Innovation Award - 2017 shortlist!

The below projects have been shortlisted in our Best Practice Innovation Award. The winner will be announced at our Annual Dinner on 29th June.

Brilliant Ideas, Beresford's Flooring - Concrete Carriage

When pumping concrete the placing boom cannot always reach as far as needed and it is often necessary to attach additional rubber piping. Moving the pipe to different locations on the floor is strenuous work as the concrete filled pipe drags on the floor. In addition the metal pipe joiners dig into the floor like an anchor. The concrete carriage is a simple aluminium plate with four large inbuilt all-direction castor wheels and a pop up pipe cup and strap that keeps both the pipe and the metal joiner off the ground. If each joiner is supported by a single carriage this will allow several pipes to be moved by a single operative. This simple innovation not only saves physical injury and strain to the concreting operative but it also speeds up the concreting process as the pipe moves easily and quickly across the floor.

Brilliant Ideas, Beresford's Flooring - Tower Truck

There are numerous accidents each year when operatives try to pull themselves along whilst standing on top of a tower scaffold and the tower has toppled over. To reduce accidents on site many Principal Contractors insist that the towers are built with only two wheels and have two fixed plates so it is impossible to move the tower without lifting it. Tall tower scaffolds can be very heavy and the Tower Truck was developed to take the strain out of moving tower scaffolds. It comprises a fully adjustable clamp that can be attached to any type of tower and a wheeled handle with an inbuilt tow ball. The handle is long enough to create a 10:1 ratio of leverage so that tall towers can be easily lifted and moved with little effort. Feedback from operatives and site management about the Tower Truck has been very positive.

Forterra Building Products - Accelerated Curing of Pre-Stressed Beams

Forterra wanted to increase its production of pre-stressed T-beams without investing in either land or additional moulds. It also wanted to mitigate risks of cold weather affecting production output. Following laboratory trials investigating admixtures, cement contents and heating profiles a bed heating system was installed and commissioned. A mini-kaizen project was then launched in order to reduce the strip, setup and cast activities from 5.5 hours to 4 hours. The overall result is that for limited capital investment Forterra has achieved double-casting within a 24 hour period for 40% of its T-beam moulds and has reduced cement usage for the remaining 60%. Production output of T-beams, in tonnes, has increased by 27% over previous capacities with minimal impact to fixed costs.

Marshalls - Keydrain

‘Keydrain’ is a single piece concrete drainage unit with a central core specifically designed to drain surface water away. Dual slots pressed into the surface of the unit transfer water to the core via a perpendicular slot at each end face when placed adjacent to one another. Any required length can be achieved by simply adding more units. The product enters an arena which is traditionally filled with non-concrete solutions such as linear channel systems with a plastic or steel grate. A key benefit of Keydrain is its aesthetic appeal as it is manufactured in a variety of concrete colours, which compliment the surrounding concrete or natural stone paving products. Additionally, the shape and weight of Keydrain enables simple installation.