What is “smart inspection” realized by three advanced technologies?

On Thursday, July 18, 2019, Sekisui House Co., Ltd. held a demonstration experience session of the housing industry’s first inspection system “Smart Inspection”. “Smart inspection” is an inspection that can produce “three effects” by using “three advanced technologies” of ” semi-automatic drone “, ” underfloor inspection robot “, and ” shelter back inspection robot camera “. It is a system. The three effects are “providing high-quality after-sales service,” “reducing the burden on customers,” and “improving the labor shortage in the construction industry.” In this article, I would like to introduce the ” three advanced technologies ” that realize smart inspection and the ” three effects ” that they produce .

Three advanced technologies: ① Semi-automatic drone

◆ Applications
Used to inspect the roofs, solar panels, outer walls, rain gutters, etc. of houses.

◆ How to use
[Conventional] The
work is done by two people. One person stands a rod near the place where he wants to shoot and supports it. The other person shoots and inspects with a camera attached to the tip. After shooting and inspection, it is necessary to explain the inspection result to the customer on the spot, so only skilled staff who can judge the inspection result will perform the inspection. After 1 week to 10 days, we will prepare an inspection result report and give it to the customer.

[Semi-automatic drone]

First, fly the drone vertically. As for horizontal movement, the drone’s camera and iPad are linked, so you can move automatically by tapping the part you want to inspect on the iPad while checking the image. Shooting can also be done by simply shooting the image projected on the iPad with the iPad as it is. The captured images will be uploaded to the cloud as they are, and the dedicated staff of the customer service center will analyze and judge them. After that, an inspection result report with an image is created as it is. Based on the report that can be confirmed via the cloud, we will explain the inspection results to the customer on the spot. The inspector does not have to be a skilled staff, and the work can be done if there is one staff who is qualified to operate the drone.

◆ Advantages of introducing “Smart Inspection”

In the past, it took a long time to work because the rod was shortened, moved, and photographed each time the shooting location was changed. However, by using a drone, the work that was previously done by two people can now be done by one person, and the work time can be shortened to 5 minutes.
The height of the rod used in the conventional method could only shoot up to 11 m, but since the drone can fly up to 30 m, it can shoot even if it is tall, such as a three-story house. ..

Three advanced technologies: ② Underfloor inspection robot

◆ Applications Used for
underfloor inspection, underfloor equipment, and ant-proof inspection.

◆ How to use
[Conventional]
After-sales service employees themselves dive into a dark closed place for inspection. Since it is necessary to judge the inspection result and inform the customer, only skilled staff can work here.

[Underfloor inspection robot]

After putting the robot under the floor, it can be easily operated with the iPad and inspected through the camera attached to the robot. The images taken here are also uploaded to the cloud as they are, and an inspection result report is created at the customer service center. Based on the report, we will explain the inspection results to the customer on the spot.

◆ Advantages of introducing “Smart Inspection”

In the past, after-sales service employees had to dive under the floor to work, which put a heavy burden on the after-sales service employees. It can be significantly reduced.
Since the underfloor is narrow, it was not possible to inspect areas where after-sales service employees could not enter, but it has become possible to inspect such areas with robots.
In the conventional inspection that sneaks under the floor, there is a problem that the dirt under the floor stains itself and the room is polluted in that state. However, by eliminating the need to sneak in, after-sales service employees will not get dirty. Even if the inspected robot becomes dirty, the robot can be moved by hand, so there is no need to worry about polluting the room.

Three advanced technologies: ③ Cabin back inspection robot camera

Applications The
back of the cabin is also used for inspection.

◆ How to use
[Conventional]
After-sales service employees put their heads in the back of the cabin and inspect it. Since it is necessary to judge the inspection result and inform the customer, only skilled staff can work here.

[Hut back inspection robot camera]

Put a robot camera for inspecting the back of the cabin in the attic. You can check the image from the camera on your iPhone, so check it on the screen of your iPhone. The images taken here are also uploaded to the cloud as they are, and an inspection result report is created at the customer service center. Based on the report, we will explain the inspection results to the customer on the spot.

◆ Advantages of introducing “Smart Inspection”

In the conventional method, the after-sales service staff has a heavy burden because they climb the back of the cabin for inspection. However, by using the robot camera for inspecting the back of the cabin, the after-sales service employee does not have to climb the back of the cabin, so the burden can be reduced.
Until now, it was necessary to bring a stepladder indoors to climb the small attic. Therefore, we asked our customers to move their luggage indoors. In addition, there was a concern that the floor in the room would be damaged by bringing in the stepladder, which put a heavy burden on the customer. However, the inspection method using the back of the cabin inspection robot camera does not require a stepladder, so there is no need to move luggage and there is no need to worry about floor damage, so the burden on the customer can be reduced.

How can the three effects be achieved?

◆ Reasons for achieving “providing high-quality after-sales service” It is
now possible to inspect all parts, heights, and angles that could not be photographed until now. In addition, the report summarizing the inspection results was delivered to the customer one week to 10 days later, but by utilizing the cloud and cooperating with customer service, we can confirm it on the spot with the customer after the inspection. You can get it now. This also leads to the creation of a sense of trust. For these reasons, it can lead to “providing high-quality after-sales service.”

◆ Reasons for reducing the burden on customers
By introducing three advanced technologies, it is now possible for one person to perform work that used to take two hours in one hour and 45 minutes. It was. Furthermore, since the inspection is no longer a risk of polluting the room, it is possible to “reduce the burden on the customer.”

◆ Regarding the reason why “improvement of labor shortage in the construction industry” can be realized In the
past, inspection results were judged on the spot and verbally communicated to customers, so only skilled staff could perform inspections. However, by introducing smart inspection, it can be easily inspected, and the customer service center will judge the inspection result, so even non-skilled staff can do it. In addition, since the inspection method is simple and has a low burden, anyone can work, whether it is an elderly person or a woman, which can contribute to the promotion of diversity.

Sekisui House aims not to “improve efficiency” but to “create an environment where everyone can play an active role”

At the end of the demonstration experience session, there was a question and answer time. Among the questions raised in that, there was a question, “By introducing smart inspection, it is possible to improve work efficiency, but how many inspection staff can be reduced?” However, in response to this, Mr. Takashi Koi, an executive officer, stated as follows.

“The main purpose of introducing smart inspection is not to reduce the number of employees, but rather to increase opportunities for everyone to play an active role. We are considering creating an environment where even women and the elderly can work.”

Recently, while people are calling for efficiency and personnel reduction, the appearance of Mr. Takashi Koi, who shows an attitude that is not so, was impressive. Employees will also find it rewarding to work at Sekisui House because of their attitude of valuing “people,” and I think they will be able to deal with customers and their homes seriously. It was an experience-based event that made me feel that it would lead to even higher quality services.

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