When Q8Oils launched its industrial lubricants Field Service Technician (FST) service at the UK MACH exhibition in 1992 it was an instant hit with visitors and was so well received in the wider industry that, at METCUT 1994, it received the Metalworking Production ‘Technical Innovation’ award. Now, more than twenty years on, Q8Oils marks the success of FST’s unrivalled service to manufacturing industry with the launch of QCare – a major upgrade of the system that monitors the condition of Q8Oils metalworking fluids and lubricants in a wide range of applications such as turning, cutting and grinding.
The new QCare service uses a network-enabled, tablet-based system with a bespoke ‘app’ that enables Q8Oils field service technicians to monitor metal working fluids, complete their audits and deliver results to the customers while still on site. In addition, because FSTs are highly trained metalworking experts, when working with machine operators they may also be able to identify problems as their checks are completed, and help to rectify them.
A visual inspection and a variety of tests are conducted to ensure Q8Oils products are performing correctly. These include standard fluid parameters such as concentration, pH and microbiological content. They also offer advice that can help customers increase coolant life and optimise performance resulting in improved machining processes and reduced machine down time.
Customers can also logon to the QCare system using their own tablet or desktop computer, and view a full historical report at any time, and share it with colleagues.
In the past twenty years the FST system has moved from a ‘paper’ system requiring everything to be written down and multiple copies made, to an advanced and automated ‘traffic-light’ system that identifies conditions as Green (normal), Amber (caution e.g. adjust fluid concentration) or Red (immediate actionrequired).
The combination of Q8Oils’ highly-trained field service technicians and modern tablet technology enables customers to streamline their metalworking operation by maintaining machine performance and saving significant costs. Regular monitoring can limit unscheduled costs by reducing man and machine down time to routine service stops, and saving unscheduled maintenance.
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