Continue the job – with remote support

Greenfield poultry plant in Vietnam commissioned without Marel engineers on-site

Vietnam Remote Install

Mid February, Marel engineers visited (for the last time, as it turned out) the construction site of Green Chicken in Hanoi, Vietnam. After that, travel restrictions due to Covid-19 prevented them from completing their job on-site. However, there was still a lot to do. How to continue the job? Remote support did the trick.

Green Chicken LLC, a co-operation between Vinh Anh Food and Dutch animal nutrition company De Heus, is a new processor, focusing on broilers and ducks for the Vietnamese market. Green Chicken built a greenfield plant in Hanoi, for which Marel supplied all processing systems and solutions.

Installation trip canceled

John Arts, Project Manager at Marel, tells about his experiences, “During our visit in February, we sat together with Green Chicken and the contractors to discuss the installation details and the approach to follow. The day after, the plant’s region was locked down due to an outbreak of the Covid-19 virus. About four weeks later, a few days prior to the originally planned Marel installation, Green Chicken updated Marel regarding the Covid-19 situation in the Hanoi region. The conclusion was that our installation trip to Hanoi could not take place.”

How to continue this job?

However, both Green Chicken and Marel would like to proceed the installation of the Marel processing equipment. The only available option was to carry out the installation by remote support through a Marel supervisor. This would mean a huge challenge, considering that the local team of technicians never worked with Marel equipment before, in addition to timezone and language barriers. How to continue with this entire combined broiler/duck processing line, including stunner, scalder, pluckers, waxing bath for ducks, manual evisceration and water chiller?

Help from the Philippines

Marel’s team of engineers in the Philippines were enthusiastic to accept this challenge. Led by Ronald Cruz, Customer Support Engineer, the Green Chicken technicians were guided step by step through all installation details. With the use of available tools such as Teams and WhatsApp, reliable communication lines were established. Pictures, videos and drawings where shared, even webcams were placed in the departments to monitor the situation remotely.

A little patience

“One of the most important competencies you need to develop when you act as a remote support supervisor, is patience. Communication over the internet is much slower and less efficient than you’re used to. On either side of the communication line, we had to be very explicit and elaborate to get things clear before real action could be taken. Fortunately, the team of Green Chicken was very skilled and well equipped. Together with them, we managed to complete the Marel installation successfully,” says Ronald Cruz.

Dry and wet testing

Supervising a Vietnamese mechanical installation fully remotely from the Philippines and Boxmeer was already an incredible effort. After that, an even more exciting adventure awaited. Before the first broilers would enter the processing plant, the teams had to figure out how to achieve remote dry and wet testing as well as commissioning. With the success of the installation in mind, all people involved decided to take up the challenge and continue the job, again step by step.

On Thursday 11 June, an important milestone was reached, as the first 50 birds were very smoothly processed by Marel’s brand new systems. For Helen Hanh, Project Manager of De Heus/Green Chicken, this was a great outcome, “Respecting the win-win cooperation spirit, like we all kept doing during this project, has certainly brought all parties more closely together, despite the distance. It contributed to the best possible result.”

John Arts concludes, “We can be proud to have such perfect cooperation with our customers. Thanks to the efforts of the entire skilled team, we were able to commission the entire greenfield processing plant of Green Chicken without the presence of one single Marel engineer on-site.”

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