Penny Nuclear innovate to keep business running throughout lockdown

30 September 2020

Penny Nuclear team utilise CCTV systems to remotely complete Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) and to keep projects moving.

Lockdown and social distancing has provided businesses with many challenges this year. In the UK, the Penny Nuclear team have turned this challenge into an opportunity to improve the way in which they offer Factory Acceptance Testing.

Penny Nuclear designs and manufactures lifting equipment, mechanical handling solutions and hydraulic systems for all stages of the nuclear plant lifecycle and nuclear fuel cycle. The company is a tier 2 supplier to the nuclear industry supplying directly to companies such as Sellafield Ltd and Magnox Ltd amongst others.

With unprecedented numbers of people working from home or under restricted travel, physical travel to witness FAT has been difficult. The Penny Nuclear team utilised a high-resolution CCTV system inside the nuclear work area to record, live stream and present the product in use to its customers. 

The images below show FAT of a 300-tonne hydraulic drum compactor, used to compress drums of Fuel Element Debris (FED) which is to be retrieved at Magnox’s Hinkley Point A site.

With this being a key project for Magnox, if the completion of the FAT was not possible until travel restrictions were lifted, this would have put the project on hold until potentially 2021. 

"We set up our CCTV system to capture key parts of the systems that were developed for waste handling and storage," says Simon Pykett, general manager of Penny Nuclear. "This enabled us to provide our customers with a split screen view of the entire system being demonstrated and to pass FAT. This ultimately led to us being able to successfully demonstrate the capabilities of the equipment to the customer and progress to the next stage of the project."

Keeping business moving throughout lockdown and beyond 

The adaptation of the FAT has allowed Penny Nuclear to continue to deliver solutions to its customers, enabling our customers to continue to work on their decommissioning projects. 

The CCTV has also been utilised to help the project engineers to test a remote puck loading system. The high resolution CCTV feed is streamed onto a laptop and is used to position the puck into a repository behind a screen that imitates a shield wall. 

The Penny Nuclear team plan to continue to use this method of demonstrating the product throughout the pandemic and beyond.

"You could argue that the video actually worked better than an in-person demonstration" says Penny Nuclear project engineer Rob Stuart. "Our customer could view the whole system and key elements working together, as well as pause and rewind the video to pick out key moments of the test. The enhanced viewing experience could even potentially help us to identify improvements to systems for the future."

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