Founded in Lübeck in 1889, a northern German city distinguished by Brick Gothic architecture, Dräger is an international leader in the manufacture of medical and safety technology products. Present in over 190 countries and employing more than 14,500 employees, worldwide, Dräger’s products protect, support, and save lives.
What Dräger’s requirements were
Draeger Safety UK, a division of Dräger, was looking to increase operational efficiency at its Northumberland based facility in Blyth, and subsequently initiated a project to modernise its production lines. The Blyth facility manufactures respirator equipment for the fire services and diving industries.
The company proceeded to develop a new conveyor system that would allow for the end-to-end construction and testing of its specialist breathing apparatus, along with other products, in a single, unified flow.
To further complement its objective of increasing operational efficiency, Draeger Safety UK developed a new, bespoke software application which provides a unified interface to several backend services. HTG was approached by Draeger Safety UK to design, build, and deploy a hosting solution for this new application which could run 24/7 within its manufacturing and production line environment.
What HTG delivered
Prior to its major modernisation project, Draeger Safety UK’s assembly lines and testing areas were extremely fragmented. With staff regularly needing to walk between work areas, valuable productivity time was being lost, resulting in an inefficient process. Central to their roles was a requirement to look over drawings of the products they were working on that were stored on a local file server. Access to the drawings required workers to walk to the closest of only a few workstations situated within the production area. A real problem existed for Draeger Safety UK when lots of workers needed access and began to print off drawings which were frequently being updated. This was a concern for the company that needed attention.
On assessment of the issues facing the company, HTG proposed an ‘iPad style’ touch screen interface solution using IGEL thin client technology where Draeger Safety UK’s line of business applications could easily be presented to its workers and displayed through touch screen desktops strategically placed along the production lines. HTG is a Gold partner of IGEL, a leading, global vendor in the thin client market.
This would enable workers to efficiently open and seamlessly switch between applications and ultimately access their technical drawings, and more, thereby eradicating lost productivity and enabling greater efficiency.
With the onset of Coronavirus pandemic occurring around this time, the demand for Draeger Safety UK’s specialist breathing equipment had become critical. Consequently, HTG’s task now required a rapid deployment of its proposed solution to enable Draeger Safety UK to help in the process of saving lives.
HTG proposed a two-phase approach to the short-term challenges within Draeger Safety UK. Phase one consisted the development of a secure remote desktop server (RDS) farm using Windows RDS Server 2019 where HTG tested the proof of concept. Phase two consisted the design, build and testing of the production solution incorporating IGEL thin clients, touch screen monitors and Windows Remote Desktop Services.
Essentially, the proposed solution will provide Draeger Safety UK with a simplified management process that not only realises its objective of greater operational efficiency but also meets Green IT requirements thanks to low power consumptions of the hardware used. The use of IGEL’s UD6 desktop thin client ensures maximum performance thanks to its fast processor and flexible expansion capability. Using W10 as its operating system provides access to Microsoft 365 and all the attributes that offers.
Commenting on HTG’s involvement, Graham Wight, CEO at HTG said: “We are delighted to have assisted Draeger Safety Uk in rapidly creating and deploying our solution utilising IGEL technology to support its new production lines during what are testing times given the outbreak of Coronavirus. We are confident Draeger Safety UK will instantly see the benefits that this solution will bring, and we look forward to a long-standing relationship.”
Dr Richard Thomas, Senior Software Engineer at Draeger Safety UK commented, “HTG engineered and delivered a state of the art RDS platform that elevates our ability to provide production staff with a consistent and responsive user experience on the factory floor. HTG were courteous and professional throughout the project, from conception to commissioning, communicating progress updates regularly and seamlessly cooperating with the local IT department. They adapted well to the unexpected interruptions of Covid and proved themselves to be flexible when Draeger’s broader business interests caused the occasional shift in direction. Overall, I remain highly impressed and enthusiastically recommend HTG for their market leading IT consultation services.”