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APOLLO IIoT Solution, Part 2 – Partnership-Based Approach to Preventative Maintenance & AI - HECO

May 24, 2023

Since its founding in Kalamazoo, Mich., in 1959, HECO has formed business relationships built on thoughtful service and value-driven solutions.

HECO’s partnership with Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) provider relayr aligns with its partnership-based approach to business and helps provide a more technologically advanced way to keep your electric motors running smoothly.

Driven to Serve & Lead

“Our focus at HECO is to help our customers have more dependable motors and equipment,” said HECO President Justin Hatfield. “We do this through a mix of Repair, Product Sales, Field Service, Equipment Management, and Predictive service.”

With two service centers, one in Kalamazoo, Mich., and another in Lexington, Ky., Hatfield said Repair is HECO’s largest department.

“We repair a variety of different industrial equipment,” he said. “Our main focus is industrial electric motors.”

Electric motors have changed a lot since Hatfield’s grandfather, Terrell Hatfield, started the business nearly 65 years ago. In that time and presently, the company has strived to go beyond keeping up with evolving technology by serving as an industry leader.

“HECO decided to invest in digital transformation because it was the logical next step,” Hatfield said.

“We have been dabbling in IIoT sensors and things like that for a number of years, and what we realized is that what we were doing just purely wasn’t enough.”

The quickly changing industry and, specifically, changes driven by IIoT, called for HECO to step it up.

“We need to be the ones clearing the path and leading the way, and not just for ourselves, but for our clients,” Hatfield said. “Our clients look to us for solutions and new ideas that can help them move forward.”

As a solutions provider, Hatfield said HECO is perfectly positioned to bring innovation and answers to its clients.

Win-Win Mindset

“In a traditional electric motor repair facility, we win when our customers lose,” Hatfield said. “I don’t like that. I want to align our vision with our client’s vision so that when we win, they win.”

Through digital transformation, both HECO and its clients win, he said.

“We decided to choose relayr as our digital transformation partner because they brought so much to the table beyond just a traditional sensor, sensor manufacturer, or software provider.

“relayr really brought the whole package to us. They helped us change our mindset. They helped us design a business model that works for us,” Hatfield said.

Jessica Poliner, relayr president & CEO, agreed that IIoT has the potential to benefit everyone involved.

“I think we all need IIoT condition monitoring solutions and MROs certainly need them because it keeps them closer to their customer and ensures that stickiness that we all want,” she said.

Having a Predictive maintenance solution for the MRO provides a differentiator that they might otherwise struggle to come up with, she said.

“We partnered with HECO to launch its first outcomes-based product line, APOLLO, strengthening HECO’s position in the market and driving scale by leveraging relayr’s value-based approach that is at the heart of our partnership.

“relayr empowers HECO to address customer pain points and to develop a new Predictive maintenance solution based on a holistic approach,” Poliner said.

Hand-In-Hand with AI

Having experience on the shop floor and a solid footing puts HECO and relayr in a unique position to provide cohesive remote and in-person expertise.

“HECO has the experience of being out there with the boots on the ground, being out there at the plants every day,” said HECO Director or Reliability Jason Spettel. “relayr brought in the technical expertise and the understanding of the AI analytics.”

HECO weighed relayr’s capabilities against many of its competitors and found its Skyler solution to be superior.

“Skyler is a lot more than just software or hardware. It is truly the foundation on which we have built APOLLO and transformed our business,” Spettel said.

In addition to advancing the technology HECO utilizes for Predictive maintenance, relayr allows the company to save its customers money.

“Equipment is changing every day, every year. That equipment that you bought today may be obsolete in two years,” Spettel said.

“With APOLLO, we work on the op-ex model so our customers don’t buy the equipment, we’re just providing them the service,” he added.

Hatfield added, “APOLLO has become a major part of our business, not as a standalone offering, but as an integrated piece of how we go to market as an entire business from our Repair side to our Product Sales side and Equipment Management as well as Predictive.”

“Utilizing APOLLO as part of Predictive helps HECO see things earlier,” he said. “The earlier we can help our clients identify issues and then stop those issues from happening, the better we can be as a solutions provider,” Hatfield said.

All Systems Go

Driven by relayr, APOLLO creates an unparalleled opportunity for Predictive maintenance and greatly increases the reliability of your electric motor systems.

For more information about APOLLO, visit our website and contact us today.

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The complete APOLLO IIoT Solution blog series includes:

Posted in Predictive

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