New Laser Scanner

Prime Design Projects recently invested in a Faro Laser Scanner to survey sites and equipment, with a view to assist in creating 2D and 3D detailed drawings for customers.

The Focus3D is a portable, high-speed 3D laser scanner for detailed non-contact measurement and documentation. It uses laser technology to produce incredibly  three-dimensional images of complex environments in only a few minutes. The system rotates 360° and measures everything within its line of sight up to 120m away. With a scan rate of 976,000 points per seconds and an accuracy of up to ±2mm it can be used in a wide range of industries.

It is perfect for accurately and efficiently recording as-built new or existing facilities.

Key benefits include;

  • accuracy of measurements
  • verification of measurements, ensuring existing facilities and installations match existing drawings. Important when planning extensions, ingress of equipment or utilities installations. Results in lower costs and reduced schedules
  • visual image of facility or production equipment
  • alignment of equipment in a production line
  • Speed of surveying
  • Web share allows remote access to view and measure scans from a web browser
  • ease of communication when discussing the project at meetings or with remote suppliers
  • safety on site surveys; reduces the need to take measurements at height

Prime Design Projects can securely store all the data and drawings on its servers and ensure they are kept up to date on an annual basis. Save money, save time and never work with outdated drawings or lose a drawing again!


Prime Design Projects Visit Anuga

Keith Gibbons, Chris Maule and Gordon MacKellar went to catch up with customers and ex-colleagues and to explore developments in the filling and packaging world over recent years. With projects all over the world, this was a great opportunity for the team to meet with people they have not seen for some time and to discuss ways in which Prime Design Projects can help run their projects.

There was great interest in our new scanner, which produces 360 degree scans of factories, plant rooms or offices, to create point clouds which then enables us to produce very accurate as-built drawings. In fact the more we discussed it the more uses potential customers could see in helping them to run and to promote their businesses.

5 Ways to Reduce Risks on Packaging Equipment Installation Projects

Do you know the most common causes of accidents on building sites? If your projects often involve installing equipment whilst the building is being refurbished or finished then it is good to know what they are or at least remind yourself.

To reduce accidents from happening the following 5 top tips will help.

  1. Tidy Sites and Good Welfare Facilities – Slips and trips are the most common causes of injuries at work. Make sure the site is tidy by clearing tools, materials, packing crates etc immediately after use. Ensure your project team has access to good toilets and eating area or canteen.
  2. Falls from Heights: These are the biggest cause of fatal and serious injuries on a construction site. Make sure that not only your team, but also other contractors, work from secure platforms with proper edge protection. Don’t use ladders where you can use platforms. Only use ladders if no other safe alternative is possible and only then for short periods.
  3. Manual Handling: Use mechanical aids wherever possible and avoid repetitive jobs.
  4. Transport: Keep your eyes open for fork lift trucks, dumper trucks, cranes, lorries and any other form of transport. Accidents involving transport are the second most common causes of fatalities.
  5. Asbestos: In existing buildings which were constructed usually prior to the eighties, asbestos is often present in lagging, insulation, decorative coatings or asbestos cement. Make sure you check!

There are of course many more things to take into consideration such as planning and organising, using trained and competent people and raising concerns with the site management, not to mention all other safe working procedures and practices. For more details an excellent site is the Health and Safety Executive’s site about construction at

Reduce your risks and increase your chances of running safe projects. Take care.

Gordon Mackellar

Anuga FoodTec – The international trade fair for food and drink technology

In 2012, the 6th Anuga FoodTec will become the world’s most important trade fair for the food and drink industry.

A meeting point for decision-makers. A place for visionaries. A location for specialists. In 2012 more than ever, the Anuga FoodTec will become a compulsory event for discoverers and people like yourself who do not want to miss out on the trends of the future.

Running from 27th to 30th March 2012 in Koelnmesse, Germany.

Learn more at:

We are looking forward to the exhibition, look out for some of our team there!

The Benefits of Project Management in Manufacturing

I read a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit recently about the benefits of project management in manufacturing industry. It was music to my ears and confirmed much of how we like to run our projects.

It involved 251 senior executives in the industrial manufacturing industry from around the world.

The findings include:1

  • Industrial manufacturing projects are more likely to come in on time and on budget when project managers report directly to senior executives.
  • Strong project management methodologies give teams more flexibility, increasing the likelihood of success.
  • Organisations with a mature approach to project management (that is, established project management methodologies and trained professionals) recognise the importance of risk management.
  • The right tools enable project teams to manage risks and reduce errors but do not take the place of good oversight.

I would like to pick up on the last point that whilst tools and methodologies are essential to underpin and support a project manager in decision making, they do not take the place of good leadership, integration and relationship building skills. These too are an essential part of running a successful project. A project manager needs to be able to integrate and communicate with all parties to the project, which will often include the client’s sponsor and technical teams, equipment suppliers, IT suppliers, builders, operations team, government bodies and the public amongst others. Whilst supporting his teams, a project manager must not get bogged down in detail and lose sight of the bigger picture.

If you are interested in the impact that project management can make and the benefits it can bring to industrial projects then I recommend that you read this report and think about how project management is organised and run in your company.

The Report: Industrial Manufacturing; Managing for Success

1 Industrial manufacturing: Managing for success – The Economist Intelligence Unit, May 2010, Author: Sarah Fister Gale. Editor: Katherine Dorr Abreu.

Procurement v Supply Chain Management

I had reason to question the differences between procurement and supply chain recently and decided to call up a colleague in Sourcing Vantage to discuss. Here is his answer below. I found it very helpful and thought it would be good to publish it in my blog as a number of people may also be glad of a brief explanation.

Procurement is responsible for understanding where the costs and risks are in the supply chain and how they can be taken out or mitigated without affecting what is required by the buying organisation – especially important in construction and process industries e.g. chemicals and cross boundary/international work.

Purchasing transactions can take place between any two organisations at each part of the supply chain eg. A supply chain = the following companies:

F which buys from C which buys from B which buys from A.

There is profit, cost and associated risk in each part of the transaction. Good procurement finds out where these profits and costs and risk lie to take them out without jeopardising the actual service or products being bought.

Costs in the chain could be each supplier’s mark up, transport, storage, import duties etc – the aim for procurement is to minimise these and work with key stakeholders in the chain. It is ALSO their responsibility to assess and mitigate RISK to the company e.g. supplier liquidity (will the supplier exist if financially unstable? – don’t buy a key product or service from an ailing company), security and assurance of supply, transporting chemicals safely (e.g. by rail rather than road), to prevent buying goods where child labour might be involved, to avoid delays at customs, strikes etc . As the expression goes, ‘you’re as strong as the weakest point in the chain’.


F (A council house management company) buys from C (kitchen and bathroom fitters) which buys from B (bathroom and kitchen equipment distributors) which buys from A (kitchen and bathroom manufacturers)

F is the ultimate buyer in the supply chain. F buys fitted showers from company C (which supplies and invoices F for fitting showers into their tenants’ houses). A good procurement manager in F would want to know the break down between Labour and the cost of the showers which C fits and should ask for both items to be listed separately.

At the moment, F does not know if the separate prices are competitive, so F needs to benchmark them against the market to see if C is making too much profit on each element. Taking the showers, F should know what a typical shower should cost and to test this, should examine how C buys showers and from whom.

F has the choice to assist C buy showers cheaper and do the procurement for C i.e. this is a second tier buying arrangement where the buying company buys from their supplier’s supplier, a third tier arrangement is F buying from B’s supplier and so on.

In assisting C buy showers, F will notice that C is buying showers from distributors and not manufacturers, hence, there is immediately a ‘middle man’ who is adding a margin, so why shouldn’t F buy directly from the manufacturer? There may be good reasons (e.g. F isn’t buying enough to go anywhere other than through a distributor), but in the ‘shower case’, F bought more than enough to qualify for direct dealings with the manufacturer and hence get a better deal – importantly, not necessarily just on price. Good procurement would also assess RISK (working with key stakeholders and mitigate it accordingly) and also try to improve the deal e.g. extended warranty on the shower (from 1 to 3 yrs), obtain quicker delivery times, better response times to replace failed showers etc.


This answers a few questions about the difference between procurement and supply chain and hopefully prompts you to look deeper into the supply chain in your next procurement exercise.

Gordon Mackellar

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