Meet Matthew Taylor, Alderley’s E&I Manager

Issue Date:

E & I has proven an area of significant growth within the Alderley service portfolio. So we have taken this as an opportunity to speak to Matthew Taylor, E & I Manager at Alderley, about his experience, the necessity of ATEX/IECEx Inspections as well as the future of the E & I industry, including the new UK Ex scheme being introduced in 2021.

• A bit about yourself – your background in Electrical and Instrumentation (E & I), and the Energy industry?

My name is Matthew Taylor and I’m the E & I Manager for Alderley systems Ltd, who I joined in 2012.  My career started the in late 90s as an Apprentice Instrument Technician for an Electrical Contracting Company based in Bristol. I gained knowledge in various industries such as Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) Storage facilities, Gas powered generation, Pharmaceutical manufacturing and water treatment. That’s the good thing with Instrumentation as it can be used in a multiple disciplines and processes all over the World.

It has helped me travel the world including living in India. This was a fantastic experience which I will never forget and I’m very grateful for.

• For those that don’t know, what is E & I? can you give us a quick intro to the topic as well as Alderley’s capabilities?

Electrical and Instrumentation (E & I) at Alderley Systems is part of the Instrument and Control Engineering department (ICE). We design and assemble hazardous area apparatus on our metering or produced water treatment (PWT) skids based on client information to control and measure the process variables, this data is then connected to a control panel or Scada system where it can be monitored.

We carry out all the calculations such as Detailed System Design (DSD) which are a must for Intrinsically Safe Apparatus (I.S systems).

We also manufacture and supply control panels as a department.

• ATEX/IECEx Inspections – why do you need them?

All equipment intended to be used in a hazardous area environment must be inspected and maintained in line with BS EN 60079-17. The standard states that these inspections should be no longer than 3 years after the original detailed inspection date. I would recommend every 12 months though due to the importance of the equipment to ensure the equipment is still safe and compliant. This will ensure the system operates safely and thus will not cause an explosion in the hazardous area’s working plant.

We can carry out hazardous area design and inspection work for any industry and sector if needed.

What are the benefits of modifying or upgrading your Electrical System as opposed to needing a new unit?

Cost will be the main saving for our clients upgrading their existing systems. This could save on equipment breakdowns thus maintenance costs and means they comply with the latest standards also. Another benefit is accuracy which is essential for our systems and can have a huge cost baring further down the line.

• Where in the world have Alderley carried out E & I services?

We have offices across the UK, Dubai and Dammam. We carry out work all over the world, for example U.K., North Sea, Africa and Indonesia. The latest project I’m working on is for a client based in Texas. It’s great to be able to work against a range of local standards as no one day is the same.

What do you think will be the next big thing in E & I?

Hazardous area inspections and maintenance are always at the fore front for our clients and managing them can be a challenge, we at Alderley can look after that for you with our inspection manager platform which links directly to our inspectors Ex rated tablets.

We’re also looking to develop a computerised package Condition Based Monitoring (CBM) capable of calculating a metering system’s measurement uncertainty as well as flag up potential faults by analysing process information, equipment diagnostics information, maintenance records and calibration records.

What is your opinion on the future of E & I for the energy industry?

I believe it will be very busy in the future, due to Covid-19 a lot of work that would normally have been carried out has been put on hold due to travel restrictions so once we get the green light to go back to normal “whatever that will look like” we will have to look at maintenance and hazardous area inspections on equipment.

As a department we’re also supporting our suppliers, clients and colleagues with Brexit and the effects on equipment for the hazardous area supplied to the UK now having to be UKCA certified instead of ATEX certified; the new certification will be introduced 1st January 2021, and in all cases only UKCA Issued EX Certificates will be accepted from 1st January 2022. This will be a change in the equipment marking and a new Ex certificate number also.

Finally, when you are not designing hazardous area E & I systems, what do you like to do in your free time?

Its great spending time with my wife and two young children, we go for long walks and always have a flask of hot chocolate in the cold months which is normally gone within the first 5 minutes. I also play hockey for a local club which I have been a member of since 1992.