Projects

Cumbria O&M Services Project Case Studies

A collection of featured case studies that showcase the high quality Operational, Maintenance and Engineering services that we provide our clients:

What was the problem / service required?

The client was installing a new suite of major assets; the client’s project team had engaged the supply chain vendor to deliver the Operations and Maintenance activities across the lifespan of the assets.

COMS were asked to assess the current strategy and provide advice for future Operations and Maintenance regimes.

What did we do?

COMS conducted an initial Assessment to establish the ‘gap’ between existing arrangements, best-practice and client requirements.

A tailored, Operations and Maintenance solution was then scoped for the assets that included:

  • Definition of asset Operating context and environment
  • Type, frequency and man hour requirements of Operations and Maintenance activities
  • Technical documentation requirements for the identified activities
  • Financial cost/benefit analysis of supply chain versus internal delivery

What benefits did we provide?

  • To define the magnitude and complexity of Operations and Maintenance activities required for the new assets, COMS deployed a Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM) approach that allowed generation of the Preventive Maintenance schedules, for EIM&T.
  • Provision of the future Preventive Maintenance schedule.
  • Optimised lifetime costing of Operations and Maintenance delivery programme by carrying out a detailed make-v-buy assessment of supply chain against client delivery.
  • COMS identified national and international benchmarks and regulations for delivery of the proposed vendor service design, whilst liaising with internal stakeholders.
  • The new assets were outside of the client’s current SQEP training, an assessment of the client’s resource’s core capability to deliver operations and maintenance activities on the new assets was carried out.
  • Successful negotiation with internal stakeholders for the release of personnel from other areas of the business to capitalise on existing knowledge within the client’s portfolio.
  • Complete suite of Operations and Maintenance procedures delivered in the client’s preferred format to align with the maintenance schedules. Generated by COMS and validated using the client’s teams and SMEs, to ensure knowledge transfer and retention.

What did the client achieve?

  • Regulatory requirement met for maintenance delivery
  • Circa 50% reduction in lifetime maintenance costs
  • Identification and removal of single point vulnerabilities in the proposed design solution
  • Increased utilisation of existing resources and optimised shift working rota
  • Increased team knowledge of Operations and Maintenance processes and tasks
  • Decreased reliance on expensive supply chain maintenance delivery

What was the problem / service required?

Our client is an NDA licensed site, who had established an infrastructure enhancement programme to deliver enhanced operability at a site level in response to recommendations determined from a number of reviews undertaken by governmental and regulatory departments.

Key to these requirements was the establishment of the secure perimeter around key facilities located in the central region of the site to provide protection in the form of enhanced delay, deterrence and detection as well as providing for searching of personnel and vehicles accessing the area.

COMS were engaged to deliver the Pre-Operations and O&M requirements that that would enable the project assets to be integrated into the client systems and procedures to facilitate an effective handover.

What did we do?

COMS developed a Pre-Operations programme to show all the activities required to be undertaken in order to bridge the gap between design and client handover.

In doing so, the programme was resourced with timescales created and agreed to give visibility of the programme deliverables.

During programme definition, COMS developed an understanding of the enhancement programme assets, client organisation, SME’s and overall operational and maintenance strategies. This allowed COMS to streamline delivery of the programme.

COMS delivered on the Pre-Operations programme throughout the construction and commissioning phases of the project starting with the underpinning of maintenance activities flowing through to the setting to work of the physical assets.

What benefits did we provide?

  • The Pre-Operations team ensured that the operations, maintenance and support functions for the final design solution were all in place, with approved Maintenance Instructions (MIs), Alarm Response Instructions (ARIs) and manuals linked to the Maintenance Schedule and client management Systems to support this handover. Essential spares and associated trade nominations for the equipment were implemented prior to handover.
  • The operating and maintenance regimes were identified and developed by the Operations and Maintenance teams and developed in conjunction with the relevant client department in line with client procedures and the associated operations/maintenance manuals.
  • Delivery of the Pre-Operations work scope during construction and commissioning phases of this project.
  • Co-ordination of the client and Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Teams as Intelligent Customer.
  • Operating and maintenance regimes were identified and developed by the Operations and Maintenance teams through the Pre-Operations Manager.
  • Client department engagement was a key undertaking and trusted relationships developed as the pre-operations programme unfolded.
  • Maintainability and operability reviews performed and identified the Operating Regimes and Operational deliverables during construction phase. These reviews included the End User and also representation from the client supporting Organisations.
  • Maintenance reviews were performed on the various assets (following the RCM2 process). The outputs of these reviews formed a technical basis of maintenance and underpinned the maintenance regimes moving forward towards client handover.
  • An assessment of spares requirements was performed on the various assets, identified spares were procured or SAP coded to ensure future downtime or safety would be minimised and reviewed to ensure any emerging obsolescence issues were identified.
  • A key interaction within the project was between the O&M Team and the Commissioning Team. This ensured commissioning had client / end user support during off site Factory testing and on-site commissioning, and that commissioning provided pre-operations with the data necessary to operate the system in both short and long term.
  • The pre-operation engineer was heavily involved in the validation and verification process, thus ensuring that the requirements detailed in the Functional Specification were met.
  • The O&M team prepared an O&M documentation schedule which identified the documents required, what detail they should contain, when they were required and the process for authoring, validation and control thus ensuring total visibility.
  • Provision of new Preventative Maintenance schedules, fully resourced and time quantified with inspection criteria and key enablers identified – leading to improved maintenance delivery.
  • Training identification of Client maintenance teams to ensure the assets could be maintained to the standards determined in the maintenance reviews.

What did the client achieve?

  • A maintenance strategy justified through technical basis of maintenance, generated through performance of RCM2 based maintenance reviews.
  • A fully registered asset hierarchy incorporated into maintenance management systems.
  • A suite of maintenance instructions covering EIM&T for all the assets.
  • Pattern planned maintenance for a number of high-importance assets.
  • Spares analysis, including identification of critical and high turnover items and agreed stock level recommendations with all stocked and non-stocked spares ‘SAP’ coded.
  • Service level agreements put in place between Operating Units to formalise the maintenance services provided.
  • Cross boundary agreements put in place between service provider and receiving buildings for new electrical services introduced through the project.
  • Alarm response instructions written and integrated into client systems.
  • Maintenance personnel trained to maintain the client assets.

Supporting Information & Testimonials

From the Head of Programme following a review by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR):

The excellent work of all of you in the pre-ops / capability implementation arena – in supporting delivery, handover, establishment of maintenance and asset care arrangements, and establishing operations – has really come through strongly in this review – I was at the ONR hot feedback session and the phrases used included “first class”, “more than thorough”, “excellent”, and “doing a sterling job”.


I also feel that the appreciation across the projects and the programme of what you all do and its necessity and importance is really changing / changed now. So, thanks to you all – and let’s keep it up for all the work still to do.

From the client Pre-Operations manager following the review by the ONR:

I would like to pass on some feedback that we received from ONR, our Client and my Line Manager regarding the part we are playing within the enhancement programme. I would also like to extend my thanks to yourselves and Cumbria O&M for work to date and ongoing work within Pre-Ops, please note that this ONR intervention was for one sub-project only and I can state that the same level of performance on our part is reflected within the other areas where we operate.


I was not at the hot feedback session but did have 2 sessions with ONR regarding Pre-Ops and Commissioning and the other session was Maintenance, they were genuinely impressed and convinced that we were performing to a high standard. Both sessions allowed me to reflect on the progress that has been made since Aug/Sept and realise the step change we are making to the business. Please pass on my appreciation to people within your team and Cumbria O&M.

What was the problem / service required?

The client had engaged a Construction Contractor to install multiple security systems on a major Nuclear Site in the UK.

The Client could not hand over these new assets to the End User as the necessary paperwork and underpinning information required had not been produced by the Contractor at the requested time for handover.

What did we do?

COMS conducted an assessment utilising the Handover Process flowchart that has been developed and proven over several successful Project handovers.

COMS also carried out a detailed Gap Analysis to attain where the gaps where regarding documentation.

COMS then produced a Stakeholder Communications Plan, Document Schedule and Delivery Programme which was managed by a COMS Handover Specialist and team of COMS Support Personnel.

What benefits did we provide?

  • Highlighted the extent of what was required to achieve a successful handover.
  • A clear strategy and programme to handover the project to the End User.
  • Experienced oversight and management to achieve the outcome.
  • Honest and open communication with both Project team and End User.
  • Confident and assuring approach to the situation the Project Team was in.
  • Delivery of all outstanding documentation in a timely manner.

What did the client achieve?

  • Stress free successful handover to the Client
  • Enhanced reputation in Project Delivery
  • Reduction in Handover and close out costs
  • Satisfied Customer

What was the problem / service required?

Our client is a multi-national, market leader in the design and manufacture of tele-robotic manipulator solutions. As part of the tendering process, they were tasked with providing a design solution for a large scale European collaboration project based on the continent.

Our client requested an independent FMECA (Failure Mode Effect and Criticality Analysis) be conducted in order to further substantiate their design proposals.

What did we do?

COMS conducted an initial data gathering exercise in order to underpin the FMECA, as well as analysing the suitability of the proposals and looking for potential operational and maintainability issues. With the information initially gathered, a bespoke FMECA session was facilitated. The FMECA utilised Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM) decision logic and underpinning principles to further underline the maintenance requirements of the different design proposals.  An official report submitted to the client, detailing all findings and recommendations.

What benefits did we provide?

  • Up-front, in-depth analysis of the design proposals, allowing for pre-loading of the FMECA work sheet. This enabled a smooth and timely delivery of the FMECA, whilst minimising the drain on client resources.
  • Key input into the design selection process, detailing shortfalls and oversight in the end user manipulator requirements, whilst suggesting suitable countermeasures.
  • Provided the end user with an advance insight into the potential failure modes and consequences of the analysed design schemes.
  • Provided the end user with feedback on the environmental suitability with respect the delivery of maintenance tasks.
  • Provided the end user with an up-front indication of spares costs and lead-times, thus giving an accurate indication of spares inventory cost and system downtime.

What did the client achieve?

  • The client tender was successful
  • The scheme suggested by the FMECA report has been adopted by the end user as the preferred solution. Although this scheme was the most expensive, its choice was substantiated in the FMECA report as being the most cost effective over the asset lifespan.
  • The client was able to further guide the end user in understanding the impact on the operational environment of the maintainability and recovery requirements. This further strengthened the client’s proposal.

Supporting Information & Testimonials

The end user stated that ‘the FMECA report was completed to a high level of detail’, and the client was very happy with the work carried out by COMS on their behalf. COMS are due to support the client on the next phase of this project as well as in a similar capacity on other projects.

What was the problem / service required?

Our client is an NDA licensed site responsible for the long term storage of waste products and the decommissioning of existing facilities. They were experiencing an unacceptably high false alarm rate on the fire alarm systems deployed in their facilities which are in the process of being decommissioned. This false alarm rate was adversely impacting the delivery of decommissioning activities, accruing ongoing restorative costs and potentially forcing the client to replace certain systems. COMS were tasked with facilitating a review of the current systems with client Subject Matter Experts and to produce a report detailing the findings.

What did we do?

COMS conducted an initial data gathering exercise in order to support the review. In doing so timelines were created to give the client an overview of the issues being experienced. As part of the data gathering process, COMS developed an understanding of the clients systems, maintenance activities, safety case and statutory maintenance requirements. This allowed COMS to conduct a timely and in-depth review of the systems and consequently produce a detailed report, detailing suggested actions.

What benefits did we provide?

  • Up-front, in-depth analysis of the systems and current client operational and maintenance practices. This enabled a smooth and timely delivery of the review, whilst minimising the drain on client resources.
  • Detailed understanding of the systems and the adverse impact that operating environment changes have on system performance.
  • Troubleshooting of current issues based on the data gathered.
  • Multiple solutions to common problem, with client buy in.
  • Clear direction in the enhancement of maintenance practices
  • Provided the client with sufficient data to allow for detailed trending of failure information.
  • The provision of an in-depth report which stands up to regulatory scrutiny.
  • The review session was satisfactorily completed within half of the allotted time. This enabled client SMEs to return to normal duties ahead of schedule.

What did the client achieve?

  • The client achieved an improved understanding of the technical and operational capabilities of their systems.
  • The client achieved an understanding that there were multiple low cost solutions available to them.
  • Improvements to current maintenance practices, with the move from failure finding to predictive maintenance being adopted in relevant instances.
  • Underpinned understanding of the need for their contracted maintenance service provider to improve the level of service being afforded.
  • The clients’ expectations were exceeded whilst being on budget and ahead of schedule.

Supporting information & Testimonials

The client stated that their expectations were exceeded and that the in-depth, up-front analysis conducted by COMS was instrumental in achieving the results gained. The enhanced knowledge gathered by this process has allowed the client to better manage their systems, whilst providing much improved reliability.

Technical Consultancy, Operations & Maintenance Support Services

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