Field service engineers and how IIoT improves their daily lives

Industrial IoT services can improve performance and save money for many segments. However, they can also help field service engineers access more information locally and remotely.

As a field service engineer in the era of digitalization, industry 4.0 and an ever-transforming job market, you may feel swamped by all these trends and technologies. Even if you’ve heard of IIoT services, do you know how they’ll benefit your work in particular?

Digitalization still meets some resistance in the field service industry, mostly because many companies rely on manual labor. But it’s time to adopt the technology that can help you and your company.

First, let’s go through the basics of field service engineering. Don’t worry, we’ll do it quickly so we can teach you about IIoT services and their advantages.

What does a field service engineer do?

If you read our article on field service technicians, you’ll find a lot of overlap between these two jobs. Both perform tasks such as service maintenance, troubleshooting and repair. And field service engineers also need to maintain good business relationships with customers and peers.

Depending on the company, you can have service technicians instead of service engineers or both. Also, service engineers can often lead service technician teams.

Lots of similarities, right? So now let’s talk about how they differ.

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How are field service engineers and field service technicians different?

The first difference is the education needed. Field service engineers generally need more education, usually university degrees, because they often do more planning, training, and team management. This doesn’t mean you need a PhD; most companies look for a bachelor’s degree.

But as you might’ve guessed, a field service engineer should have good skills in communication and leadership too. Engineers also design and monitor effective systems, while technicians repair specialized equipment, although some companies blur the lines here as well.

Depending on your preference and skills, you can choose the job that fits you better. And you’ll notice that these points can be flexible, depending on where you work and what that company needs.

How do you become a field service engineer?

If you want to be a field service engineer, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree for a start. Then you’ll need skills such as data analysis, problem solving, and proficiency with the most popular technologies in the industry.

Communication and leadership skills are very important too. Finally, you must have a passion for customer support, as this is a crucial task for a field service engineer.

A field service engineer will usually draw an annual salary between 66K and 90K USD. Of course, these numbers can change depending on location, experience, skills, and more.

What instrumentation does a field service engineer use?

Most field service engineers start with a handheld device to connect with field devices and draw information. You may have a standard field communicator, but many companies are making the leap to modern solutions such as the Field Xpert SMT70.

How is it better? Because you can use it to configure devices, but you can also create reports and use other tools with it.

You’ll also need a multimeter to check power supplies or analog signals from the field to the control room. Even a multimeter can offer other features, such as generating current and testing loops when needed.

Also during standard maintenance or field-service visits, you’ll need to take notes and pictures of devices and installations to add to your reports. An industrial tablet can do those things easily.

How can IIoT services help field service engineers?

Whether you work for a service company or a vendor, you can use IIoT services in nearly every scenario. They can increase your performance as well as your company’s. Let’s have an overview of some that will benefit you the most.

  • Document management
  • It’s time to go digital with your documents – reports, manuals, certificates, all of it. Ever needed that one report but forgot where you put it? Yeah. Solutions like Netilion Library keep your files organized. You and your team can access the latest versions, improving data flow and decreasing administrative work.
  • Remote process monitoring
  • A field service engineer needs to keep field data accurate and current. If you apply an IIoT service like Netilion Value, you can access field data anywhere and avoid lots of problems. If a problem does occur, you can use your digital data to make good decisions and act quickly.
  • Instrument health monitoring
  • To access diagnostics from field instruments, health monitoring services such as Netilion Health can give you the big picture and the little details of your instrumentation status. With all your information supported by these services, you can bring your maintenance team to the next level, becoming proactive instead of reactive in your plant.

What advantages do remote services have for field engineers?

Wouldn’t it be nice to access plant information whenever you want and wherever you are instead of having to be right there all the time? Remote services provide reports about all connected field devices, store all documents, give information about device health, and much more.

So now you know what field service engineers do, how they do it, and how IIoT services can help them. Have any questions? Feel free to contact us and ask! We’re always happy to answer.

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Have a good one, and see you next time!