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Here's How Philips Is Aiming for Zero Unplanned Downtime

Brought to you by WBR Insights

When equipment goes down, it can cause huge problems for businesses. The resulting downtime leads to a reduction in productivity and a loss of revenue. This time can stretch on for days or even weeks as issues need to be diagnosed and replacement parts sourced.

One industry where equipment downtime can have the biggest impact is in healthcare. When machines in this field go down, it can not only lead to the issues already described above but can have a negative impact on clinical outcomes, even resulting in patient death in extreme circumstances. This means field service providers have an even more crucial role to play when they take responsibility for the maintenance of healthcare equipment.

As one of the world's biggest providers of healthcare technology and associated services, Philips recognizes this more than most. That's why they've put forth an unprecedented plan to achieve zero unplanned downtime.


When it comes to the service and maintenance of its healthcare products, Philips takes a holistic approach to the offering it presents to its clients.

It all begins with the Philips field service online portal. The portal allows Philips' clients to manage the performance and maintenance of their equipment from any device and from any connected location. This means that even when they are away from the office, healthcare managers can ensure critical equipment is always in top working order.

"Reliable and useful insights into the performance of equipment, as well as an accurate maintenance status, are very valuable for hospitals and clinics these days," says Philips on its website. "The Customer Services Portal supports you with organizing, planning and managing your maintenance activities and lifecycle management activities online."

At a glance, managers can determine a device's status sorted by modality, contract, warranty, and location. New work orders can be easily entered, and current and historical data can be tracked and analyzed. It also includes 24/7 access to reports, contract details, and inventory.

"The Service Portal is a tool that extends the communication with Philips," said Erik Dupont, Medical Physicist at Zeeland University Hospital in Denmark. "We see it as a tool to get rid of time-wasting procedures. It improves the information flow and it helps getting data from service."

The portal is an amazing tool, but no online platform is an island, and it would be useless without a plethora of digital technology working in tandem with it behind the scenes. Thankfully, as a world-class technology provider, Philips is second to none in this regard also.

Predictive Maintenance

Dealing with problems as they arise is fast becoming a thing of the past. Thanks to predictive maintenance, one in five system service events are triggered not by large-scale shutdowns and manual reporting procedures, but rather by careful analysis of system data.

Connected Internet of Things sensors built into machine components can constantly monitor the status of equipment 24/7 and in real time. This information is then fed back to central servers, where powerful artificial intelligence software can flag any issues which may be arising. This AI software can also identify patterns and learn as it works, getting better at predicting breakdowns the more it's used.

When the Philips service center becomes aware of a problem, the technicians will diagnose the issue remotely. In some cases - such as with software issues - they may even be able to fix the problem remotely as well. There's no need to send out an engineer and disruption to the client is significantly reduced.

If remote repair is not possible, a service technician can be dispatched, already armed with the information and parts they need to complete the job. Without this kind of connected functionality, engineers will often have to manually diagnose problems on-site, go to get the necessary parts, and then return once again to finish the job.

The software at play works in tandem with scheduling software, which automatically chooses the time and technicians which cause the least disruption to both Philips employees' day and that of the clients - ideal for those last-minute emergency jobs.

"Alerts are generated by the device itself or equipment installed at the hospital facility indicating that critical system and/or environmental parameters and conditions are out of specification," says Philips. "By means of data analytics algorithms, machine and service data is constantly analyzed to identify patterns and trends. These notifications are predictive in nature, enabling a service action to be scheduled in advance without interrupting regular clinical workflow."

Final Thoughts

Zero unplanned downtime is an ambitious target. However, with its innovative online portal giving clients and engineers unprecedented knowledge and control over their devices, and powerful Industry 4.0 technology working hard behind the scenes, Philips has as good a chance as anyone of meeting this goal.

You can hear Philips' Global Customer Service Market to Order Lead, Ralf Bootz speak at Field Service Europe 2019, taking place this December at the NH Collection Amsterdam Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky.

Download the agenda today for more information and insights.