Centrica’s South Humber Bank Power Plant
The Problem

In February 2014, DHD Cooling was contacted by Centrica’s South Humber Bank Power Plant in the North East of England. The plant was suffering sensitive equipment freezing during harsh weather as a result of being situated on an estuary. . This resulted in the immediate shutdown of the boilers and terminated production at the plant. The shutdowns were cost hundreds of thousands of pounds in lost generation each winter.

The Consultation

In conjunction with our partners Galebreaker Industrial, DHD Cooling undertook a site survey and consultation to identify the cause and extent of the freezing issue. It was found that the majority of the sensors that were freezing were outside of the area of the existing cladding, on the West face of the Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG). This meant that the sensors were also directly in the path of the strong winds coming in from the North Sea. The client had already attempted to protect each of the sensors, with localised covers, but the wind chill was so great that they were ineffective.

The Solution

DHD Cooling and Galebreaker Industrial put together a scope of works to situate bespoke tensioned fabric Wind Shields across strategic locations to nullify the effects of the wind on the sensitive equipment. Galebreaker’s PVC coated polyester windshields are designed to withstand wind speeds of up to 90mph, and the partially permeable mesh material slows the wind without causing the full wind loadings of conventional cladding.

The simple nature of the ratchet hook connections also meant that additional structural steelwork was kept to a minimum and therefore the installation process was more straightforward than if the client had decided to clad the structure.
Because the windshields were only placed where they were required, the solution offered a significant cost reduction over conventional cladding, and the cost of the system has more than paid for itself as since its installation. The plant has experienced no further shutdowns due to frozen equipment on their HRSG. Since implementation, we have since installed an identical system on the adjacent HRSG.

Key Points

  • Cost effective, bespoke weather protection system.
  • Easy and fast installation.
  • Minimal additional steelwork required.
  • ROI after first winter.




air cooler exterior

Air cooled equipment uses ambient air to cool a process or system by transferring the heat across a very efficient heat transfer surface into the surrounding environment, simple and effective.

Typically the medium used to cool the system or process will be water mixed with an antifreeze to prevent freezing in the colder months, however, in extreme climates where the temperature can fall to -30C and below even the antifreeze additive may not be enough.

The Solution

Using Galebreakers’ compact tube mounted motorised rolling door connected to a temperature probe in the circulating fluid, solid rolling doors automatically deploy to protect the coils from the effects of freezing winds, removing the risk of freezing on your air cooler.

Fitting these automated doors to the unit is a simple case of installing bespoke brackets and runners to the air cooler frame, the final result looked as if it was designed to be there all along including manual overrides in case of power failure.

Suitable for evaporative and dry cooling systems, in both standard and marine grade materials, makes this a simple solution to freezing risk.




Galebreaker rolling filter exterior photo


Cooling systems come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from very small light industrial coolers around the size of a domestic fridge up to cooling systems that are larger than football pitches.

Inlet filtration is designed to trap some of the airborne contamination before it enters your cooling system in an easy to clean location, rather than lodged within the systems themselves, where it is often very difficult to remove debris.

For dry cooling systems the airborne contamination builds up between the fins restricting airflow, but also reducing the effective cooling surface, which leads to lower performance. The delicate nature of the fins generally means that cleaning must be done carefully to ensure that damage does not occur, but it also tends to mean that gentle cleaning of the fins is not always effective, so being able to collect this debris in an easily accessible location means cleaning is easier and more effective, even if it is required a little more frequently.

In the case of evaporative cooling reducing the amount of nutrients that are drawn into the circulating water can help to reduce fouling in the fill pack, or a build-up of contamination in the water system. Less nutrients means less bugs which in turn reduces the chemical demand associated with killing bugs, and less chemicals can prolong the life of the materials of the cooling tower solutions system.

The Cooling Tower Solutions

A facility in Europe installed some cooling tower solutions on their large cooling towers that required filtration on air inlets measuring around 30m long x 3m tall. This was achieved by using a single rolling system across the complete 30m long air inlet face that can be simply manually rolled away for access by a single operative.

The system is attached to the cooling tower structure along the length of the inlet, with the total weight of the equipment being that of the fabric and the rolling bar. Retaining bars are installed at intervals along the length of the screen to contain the screens.

The rolling bar is manually driven using a small hand driven gearbox to allow an operator to roll the entire screen away for access into the cooling system, this arrangement allows costs to be kept to a minimum with a single drive unit being able to serve more than one cell.

This system can very easily be motor driven and even automatically deployed based on a signal, depending on the desired function.

It is possible to deploy this screen during operation, which is a big problem with loose screen options, and changeover of the screens for any reason requires the minimum of time as the screens can simply be slipped out of the retainers and replaced, which is a 20 minute operation.




evaporative cooling tower
Evaporative cooling towers reject heat into the atmosphere in the form of warm saturated wet air, the larger the heat rejection the more water will be rejected into the environment, and in the right conditions this water vapour will form visible clouds above the cooling towers. Think of it as nothing more than when you breathe out on a cold day, the moisture in your breath cannot be absorbed by the cold air outside of your body quickly enough, so water droplets are formed, which reflect light creating visible plume.

On a large scale this can cause safety concerns, where these plume clouds can ground near equipment or on roads and foot paths creating wet and potentially icy surfaces. It can also obscure visibility which can be an issue on roads or around airports, or in some cases people just don’t like the look of it and associate these fluffy white clouds of pure evaporated water vapour, with pollution.

Whatever the reason, a greater degree of plume control can be achieved by installing air side dampers, which can vary the airflow into a cooling tower reducing plume formation or increasing performance.

The Solution

Using manually operated rolling doors to vary the airflow into the cooling towers, it is possible to increase the plume abatement effect of the cooling towers seasonally, so that maximum plume abatement is achieved in the winter and maximum evaporative performance is achieved in the summer.

Installation of the system is simple requiring a couple of side channels and brackets to be fitted to the equipment, for the screens to attach to and where they will travel up and down the face of the equipment.

Each screen is designed to fit onto the equipment to completely cover the air inlet, providing a full protective screen which can be fitted with easily interchangeable winter protection, airside control or air inlet filtration screens.

This system can be scaled up and automated, varying the position of the air side dampers to maximise performance.

For plume abated cooling towers cold water temperatures can be reduced by more than 1ºC leading to increased generating capacity or improved plant performance in the summer months.

Please find more information on our website here.




large airborne particulate filter close up

The Problem

DHD Cooling were contacted in September 2019 by a plastics manufacturer who has two Cooling Towers running with belt-driven fans. The issue being that the bearing housings that the fan shaft was connected to were failing on a regular basis, causing plant outages and lost production. The client had a shutdown in October and wanted the situation resolved during this time.

The Consultation

The client had the idea that a gearbox driven fan would be a better solution, and DHD’s advice was requested on the possibility to retrofit a solution into the Cooling Towers. DHD used Solid Works software and build a model of the Cooling Tower to explore the options. After a week of consultation with the client a solution was found with components that could be delivered in time for the shutdown window. 

The Solution

It was possible to remove the top section of the Cooling Tower which contained the belt-drive and pulley system. This was lowered to ground-level and was installed onto a work platform to ensure the refurbishment could be carried out safely. The externally mounted motor which was installed vertically for the belt-drive was removed from the Cooling Tower along with its support hardware.

DHD designed a new ring-beam support structure and external motor support and had this independently structurally assessed to ensure it would withstand both the weight of the installed components and be free from resonance when the gearbox was in operation. 

With the belt-drive and pulley removed from the top of the Cooling Tower, this section was then lifted onto the ring-beam and bolted down, all at ground level. The new Gearbox was installed onto the ring-beam, and the fan installed onto the Gearbox. The motor removed from the Cooling Tower previously was then installed onto the side-support platform.

This assembly was then lifted back onto the Cooling Tower Fill section and bolted down. A new fibre-glass driveshaft was installed between the gearbox and motor and these components were aligned to ensure proper running.



Arcwide and IFS Ultimo launch partnership to further develop asset management operations for customers

IFS Cloud specialist Arcwide and Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) platform provider IFS Ultimo have signed an implementation partnership. By adding IFS Ultimo as a best-of-breed EAM platform to its portfolio as part of this partnership, Arcwide empowers customers to get more value out of its IFS Cloud platform solution. Arcwide will be managing the partnership on a global scale, following the formation of its EAM center of expertise in Benelux.

Olivier Baudry, Director, Arcwide comments, “We are thrilled to announce our joined efforts through our newly founded EAM center of expertise in which IFS Ultimo will play a key role. With IFS Ultimo, we will enable our industrial customers to improve their asset management operations, with an emphasis on maintenance and safety.”

Pierre Robino, Director, Arcwide adds, “Through this partnership, Arcwide is reinforcing its commitment to the IFS best-of-breed solutions. The partnership between IFS Ultimo and Arcwide will support customers in managing their assets, adding further value to their businesses.”

Maarten Meijer, Manager Channel Services, IFS Ultimo says, “We strengthen each other on our joint growth opportunities in this partnership, including our mutual growth ambitions in the USA and Europe. Arcwide is well-known in the industry with years of experience in the IFS ecosystem. Its core business is IFS Cloud ERP implementations, which often also include EAM services. Now, Arcwide can expand its portfolio by offering its customers the best of both worlds: A best-of-breed EAM solution like IFS Ultimo and an integrated best-of-suite solution, such as IFS Cloud.”



How My Passion and CMMSradio Help Maintenance & Reliability Professionals


Communicating the value of a CMMS is something our guest experts tackle countless times and from various perspectives throughout their careers. Customers who seek out a CMMS have the exact same experiences in that the perspectives are that of maintenance and leadership; in a way, we speak different languages. There's even more to this when we consider the overall industry, company type, and organizational culture. Obviously, it's nuanced but there are some general concepts that may help get you on the right path toward communicating the value of your/a CMMS.

Basic fundamentals – just like maintenance and reliability – play a crucial role in how you communicate value across teams.

Let’s Agree on the Scenario

I've taken a very general and anecdotal approach to this article as a starting point for this ongoing topic. Let's agree that our scenario, for this article, is building support for finding and implementing a CMMS platform in your organization. We'll need a few assumptions (yes, we all know those are not great LOL), like we have completed an analysis of our maintenance processes, discovered a set of problems, and that a CMMS is the best solution for that problem. Notice that communicating the value already started if you've gotten this far; however, is it the right value.

First, Let’s Consider What the Front Lines Need

Maintenance cares about how they're moving through their daily world and simply wants to do great work – the less disruption to their process, the better, which means they must be empowered and somewhat autonomous in their day-to-day. That requires trust and communication is a BIG part of trust in both our teammates, our leadership, and within oneself. To build trust through communication we need to be direct, yet mindful, about the why and the impacts with transparency. A risky concept.

Maintenance must communicate why they need this, why they want this, and what it will do – Most of all, they must do so in a way that is meaningful to leadership (think finance). So maintenance has a need, a case for the root cause and solution, and must tie a value to that for the business – for leadership. This often boils down to measuring the impact (the current state) and the desired outcome (future state) in the form of ROI. The KPIs and Metrics for leadership tend to boil down to dollars and cents (and sense).

Leadership Must Be Engaged

Similarly, leadership must communicate why they're implementing a CMMS while making sure they have included the frontline workforce (the doers) in the initial phases of selection. The same root cause of the problem may require an alternate definition for maintenance buy-in because the impact, ROI, etc., will surely be understood differently.
It is not just about money on the frontline. The maintenance team wants to be efficient and optimized for the performance of what they already love to do. They want proper resources and time to do the highest quality of work. Leadership loses visibility to these human factors at times (they're moving fast), so a go-and-see approach helps.

Communicating the Value

The overarching theme here is we MUST connect maintenance to the business and the business MUST be connected to maintenance operations.
Here’s a short list of things to do when building your respective case for the value of a CMMS.
  1. Define the problem you have with plenty of support – qualitative and quantitative!

  2. Educate leadership on where this shows in your day-to-day and theirs (the impacts)!

  3. Leadership must do the same and convert the money, metrics, and KPIs to meaningful impact for the maintenance team!

  4. We need internal champions and stakeholder representation from all parts (not sides)!

  5. Slow down and do this right – Haste makes waste and this stage is about the foundation upon which you build your CMMS (and reliability) program.

My Passion for the Basic Fundamentals

Basic fundamentals – just like maintenance and reliability – play a crucial role in how you communicate value across teams and how we can blend the perspectives of both leadership and maintenance operations is why we are doing what we are doing! We need to dig deeper into this and it's a common topic on CMMSradio - It tends to come up in each episode. Tune in to get all of those insights from our amazing guests!!

"We must, above all, learn how to have influence if we are to effect these outcomes of gaining support and communicating value. Influence requires a focus on the other when it comes to getting the outcomes we want. In fact, it is the lack of influence in relationship dynamics that causes power struggles. Not only must we learn the language of the other (person, people, departments, etc.), we must understand and allow them to have influence thus we may then influence the outcomes. There's much more to the concept and idea of having or developing influence. Take it on face value, until we explore this topic more deeply in future articles, that true influence is about the other and will get you on your journey. Power struggles will do quite the opposite for you, your team, and your organization." - Greg Christensen

Greg Christensen hosts the insightful CMMSradio. Back in 2003, Greg co-founded a CMMS SaaS company and has been immersed in the CMMS space ever since. After their acquisition in 2018, Greg has worked extensively in the facilities management space, consulting with clients during their CMMS journey, leaning on his 3+ decades in CMMS, facilities management, maintenance management, and the like. 
Relentlessly pursuing the "elusive win-win," the podcast helps companies and people navigate their CMMS journey with expert guests, inspiring monologues, and a no-nonsense approach that is real, raw, and relatable. If you have a CMMS project and want some insights - Connect with Greg and follow CMMSradio on your favorite podcasting medium. He's passionate about the space - ALL of it - and loves to help solve problems. Follow #CMMSradio and connect with Greg on LinkedIn to schedule a call if you need help with a CMMS project.

IFS Ultimo and ALLIANT RIGSERV sign partnership to optimize maintenance and improve safety for asset-intensive customers

IFS Ultimo and global professional services provider ALLIANT RIGSERV have signed an agreement that offers customers access to IFS Ultimo’s Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) Software as a Service (SaaS) solution. ALLIANT RIGSERV’s subject matter experts (SMEs) have deep knowledge of best industry practices for asset management in the healthcare and oil and gas industries. Through this partnership, they can offer an even more comprehensive and streamlined approach, professionalizing asset management, enhancing maintenance, and increasing safety.            

Located in Houston, Texas, ALLIANT RIGSERV is strategically positioned to connect with businesses from the same key sectors wherein IFS Ultimo is a proven leader of EAM services. Therefore, companies in the medical, manufacturing, and energy sectors will now be able to benefit from IFS Ultimo’s flexible, easy to implement EAM solution to optimize maintenance and improve safety. This partnership further equips end users with built-in integrations to established Enterprise Research Planning (ERP) systems.

Josh Leachman, VP Sales, ALLIANT RIGSERV comments: “IFS Ultimo's established presence in diverse markets opens doors for ALLIANT RIGSERV, allowing us to reach new customer segments. This enables us to cater to a wider range of customers’ asset-specific needs with shorter implementations and faster time to value. Our customers will benefit from IFS Ultimo’s robust reporting tools and real-time actionable insights into their assets.”

Freddy Vos, VP International Sales & Channel, IFS Ultimo, adds: “Through this partnership, asset-intensive companies in the USA will benefit from our solution. Adding ALLIANT RIGSERV’s knowledge and network to our community enables us to profit from its local expertise. We are confident that we strengthen each other and look forward to a new exciting chapter in our international growth strategy.”



Compressor from FPS delivers 46% less energy consumption at Armac Martin

Birmingham-based Armac Martin, a pioneer in design-led luxury brass hardware and accessories, relies heavily on compressed air for its CNC machining requirements. However, the company’s existing system was constantly operating at full capacity, leading to unnecessary energy expenditure. By collaborating with FPS Compressors and its preferred local distributor Compressed Air Systems UK - Birmingham, Armac Martin adopted a new system capable of variable compressed air supply. The project led to an impressive 46% reduction in energy consumption compared with the company’s previous compressor.

Founded in 1929 as a local brass foundry, Armac Martin is today a fourth-generation family business with a global reputation for exceptional design and craftsmanship. Compressed air is critical to the successful operation of the company’s modern CNC machining centres. At the same time, like all manufacturers, Armac Martin is driving to make its operations more sustainable. The company has a strategy to achieve net zero by 2041, making the significant energy drain of its compressed air system a cause of major concern.

Collaborating with FPS Compressors and Compressed Air Systems UK - Birmingham, Armac Martin opted for a new system capable of variable compressed air supply, identified through data logging and energy audit exercises. Monitoring of the system took place using state-of-the-art instruments over several weeks. FPS Compressors and Compressed Air Systems UK - Birmingham explained both the data and the recommend solution to Armac Martin’s management team. Notably, the transition to the new compressed air system, which features a NOBEL 18.508 DVF PM variable-speed screw air compressor from FPS at its core, was seamless and without downtime. Comprehensive training ensured proficiency in operation.


With the NOBEL 18.508 DV FPM, compressed air aligns to system requirements by regulating the speed of the electric IE4 permanent magnet motor, which can range from 15-100% of the maximum speed. Notably, the direct-drive system means zero energy losses, whereas standard drive belts may incur losses of 4-11% as the energy transfers from the motor to the compressor. Excellent and precise pressure control extends from 6 to 13 bar, while accurate and optimised cooling of the compressor arrives courtesy of efficient, powerful and quiet radial fans.

By partnering with industry experts and embracing innovative technologies, Armac Martin is seeing a remarkable 46% reduction in compressor energy consumption, translating to an impressive £23,637 in annual savings. The return-on-investment [ROI] for this sustainable initiative was achieved in just 14 months.

“The use of compressed air represents a large chunk of electricity costs at machine shops such as Armac Martin, just like it does at any manufacturing plant, food production facility or packaging plant,” says Nick Poole, Managing Director at FPS Air Compressors. “To make gains, users of compressed air must get smart about specifying the optimal technology, notably the compressor. Armac Martin is a great example of what this strategy can deliver. While the company’s previous compressed air system ran constantly at full capacity, the new solution reduces power requirements by only meeting actual demand. The result? Significant improvements in energy efficiency without any compromise in manufacturing performance.”

For additional information on this case study please visit:

Further information is available from:

FPS Air Compressors Ltd, Unit 5, Tower Estate, Warpsgrove Lane, Chalgrove Oxfordshire OX44 7XZ

Telephone: 01865 892 620                                          e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


SPIE Nederland partners with IFS Ultimo to improve asset management and maintenance for customers


SPIE Nederland, the Dutch subsidiary of SPIE, the independent European leader in multi-technical services in the areas of energy and communications, and Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) Software leader, IFS Ultimo, have joined forces to enhance asset management and maintenance for customers. As of now, SPIE Nederland’s Business Unit Maintenance Solutions will act as an implementation partner for IFS Ultimo in the Netherlands.

The mission of SPIE’s Business Unit Maintenance Solutions is to help customers improve their key maintenance performance. SPIE adds true value for its customers by supporting them in developing, coordinating, and executing maintenance in line with asset management. EAM plays a key role in supporting maintenance processes nowadays. Using an EAM system ensures the best outcomes in relation to a company’s targets and objectives. It supports companies in their sustainable development approach, helping to reduce resources needed for maintenance, as well as energy consumption by improving the performance of assets. IFS Ultimo makes it easy to set up and track asset performance and facilitates organizations in maintaining their assets in an efficient and effective way. The user-friendly interface can be made fit for purpose by SPIE engineers and is compatible with many partner ERP systems and Industry 4.0 tooling.

SPIE has used IFS Ultimo’s EAM software to manage the assets of maintenance contracts of several customers, including some large Dutch governmental organizations, for many years. SPIE’s Business Unit Maintenance Solutions, in particular, uses the software on a daily basis since a large percentage of its customers use it to manage and optimize their maintenance activities. By partnering with IFS Ultimo, SPIE will be able to provide and implement the EAM software across the Netherlands.

Lesley Fraats, Business Development Manager, SPIE Nederland comments: “By partnering with IFS Ultimo, we build an even broader portfolio of expertise around EAM software. We combine our strengths so that our customers benefit from the best of both worlds: IFS Ultimo’s EAM tool, which adapts to the needs and requirements of their business, implemented by SPIE’s consultants, who have the best understanding of the environment in which the software will be deployed and used.

Maarten Meijer, Manager Channel Services, IFS Ultimo adds: “We see companies struggle with both opportunities and challenges that arise due to the fast-changing business landscape and digitalization. IFS Ultimo and SPIE customers will benefit from this partnership by experiencing the joint expertise of both companies from both a maintenance perspective on the work floor and a digitalization perspective. Our EAM software fits extremely well in this landscape and the specialists at SPIE will ensure that the IFS Ultimo software is implemented, used, and adopted in the most effective way.”

About SPIE Nederland

SPIE Nederland is a subsidiary of the SPIE group, the independent European leader in multi-technical services in the areas of energy and communications. SPIE Nederland provides advice and technical solutions in design, installation and maintenance of network systems and energy, infrastructure, industrial and building installations. 

Employing almost 6,000 people at 41 locations, SPIE Nederland holds the number one position as technical service provider in the Netherlands. 

With around 48,000 employees and a strong local presence, SPIE achieved in 2022 consolidated revenues of €8.09 billion and consolidated EBITA of €511 million.

About IFS Ultimo  

IFS Ultimo is a SaaS EAM / CMMS solution from IFS, focused on maintenance & safety and well known for a rapid deployment, ease of use and an unparalleled time to value. IFS Ultimo is part of IFS.

IFS develops and delivers cloud enterprise software for companies around the world who manufacture and distribute goods, build and maintain assets, and manage service-focused operations. Within our single platform, our industry specific products are innately connected to a single data model and use embedded digital innovation so that our customers can be their best when it really matters to their customers—at the Moment of Service™️. The industry expertise of our people and of our growing ecosystem, together with a commitment to deliver value at every single step, has made IFS a recognized leader and the most recommended supplier in our sector. Our team of 5,000 employees every day live our values of agility, trustworthiness and collaboration in how we support our 10,000+ customers.


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