Npower, one of the UKs largest energy suppliers, has revealed that its modern apprentices have completed the building of a live Process Flow Control System at Bridgend College. The system, which took just three weeks to complete, replicates a process distribution and conditioning system that can be applied to many different disciplines within industry.
In training to become a qualified RWE Npower engineer students must be able to distinguish different components within automated process systems and recognise the maintenance and service requirements of these particular components. This can be achieved through drawings and specialist interactive software but the students at Bridgend familiarised themselves with the process by creating a live Process Flow Control system.
The installation of a complete line of water systems is extremely beneficial, not only to the modern npower apprentices at Bridgend, but also to other students who run similar systems. It can be utilised for delivering industrial based skills and competencies such as safe shut down procedures, safe isolation, maintenance requirements, fault diagnosis procedures, dismantling techniques and overall process control and monitoring.
The basic design structure was presented to the npower modern apprentices as part of the PEO (Performing Engineering Operations) qualification. Responsibility for different sections of the system was given to different groups within the class, replicating the practice that would be adopted by company employees or contractors.
Brian Cowen, Section Head of Engineering and Maintenance training at npower said: “I am very impressed with the wide range of skills implemented to install this system. It provides a platform for real-time work. It is outstanding practice and is what sets Bridgend College apart from other Colleges. Indeed, this system is of such a high standard that it could be used to assess NVQ level 3 candidates.”
Amy Chandler, an npower Advanced Apprentice, said: “The project was good fun and brought the team together. It took a lot of planning but we gained a lot of knowledge along the way.”
The next stage is to introduce a temperature control system, which will support process monitoring and environmental issues connected to process plant and process conditioning systems. A basic airline system will also complement the maintenance centre and again be used as a delivery tool to support student learning.
Npower is one of Britain’s largest electricity supplier and supplies gas, electricity and related services to 6.6 million customers across the UK. RWE npower has been awarded the prestigious CommunityMark from Business in the Community (BITC). npower is the only utility business, amongst 21 other companies in the UK, to receive this accolade. The CommunityMark is a new BITC standard which has been created to recognise companies that are good investors in local communities and who have brought about real and positive changes.