959 and has since achieved worldwide recognition as a leading supplier of automotive components.

When Klemens Fliri first joined Hirschmann Automotive as Collaboration Services Manager, he saw that the company’s communications infrastructure was lacking in its internal collaboration capabilities. This greatly concerned Fliri, as the organization has seven plant locations and four sales offices in 10 countries and more than 5,500 employees.

“As a truly global player, it is necessary to have an efficient way to connect people,” says Fliri. “At Hirschmann Automotive in particular, we have different departments that need to be in constant contact with each other every day. We realized that bringing our unified communications infrastructure to the next level would make it possible to work more efficiently on projects in a shorter period.”

“As a truly global player, it is necessary to have an efficient way to connect people.”

Identifying Technological Needs

While Hirschmann Automotive had an existing communication application, Fliri learned that employees wanted to do more than send messages back and forth. They wanted the ability to collaborate more effectively by engaging with multiple colleagues at once or sharing files.

The Cisco Webex platform checked all the boxes. Webex Teams enabled group chats and Webex Boards improved collaboration with drawing and annotation features. Fliri also wanted to ensure WebEx was practical for the technicians at the factories.

“As far as production is concerned, our knowledge base is here in Austria, but our production plant for the North American market, for example, is in Mexico,” describes Fliri. “If something isn’t working properly at one of our plants, technicians have to call our headquarters in Austria. And even then, they might not be able to solve the problem. Then it becomes an issue of flying someone around the world to assess the problem in person.”

“If something isn’t working properly at one of our plants, technicians have to call our headquarters in Austria. And even then, they might not be able to solve the problem. Then it becomes an issue of flying someone around the world to assess the problem in person”

That’s when Fliri and his team looked at virtual and augmented reality solutions. Unfortunately, most devices were too delicate for the production plant environment — until Fliri discovered the RealWear HMT-1.

The RealWear HMT-1 is an Android device that has all the capabilities of a tablet but in the form of a headset. The HMT-1 has

  • A rugged and durable design that can withstand harsh conditions, including shock resistance and IP66-rated dust and water resistance
  • Hands-free controls using voice commands to allow technicians to use both hands during equipment maintenance and repairs
  • A high-resolution micro-display that can display multimedia, documents and other file formats
  • A high-resolution camera that can show online Webex meeting participants exactly what the onsite technician is seeing
  • Two-way audio that allows technicians to collaborate with remote experts in real time

Best of all, Cisco is a RealWear solution partner, which means a seamless integration between Cisco Webex Expert on Demand and the HMT platform.

ROI Emphasized During Pandemic

Hirschmann Automotive’s digital transformation of its production plants proved lucky. The RealWear deployment happened just as COVID-19 struck. Travel came to a standstill, but the RealWear HMT-1 allowed technicians to continue collaborating with experts who were working from home in Austria.

While work was able to continue as usual, Fliri was more excited about the bigger picture. “Remarkably, we increased first-time fix rates and improved the speed of getting to first-time resolution, all while significantly reducing travel expenses,” says Fliri. “We saved time, money, and the frustration of traveling thousands of miles.”

The improved efficiencies will naturally help Hirschmann Automotive boost customer satisfaction and support.

“We’ve also discovered the potential of offering our customers a better real-time support or to have them remotely view our plant processes,” says Fliri. “That customer-facing service could become a real competitive advantage.

Solution Partners

RealWear has many technology partners and system integrations to solve unique business challenges.

Solution Highlight

Cisco Webex Expert on Demand for RealWear enables frontline industrial and manufacturing workers to make powerful connections to information and people anywhere, at any time
Learn more about Cisco at RealWear.com.

Download Hirschmann Automotive Success Story

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