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SECTORS

APD's control systems can be found wherever reliable, intelligent control is needed.  The industry sectors we work in are diverse and our team enjoy the technical challenge of developing control solutions, perfectly attuned to the needs of our customers across multiple sectors.

 

AUTOMOTIVE

Efficiency, quality assurance, innovation and cost-effectiveness are the key drivers within the automotive industry. Since these are our core values it is not surprising that the automotive industry is an important sector for APD. 

Automation has transformed the tardy reputation of the 1970s UK car industry to that of 'World Class Manufacturing' and APD has played its part in this transformation.

nissan car manufacturing facility
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APD Ltd have designed, built, programmed and commissioned a large number of PLC and SCADA based control systems for Nissan's manufacturing facility in Sunderland.

APD has designed, built, programmed and installed dozens of systems for numerous large manufacturers operating in the automotive industry in the UK. Our work has included:

  • Body style identification and tracking

  • Automated paint spraying and sealing

  • Injection moulding

  • Interfacing robots to production line systems

  • High-speed, high tonnage automated press systems

  • HV factory-wide power distribution & automatic load shedding

  • OEE and downtime monitoring

  • Paint booth and curing oven control

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BREWING & DISTILLING

Being based in the country famous for its whisky, gin and other spirits it would be strange if we had not worked in this important  (and from a controls point of view), sometimes challenging environment. We are proud to say we have played our part  in the production of Scotland's best known export.

The work carried out on these sites is not always obvious to the casual onlooker, everyone can picture the copper Stills but the variety of systems on these sites goes much deeper and we've been doing it since the early 90's

 

  • Large scale steam production

  • Mash tun control & monitoring

  • Water treatment

  • Tank farm control

  • Bottling & packing lines

  • Energy monitoring

william grant glenfiddich whisky bottles
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One of APD's more recent clients, our projects have included being involved in the redesign and programming of the controls for William Grant & Sons energy centre in Girvan - which also happens to be the UK's largest producer of base grain alcohol. 

 
 

DEFENCE

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The specific work APD has carried out for the naval defence company cannot be discussed but we can say that since 2015 we are proud to have designed, built, programmed and tested some of the most complex controls every under-taken by our company.

Possibly the most challenging sector for any manufacturer to work in. Applicable standards, technology used, rigours it is subjected to, long timescales, quality control and not forgetting the strict security over some projects. All of these factors make working in this sector very specialised but it is another challenge successfully taken on by the company.

  • Deck handling equipment

  • Submarine controls (classified)

  • Training simulators for sub-mariners

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FOOD

We have covered the length and breadth of the country designing, building and commissioning systems for major food manufacturers. This experience has equipped APD with a specific set of skills, knowledge and training that ensures our team understand and comply with legislation and standards relevant to food production.

nestle kit kat production line
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APD has had a continuous relationship with the Swiss giant Nestle's Cumbrian manufacturing division in Dalston since 1987, supplying countless control panels, electrical engineering services and software support.

In a similar vain to the Distilling sector, the work required in these factories is extremely varied. APD has designed, built, programmed and installed dozens of systems for numerous large manufacturers operating in this sector. Our work has included:

  • Batch and recipe control

  • Bulk handling

  • High-speed packaging and filling

  • Check-weighers

  • Vision inspection

  • Palletising / de-palletising

  • Mixer, moulder and oven control

  • Labelling and batch code printing

  • Real-time product colour, height, shape and moisture monitoring

 
 

OIL & GAS

The Oil and Gas sector is one of the most challenging but exciting industries that APD operates in. We have a team of engineers and technicians fully qualified to work in the offshore/marine sector both in the UK and overseas and we have worked with a number of exploration, production and service companies. 
 

oil rig on the sea
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APD has been designing and installing software and control systems on Aker's oil fields since 2007.

The oil and gas industry is an increasingly dynamic and innovative sector and our experience combined with our talented team of engineers mean that APD can offer a wealth of new ideas with a professional approach.

  • Sub-sea production controls

  • Top-side production controls

  • Well Intervention control system

  • Condition monitoring

  • Drilling waste processing systems

  • Crane, hoist and tensioner controls

  • ESD – Emergency shutdown systems

 
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NUCLEAR

Here at APD we understand that safety is the key factor associated with working on nuclear industry sites. Since winning our first project in 1999 at the Chapelcross nuclear station in southwest Scotland, we are extremely proud to say we have an unblemished reputation and perfect safety record 

What can initially appear as a simple project can quickly become a challenge in this sector where patience and extreme attention to detail are required for success. Some of our work in this area includes:

  • Fuel element discharge machines

  • Power and lighting distribution for asbestos removal on heat exchanger towers

  • Reactor pile cap heating

  • Asbestos handling facility

  • Control of 11Kv electrical sub-stations

chapelcross nuclear power station
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Working in power stations goes hand in hand with safety. For 22 years and counting, APD has an unblemished safety record at the Chapelcross Power Station in southwest Scotland. 

 

PHARMACEUTICAL

If we hadn't thought about it before the events of 2020 have reinforced just how critical the pharmaceutical industry is to us all. The fundamental principles of Process & Batch control used in the other sectors mentioned are present here too, but refined to a level of precision and detail that is not required in many other industries. Whether it's measuring out ingredients or working through a defined recipe, the ability to track, log and verify every action is paramount for quality control and safety of the end product.
 

Vaccine Production Line

Below are some of the key bullet-points APD has implemented when working within this sector:

  • Batch control and recipe management

  • Compliance to FDA 21 CFR Part 11

  • Mission-critical dual redundancy on Servers & PLC's

  • OEE downtime analysis

  • Client server SCADA systems

  • Hazardous area computing

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RENEWABLES

If there is a single sector that is guaranteed for growth in the coming years it is the Renewable and what we call 'Smart Energy' sector. We are not limiting ourselves to a single part of this, we are taking a holistic approach, ruling everything in and nothing out. Whether it is power generation, power storage, intelligent management, smart grid, hydrogen production or carbon capture we see a direct correlation between the systems we have built in the past and the systems we will build in the future.

As far back as 2012 when we designed the controls for a cutting edge Hydrogen Electrolyser we have continued to design and develop systems across a range of applications including:

  • Solar, wind power generation & storage

  • Intelligent energy management

  • Autonomous remote pumping

  • Ground-source and air-source heat pump control & monitoring

  • Peak shaving

  • Hydrogen generation

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UTILITIES

Many of Cumbria and southern Scotland's waste and water treatment plants are controlled by systems designed by and built by APD and this sector continues to be an important specialism for our company. Utility companies have many remote and unmanned sites and APD understands the importance of supplying reliable equipment that has the ability to react to situations with minimal or zero human intervention. Be it sudden changes in weather conditions or recovery from power outages.

cochran steam boilers
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APD developed and rolled-out an advance control system for their largest boilers. These intelligent and refined controls bring better steam efficiences, large energy savings and remote access capabilities.

Typical utility application examples include:

  • Aeration control of untreated storm water and sewage

  • Plant-wide SCADA

  • Filter back-washing

  • Chlorine and other chemical dosing control

  • Large motor control centres, both Form 1 and Form 4

  • Tidal out-flow control

  • Cloud dashboards and reporting

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OTHER

With over 30 years experience working in a relatively niche market place, APD has been involved with many complex, exciting innovative and sometimes strange projects.

One of our key strengths is that we love a challenge. From research and development based projects, to complex automation in area where no one would expect such a thing to exist - no problem is too big!

​Some of our more unique projects have included:

  • An automated laundry system, designed to handle all garments from participants and officials at the Sydney Olympic Games

  • Processing of drilling mud used in the oil and gas industry to recover inert dust, oil, water and gas from the mud

  • Test rigs to monitor every aspect of toothed power transmission belts used in the automotive (and other) industry

  • Automated sorting systems to arrange thousands of mixed up garments back into order after cleaning

  • Production systems for recycling plastic pellets

  • Non-contact measuring system to calculate the thickness of 100 tonne slabs of red-hot steel

  • Control of 'Mine-shaft Winder' capable of moving 60 tonnes at 60mph

british gypsum lorry
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For over 30 years we have worked with British Gypsum and been a key supplier to their Kirkby Thore site in Cumbria designing, building and installing large Motor Control Centre's (MCC’s), Instrumentation, PLC Control Panels and Cabling systems both above ground and down in the gypsum mines.

Got a project in mind?