New possibilities thanks to the pandemic

Thanks to the Corona pandemic, Askalon has developed a brand new software to offer our customers digital inspections of valves.

- The customers can now choose if they want to come to us or do it digitally.

That's what Frank Beckius, head of education and diagnostics expert at Askalon, says. Together with his colleague and service engineer Tomas Persson, he has developed the platform that has made it all possible. Instead of letting the pandemic and the difficulties it entailed stop development work, Askalon created completely new digital tools.

- We had the idea for a long time to develop a software that makes it possible for our customers to do the function tests digitally, Frank says.

FAT is short for Factory Acceptance Test. Simply described, it means that the customers who wishes can see that the valves they buy are okay before delivery, and the customer also gets a chance to say if they want any action.

- During a FAT, we ensure the function of the valve together with our customers. The customer can follow and see the function test, explains project leader Malin Pluto.

Both she and Frank believes that it would have taken a few more years if it had not been for the pandemic.

- The customers came to us before the pandemic. But there was a need for a digital tool, because it can be a long journey for just one valve. The pandemic made it impossible for the customers to come to us, says Malin.

The goal was a digital method that was including and pedagogical. A digital tool for remote educations had already been developed, so the foundations for digital inspections was in place. The software for the two tools is interactive and an easy way to follow the valve's movements. The customer can click on the platform in their computer and see how the valve behaves.

- We saw many benefits with digital FAT's. In the initial dialogue with St1, we saw potential and St1 has continued digitally, although they can visit us now. They want to continue, says Frank, and adds:

- It should add something and not compromise on quality. It must be equal or better - otherwise we won't do it.

Malin explains that it's about safety for both the customer and for Askalon.

- The customer does an inspection of the valve. The customer must feel safe.

Malin explains that Askalon can do small as well as big FAT's.

- For a smaller FAT, a recording that we send to the customer may be enough. We have flexible customers, they think it is smooth and important.

How has it been received?

- We have gotten nice feedback, answers Frank. There are only advantages with the tool. We learned a lot during the pandemic.

- It's a good sign when they give us suggestions on how we can develop the tests, says Malin.

Now that the pandemic is over and the restrictions are gone, the customers are welcome to do physical inspections again. But most of them have chosen to continue with the digital ones.

- They are always welcome here, Malin says. But now they have two options. If they choose the digital one, they save both time and money, and the environment.