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New Product: FEI launches first remote diagnostics program for microscopy tools

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FEIProduct Briefing Outline: FEI has introduced a Remote Access Program for Interactive Diagnostics (RAPID) via its customer service organization that is designed to improve service support times and optimize tool uptime. The RAPID program is first being made available to FEI customers in North America and will soon be extended worldwide, according to the company.

Problem: The remote diagnostics program, the first of its kind in the microscopy industry, will be able to solve many system problems remotely, eliminating the need for an on-site service call.  If it is determined that replacement parts are needed, field engineers will be able to order them in advance of their service visit, thus shortening the overall time to repair.

Solution: With RAPID remote diagnostics, FEI service engineers will now be able to run service test software and diagnostics on systems that are equipped for RAPID whenever a customer initiates a service call and the remote diagnostics protocol.  With the program, tool settings can be checked and modified, and software can be patched and upgraded as needed.  FEI engineers can also view images from the microscope and make performance assessments. The RAPID remote diagnostics' connection is secure and can only be initiated from the customer's location.  A secure portal located outside of FEI's main corporate network maintains a minimum number of outside ports and manages all connections between customer instruments and FEI remote service engineers. Customer systems are fully isolated from each other and communicate with the secure portal using an encrypted virtual private network (VPN) connection.    

Applications: The majority of systems within FEI's Titan, Tecnai, Nova, Strata, Quanta, Helios and Inspect families of microscopes are RAPID compatible.  Many older products may also be supported - either "as is," with a system upgrade or with the addition of a support PC.  Existing customers with service agreements can obtain RAPID software from FEI's field service engineers.

Platform: Encrypted virtual private network (VPN)

Availability: May 2007 onwards.


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