Capturing company know-how in the home of Van Gogh

Potato Eaters

Tyndale has recently started working with a company in the Netherlands to document business-critical test procedures which currently reside in the mind of a single test engineer.

Berson Milieutechniek BV designs and manufactures ultraviolet water treatment systems to the industrial and municipal water supply markets of countries around the world. Owned by Halma plc, it has for many years operated in partnership with Hanovia, a UK-based UV water treatment business with whom Tyndale has worked for the past three years. This partnership has now become even closer with the merger of Hanovia and Berson in October 2017.

Established in 1972, Berson is located on the edge of the charming Dutch town of Nuenen, a former home for Vincent Van Gogh and where he created one of his most celebrated works, The Potato Eaters. A sculpture depicting the scene in the painting sits in the centre of the town, as well as a statue of the man himself and a museum devoted to his time in Nuenen.

Just as artists like Van Gogh captured scenes from everyday life in past eras, so technical authors work to capture essential knowledge and expertise which could otherwise be lost if it exists only in someone’s memory. Tyndale has been helping Berson in this regard by documenting how their test engineer checks the functionality of their UV treatment systems before they leave the factory for the customer’s site.  This testing is a critical step in ensuring the quality of the product, and it has been greatly enhanced by the construction of several bespoke test boxes; however no-one else on the site is familiar with them. It was realised that this lack of documented knowledge posed a risk to the business, and so, with the engineer’s full cooperation, Tyndale has worked to capture the essential steps and provide a clear, logical method for completing the tests.

This work will enable another competent engineer to perform the testing in an emergency or to help meet production schedules during periods of peak demand. It also gives everyone concerned the chance to review the process and check that nothing is missed or could be done better – an important aspect of any strategy for continuous improvement. Once completed, the procedures will cover the majority of the standard products offered by Berson, but they also provide a template on which future procedures for more specialised products could easily be based.

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