OEM’s Hydradig excavator being used to test advanced techniques for offsite construction

A JCB excavator is being used on an €82 million project to test advanced digital techniques for offsite construction.

The Hydradig machine has been installed at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry, UK, where researchers are digitally mapping and analysing the movements it makes in assembling and installing manufactured components, as part of a project called Big Yellow Robots.

The  aim of the UK Government-backed project is to explore the potential for increasing the efficiency of offsite construction – a fast-growing sector, which promises cost and time savings, as well as increased sustainability.

The hydradig is equipped with a two-piece TAB main boom and a tiltrotator. As it undertakes a range of lifting, placing movements (even writing on a whiteboard with a pen), sensing technology attached to the excavator and an array of cameras, plot its ever movement.

One aim of the project is to develop technology that allows the automation of more of the offsite prefabrication work undertaken by heavy machinery.

If repetitive tasks, or those requiring extreme accuracy can be automated, the team believes non-skilled operators will be able to undertake tasks currently requiring highly-skilled and experienced operators.

Mark Ireland, chief engineer of technology strategy at the MTC, said, “As part of the Construction Innovation Hub’s transformative programme, we are looking at a range of technologies to help the assembly of offsite components. That could be through robotising construction equipment, or ensuring robots can work in a construction environment. Our ultimate goal is to apply kinematic modelling to construction machinery.”

 

Source: KHL

 

 

Cogent Technology has moved into a new 80,000ft² facility in Felixstowe, to serve its clients with world class manufacturing. The new facility features state of the art production lines, including two ISO 14644-1 Class 7 Rapidbloc cleanrooms for its innovative medical and healthcare products.

Rapidbloc Cleanrooms have been developed by Connect 2 Cleanrooms (C2C) to meet the urgent critical demands of some of the world’s fastest moving industries, such as healthcare and advanced manufacturing. Clean production will enable Cogent to grow its product offering and expand services to clients with consumables and accessories that complement existing PCB assembly product ranges.

The two Rapidbloc cleanrooms were designed and built in just 8 weeks, including validation to ISO 14644-1 class 7. This expedited time-scale was important to Cogent as the cleanrooms were able to be coordinated within its wider facility fit-out programme and so production was not interrupted.

A monobloc cleanroom project of this scale would usually have a lead time of up to 4 months, whereas Rapidbloc Cleanrooms generate significant productivity gains to enable a faster return on investment. Rapidbloc cleanroom layouts are fully configurable and as parts are shipped from stock from C2C’s warehouse and distribution hub, on-site assembly is fast and efficient.

Robert Stainer, Commercial Director at Cogent says, “As part of our relocation to a new 80,000ft² facility we are proud to be enhancing our Medical Device manufacturing capabilities with the commissioning of two class 7 cleanrooms validated to ISO 14644-1.

“This investment will not only enable Cogent to meet our current clients’ needs, but also position the team to facilitate the provision of associated device consumables capacity as med tech businesses rethink their supply chain strategies in light of changing attitudes to sourcing.

“The term ‘short supply chain’ is resonating throughout the business world after recent events in 2020. A more robust supply chain is needed for resilience against future events.”

Michael Wright, Managing Director at Connect 2 Cleanrooms says, “Whilst there are now a number of quick build cleanroom solutions on the market, including our own Rapid Room range, none offer the same level flexibility around configuration and specification as Rapidbloc. The choice of size, classification and optional extras is yours, in just 4 to 6 weeks.”

The ultra-clean environments are created using HEPA filtration that is 99.99% efficient at 0.3 micron, whilst the envelope uses UltraTech Versatile panels with QuadCore insulated cores to provide a level of airtightness that controls running costs through enhanced energy performance.

Michael continues, “This modular approach delivers a precision-engineered cleanroom with ISO-compliant performance, within an expedited time frame. Thanks to the use of standard parts and pre-determined design calculations, even the quotation and design stages are expedited, so clients benefit from a rapid response through the entire project.”

Connect 2 Cleanrooms also provided consumables, furniture, monitoring equipment and cleanroom training services.

To find out more about Rapidbloc Cleanrooms, CLICK HERE:

 

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Building services can make up a significant proportion of the cost of constructing, operating and maintaining a building throughout its lifespan. When specifying these systems, it’s now more important than ever to consider how modern construction methods can help to deliver improved value. Recent research from Rider Levett Bucknall has highlighted that by fitting pre-insulated phenolic ductwork instead of traditional sheet metal ductwork, it is possible to achieve a 22% reduction in installed costs and whole life cost savings exceeding 51%.

Installation advantages
Pre-insulated ductwork is fabricated from rigid phenolic insulation panels with a foil facing. This design eliminates the lagging stage and means the ductwork can be installed flush to ceilings, floors or walls – saving space. Sections can also simply be modified on site with standard hand tools, ensuring that any unexpected changes to the building layout can be easily handled.
In practice, the pre-insulated phenolic ductwork can be as much as 75% lighter than a comparative sheet metal system with mineral fibre lagging. In addition to reducing structural support requirements, this means it is possible to join several sections of ductwork together at floor level (up to 15 meters in length) and lift and fit them in a single operation – further speeding up installations.
The fabricated ductwork sections can also offer excellent performance characteristics, with systems capable of meeting air–leakage Class C and D both at low and medium pressures (ref. BS EN 1507: 2006; BS EN 13403: 2003 and BESA DW/144). This airtight design can allow the desired air flow rates to be met with smaller, more efficient fans, potentially significantly lowering long-term energy demand.

Upfront cost savings
Rider Levett Bucknall carried out a detailed cost analysis to assess how the use of pre-insulated phenolic ductwork could affect installed cost when compared with insulated galvanised steel ductwork.
For this, they consulted with a number of suppliers and installers, providing each with a standardised duct layout featuring a number of different duct dimensions and components, including straight sections, 45 and 90 degree bends and tapers. The firms were then asked to provide supply and installation costings for two comparative specifications of the different ductwork systems:

1.  Pre-insulated phenolic ductwork manufactured using 22 mm thick panels vs galvanised steel ductwork with 40 mm mineral fibre

2.  Pre-insulated phenolic ductwork manufactured using 30 mm thick panels vs galvanised steel ductwork with 50 mm mineral fibre

The results showed that based on the averaged quotations supplied for both scenarios, significant savings could be achieved with pre-insulated phenolic ductwork. In the first scenario, it was possible to achieve average cost savings of £3,735.16, a reduction of 21.8%. The savings were even greater in the second scenario with estimated costs falling by over £4,012 (22%).

Whole life savings
Rider Levett Bucknall also carried out additional analysis looking at the cost of maintaining and adapting ductwork across its whole life. Pre-insulated phenolic ductwork can typically be cleaned with a mechanical rotary brush, with polypropylene fibres and a plastic ball tip, at a speed of up to 900 RPM. It is also much simpler to make adjustments once in-situ, such as adding access hatches. The Rider Levett Bucknall analysis assumed that changes and adaptations to pre-insulated ductwork would therefore be less costly over time and that the ductwork was less likely to be damaged during routine maintenance.
The research suggested that the cost of maintaining the pre-insulated ductwork with 22 mm thick phenolic panels would be less than half that of the galvanised steel ductwork (£3,000 vs £6,190), whilst savings of 48% could be achieved on the pre-insulated phenolic ductwork manufactured from 30 mm thick panels over the alternative galvanised steel system.
This research did not consider the impact of the specification on energy demand and operational costs. Depending on the operational parameters for the ventilation system, the enhanced airtightness which some pre-insulated phenolic ductwork systems can achieve could allow considerable savings to be achieved in both areas.

Lasting value
The global pandemic has placed additional pressure on specifiers to identify savings on each project. The Rider Levett Bucknall research shows that by utilising modern approaches such as pre-insulated phenolic ductwork, it is possible to reduce both upfront and long-term costs without compromising on building performance or quality.

 

www.kingspanductwork.co.uk

 

Green Park Village Primary Academy

Leading brick slip cladding specialist, Eurobrick, has been supplying its systems to the education sector for 30 years and, more recently, with offsite construction specialist Reds10 to supply two new school projects in Reading; Green Park Village Primary Academy and Addington School.

Green Park Village Primary Academy is a new two-storey primary school that is situated within a new housing development of 1400 homes. Designed and built using a steel framed volumetric modular design, the 2,400m2 school project also benefits from SMART building technology to create an energy efficient space.

Eurobrick’s P-Clad system was chosen as part of a number of finishes for the exterior, with around 1200m2 installed with specially cut 22mm thick Vandersanden Corum brick slips and corners and Eurobrick’s specially formulated Europoint mortar in Light Sandstone.

The development was shortlisted for two categories at the Offsite Awards and one at the Building Awards 2020.

Addington School is for young people with special educational needs and disabilities. They needed to expand capacity due to an increase in applications, so Wokingham Borough Council embarked on a project to create a new space for Sixth Form pupils which would allow an additional 50 places at the school.

This 1000m2 steel framed volumetric modular design was created by HLM Architects and delivered by Reds10. Around 512m2 of P-Clad was installed with specially cut 22mm Olivier Karma White Grey stock brick slips and finished with Light Grey Europoint mortar. Whole bricks were also supplied for landscaping works.

The school won the School Procurement Awards and the Education Business Awards 2020.

P-Clad has proved very popular in the education sector with schools and universities alike. It is specially designed so that it can be fixed directly to steel frame structures as well as other batten or bracket systems, and is ideal for providing a brick finish rainscreen on prefabricated structures. As well as being extensively tested to achieve BBA certification, P-Clad is LABC registered and comes with Eurobrick’s own 25 year product guarantee.

These eye-catching buildings provide essential spaces for education that are sustainable and innovative in their design and delivery and show the quality and versatility that modular construction can offer.

You can find out more about Eurobrick’s systems and products at www.eurobrick.co.uk.

The landscape of the UK’s offsite sector has become increasingly populated over the last few years with many new entrants – mostly concentrated on residential development – joining a host of longer-established players. These new entrants are embracing business models based on the manufacture of volumetric modular residential product, rather than other forms of offsite solution such as panellised product. The investment profile of these new entrants suggests that the success or otherwise of their business models directly relates to an ability to operate at scale and achieve high levels of productivity. A recent report1 has highlighted that investment in technology as well as facilities and equipment is key to securing such lofty ambition, particularly emphasising the importance of digitalisation of both product and process.

Building Information Modelling or Digital Engineering

Digitalisation and the power of data-centricity across the wider construction industry is somewhat misunderstood. Most often, parties tend to think that the creation of 3-D models using common software platforms in order that information can be easily shared and the likes of clash detection carried out constitutes all that is required for the building of an information model. Indeed, over the last 10-15 years, new roles such as BIM Manager and BIM Coordinator have emerged across the industry which tend to reflect this limited understanding. Yet the creation of a geometric digital twin in a virtual modelling environment does not really constitute the building of an information model that digitally captures both the product and the process needed to be executed to create the physical entity.
The newer entrants to offsite who are focused on the manufacture of volumetric modular product for the residential sector appear to lack understanding of digitalisation and the power of data-centricity. For such manufacturing-based enterprises, it is not to say that their utilisation of sophisticated software to foster collaborative working to help the efficient development of a geometric digital twin is not beneficial, rather that in itself it is not adequate for the purpose of facilitating scalability and high levels of productivity.
So, returning to the report1 referred to previously, the digitalisation (or digital engineering) of product and process implies a more wide ranging set of activities than just the collaborative development of a geometric digital twin. Whether these enterprises have implemented rigid manufacturing workflow to support the production of a limited range of standard product, or a more flexible manufacturing workflow to support production of mass-customised products, a data-centric logic which facilitates control of the value chain and supports data-driven decision making is a pre-requisite to success. Plainly, an expansive notion of digitalisation and the power of data-centricity reflects something more than the simple idea of building information modelling, and whilst not widely appreciated it really does hold the key to an enterprise realising scale and high levels of productivity.

Data as the New Oil
In order to comprehend the power of data-centricity, enterprises must secure a deep understanding of what data it needs and how it must flow to efficiently operate, and also how data should be authored, configured, manipulated and managed. Most enterprises do not invest the time and effort to secure the necessary insight regarding data creation and flow. Without this understanding, they are unable to determine the nature of the technology platform needed to support the effective digital engineering of product and process. As a result, they typically default to a technology strategy incorporating a set of software packages which cannot be fully integrated, and so ultimately thwart the enterprise’s ability to exploit the power of data. Furthermore, these enterprises tend to recruit resource into their businesses which reflect the conventional skill sets mentioned earlier, which further limits the enterprise’s potential digital engineering and data-centricity prowess.
Of course, for those construction and offsite enterprises who have made relatively low levels of investment to help harness data, such a technology strategy might not be overly constraining because their direct competition might operate in a similar way realising similar mediocre levels of performance. However, for those newer enterprises that will be manufacturing volumetric modular product for the residential sector and who possess an appetite to operate at scale and leverage productivity, it is likely these will encounter serious challenges and such a technology strategy will ultimately prove to represent a weak link.
As was the case when oil was first discovered, the true power of data is still largely unknown. This is not necessarily a criticism, rather just a statement of reality; and if something does not appear to be a problem then resource is not usually allocated to resolving it. And yet, for a manufacturing-based enterprise that wants to operate at scale and with high levels of productivity, a data-centric focus is imperative.
Accordingly, whilst there is additional investment involved in acquiring the necessary talent into a business and affording the same the time to evolve the appropriate process logic and identify the associated technology platform to fully secure control of the value chain and facilitate data-driven decision making, the long-term benefits are enormous. This requirement for investment can be perceived as a leap of faith compared to capital expenditure on machinery, because the power of data-centricity is not readily understood, and often technology projects fail to get delivered. Nonetheless, the infographic on the left contains some examples of the sort of automated data capture / flow that are required in an enterprise that aspires to be a profitable, high-volume manufacturer of volumetric modular product for the residential sector.

The Need for Discretisation of Data
The power of data-centricity can only be realised if an enterprise has a true, granular understanding of what data is important, what format it needs to be presented in, which resource needs what portions, and what point in time it requires to be created. An enterprise must seek to understand what data it needs and how it must flow to efficiently operate, and crucially how the same should be authored, configured, manipulated and managed. It is only when an enterprise develops a profound insight that it can also start to consider how the authoring, configuring, manipulating and managing of data can be automated. Indeed, for those newer entrants to the offsite sector who want to operate at scale and achieve high levels of productivity, one option often used to compensate for not comprehending the power of data-centricity is to simply employ more resource. Given the fragmented, skills-scarce climate that such businesses might currently be operating in, this sort of compensatory mechanism ultimately remains a limiting factor to achieving scale and high levels of productivity. The rationale behind this is straightforward enough: the skill sets of many of the sorts of people operating across the construction and offsite sectors are not sufficiently broad to properly understand the full idea that lies behind digitalisation. Whilst some of these enterprises might have a fairly advanced understanding of what to build, they are characteristically lacking in terms of their understanding of how something should be built.
The true power of data-centricity can only be realised if data is discretised, that is the packets  of data that are shared between two actors (e.g., from person-to-person, or person-to-machine) only contain information that is relevant to that particular transaction. Any exchange of data which involves surplus, superfluous, imprecise or erroneous information only gives rise to inefficient working because process time is wasted stripping out the unnecessary components of the communication and validating that the remainder is adequate and accurate to facilitate processing. Furthermore, it is crucial to comprehend the importance of data purity and data integrity, so it is essential to create process logic that affords management and maintenance of data sets to avert risk of data pollution. Where data is discretised, such process logic is easier to identify and implement because the size of data packets can be configured to be easier to handle.  So, any offsite providers that can secure control of the value chain and facilitate data-driven decisions is likely to become a sector lead. To summarise, the value to any enterprise of acquiring a granular understanding of the power of data-centricity, including what data is important and how it must flow, is the essence of digitalisation and it is this knowledge that will enable scale and realisation of high levels of productivity.

 

1McKinsey & Company “The next normal In construction – How disruption is reshaping the world’s Largest ecosystem” June 2020

www.berkeleygroup.co.uk

The construction industry and our ability to Build Build Build is key to the UK’s economic recovery

 

#constructionindustry #sustainable #architects #localauthorities #contractors #developers #innovation #buildingtechnology #mmc #insulation #flat roofs #adhesives #retrofit @SFSintec

 

Innovative Fasteners & Heat Induction Technologies Enable Faster Flat Roofing Installations

The construction industry and our ability to ‘Build Build Build’ is key to the UK’s economic recovery. Martyn Holloway, Business Development Manager – Flat Roof at SFS (pictured), discusses how innovative fastening systems can lead to fast and reliable single ply flat roofing installations.

COVID-19 has put the world on pause – and the construction industry in particular has been hit hard, with 680,000 employees on furlough at one point.
Of course, the government recognises this cannot continue. The rhetoric is ‘Build Build Build’ to get the construction industry, and the UK economy, on the road to recovery. It is vital though that we can turn this rally cry into practical measures for those on the front line of construction – our contractors and installers.

Solving an age-old challenge – Speed of installation
Site productivity is one element that is more important than ever. This is needed specifically to help with offset delays following the introduction of site operating procedures as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, with autumn and winter coming, there are the more traditional delays such as extreme weather conditions to contend with.
Then there’s the challenge of the shortage of skilled labour, which has been exacerbated by a heavily furloughed workforce. This, combined with an ageing workforce, means there is a real need to train new site operatives.

Amendments to existing building regulations, guidance documents and operating procedures are adding complexity to the industry which in turn is increasing time pressure on site. Then, there’s the intricacies of installation itself that installers must deal with.

Tapered insulation challenges
One such example is ‘cut to fall’ insulation systems. Growing in popularity for new build projects, these can be particularly challenging for installers.
Also known as tapered roof insulation, the aim of this system is simply to provide drainage when the roof deck itself does not provide adequate falls. This is achieved by increasing the thickness of the insulation to provide the slope and run off for the rainwater.

However, when using a conventional mechanical fixing solution to install the insulation, there is typically a myriad of different fastener lengths needed to allow for the change in insulation thickness. In turn, this increases the complexity and time on the job for roofers.

Concrete deck challenges
If ‘cut to fall’ insulation is being secured to a concrete deck, this can also slow down installation. Using conventional flat roofing fasteners may require pilot holes up to 100mm deep in order to rationalise fastener lengths, significantly adding to the drilling time.

Adhesive system complications
One of the biggest challenges for installers is if they are using an adhesive system to secure the membrane and insulation layers. Weather conditions on the day can severely hamper progress, and the design is limited by a specified maximum wind load. Additional time is required to prime the deck and adhere each separate layer, including the Air and Vapour Control Layer (AVCL), insulation and membrane.

Adhesive systems also rely heavily on the skill of the installer to apply the correct weight of adhesive bonding agent per square metre for each of the AVCL, insulation, membrane and other layers required. If not secured correctly, the membrane will need to be reinstalled, adding unnecessary time onto the job.

Retrofit risks and difficulties
Another area where installers can hit snags is on retrofit roofing installations. Here, roofers will often face existing layers of membrane and insulation. These are typically overlaid with new membrane and insulation layers. However, using adhesive to attach these new layers and by not securing existing and aging layers, this risks potential faliure of the roof.
Additionally, new or existing cut to fall systems or existing tapered screed layers will lead to a variation in the build up at any single point. Installing traditional mechanical fastened systems therefore requires installers to use a variety of fastener lengths across the roof, adding significant time and complexity to the install.

Making Haste with Mechanical Fixings
These challenges can all be overcome with innovative mechanical fixings, which can securely fix every layer of the roof, provide reliable performance and long life warranties.
Compared with adhesive systems, mechanical fastening systems are less weather dependent, and can be used in all exposure zones. For refurbishment and new build concrete decks, pull out testing will assist in calculating the appropriate fastener design load. When used in conjunction with the project wind load calculation, the correct fixing pattern can be determined to ensure a safe and secure installation.

 

For tapered insulation challenges on concrete decks, installers can use the innovative TIA system from SFS. This height adjustable insulation fastener solution is specifically designed to self-adjust to the insulation thickness, as the fastener engages with the telescopic sleeve and the result is a considerably simplified install.
Drilling time is greatly reduced using the TIA system too, as it requires just 35mm deep pilot holes for all settings. When compared to the conventional practice of drilling up to 100mm deep pilot holes for tapered schemes on concrete decks, this typically equates to 60% less drilling.

When the heat is on, use heat induction
A final area where contractors can speed up jobs is by using heat induction welding technology, such as the patented isoweld® system from SFS, to install singly ply membranes. Since its launch, more than 15 million square metres of single ply membrane has been successfully installed.

This technique uses electric heat induction to weld the membrane to a specially coated metal stress plate located underneath. The result is an extremely secure fix without penetrating the waterproof layer.

Each plate only requires three seconds to weld, and the SFS isoweld® system is also easy to set up and calibrate. Suitable with both PIR, EPS and mineral wool insulation types, the heat induction technology can be used in conjunction with PVC, TPO and EPDM single ply membranes.

The membrane fasteners are installed in field fix patterns in comparison to the traditional lap fixing and therefore significantly fewer fasteners are required. Typically up to 50% fewer fasteners are required and the isoweld® field-fix system allows installers to use the widest membranes available which substantially reduces the extent of seam-welding required.

The TIA fastener system can be used in conjunction with isoweld® to offer a faster and more cost-efficient install for concrete decks.

A secure roof, a secure future
Embracing new innovation opportunities such as TIA and isoweld® is critical if we are to recover quickly. By incorporating new roofing technologies, site productivity increases, roofers can be more efficient, and profitability goes up.

SFS is doing all it can to help installers and contractors during these difficult times not just to secure roofs, but to secure futures as well. From the provision of office and site support, through to maintaining the supply of product from our factories, we will continue to go that extra mile and provide the industry with assistance where required, including efficiency savings through product innovation.

www.sfsintec.co.uk

Raising awareness of light steel frame technology

#construction #constructionindustry #sustainable #architects #localauthorities #contractors #developers #lightsteelframing #LSFA #offsite #buildingtechnology #fasteners @EJOTUKindustry

EJOT looks to fastening technology to build bridges within light steel framing

EJOT UK has recently chosen to join the newly launched Light Steel Framing Association (LSFA). The UK subsidiary of this global fastener manufacturing giant is not alone in making this strategic step, with several other manufacturing OEM’s and market leading system providers opting to make the same decision.

Since its inauguration a little over 12 months ago, the LSFA has set a clear objective to raise awareness of light steel frame technology across all building sectors, notably the exacting demands of offsite construction. Working closely with its members, the LSFA has set out its stall with a dedicated mandate to engage and educate the wider industry by highlighting the performance, productivity, and sustainability benefits light steel framing technology offers.

 

 

Historically, dedicated categories within EJOT’s traditional construction fixing portfolio have developed in tandem with light steel framing systems. As the latter have become an integral part of the modern building envelope – so EJOT has developed niche fastening solutions to satisfy growing market demands. For the fastener manufacturer, this has been most evident within application areas such as rainscreen and façade installation and external thermal render systems.

Utilising cross-sector expertise
However, the progressive development of offsite construction and its potentiality to the future of the industry is opening the door to utilise EJOT’s cross-sector expertise in order to capitalise on its engineering knowledge, worldwide research and development capability –  all of which contributes to advanced fastening technologies that feed into applications that span virtually all assembly based products found in every corner of the globe. Unlike any other fastener manufacturer concerned with construction oriented products, this gives EJOT unique market positioning by bringing together products and expertise from the industrial and engineering sectors, thus utilising this fastening technology by integrating it into the products and installation techniques that we see on building sites today.
Whilst already an established sector, light steel framing can also be identified as one that will grow and develop to meet many future needs of an industry that is without doubt, going to face fresh challenges in balancing productivity against more focused legislation and the demands of an expectant local and global economy.

As one might expect, cross sector collaboration is not without its own cultural differences.  EJOT’s traditional product range for the construction industry has in essence, evolved historically to provide high performance solutions for known on-site applications, delivered on time to where and when they are needed. It is a fast-moving flow of solutions and support.


In contrast, EJOT’s industrial engineering fastener capability worldwide is based upon a more long-term ethos of project development, managed side by side with customers. That often means modifying or re-engineering fastener thread, material – even coating technology – to arrive at a bespoke solution that delivers greater assembly and application performance efficiencies. So whilst the undeniable inevitability is that as original manufacturers of such a vast array of fastening applications across so many industrial sectors, the science of thread-forming, metallurgy and organic coatings, have cross-pollinated all of the sectors via a learning curve on all sides, not least what could equally be badged ‘the science of installation technology’.

Synergy with lightweight engineering assembly
EJOT’s application engineering team will tell you that the joining of different lightweight material compositions within engineering applications is as much to do with the measured precision of installation tools and techniques as the fastening products themselves – and it is here that synergy between EJOT’s overall expertise matches the potentiality of the light steel sector.
EJOT’s Technical Business Development Manager in the UK is Brian Mack:

“We are already seeing the adaptation and integration of highly technical industrial engineering processes into the planning and specifications for various modes of offsite construction and this will transform next generation building processes.
“As an example, we are finding increasingly that innovations developed for automotive assemblies are supporting the development of construction products and installation processes, with engineers on both sides of the fence now sharing common ground within joint project arenas”.

Such innovations in engineering technology include revolutionary fastening systems for vehicle frame assembly known as ‘body-in-white’. Such integration of products and installation programmes are now vastly contributing to the global need to ‘build lighter, build stronger’. Fully automated and semi-automated solutions developed in conjunction with industry partners such as the screwdriving specialist Deprag, are already proving to be pivotal in delivering an engineering-based approach to a rapidly developing construction sector.
Brian Mack continued:

“The development of cross-industry solutions via the origination of new technologies and products can support best practice and the progressive needs of light steel framing, especially within the MMC, volumetric and modular off-site sectors that we are already heavily involved with”.

Dedicated research, development and testing
Testing and technical support for the development of fastening products and installation systems is provided by the EJOT Applitec Centre which is based within the company’s UK manufacturing centre in North Yorkshire – with additional expertise provided by sister laboratories around the world. The investment made locally and internationally within all of these centres is evidence of the Group’s commitment to support the objectives and forward-thinking approach of institutions such as the LSFA.
Globally EJOT operates 15 manufacturing centres in ten countries, employing over 3,100 people. In addition to the manufacturing operations the Group has 34 subsidiaries in 32 countries, with six research and testing centres in strategic locations. EJOT has also developed partnerships with several academic institutions, aimed at maintaining the development of advanced fastening solutions for the future.

EJOT’s UK manufacturing centre is in Sherburn-in-Elmet, North Yorkshire. Visit the website or call 01977 687040.

www.ejot.co.uk

Challenging suppliers to seek a  wider knowledge resource

 #constructionindustry #sustainable #architects #localauthorities #contractors #developers #innovation #buildingtechnology #MMC #modular #suppliers #adhesvies @LiquidPlastics

We hear a lot in the media relating to Offsite Construction, Modular Buildings and Modern Methods of Construction – the success of this approach is key to the future success of our construction industry. The challenge for component or material suppliers is to be able to transfer their ideas and knowledge to the specifiers and manufacturers.  It has been my experience that we have an abundance of companies in the UK with innovative ideas for Offsite Manufacturing in the construction industry, but they may be failing to access a much wider knowledge resource.

Many material and component suppliers from diverse industries have something to offer for offsite construction, even if their heritage is not from a construction background. I see my responsibility as bringing positive ideas to the table and helping manufacturers to avoid reinventing the wheel. Here are two examples from my own organisation’s experience.

 

Adhesives Create Opportunities
My first example is the rail market.  In the 1980’s most trains and carriages were constructed using traditional joining technologies (welding, rivets, and other mechanical fixings).  This limited design possibilities and with a greater reliance on a very skilled workforce, created a restriction on what could be achieved.  With the main train manufacturers, Sika worked on providing elastic bonding systems which helped in so many ways.  It allowed design flexibility as alternative materials could be used.  Mixed materials could be joined, with the use of bonded solutions allowing structural integrity to be improved dramatically.  Bonded processes allowed greater process repeatability which in turn improved quality and reduced the requirement for skilled labour.  The use of elastic and structural adhesives is now common amongst all rail rolling stock manufacturers.  I would make the same recommendation to the Offsite Construction market – there is an alternative to the mechanical fix norm.

Dramatically Improve Efficiency
The second example is the automotive Industry.  Whilst the offsite and modular building market still sees a degree of bespoke manufacturing, the trend is towards reducing components and design complexity, and increasing potential output.  The challenge again is that many traditional construction techniques are used where an automotive manufacturing approach will see reduced costs, higher levels of efficiency, and higher quality.  The automotive market provides vehicles of different specifications allowing customers to make choices but can still have a production line running at sub 60 seconds per work-station.  The automotive industry relies on building a critical mass of vehicles so any ideas that can level out the build process and reduce build time is welcome.  Whilst employing many engineers, the automotive manufacturers utilise a pool of highly experienced and knowledgeable suppliers to create ideas, new concepts, and novel ways to help them achieve their goals.

We Are Here to Help
I would therefore venture that the Offsite, Modular, and MMC market can benefit from a lot of great ideas and know-how from key suppliers. I would also say an investment in key partners is extremely valuable.  The challenge is for the industry to work together, to create collaboration, and more importantly to develop the right supplier partnerships.
For more information on Sika Offsite, contact James Taylor on 01707 363893 or visit the
below website.

www.gbr.sika.com

JCB has developed what it claims is the construction industry’s first ever hydrogen powered excavator.

The 20 tonne 220X excavator powered by a hydrogen fuel cell has been undergoing rigorous testing at JCB’s quarry proving grounds for more than 12 months. JCB is the first construction equipment company to unveil a working prototype of an excavator powered by hydrogen.

JCB Chairman Lord Bamford said, “The development of the first hydrogen fuelled excavator is very exciting as we strive towards a zero carbon world.

“In the coming months, JCB will continue to develop and refine this technology with advanced testing of our prototype machine and we will continue to be at the forefront of technologies designed to build a zero carbon future.”

Power for JCB’s prototype excavator is generated by reacting hydrogen with oxygen in a fuel cell to create the energy needed to run electric motors. The only emission from the exhaust is water.

The UK-based OEM announced last year that is had gone into full production with the fully electric mini excavator, the 19C-1E. JCB has also extended electric technology to its Teletruk telescopic forklift range with the launch of an electric model, the JCB 30-19E.

As well as working on hydrogen and electric powered equipment JCB says that it has almost eradicated the most harmful emissions from its latest range of diesel engines. According to the company, Nitrous Oxide (NOx) is down 97%, soot particulates down by 98% and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions down by almost half.

 

Source: International Construction

The Covid 19 pandemic presents unique challenges to all business sectors including construction. One of the most pressing difficulties is keeping up productivity on site while practising the social distancing measures as per government guidelines.

 

Utilising off-site construction as much as possible can be key to achieving project schedules while observing best health and safety practice. This has always been a benefit of modular construction and is now more significant than ever before.

Eurobrick have supplied brick and stone slip cladding to the Modular Building sector for nearly 30 years. Director Richard Haines talks here about the advantages of using brick cladding to maintain a brick finish with off-site construction, particularly in the current climate.

 

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“Eurobrick systems are lightweight and easy to install. In a controlled factory environment, an installer should be able to install at least 1m² per hour but an experienced installer may do a lot more. Brick cladding only requires semi-skilled labour to install too, so with the increasing skills shortage in the construction industry, reducing dependency on traditional skilled labour is advantageous.

Where installed in a factory environment, our systems are robust enough to withstand the stresses of being transported to site and craned into position. A modular building that can be delivered to site and which does not require substantial finishing works or large teams to implement installation is a major benefit, as speed of delivery is a critical factor for most projects alongside meeting important new health and safety measures.

Even in projects where it is not possible to fit Eurobrick brick slip cladding to a module before it reaches site, the cladding work can be taken off the critical path which means contact between different teams on-site can be managed more effectively.

A brick finish remains popular and is sometimes required to fit in with existing buildings. Our wide range of brick slips allows you to match the finish of existing structures and as our systems are flexible, they can be used in conjunction with other exterior finishes such as timber and render. This means a mixed palette of finishes, popular for creating a contemporary look, is achievable. And you can be assured that our kiln fired clay brick slips weather and age in the same way as conventional brickwork, requiring little to no maintenance.

Eurobrick have supplied a wide range of projects including residential and leisure developments, schools, colleges and universities throughout the country. Not only are our systems tried and tested, but they have certification from the British Board of Agrément (BBA), are LABC registered and we also provide our own 25 years guarantee.

Not all systems are created equally and while Eurobrick’s products have been tested extensively in laboratories they have also been tested and proven out in the real world during our 30 years in business. Other suppliers offer alternative systems however few, if any, have the wealth of experience and knowledge accumulated by Eurobrick and our dedicated team will be pleased to provide expert advice and practical solutions.

Furthermore, there is a network of independent Eurobrick Approved Installers who can provide experienced labour to projects of all sizes all over the UK.”

Eurobrick’s brick slip cladding offers numerous benefits in many situations. For modular/off-site construction the ease of installation, low weight, product consistency and a means to provide a real clay brick finish are key. While the construction industry is forced to adapt to the current circumstances, modules constructed off-site but with traditional appearance finishes will enable projects to proceed while maintaining the safety of the workforce.

 

For more information visit www.eurobrick.co.uk.