Meet the Team:
Stuart Turnbull

We are delighted to introduce Project Director Stuart this month. An integral member of our
senior management, Stuart took the time to talk to us about his role at FEG.

What is your background and what was your path to FEG?

I started my career many moons ago as an apprentice with McVitie’s. This was a 6-year apprenticeship that covered ONC/HNC qualifications in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. Starting my career in a practical role gave me an immediate appreciation of the real-world application of design within a production environment – a lens I have been able to apply effectively throughout my entire career. I have been privileged to be involved in some real company-changing projects – including automation, case packing and robot
palletisation developments.

I moved through the ranks across various sectors within food production, including ready meals, pastry, biscuits and seafood, working for household names such as General Mills, First Milk and Dale Farm. Following my time as Chief Engineer I was promoted to Manufacturing Manager, before being promoted to Head of Operations, then Site Director and finishing as General Manager. A career highlight was my role in helping to make the Ginger Nut! – managing the design and installation of the production line for this iconic biscuit. My other claim to fame is having managed the build of the Betty Crocker factory at Berwick.

What should we be watching out for in the world of food production?

The industry has both stayed the same and changed over the years I have known it. Fundamental success factors such as an understanding of project requirements and engagement of stakeholders are still as critical today. H&S is much more prevalent in protecting employees, communities and end users and the role of Maintenance has evolved significantly. Originally viewed as a “fixing” function we have seen Maintenance move through preventative strategies to now focus on predictive Maintenance, where real cost efficiencies can be found through the continuous analysis of machine efficiencies and the timely implementation of action on a more informed basis.

I do think there has been a shortage of apprentices within the industry in recent years. I believe they are fundamental to a successful production environment as they are homegrown talent – innately understanding the culture, industry and intricacies of their environment. It’s encouraging to see that apprenticeships are being put back on the map as an attractive career choice.

What makes FEG different?

The cross-pollination of experts working here brings a collective power not typically found in an in-house production environment. Carrying multiple experienced project engineers can be financially-draining for most companies – meaning the internal resource is often targeted at a lower-level engineer who is able to work across multiple tasks on a daily basis. Our resources, experience and breadth of knowledge at FEG are a real asset to our clients, that they are able to hire in on a short-term basis, instilling a best practice from an expert team that can then be embedded in teams going forward.

food factory automation

Why FEG for you?

I enjoy the variety of working in engineering project consultancy. The challenge is always there as we are seeking to constantly improve for our clients, working across multiple projects and teams. We are seeing a number of highly innovative clients and it is exciting being involved at the infancy stages. You really feel that you are helping to drive new concepts forward and make a difference. I also enjoy the practical delivery approach that FEG brings to its clients. Most of the team have experience borne from real site working, meaning we have an appreciation of how ill- thought-out design solutions or project delivery can impact our end client. As a consequence we have significant experience working on projects that take place while the factory is running – ensuring minimal downtime and that food factory standards are upheld.

We understand that a project should be planned in the context of its overall impact on the business, not just in how it meets final KPIs. At FEG we know just how costly downtime and disruption to production environments can be and we plan and deliver our projects accordingly.

Stuart Turnbull
Project Director

Where is FEG headed?

We are known in the industry for being “the problem solver” – using our teams to ensure efficient and practical outcomes to client requirements. We are working on building our networks across clients to ensure not only a spread of project type, but a depth of relationship that will allow us to bring even more value to their projects. In particular, we have seen real growth in international projects over the last couple of years and we are excited to continue building on this and reaching new geographic territories.

Selected Projects

blast chiller

New Curried Food Production Area

In this case study we helped a long-term client to maximise use of space and equipment for best efficiency during a long-term phased factory expansion …

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Flexible dynamic weighing food conveyor systems designed and built to allow for varying product flow levels

2 Sisters Food Group needed a food conveyor systems 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.

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Flexible dynamic weighing food conveyor systems designed and built to allow for varying product flow levels

2 Sisters Food Group needed a food conveyor systems 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.

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£650k CDM large capacity flour silo installation

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.

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mcvities flood3

McVitie’s site restored and at full production 6 months after flooding

FEG Ltd were appointed as Principal Contractor to get a flooded McVitie’s biscuit factory back up and running at the earliest opportunity.

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Organic Production Facility for Mcvitie’s

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. 

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essentia odour control ventilation

Industrial odour Issue solved for high temperature frying factory environment

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. 

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Odour Acridity Issue Solved for Seafood Manufacturer

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.

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Factory Extension Project With New Cold Store

As part of an ongoing factory extension project the client required a new outgoing product cold store facility as the existing cold store capacity was no longer adequate.

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Reinforce Safety and Security for Food Production

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.

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New seed cleaning plant design and installation

We supported our client Silvery Tweed Cereals in the design and installation of a new seed cleaning plant at its Berwick-Upon-Tweed headquarters.

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Screenshot 2023-05-16 at 10.01.30

Hovis LEV Project to Improve Dust Extraction

Our client Hovis needed to improve the extraction of dust generated through the tipping process of wheat into the site hopper.

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