Delivering Plessey Semiconductors Ltd complex facility upgrade to an aggressive schedule

Delivering Plessey Semiconductors Ltd complex facility upgrade to an aggressive schedule


Delivering Plessey Semiconductors Ltd complex facility upgrade to an aggressive schedule

Project: Facility Upgrade, Plymouth
Client: Plessey Semiconductors Ltd
Principal Contractor: Microgas Systems Limited
Duration: June 2020 – Ongoing

Microgas, acting as principal contractor for Plessey Semiconductors Ltd, managed the M&E design process, procurement and build elements of their complex facility upgrade project. The project consisted of infrastructure upgrades and tool installations, which would lead to uLED prototyping and manufacturing capabilities, delivering to an aggressive schedule to ensure that Plessey’s client, Facebook, could achieve their launch timing.


The Client
Plessey Semiconductors Ltd is a leading manufacturer of semi-conductor and optoelectronics, innovating in next-generation Augmented Reality and wearable applications, based on advanced microLED display solutions.

Based on Plessey’s previous experience of working with Microgas and the excellent working relations established, they approached Microgas to lead in delivering the project dedicated to helping Facebook to bring their augmented and mixed reality (AR/MR) glasses to market in this and other similar ventures.

Winning the race to market
For Microgas delivering an effective, peerless solution is always paramount. For this contract delivering this within the aggressive schedule was not only crucial for Microgas’ reputation and Plessey’s reputation but also in enabling Facebook to get to market and to maintain their reputation as an innovator in people centred computer technology.

In addition to the crucial timing, the contract was made challenging by the scale of it. The production process required necessitated in excess of 100 new tools and their associated equipment. Infrastructure upgrades were required around the cleanroom envelopes, with a further new addition to one of the processes. Basebuild services, including extracts were modified to take the required expansion of the facility.

Microgas was responsible for the management of the complete construction process, including taking Health & Safety ownership of all construction areas / works under CDM Regs 2015.

The project was managed through a pandemic, with no recorded outbreaks of COVID-19 or positive tests. Despite the challenges of social distancing, site ‘construction’ bubbles and constantly risk assessing the working environment in a way that was very new to everyone the project was successfully delivered.

Design and Build
To ensure that the twenty plus contractors required for the delivery of the project were on side and clearly understood their individual roles in delivering an effective solution to the timetable, Microgas arranged a series of workshops with Plessey, contractors and their tool owners. Limited design information was available on the tools that had been purchased and the workshops were crucial in ensuring that all parties were aligned and that everything required had been captured.

Due to the nature of the design and limited information it was not possible to award all parts of the trade contracts initially. Procurement for these elements began once the design process for that system or tool was in a position to start.

Microgas managed the tendering process with the trade contractors, awarding either on fixed price or a schedule of rates basis to maintain the required momentum on the build. Due to the nature of the majority of the componentry and materials required for the specialised installations, there were long-lead items that had to be constantly managed.

Principal Contractor & Installation
Working as principal contractor, Microgas had trade contractors on site for 10 months in order to co-ordinate the installation and deliver the contract on schedule. At times, the daily number of operatives reached 90+, including Microgas’ own installation team.

Each of the scope of works detailed below required design, co-ordination, validation, and certification input by Microgas:

• Basebuild upgrades across all services
• Tool hook-ups
• Gas cabinets and distribution
• Speciality and bulk gases
• Slurry / chemical / solvent dispense systems
• Chemical and gas leak detection systems
• New cleanroom envelope
• Existing cleanroom upgrades
• HVAC modifications
• Mechanical infrastructure modifications
• Power infrastructure modifications
• Systems integration
• De-ionised water system plant upgrade
• Civils works – containment, trenches, partitioning, drainage etc.
• Building management systems
• Storage and logistics
• Fire control / suppression systems
• Instrumentation

During the installation process, Microgas had to work around changes to the infrastructure of the facility being made to accommodate the new line.

Microgas as an installation team, carried out the installation and testing of all high purity gases for the full project but also utilised their diverse range of skills to divide up other types of piping systems to aid with the project running on many of the work fronts in parallel.

Successful Delivery
We are proud to have delivered such a large-scale complex project to schedule, enabling Plessey to deliver, and Facebook to continue to the lead the way in bringing products at the cutting edge of technology, and that were once the stuff of science fiction, to market.

Pyrogen free water for the manufacture of vital pharmaceutical ingredients

Pyrogen free water for the manufacture of vital pharmaceutical ingredients


Pyrogen free water for the manufacture of vital pharmaceutical ingredients

World Leading Recombinant Human Albumin Manufacturer

Project: Commercial Albumin Production Plant Capacity Expansion
Client: Albumedix Limited
Main Contractor: Scitech UK
Duration: May 2019 – November 2020

Puretech designed, manufactured, installed and commissioned a fully validated system for the generation and distribution of essential pyrogen free water to replace the existing legacy system at Albumedix’s facility in Nottingham, UK.


The Client
Albumedix Limited is a UK based large-scale cGMP manufacturer of pharmaceutical ingredients and the only provider of USP-NF compliant Recombinant Human Albumin. Its products are vital to the manufacture and supply of pharmaceuticals, vaccines, diagnostics and medical devices globally.
In addition to being a producer of pharmaceutical ingredients in its own right, Albumedix is a single source of supply for many global producers and distributors of medicines, in almost all cases, where there is no viable or interchangeable substitute.

The manufacture of Recombinant Human Albumin is a batch process. Due to increasing demand, Albumedix needed to increase their production capacity by reducing the batch manufacturing time. A major bottleneck to this ambition was the capacity of the Pure Water system, so a new water generation, storage and distribution system was required. To cope with the increased demand, the new system also needed to be capable of running continuously to minimise any downtime for maintenance.

Delivering a pyrogen free water system
The system Puretech designed and supplied comprises a 12,000-litre break tank, pre-treatment skid, including duplex softeners and Granular Activated Carbon Filters, two Genesys (RO/CEDI/UF) generation units, each capable of producing Water for Injection at a rate of 7,500 litres an hour, installed in parallel to provide continuity of supply, and a 15 m3 stainless steel storage tank with distribution skid. The distribution skid feeds two loops which serve the manufacturing facility, each loop operating at up to 45,000 litres/hr to supply the manufacturing process. The systems are sanitised using automatic Hot Water sanitisation sequences.

To conserve waste water from the generation system, an Oasys RO recovery system was included to increase the permeate conversion rate from the standard 75% at full capacity to nearly 92%, the water saved is recovered and returned to the raw water tank for re-use in the generation process.

Puretech received the order in May 2019 and carried out the FAT (factory acceptance test) at the company’s engineering facility in Redhill, UK in December 2019. Commissioning was due in April 2020 but due to COVID-19, this was delayed to August 2020. Hand over and (socially distanced) training was completed in November 2020.

SCADA Integration
Albumedix wanted the distribution system to be controlled via their site SCADA system, so Puretech worked in conjunction with site control contractor, ASTEC Computing , supplying control panel hardware and producing the functional design specifications, for them to write the necessary software for the integration, and working as a team to commission and qualify the system together. The generation and pre-treatment system controls were produced by Puretech and these were networked to the Albumedix Data Historian package for archiving of system data.

Raw Water to point of use solution and unparalleled customer service
The delivery of the new Albumedix system, overseen by Scitech as the main contractor, was originally tendered as three packages: generation, storage & distribution skid and installation of the distribution loops. Puretech is one of the only companies worldwide that has in-house capabilities to deliver all three packages, providing Albumedix with a single specialist supplier for raw water to point of use. Puretech’s successful delivery on previous projects working alongside Scitech and the ability to deliver the whole project were both contributory factors in winning the contract but so too was Albumedix’ first-hand experience of the Puretech team’s service capabilities and willingness to work collaboratively to help find effective solutions.

We are proud to have provided a large scale, effective, integrated system for producing pyrogen free water for Albumedix, which will help them to increase the positive impact their work has on the lives of millions of people throughout the world.

Delivering in record time for coronavirus wards at Epsom University Hospital

Delivering in record time for coronavirus wards at Epsom University Hospital

Delivering in record time for coronavirus wards at Epsom University Hospital

Epsom Hospital workers on site

Project: Epsom University Hospitals Covid-19 Wards

Client: Interserve / Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals

Timing: 25th – 28th March 2020

Value: £1.6M

Medical Gases completed a project, including over 1000 meters of pipework, in less than a week to boost oxygen supplies to the coronavirus wards at Epsom University Hospital.



In early March 2020 Medical Gases was contacted by Interserve for a project to increase the supply of oxygen to two maternity wards at Epsom University Hospital, which were being converted to provide accommodation for coronavirus patients during the pandemic.


The challenge

Supplying the required oxygen to the wards necessitated running 54mm oxygen main pipework from the existing main through the occupied hospital, including installing pipework along the ambulance corridor being used to admit coronavirus patients.

Epsom Hospital workers on site

Working through the night to deliver a solution

To save disruption to hospital staff and patient traffic, Medical Gases carried out the installation at night. A team of 15 people worked from 5pm to 5am on three consecutive nights to complete the run of 1000 metres of pipework. The contract, which would ordinarily take around a month in an occupied hospital, took less than a week from instruction to commissioning. The speed and quality of the installation is wholly attributable to the skill, knowledge and commitment of the Medical Gases team, who draw on the experience gained from the company’s 37 years’ experience of delivering this type of contract.

Throughout the work, to protect themselves and others, the Medical Gases team had to wear full PPE, disinfect their tools daily, go through a post work regime of showering and washing their work clothes and at the end of the contract they had to isolate for a week.

This completion of the Epsom Hospital contract in record time is an achievement to be proud of. The team worked long hours under very challenging conditions, and at potential risk to their own health, to ensure that coronavirus wards were up and running as quickly as possible, knowing that without oxygen the facilities could not function. We are very proud of them and grateful to their families for their support.


Following the successful completion of the Epsom Hospital system, Medical Gases carried out  projects to provide oxygen for covid-19 provisions at the Dragon’s Heart Hospital at the Principality Stadium and the Royal London Hospital. We are immensely proud of all our staff, who have worked so hard to deliver, and showed their commitment in such challenging circumstances, and are grateful to the suppliers who went above and beyond to support them. Thank you all.