Ice Pigging Maintenance and Support: An Engineer's View
We asked Chris and Wojciech from the Nivalis Engineering team why they would recommend having a Maintenance and Support Agreement in place to get the most from your Ice Pigging equipment, as well as what an Ice Pigging engineer job really involves, read on to find out more...
Posted on: 11th Sep 2023
What are your top three reasons for companies to have a Maintenance and Support Agreement in place with Nivalis?
- Support with critical spares ensures maximum equipment availability and reliability.
- Customers with maintenance and support agreements in place assume priority over those without. The support agreement ensures investigation into any issue will begin within one working day.
- Regular servicing maintains peak efficiency and can identify potential issues before they become a problem.
Why is it good for you as engineers to have face to face time with your Ice Pigging customers?
In person visits enable us to build a professional and more personal relationship with our customers - sometimes information needs to be passed in different ways for it to be understood properly and being able to have conversations face to face can greatly assist in this.
Having the opportunity for customers to interact with Nivalis team members and build relationships re-assures them that we are providing the best service and can put “boots on the ground” wherever they are needed.
Do you find your online training helps to keep Ice Pigging machinery optimised?
Online training helps optimise team safety and equipment effectiveness. An Ice Pigging project carried out safely and efficiently saves time and money. Our colleague Martin normally delivers the training, but we hope to be in the position to train others in the future.
We tend to prefer face to face and hands on training as we find more knowledge is absorbed by participants, however the online option is a good alternative and it can be used as a regular refresher training.
The engineer in us prefers any training which involves operating equipment and seeing it in action in the field!
Do you have any examples of where regular servicing would have prevented a serious failure of Ice Pigging equipment or production delay?
Chris: One of our customers’ machines was scheduled for some routine maintenance and was required to be shut down. Unfortunately the shutdown procedure was not followed correctly by a newer member of the team and some minor damage was caused to the Ice Pigging machine. This unfortunately resulted in further follow up actions and repair required to their Ice Pigging equipment. It is highly likely that this failure would not have occurred had a full support agreement been in place.
Wojciech: I have a good example of how having Nivalis engineers on site can help out. One of our machine's compressors faulted at a customer's site in Canada during an Ice Pigging system integration visit. This unfortunately stopped activities and could potentially have created significant delays. Thanks to the quick reaction of Nivalis members with support of one of our contractors in the UK, delivery of replacement compressors was arranged, despatched and on site within 2-3 days allowing quick completion of all the works. This enabled business as usual to resume, preventing a long delay/downtime in production. The compressor fault was later found to be caused whilst the Ice Pigging equipment was being moved from one part of the factory to another.
What do you like most about your job as Ice Pigging engineers who get to interact with your customers?
Helping customers through successful site visits is dynamic and fun. Seeing new places and meeting new people is great. These are the best parts of field engineering although there are often unexpected challenges to overcome.
We enjoy the variety about our jobs - no two days are the same! It is fun learning new things and progressing our careers at Nivalis, and ourselves as individuals.
Can you summarise a ’typical’ day in a life of a Ice Pigging Engineer?
Wojciech: As mentioned above no two days are the same at Nivalis. My job varies from managing documentation, quality, validation etc., to the more hands on side of things. One day we are under pressure to achieve a lot of goals whereas other days can be a bit more relaxed so that a work balance is achieved and performance is optimised to high on any day.
Chris: As a Field Engineer my day could start with a site visit and end with collecting gear for a customer build project. I may be building part of a new machine or fitting improved parts for test or trial. I may have documentation to update or review, tools and risk assessments to prepare before catching a flight or I might be modifying a component in the workshop. I could be rigging equipment for acceptance trials or assisting with providing an Ice Pigging service. In short, it’s typically a varied and busy day.
What would you say to a customer considering a Maintenance and Support Agreement?
We are the experts on these machines. Our maintenance and support agreements keep the customers’ equipment at peak efficiency and can highlight potential issues which may cause problems further down the line. Customers with critical spares packages are in the best position should the worst happen, and a breakdown occurs. The best will in the world won’t get a machine running without the parts it needs.
And finally, the professionalism of our team speaks for itself. Nivalis provides reliable and quality equipment and customer service - everything a customer is looking for.