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Infraserv Höchst is optimizing and digitalizing many processes at the sites it manages. Since ready-made solutions don’t work right out of the box, we have developed a whopping 100 apps just for Industriepark Höchst (as of the end of 2022). We created most of them in-house, despite the daunting challenges facing one of Europe’s largest chemical and pharmaceutical parks.
Our goal was to develop a consolidated, consistent incident log for the production and engineering departments to use. The log’s purpose is to encourage real-time, mobile documentation of malfunctions that clearly identifies system parts/units and provides pictures and videos.
Before adopting the new system, company employees would document production inspections and malfunctions on paper and then enter this data in the company’s incident log in the control room. Every morning, operations staff would discuss current malfunctions, while the engineering department would enter the malfunctions in the maintenance system for troubleshooting.
Mistakes were often made when entering the handwritten notes into the system.
The new incident log was developed in-house by Infraserv Höchst’s digitalization teams, who consulted with the users throughout the entire process. The teams planned and held eight initial two-hour workshops. Each workshop was attended by the future applications’ users. Each interface was first designed on paper with their input. These “paper prototypes” were then translated virtually unchanged into digital application interfaces, which are now used exactly how they were designed.
We used Neptune’s low-code development environment, which enabled us to complete the project under budget within the planned time frame of about 6 months.
The real-time documentation covers all data and processes from the detection of a malfunction to its final resolution. This means that all the employees involved in a malfunction can access all relevant information digitally at any time and place.
Malfunctions, including photos and videos, can now be documented right in the system on the employee’s mobile device, i.e., a tablet or smartphone, as soon as they are spotted. Some employees have even been issued explosion-proof mobile devices, depending on where they work. Device identification is now “foolproof”, too: It is done by RFID tag or scanning the QR code.
Clear, intuitive input screens standardize the documentation format. The applications can be used on any mobile device in the market. Infraserv Höchst currently has 27 different screen sizes or device types.
Applications have also been developed to monitor current malfunctions and statuses. The final completion status of the maintenance order is shown for the malfunction along with the corresponding scheduling.
The new electronic incident log also improves collaboration between production and engineering since everyone is working with the same incident information.
Furthermore, the software’s architecture allows seamless integration with virtually all related and marginal processes without needing to re-enter data: The data can be transferred directly to the appropriate ordering and procurement systems.