A Preston based sheet piling expert and leader in its sector, Sheet Piling (UK) Limited, has been nominated for a Red Rose Business Award in recognition of a major innovation introduced to the construction centre in late 2018.
Sheet Piling (UK) Limited is one of six businesses shortlisted in these Lancashire-focused awards, organised by Lancashire Business View magazine.
The nomination follows another shortlisting – in the FSB NW regional awards and again in the innovation category. Both shortlistings recognise Sheet Piling UK’s pioneering of change in the sheet piling world and the infrastructure-widening environment.
Being shortlisted in the innovation category for both awards, vindicates Sheet Piling UK’s decision-making and recognises its vision in seeking to implement change in its sector. It first determined that the smart motorway network, as well as the HS2 high-speed rail works, would both benefit from a solution that could prevent projects invariably running both over budget and beyond deadline. It then set about finding that solution, to ultimately save the British taxpayer money.
SPUK realised that the sheet piling process could be reduced in duration by at least two weeks, if the need for enabling works (digging into embankments to build platforms on which sheet pile installation rigs could stand) was removed from the schedule of works.
The Lancashire business assessed what it would take to eradicate the need for such platforms and drew up a brief for the long-reach sheet pile installation rig – the TM 12/15 LR, with an 8.1-metre reach that makes it a world first. All other rigs in its sector have a reach of just 5.1 metres, a vital three metres less than the TM 12/15 LR. SPUK believed the benefits of this additional reach to be so huge that it committed £1.2m, to bring this innovation to fruition.
SPUK calculated it could save Tier 1 contractors a staggering £40,000-£60,000 on a typical 100-metre sheet pile wall installation, by replacing ordinary sheet pile installation rigs with the TM 12/15 LR. As it is necessary to include such sheet pile installations at least every 2.5km on motorways, to ensure sufficient Emergency Refuge Areas are available, the ultimate saving on sheet pile installation was confidently assessed to be colossal.
Additionally, Sheet Piling UK knew it could deliver the environmental benefits of not digging up embankments and destroying wildlife habitats, as well as reducing traffic disruption and journey delays.
The fact that two award schemes have already recognised the vision behind this innovation suggests that SPUK has struck a chord within its industry. With Highways England now making SPUK a preferred sheet pile supplier as a result of this innovation, the future for Sheet Piling UK is very bright.
Managing director, Andrew Cotton, says: “We are delighted to be nominated for two awards so soon after the TM 12/15 LR’s arrival in our fleet. We hope to now go one further and win an award, but are already buoyed up by the fact that we are now being regarded as the partner of choice in the tender processes that we need to go through in our sector. This should enable us to grow significantly and create new jobs, all thanks to innovation and our deep understanding of the sheet pile industry.”