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Business Innovation of the Year: Finalists

These finalists have all come up with ideas that improve the efficiency of construction, from clever design solutions on tricky jobs to products that make life easier for contractors.

Specialists 2017 Business Innov AC Wilgar Diary entries

Specialists 2017 Business Innov AC Wilgar Diary entries

AC Wilgar – Surefire Software

Orpington-based plumbing and heating specialist AC Wilgar has been developing an in-house bespoke software package for several years, and launched an app in 2016.

The app includes timesheet and tracking functions, registering when operatives arrive at a job site automatically using ‘geo-fencing’ technology, which helps to produce detailed job costing.

It also allows workers to take payment on site and provides instant access to an online parts database.

The firm invested 5 per cent of its turnover in developing the app, showing its commitment to new technology.

Specialists 2017 Business Innov AFI Goodwood

Specialists 2017 Business Innov AFI Goodwood

AFI – Machine Familiarisation Videos

AFI has launched a new range of 37 machine familiarisation videos which any MEWP operator, supervisor, project manager or safety manager can view on a smart device by scanning a QR code on the machine.

In addition, familiarisation can begin before the machine even gets to site by sending the QR code with the machine confirmation.

The videos are freely available to anyone, regardless of whether they are an AFI customer, to help improve safety standards across the industry.

Specialists 2017 Business Innov Alford Technologies Didcot Power Station boiler house blowdown 170716 robots 3

Specialists 2017 Business Innov Alford Technologies Didcot Power Station boiler house blowdown 170716 robots 3

Alford Technologies – Explosive demolition using remote methods

The tragic incident at Didcot Power Station in February 2016 resulted in a potentially unstable structure standing in close proximity to an area where bodies were still trapped.

Alford Technologies was employed by client RWE to bring down the remaining structure of the partially collapsed boiler house using entirely remote methods, with the stipulation that the structure should not fall onto the original debris pile, which was still subject to investigation.

Not a construction or demolition company by background, Alford Technologies successfully brought down the boiler house entirely remotely, using robotics to place explosives.

Specialists 2017_Business Innov_Bull Products head office

Specialists 2017_Business Innov_Bull Products head office

Bull Products – Cygnus Wireless Alarm System

Bull Products’ Cygnus Wireless Alarm System has been specifically designed to be easily customisable, allowing it to interact with almost any alarms requirement on a construction site.

It can operate in dense concrete and steel-structured buildings and in areas where there are many other radio frequencies in operation – useful where there are multiple sites within range of each other.

The system also proved to be useful on Crossrail in 2016 where it is the only wireless alarm system proven to operate effectively so deep underground, often replacing other systems that have proved ineffective and had to be removed.

Specialists 2017 Business Innov City Access Scaffolding

Specialists 2017 Business Innov City Access Scaffolding

City Access Scaffolding – Rolling Scaffold

In 2016, City Access Scaffolding took on the project to provide all scaffolding for the construction of Edinburgh’s new Boroughmuir High School.

A major feature of the project was a large atrium, potentially requiring a traditional birdcage scaffold design, 13,300 cu m in all and weighing 56 tonnes. This would have caused significant disruption and impeded the progress of the project, with other potential complications.

Instead, City Access Scaffolding devised an innovative rolling scaffold, saving 1,500 worker-hours on its erection, greatly reducing the weight to just 9 tonnes, and saving more than £60,000 in labour and project costs.

Specialists 2017 Business Innov Dynasafe BACTEC Hawkinge

Specialists 2017 Business Innov Dynasafe BACTEC Hawkinge

Dynasafe BACTEC – BombRisk Pro

Dynasafe BACTEC is an unexploded ordinance (UXO) risk mitigation specialist, and wanted to create a preliminary risk assessment (PRA) tool taking advantage of advances in digital mapping technology and online purchasing.

Its BombRisk provides the user with an online, fully referenced PRA in a matter of seconds.

The system analyses more than 100 geospatial databases of UXO threats across the UK, in conjunction with web mapping, producing a report that assesses the site’s location to provide an accurate and instantly downloadable report – compared to the several days it would take to produce a manual report.

Specialists 2017 Business Innov Hilti

Specialists 2017 Business Innov Hilti

Hilti (GB) – Hilti ON!Track Asset Management

Keeping track of plant and materials across multiple sites is a major challenge for construction companies.

Launched in the UK in January 2016, Hilti ON!Track is an asset management system that allows companies to track what assets they have, where they are, what condition they are in and which employee is responsible for them.

It uses radio-frequency identification tags incorporating a barcode, meaning any item can be tagged and tracked online via the live cloud-based system, allowing equipment maintenance to be planned and managed around work schedules, saving customers money.

Specialists 2017 Business Innov Klawz

Specialists 2017 Business Innov Klawz

Klawz – Klawz Scaffolding Fitting

Klawz is a specially designed Class B-tested scaffolding fitting from Tiger Scaffolding which has a theoretical safe working load of 18.2 kN, double that of any standard Class B fitting.

Tiger Scaffolding used nearly 15,000 Klawz fittings in the installation of a large free-standing scaffold which supported a temporary roof and hanging tiered access platform at North Yorkshire County Council’s County Hall.

Its use allowed greater flexibility for the design team, as well as reducing assembly time and transport costs due to fewer components being used.

Specialists 2017 Business Innov Plowman Craven Crossrail Drilling Rig

Specialists 2017 Business Innov Plowman Craven Crossrail Drilling Rig

Plowman Craven – 3D tunnel scan solutions for Crossrail

Working with the ATC joint venture on Crossrail, Plowman Craven developed a unique solution to enable the drilling of around 250,000 holes into the concrete segments that form the inside of the tunnels.

Plowman Craven transformed a 3D point cloud scan of the tunnels by unwrapping it into 2D, enabling the team to undertake CAD drafting in a quarter of the time that it would have taken in 3D, before then re-wrapping it into 3D and creating a co-ordinated schedule for the drilling machines.

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