A Merry Farewell to Twenty Twelve

18 Dec

An unusually treacherous journey into work this morning reminds me that yet another year has flown by and the well earned and looked-forward to Christmas break is fast approaching. As well as being an outstanding year for Britain, “Twenty Twelve” has been a good year for Groundforce and our parent company Vp plc too. For those of you who follow the stock market may have noticed the trend bucking performance of Vp shares of late, backed up by a set of excellent half year figures. Good news indeed for us shareholders!

We at Groundforce feel we have played our part. Our Scottish region in particular is having an outstanding year and is placing huge demand on our technical and operation resources as we endeavour to keep pace with the transmission projects underway up there. These type of excavations are not massive in physical size but are numerous and offer their own technical and operational challenges.

Our fledgling bridging division is showing early signs of success and we at technical are looking forward to getting stuck into the engineering side of things during 2013. Our bridging Manager Terry Mead certainly needs some help to reduce the “inter-galactic” mileage he is currently doing, dealing with enquiries, site installations and the technical side of things. After all, you can’t get a more engineering orientated project than a bridge!

Our engineering design team have turned round record design figures during the year. My monthly report rarely fails to announce another record emanating from the design stats. Despite the huge turnaround in designs, we have provided a consistently good quality of robust yet economic designs that have hopefully kept our customers (as well as our sales teams!) happy.

Our Major Projects team goes from strength to strength. The undoubted highlight has been working on key Crossrail schemes. We feel we have made a perhaps small but key contribution to getting the TBM into in its launch pit at Plumstead on time. The adjacent photograph shows the machine looking resplendent at its “blessing” ceremony last week; before it sets off on its journey under the Thames.

Other notable highlights during 2012 have been supplying the longest clear spanning proprietary prop, weighing in at ~48m long on a job in Wandsworth. It was particularly interesting to observe the load changes in these struts due to the summer (yes we did have a bit of one) daily temperature fluctuations. This topic will the subject of a technical blog next year. We are confident of more major Crossrail work in 2013 with a number of heavy technical challenges ahead of us.

With this in mind we are constantly developing and modifying our product range to satisfy customer requirements and the ever present drive for improvements in site safety. We have recently developed several new lightweight shoring systems and our SiteSafe solution range of products continues to grow. These of course can all be seen on the Products section of this website. Finally we are hoping lo launch our new technical file early next year. This is an ongoing labour of love so to speak but we are nearly on the last lap. Watch this space!

It just leaves me to wish all blog readers a happy, peaceful, safe and relaxing Christmas and look forward to be back in touch with you early in 2013.

Tony Gould
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