Expert Details

Expert in Manufacturing, Automation, Engineering Design, Operations, Control Engineering, Food Factories

Expert ID: 730090 United Kingdom

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Long-standing designer of complex factory automation systems.

Expert witness work has involved determining causes of program failures that have led to serious factory fires and equipment failure, as well as failure to perform to specification. Three major fire studies (milk powder drying plant, clinical waste incinerator, bakery); two large contract disputes (food manufacturer, bottling/packaging plant) and a recent criminal case involving the design of an electronically protected cash box, and whether it could be opened without recording the fact.

Expert has worked extensively with Allen Bradley, specifically programmable logic controller programming dates back to 1977 and Texas PM550/5TI range. Includes plc programming with Allen Bradley, GE Fanuc, Mitsubishi, Modicon, Omron, PLC Direct, SAAB, Siemens, Square D Symax, Telemecanique and Texas plcs. HMI work dates back to 1983 when Expert was one of the first customers for AFE. Graphics work includes AFE, AB T30, InTouch, PanelBuilder, Prodigy, ProFace and Wonderware. Experience in various vision systems since 1984. Expert uses AutoCAD, Inventor and SolidWorks.

Industry experience: Commissioning engineer/project manager since 1976. Multi-skilled – electronics, electrics, mechanical, instrumentation, controls, SCADA, process technology, and of course people management. Experience in baked products, drinks production, packaging, cigarettes, automotive, water utilities, pharmaceutical, oil & gas, and aerospace industries. Countries worked in include Abu Dhabi, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, China, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Malaysia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, USA.

Expert has long experience of baked food manufacturing, drinks processing and other FMCG product manufacturing in many countries.

Expert witness work has dealt with bulk handling equipment and manufacturing plant for food factories (chemical powders bulk transfer, food processing equipment, and packaging plant disputes).

Consultancy work has been carried out for many international blue chips, including engineering project work associated with a salmonella outbreak in the UK; new bakery oven design for four Asian factory sites; and a new factory build in Malaysia.
Examples of processes worked with include liquids ingredient plants (fat, water, liquid borne additives, and pumped minor ingredients) for food factories, baked product lines for Mars, United Biscuits, Burtons Biscuits, Premier Foods; drinks canning lines and packaging machinery for Bass, Inde-Coope and Britvic; water treatment plant for Bristol Water; cigarette machinery for BAT.

Most recently, Expert has been project manager for a new 11,000 sq foot cleanroom laboratory equipment factory in Nordhausen, East Germany. He was in full charge of the project, from greenfield site to final production, including design of the facilities (and cleanroom air handling), production scheduling, budgets, fire precautions and so forth. Introduced new techniques for low retention coatings (plasma treatment with PTFE) and new injection moulding machinery, including negotiations with suppliers.

Manufacturing improvements and industrial troubleshooting specialist.

Expert witness work has covered a number of contract disputes relating to machinery performance, including a patent dispute relating to a proposed design that needed a complete cost and performance assessment. Other reports covered electronics failure for a chiller and a pipe-bender for titanium tube).

Consultancy has mainly revolved around improvements in overall operational efficiency and identifying areas for lean manufacturing application.
One example - Expert was appointed an interim manager for a leading shower gel manufacturer, whose flagship line was only working at some 25% efficiency. Designed and managed nearly 200 individual improvements, leading to overall equipment efficiency of 80% at the desired line speed and some 250,000 bottles a day produced by the line.

General design assessment for failed equipment.

Expert witness work has covered health and safety, especially conformance to European Machinery Directive and CE Marking..Recent cases have involved assessing guard failure on industrial and consumer products, a personal injury claim on a consumer leisure product, and assessing slip / trip hazards.

Advises manufacturing firms and produce CE Technical Files for equipment.

Expert has over thirty years experience with industrial ovens, including over ten expert witness cases involving oven design and performance.

One of these cases required two days cross examination by 6 barristers in front of a High Court judge. This related to the use of polymer belting following an oven outlet. Another case dealt with the efficiency of a heat exchanger design. Many of these cases were filed following industrial fires in bakeries.

UK blue-chip toiletries factory.
Almost trebled output and introduced wide range of improvements in line with lean manufacturing methodologies. Increased profit by £0.75m during interim period. Team involvement and commitment, with visibility and feedback was all-important. Had to remove the culture of blame and bring together all sides – materials suppliers, machinery manufacturers and factory production teams - in order to identify and categorise the problems. In seven months, 198 separate improvement projects had been created and overall operating efficiency (OEE) had exceeded 85% in some shifts.Internationally renowned confectionery producer.
Project managed 3 fast track strategic improvement projects simultaneously after major salmonella problem in key UK plant. Very much the driving force behind converting “commercial strategy” into “action”. Projects to time & budget -£3m- despite very short time scale and complexity of process. Malaysian food producer.
Management of £2m line for food factory generating 1.8 tonnes/hour. Called in because of serious environment problems with new technology, and cultural difficulties. Support had to be given to all areas, such as mixing and packaging, as the greatly increased production of a modern line had not been anticipated. Maintenance staff had to be taught new techniques, including the use of CAD and control computer programming. Negotiation with equipment suppliers over failing technology. Took over the early morning meetings to satisfy stakeholders and produce workable output schedules.Middle Eastern National Oil Company.
Urgent troubleshooting of the control systems running the main cooling plant for the gas turbine pumps, resulting in downtime savings of at least one hour a day and significant reduction in operational risk for key plant. Under intense client pressure as the two back-up cooling plants had failed and an error would have meant flaring off the entire field’s production.Pharmaceutical manufacturer.
Two year project management of 50 software design and instrumentation staff for a major new pharmaceutical line. Strict conformance to Food and Drugs Agency requirements – in charge of QA of all software. Highly innovative sequencing software developed especially for this project.

Education

Year Degree Subject Institution
Year: 1983 Degree: MBA Subject: Business Studies Institution: London Business School
Year: 1977 Degree: ACPMM (now MPhil) Subject: Production Management Institution: Cambridge University (Engineering Dept)
Year: 1973 Degree: BSc Subject: Engineering Science Institution: Exeter University
Year: 2012 Degree: Accredited mediator Subject: Contract, commercial and non-family mediation Institution: London School of Mediation

Work History

Years Employer Title Department Responsibilities
Years: 2002 to Present Employer: Undisclosed Title: CEO Department: Projects Responsibilities: Project management and machinery design consultancy.
Years: 1983 to Present Employer: Undisclosed Title: CEO Department: Expert Witness and Improvements Responsibilities: Factory improvements; automation design; industrial market research; expert witness work
Years: 2012 to 2013 Employer: Biochrom Cambridge Title: Interim project manager Department: Laboratory equipment Responsibilities: In charge of the design and project management for a completely new 11,000 square foot cleanroom production facility in Nordhausen, East Germany. This work also involved product design and new product development. Project completed within budget and to the agreed timescale.
Years: 2009 to 2010 Employer: PZ Cussons Title: Interim Manager Department: Personal Hygiene Products Responsibilities: Factory improvements project manager - had ownership of the flagship line in terms of raising OEE from 25-30% to 80-85%. Achieved by identifying and managing 200 improvement projects.
Years: 2008 to 2009 Employer: Cadbury plc Title: Interim Improvements Manager Department: Chocolate Ingredient Manufacturing Responsibilities: Responsible for designing and introducing major process improvements following a major product problem.
Years: 1977 to 1981 Employer: APV Baker (Baker Perkins) Title: Commissioning Engineer Department: Biscuit Equipment Responsibilities: Commissioning engineer and troubleshooter for international baked goods equipment.
Years: 1973 to 1976 Employer: Westland Helicopters Title: Graduate Engineer Department: Build Responsibilities: Computer programmer for defence and manufacturing systems.

Government Experience

Years Agency Role Description
Years: 1969 to 1970 Agency: UK Atomic Energy Authority Role: Electronics Technician Description: Pre-university technician and computer programmer in a research establishment

International Experience

Years Country / Region Summary
Years: to Present Country / Region: Americas Summary: Worked as an engineering consultant for food factories in USA, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador and Chile.
Years: to Present Country / Region: Europe Summary: Worked in many European countries on engineering projects, including Belgium,
Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Ukraine and UK
Years: to Present Country / Region: Middle East Summary: Countries worked in include Abu Dhabi, Iran, Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
Years: to Present Country / Region: Asia Summary: Countries worked in include China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.
Years: to Present Country / Region: Africa Summary: Have only worked in Nigeria for a food factory.

Career Accomplishments

Associations / Societies
Past member of
Inst Mechanical Engineers
Inst Electrical Engineers
Royal Aeronautical Society
British Institute of Management
Licenses / Certifications
Private Pilot (UK PPL)
Publications and Patents Summary
Author of over 100 published market research reports, including a £500,000 revenue title on Intelligent Transport Systems for the FT.

Additional Experience

Expert Witness Experience
Single joint expert in UK disputes. Principally involved in contract disputes, in injury claims, and in determining the cause of fires.
My manufacturing knowledge, my automation skills, and my forensic engineering are of particular interest to clients.
Training / Seminars
Developed a number of automation-specific training courses.
Vendor Selection
Extensive experience in sourcing engineering suppliers.
Marketing Experience
Author of over 100 published industrial market research books for Financial Times, Mintel, Frost & Sullivan, Key Note, Business Ratios, and other publishers.
Other Relevant Experience
Black belt in six sigma. Trained as a school Bursar (business manager).

Language Skills

Language Proficiency
English Native language
French Best described as rusty, but have had a lot of exposure over time.

Fields of Expertise

automatic handling, automated manufacturing, automation, bulk materials handling, factory automation, manufacturing automation, automated assembly, process automation, food processing plant, baked food product, bread baking, cereal food manufacture, cookie production, food product manufacturing, manufacturing troubleshooting, engineering dispute, engineering project management, European manufacturing, international manufacturing, equipment manufacturer, lean manufacturing, manufacturing efficiency, manufacturing process optimization, industrial accident, baking industry, industrial oven, automated optical inspection, machine guarding, industrial control, industrial accident investigation, personal injury, industrial injury, control system engineering, European Union's Good Manufacturing Practice, negligence, automatic vision system, product failure, food processing plant troubleshooting, European safety directive, European machinery safety standard, European electrical standard, snack bar, candy manufacturing, programmable logic device design, automation control, fermented baked food product, assembly technology, food machinery, manufacturing cost analysis, Current Good Manufacturing Practice, engineering specification, product information management, automated filling machine, factory, automation system, industrial automation, aircraft manufacturing, electrical machinery manufacturing, programmable logic control, engineering design automation, food packaging equipment, household appliance liability, manufacturing documentation system, manufacturing cell performance analysis, food plant, air impingement oven, food processing plant design, flexible manufacturing system, manufacturing technology, food processing good manufacturing practice, electrical-mechanical accident, food industry, automobile manufacturing, forensic engineering, solid material handling, machinery-related accident, electrical accident, assembly engineering, automatic control device, control equipment, materials handling, design for manufacturability, automated machine design, consumer product, mechanical conveying, food engineering, batch process, food extrusion screw, production engineering, digital control system, process modification, investigation, engineering, cookie, powder handling, plant safety, manufacturing, industrial process, heat convection, forced-convection heat exchanger, food processing, convection heat exchanger, cereal (food), manufacturing cell, business process re-engineering, bulk pharmaceutical chemical manufacturing, bovine mastitis, assembly machine, accident investigation

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