North West Branch AGM

The branch AGM and Golf Day was held on 12 July at Heyrose Golf Club Knutsford.

Due to ongoing issues with GDPR, advance notice of the Golf was not circulated, but notice of the AGM, which is a legal requirement, was.  This resulted in a select few enjoying an afternoon of golf in beautiful weather, on what was agreed is a very nice golf course.  The trophy was yet again taken by Ken Dykes, fitting reward for organising the event.  OCCA’s golfers were invited to join in, but, due to the short notice none were able to attend, however, the branch golfers expressed an interest in raising a team to compete in OCCA Manchester Section Golf Day on 20 September at Whitefield Golf Club.

Andy Bradley in his Chairman’s report expressed concern over the misunderstandings regarding GDPR, which was echoed by Chris Atkins who had tabled an official AOB question regarding the subject.  Andy also said that he had not been able to make contact with the current Vice-Chairman so would like to seek a replacement.  Omniflex have joined as a sustaining member company, with himself and Ian Sutherton as designated members.

It was great to see Chris Atkins back on his feet again and able to take a more active part in ICorr proceedings again following his devastating accident.

The existing committee and officers were re elected and a vote of thanks was given to Barry Windsor for all his years of dedicated service.

A general discussion took place and a programme of events was planned for the following season.

These include a presentation on CP by Omniflex in September, a resurrection of the “Lean Conference” in Salford, a Christmas meal on 6th December and the 50th AGM and Golf Day on 23 May 2019.

4th September North West Branch Meeting

After a couple of years of inactivity it was decided to be more proactive and the first meeting of the new season was held on 4th September at Leigh Rugby Union Club, Leigh, where Chris Atkins, Chairman of the Institute of Corrosion Professional Development and Training Committee, gave an entertaining talk entitled  “Cathodic Protection Training News – ISO 15257”.  Over twenty people attended and despite the chaotic arrangements (the caterer let us down at the last minute and we had to find a replacement and we arrived to find the venue locked) everything went smoothly.  Chris began his talk by explaining why CP certification was necessary, and went on to outline how the training scheme is progressing.  The CP certification means that clients can be sure that people designing testing and installing cathodic protection schemes have the correct paperwork to demonstrate competence in the correct area, not just a generic CP qualification. It also means that those installing CP systems can demonstrate to clients they have the right skills for the job, and justify why they should be included on CP tenders and they have. It also means they have the best chance of not having to repeat work and revisit sites to rectify problems caused by using unskilled, uncertificated people.

ISO 15257 has been published, which means the current BS EN 15257 will become BS EN ISO 15257. This standard extends the reach of the Cathodic Protection (CP) training and certification scheme and incorporates the existing NACE CP scheme. As a result the certification paperwork and training courses need a little tweaking (the ISO has 5 levels and the BS EN currently only has 3). Levels 1 to 3 in the current CP schemes correspond to levels 2 to 4 in the ISO scheme.

North West Branch plans to hold regular meetings throughout the winter, and details will be circulated in due course.

North West Branch News

After a year’s hiatus the North West Branch held a lively Golf Day followed by the AGM. The meeting was well attended and the incoming Chairman is Andy Bradley of Omniflex, a manufacturer of specialist monitoring and control systems including cathodic protection power supplies for reinforced concrete.

At the meeting several options for the forthcoming year were discussed, including the Christmas meal, golf day and AGM, together with an initial couple of technical events. On the 4th of September, Chris Atkins will be outlining the new international standard on cathodic protection training and certification at an evening meeting. This is an important document that extends the remit of the current BS EN 15257 to draw in NACE influenced areas. There are a number of changes that need to be highlighted, along with the Institute of Corrosion’s programme for rolling the new scheme out.

On 4 October the Branch will be supporting Salford University in the one day ‘hackathon’ on Lean Construction. Lean is all about removing waste, be it physical waste, or wasted time, energy and effort in processes (see technical article later in this issue). Salford hope to bring together key people who represent the processes involved in corrosion protection of structures with Highways England. The outcome of the day is aimed at producing a research package, or series of packages, that they can obtain funding for and develop something that is not only academically interesting, but of practical added value to the industry.