Steam systems all go at cancer research facility

Added: 18th January 2019 by Spirax-Sarco Engineering

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Being held responsible for a facility where vital cancer research is conducted is no mean task for any facilities team. So having confidence that all specialist mechanical services are working at their optimum level is paramount. By streamlining maintenance of its steam systems, the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research has mitigated outstanding risk and freed up in-house resource to focus on what they do best.

Based in Glasgow, The Beatson Institute for Cancer Research is a biological research facility that conducts studies into the basic biology of cancer. It is a world-class facility that operates at pace, delivering a number of significant studies over the years. Fortunately, funding has enabled the facility to develop into what is described as a “magnificent research building”, home to a number of state-of-the-art technologies. Crucial to many of the processes carried out here is the role of steam.

No day is the same

Alistair Wilson is the Facilities Manager at the Beatson Institute and is responsible for all aspects related to the upkeep and smooth operation of the building. This includes security, cleaning, catering, mechanical and electrical services, alterations and refurbishment, and health and safety legislation relating to premises. In addition, the team perform a building liaison role in new build projects and major refurbishments associated with the Institute.

For a team working at capacity, having to liaise with multiple suppliers on maintenance contracts was becoming unwieldly. “Typically, when we’re looking at boiler maintenance we have one specialist firm to carry out work on the boilers, a second specialist firm to carry out works on the controls and a third specialist to carry out works on the burners,” explains Alistair.

That’s a lot of coordination for a busy client, and scope to “blame” the problem on one of the other sub-contractors. This is a nightmare for many building managers who simply want to ensure that the equipment is maintained in good working order and in line with statutory regulation.”

Through ongoing correspondence between Alistair and the local Spirax Service Specialist, discussions ensued as to what was the most suitable process in consolidating the supply chain, while enrolling the expertise of a team specialising in these systems every day. He wanted to feel reassured there is a reliable preventative maintenance process in place to help ensure smooth and efficient plant operation by reducing the risk of breakdown and costly downtime.

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