As an official UK system integrator and trusted partner, Westbury were approached by Schneider Electric in June 2019 to build a suite of control panels for an Egyptian water purification facility.
The control systems were designed and engineered by Schneider Electric Egypt & North East Africa in collaboration with its client and their end user. Westbury were tasked with taking Schneider Electric’s schematics, specifications and drawings to produce build times, budgetary costs and a manufacturing production plan.
Following their successful appointment, Westbury proceeded with the control panel manufacturing works, a production schedule was put in place, preceded by an extensive pre-production phase.
Peter Mellors, Senior Production Engineer at Westbury was assigned with the project and given the objective to resolve any issues before commencing works on the shop floor – in effect, to save both time and cost for all parties. By utilising industry leading CAD software (EPLAN), Peter was able to 3D visualise the control panel drawings.
“This highlighted a number of issues, which we tackled with Schneider Electric (both UK and Egyptian offices) and their customer. From my experience at Westbury, a key service which sets us apart from other panel builders is our proactive approach – we never consider a job ‘build to print’. Peter explained. “We work with customers and make professional interventions when needed as part of our manufacturing service and capabilities.”
In the short term, this approach can be time consuming but through informed and insightful negotiations, Westbury ensure that trust is built, and long-term customer relationships are secured.
Stephen Whitaker, Solution Consultant at Schneider Electric UK describes the value of Westbury’s approach: “We quickly recognised that Westbury worked methodically through several technical issues, which was very much to everyone’s advantage by then working together towards successful outcomes and solutions.”
This collaboration was not without difficulties as Stephen explains: “The obvious barrier to overcome was language and the potential risk of information being misunderstood or lost in translation. Across its worldwide offices, Schneider Electric use English. However, in this situation, it was important to communicate with the Egyptian customer in their own language. Doing so enabled the end user to check and verify that information, instructions, terms and agreements were all fully understood. Westbury were very willing and helpful with its communications and contributions.”
During the production phase, Schneider Electric UK and Egypt were invited onto the shop floor at Westbury to witness control panel building works taking place, discuss progress and arrange testing procedures. An additional internal challenge for Westbury was to manage manpower, resources, and materials whilst maintaining a commitment to the end customer’s original deadline.
Glynn Westbury, Managing Director at Westbury described at the time the pressure to deliver the unique solutions: “Having worked with our partner Schneider Electric last year on a quick turnaround panel build project for JCB Broadcrown, we knew what was expected from us, and although the timescales were tight, I was very pleased to see first-hand the extra commitment and effort made by our staff at Westbury – they worked tirelessly and were enthusiastic and well-motivated right to the completion.”
Craig Williams, Bid Manager Industry, at Schneider Electric recognised the difficult task: “We certainly set Westbury a challenge, but had every confidence that they would again respond with their full commitment as a reliable and dependable partner.”
The final manufacturing output comprised of several floor standing cabinets and enclosures with operator friendly HMI and MIMIC consoles, which were packaged by Westbury in readiness to be exported. The solution also included the impressive Schneider Electric ‘M580’ PLC’s as well as APC’s, UPS hardware units to serve as well designed, engineered and manufactured water filtration control systems. Feedback from the end user has been very positive with the strong likelihood of repeat orders in the near future.
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For more information about this project and other control panel manufacturing case studies.
More about our relationship with Schneider Electric: System Integrator Alliance Partnership