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Our experience of cross-industry learning

17/06/2021

Eadon Consulting is an engineering design consultancy which works across multiple sectors. Our experience of working on a wide range of projects has taught us the importance of working together with other industries to share lessons learned, swap tools, technologies and techniques.

The Nuclear Industry Association and the NDA recently hosted a webinar showcasing the possibilities and learnings from cross industry engagement between SMEs. Eadon Consulting Director, Jim Hill, was a guest speaker at the event. He reflected on Eadons experience of cross industry learning, how it’s been applied and some of the challenges it has presented…

TECHNOLOGY

In terms of cross sector learning one of the most obvious forms is technology transfer between sectors. Eadon has recently been involved in taking an industrial diamond wire cutting process and adapting it for deployment in a nuclear environment for size reduction activities. One of the challenges we found with this was that although it was a proven technology in one sector, we had adapted it for a nuclear environment. Therefore, we had to prove how reliable and usable it would be for the operator (who would be dressed in full PPE,) to deploy.

On another project we took ideas and concepts that we had learned and used within the pressure vessel industry and then applied those thoughts and processes to a waste container design in order to make it safer, simpler and more cost effective.

KNOWLEDGE

As well as technology, transferring knowledge between sectors can be useful too. This was true for the waste container design project where we looked at tools and techniques that are used in the mass production of pressure vessels and applied them to a nuclear waste container. This provided a time and cost reduction in terms of the manufacturer.

Another example was with a client who used a very rigid process for assessing their nuclear fabrication; (which added a lot of complexity and cost into their process.) We were able to introduce an idea that is used in the offshore industry, where we look at each individual weld, what function it’s performing, how much it’s being utilised, what level of inspection you can achieve during manufacture and the level of inspection you can achieve in service. We took all those factors into account to then get a level of inspection for that weld during manufacture, as well as through life. This gave the fabrications a far more graded approach and made them more cost effective. It also made them easier to use and offered benefits in terms of their through life inspection as well.

ETHOS

At Eadon we also find value in terms of the ethos that we can take from one sector to another. For example, being prepared to be open minded, to challenge the status quo or introduce a pace of delivery. We are focused on what the deliverables are, when they need to be delivered and how we will achieve those outcomes that the client is looking for.

 

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