In the News
2021: Our busiest year yet
2021 got off to a rocky start for the nation as England entered its third national lockdown on January 6th. But despite the chaos of the pandemic, Eadon has had its busiest year to date and has gone from strength to strength with its highest ever turnover.
In the nuclear sector we have continued to deliver our consultancy services to Sellafield through the Enabling Innovation Framework (EIF.) We have also grown our R&D capability through our REACH and Diamond Wire Cutter projects.
REACH is a high payload capacity, modular platform for long range deployment of equipment, offering a reusable and simple toolkit that is adaptable to suit instrument and environment. It offers improved efficiency and safety whilst reducing deployment preparation time and cost. This groundbreaking technology can help the nuclear energy industry deal with major clean-up challenges. We recently successfully completed a Proof of Concept demo for REACH; a major milestone in developing the system towards becoming a commercially available product for the nuclear industry.
After being awarded the Sellafield Ltd LINC 19 challenge, we developed a diamond wire cutter. Sellafield needed a method of remotely cutting and removing an obstruction between two storage ponds which was preventing ROV access required for decommissioning activities. We identified diamond wire cutting as being the most appropriate technique. Using our experience from the test rig development, as well as drawing on other ongoing R&D projects, we were able to use a number of off-the-shelf components and technologies, accelerating the development time whilst also reducing cost and improving reliability. We were delighted that the Diamond Wire Cutter successfully completed the cutting tasks earlier this year.
In other R&D news, we were thrilled that CAPSA Solutions has recently been awarded a £500k grant opportunity to develop a waste container designed to meet the challenges of broad front nuclear decommissioning. Eadon Consulting collaborated with fabrication specialists Arc Energy Resources to form the joint venture; and together they have brought a unique combination of design and manufacturing experience to the project. The grant was awarded for a 2.5 year development program by Innovate UK and will allow us to move to the next stage of developing the waste container. We can now investigate how much these will cost to produce at volume and look at any design changes and iterations that can be done to make it even more cost effective.
We have also continued working in the nuclear defence sector, including the scheme and detail design of a several mechanical plant items. In addition to the substantiation calculations and detail manufacturing drawings, we have produced commissioning and installation documents such as Inspection and Test Plans.
Last year we worked with Amco Giffen to supply mitre gate designs and fabrication drawings for one set of gates at Gairlochy and sixteen pairs of gates on the Crinan canal. This year saw the successful installation of Crinan Canal Gates for Locks 1 to 4 and Gairlochy Lock 17 Upper Gates. This is part of a huge renovation project by Scottish Canals to replace ageing lock gates on the Caledonian and Crinan canals and it’s been great to see it progress further this year.
We were thrilled that the Lille Langebro Swing Bridge we worked on in Copenhagen has won two awards this year. The 160m long, pedestrian and cycle double swing bridge won the Award for best Footbridge or lightweight structure as well as the joint Supreme Award for Excellence in Engineering at the IStructE 2021 Awards. Not only this, it’s also been shortlisted for a RIBA International Prize 2021. The RIBA awards are regarded internationally as a mark of excellence and the Lille Langebro Swing Bridge is one of just three exceptional projects on the shortlist so this is very exciting indeed.
We worked on The Gull Wing project in Lowestoft this year. Once completed, this will be an iconic and important bridge which will provide a much-needed third crossing over the town’s Lake Lothing, helping to ease congestion. Early stages of construction have now begun.
After what felt like a lifetime of purely working from home and only seeing each other over Teams; we’ve finally got back some kind of normality. We’ve implemented a hybrid return to work with staff working some days in the office and some at home each week. This is working very well and it’s been fantastic seeing each other in real life again!
This year marked the completion of our first undergraduate placement. Our first candidate, Isobel Catt joined us for a one-year placement as part of her MEng Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Sheffield. Her placement year was a real success and Isobel is now carrying out research into our Diamond Wire Cutter as part of her final year university project. Tom Corran, our latest undergraduate student joined us in September and has enjoyed working on a design for a drone landing platform for our REACH project. We look forward to taking on another placement student in 2022. If you or someone you know is interested in applying for an undergraduate placement with us, click here for more information.
As well as Tom, this year we have also be very happy to welcome Andy Fowler, John Pardy, Alex Cawthorne and David Kinnear to our growing team of engineers.
The future continues to look bright. There are lots of exciting opportunities coming up in 2022 and we’re looking forward to another great year.
From all the team here at Eadon, we wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!