New ways of working through a global pandemic
Delivering projects for customers during a global pandemic called for new ways of working, strong communication and great flexibility.
Just weeks after the pandemic took hold and international travel was not an option, we were due to commission a direct fired rotary dryer for a new customer in Italy. A task that would normally involve one of our team being on site for a few days now had to happen remotely from the UK to enable production trials to be started.
Relying on phone calls, online meetings and emails, we supported and guided the local engineering team through the commissioning process over a two-week period. Five months later, with the lifting of travel restrictions, we were able to be present on site and fine-tune the system following the initial trials.
James Douglas, technical director at Mitchell Dryers, says the customer was delighted with the support they received: “We’d never worked through a situation like this before, but the remote commissioning and the service we provided ensured the plant was up and running despite all the challenges.”
An added bonus for the customer was that once on site, Mitchell Dryers was able to resolve an intermittent problem of material backing-up downstream of the dryer. “It’s not uncommon for other equipment, upstream or downstream of the dryer, to have a problem that can indirectly affect the operation of the dryer. Fortunately we’ve got the experience, as we showed on this occasion, to identify the issue and get everything working smoothly.”
Decades of expertise also come into play at the design stage. “We’re happy to quote against a customer’s specification but very often we can suggest slight design changes that will improve the dryer’s performance,” explains James.
“That was true here, where the dryer is being used in the manufacture of high temperature refractory components for the steel industry. Our knowledge of the industry and the processes meant we could make subtle design changes to the customer’s specification to deliver the best solution.”