Chris McDonald, FSE on site in Nova Scotia.Chris McDonald, FSE on site in Nova Scotia.

Labs today are often operating with restricted access to meet strict social distancing requirements. In Canada, there are guidelines in place to minimize travel between provinces, as well as to and from the US, where rates of infection have been high in recent months. This new reality has challenged Agilent to be agile and innovative in our service response.

In October, a lab in Nova Scotia purchased a liquid chromatography/quadrupole time-of-flight (LC/MS Q-TOF) system, with the requirement that an in-province field service engineer (FSE) install the system. The LC/MS Q-TOF system is a high-end instrument with delicate connections and requires an FSE with specialized knowledge. A local FSE with the required specialized knowledge was not available in the timeframe desired, so the team mobilized to provide a guided remote installation and leverage new technology to ensure success.

Philippe Lebel, LC/MS Q-TOF expert, uses CrossLab Virtual Assist to connect remotely to field engineers.Philippe Lebel , LC/MS Q-TOF expert, uses CrossLab Virtual Assist to connect remotely to field engineers.

The installing FSE, located in Nova Scotia, was not an LC/MS Q-TOF specialist, but he has deep LC and LC/MS triple quadrupole experience. He was remotely assisted by two LC/Q-TOF experts working from Montreal, who were able to communicate using the new CrossLab Virtual Assist tool. CrossLab Virtual Assist enabled the remote FSEs to evaluate the overall physical installation, because they could see it – using the tool, they were able to guide the installer through all the connections and settings, including the high-voltage cables that connect to the flight tube. Though they faced a number of challenges, the team was able to effectively meet all requirements by working together.

During the entire process, the Agilent sales team stayed in contact with the FSEs, lab personnel, and management at the site, to keep everyone informed of the process and ensure a smooth installation.

Sebastien Marchand, LC/MS Q-TOF expert assisting from Montreal.Sebastien Marchand, LC/MS Q-TOF expert assisting from Montreal.

"This kind of smart teamwork is something we strive for," said Georges Gauthier, service director in Canada. "Our goal was to make this installation a success, and seamless for our customer, as though these work restrictions were not in place. Aided by CrossLab Virtual Assist, we were able to do that."

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