So, you think you know about Materials Engineering?

Following an increase in demand for Materials Engineering services by our customers, Axiom will open their doors to the engineering community at large. Materials Engineering is a fascinating, niche subject matter and our customers are always keen to find out more.

Led by Steve Woodward, Principal Materials Engineer and Conor Fraser, Materials Engineer, the Axiom Materials Laboratory Open Day will offer visitors the opportunity to:

  • Find out what you can learn from materials under the microscope
  • Hear about some of the more unusual failures we’ve seen and what caused them
  • Have a look round the lab and see what’s involved when investigating failures

We welcome visitors own views about their issues affecting their plant assets.

Book your place now and find out how much you actually know about Materials Engineering!

  • Venue: Axiom Engineering Associates Ltd, 14 Woodstock Court, Bowesfield Crescent, Stockton-on- Tees TS18 3BL
  • Date: Tuesday 11th October 2022 – NOW FULLY BOOKED
  • Date: Tuesday 15th November 2022 – bookings now being taken
  • Morning session: 9.30 a.m. – 12 noon
  • Afternoon session: 1.30 p.m. – 4.00 p.m.

Places are limited so booking is essential to avoid disappointment.

Book your place at: events@ax-ea.co.uk

When booking, please indicate your preference for a morning or afternoon

Finite Element Analysis

Axiom’s Mechanical Engineers specialise in the design and engineering assessment of process equipment. We work closely with our clients to improve their assets’ life and reliability, whilst ensuring industry best practices are followed.

We use ANSYS Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software, which provides a more in depth means of assessment compared with traditional formula-based approaches. FEA can be used to demonstrate an extended operational life of an asset, or substantiate the design of non-standard asset features which cannot easily be assessed by formula-based methods.

Why Finite Element Analysis?

FEA is used to inform the design of new equipment or the design of repairs and modifications, as well as to investigate the fitness for service (FFS) and remnant life of aging assets. It offers an in-depth analysis methodology, which can be used when alternative assessment methods cannot be applied or provide unfavourable results.

A range of failure and deterioration modes can be assessed in line with codal guidance, ranging from basic structural integrity assessments through to the study of more complex failure modes such as creep and fatigue. A range of analysis techniques can be applied depending on the problem in hand, including non-linear and thermo-mechanical.

As a matter of course, we consistently keep up-to date with the latest guidance and rules concerning the use of FEA in line with pressure system codes such as the ASME standards and British Standards and European codes.

Why Axiom?

Axiom Engineering Associates is an award-winning, multi-disciplined asset management solutions provider, operating in a diverse range of industry sectors in the UK and internationally. These include the chemical, oil & gas, pharmaceutical, bulk storage, energy, renewables and related industries. Our mission is to be trusted expert advisors providing technical excellence to our clients and partners. Our Materials, Mechanical and UKAS-accredited Inspection Services are uniquely positioned to support our clients to effectively manage their plant at every stage in their assets’ lifecycle.

Contact us now to find out how we can help you.

JAMES ROBSON Mechanical Operations Manager

T: +44 (0)1642 732745 Ext. 322
M: +44 (0) 7429 152 493
E: james.robson@ax-ea.co.uk

 

Axiom sponsors key category at a leading chemical industry event

Axiom Engineering Associates gave its support to a national chemical industry event which took place earlier in June.

The Chemical Industries Association (CIA) held their annual awards ceremony on 16th June at the prestigious Royal Armouries in Leeds where the Chemical industry community came together to celebrate the commitment and achievement within the sector.

As sponsors of the award, “Special Responsible Care Award for Process Safety Leadership”, Axiom’s Commercial Director, Peter Hunt presented the trophy to the winners of this category, Hamid Khan, Head of Engineering at Johnson Matthey, Royston.

Peter said, “We are very proud to sponsor this category as we see Process Safety as a vital element to the Chemical industry. We recognise the importance of a risk-based hazard control process and how Axiom could also support this is programme to protect employees, the wider community and the environment.”

Peter added, “With extensive experience in working in High Hazard sites, we are only too familiar with the risks involved and to be participate in the celebration with those who are committed to leadership and sharing of best practice in this area, is fantastic!”

Axiom is an Associate Member of the CIA who represent the chemical and pharmaceutical businesses across the U.K. For more information about the CIA, please visit: https://www.cia.org.uk/

Axiom scoop a second award of the year

After recent success at the Chemicals Northwest awards in March, Axiom Engineering Associates were crowned “Chemical Industry Service Provider 2022” at the national Chemical Industry Association (CIA) Awards ceremony held on 16th June at the Royal Armouries, Leeds.

This Award recognises the contribution made to the success of the UK chemical industry through innovation and outstanding delivery of service including engineering, IT, legal, training to the chemical and pharmaceutical sectors.

The award sponsored by CIEC, was made to a CIA member who was able to demonstrate a number key attributes including a significant contribution to enhance business performance improvement in the chemical industry and the application of innovation and excellence in delivery of service to stakeholders.

Axiom Director, Rob Johnson who collected the trophy on behalf of Axiom said, “We are delighted to receive this award as formal recognition of our efforts and commitment to the Chemicals industry across the UK and globally. Axea, our in-house asset management software has not only been the digital tool relied upon by our clients to improve efficiencies of chemical plant assets, but has built the foundations for strong, long-term partnerships, with our clients as valued partners. To achieve national recognition for our achievements by the CIA means so much to us.”

Axiom continues to build on its success, growing strongly again this year. With the continued building of long-term partnerships and strategic alliances for mutual benefit, Axiom’s drive to deliver effective lifecycle integrity management systems to its clients remains paramount.

Award-winning Axiom Engineering Associates opens its doors to the community as part of Make UK’s National Manufacturing Day celebrations on July 7th 2022

British manufacturing and service companies are opening their doors in a UK-wide Open House on 7th July 2022 to give their local communities the chance to see first-hand the potential careers and jobs on offer in our exciting and diverse sector.  Axiom is delighted to announce it is taking part in this year’s inaugural event, organised by manufacturing trade body Make UK. The aim is to help encourage all age groups from school leavers to more experienced workers looking at reskilling to consider the possibilities of a career in manufacturing and service delivery as well as helping local communities understand more about the businesses on their doorstep.

To make it easy to see what’s going on, Make UK has created a dedicated microsite, National Manufacturing Day where companies taking part will post what they produce and detail the events they are planning for National Manufacturing Day itself. Schools and local residents interested in seeing what is available in their area will be able to search the site using a simple postcode finder, to pinpoint those businesses closest to them and allow them to pick out something which they will find the most interesting.

During the morning session on 7th July at their head office in Stockton, visitors to Axiom will be able to participate in practical activities along with discussion around the asset lifecycle services delivered by the business. They will also be able to talk directly to members of staff about how the company works and the roles available in engineering.

Adam Potter, Managing Director of Axiom said, “We are delighted to be taking part in National Manufacturing Day showcasing our services and people. National Manufacturing Day gives us an opportunity to open our doors to interact with the community to visit our facilities, showcasing the exciting opportunities of offer and ‘get behind the scenes of success’.

As a growing company, we are continuously seeking innovative people to support the delivery of our asset management lifecycle services. Our company can offer a diverse range of career opportunities from engineering disciplines to administration, accounting, marketing, quality assurance and health & safety roles.

We are looking forward to welcoming attendees to visit us for a morning and experience what modern day engineering business looks like, in addition to demonstrating that engineering can be both exciting and rewarding. Visitors will be able to meet our team and hear first-hand what inspired them to join us.”

To find out more and register for your place, please visit: https://www.nationalmanufacturingday.org/

Axiom’s Quality & Inspection Consultancy for New Build, Refurbishment & Replacement Equipment

Inadequate owner/user quality & inspection presence – the risks

Over time, Axiom has had numerous enquiries for Quality and Inspection consultancy from issues that arose after construction at the pre-commissioning stage. It would ordinarily be expected that these issues would be caught at hold points during the construction phase and remedied / mitigated. Observations seen by our team include:

  • The use of the wrong welding filler
  • Non-adherence to, or an incorrect, welding procedure
  • Construction materials not as per design specification
  • Insufficient NDT coverage when compared with code requirements
  • Entire lines not hydro tested without an appropriate mitigation
  • Non-conformance of as-installed system when compared to design intent

One or a combination of these issues has the potential to lead to the non-issuance of CE/UKCA, insurance complications and commissioning delays that can cost hundreds of thousand of pounds per day.

Why have an owner/user inspection present?

The presence of a Quality representative from the owner/user can only increase the overall assurance relating to Quality deliverables. It encourages EPCs, contractors and sub-contractors to be more diligent in the Quality process and strive harder for conformance, leading to easier insurance coverage, issuance of the CE/UKCA mark and a smooth commissioning, with avoidance of unnecessary rework and the associated delays / cost implications.

Axiom’s Quality & Inspection Service

Supported by our UKAS-accredited Inspection Services, and the engagement of qualified and experienced personnel, Axiom offers the following Quality and Inspection services to clients engaged in new-build, refurbishment or asset replacement projects:

  • Collation and review of Life Time Quality Records (LTQR) / Dossiers
  • Review and acceptance of Quality Packs
  • Review and approval of weld procedure & performance qualifications
  • Welding inspection
  • Review and acceptance of Inspection Test Plans (ITPs)
  • Witnessing of construction phase hold points
  • Witnessing of FATs & SATs
  • Pre-commissioning checks
  • Acceptance of mechanical completion
  • Review of material certificates
  • Review and management of test packs and punch list
  • Walk/punch of piping
  • Review and approval of NDT procedure and certs.
  • Coordination of NDT
  • Supervision and implementation of all quality activities
  • Management of NCRs
  • Sitting on commissioning panels as Quality Representative.

We can work with your in-house team to deliver any or all of the above services, de-risking your most critical plant new-build / improvement schemes. Our own team comprises personnel with wide-ranging experience not just in the field of technical consultancy, but working in senior ‘in-house’ roles for owner-operators – thereby assuring you of an informed approach that takes cognisance of the time and commercial pressures faced on large-scale site projects.

For further information and for a general discussion on your needs and how we can help you, please contact:

Nirvana Ramkissoon
Axiom Inspection Engineer
Nirvana.Ramkissoon@ax-ea.co.uk

The Great North Swim

Axiom are delighted to support an employee who is taking up a swimming challenge in the aid of a local charity.

Axiom Commercial Director, Peter Hunt, has pledged to complete The Great North Swim, a 2-mile swim on 12th June at Windermere in aid of Friends of the Friarage.

Originally the League of Friends, this local charity was established in 1957 to support the Friarage hospital in Northallerton, its patients, staff and visitors by volunteering and raising funds to supplement the services provided by the NHS.  More than sixty years later, the charity has continued to benefit the patients and staff of Friarage Hospital and Hambleton & Richmondshire.

Peter has many connections with the Friarage and is currently to be seen training at the pool in Northallerton and recently at Ellerton Park Lake near Richmond.

Peter said, “My first open water swim training session at Ellerton Park Lake near Richmond was a bit of a shock at 8 degrees but I managed one hour 4 laps of the circuit. With only a few weeks to go, I am now increasing my training to be ready and confident that I will complete the 2-mile challenge. My thanks go to Axiom for supporting me and agreeing to award a donation to my selected charity.”

For more information about the Friends of the Friarage, visit: https://www.friendsofthefriarage.org.uk/

Axiom shortlisted at national awards event

Following Axiom’s recent success at the Chemicals Northwest Annual Awards in March, the business has now been shortlisted in a further awards ceremony.

Now named as finalists in the category, Chemical Industry Service Provider of the Year by the Chemicals Industries Association (The CIA), Axiom are looking forward to celebrating the achievements of the Chemical industry on 16th June at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds.

The CIA organisation both represents and advises chemical and pharmaceutical companies across the UK. The annual awards are a key platform for these businesses to highlight innovation and gain formal recognition for excellence in their field. Championing the importance in the industry of Process Safety, Axiom is also delighted to support the event as sponsors of the award category, “Special Responsible Care Award for Process Safety Leadership”. This category focuses on reinforcing process safety as an integral element within Responsible Care and encouraging leadership and the sharing of best practice.

Axiom is hoping to repeat its success, as it continues to gain recognition for its capability to deliver effective asset integrity lifecycle services to its clients.

H2ydrogen: Past, Present & Future

Hydrogen was first produced in the 15th century however its discovery is usually attributed to Cavendish in 1776, but it wasn’t named ‘hydrogen’ until 1783, by Lavoisier.  The first hydrogen related component failure was documented in 1875 when it was reported that the fracture surface of an iron wire ‘frothed when placed on the tongue’; the drawn wire having previously been descaled in sulphuric acid.

Despite it being known about for nearly 150 years, hydrogen cracking continues to be one of the most common failure mechanisms  however the of licking of fracture surfaces is no longer practiced; fractographic examinations having been superseded now by optical & scanning electron microscopy, and other more sophisticated metallographic and analysis techniques.

Press articles focus more on ‘The Hydrogen Economy’ rather than damage mechanisms, describing ways in which hydrogen will save us from ourselves by fuelling everything from cars to ocean liners, whilst at the same time helping us achieve ‘Net Zero’; and thus narrowly avoiding a visit by Keanu Reeves and his robotic accomplice, GORT.

Manufacturing Hydrogen Like There’s no Tomorrow!

Our aspirations to rapidly expand the hydrogen economy are evident by the vast swathe of installations across Europe, where you will find projects with appellations that invoke both  optimism and sustainability, such as ‘Green Octopus’ and ‘Blue Dolphyn’.  Obvious by its absence perhaps is a Hindenberg project! A poignant reminder that we should pay heed to the hazards involved.  As hydrogen usage filters more into the industrial and  public domain, greater will be the risk of component failure, fire, explosion and casualties.  Hydrogen is odourless, and burns with an almost invisible flame, so, design, fabrication and transport considerations must be commensurate with these hazards.

Axiom Engineering Associates Ltd. possesses in depth hydrogen sector skills and knowledge and is ideally placed to advise on mechanical design, process safety and materials engineering.

Steve Woodward BSc CEng FIMMM
Principal Materials Engineer

T: +44 (0)1642 732745

 

 

 

A focus on asset life services

As operating plants come towards the end of their design life, an Asset Life Plan is vital to identify the investment required to sustain integrity and the required operating performance. This will allow the plant to meet production and legislative requirements for the longer term and provide a focus for both future finances and resources.

This results in the need to collect data, assess asset condition, identify vulnerabilities / risks and review future budgeting for repairs/replacements using an Asset Life Plan approach, with the aim being to assess the remaining life of existing assets and plan engineering work and expenditure to meet production requirements.

Ageing is not about how old the equipment is. It’s about what is known about its condition, and how that’s changing over time.

Across Europe, between 1980 and 2006, it is estimated that there have been 96 incidents reported in the MARS database relating to major accident potential loss of containment attributable to ageing plant. This represents 28% of all reported ‘major accident’ loss of containment events in the MARS database and equates to an overall loss of 11 lives ,183 injuries and over 170Million € of economic loss.

Recent HSE MARS Data shows that in 2021 we are in a period of low Major Accidents occurring, however near misses are projecting upwards over the last few years. It is probable that as we step out of pandemic and site activity increases, we may see an increase in such events. It is vital to identify all risks that may lead to such an event before an HSE intervention or worse.

Managing a COMAH regulated site comes with its challenges in ensuring you manage all associated risks to prevent a Major Accident or Hazard. Understanding risks and identifying vulnerabilities is a key function in this regard. There are various levels of assessment that be carried out to support your business needs.

If you are not managing your degradation or risks, it can lead to increased business disruption and unplanned outages.

Axiom can support you to develop an Asset Life Plan to identify vulnerabilities and inform operation and maintenance strategies. We can carry out a range of assessments to suit your needs including gap analysis for compliance, Asset Life Assessments, Remnant Life Studies and spares strategies to improve reliability of your Assets and to help meet industry standards and best practice.

We can deliver high level and detailed reviews into asset health tailored for your needs.

Good practice guides:

  • PAS 55, Asset Management, The Institute of Asset Management
  • Best Practice for Risk Based Inspection as a Part of Plant Integrity Management, CRR 363/2001
  • RR509 Plant ageing: Management of equipment containing hazardous fluids or pressure
  • RR823 Ageing Plant Study

Contact us now to find out more: Tel: +44 (0) 1642 732745 E: paul.mcnamee@ax-ea.co.uk