Macfarlan Smith Limited, part of Johnson Matthey PLC\'s Fine Chemicals Division, is a world leader in the production of alkaloid opiates and other controlled drugs.

Macfarlan Smith is a 24/7 production plant, covering over 120,000 square meters, with 20 electrical switch rooms feeding hundreds of distribution boards across many buildings.


Scope of work:

We established a site specific planned programme of electrical switch gear maintenance which incorporated periodic fixed wire testing.  A five year programme was developed to enable a seven man team working to complete the relevant work within fixed and narrow timeframes, in 12 hour shifts. 

The works involved 24/7 operation with only two short shut-down periods per year when the work ‘must’ be completed.  The site contains hazardous areas of working therefore specific Health Assessment training had to be included – i.e. site specific method statements and risk assessments.

There was also a requirement for McGill to employ their expertise in thermal inspection post maintenance to ensure the switchgear was operating within safe working parameters.


Critical Success Factors:

  • Electronic Reporting
  • Key benefit to insurance and health and safety assessors
  • Efficient way to store and access data for huge electrical distribution system (allowing superior access and storage rather than the traditional paper based system)
  • Competitively priced tender
  • Comprehensively trained staff delivering a high quality level of testing
  • Expertise in energised (thermal inspection) test and inspection enabled thoroughness of findings ensuring compliance with the contract
  • Work completed in a timely fashion (essential due to shut-down period)
  • High standard of work delivered
  • Health and Safety procedures correctly followed leading to no incidents
  • Value of project year one (2009) - approximately £25k
  • Year 2 (2010) main switchgear maintenance expected to be approximately £25k


Due to excellent feedback received from the client, we were contracted for a further major project of electrical testing & preventative maintenance within their sub-main electrical distribution boards (approx. £15k)


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Key Facts

Client: Johnson Matthey PLC Macfarlan Smith Ltd
Contract Value: £25k per annum
Project Duration: 5 Years


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