New standards for documentation and maintenance
GEMÜ customer BWT Pharma Service is a global market leader in the field of water treatment. With around 5,500 employees worldwide on all continents, ten production and eight R&D centers, BWT covers a very broad portfolio for water treatment and refinement. From small water softening systems for private households to large-scale systems for industrial applications, BWT offers an incomparably wide range of solutions.
The portfolio includes the manufacture and worldwide distribution of systems for the production of ultrapure water and water for injection in pharmaceutical applications. This includes plant construction, project management from planning to final qualification and all associated services. BWT attaches great importance to the continuous improvement of all processes.
In 2021, inevvo solutions convinced the customer BWT of the benefits of the CONEXO digitalization solution and won them over for collaboration – in addition to purchasing, technology and service, the management of the pharmaceutical division was also involved in this decision.
In the first step, the CONEXO portal was only ordered for the service application, primarily for paperless membrane changes. During implementation, a whole series of other maintenance processes emerged that could be digitized with the CONEXO system. Before proceeding further, all stakeholders involved agreed that a comprehensive potential analysis of the CONEXO system was required. In collaboration with the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW), a master’s thesis was commissioned with the title “RFID technology for optimization of the construction and qualification process of pure water systems”. The results delivered around ten months later essentially underpinned the following findings:
With CONEXO, BWT has an optimal solution for the complete digitalization of all processes in plant construction. In detail, the massive potential for time savings through the digitalization of all processes was demonstrated – starting with the receipt of goods, through warehousing, order picking and assembly, including work preparation and acceptance processes, to all after-sales processes. Even with the knowledge of how important very high plant availability is for a modern pharmaceutical plant manufacturer, one can only imagine the market potential that can be tapped into by digitizing all of these processes. The approach alone of reducing the usual costs of around 70% for data management and documentation in the pharmaceutical industry is completely convincing.
Based on these findings, BWT’s management decided to work very closely with the inevvo solutions team to implement the CONEXO solution in all of the areas mentioned above. This was followed by many intensive weeks and months in which the usual processes were analysed step by step together with the CONEXO project manager appointed by BWT and adapted to the required digitalization. This resulted in a whole series of new interfaces, functions and applications developed specifically for BWT.
The example of the newly defined maintenance process is an excellent illustration of the numerous advantages of holistic digitalization with the CONEXO solution.
Service assignments are triggered by the BWT AG ERP system. This results in information on the time period and the required personnel and spare parts needed for maintenance. At the same time, the corresponding work plan with all subtasks is generated in the CONEXO portal.
In the background, the list of required spare parts is compared with the existing stock and, if necessary, a repeat order is triggered. If spare parts that are not CONEXO-compatible are included, the incoming goods department takes over the task of labelling these components with the corresponding QR codes. The spare parts are then provided for each service call.
The service technician uses the offline-capable CONEXO app as a supervisor and receives a tabular representation of the service scope as well as specific step-by-step instructions for each subtask.
4. Documentation and evaluation
All products to be serviced are identified, recorded and, if necessary, assessed during maintenance using the QR code and RFID tag. The data from the CONEXO app is automatically transferred to the CONEXO portal for the necessary maintenance documentation. The maintenance process is completed with a digital signature via a user-specific login.
The complete maintenance documentation is then generated as a PDF from the CONEXO portal and transferred to BWT’s own ERP system or to the end customer.
“The documentation is married to the component, that’s the simple yet ingenious thing,” says project manager Stefan Blank from BWT Aqua in Aesch. “The CONEXO portal and the CONEXO app are developing into a technical portal for all BWT departments. The advantages are quickly recognized. Tedious searches for documents and certificates and the effort involved in filing documentation for a project are no longer necessary. This is all done automatically while you work.”
A survey by Statista confirms this: Digital document management saves two working hours a day. This also corresponds to our experience. This gives employees two hours more time to devote to their actual work. This creates security and satisfaction.
BWT would like to thank inevvo solutions for their comprehensive support and excellent advice. The service process described above has been the new standard at BWT Aqua AG in Switzerland since the beginning of 2023. Further optimization potentials are still being developed and manageability is improved. The gradual implementation of the system at all pharma-relevant BWT locations is planned for the future. With CONEXO, inevvo solutions has succeeded in making a significant contribution to BWT AG’s digital service strategy.