In 2008, Sellafield Ltd.’s Control, Electrical & Instrument Design Capabilities group wanted to launch a series of events to promote strategies including equipment standardisation, use of new technologies and reduction of life-time costs. They called on the expertise of Ind-Ex to provide a well-focused series of exhibitions and lectures to help achieve the desired outcomes.
On Site Sponsor
Sellafield Ltd Control, Electrical & instrument Design Capabilities group, part of Sellafield’ s Technical & Engineering Directorate.
Sellafield Ltd is a very large company, directly employing over 10,000 staff, based in two locations; Sellafield in West Cumbria and Risley in Cheshire. It also engages with supply chain companies distributed through the North-West of England and world-wide.
In this diverse company, operating in a regulated environment, one major challenge is to “not re-invent the wheel”. Solutions may already exist within the company, or may exist in outside industry; the challenge is how to spread that knowledge around the company?
Plants at Sellafield are often large and have long life-spans; 60 years is not unusual! Equipment obsolescence is therefore another emerging challenge.
Safety is clearly another major part of Sellafield’s business.
Given this, Sellafield control the makes and models of equipment installed in the plants to give lowest lifetime costs, smallest spares holdings, familiarity to maintainers, least test equipment, common documentation plus reliability and performance in safety systems.
To communicate the above, to all parts of Sellafield in design, specification, purchase and maintenance of CE&I equipment, and to the extended Sellafield supply-chain. Key to this:
- Delivering interesting, dynamic, focused on-site exhibitions featuring Sellafield’s “preferred vendors” and new, innovative technologies and potential suppliers.
- Providing an associated series of technical lectures from SL staff and suppliers.
- Implementing suitable follow-up with SL staff.
- Monitoring ‘Key Performance Indicators’, eg: attendance numbers, visitor satisfaction scores, etc.
- Providing opportunities for staff development in training, contact with Professional Institutes (e.g. Institute of Measurement & Control), further education, etc.
Previous (non ‘Ind-Ex’) exhibitions were perceived like “car-boot sales”, where a jumble of suppliers with diverse offerings, exhibited almost at random. There was no coherent message, theme or execution of company policy evident.
Sellafield staff left such exhibitions believing they could buy and use equipment that in fact they should, or possibly could not. Many Sellafield staff and potential suppliers left the exhibitions feeling they had attended “the wrong exhibition” or there was “little of interest” to see. Clearly this was a waste of everyone’s time and money.
Ind-Ex has organised on-site CE&I exhibitions and conferences both at Sellafield and Risley for about 8 years now.
- Each year attendance increases and visitor satisfaction is excellent.
- Visitors (i.e. Sellafield staff) suggest and recommend suppliers and subjects for lectures and these are implemented.
- It has become a good networking event within the whole UK nuclear industry with staff from EDF, AWE, Dounreay and wider industry occasionally attending.
- Generates better day-to-day liaison between suppliers and customers.
- Physically supports and demonstrates Sellafield standards and procedures by encouraging ‘this equipment from this supplier’.
- Sellafield’s designers now attend two exhibitions, and their maintainers at least one exhibition each year on their own sites.
- No travel nor time away from work is required.
- Ind-Ex events display the actual, physical “learning from experience” equipment approved or recommended for use at Sellafield – nothing else!
- These exhibitions embody “best practice” in nuclear engineering.
All of this is delivered at no cost to Sellafield Ltd
Figure 1 – Site Operator Feedback
Figure 2 – Visitor Feedback CE&I Exhibitions 2008 – 2015