Year Round Up

16 Dec

As the end of year fast approaches and the wind-down begins in earnest (hope the MD does not read this!), there is a definite change in the mood of the camp here in the technical department; the telephones ring less often, the number of new projects starts to dwindle, staff rush to use up their remaining holiday entitlement and the seemingly never ending supply of sweets and cake from kind suppliers becomes available. No one needs to point out that Christmas is coming! With these more tranquil surroundings comes the opportunity to reflect on the year gone by, whilst looking forward to what is to come in 2011.

January 2010 seems a long time ago! The year got off to a slow start due to heavy snowfall that disrupted many sites and transport networks around the country, and finished as it started, with yet more heavy snow in the last few weeks and more forecast for the run up to Christmas! However, this cold weather gave us the opportunity to concentrate on bringing to life a number of developments to our equipment portfolio that has seen our marketing department kept busy producing new brochures on a regular basis.

Without going into too much detail, the flagship development has without doubt been our wireless load monitoring service for our high capacity hydraulic props (detailed in a previous blog entry). In fact, there has been such an interest in this service that stock levels increase tenfold during 2010 to meet the current demand and I am sure that this trend will continue well into the New Year as word gets around. In addition to this, 2010 has also seen the introduction of a mechanical lock-off system for hydraulic struts and anti-corrosion hydraulic units that allow the use of struts in saltwater conditions.

These developments have been backed up with our ever improving technical support and have enabled us secure to jobs and supply proprietary shoring equipment to a number of construction sites throughout Europe, with deliveries to Sweden, Norway and Germany to name but a few. All in all, it has been a busy and productive year from the Groundforce Technical Department and we aim to replicate this in the New Year.

Without dwelling on the past too much, we move into 2011 and what that will bring. We kick off the year with an exhibition stand at Infratech 2011 in Ahoy, Rotterdam where we will showcase our product portfolio to anyone who wants to look and listen. This takes place between the 11th and 14th of January and you can find us on stand 681 if you want to call in and say hello. January will also see the migration, some say exile of some of the technical team into two new annexed cabins to give us a bit more space in our current cramped surroundings.

Following this it will be back to business as usual, working on a range of projects throughout the UK and across Europe. We have a number of schemes that have the design aspect already completed that are scheduled for delivery and installation as soon as we return from the festive break. To supplement this work, we anticipate, amongst other things, the first sections of work on the deeper Cross Rail portals to start mid to late 2011 which will require a large investment of time and resource in the interim period.

Despite the advances throughout 2010, we are not content to sit on our laurels and we already have new product developments in the pipeline. Although it is currently up and running, we plan to make some slight improvements to the automated load monitoring service that not only allows easier online access but will allow the user to manipulate the captured data as required. We will look to get a test webpage activated shortly that will allow you to try it for yourselves. We also hope to have an addition to our product range to shout about toward the back end of the year, as work on our new high strength modular waling beam is already underway. Watch this space!

With next year looking as promising and as exciting as this year been, can I take this opportunity to wish all readers of my blog a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I look forward to communicating or perhaps seeing you in 2011.

Tony Gould
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