The world is colourful thanks to Marabu, the leading manufacturer of screen, digital and pad printing inks and liquid coatings. The variety of solutions in the Marabu portfolio also includes an excellent service, which Marabu now implements with mixed reality (MR). For this purpose, Bechtle presented Marabu with the Microsoft HoloLens 2, in which the real environment merges with a virtual one. The Marabu specialists now manage global customers and partners from Germany, offering a fast service that saves the company considerable costs.
You can see printing and creative inks by Marabu every day, for example, on large and small bottles, cosmetics, household products, cars, aeroplanes and boats. Household appliances and toys are also printed with Marabu inks. For more than 150 years, Marabu has been developing world-leading ink ranges for hobby and leisure as well as industrial printing. The company offers its high-quality colour systems and services at 17 locations and in over 90 countries. In order to provide first-class service, Marabu used to have its technical specialists travel directly from Germany to the customers. To save time, money and CO₂ emissions, this had to change. Marabu was looking for a solution that virtually combines the reality of the customer on site with that of their technical service in Germany. Mixed reality (MR) should offer customers a better and, above all, faster service as via MR glasses, the specialists in Germany can give customers worldwide instructions on how to repair a printer or change ink bags, chips or dosing units, and instruct them in adjustment and calibration.
The cooperation with Bechtle was a real enrichment for our company. From the idea to execution, everything went very quickly—within two weeks we already had the first MR glasses in use. From the initial contact during the proof of concept, a friendly relationship developed between us and Bechtle. Since then, we’ve regularly exchanged ideas about new developments in the mixed reality sector and discussed their potential for Marabu.
Stefan Würtemberger, Vice President Information Technology, Marabu GmbH & Co. KG
Marabu’s IT was already familiar with Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 augmented reality glasses, which have a lot to offer technically. They reproduce colours very realistically with only two percent deviation in the colourimetry. The HoloLens projects computer-generated content and anchors it in the real world. For example, virtual arrows or markers can be placed in the real environment that remain in place despite head movements. Because the Microsoft product works perfectly with the Microsoft software world, Marabu wanted to test the HoloLens model on the market in detail for its desired purposes. During a visit to the Digital Workplace, a Bechtle showroom for modern technologies, Bechtle presented the possibilities of the HoloLens 2 to Marabu as a Microsoft partner. Bechtle then tested the MR glasses with the company together with the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Remote Assist, Dynamics 365 Guides and Dynamics 365 Field Service software. In a proof of concept (PoC), a decision-makers’ panel from Marabu got to know the possibilities of the MR glasses. The great benefit of the HoloLens 2 was obvious. In the MR glasses, the real environment is displayed together with the virtual content. Marabu can flexibly process both pieces of information. In this way, machines or a printout can be viewed together with the Marabu specialists, they can follow the print and simultaneously display a video conference, a colour measurement or a PDF. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Remote Assist supports users and helps with the approval of products or troubleshooting of machines remotely. Dynamics 365 Guide can be used to show step-by-step guides via the glasses, enabling trainings and workshops to take place. This means that Marabu no longer needs to be on-site to commission an industrial printer, carry out maintenance, repairs, change ink cartridges and the like. Instead, the Marabu specialists assist the customer on-site via a video call to solve the problem. The cameras transmit what is happening from the employee’s point of view in realistic detail.
With the HoloLens 2, Marabu can have several customers serviced by one specialist at the same time without having to travel to the customer. This improves the service of the medium-sized company and saves considerable costs. In addition, Marabu’s new service is much more sustainable by reducing travel. Customers get their machines back up and running faster after a problem or breakdown. HoloLens 2 is well integrated into the existing Microsoft environment, which simplifies its management, while Marabu’s licensing models remain familiar.