BLAEST creates new framework for their employees and customers with Power Apps
BLAEST is the world’s largest independent test center for wind turbine blades. It is an organization that is experiencing great growth and which, with many new employees, is looking into a paradigm shift. Manual processes based on trust in the individual employee are no longer sufficient. Growth requires structure and digitalization – which is exactly what BLAEST has set in motion.
BLAEST tests wind turbine blades for a number of wind turbine manufacturers. It demands daily correspondence with customers and thorough documentation of every induvidual test. The big challenge for BLAEST was their manual processes around the individual test.
Testing of wind turbine blades consists of thorough documentation of the blade several times during the 2-5,000,000 load impacts to which the blade is exposed. Through the tests all small faults or incidents both outside and inside the blade must be documented with pictures. Therefore, the technician on the case has to obtain the necessary documentation from both a lift and by crawling into the wing itself. There can easily be between 30 – 50 different things on the wing that may be relevant to document.
Before BLAEST began their journey of digitization, the documentation took place with a camera. Images were stored on an SD card and sent to the customer by email. Both numbering and data handling were 100% manual. The process was unsustainable as BLAEST flourished. The risk of errors and omissions in the documentation was simply too great.
“We experienced far too many cases where observations in the wing had not been registered correctly, images were not passed on to the right person, and employees misunderstood each other. Simply because everything was based on manual processes. As an employee you yourself had to remember to do things right and everything had to be coordinated manually. We needed a much smarter solution to elevate our work.” – Jesper Kaan, Technical Manager at BLAEST.
A digital strategy with a focus on customers and efficiency
Delegate’s first task was to formulate a digital strategy for BLAEST – an offer on how they could work smarter with greater security.
“When we started on the digital strategy, we focused on how BLAEST could quickly get to something that provided actual value. Within the strategy we had 2 focus areas: A. To make BLAEST more efficient with streamlined processes. B. To make BLAEST more attractive to customers.” Allan Borup – Delegate.
Both elements have been incorporated into BLAEST’s new digital test solution.
A solution built in SharePoint – spiced with a user-friendly Power App
The new digital test solution consists of two elements working together.
First element is a SharePoint solution with an individual site for each wing the employees test. Here all documentation, correspondence and files are gathered and it can be accessed by both customer and relevant employees from BLAEST.
Next to the SharePoint solution, a Power App has been created. It is used to take pictures during the testing process. The Power App includes a list of the points on the wing that need to be documented. In that way, the technician is sure not to forget a single image. Images are uploaded directly to the SharePoint site so that documentation is no longer sent by email.
For the customer, the new solution provides a completely new experience. It presents a greater degree of cooperation and involvement, where the customer can see how far they are in the testing process and can continuously access the necessary documentation. It is a significant advantage that neither the customer nor BLAEST’s employees have to search 17 different e-mails or local documents to find appointments, lists of required test points or photos. Everything is gathered in one place. In the longer term, the plan is for the customer to also be able to see real-time data on their wings in testing, which will make the customer experience even greater.
“With the new solution, the technician takes a picture with his mobile, presses a few buttons, and a moment later pictures and data are in a system that both test engineers and customers have access to. The difference is noticeable! Overall, it can be said that the digitalization of important work processes makes everyday life easier for our employees, while automation ensures that things happen in the right way. It minimizes the amount of errors, and makes it simpler for multiple people to work together. Today it is clear that digitalization is simply a prerequisite for us to succeed with the current upscaling of the company.” – Jesper Kaan, BLAEST.