Success Story: DEGUSSA AG

Employees of external companies – Passport management

Company Portrait

Degussa AG is a multinational company with a consistent focus on high-yield specialty chemicals. Six corporate divisions are responsible for the operative business: Health & Nutrition, Construction Chemicals, Fine & Industrial Chemicals, Performance Chemicals, Coatings & Filler Systems, Specialty Polymers. The plant in Wesseling is one of the Group’s major production sites: the 330,000 m² site, which employs around 1,550 people, is home to 14 production facilities for the manufacture and processing of a wide range of products based primarily on hydrogen cyanide or quartz sand.

The project idea

Safety is the top priority in the workplace for internal and external employees at Degussa AG. Every employee first receives basic training in all safety issues. The training and instruction of employees of external companies is documented in passes. The pass is regarded as an important document as proof of the required instruction and instruction of an external company employee and is at the same time part of the authorization to enter the factory premises and certain factory areas. The aim of the project was to develop software to replace the paper-based passes of external company employees working at the plant. By means of electronic recording and storage, access to the plant is automatically granted or denied on the basis of the instructions given and received. This is intended to meet the requirements of the
quality assurance systems and the obligations to provide evidence to the authorities are better taken into account. With the new application, all necessary data of the external company employees are now managed in a database. This application is the leading system for controlling the access authorization of contractor employees at Degussa’s Wesseling plant.

The cooperation

The application implemented by the PTA for the administration of contractor employee passes fully meets the increased requirements of the quality assurance systems and the obligation to provide evidence to the authorities due to the documentation of the activities of contractor employees at the Wesseling plant. The many years of experience of PTA GmbH in software development and the deep technical know-how of Degussa employees combined with the great commitment of all those involved have led to the success of this project.

The requirement

The requirement for PTA GmbH was the realisation of an application for the administration of external company employee passes. This should additionally control the access authorisation of the external company employees via an interface to the access control system.
The application aims to contribute to improved documentation and increased security. It should be possible to electronically record, process and evaluate the passes of the contractor’s employees, which are currently available in paper form. In addition, access to the plant premises for an external company employee is to be controlled via the application. Furthermore, the application is to fulfil the increased demands on the documentation of the activities of external company employees at the plant by implementing a sophisticated authorisation concept.
In close cooperation with the employees of Degussa AG, PTA GmbH has initially implemented the existing requirements in a prototype. On the basis of this prototype, the application was then technically analysed.

Cost-conscious and efficient

It was important for Degussa to use the existing application infrastructure (already licensed applications and operating systems). This should avoid additional licensing costs.
Due to the existing Microsoft licences, PTA GmbH recommended to make full use of the possibilities available there. In addition, the customer’s existing know-how can be used for Microsoft products. Of the remaining possibilities to develop the application as a Web or Windows Forms application, the Windows Forms variant was given preference due to the higher user comfort and the simpler, cheaper and faster development. At the same time, care was taken to design the architecture of the software in such a way that a switch to the ASP.NET platform using the Microsoft Internet Information Server is possible with relatively little effort.

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The solution

The application is operated at Degussa as a client-server solution and on a terminal server. Access to the application via the terminal server is set up for each client in the factory. For this purpose, the terminal server client was distributed to all PCs in the plant. Every user is thus able to start the application – provided he is registered as authorised for the application.
The second way to use the application is to install the application on the client. For this purpose, the .NETFramework, the Oracle client and an Acrobat Reader must be installed on this client – in addition to the application. This variant is set up for users who frequently work with the application. This is also the preferred installation if the client communicates with a badge reading terminal of the access control software.

Interaction of Degussa employees, contractor employees (FFMA) and systems


“Mr Alfred Leufgens has been entrusted with the implementation
very satisfied with the task and is available to interested parties for contacts.”

Alfred Leufgens , Contractor Management Representative

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