Meet the Team:
Each month we’ll be introducing you to a member of our expert team. This month is the turn of our lead Electronic & Automation Engineer, Craig Gardiner.
What is your background and how did you end up at FEG?
I started out as a control technician apprentice for ICI in Dumfries on its film production lines, learning plant maintenance and fault finding. From there I moved into electrical maintenance roles within the timber industry, including roles with Egger and James Jones.
I got into contracting with a company in Carlisle and spent the next seven years designing and building control panels for various clients across multiple industry sectors. This is where I first met FEG MD Chris who was working as a contract project engineer at McVitie’s in Carlisle at the time.
Following this I had several other roles, some directly for companies in an electrical engineering capacity, the most notable being Cochran Boilers who provided me with what I still see as some of my hardest and most rewarding challenges to date. I moved back into electrical contracting and gained some valuable experience in the nuclear sector before joining the FEG team in November 2017.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
There is no typical day at FEG!
These is always something different needing looked at or done. This can range from brain storming layouts for production lines to being on site measuring up, testing existing equipment or installing something new.
As an electronic and automation engineer, I work extensively on automation and control systems projects, including developing smart manufacturing solutions that help our customers meet their Industry 4.0 aims.
What makes FEG different?
At FEG we cover so many industry sectors and are involved with various system types, so there is always something new to do or learn.
I enjoy being able to work on a variety of different projects, from designing dynamic weighing conveyor systems and working with other members of the FEG team to provide automation support, to remote data logging and PLC controls for odour abatement plants.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
The challenge of no two days being the same. Yes there are a lot of things we do over and over like in any job as part of the engineering practices behind them – we just never know what we are going to be asked to do next.
What’s been your favourite project?
For me it was probably the PK foods factory extension works.
It’s been by far the biggest project involving building civils that I have managed day-to-day. The subtle changes and the decisions that had to constantly be taken to keep the schedule on track to meet the client’s fixed changeover window made it a challenge. Managing multiple contractors – who all had their own requirements and time needs – within a schedule that couldn’t slip kept it interesting!
I am proud of what we as a company achieved on that project.
Selected Projects Carousel
Flexible Dynamic Weighing Conveyor System designed and built to allow for varying product flow levels
2 Sisters Food Group needed a conveyor system installation to transport their potato products from existing line equipment to a new food transfer pump. Within the final process, the UK-based food manufacturer also needed to be able to dynamically weigh the potatoes.
FEG were commissioned by GM in the UK to Project Manage a £650K cost saving project under CDM to install larger capacity flour silos and batch weighing facility.
FEG Ltd were appointed as Principal Contractor to get a flooded McVitie’s biscuit factory back up and running at the earliest opportunity.
We were commissioned by McVitie’s to project manage a new ingredients feed and mixing system for a start-up organic facility. At a value of £1m the project included our operating under full CDM duty holder responsibilities.
Our client Essentia came to us after having received an environmental notice for an industrial odour issue from its proteins frying factory. Our experience showed us that a typical combination of scrubbers would not be adequate for this project, given the variation in contaminants that had to be removed from the air.
Our team of odour experts worked to develop a new liquid gas scrubber* solution that worked in a 3-stage process to remove all composites from the gas.
This McVities site had applied for AEO (Authorised Economic Operator) accreditation and part of that accreditation was “Reinforce Safety and Security”. The factory’s perimeter fence was identified as being in poor condition and in need of redesign and renewal.
Our expert team of engineers designed and installed a conveyor system for a new pizza line that maximised the use of existing equipment.
We were commissioned by General Mills to undertake a £3.8m project to install a new high capacity frozen pastry production line, from feasibility to hand-over.
We were appointed Principal Contractor for this £6.5m factory extension project, which involved converting a warehouse into a high care food production area and incorporating it into the main factory.
Talk to us today about your next CAPEX or site-level project.