How Sanofi Pasteur continued testing during lockdown
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Actemium Lyon Process Solutions introduced a smart glasses system for its client Sanofi Pasteur to enable it to carry out acceptance testing for its equipment during full lockdown.
Actemium Lyon Process Solutions, which specialises in stainless steel vessel manufacture, has been working since its inception in 1947 with the Institut Mérieux, its main client even today. Now Sanofi Pasteur, the world’s leading provider of vaccines regularly orders virus cultivation vessels from this subsidiary of Actemium, the VINCI Energies group’s industrial brand.
When placing its latest order for around 15 “reactors” or process vessels, Sanofi Pasteur came up against an unprecedented problem: performing acceptance testing for its equipment and checking it against specifications during full lockdown.
“Clients usually come to our factory to conduct a Factory Acceptance Test (FAT),” explains Nicolas Galet, manager of the Actemium Lyon Process Solutions business unit. “The equipment is installed in one of our workshops, in position as on their own premises. Clients make two checks in the shop: the first is a document inspection which involves verifying the manufacturing method, certifications, dimensions and the heat number, while the second is a dynamic review which includes stirring, zero retention and cleanability tests.”
But at the beginning of May 2020, Sanofi Pasteur staff were on lockdown due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. “After consulting our colleagues from Actemium Lyon Maintenance, whose collaboration with the VINCI Energies La Factory hub helped them to develop the use of smart glasses in order to support their maintenance technicians, we decided to set up a protocol based on this virtual solution,” adds Galet.
Acting as the client’s eyes
The company therefore arranged a video meeting with Sanofi Pasteur, adding an interface that enabled the client to interact with the Actemium Lyon Process Solutions quality technician thanks to smart glasses.
“In a way, our technician was acting as the eyes of the client, who could ask the technician to visually check a particular issue relating to the equipment, for example by conducting a live test with a roughness meter or visually verifying welding seams,” points out Galet, who stresses that the process goes a long way towards reassuring the client.
The quality of the equipment used, the HD camera in particular, and training in this new way of working are key to the success of this type of solution. “It’s also important to establish a precise protocol,” adds the Actemium Lyon Process Solutions business unit manager, “so that there is a system in place for the client to sign off the statement of acceptance.”
“We decided to incorporate the solution into our offering and we’ve already made it available to several clients.”
This experience enables Actemium Lyon Process Solutions to show its clients that it has the expertise to help them maintain business continuity during a period as exceptional as a major health crisis. A further advantage is that the solution generates savings, since it doesn’t involve any travel or accommodation costs – thus considerably reducing its carbon footprint.
“We decided to incorporate the solution into our offering and we’ve already made it available to several clients,” says Galet, who plans to acquire a smart glasses system for his own business unit. To do this, Actemium Lyon Process Solutions is working with VINCI Construction, which also uses this type of solution on its worksites, to identify the equipment best suited to its operations.