July 2, 2021
Overcoming Pandemic Challenges
The global Coronavirus pandemic has caused challenges for businesses all over the world, and disrupted projects, logistics, business travel routes and training opportunities that were previously taken for granted. Through challenge, though, also comes opportunity. Advances in, and increased availability of, technology such as video calling or mobile file sharing solutions have allowed businesses to meet the challenges presented by the pandemic head on.
Security screening and detection technology expert Rapiscan Systems® was faced with a considerable logistical challenge due to the travel and work restrictions imposed by governments in the UK and US. Rapiscan had planned to support its client, an international express mail and logistics provider, by installing two RTT®110 high-speed Computed Tomography Explosive Detection System (EDS) units at one of the clients’ main US processing facilities.
The RTT110 is the next generation of high speed hold baggage and fast parcel screening technology. The RTT110’s stationary gantry, industry leading high-quality full volumetric CT imagery and advanced detection algorithms, alongside multiple layers of network redundancy, support end users with fast, accurate threat detection and system availability. The RTT110 has been approved by the UK Department for Transportation (DfT), EU ECAC Standard and the US TSA Air Cargo approved list.
The challenge was twofold, resulting from this being the first installation of the RTT110 that the US team had undertaken, and the first installation of the RTT110 with a unit shroud for a commercial customer. Under traditional conditions, this would involve UK team members with RTT installation experience flying out to the US to assist, and for the US team to fly to the Rapiscan UK HQ in Salfords, Redhill to undertake face to face training. Obviously due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, this was not possible – so teams on both sides of the pond needed to get creative with a solution.
Once the Rapiscan team had taken time to understand the concept and scope of work the customer wanted to achieve, they reviewed the potential communication, training, timeframe, scheduling and logistical challenges that needed to be bridged. As with many companies globally, technology provided the answer to many of these snag points.
Instead of flying US engineers to the UK for face to face training, an initial online training course was held, allowing UK specialist trainers to engage with US technicians and familiarize them fully with the RTT110. This was reinforced by hands-on training from technical specialist Aaron Boss, a member of the UK team who had relocated to the US pre-pandemic to support operations stateside. Once the situation allows, this initial training will be followed up by in-class sessions, but it was comprehensive enough to allow the installation to take place successfully.
Once the installation was underway, the US team used video calling software (often from mobile devices) to communicate with the UK team in order to raise queries or negotiate any possible engineering changes or adaptations needed installing the RTT110 in order to integrate seamlessly to the end-user’s workflow and systems. This involved a great deal of flexibility from the teams on both sides of the Atlantic, with staff working early mornings US side and late evenings in the UK to ensure lines of communication were open when needed.
The ‘global solution’ not only involved cooperation between UK and US teams. PLC engineers in the Middle East were on-hand during the final testing and integration phase of the project. Working through Aaron as a go-between, and directly logging into his computer remotely, engineers were able to test connections, networks, system functionality and work with on-site integrators to ensure the system architecture was in place and thoroughly tested before launch.
The desired outcome for Rapiscan was customer satisfaction – providing a flexible solution to the challenges the project faced that leveraged the experience of the UK and US teams to ensure a successful installation. Customer feedback confirmed not just that they were pleased with the end result of the installation, but also impressed with Rapiscan’s flexibility in working through adversity and the team’s strong system knowledge.
For Rapiscan itself, the project provided a valuable learning opportunity that may not have otherwise been available, and has led to changes to how Rapiscan is able to engage with product installations. The huge amount of cross-departmental and global support has opened up workflows, with the US team sharing its experiences and knowledge with teams in the UK and worldwide. Use of technology, like video conferencing and online training, may now be part of Rapiscan’s installation processes going forward, and the US team’s experience installing RTT110 unit shrouds has allowed them to take this procedure ‘in house’ – something that was previously contracted out, allowing a more complete installation offering to be performed.
Perhaps the most considerable proof of Rapiscan’s flexibility and success in meeting the challenges of the global pandemic head on is that the company has since undertaken similar RTT110 installations across the United States, from Miami to Philadelphia, for this client and other globally recognized express mail and logistics firms. Through leveraging experience, skill sharing and flexibly embracing new ways of working with technology, Rapiscan ensured its business opportunities were not ‘left on mute’
About Rapiscan Systems
Rapiscan Systems, a division of OSI Systems, Inc., is a leading global provider of security inspection solutions, with more than 100,000 products installed in over 170 countries. Rapiscan Systems has an extensive portfolio of Baggage and Parcel Inspection, Cargo and Vehicle Inspection, Hold Baggage Screening, People Screening, Trace Detection, Radiation Detection, Tray Return System and enhanced security solutions, which are supported by a global service network. The company’s state-of-the-art products, solutions and services operate in the world’s most demanding security environments, including at airports, border crossings, railway stations, seaports, government and military installations and high-risk facilities. Rapiscan Systems promotes excellence in security and efficiency, continually investing in research to develop technological advancements that address present and future threats and meet the most rigorous compliance standards worldwide.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements relate to Rapiscan’s current expectations, beliefs, and projections concerning matters that are not historical facts. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve uncertainties, risks, assumptions, and contingencies, many of which are outside Rapiscan’s control and which may cause actual results to differ materially from those described in or implied by any forward-looking statements. Undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements, which are based on currently available information and speak only as of the date on which they are made. Rapiscan assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement made in this press release that becomes untrue because of subsequent events, new information, or otherwise, except to the extent it is required to do so in connection with its ongoing requirements under Federal securities laws. For a further discussion of factors that could cause Rapiscan’s future results to differ materially from any forward-looking statements, see the section entitled "Risk Factors" in the OSI Systems, Inc. most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K and other risks described therein and in documents subsequently filed by OSI Systems, Inc. from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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