Digital transformation journey Q&A


At Howden, we are in the midst of our digital transformation journey. Digitization in Howden is improving our organisational efficiencies and enabling our people to be more productive. By making these improvements and embracing digitization, we are enhancing the value of our products to our customers and transforming the customer experience.
During a live webinar with Howden’s Global Leader of Data Driven Advantage (DDA), we answered some important questions about the introduction of Uptime, the launch of the Microsoft HoloLens 2 and where we see our digitization journey taking us in the next five years.
Q: Will the introduction of digital enablement result in us having less access to on-site field engineers?
A: No, field engineers will continue to support our customers’ need for service. They will now have the added benefit of being more enabled and empowered, by the use of Mixed Reality (MR).

Through the MR technology, the field engineers will have direct access to product documentation and to Howden’s global product experts’ network, at the touch of an imaginary button. It also means that product experts will be able to cross-share skills in a way that brings the Howden service closer and more local to our customers’ needs.
Q: Is Uptime ready for production now or is it just a concept?
A: Uptime is in production, with more than a dozen reference installations across the world, some of them on non-Howden equipment, in all of our critical applications.  Equipment operators are currently observing the benefits of running Uptime, with access to the Howden digital twin models and to Howden product experts through the Mixed Reality technology.
Q: Does the launch of the HoloLens 2 offer something new in terms of Howden’s current offering?
A: Yes, the launch of the HoloLens 2 was the most anticipated mobile technology release of the last few years. Microsoft has dedicated an army of researchers and budgets to develop this device, with new features such as; double the field of view, triple the comfort and new eye and hand tracking capabilities that make interacting with a hologram a thing of the present.

The new HoloLens 2 enhances our digital solution portfolio through; self-service enablement, direct manipulation of equipment components and seamless integration with product documentation like drawings and maintenance history. The new features allow for the creation of easy to follow Howden validated work instructions for Howden field service engineers and our customers’ maintenance engineers. The HoloLens 2 brings a whole new level of understanding around how a sudden change of operating conditions may affect some of the components of the equipment.
Q: What is a typical install process and time, from purchase to viewing the blower via the HoloLens device?
A: Firstly, we would assess the level of condition monitoring on the equipment. Sensors are required to enable the prescriptive functionalities of our digital twins. If sensors need to be installed then we will prepare a proposal for the sensor kit and level of equipment access required. During this time, the Mixed Reality experience will be built and can typically be built within weeks.
Q: Where do you see the Howden Data Driven Advantage going in the next five years?
A: We will be in a place of lifetime partnerships with all of our customers, enabling them with the right value at the right time. Mixed Reality will drive our relationship with them and they will be completely immersed in the experience of owning Howden equipment and using our services.
Our internal processes will be completely reshaped in order to satisfy our customers’ needs in real time. Our product design will be enhanced by all of this technology enablement as we will be able to better understand our equipment’s performance today, and improve it to make it even more reliable for tomorrow.

Our design engineers will use Mixed Reality in every step of the design process and we will transform our internal collaboration tools as a consequence. We will be the OEM of the future.
Watch the full digitization webinar and Q&A -