U.K. firm to advise on MRF construction.
The U.K.-based resource recovery specialist Axion Consulting says it has introduced dedicated training packages for material recovery facility (MRF) managers designed to fulfill a growing need for expert advice on commissioning and operating multimillion pound waste management plants.
The service is in response to a number of requests Axion has received to deliver process, operator and technical management training for both new and existing MRFs.
Keith Freegard, Axion director, explains that recent growth in the construction of new MRFs had fueled demand for training in the technical, practical and people-management aspects of operating large-scale and expensive materials sorting plants. Packages are tailored to suit the individual MRF process and feedstock mixture, whether it’s sorting and separating plastics or a residual waste MRF dealing with organic fractions.
“Very often a fresh group of people are recruited to run a newly built MRF, and this creates two big training needs: Firstly, how all the equipment works and, secondly, getting all the employees to work as a team," Freegard says. "In line with high-quality technical training, we’ve developed methods of encouraging people to work in teams and groups by applying the knowledge they’ve learned to solve hypothetical problems. This then helps them to identify and plug any knowledge gaps.
“We’ve created a method of training that gets across the important technical, safety and engineering messages about how a plant works," Freegard adds. "The way in which we’ve delivered it also really helps with the team-building, problem-solving and working together training styles that people need to be ready to run and manage a plant.”
Axion was recently commissioned by M+W High Tech Projects UK to provide an extensive training package for more than 40 multiskilled operators, technicians and managers at Biffa’s £100 million MBT facility in West Sussex, U.K. Subjects covered during the six-day program ranged from health and safety, disaster planning and real-life scenarios to team-building activities, culminating in individual assignments and competence assessments.
“They all tried very hard and the application of what they’d learned really shone through. From the positive feedback we received, it was evident that the team felt it had been of great value,” says Nichola Mundy, Axion training consultant.
“Relevant industry experience was combined with professional presentation skills to deliver a significant piece of work which has been well-received and praised by the client. A mixture of classroom based training, site tours and project work were utilized to assist in retention of the information for the trainees,” says Simon Lund, M+W High Tech Projects’ U.K. operations manager.
“Competence-based assessments were undertaken on the final day involving recap sessions, a written exam and project presentations. The trainees are now able to enter the commissioning phase of the project with a thorough understanding of the plant and process,” Lund adds.