Sulzer Pumps is a leading provider of products and services in the centrifugal pumping industry. With a wide portfolio of products and an extensive service offering, including training, preventive maintenance, spare parts, replacement pumps, retrofits, field services and repairs, they are ideally placed to support their wide network of customers and business partners.

The Problem

The core focus for Sulzer is on building bespoke pumps for the variety of industries they serve. Each pump is individually designed and constructed in a variety of sites across the world. The geographical distance, differing time zones and the diversity of local measurements in use was making it difficult to share the technical pump data between the engineers in the different countries.

In addition to the data management issues, versioning needed to be tightly controlled in order to meet the precise auditing procedures that were vital to ensuring Sulzer’s accreditation was achieved and maintained.

The existing set-up meant that Sulzer had to maintain and track the engineering data across many different systems, including ad-hoc spreadsheets. This was proving both time-consuming and open to human error.

The Solution

Blacklight Software worked with Sulzer pumps to understand and define the exact requirements in order to build a bespoke software system that would address all of the data management issues and auditing requirements across all of their sites.

The solution that BlackLight delivered, named OED, uses Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and .NET 3.5 Web forms to provide 88 distinct engineering sheets. These sheets cover all the technical information that needs to be shared between the dispersed engineering teams, with complex business logic built into the application to ensure the correct unit of measurement is used and that localised display and data versioning is encapsulated through the C# business components.

Access to the OED system is controlled via Active Directory, which allows access to be assigned depending on the Users role and country, and the level of access granted to that individual. ‘Work in progress’ versions of the technical data can also be created and shared within the User’s own team. Once the process is complete and the data verified, the version is released to the general User population. Furthermore, in order to maintain versioning control, offline caching into Microsoft Excel allows Users to edit ‘locked out’ OED sheets offline and re-sync their changes when back in the office.

The entire OED system is hosted in one location, with Users across 150 countries accessing the application via Web Pages. This approach meant Sulzer did not have to incur the expense of a global-scale on-site role.

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