Corporate Responsibility

Replacing clipboards with tablets

– LANXESS continues to drive forward digitalization in its production plants. Over the next three years, the specialty chemicals company will introduce mobile operations and maintenance. In a first step, around 400,000 paper-based operations and maintenance checklists used every year will be replaced by digital equivalents, then filled out on tablets. In this initial phase, 65 LANXESS plants in Germany, Belgium and the USA will benefit from this modernized process. “Clipboards, slips of paper and pens will soon be things of the past,” says Benedikt Efker, head of digital production at LANXESS. “Tablets connected directly to the central IT systems at LANXESS will make work for our production and maintenance employees more efficient, user-friendly and safer.” LANXESS is supported by Siemens to digitize its checklists. Siemens uses the Moby.Check software that runs on tablets and can be controlled using either the keyboard or voice commands. Moby.Check has a flexible operating concept allowing users to create production, servicing and maintenance checklists on their PC – without any programming work or training in advance. End-to-end process integration prevents duplicated work Regular system checks are crucial to the smooth, safe running of chemical plants. In the chemical industry, paper checklists are still commonplace. Following inspections, the data is transferred to IT systems and the paper documents are archived for many years.

The digital checklists by Moby.Check, however, are linked directly to LANXESS maintenance and enterprise ressource planning systems. This end-to-end integration in the work processes helps to prevent duplicated work. In addition, templates and interfaces ensure that data is transferred correctly, and automatic archiving increases the legal security of the checks. Digitalization of global plants and facilities One year ago, LANXESS implemented a system for analyzing time series data across many areas of its global plant fleet. Using the TrendMiner software, production employees can now independently analyze production processes and measurement data, identify patterns and trends in this data and thus detect production irregularities. Typical applications include capacity increase, predictive maintenance, improvement of product quality or more efficient raw material and energy use. In 2017, LANXESS launched its digitalization initiative, for which it established a dedicated team. The initiative’s core action areas are to develop digital business models, introduce new technologies throughout the value chain, develop and utilize big data and foster digital expertise among employees.