ICS Cool Energy’s engineers and wider supporting teams are fully committed to keeping industry running with reliable, fit for purpose and energy efficient temperature control solutions.
The role of “Hire Engineer” is integral to ensuring ours customers’ emergency, short, medium and long-term hire needs are met and that critical cooling and heating remains operational.
For our experienced engineers no two days are ever the same, although we wanted share what a Hire Engineer’s role entails and what a typical day looks like for them.
Read on to meet William – an important member of our team.
Can you please introduce yourself?
I am William Miller – one of ICS Cool Energy’s expert Hire Engineers. I have been with the company for two and half years and I’m based in Bradford. Given my Yorkshire base, I typically cover the North of England, but I support projects across England, Scotland, and Wales as required.
What is your professional background?
I bring over 10 years specialist temperature control industry experience & knowledge to every project I am a part of. Because of this, I am well accustomed to supporting a variety of sectors and industries due to my varied background in both the process and air conditioning areas.
How do you deliver 5-Star service to ICS Cool Energy’s customers?
I pride myself on interacting with customers with the right attitude – always trying to go above and beyond to accommodate their needs, where possible and practical. As a Chiller Hire Engineer you must be adaptable and flexible, but importantly quick to react and keep calm under pressure. I specifically remember at the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, businesses were in a very tricky situation in terms of keeping the country fed and cared for. This situation meant even more support was needed to keep processes and spaces at the right temperatures. I had to prioritise my work to cater to essential services – this was critical to keep industry running. Working longer hours and solving problems extra quick were both necessary.
When is a hire engineer called upon?
A customer may be experiencing a chiller or boiler breakdown impacting on their ability to run their manufacturing process or a loss of cooling, heating, or hot water in their facilities and be under immense pressure & stress. Temperature control needs to be restored quickly, so once our local Hire Sales Representative has visited (often on immediate and emergency basis) and undertaken a comprehensive site survey, my job is to get to site and get the specified chiller, boiler or other piece of equipment up and running rapidly. I step up to this responsibility every day.
What temperature control applications do you work on?
Each day is different, from working at a soft drink factory one day, to an NHS hospital the next. That said, I work on a range of applications from low temperature space cooling, process machinery cooling, comfort cooling of factories and offices, as well as specialist heating applications. A couple of examples of these are heating up areas where brand new trains have been spray painted in low ambient places and need to dry at a certain temperature, or heating of residential homes that are undergoing boiler replacements (DHW-domestic hot water).
What does a typical day look like for you?
My day starts at around 5.30-6am, with a tea, some breakfast and getting my schedule clear for the coming day. This includes checking traffic routes, ETAs, and the traffic situation so I can be on site at 8am sharp ideally.
After signing into site, I wait for the customer / primary site contact to be ready as they are often in their morning meeting.
One we meet, we usually sort out any permits to work and RAMS (Risk Assessment Method Statement).
I then reassess the project in question with the customer, clarify what has been agreed between them and ICS Cool Energy’s Hire Sales Representative and I make any practical adjustments to improve the installation logistics.
By this time, transport of equipment usually turns up and I must manage this closely to ensure the equipment is located correctly and as agreed. This in normal circumstances occurs around 11am.
Once the hire equipment is offloaded it’s tea-time again!
I then double-check to make sure that the correct equipment and parts have been despatched from the depot for the project.
When all parties are happy, my work gets underway. This can be 4 hours or sometimes up to 10-12 hours of hard work to get the equipment installed, set-up and ready to heat or cool the customer’s process or facilities.
Once all works are complete, and the customer is happy, we sign the project off & the customer is then able to contact the ICS Cool Energy team 24/7/365 for any ongoing advice and technical support.
Finally, it’s time to head home. This can be 6pm or as late as 9pm.
How do you meet the challenge of solving customers’ temperature control hire problems?
I think me, the hire engineering team and ICS Cool Energy are able to solve our customers’ temperature control problems due to great cross-team support. Managers, office staff and engineers come together to deliver positive real-world solutions to challenging requirements.
What 3 attributes make a great chiller hire engineer?
I believe the perfect Hire Engineer needs to be diverse, patient and understanding.
What advice would you give to any budding future hire engineers?
You need to come into the job and sector with the right attitude and be open to learning new things. You may be the best engineer out there, but Hire will teach you a thing or two you didn’t know.
I was once told by a Service Manager that “it takes a very special person to be an engineer”, words which have stuck with me ever since and shaped my customer-focused mindset.
The Institute of Refrigeration website (ior.org.uk) has some great advice on how to get into the industry and importantly network, prosper & gain accreditation once you are in a temperature control engineering role.