Transtherm – Specifying for a top secret



Understanding your technology down to each screw, accessing accurate weather data and applying your engineering knowledge to a range of applications are all crucial skills when specifying industrial cooling equipment. We do this every day at Transtherm. And we do it really well.

We relish the opportunity to work on projects which throw us from our comfort zones, tip things upside down and make us sit up and pay attention – this is when we really get to see what our engineers are made of.

We are no strangers to mission-critical applications, nor do we shy away from projects which are sensitive or secure. But one recent project, managed by experienced engineer, Matthew Griffin, made us reassess what it really takes to specify for one of the UK’s most top-secret locations.

Matthew explains more:

“Working closely with one of our long-standing distributor clients, this project would become the most classified site Transtherm had ever supplied. The location is of a mission-critical nature and vital to the UK defence system. Using some of the most advanced research and manufacturing technologies in the world to support national security, under some of the most stringent health and safety measures every recorded.

“With no access to site, information shared on a need-to-know basis and a list of highly specific, never-before-requested adaptations and data requests, we were largely specifying ‘blind’, compared to the data-rich process we work with usually.

“We knew from the off that this project would be special. It would teach us new ways of working and require adaptable processes on our part. All challenges we would relish and learn from.”

So, what does it take to specify for one of the UK’s most security-restricted locations? Here’s our top five list:

Trust in other professionals, even ones you haven’t met.

When your access to site it limited, and information is shared on a need-to-know basis it can be hard to fit together all the pieces of the puzzle. Trust that your industry colleagues have furnished you with the knowledge you need, even if they are people you haven’t dealt with before.

They too are professionals working on the same project, towards achieving the same goal as you. Trust them to do a good job and focus on delivering the very best outcome you can together.

Communication, even when facts are limited.

When working on a project which is light on information, don’t use it as an excuse not to communicate. If anything, you should communicate more. Reiterate the facts you have, ask if there is further information available and update the supply chain on progress regularly. There are likely other members of the wider project who are also working ‘blind’.

Communication during challenging projects instils confidence in clients who understand you are working under unusual, and sometimes less than ideal, circumstances. In turn this will help them to reassure the end user than things are in-hand, no matter how bespoke the variables.

Believe in your products and the willingness to adapt them

With some aspects of the project shrouded in mystery, a strong belief in the quality and performance of your products is vital. Knowing that our adiabatic coolers offer simplicity in their operation, with ‘plug and play’ functionality, enabled us to specify with the utmost confidence that they would perform once on site.

Bespoke adaptations and additional testing, validation and data analysis were required throughout the specification process. The willingness (and skill) to adapt your products and test its functionality is crucial in meeting these requirements and showcase the confidence you have in the products you engineer.

For this project in particular, special attention was paid to the controls, providing highly bespoke alterations and capabilities. Anti-vibration adaptations were also made and additional data was sought regarding the lifespan of the UV bulb within the sensor system, so that the end user could plan for proactive replacements.

Adaptability in your processes, flexibility in your thinking.

Regulated processes bring structure and conformity to a team, but some projects require you to work outside of these processes. Be adaptable when required, and accountable for your choices. Understand that the environment that you are specifying for isn’t typical, and therefore requires an atypical approach.

Be flexible in your thinking, rather than rigid in your approach. Suggest ways of working that may facilitate a better or speedier outcome and be fluid enough to react when your high-security project requires you to step outside of your comfort zone.

Renowned for bespoke adiabatic and air blast cooling technology, Transtherm’s team of mechatronics, robotics and mechanical engineers are experienced in specifying for some of the world’s most challenging environments. To discuss your project, call +44 (0)24 7647 1120 or connect with Matthew Griffin on LinkedIn.