Case study: PTC helps health care manufacturer cut MTTR in half
Needing a solution for critical, cancer treating equipment
Varian Medical Systems, a company out of Palo Alto, California, uses intensity modulated radiation therapy and image guided radiation therapy cancer treatment systems to support today’s treatment modalities. They looked to PTC for a solution that could help increase customer productivity, shorten response time to repair, and allow for remote problem diagnosis and resolution.
Traditionally, system and equipment problems have required one or more service technicians to diagnose and resolve issues at a hospital site, resulting in higher costs and lost patient treatment time. For a typical treatment device, the loss of one day’s treatment time can result in 35 patients missing their treatments.
PTC Axeda software
Because of the importance of keeping equipment up and running in a hospital, Varian implemented PTC Axeda software to service the company’s information system and treatment planning software products.
“PTC Axeda software was chosen for their focus and dedication to developing their product specifically for the service industry,” said Todd Lauer, director of product support engineering at Varian Medical Systems.
Varian markets the solution as “SmartConnect” and provides customer support while maximizing uptime. Eliminating a single customer site visit can save that customer eight to 12 hours of treatment time, according to the company.
Timely remote support can prevent an unnecessary, yet common, event such as a database transaction log filling up. PTC Axeda software also provides remote desktop sharing and file-transfer capabilities said to allow support engineers to pinpoint the cause of failures and remotely repair and upgrade the system.
“With PTC Axeda software we can have several servers placed around the world, allowing us to shorten the distance between connection points, significantly decreasing latency,” said Markus Bissig, IT project manager at Varian Medical Systems. “By installing this software in Europe, our remote session connection times are less than one second. As a global company, we now have a remote access system that delivers optimum performance across widely dispersed geographies.”
Through alert messaging, PTC Axeda software can provide automatic notification to field service professionals when a monitored system or instrument falls outside of the preset operating parameters.
Benefits of reducing time to repair
The monitoring systems are now deployed in more than 1,500 treatment centers, where they are used an average of 4,000 hours per month. Varian claims to resolve 200 calls per month remotely through their help desk, resulting in four hours of travel time saved per call. Since an average customer service call is approximately two hours, the company is realizing a 50% reduction in mean time to repair, according to PTC.