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: [email protected] 

Axiom scoop prestigious award at key North West event

Axiom Engineering Associates were named “Supplier to the Chemical Industry 2022” at the Chemicals Northwest Annual Awards Dinner 2022 held on March 24th at The Point, Lancashire Cricket Ground, Old Trafford.

Chemicals Northwest is the industry-led, chemical cluster support organisation for the North West and surrounding areas chemical sector, the largest in the UK. Supported by the Chemical Industries Association, the organisation supports and promotes the interests and activities of the chemistry-using industries. This key event in the Chemical Northwest calendar aims to champion the best and brightest successes within the industry.

Although Axiom’s head office is based in Stockton-on-Tees, its localisation strategy to establish regional presences in key Chemical and Process sector hubs led to the opening of another new office at one of the UK’s leading independently-owned business and technical parks. Based in a central location in Runcorn, an office at The Heath Business and Technical Park was opened back in 2020 to support Axiom clients in the North West.

This award sponsored by Otto Simon, was made to a Chemicals Northwest member who was able to demonstrate how their products or services have successfully responded to a customer problem and helped deliver effective supply partnerships.

Operations Director Kevin Murray who collected the trophy on behalf of Axiom said, “This award is testimony to our decision to open our new office in Runcorn which has supported the effective delivery of services to our clients in the North West. We strive for excellence and professionalism in everything we do and now to be formally recognised for our achievements by Chemicals Northwest means so much to us.

This award has given us an exceptional start to the year and we would like to thank Chemicals Northwest for this opportunity to increase our visibility as we continue to grow our customer base in the North West whilst also supporting other members in the supply chain to ensure the continued success of the regional economy.”

Axiom is expected to grow strongly again this year. With the continued building of long-term partnerships and strategic alliances, Axiom’s growth is testament to its capability to deliver effective lifecycle integrity management systems to its clients.

Axiom sponsor grassroots football team

Axiom Engineering Associates are proud to sponsor the Immingham Pilgrims community football club under 8s. The Pilgrims celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and fields boys, girls and mixed teams aged between U7 to U16.

The U8s team play in the Crofts Lincolnshire Junior League and are currently in the third tier of the U8s league pyramid and aspire to greater achievements.

This year, the players have made an “electric” start to the season, winning seven games out of seven and are on track for early mid-season promotion to the second tier.

Coached by Axiom Inspector Stephen Smith, he has high hope for his footballing youngsters.

Stephen said, “Last year as a new team, we struggled for sponsorship and had to rely on parents chipping in to help provide equipment. This year however, has been entirely different as Axiom were extremely keen to help the players on their journey and jumped in to sponsor at the first instance. The sponsorship support from Axiom has been invaluable to these young players. Axiom has provided a full match kit for every player which is a bespoke design from Nike sports, drill tops for the coaches and hygienic professional water bottles for all of the players.”

He added,” As a team of players, coaches and parents, we really cannot thank Axiom Engineering enough for their unrivalled support of this team. It was a pleasure to have Axiom representatives at a recent league match to show our appreciation.”

Axiom will be following the progress of the team closely and cheering them on from the side lines.

Axiom Engineering Associates is an award-winning business specialising in delivering UKAS accredited inspection services, supported by mechanical and materials asset integrity services.  Acting as the design and inspection authority to many blue-chip companies, Axiom deliver engineering expertise across a broad range of process sectors including: chemicals, petrochemicals, bulk storage, power, pharmaceuticals and renewables. Committed to growth in the Humber region, Axiom plan to open an office at the Saltend site very soon.

Axiom Engineering creates 3 new apprenticeship positions for 2021

Engineering solutions provider, Axiom Engineering Associates has appointed three new apprentices to its business as it continues develop its succession planning strategy and bridge the skills gap within the engineering industry.

Axiom combines three complementary engineering disciplines, Mechanical and Materials engineering with UKAS accredited Inspection services to deliver wraparound asset care for process equipment. Operating across a diverse range of industry sectors both in the UK and internationally, the new apprentices will begin their journey in Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) based at the head office in Stockton- on-Tees.

Whilst the business has remained buoyant, the impact of Covid-19 has meant that the apprenticeship programme was paused until it was safe to do so in addition to ensuring the new apprentice intake were able to gain as much hands-on experience as possible. Axiom’s apprentice programme has developed over a number of years as it continued to invest in the local economy which has led to rigorous recruitment process resulting a high calibre of candidates to ultimately secure their places as apprentices in the growing business.

Leader of the apprenticeship programme, Adam Morris, NDT Technical Manager said, “The introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy and a focus on business-led standards has meant that businesses like Axiom can embrace this approach and embed this programme within their recruitment and long-term strategy.”

He added, “We recognise the importance and value of apprentices to the organisation and are committed to our ongoing investment in young talent from the local region. Apprenticeships provide an excellent opportunity not only for candidates to receive training and a career but also businesses which can develop the essential engineering skills that are becoming scarce.

We are delighted to welcome three new apprentices, Kieran Gamble, Max Eastick and Ryan Webster to the Axiom team and will be monitoring their progress closely to ensure that they have every opportunity to learn and succeed within their new roles.”

During the programme, each apprentice will be provided with a structured development plan, tailored to their existing capabilities and support gradual learning with regular external testing to ensure quality standards are achieved. Training is normally a three-year programme as the apprentices become trained in the NDT business area, offering both on-site and office experience and working alongside experienced Axiom NDT technicians and Inspectors. Current apprentices, Matthew Black, Jamie Frew and Daniel Connor have now completed their programme and have secured permanent roles within the business.

Despite the uncertainty of the economic climate during the Covid-19 pandemic, Axiom has continued to forge ahead with its ambitious growth strategy. The company has enjoyed an increasing presence and profile which will be supported by the planned opening of a new office at the Saltend site in Q4 2021. Axiom continues to differentiate itself from its competitors through its integrated offerings, creating value for both their clients and wider stakeholders.

New Appointment

Axiom Engineering Associates is delighted to announce the appointment of Peter Hunt as Commercial Director.

Peter will be a member of the Senior Management Team with responsibility for leading business growth in both existing and new engineering consulting services.

Working previously as Business Development Director at WSP and also in senior leadership and business development positions within ABB for more than 20 years, he brings with him extensive industry experience within the Chemicals, Oil & Gas, Power and Pharma sectors.

Peter said, “I am delighted to be joining the Axiom team and look forward to engaging with my new clients, colleagues and stakeholders, supporting the delivery of Axiom’s wider strategic objectives. This is an exciting time for Axiom with future growth plans into key UK industry regions. I believe that the key pillar for success is the building strong, long-term relationships with our clients and the delivery of a quality service. By concentrating on these areas, I am confident that we can realise our ambitions going forward.”

The launch of new services which Peter will lead in the coming months will complement Axiom’s core disciplines to deliver effective lifecycle asset integrity management services to its clients.

Adam Potter, Managing Director added, “During the pandemic, the last 18 months has been extremely challenging for all businesses and Axiom have responded well and continued to serve our expanding client base successfully. As the economy moves back to a normal footing, we are now focussed on the execution of our long-term strategic plan and the addition of Peter to the senior management team will support the delivery of this plan. The introduction of new services planned for 2022 will also enhance Axiom’s value proposition which is based on the alignment of our three complementary disciplines to provide wraparound asset care for process equipment.”

The North-East based business, which specialises in the provision of UKAS accredited inspection services, backed up by mechanical and materials asset integrity services, is expected to grow strongly again this year.

This appointment is in response to the overall business growth strategy and Axiom are confident that Peter’s contribution will be a significant factor in the continued success of the business.

Axiom secures a 3-year term contract deal with leading renewable energy business

As they prepare for a return to full production in early-2022, Humber-based Vivergo Fuels have selected Axiom Engineering Associates as their inspection partner of choice under a new 3-year term contract.

Vivergo Fuels opened their bio-ethanol plant, sitting alongside other class-leading chemical and renewable energy businesses at the Saltend site in Hull. However, it announced in 2018 that it was to halt production due to continued delays from Government in the implementation of E10 petrol as the standard in the UK. With announcements in recent months that E10 will now be mandated in the near future, Vivergo Fuels will restarting production to support this vital cleaner energy initiative. This revival of the plant means that wheat grown locally will again be processed into bio-ethanol (a green fuel combined with regular petrol at the pump) along with protein-rich animal feed.

Axiom previously delivered their UKAS-accredited inspection services to Vivergo Fuels before production ceased, and had maintained these already-strong alliances with the business in the intervening period. This new term agreement will now facilitate the ongoing delivery of Inspection and Engineering services to a major renewable energy-based business at a critical time in its history. This will include a comprehensive Risk-Based inspection (RBI) programme to ensure the most effective Asset Management strategies are implemented across the pressure systems and storage assets across site, taking account of the evolving plant risk profile. Axiom’s Inspectors and NDT personnel will be a continued presence on site gathering key data to inform the approach and enable a de-risked return to production.

Axiom Managing Director Adam Potter, said, “Over the past 18 months, we have continued to support our clients through the difficult conditions during the Covid pandemic, and as a business we are excited to be looking toward the future with major clients such as Vivergo Fuels. This new agreement will allow Axiom to demonstrate the merits of a long-term partnership with Axiom and the implementation of a robust Asset Management strategy.”

Despite the uncertainty of the economic climate during the Covid-19 pandemic, Axiom has continued to forge ahead with its ambitious growth strategy. The company has enjoyed an increasing presence and profile in the Humber region, which will be supported by the planned opening of a new office at the Saltend site in Q4 2021. Axiom continues to differentiate itself from its competitors through its integrated offerings, creating value for both their clients and wider stakeholders.

The Vivergo Fuels plant is the UK’s largest single source supplier of animal feed and Europe’s second largest producer of bio-ethanol.

Teesside Innovators

To achieve net zero by 2050, it is essential that the major industrial hubs such as Teesside and the Humber Bank push forward with the development and implementation of renewable energy and carbon capture schemes. It’s great to see innovators and leadership coming from the regions, such as Teesside University which is leading an ERDF-funded project in ‘Process Design & Simulation for a Hydrogen Economy.’

This is very much a collaborative project involving R&D at the University but also partnering with talent from SMEs to much larger companies.

This collaborative ensures that the best minds, from both academia and industry, are harnessed to address the climate emergency whilst ensuring that a range of stakeholders  play a  central  role in the energy  transition. This  also presents pioneering opportunities for regional economies involved in the Process sector and the UK plc. as a whole.

A key takeaway from the work the University is doing, is to use process simulation to essentially filter the myriad of options being put forward to generate Hydrogen, or to improve its production efficiency, and deal with carbon capture. What Axiom knows from experience is that once a potential process innovation shows promise then the next stage will invariably involve multi-discipline feasibility studies.

Material selection is a key consideration, as is how pressure systems are designed to cater for what maybe challenging pressures, loadings and temperature burdens. The re-use, and re-purpose, of existing infrastructure in the deployment of new solutions is another key consideration which relies on detailed domain knowledge.

Axiom has already engaged in advising and helping emerging companies involved in renewables and green technology  solutions.  If  you  require  any  assistance  in material selection or innovative design, we are waiting for your enquiry.