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Carmen Lee, BD & Technical Manager Resinex Asia.

A digital commissioning


Covid-19 knows no borders, but it prohibits people from travelling and doing their work with customers. In this case, a travel ban did not stop the commissioning; we switched to a digital solution and solved the case via WeChat instead. We met with Carmen Lee, Business Developer and Technical Manager for Resinex Asia.

Good afternoon Carmen, we have a bit of time difference between Europe and Malaysia, so the workday is about to finish for you.

Yes, that is correct, we are seven hours ahead of you in Sweden, but we can talk.

First off, what do you do at Jacobi?

I am Business Developer and Technical Manager for Resinex Asia. For all resins related issues in Asia, people would come to me, and I will help them. I travel together with salespeople to different countries within Asia for technical meetings and commissioning plants related to resins installations.

“This is not something you normally do digitally.”

We should talk about some consequences from Covid-19, the problems caused, and our solutions.

Exactly, this pandemic has really put us to the test for how to do things differently. In this case, we did commissioning digitally, and this is the first time I’m doing it digitally. I would say that usually, you don’t do anything like this digitally. You always have to go to the site itself.

But you are in Malaysia, and the site is in China, so you could not go.

Correct, there was no way for me to get into China during that time in September 2020. I had to trust that we could communicate digitally with the customer’s specialist. But we also had Dean Zhou who could fly from Shanghai to North Shaanxi province. He is our sales manager and main contact point there. I would say that’s the beauty of Jacobi; we have sales managers in many places that can travel if we cannot. So the customer is not left alone.

What did we do for this specific customer?

The end-user is using our resin for hardness removal from groundwater treatment. They are also using our resin for heavy metals removal in their water recycling system.

For resin applications, regeneration is done to bring back the active sites of the resin after every cycle. During the start-up, we advised the customer on every detail of the regeneration steps. We advised on the backwash, the acid amount, the acid concentration, the flow rate, and the rinsing flow rate and time. After three days of on-site monitoring, the resin finally performed well.

When you say commissioning, what do you mean by that?

When the customer purchases our product, and it is delivered to the site, they have to fill it in the vessel to run. The commissioning is the plant start-up. The customer will always ask us how to do a regeneration, how to do the start-up procedure. Sometimes, we need to visit the site to advise them on many different parameters to ensure that the plant is up and running properly.

Is it the customer who decide show they want to communicate, and do we have to be flexible?

Yes, if the customer wants to use a specific channel, we use that. For this case specifically, we used WeChat. But we have used WhatsApp, Zoom, Google Meet, Teams and other apps as well. We have to learn to use all of them – text messages and video calls.

Dean Zhou, Jacobi Sales Manager who is based in Shanghai, travelled to the end-users site located in Shaanxi Province.

It can be a challenge because in this case, I really needed to see the resin level through the side glasses on the vessel, the pumps, the flow meters and the other equipment. This can be a little difficult if I wanted to see more details when we are on video calls, but we have to do our best to work in that way.

If you go to a site, for how long will you be there?

Typically, one to two nights, maybe one night if you’re lucky. It depends. For this specific case, it took three days.

“I was ready with my cellphone all the time.”

When you do it online via WeChat, does it get much more complicated?

Yes actually, I was quite anxious, because when the customer asks me one question, then I answer and I do not know what is happening on the other side. So I’m ready with my cellphone all the time, even during weekends, there is no day, there is no night, you always have to be prepared.

When you are on the site, you know exactly what is happening. But in this way, when we give them instructions online, you just have to hope that they do it the right way. It’s all about taking responsibility. We are used to that, and that is why it gets more complicated when we cannot be there. Now we have to trust that they follow our instructions correctly.

Do you also face any language barriers when you do this remotely?

Yes and no, because they speak Mandarin and I can speak Mandarin as well. There are different accents, but it’s not a big problem, I would say. Many also speak English, and all our information is written in English.

What about the challenge of internet connection?

Often in Teams and other apps, the image freezes or you miss information. You don’t want to miss any information at all, you want to hear 100%. But somehow it’s okay, with the Wi-Fi connection it’s not a big problem.

Do you think the customer was surprised that you could do this online? Are they a happy customer?

Oh yes, the original plan was to travel there, but because of the pandemic, I could not travel. So our customer did not know if we could handle this or not. But we could, it worked well. They are very satisfied.

“Our customer did not know if we could handle this, but it worked well.”

So what do you think will happen when the pandemic is over?

Seriously, I’m not sure when the pandemic is over, we just

pray for the best. This case shows that we can still work and solve problems. This time it worked because the customer was cooperative and understood the instructions well. But there will be cases where we really need to be on the site to find out what is happening, what issues there are. So there will still be many technical issues that have to be solved on-site.

We thank Carmen for telling her story. If you have any questions about resins or Resinex, please contact Carmen Lee, and she will help you. You can reach Carmen via

Checking the flow meters to make sure that the flow rate is according to our suggestions.

The four vessels that are filled with Jacobi Resinex resin.

One of the side glasses of the vessels where you can see the resins physically.

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