Lecture to Brunel University's Vehicle maintenance group. November 2002.

Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen.

I am Detective Sergeant Daniel McVallaned, I am the Cheif Engineer of the latest and most advanced concept in British Policing since the helicopter was introduced in the 1970s, Patrol Labours.

Over the course of this lecture I will breif you on the developments of Labour technology,

how police around the world have reacted to the challenges brought by this rush of technology.

This will lead onto the issues of running the day to day business which costs the British taxpayer

millions of pounds every year.

The onrush of Labour technology in the early 90s helped the British economy enormously. While

industries such as construction and engineering. Britain's privatised railways, while facing

severe difficulties, has found that track maintenance time has been cut by two thirds thanks to

the inclusion of all terrain labours. British ports such as Harwich have quickly seen the benefits

of using low maintenance and cost labours to transport contrainers from shore to train and lorry.

However in the mid 90s, we have seen crime starting to use the technology for misuse. Drug gangs

in Manchester smuggle drugs into the UK using Labours, the Real IRA have tried infiltrating

engineering companies with the aim of burying an explosive device at a construction site and many

more besides.

The government and the police had a responsibility to act, however I won't go on anymore and fill

the job of my superiors, I'll get to the main part of this lecture.

My engineering and maintenance section is 150 stong. They range from electronics engineers to work

with the the Patlabour's computer system all the way to engine specialists whose job it is to

maintain the Miniturised Gas Turbine (or MGT Engine system). My job is to manage this staff and

use the budget allocated to me to the best possible use.

The main challenges of being a Cheif of Engineering is that it is very hard work! The job usually

goes accross a seven day week with several 24 hour shifts during peak times of callouts.

Another problem is that while we don't have the problem of being far outside of the City we serve,

we still have heavy budgetary restraints. Compensation for building damage is sent directly to the

top but we still have to repair our own labours.

Since we have completed our intake and training period for the Heavy Rover Fairfax mk1, heavy work

goes into replacing damaged systems, mostly in the shoulder and arm areas of the Labour. One unseen

cost has been that while the hand cannon has been removed from its mount in the lower leg, that area

has been replaced with an Emergency kit area. This includes first aid kits, emergency lights, life

jacket and a few other emergency things. Due to the large amount of call outs requiring a first aid

kit, this has had to come directly out of our own budget!

This has meant that there is literally no money for food or drink. The Police HQ has authorised and

paid for a coffee machine and vending machines that have been installed but that isn't enough. The

accomodation block on site has self catering facilities and with this in mind, we have a small lunch

fund paid for out of our own wages for the day and we leave ourselves to our own devices at night.

In short, running an engineering department is like running a business. We have found that we simply

can't work on a just-in-time way of thinking. We need a surplus of spare parts for the Labours in case

there is a serious emergency. The gas tanks on site are underground and encased in steel tanks covered

with concrete, but they still need heavy maintenance to ensure part of Grenwich dosen't go up in smoke.

And so with all of this in mind, our aims are to ensure maximum efficiency and reliability for the

operating crews, ensure the quickest turnaround time in repairs and to lead the UK in Labour maintenance

and technology.

What has been interesting during our first few months is that we have hit several major problems.

The main problem is quite obviously damage. This slide shows a Fairfax (Unit one to be exact) on

delivery to the Grenwich depot. Now this slide shows the Fairfax after a call out to London Kings Cross

Station to bring under control a Labor operator that tried to cause serious damage to the Channel Tunnel

Rail Link phase 2 project.

As you can see, the Fairfax was pulled or pushed down the huge ventilation shaft which gives access to

the tunnel deep underground. While the legs and main body were left unscathed, the right arm has been

completely ripped off and the head and communications set also vanished.

Now we managed to extricate the Fairfax but the fact that it was missing an arm and a head posed a

serious problem for us and MG Rover. MG Rover have never handled a major maintenance job such as

this before. It posed a problem for us because we had to get this labour repaired and turned around

within the week.

We did manage to get it back to Grenwich within the week after taking it to the Longbridge plant and

working closely with MG Rover and Shinohara engineers in getting the labour repaired within record time.

Another problem can be through pure electronic or mechanical failure.

As you know, the powerplant for the Fairfax is a Rolls Royce Miniturised Gas Turbine (or MGT)

system. In simple terms, the gas is circulated around a heating loop until it reaches the

correct temperature. The superheated gas is then released through the turbines into what is

called the extended loop. Excess gas or overheated gas is released out of the loop.

The advantages of this system are that it offers far more power than purely electric systems,

also it lasts about 30% longer than their electric cousins.

The main problems are that any small problem can cause a shut down. The system is safe, the gas

it not flammable. The problem is if the turbine itself blows, fragments can kill if not maim.

Thus the MGT is heavily encased to prevent damage and a very sophisticated checking system shuts

it down on the slightest problem.

Here is where we hit the problem. Because the Fairfax hasn't got room for a backup battery, if

the turbine shuts down then you've killed the Labour. And the MG Rover software is currently

very open to crashing.

The last one happened last week, Unit two was placed on standby for one situation and prompty

shutdown as soon as the heat loop had finished and the extended loop began to get the turbines

up to speed! We stopped the software, gave the Fairfax a look over and then restarted the loop.

Again the system crashed and the MGT shutdown. Our operator was getting nervous so we took off

the outer shell and took a deeper look.

Here in this slide is the problem. One connector, one small connector which should connect the

turbine fan speed to the HOS speed controller had popped out of its connector plug. The system

follows the following steps. Is there gas? Yes. Are the heating coils working? Yes. Is the gas

circulating? Yes. Is the loop shutoff working? Yes. Is the gas at optimum heat? Yes. Is the

loop shutoff open? Yes. Has the gas transferred to the Extended loop? Yes. Is the Turbine fan

turning? No. Shutdown turbine.

There you go, thats how the MGT system works. If it finds anything wrong with the turbine, it

sends the kill signal to the HOS.

These two problems can cause very random outcomes. Thus you have to have a system which quickly adapts

and deals with problems such as these. We use a flow diagram which all engineers use when refering to

standard procedure in maintenance and emergency repairs.