“Twelve months ago, we asked ourselves if we can do factory acceptance tests and remote commissioning of lines, then why are we not doing virtual pilot plant trials together?” says Ian Roberts, Chief Technology Officer at Bühler Group. “In a time of prolific use of digital technologies, there is no reason that our availability should be a bottleneck in the speed of innovation of our customers.”
In fact, by utilizing trial data capture, the Bühler Insights platform, remote visualization and video streaming, and on-site analytical labs, the Bühler teams work together with customers to plan, run, and adjust trials in real-time. Products are then sent for evaluation at customer sites. Although it is more fun to work side by side, the virtual trials are so efficient that Bühler will maintain this option even when travel is easier again.
For physical trials, when national rules and travel allow, Bühler has excellent practices in place, from rapid testing, to distancing, masks, disinfection, and safe behavior, to create the safest possible work situation.
While Bühler’s application labs in China are running at full throttle with close to 100 trials run with customers in March, it is noteworthy that all Bühler application and trainings centers across Europe and the US have run three to five customer trials per week during the same period, many of them remotely.