In this case, we work remotely

June 19 2020

Remote catalyst swap

Mourik Industry P&T Catalyst received an order from China to carry out catalyst tubular work in May. Unfortunately, COVID-19 threw a wrench into the works, seeing that travelling to China is not possible at the moment. That is why, in consultation with the client, we decided to perform this work from our offices at Nieuwesluisweg in Rotterdam.

Catalyst handling (loading and unloading) is not a job that you can simply have someone else do for you while you “work from home”. All the same, this has been made possible in these times of COVID-19, while we are unable to travel to China (for the time being). A remote catalyst handling operation is unusual in itself, but carrying this out via a direct link with China is truly exceptional. The project starts with the necessary preparations in the Netherlands.


First of all, a complete project description was drawn up in Dutch and sent to the project manager in China. This is, however, quite a lot of material to read all at once, so an update of the activities and processes that must be carried out at that time is sent on a daily basis. People are not allowed to cross the border, but without the necessary equipment on site the work cannot proceed. To address this hurdle, equipment needed to perform the catalyst swap not available on location was sent to China, along with the necessary instruction videos. The shipment also included two pairs of Visics AR (augmented reality) glasses.


Working remotely

The AR glasses make it possible to see what the person doing the work sees while performing certain activities, almost as though you are right there in real time. In addition to this, with the help of supplier Visics a kind of cockpit has been set up, with multiple monitors, video cameras, a laptop, and a microphone – all of which are in direct contact with China. This allows you to follow the people in China who are carrying out the operation as this happens, and to intervene if necessary. It’s a strange feeling to realize that what you are seeing on the monitor is taking place right then on the other side of the globe.


Connstantijn working in the 'cockpit'

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Mourik Industry

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