Toby Bailey, business development director at RED Engineering, explains how F4N helped RED Engineering ramp up its nuclear activity.
Could you introduce your company?
RED Engineering (formerly RED Marine) is a firm of highly skilled engineers working to help industrial and manufacturing customers to cut risk, achieve cost savings, shorten schedules and operate safely. The firm’s expertise revolves around the development of engineering solutions covering installation, maintenance and decommissioning activities with services spanning engineering consultancy and the fast-track design and build of bespoke equipment to qualification testing.
Why did you enter the F4N programme?
Off the back of a successful track record in the offshore oil and gas sector, we identified nuclear decommissioning as an area where we could add value through the transference of our existing skills and expertise. A key driver was to diversify our business into new market areas beyond the offshore sector to secure the future growth and development of RED. As we had limited experience in the civil nuclear arena, we entered the F4N programme to provide independent validation and to enhance our credibility, enabling us to work successfully as a supplier to the sector.
What areas did the assessment identify for development?
The way we manage visibility of company target and performance information to our workforce could be improved. It was also noted that we did not have an active system in place for safety observations. There were no big surprises, but we now have a more comprehensive, rounded understanding of the cultural approach to health and safety within the nuclear industry. Consequently, we have become more self-aware of potential hazards in the working environment.
How did you close the gaps in these areas?
Senior staff have completed Triple Bar training and cultivated a better understanding of the high standards that we need to achieve along with the responsibilities we owe to our employees, suppliers and clients. We now display KPIs on the wall of our test facility – these include metrics regarding client satisfaction and the completion of continual improvement actions. We have also introduced a new observation reporting system that has contributed to unlocking the flow of ideas from our staff vis-à-vis safety improvement and the continual improvement of processes and facilities. This has been our most useful new initiative.
What benefits have you seen from F4N?
The F4N programme has enabled us to ramp up our activity in the nuclear sector, approaching Tier 2 suppliers in a projectready state, with the confidence that we have the capacity to provide a suitable level of service for the industry. We have been successful in winning consultancy engineering work at Sellafield, where our work has been commended. F4N status, together with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for innovation, will play a seminal role as we look to further increase our presence in nuclear decommissioning, showcase our skills and establish a reputation as a credible supplier.
Where do you see the opportunities for RED Engineering in nuclear?
We are targeting decommissioning programmes at Sellafield where our experience of delivering added-value integrated solutions and technical equipment for remote intervention meet onsite requirements. Engaging with larger Tier 1 contractors and smaller existing suppliers to ensure we can access the correct route to market will undoubtedly reap success for us at Sellafield and beyond.
How do you see your business in the nuclear sector in five years’ time?
Our ambition is to be a trusted engineering partner within the nuclear sector, delivering equipment and expertise to support the industry in its goal to improve the current approaches to decommissioning power plants. We want to establish partnerships to deliver turnkey solutions, and aim to be the go-to company for complex challenges where a fresh approach, new thinking and cutting-edge industrial technologies are required to successfully complete a decommissioning task.