ASMPT, the leading supplier of machines and software for the integrated smart factory, presents Virtual Assist, an AI-based expert system offering support for all onboarding, service, and maintenance activities in electronics production. The software-as-a-service, which can be operated via an Android/IOS app or a browser, is adaptive and collects practical experience from the service staff throughout the whole enterprise. Thanks to its natural language processing (NLP) technology, users can ask spoken questions and get them answered based on the system’s steadily growing knowledge database.

When you consider that the service staff generally spends up to 80 percent of their time clarifying problems and only 20 percent actually solving them, you realize very quickly that an expert system offers huge potential for making the maintenance of SMT lines more efficient,” says Bernhard Fritz, Head of Global Marketing at ASMPT SMT Solutions. “Since production interruptions are expensive, any troubleshooting must be done as quickly as possible. Virtual Assist helps as directly as if you were getting advice from experts who have solved exactly the same problem in the past.”

Flexible licensing

With its flexibly scalable licensing model, Virtual Assist is available in three expansion stages. The basic level always includes the documentation of ASMPT machines, but one of the system’s strengths is the intelligent use of structured and unstructured data to provide clear results through tutorials, troubleshooting guides and Q&As. Users can upload any documentation to Virtual Assist and create company-specific know-how collections for rapid troubleshooting or efficient training, including for third-party systems within the factory. If the user selects expanded functions such as the scanning and identification of devices, Virtual Assist can function as a logbook and archive all service activities and problem resolutions that have been performed.

Know-how on the smartphone and web browser

With the Virtual Assist expert system on the smartphone, tablet and web browser, the time spent looking for information in connection with service activities can be reduced by up to 95 percent. Virtual Assist thus reduces downtimes and production interruptions and increases productivity by up to 25 percent. As a learning companion for all service activities, the knowledge platform also counters the loss of know-how due to employee fluctuation by preserving expert knowledge and practical experience, constantly expanding it, and making it available to all employees.

Demos of Virtual Assist’s functionality are available at