Wednesday, 14 December 2016

SWIMMING AGAINST THE CURRENT

Going into Europe ...

Sitting in the UK listening to politicians and journalists arguing about leaving the EU is impossibly frustrating. For the record, I was and still am feeling a sense of bereavement ... how could we be so blind to all that is good about Europe and only see the downside? I certainly don't understand it but, no point in rehearsing all the old arguments, we just have to get on with the world in which we find ourselves.

Luckily, despite our political differences, we still find that Europe is a good place to do business. I mentioned last year that our good friend Rogier Verbeek of Energy Coating (www.energycoating.nl) in the Netherlands was making great progress and this has been even more evident this year. There is scarcely a company in the Dutch-speaking world (and a few other language groups) that has not had a visit or a demonstration from Rogier and many of them have responded very positively, with several projects undertaken and some very inviting prospects for 2017. Dank u wel, Rogier.
EDF Test Facility

And, for Enviropeel in Europe, we have had interesting developments with Siemens in France who are working with EDF on preserving their electricity generating infrastructure. You will know that we do a lot of work with Siemens in the UK for various electricity companies providing ingress protection on switchgear. Two of the nuclear sites we work on with Siemens are owned by EDF (the world's largest electricity generator), and between Siemens and EDF and their French counterparts the news obviously filtered through that Enviropeel had something to offer in France as well.

Following discussions and a meeting in Paris, which sorely tested my holiday French, we were invited to participate in a testing programme using Enviropeel for innovative resolutions to problems that EDF wish to solve. The first stage of this programme started last month and an Enviropeel team, headed by our Logistics Manager, James Beale, who is a fluent French speaker, headed for the EDF test centre, south of Paris.

Applying Enviropeel
James reports that the EDF facility was enormous, with a number of testing laboratories that could take full-size infrastructure components through all the potential climatic conditions (and more) that they might encounter in the real world - sun, wind, rain, temperatures down to -40°C and tropical humidity. The image on the right shows just one of these - and it was by no means the largest.

James also mentioned the excellent on-site dining facilities provided by EDF as part of their great hospitality during the visit. Food quality (and quantity) is a recurring theme for our travelling personnel!

The initial application was extremely successful but the testing programme will continue well into 2017, with additional trial applications planned early in the year. We will keep you updated and look forward to extending our entente cordiale, even if it does mean we are swimming against the political current.


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