Pfizer is Flanders' Technical Team of the Year 2022, DP World wins audience award

Ghent, 16 June 2022 - Today, BEMAS, the Belgian Maintenance Association, organised the Flemish symposium and the awards show for the presentation of Technical Team of the Year. After a fascinating afternoon programme, the professional jury chose Pfizer as Technical Team of the Year. The vote of the public went to DP World.

Inspiration for 180 professionals

Around 180 professionals in maintenance and asset management attended this inspiring day. In the afternoon, the attendees were treated to a tour of the stadium at the Ghelamco Arena, with a focus on fault reporting (Fixform), the HVAC installations (EQUANS) and the maintenance of the turf (Bras Fijnaart). Then it was the turn of the 6 finalists to put their technical team in the spotlight. BASF, Borealis, Chevron Phillips Chemical, DP World, Pfizer and Port of Antwerp competed against each other.

In the evening, Kris Perquy, the mental coach of the Belgian Football Federation, was our guest for a keynote on how to motivate your technical team. This way, those present could get out-of-the-box inspiration from top football. Afterwards, the awards were presented: Pfizer may call itself Technical Team of the Year 2022. DP World was the public's favourite.



Pfizer: a complete story

We have all come to know Pfizer through the production of the corona vaccine. The rapid conversion of production is largely due to the technical department. The project was given the flashy name 'Project Lightspeed'. Appropriate, because in just a few months they switched the entire production. Moreover, they became the most reliable supplier of corona vaccines in Belgium. 

The jury unanimously declared Pfizer the winner, because their story is so complete. "This case really shows how important the technical department is to keeping manufacturing in Belgium. The technical department in Puurs has a very good track record, and that - in addition to a reliable network of suppliers - is also one of the reasons why production took place here." Moreover, at Pfizer we see a clear interweaving between engineering, production and maintenance. "It's not a top-down story, but a real collaboration. They already had a very solid system for working together pre-Corona, and during Project Lightspeed that paid off. In this case, we saw TPM implemented on the floor, in practice. If you consider that they realised the entire turnaround in three months, it was not only a technical feat but also an organisational one. We would also like to thank the Pfizer team for putting their lives on hold for a period of time to help save our lives." 



DP World, tremendous turnaround in a short period of time

At DP World, a workplace accident a few years ago was the trigger for reviewing the organisation of the department. In record time - in the middle of the corona crisis - they switched from a reactive mode to a proactive maintenance organisation.

According to the jury, DP World brought an authentic and honest story. "What DP World has done is one of the most difficult things," the jury said. "We saw a tremendous turnaround in only 3 years. For many companies, this is a recognisable story: you are in a reactive mode and you are trying to move forward. They turned a negative trigger into a positive, technical spin. They focused on the technicians themselves, and did not work purely on an HSE management level. It is strong that they had that insight. Moreover, it is clever that their technical department still consists of the same people after four years: they have made the same people work in a different way, which is a very difficult mission. So they more than deserved the public award."


6 very strong cases

According to the jury, the finalists brought 6 wonderful stories, strong cases. "These candidates are actually equal. They show that much more is possible than you sometimes think. There is a lot of knowledge in our Belgian companies, that is striking. Especially in the technical services. And those are precisely the places that people do not immediately talk about when they introduce a company. Technical people are the silent group, who possess a lot of knowledge but do not always spread it. With this election we want to put these people in the spotlight."

BASF was the first to get off to a flying start. Their team repaired a high-pressure steam net valve in a very inventive way. The entire team worked on a thorough job preparation to repair the valve as safely, quickly and qualitatively as possible, without having to shut down the Steamcracker. The jury found the thoroughness of the preparation a strong plus point: "It was almost a nuclear approach, but that is what made it so successful. They also made a nice link to the whole team."

The Borealis team is busy preparing a new production plant in Kallo. That plant will contain about 50,000 pieces of equipment, so it is crucial to prepare all tasks for the technical department to ensure optimal plant availability. The team showed detailed overviews per task and went into the smallest detail. A fine example of teamwork and strong preparation. The jury was full of praise for this approach: "It shows a lot of conviction to keep the technicians motivated for such work. This will certainly pay off in a few years' time, so we are very curious about the long-term results." 

Chevron Phillips Chemical started an Asset Performance Management programme, a real revolution for this company. After a thorough gap analysis and preparation of the data, they implemented new APM software. Moreover, they put a lot of effort into training the team, so that all knowledge is available in-house and remains so, for example, with their own inspectors. The jury felt that this was one of the most in-depth and data-driven cases. "A strong case based on data. After each improvement, they analyse it again in order to be able to improve even more. The success, as they said themselves, is due to the people.

Port of Antwerp-Bruges is strongly committed to digitalisation as the key to an integrated and agile maintenance and asset management organisation. The team shared many anecdotes from their various employees, revealing their digitisation journey and tools. The jury felt that the personal touch was strongly present: "You really felt the group spirit, and that the managers were also part of the team. They also talk about their locks as works of art. You felt that they are proud to work for Port of Antwerp-Bruges."

BEMAS news

BEMAS vzw, the Belgian professional association for technical maintenance, has awarded the Wout Theuws Prize for the fifth time. The winner is Robin De Clercq, an electromechanics student at the Bernardustechnicum in Oudenaarde, who wrote his integrated test on maintenance at a Kuhn silage harvester.

Ghent, 16 June 2022 - Today, BEMAS, the Belgian Maintenance Association, organised the Flemish symposium and the awards show for the presentation of Technical Team of the Year. After a fascinating afternoon programme, the professional jury chose Pfizer as Technical Team of the Year. The vote of the public went to DP World.

BEMAS A.S.B.L., the Belgian professional association for maintenance, has awarded the first "Prix Prof. Leenaerts". The winner is Anthony Vanhufel, a student in the 7th Qualification Maintenance Technician of Industrial Automated Systems at ITN - Namur. The student wrote his thesis on "The realisation of maintenance procedures (IMA).

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