UZWIL, SWITZERLAND — The Bühler global application center network is up and running. During the last 12 months, Bühler has become particularly adept at performing trials with customers, either virtually or within a carefully managed “bubble.”
“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?” said 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 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 training centers across Europe and the United States have run three to five customer trials per week during the same period, many of them remotely.
Bühler has a global network of application and training centers in 24 locations. The company will open two more food safe application centers in 2021, with their new joint lab with Givaudan in Singapore opening on April 26, and their new facility at Deutsches Institut für Lebensmitteltechnik e.V. (DIL) in Germany opening in the second half of the year.
“This enables us to be close to our customers and to their markets, but also to provide possibilities for virtual collaboration in the same language and frequently the same time zone,” said Sandra Lutz, global coordinator of Bühler’s application center network. “We invite our customers and partners to get in touch with us. Your local Bühler sales offices are there to support you to organize this.”