When it rains, it pours



12,000 m2 of passive fire protection in just 4 months, 70 specialists from six countries, 357mm of rain in 24 hours. And that was just the start of the challenge.

When KAEFER’s team in Malaysia was awarded the contract to carry out the cementitious passive fire protection work for the Arkema Symphony Chemical Plant in Singapore, they knew the job would be a challenge. It was quickly established that fabricating the structures in Malaysia using Isolatek® material and assembling them in Singapore made the most sense. Yet COVID-19 cases were steadily rising in the entire region and travel restrictions meant that getting the right people to the right place would be anything but easy. On top of that, out of the 70-strong team, there were six different nationalities, which meant that managing cultural habits, travel and replacements when there were issues with lockdowns and quarantines was a challenge as well. And then there was the weather. Or a flood, to be exact. In January 2021, 357 mm of rain fell in 24 hours in Johor state, where KAEFER in Malaysia is based. As the saying goes, when it rains, it pours.

The umbrella of continuous improvement

Against this backdrop, the KAEFER team managed to complete 12,000 m2 of passive fire protection professionally and reliably on time and on budget. How? LEAN. Thanks to best practice examples from other markets around the world, the KAEFER team in Malaysia could learn from the experience of others and apply what worked best in practice. Using a modular approach provided greater efficiency as well as flexibility in the face of challenging and constantly changing circumstances. Furthermore, LEAN came in handy training the Indian, Malay, Chinese, Indonesian, Bangladeshi and Nepalese workers involved in the project.

The result was not just a satisfied client, but a diverse group of KAEFER professionals strengthened by overcoming challenges together and implementing LEAN practices across the board – even under stormy skies.

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