• Siemens Healthineers, Oxford

    Siemens’ Magnet Technology division, is the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of superconducting Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) magnets for medical applications. Darke & Taylor was tasked with taking over the annual maintenance contract for the air conditioning systems located throughout the factory’s manufacturing floor and office areas. This led onto a full-time maintenance and repair contract, managed by the Mechanical Division but drawing upon the skills of other Darke & Taylor divisions as required.

    Siemans Healthineers, Oxford

Challenges

Dissatisfaction with previous engineers: Siemens had tendered for a new contract after issues with the maintenance of the air conditioning (air con) systems. After winning the contract, Darke & Taylor (D&T) found that the maintenance paperwork was non-existent, with no asset register, drawings or schematics; in the words of the Project Director, ‘the information was beyond poor’.

Challenging factory environment: The majority of the air con units were located 6−8 metres off the ground, requiring MEWPS (Mobile Elevated Working Platforms) to carry out the maintenance work against the backdrop of a live working environment.

Complex problems: In such a technologically advanced factory, any problems that arise are rarely simple ones and often span a number of disciplines; for example, machines require power and lighting and there is often some element of data cabling involved.

Constantly changing demands: For the factory to remain operational during COVID, some of the manufacturing processes needed to be moved to an alternative factory a mile up the road. This had to be actioned during lockdown so as not to cease production.

Solutions

Clean slate: At the outset, D&T had to think on its feet and draw upon all its M&E experience to ensure that no other operations were adversely affected. Subsequently, during the course of the ad hoc refurbishment process, D&T was able to build and maintain an asset register of the plant installed.

Working at height: All D&Ts engineers and electricians are IPAF-trained for working at height. The fact that Siemens had its own platforms increased D&T’s flexibility on the job.

All-in-one solutions: D&T was able to leverage the expertise of its Electrical and Structured Cabling divisions. For example, when servicing mechanical plant, a fault was traced back to the Building Management System (BMS) and D&T’s data engineers managed to locate and fix a failure in the control wiring.

COVID response: D&T’s H&S officer inspected the site and conducted risk assessments to permit D&T’s engineers to work safely in a COVID-compliant manner.

“Siemens’ Magnet Technology division, based in Eynsham, is the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of superconducting Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) magnets for medical applications.”

Technical overview

Siemens large production facility requires laboratory-standard working conditions in respect of temperature, hence the large number of air conditioning units. Although D&T’s original brief was limited to annual maintenance, its role grew over time. We discovered numerous issues with the existing system and recommended a system overhaul which would provide long-term financial savings.

Subsequent to successful completion of the air-conditioning works, we were then appointed to work with Siemens on electrical upgrades, implementing a programme of works to ensure minimal disruption and downtime to the production line. This work included switchgear replacements, room refurbishments and out of hours change overs.

Project details

CLIENTSiemens Healthineers Magnet Technology
PROJECT DURATIONSeptember 20 – present

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