Interview with Hans-Jürgen Weber
18. December 2019
Dr. Hans-Jürgen Weber is from IT side the Program Manager Digitalization within the OSI program of Covestro AG. With 2018 sales of EUR 14.6 billion, Covestro is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, construction, wood processing and furniture, and electrical and electronics industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics, health and the chemical industry itself. Covestro has about 30 production sites around the globe and as of the end of 2018 employed approximately 16,800 people (full-time equivalents).
Read up on his interview as he expounds on his topic ahead of the Global ManuChem Strategies on March 16th -17th, 2020.
we.CONECT: The pop in your job – you are the Program Manager Digitalization which tasks would you highlight as particularly interesting? What is most exciting about your role, and why are you passionate about your job?
Hans-Jürgen Weber: Most interesting aspect of my job is, that every day is different and you find every day new aspects of business requirements and project needs to be solved. I can really influence, how we are working in the future.
we.CONECT: You will present the topic on ‘Digital Engineering, Operation and Maintenance – Developing a digital single source of truth for global roll out.’ How would you define the topic yourself? “The topic is relevant for us because…”?
Hans-Jürgen Weber: Safe, reliable and efficient operations is key for our operations organization. With this project we increase consistency and transparency of documentation and data, we make access much easier and more efficient and contribute by consistent and correct information to safety. Overall, this information source is also a starting point for further digitalization activities and by that a cornerstone for digitalization in production and technology. Demographic development and new operators replacing existing operations personal going into retirement also makes it much more important to provide easier access to information sources. Up to date technology is important in addition for attracting future work force.
we.CONECT: Looking at the various case studies that are on the agenda for this year’s Global ManuChem Strategies: Where do you see the particularities of your approach? What can other companies learn from you?
Hans-Jürgen Weber: Covestro is considering digitalization for asset related information with a quite holistic point of view, we also want to enable plants which are in operations since several years when digitalization was in the very early stages. We also try to harmonize processes within our production area, and implement solutions based on a global governance model. Our approach to integrate and automate handover between engineering and operations is also quite important from our perspective.
we.CONECT: You are for the first time speaker at our Global ManuChem Strategies. What are your most important expectations for the event?
Hans-Jürgen Weber: For me it is a good opportunity to get in contact with peers, and to share experience with other global companies in the process industry area.
we.CONECT: Which topics are particularly important for you in the context of the conference and why?
Hans-Jürgen Weber: Of cause I am especially interested in initiatives of other chemical companies in the area of operations and maintenance with regards to digitalization, analytics and AI.
we.CONECT: The Global ManuChem Strategies is a highly interactive networking event – which conversations are you particularly looking forward to?
Hans-Jürgen Weber: Talking to interesting people and peers about their experiences, challenges and solution approaches with regards to digitalization, operations and maintenance. Finding contacts for future experience sharing and new ideas.