System support that pays off 

Fast response times and efficient problem-solving: third-party support helps food supplement and flavor manufacturer DSM Nutritional Products ensure smooth production. With Managed System Services from Siemens, the company is prepared for every eventuality. 

It is just before eight in the morning and the warning light in the boiler plant control center at DSM Nutritional Products has just come to life. The control system for tank 7, which is used to burn liquid and gaseous production waste, has failed.


Just switching to a different tank is not an option, as the controller affected manages the entire waste gas combustion operation, and the clock is ticking: unless something can be done it will be necessary to begin shutting production down in stages after four hours to prevent a release of untreated waste gas into the environment.


The internal support team notifies Actemium, the system integrator, immediately and Kurt Bächle, Actemium’s point man for the DSM automation projects, acts just as fast: “I telephoned the personal support contact at Siemens, Orhan Abdullah, right away and with his help we managed to rectify the problem inside of an hour.” Shutting down manufacturing operations would have meant substantial lost production for DSM.

Fast and effective 

This rapid intervention was possible thanks to the Managed System Services agreement concluded between the DSM Nutritional Products site at Sisseln (near Basel in Switzerland) and Siemens in 2013. “Response times are significantly shorter than with ordinary product support and we always have the same specialist on the line,” explains René Jegge, head of Major Projects at DSM. “He knows all about our facility, the plant and how it operates.” 

With familiarity comes efficiency

Having direct access to a personal contact at Siemens offers benefits for regular engineering and maintenance projects and not just in emergencies. “Our contact person feeds us specific solutions tailored to our plant,” says Bächle. A virtual test system modeling the current DSM plant enables the Siemens specialist to analyze faults even by remote and simulate solutions. Current projects include upgrading a series of 1990s-era controllers to Siemens Simatic PCS 7, for example, and other maintenance projects.

A worthwhile investment

“The support service enables us to move much more quickly,” explains Bächle. “Instead of five hours of trial and error myself I just pass the problem on to our support contact and have a solution back in half an hour. Considering all of the costs and benefits involved it is quite clear that the Managed System Service is a smart investment.”

DSM Nutritional Products is a leading global supplier of vitamins, carotenoids, omega fatty acids, UV filters and fine chemicals for the food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and feed stock industries. The business generates revenue of over two billion euros. The production facility at Sisseln in Switzerland is one of DSM’s largest factories and employs over 900 people. It produces vitamins and carotenoids, intermediate products for perfume production and pharmaceutical active ingredients and antibiotics under sterile conditions. DSM is the global market leader for Vitamin E, which is produced only at the Sisseln site. 

Actemium Schweiz AG was established in 1994 and employs more than 215 people across six sites in Switzerland. It has a presence in 38 countries around the world and provides innovative solutions in the fields of electrical and electronic engineering, automation and IT for integrated industrial and building automation and higher-level production management.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay up to date at all times: everything you need to know about electrification, automation, and digitalization.