Linde Engineering relies on the Power Platform and Power Apps
Linde Engineering, headquartered in Pullach near Munich, manages the plant construction branch of the Linde Group. This subsidiary specialises in gas treatment, separation and liquefaction technologies. Linde plants are used in a wide variety of industries: from natural gas and oil refining, electronics and metal processing, to petrochemicals and the fertiliser industry.
At Linde Engineering, it was about replacing outdated systems for workflow and collaboration solutions that were no longer state-of-the-art. For decades, third-party applications have been added to existing systems. These had to be linked by interfaces and gateways so that key Linde processes could continue without problems. Over time, this required more and more maintenance work.
Linde Engineering opted for Microsoft’s Power Platform and was able, together with Hitachi Solutions, to implement their project in a short time. For Linde, the choice of Power Platform was relevant for project-specific solutions, which must be developed by the businesses and carried out by external professionals. The goal was to stem the multitude of heterogeneous systems and system languages, achieve more transparency and continuity in application development, and increase the scalability of the applications created. Power Platform, being cloud-based, offered all the necessary conditions for the success of the project, in particular thanks to pre-integrated tools and solutions as well as versatile interfaces.
In collaboration with Linde specialists, Hitachi Solutions defined processes in a few days which were then transferred to the Power Platform. The flexibility of the Power Platform allows Linde to address various interfaces and gateways as well as solutions that are (still) kept on-premises. Implementation also included setting up appropriate development and runtime environments, extending infrastructure, and establishing a quality management system and compliance policies to support future integration requirements.
One of the first solutions created with Power Apps was intended to replace a workflow for invoice verification. The application includes SAP integration, configurable workflows, templates for approval steps, supplier document integration and much more. It serves as a development base for other projects, when joint invoice approvals with the Linde customer are required.
Linde-IT’s internal service provider has also decided to implement a workflow for I3 certificates in collaboration with Hitachi Solutions. The new application significantly speeds up the creation of order and delivery certificates and related documents. Hitachi Solutions provided the concept, the application structure and the central integration functions.
At the same time, the project was used to set up an internal development team for comparable needs. In the meantime, other solutions have emerged, which considerably lighten and speed up internal processes and procedures. Thanks to Hitachi Solutions’ understanding of the processes and overall benefits of the platform, Linde was able to realise significant savings in the short term. In the medium term, this will allow employees to automate a large number of manual processes at scale.
Due to the very positive experience with Hitachi Solutions, Linde will continue to develop its collaboration with them and benefit from their vast experience in this technology and their great understanding in process automation. In addition, the attitude of the Hitachi Solutions consultants during the project was very positive.Josef-Werner Schwab
Senior Enterprise Integration Architect
Linde Engineering plans to continue to benefit from Hitachi Solutions’ extensive experience and expertise in Microsoft technology, as well as its understanding of efficient processes. To do this, the company is increasingly relying on a strategy with “Citizen Developers”. This means that engineers and other collaborators can create themselves, via Power Platform, low-code/no-code applications that allow them to optimise their workflows. As they know the business needs perfectly, they can adapt their applications accordingly and link them to internal data sources.
Linde also plans to simplify and optimise Excel and Access-based solutions using Power Platform applications. The aim is to create more transparency and more flexibility.