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One of the largest drinks production sites in Scotland required a system upgrade to their Case Conveyor and Palletisation Cell due to obsolete Siemens S5 equipment. Due to the critical production nature of the site, it was imperative the solution provided would result in a smooth migration, be thoroughly tested, and involve minimal production downtime.

Mechatherm International Limited have been designing and supplying turnkey solutions, predominantly for the Aluminium industry since their formation in 1973.

Background

Alex began his career as an apprentice electrician 10 years ago, moving to Kigtek Electrical to work alongside his dad John, our Electrical Services Manager, in 2014.

‘After passing my approved electricians test, Kigtek put me through the COMPEX Electrician test which was an important certification to achieve due to the high volume of work we do in hazardous areas. I found that course really beneficial and a useful learning experience.

Kigtek then further supported me through my HNC and HND in Electrical Engineering which I completed alongside working on customer projects – a challenge to balance studying and site work but really useful. The engineering aspect of the course was particularly handy as there are a lot of design elements involved and it is important to have a good understanding of them, especially for this role’.

Preparing for the role

Having worked for the company for 6 years, Alex explains how the relationships he has built have helped him settle into his new role.

‘I’ve been able to build up a good working relationship with both customers on site and the Kigtek team. By having a stronger understanding of how people operate, their strengths and weaknesses and how projects typically run on site, allows me to effectively and efficiently manage projects .

I’ve also been lucky enough to work alongside very experienced foremen and of course my manager (and dad) who have invaluable knowledge. Due to the diverse range of projects we are working on, I’ll continue to take note of their advice and knowledge as I continue to learn and develop.

We work really closely with the Kigtek Solutions engineers and it’s important that we stay in communication to make sure our projects run smoothly, and are still completed to the highest standards. Having worked with the engineers on site, the transition to the office has been really straightforward and their support is always there.’

Apprentices

Kigtek apprenticeships have been core to the electrical side of our business for many years and we pride ourselves in the quality of experience we give our apprentice electricians. Having been through an apprenticeship himself, Alex recognises the value in offering a well-rounded, hands on approach.

‘I really believe Kigtek provide a great apprentice programme. While we complete the general power and lighting projects, the variety of projects we deliver in industrial automation offers exciting and interesting opportunities. The often complicated and challenging experience the guys get in hazardous areas and data cabling for example opens them up to much wider opportunities further in their career.

However, I think it’s a credit to the company when you recognise our apprentices have all stayed with us without breaking service, working their way through their certifications.  We have guys ready to sit their approved electricians test as well as some that are going to do their COMPEX test. The aim is to keep the company growing and evolving and our apprentices are a core part of that.’

Highlights

Alex has worked on numerous projects but one of his highlights was a 5-month long project last year, the first he felt he had to really take a step back from the tools and manage and run his team.

‘The job was for a large brewery and involved – from an electrical perspective – ripping out and replacing 25 conveyors, lighting cables, a full refurbishment of the switch room, and a new MCC panel. The job involved our core squad as well as additional outsourced electricians, requiring a lot of coordination between myself and the other foremen.

It was the first time I had to take a step back from doing the physical aspects of the job and focus more on the logistics and ensuring everything was communicated and running smoothly between all teams. I was looking after a team of 15 and the job covered 4/5 months. It was stressful at times, but it was really rewarding to see it completed, knowing I helped get it over the finish line from a leadership perspective.

I think it really helped me prepare for coming into this more managerial, office-based position where you need to look at projects from a much wider perspective and take the lead on co-ordination. It also established the importance of building good relationships with the other teams on site -communication was key.’

Final Thoughts

‘I think it’s great to see how the company is continuously expanding, even in the current difficult climate, and I want to continue this growth. Kigtek Electrical is still a young company but working alongside our Kigtek Solutions colleagues, we’re installing innovative and high quality solutions for our customers.

We spoke about words of wisdom and my dad has given me the advice to take time to make decisions. In this role it’s okay to take a step back and think things over to make sure the decision is the right one, whether that’s providing a quote or organising project teams.’

We look forward to seeing Alex excel in his new role and if you would like to find out more about our electrical service capabilities click here or contact us today!

 

Kigtek AFRC Tier 2 Membership
Kigtek AFRC Tier 2 MembershipAfter working together on a successful digital twin project, Kigtek are delighted to be joining the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC), part of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, as a Tier 2 Member. The recent major project completed in conjunction with the AFRC, Diageo and Siemens delivered an innovative, market leading solution for the drinks industry as well as a high-accuracy process based digital twin – one of the first in the UK.

The continued development of the digital twin project will add enhanced virtual and augmented reality concepts to support industrial adoption. In conjunction, Kigtek’s industrial experience brings opportunities for Scottish Manufacturing to benefit from NMIS resources and their ability to develop innovative solutions for real-world challenges.

“Kigtek is delighted to join the AFRC as Tier 2 Members. We have already completed an exciting project with the AFRC which included the development of a digital twin and innovative real solution of a new cask filling process for the Whisky industry. We look forward to working together with the AFRC on the many high value manufacturing opportunities that Industry 4.0 brings to Scottish engineering.”

Gordon Fleming – Managing Director at Kigtek

“It is fantastic to see Kigtek join us as a new member, helping us enhance our world-class reputation and capabilities in manufacturing research. Through this new membership we plan to continue the collaborative development of our work around digital twins and further showcase this to industry.”

Danny McMahon – Metrology and Digital Team Lead at the AFRC

 

IT/OT Convergence

Information Technology and Operational Technology have historically co-existed on separate paths, but driven by Industry 4.0 and IIoT, the two are now converging.

Kigtek were the principal contractors on a large scale valve replacement project for a major spirit production site in Scotland.