Getting back to peak performance with steam


Alistair Wilson, Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, 01/04/2019

Alistair Wilson is the Facilities Manager at the Glasgow-based, Beatson Institute for Cancer Research.

Overseeing a facility where vital cancer research is carried out means I need the confidence that all of our specialist mechanical systems are working effectively and are compliant with health and safety legislation. No two days are the same in my role especially when it comes to the upkeep and smooth operation of the research facility. This includes security, cleaning, catering, mechanical and electrical services, alterations and refurbishment, and health and safety legislation. 

Regarding boiler and steam system maintenance, I previously had one firm to carry out work on the boilers, a second firm to carry out work on the controls and a third to carry out work on the burners. That certainly added a lot more managing and coordinating to my job. It proved to be a managerial nightmare, especially when I simply wanted to ensure that the equipment is maintained to a good working order and in line with statutory regulation. 

Expert help required

Wanting to make life easier, it wasn’t long until I sought the advice of Spirax Sarco in order to streamline servicing and maintenance of our boiler and steam systems in order to restore confidence throughout the facility. 

Our local Spirax specialist carried out a full boiler strip down to carry out crucial inspections on the internal components and assess its performance. This included a full service of the feedwater and blowdown vessels and the electric condensate recovery unit. 

As my service contract with Spirax included an annual trap survey, I was able to see the working conditions and efficiency of each of the steam traps on site which meant another way of minimising unscheduled downtime at the facility. 

As a result of the survey, Spirax discovered that the boiler controls had not been maintained correctly nor refurbished for over nine years. Spirax worked with us and were able to replace a number of traps and valves, and provided me with a valve refurbishment and reconditioning service for some worn parts. 

Confidence restored

Consolidating multiple suppliers and contracts into one integrated contract with one supplier for the whole steam system as well as our boilers has meant overall improvements in reliability and maintenance of the system. Spirax has certainly restored confidence in our steam system equipment here at the research facility as we carry out vital cancer research. 

To find our more about how a service contract can help you get back to peak performance, get in touch today.


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