E/I Service Center guarantees quality of service

Services in the field of electro and instrumentation (E/I) face challenges such as scarcity of personnel and high work pressure. How do we maintain this level of service, now and in the future? Our E/I specialists came up with solutions for the recruitment, education and training of new staff and the establishment of an umbrella E/I service center.

Brainstorm with experts from the field 

Patrick Sanders, Manager Execution at Maintenance: “We wanted more overarching focus on our total E/I services. If you look for solutions to the challenges in a decentralized way, you run the risk of sinking further and further away.” Service leader Jos Reijn adds: “To gain support, we invited all E/I trained colleagues for a brainstorm. In total, about 60 people contributed ideas. We challenged them to think about those things that we can influence ourselves. In order to arrive at realistic solutions.”

Recruite, educate and train

What kind of solutions emerged from the brainstorm session? “To start with, Sitech needs to become more visible in the market to attract new E/I technicians,” says Consultant Mathieu Walthie. “We have now commissioned recruiter Bèta People to develop a recruitment campaign for this, including on social media,” adds Jos. “In addition, we will train people internally because experts transfer their knowledge to new colleagues. Or give a refresher course for the current occupation. We want to build a special learning room. We are discussing this with the Safety & Skills Center.”

Umbrella E/I Service Center 

Another idea that has gained a lot of support is the establishment of an umbrella E/I Service Center for structurally planable work. This has been operational since June 1 of this year. Consider, for example, measured value checks in planable activities. The purpose of these is to check the setting range of, among other things, temperature or pressure controls. Or to check whether set alarms go off on time or whether valves close at the right time. Jos: “Depending on the risk level, these types of protections must be checked annually, every two years or every four years. If you don’t, you have a big problem with your license-to-operate. Nevertheless, we see in places that there is a backlog in the implementation and reporting of those measured value checks, because the resolution of malfunctions is given priority.”

Ultimately we want to move towards a uniform method for measured value checks.
Patrick Sanders, Manager Execution

Start small with one customer

“Measured value checks are therefore neglected, but they are important for the customer”, Patrick also knows. “That’s why Mathieu and I focused on that. From the overarching E/I Service Center, these measured value checks are now handled by a team of two technicians in training and two experienced colleagues. We consciously chose to start too small, so with one customer. Then you immediately notice that there are huge differences between the various factories when it comes to work preparation, reporting and transfer. That led to good discussions. Ultimately, we want to move towards a uniform method for measured value checks.”

Cleared backlogs within two months

Martin Schmitz is one of the young E/I technicians who was asked by Jos and Math to get started with the measured value checks. “I find that interesting and I also want to contribute to the future of Sitech”, he responds. “It’s nice work. Especially if everything is well prepared and there are no obstacles from the production side or incorrect factory descriptions. But I find working in the factory itself just that little bit nicer, that’s why I’m not going to keep doing this work.” Thanks in part to Martin’s efforts, the first results have already been achieved. Patrick proudly says: “In two months, all backlogs at this customer have been cleared. We will soon be starting with a next customer and we aim to have done something for all factories by 2023.”

I find the work interesting and I would also like to contribute to the future of Sitech.
Martin Schmitz, technician E/I

Growth offers opportunities

In addition to taking on planable instrumentation work, the E/I Service Center will also take care of electrical work in due course. Patrick: “We want to grow into a team of eight to ten experts. This increases the flexibility and ability to perform jobs for current customers or to tap into new customers. We also often receive requests to supply people for Turn Arounds. At the moment, the E/I Service Center does not yet have a central base. In the future, we want to set up a service van with measuring tools, so that we can visit customers.”

Ready to transfer knowledge

So there is plenty of growth ambition. For the time being, finding new E/I technicians remains a major challenge. Mathieu: “It also takes another year or two before new technicians are trained internally.” But it will not be up to Mathieu and Jos. They are ready to share their factory and professional knowledge with new colleagues.

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