Collaboration Between Hungrana, SAP Wins 2 Int'l Awards

Innovation

In the Digital Pioneer category of the competition of digitalization business development projects from 16 countries, the SAP module implementations at Hungrana have won both the grand winner and the winner recognitions.

The SAP Quality Awards for the countries of the Central and Eastern European region are not only a "house event" for the German software giant, but also a benchmark for customers using SAP systems to confidently decide on their future developments, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.

Europe's largest isoglucose factory, Hungrana Kft. in Szabadegyháza, produces alcohols, sugars, and a wide range of feed and food ingredients and additives for the food industry. The company has been operating for decades on SAP core systems and custom-developed, specialized modules. The close cooperation between Hungrana and SAP is illustrated by the strategic agreement signed last year and the inauguration of an SAP Lab at Hungrana's headquarters, dedicated specifically to development workshops.

It was within the framework of this strategic agreement that Hungrana's management decided to upgrade the SAP Plant Maintenance module and implement the related SAP Service and Asset Manager solution. The aim was to modernize and digitalize the maintenance processes and thereby achieve significant cost reductions.

"While we have little control over the cost of raw materials and the energy and manpower required to process them, we can make significant savings by rationalizing the expenditure required to maintain the technical standard of our asset base," says Tamás J. Farkas, managing director of Hungrana, about the motivation behind the project.

Nearly 200 in-house employees and external suppliers regularly work on the maintenance of the plant's individual units.

"We are planning to save at least EUR 300,000-400,000 per year through the improvements, both by managing stocks of parts and materials more predictably and by organizing the time schedules of our suppliers' employees," he adds.

The implementation of SAP Service and Asset Manager was started "on a small scale" in one of the factory's units, the "Bio2" plant. This pilot project was intended to test in practice the benefits of digitally inventorying all the equipment in a plant, assigning it to technical locations, and tagging it with radio frequency identification (RFID). This means that, both during inspection and during maintenance and repair, tasks can be assigned online to the workers in each team, who can confirm the work carried out on the spot by "pinging" the component concerned on their mobile devices.

Following the successful pilot, the project will now be extended to the whole factory, with tens of thousands of RFID tags installed on all the plant's equipment. To enable digitization and process optimization, and to ensure that 21st-century tools can help workers, Hungrana has also updated the entire digital inventory, redefined master data parameters, and got rid of paper-based records and worksheets. The implementation of the SAP solutions was carried out by S&T Consulting Hungary Kft., who also developed a unique user interface for the handheld digital devices that can be reliably operated by workers in low visibility conditions, in hard hats, in fog, in thick capacitive work gloves.

"Hungrana was the first company in the region to introduce SAP Service and Asset Manager with such a high level of integration, and rightly deserved the recognition of the jury of our international competition for the most complex business transformation projects," notes Szabolcs Pintér, managing director of SAP Hungary, in connection with the award.

"Inspired by the partial results of the 800 days of development, Hungrana's Health, Safety, and Environment ask force persuaded the company's management to add further modules based on these SAP foundations," says Tamás J. Farkas.

For maintenance workflows, it is crucial to have the necessary permits in place before carrying out the work, and to exclude pipe sections and fittings that need to be dismantled from the workflow. This is done by so-called exclusion procedures, which must be followed and followed up as a prerequisite for safe working. The SAP Work Clearance Management module can also be used once a digital factory equipment inventory has been created for SAP Service and Asset Manager.

The reporting, investigation, and full documentation of quasi-accidents, process incidents, and personal injuries are now also digitally handled in the SAP EHS Incident Management module. Environmental reports, sustainability reports, and compliance certificates, which are also key to EHS, can be generated from the Emissions Management and Regulatory and Permit Compliance sub-modules of the dedicated SAP EHS Environment Management solution. The SAP EHS solution was first implemented here in Hungary, in cooperation with BCS Business Consulting Services Kft. Furthermore, the implementation was also special in that the implementation partner itself was the first to encounter the SAP EHS modules.

"As a company that is sensitive to occupational safety and environmental protection, we are seeing a steady increase in the role of ESG reporting in relation to environmental protection, human resources, occupational safety and health, and corporate governance. In a few years' time, the financing of factories will be reflected in specific interest rates to see who is doing well in this area, i.e. who is putting the environmental and social aspects, as well as the financial ones, at the forefront of their decision-making and operations. However, reporting systems are not yet uniform and everyone is looking for good practices," adds Tamás J. Farkas.

"For us, it is our explicit goal that our SAP-based EHS management and reporting systems should serve as a guideline and an example of alignment at industry level," explains the Hungrana CEO.

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