Quarter 1 2012
In the pipeline
Special Irish supplement
The fastest emergency hose replacement service there is
The Right Way This edition is mainly about Pirtek’s Irish centres, though other great stories have bounced in, on Irish links. There is one contribution from Ireland’s Celtic cousins in Wales, one from a UK centre at the far end of the Dublin ferry lines in near Liverpool at Ellesmere Port, and others on the RosslareFishguard-London ferry and rail route at Reading and Westbury. Ireland was the first of the Eurozone countries to need help from the European Central Bank as the recession bit. Under very difficult conditions, the country has won praise for meeting its national economic targets.
So Ireland is compared favourably by international economic commentators with Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain, who have not met theirs. This process has not been comfortable for anyone in Ireland. The Pirtek centres have risen to the challenge and this edition has encouraging reports of innovation and service; from Belfast in the North, to Dublin, Galway, Cork and Limerick in the Republic. This is not surprising, really. Every European Pirtek centre has dedicated, focussed teams who, every day, night and weekend, solve problems which others think of as difficult.
These problems are normally logistical, technical and environmental. But teams who are used to confronting difficulties and overcoming them every hour of every day will not be stopped by difficulties which are externally imposed, even economic ones. The stories here are excellent examples of Pirtek helping its customers by excellent service, outstanding quality and a creative approach to problem solving. It is THE way to fight a recession.
Father and son directors, Greg and Robert Brookes sold the company to Harbro in Scotland but continue to run MFS from premises based close to Stratford. "The technology of a mobile milling and rolling feed vehicle isn't new, it's about 40 years old, but it's a mechanical process. The new hydraulically controlled vehicles put the older vehicles to shame so we soon thought about conversion. What we have done is introduce hydraulics into one of the existing 18 tonne Volvo mills and redesigned the mechanical side including altering the augers,” Robert Brookes says. “It was originally done to reduce maintenance work, particularly on the vehicle allocated to Pembroke, which will be miles from the depot. But the new system has increased production on site by as much as 30%, so it looks as if we are at the start of a conversion process now." Robert reports that this conversion process has removed all the wear parts such as the drive belts, cogs, bearings and sprockets and replaced them with hydraulics, with a little help from the team at Pirtek Redditch. “We have been using Pirtek Redditch for emergency hose replacements and parts for the past two years and we
Climb Every Mountain
Class of Their Own
Very Hush Hush
Secure in the Knowledge
Bin and Gone
Hands Across the Water
Right on Track
In the Pink
Lifting the Sprits
It’s a Rollover
Doing the Can Can
Walking on Air
Kelvin Roberts, Chairman, Pirtek Europe
Through the Mill A specialist animal feed company is bringing the business into the 21st Century with a little help from Pirtek Redditch. Midland Feed Services (MFS) was formed in 1987 from the defunct Mill Feed Company when six employees took over the management of the company. MFS now provides a mobile animal feed service throughout the Midlands and Wales using seven mobile mills and a straw processor. Last year MFS took delivery of first of two state-of-the-art Tropper mobile mixer feed vehicle, to provide more capacity for customers requiring larger quantities. The mobile mills can mill or roll all cereals, peas and beans and then mix minerals and concentrates with molasses (carried on board) to make a complete balanced feed product on site, using the farmers’ own produce.The MFS mills can also add ground straw to stretch out any short supply of silage and increase dry matter intake by breaking down the lignum in the straw. They can grind straw through smaller screens for use as cubicle bedding and for use in automated slurry systems as a cheaper alternative to wood shavings. The use of chopped straw in a clamp also helps reduce effluent loss.
trust their hydraulic expertise so we called them in to design the system. We had no drawings to give them, which is probably not the most professional way of modifying such an important vehicle. But they came down and measured up, went away and custom- made the blocks and the fitted all the pumps, control gear and hoses," he says. "It took a bit longer than expected because we altered the workings on a regular basis to make sure it worked the way we wanted it to. But two weeks to build a prototype from scratch wasn't bad and our regular MSST Ian Cockrane reckons the next conversion could be completed in just two days.”
Published by Pirtek (UK) Limited 35 Acton Park Estate, The Vale, Acton, London W3 7QE Tel 020 8749 8444 Fax 020 8749 8333 E-mail email@example.com
In the pipeline 3
Climb Every Mountain
Sales manager Helen Thorpe and Reading Centre manager, Martin Cogdell
Government austerity measures have left many local authorities seeking new ways to provide an outstanding service whilst maintaining tight budget controls. Neath and Port Talbot Council's workshop manager, Danny Prosser is one of the people at the sharp end of council operations. Very much the logistics expert and problem solver, Prosser manages a crew of 13 fitters, who maintain 480+ vehicles from the two workshops in Neath and Tregelles. Split across five depots, vehicles range from recycling trucks, refuse lorries, cranes, gully cleaners and sweepers on one hand to tarmac hotboxes, gritting lorries, jetters and tractors on the other. "We also cover a very large geographical area, up to Swansea, the Brecon mountains and all the valleys. So the last thing I need is to find that a refuse truck, miles away from the depot, has split a hydraulic hose and is spilling oil down the road,” he asserts. “As a consequence, we keep a very close eye on all the vehicles and carry out a constant preventive maintenance programme. However with so many vehicles in constant use, there is always the danger of an unforeseen part failure, so it's reassuring to have Pirtek working for us in the background." Pirtek Swansea has served Neath council in excess of ten years and retains the business through a variety of reasons, as Prosser explains, "Pirtek have plenty of competition, so it would be easy for the council to change to a new supplier if Pirtek didn't provide the right service at the right price. However, they have strategically placed two of their mobile workshops near to our workshops so that callout times are easily within the 1 hour ETA promise period. Their service is exemplary, and their rates are competitive so we get a really good deal for the ratepayers,” he concludes. “They also provide an out-of-hours service, which is vital if we are operating a 24/7 service with something like the winter gritting service.”
The term 'wonderful but completely bonkers' was a description once applied to Morgan cars. And the majority of these 'eccentric' retrostyled auto masterpieces seem to originate from Reading based Richard Thorne Classic Cars (RTCC). Celebrating 30 years as one of the top Morgan dealerships, RTCC also have interests in Lancia, Jaguar replica manufacturer Proteus, and the German Carver company who build a curious car/bike hybrid that brought RTCC and Pirtek into contact.Always interested in the unusual, RTCC agreed to look after the Carver concern in the UK. This grew into maintenance and servicing, which meant that RTCC had to source parts for the vehicles. "For sheer convenience we decided to locally source the gearbox DVT hydraulic pipes that control the body tilting mechanism," explains sales manager Helen Thorpe. "We approached Pirtek Reading and were delighted to find they could not only supply the hoses but the quality was better than the OEM product. At that point we started to seriously look at other hose components, particularly on the Morgans. The Aero has steel braid hoses which Pirtek have also been able to duplicate, and a lot quicker than Morgan can." The Carver car /motorbike hybrid that makes the
Mix of Old & New Morgans look positively sane According to Helen, few people realise just how popular the Morgan range actually is. “Morgan’s annual production is now over 1,000 a year, and the introduction of a new threewheel edition has taken the auto world by complete surprise. Based on the classic 30s Moggie design, there are over 700 advance orders for the new version, and that's before it's even been demonstrated,” she says. “Morgans may look retro but they are registered as a new design and not only comply with the latest Euro NCAP crash requirements but they are fitted with state of the art technology disguised under that retro body. But they are cars to be nurtured and cared for. We have excellent workshops with the latest diagnostic equipment, and it's good to know that whilst we look after the routine maintenance, we can quickly sort out any fuel or hydraulic hose requirements with Pirtek, who provide a fast and efficient service."
Left Snow plough being readied in September! Above Mike & Jason avoiding a brush off
Quarter 1 2012
The company manufactures three products: Grade 1, 6 mm premium pellets that conform to the latest European Standard EN Plus (Certificate UK001) used in commercial premises; domestic briquettes suitable for burning in multi-fuel stoves, log burners and open fireplaces; and, as a bi-product of the process, quality wood pellets for horse bedding. Seen as a clean, green alternative to other fuels, the briquettes are manufactured from virgin timber that is debarked on site with the aid of a JCB JS200W armed with an orange peel grab. Once inside the plant, the wood is chipped, dried and compressed into the various products. "They are much more efficient to burn than traditional timber because the water content has been greatly reduced," explains plant manager Peter Pollard. "They have a calorific value of 4,800 KWhr/tonne, because the moisture content has been reduced to less than 10%. The end product is also very clean to handle with less than one percent dust and fines, because the products have also been compressed. The heat output of a single pallet of briquettes is the equivalent of 10m³of seasoned logs. And because they are made from virgin not recycled material, the end product produces no toxic gases.”
Pirtek Swindon is playing a key role in supporting the development of a process capable of producing a carbon neutral and sustainable fuel source. It sounds like every environmentalist’s dream: A state-of-the-art plant, manufacturing a carbon neutral fuel from natural sustainable sources, with a waste ash content of less than 0.7 percent. Too good to be true? Absolutely not, but the manufacturing process has required a little help from Pirtek Swindon.
Aggravating Problems Even though the governmental and legislative stars aligned in the company’s favour, the Andover plant has not been without its challenges, according to Peter. "Although the plant has been in full swing since April last year, we have had a number of aggravating production problems that Pirtek Swindon has helped us overcome. We have used them for all the usual hydraulic maintenance work, they have even built us a drum pump trolley, and they have started to repair damaged rams. To cap it all, they
(L-R) The control room at Andover, briquettes ready for dispatch
The rebuilt control panel for the hopper rams, and a thank you from Verdo Plant Manager Peter Pollard to MSST Matt Home
Bio Mass Effect Although there was an existing and growing bio mass market in the UK, the government's announcement on the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) in March was welcomed by Verdo Renewables as a step in the right direction for green energy. Already better in price than oil and coal and comparable to gas, the RHI policy will make bio mass products considerably better value for industry, schools and hospitals. And it is hoped that the RHI will be extended to the general public in the near future. Verdo Renewables - part of the Danish Verdo Holdings Group which has manufactured bio mass products in Europe for 25 years - expanded its operations into Scotland with a plant in Grangemouth. And in April 2010, a second plant was opened in Andover. Both plants manufacture 55,000 tonnes of wood pellets and 15,000 tonnes of briquettes each year from locally-sourced virgin timber within the UK, mainly Kent, the New Forest and Frome in Somerset. The system has been of great interest to the energy companies, with nine bio mass projects being instigated this year alone. This will rise to 20 in 2012 and to more than 500 over the next few years.
have just rebuilt the control panel for the hopper ram switch gear.” Peter continues. "The hoppers feeding the manufacturing line use two powerful rams. Unfortunately they are a bit too powerful for the rest of the fixtures and fittings. "To rectify this, Pirtek lowered the system pressure and changed the control logic to put the rams on alternating strokes. This reduces the shock onto the welded parts and has greatly reduced the strain on the rest of the system. They have rewelded, resealed and refitted eight rams to date. The hydraulic hoses have been respecified and are now of a higher specification than the OEM product. The original hydraulic control valves were not up to the job either due to being over pressurised, and at £700 a time to replace, they were expensive. A redesigned hydraulic system and the new control panels have resolved this situation. I have used Pirtek before at other companies, and they were the obvious choice for any hydraulic maintenance work at this plant. But they have proved to be excellent problem solvers as well. We are very pleased with their work. There is a great future for this business and we need to be geared up for it. With Pirtek we can guarantee we will be working at maximum efficiency."
In the pipeline 5
Class of Their Own
Above, the award winning Bull nosed Scania (L-R) Sons Barry, Garth , Clive, Howard,, & founder Roy with Pirtek Newport MSST Kyle Water
You know when you when you have found a company that takes a real pride in its business when even their work vehicles consistently win the 'best of' in the All Wales Truck & Transport Show. Originally established in 1968 as Thomas Plant Hire, the company, now based in Brynmawr, Blaenau Gwent, has evolved into Thomas Waste Management Limited (TWM). During the past 10 years, the company has diversified into skip hire, crushing, aggregates, recycling and asbestos disposal. Far from his sole trader days, founder Royden (Roy) Thomas now has his four sons to help oversee the 40 employees, 27 Scania trucks, and a myriad of recycling, crushing and screening equipment operated by the company today. These are in addition to literally thousands of skips that
Up for Grabs Unloading 20, seventy five tonne rail wagons, each carrying 8,000 tonnes of rail ballast, in two hours is a daunting enough task. When it has to be done by just two operators using two excavators, the need to keep both machines operational is paramount. Railfreight, operating out of sidings in Westbury use two Case 9046 excavators armed with Verachert 2500 litre grabs to do the work. Recently one of the grabs was
range in size from 4 to 40 m3, and of course, the treasured and prizewinning, bull-nosed Scania that is used to pull the 40 m3 ro-ro artic trailers. "We take a pride in what we do and the service we provide," says director Barry Thomas. "That’s why we have survived when all of our smaller competitors have been swallowed up, or gone to the wall. We take a very personal approach to our customers and provide the service that they want. We are also the only licensed asbestos transporter in the area. That's very important as there are no longer any sites in Wales that will deal with it.” Recycling Rates TWM prides itself on its environmental credentials. “We recycle in excess of 80 percent of the commercial and domestic waste brought on to the site. That figure would be higher but we don't have incinerator facilities in this part of Wales, so unfortunately the rest goes to landfill,” Thomas continues. “However, we do process odd products such as tyres and will recycle all wood, which goes to Swansea for fibreboard, metal which is taken to Port Talbot, construction and demolition waste, which is crushed and used as a 30 mm sub base material, green waste, which is turned into compost, plastics, paper, stone, cardboard and glass." In order to maintain the fleet of equipment required to keep pace with these waste throughputs, TWM operates an extensive maintenance programme of its own. "We have our own fitters and run a six-week preventive maintenance programme, but you can't foresee every contingency, so it's vital to have provision for the unexpected as well as maintaining the scheduled work. Pirtek Newport does that. We have a local MSST - Kyle Water - who will often call in to make sure everything is running OK. Our engineers have a very good rapport with him and we know he will provide a good service that's on time, especially as they will need his services at least a couple of times a week.” Barry Thomas says that TWM is loyal to its suppliers but expects them to share his own company’s work ethic. “It's always good to find another company that demonstrates the same amount of customer care as us,” he concludes. “We have used Pirtek Newport for close on 15 years now for one simple reason: they do what we need done, and they do it without fuss, at the right price, and when they say they will." refurbished and refitted. In the process it was decided that the hydraulic hoses operating the grab rams should be replaced as well. Pirtek Westbury stepped into the breach and manufactured the four replacement hoses and MSST Daniel Spencer was despatched to carry out the installation. "Unfortunately, when the hoses were fitted and the grab tested just about everything leaked, except my hoses. I ended up retightening just about everything on the grab before testing it again, and it still leaked,” Spencer says. “I took all the fittings apart, identified a few worn washers, which I replaced and again the grab was reassembled and tested, producing just one small leak. It turned out to be paint ingress on the pipe thread. It was almost impossible to see, but once cleaned and reassembled, the grab worked perfectly." And not a moment too soon. With another ballast train en route from Leicester, it was vital that the excavator was returned to service which, thankfully, it was. "We do a lot of hydraulic work on the rail side at Westbury because of our proximity to the sidings. We offer a fast and efficient service because time is very much of the essence there. Even though that was a somewhat longer maintenance job than scheduled, we were on site for less than an hour and ensured the grab was fully operational before leaving,” Daniel Spencer concludes. “And the operators were relieved that they had two machines to work with again."
Quarter 1 2012
All Very Hush-Hush
Quietly tucked away in a newly redeveloped part of Liverpool docks is the modest home of Marine Specialised Technology (MST). But inside beats the heart of one of the forerunners of commercial and military RIBs and high-speed workboats. With a long history in naval architecture, the three directors of MST realised in 2001 that they had more than enough pooled experience and knowledge to form their own manufacturing facility when a European agent approached them with a marine contract to complete. MST effectively project managed the work and admit they traded on their reputation for the next three years whilst they established their own brand name. It wasn't until 2005 that the company had designs of its own to market. Discarding the Rulebook Throwing away the rulebook, MST designed a series of vessels based on their own templates but with parts commonality playing a major role in the designs. The company set out to maximise the interchangability of the fittings, which would dramatically reduce the need for a huge range of spares and parts, and facilitate easy customisation without compromising the basic design.
Above left, Phillip Hibbert with one of the SBS Subskimmer RIBs, above, in normal naval duty rig and just to prove you can submerge the boat for stealth operations. Below one of the high speed patrol boats in action with the Kystvakt (Norwegian Coast Guard).
It also allowed for "all the clever bits' as sales director Philip Hibbert modestly described them, to be combined in single units. It was a concept that was instantly adopted by navies around the world and in 2009 MST landed the biggest RIB contract outside of North America. The Royal Dutch Navy has a current order for 48, 12 metre vessels in production. These boats carry two crew and 10 fully equipped embarked personnel. The order was won on the adaptability of the boats and the parts commonality of the design. MST has also become the preferred supplier for a Dutch company specialising in high-speed stern ramp launched RIBs for frigates. One of MST's specialities is their military RIB, especially its Subskimmer 550 special operations submersible diver delivery craft. An adaptable RIB that can be used as a surface vehicle, semi submerged for stealth approach or submersed by deflating the collars. Specialist as Standard Obviously in a saltwater environment and with such customised equipment, specialised fixtures, fittings and hoses would be required as standard. Sourcing a suitable supplier wasn't that difficult a task for MST as one of the directors had previously used Pirtek with Jungheinrich. Pirtek Liverpool was subsequently contacted in 2008 with a list of requirements for highly specialised power steering and fuel hoses. "Pirtek now supplies all the power steering hydraulic lines which have to be to ISO standards as well as MCA specification for military use. From delivery of the hull, MST will have the vessel in the water in three weeks, so we have to be efficient. It’s no good having a half a million pound vessel delayed for the sake of a £6 part. And that’s where Pirtek win,” Hibbert asserts. “They will come out when we want, fully equipped and supply all the odd bits we need. Their ability to arrive on site with a mobile workshop makes a lot of our work viable, as they can make the hose assemblies on site and on demand. That saves a lot of investment in stock and capital expenditure for the company."
In the pipeline 7
Waterford MSST Larry McGrath outside the Guinness Waterford brewery which is a juxtaposition of the new and the old, even if they do paint a mural on the side. Above one of the many Pirtek stainless steel hoses in the brewery
Black Gold The Guinness site at Waterford is a wonderful mix of the old and traditional with the ultra modern and efficient. However behind the beautiful facade lies a far darker secret - they don't make Guinness here! Guinness has seen many changes since it first started brewing in 1759, but none more interesting than how they brew at Waterford. The Waterford site has had a brewery since 1792 and was purchased by Guinness in 1955. In recent years the plant has been totally modernised as part of a €34 million refurbishment programme, and the end product changed to suit the export market. The Waterford site makes a Guinness concentrate that is shipped to 50 countries (mostly in Africa, Australia, and America) in giant containers where it is used as the basis of overseas beers. Apart from the giant plastic containers, the company also has inflatable vessels inside standard sea containers that can be filled directly and shipped as a standard container. The site is so automated that the 30 employees on site use just two of their number to control the brewing process from a high-tech control room that produces sufficient concentrate to brew 550 million pints every year. "This is one of the most modern plants of its type with all of the traditional brewing methods geared to make a unique product. Everything is for export, which obviously helps the country's balance of payments in these strange economic times," says site manager Paul McCusper. "Obviously there is a huge demand for the product and Guinness has found a profitable niche in the overseas market. But to make sure we keep up the good work on exports the plant must run very efficiently. After each brewing process the system is cleaned and flushed with water and caustic acid, which sounds drastic but it makes sure there is no contamination from a previous session. This requires a huge amount of piping and Pirtek has a natural role to play on site. We have used them for over 10 years because they provide the sort of innovative response we need.” Although Pirtek Waterford’s remit began as an emergency hose replacement provider, the relationship has evolved and grown, as Paul explains. “They do all the usual repairs and maintenance work, on time and in budget, which I would expect. But because of their specialist knowledge they have become part of our approved suppliers list. As a result, we are more than happy to listen to their ideas. “
“They have helped a great deal with hoses for our tanker bay and are working on a spare set to be kept in the stores to save time when they get damaged or worn. Pirtek Waterford has a good rapport with our service engineers and I know we are in good hands to keep the export of our famous product right on track."
Larry with Paul McCusper with some of the palleted concentrate awaiting dispatch Inside the sea container, an inflatable plastic container that can be filled direct
Quarter 1 2012
Dermot Ennis & Martin Barry with one of the low ground pressure Morooka tipper trucks
All-Plant based in Clonard, County Meath has diversified its plant hire fleet to meet the changing needs of local customers and to buck the region’s construction recession trend. Partners Martin Barry and Dermot Ennis started their professional careers 16 years ago as electricians. It was when they were rewiring a farmhouse that they realised the excavator operator was making considerably more than they were, by just digging the ducting trenches. "Looking back it seems incredible that we just hopped on a plane, flew to England and bought a Case excavator to enable us to do the same thing,” recalls Dermot Ennis. “That was the start of our plant hire fleet. This was
also just as mini excavators came onto the market. We recognised the possibilities and bought into the concept. We've never looked back." Martin Barry says that the company also offered a unique service that found favour among their local rivals. "We've always maintained our own equipment fleet and we started to offer a repairs and a spares service to other companies. This kept their overheads down, but provided a lot of work for us,” he explains. “This is where we first came across Pirtek. They provided specialist services, which in turn kept our overheads down. And, as the local construction industry has retracted in the past few years, we have invested in a new workshop to cope with the additional maintenance work. As a result we can find work for all our machines as well as offering light engineering, welding, repairs, fabrication work and haulage." “ We have also diversified into lots of other industry sectors including Utility work, pipe laying, remedial building work, demolition, railways, green recycling, drainage trenches, canal restoration, water pipe installation, farming, housing, ground stabilisation, National Trust sites, generator installation and industrial site buildings. Not bad for an industry that has supposedly died," says Dermot Ennis with a wry smile. "As the building developers have disappeared, we have also used the machinery on agricultural and environmental projects. As people have returned to the land, we have the equipment already in place to make farming pay for itself. " Despite the diversification and continued success, both Dermot and Martin are constantly aware of the current economic climate facing their fellow countrymen "These are not the easiest of times. We've done deals merely to help keep companies afloat, and we've looked at our pricing structures to give even better value for money. If we can do that for our customers, then we expect our suppliers to play the same game, and Pirtek does. But they don’t do so to the detriment of efficiency,” Dermot Ennis concludes. "They are punctual, have the right equipment to repair whatever customers have done to our machines, anywhere in Ireland. We have used every Pirtek depot in the region now, and they are all good. Logistically they are far better than any of their competitors. We've used them for ram repairs, hydraulic and diesel hoses. Pirtek is very much our preferred one-stop-shop for hose replacements now.”
Secure in the Knowledge... After successful rollouts in the UK and the Irish Republic, Pirtek Belfast is pioneering the use of the Cesar Datatag system to reduce plant and equipment theft in Northern Ireland. During 2010, it is estimated that more than £4 million worth of farm equipment was stolen from Ulster alone. Little wonder that the Cesar Datatag system from Pirtek Belfast has started to find favour among the farming and construction equipment communities alike. “It’s time for the rural community to fight back against the thieves,” says Ulster Farming Union deputy president Harry Sinclair. “We are offering discounts on security products to help our members improve their farm theft prevention”. "The installation consists of two highly visible tamper proof markers that are intended to act as a deterrent. One of these hides a transponder, but even if these are removed, there is another hidden transponder as well as millions of microdots hidden all over the vehicle. Even if a tractor, excavator or quadbike were dismantled to component parts, we could still identify the original vehicle. Police have instructions to scan any suspect vehicle they come across and the hidden transponder will soon reveal the true identity of the vehicle,” says Pirtek Belfast’s Cathy Doyle. “Couple that with Datatag's 100% prosecution record and you are looking at affordable protection."
UFU deputy president Harry Sinclair with Pirtek Belfast’s Cathy Doyle, demonstrating the Cesar kit, with tamper proof ID labels, transponders and microdots
In the pipeline 9
Galway MSST Dave Murray, founder Mike Reddington and the engineering crew
Co. Galway based lift truck specialist Reddilift has placed customer care at the heart of its business; and it’s a philosophy that has paid handsome dividends in turbulent economic times. Founded in 2004, the family-run business operates from a fully equipped 2 370 m custom-built workshop deep in the Galway countryside. Reddilift has built a client base of large national companies as well as a plethora of small local companies. The majority of the machines it supplies are Toyota and Yale together with more specialised narrow aisle and warehouse machines. The company’s forklifts range in size from 1-10 tonnes, with a good cross section of gas, electric and diesel vehicles. According to managing director Mike Reddington, the company has had to move with the economic times. " Customers are more inclined to hire than buy so we have made sure there are enough forks available in the fleet to remain flexible enough to cope with customer needs. Where customers have struggled with payments, we have bought the trucks back and hired them out on terms the customer can cope with. If we didn't help and provide a flexible response, we could have put some customers under a lot of financial strain. This way we all benefit and the customer has one less worry,” he says. “We also provide a lot of fuel options on the trucks simply because LPG is expensive and hard to find in rural areas.” Mike applies the same “keep the customer satisfied credo to his repair and maintenance operation. "Even the best forks go wrong or get damaged from time to time. We provide a replacement truck if it's something that can't be fixed on the spot. But it often makes more sense to call out Pirtek when we have a hydraulic problem. They can often get to a customer before we can, and it's generally cheaper to use their MSSTs rather than taking one of our own fitters off other vital work,” Mike Reddington concludes. “We know times could be better out there, but I'm sure things will bounce back. It's in the Irish nature to work hard on one hand and help out on the other. I'm pleased to say Pirtek enable us to do just that."
A happy Jimmy Cassidy, because he is just about to get his Seddon refuse truck back. What you can’t see, is franchisee Michael Fogerty underneath completing the repair!
Bin and Gone Ireland has a proud tradition of entrepreneurship. And nowhere is this more evident than in the business of refuse collection. With recycling in Ireland in private rather than corporate hands, refuse collections are run by highly individual and competitive local companies, with customers benefitting by frequent, low-cost collections due to the fierce competition. Many of the companies involved are small local enterprises with limited resources, so if a key component fails, it puts a real strain on the service offered. One such company is Tom Cassidy Bin Collections in Limerick, a family business with brothers Tom and Jimmy running a collection service in the Limerick and Shannon district. They operate two refuse collection vehicles and run a very effective but lean and mean service, which has proved very popular in the area. Returning from a regular preventive maintenance call-out, Pirtek Limerick licensee Michael Fogerty received an urgent phone call to say there was an anxious customer waiting outside the Limerick Centre. The vehicle in distress turned out to be a Seddon refuse truck driven by Jimmy Cassidy. Halfway through a collection round, the ram hydraulic hose had blown, preventing the collections being compressed and effectively ending his round. Jimmy Cassidy says he was far more worried about letting his customers down than the damage to the truck. "We provide a fast, reliable service to our customers and they don't like to be let down," he concludes. "Refuse trucks are notorious for hose failures, even when we keep a close eye on the fixtures and carry out regular scheduled maintenance work to make sure they work to maximum efficiency. But we are lucky to have the likes of Pirtek on our doorstep when things don't go to plan."
Quarter 1 2012
Hands Across the Water Life Saver Director Pat Carroll, brother of MD John , putting the finishing touches to the latest Trent lifeboat
With a little help from Pirtek Cork , ferries MV Carrigaloe and sister ship Glenbrook provides the city with a vital cross-harbour ferry service at Cobh. Built in Newport, Wales in 1970, the 240 ton, 45 metre long, Class 5 open car ferries have been operating the Irish route for the past 18 years, after years in the Scottish highlands. These two vessels make the cross river journey up to 180 times per day, in a 16-hour period, carrying up to 3000 vehicles. Both ferries have now undergone major refits with Marine Transport Services Ltd at Cobh that has seen the installation of new 223 kW Volvo Penta marine diesel engines and all the associated hydraulic, fuel and cooling lines. Glenbrook is currently being used whilst Carrigaloe undergoes a regular monthly maintenance work, under the watch of maintenance fitter Billy Frahill. "Pirtek Cork has done a lot of work on the two ferries. They have reinstated the diesel returns, fuel and pressure lines. In the wheelhouses they have fitted the oil pressure lines, and provided new gauges as well as numerous hydraulic hoses. They have recently refitted the barrier hoses as well. We now have the boats on a two-weeks-on, two-weeks-off schedule, which allows us to keep the regular maintenance work in hand. We do a lot of preventative maintenance work at the Cobh dock where the biggest problem is salt water corrosion which will affect everything, including the hoses, so there is always something to repair or replace,” Billy explains. “We use the Pirtek Cork counter service a lot but we also have regular visits from their MSSTs with parts. Pirtek Cork have provided us with a superb 24 hour a day, seven days a week service for the past 12 years, all backed with excellent product quality. They are very fast to respond and always on hand 24/7 if we have an emergency.”
A chance encounter with a surveyor from the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) was to change the fortunes of a local boat builder based at Waterford Harbour. "Carrolls Botyard was started by my father in 1968, and it was very successful until the EU fisheries fishing quota policy came into force in the 1980s," says managing director John Carroll. "Boat building stopped almost overnight. Since then, marine work has taken a real battering in the area. Obviously we had a skilled workforce that we didn't want to lose, so we switched to boat repairs and conversions, and even turned our hand to bar design at one point to keep the company afloat." But all that was set to change. Carrolls was lucky to be visited by a surveyor from the RNLI who had heard about their work. "I'm pleased to say he liked what he saw and we started to get small jobs from the RNLI in 1995 and our first full refit in 1996,” John recalls. “They tried us out on boarding boats then we were offered the chance to work on a steel-hulled Tyne-class lifeboat. We came up to the expected level of workmanship and were consequently offered two more Tyne boats. " However the real break came 18 months later when the first Trent lifeboat came into the yard for a complete refit. "These were a completely different concept for us but we did three complete refits in the first year. We have now refitted 40 Trent lifeboats to date and by making changes at the yard, we hope to become even more productive in the new year," John says. "Because the RNLI is a charity, we have to be very competitive and keep things as tight as possible. We endeavour to give real value for money, but always work to a standard that can't be questioned." Carrolls Boatyard applies the same cost-effective quality demands upon its own suppliers, including Pirtek Waterford. "We have used Pirtek Waterford for the past eight years because they give such good service and their response time is second to none. They make a very good product backed by complete traceability. All hoses are tagged, so we can quickly identify everything for reordering," John Carroll concludes. "It's a great system and allows us to certificate everything for the RNLI, a key part of their supplier criterion.” The RNLI is an independentcharity and depends entirely on public support.If you would like to know more, please visit www.rnli.org.uk/how_to_support_us Waterford MSST Larry McGrath waiting for the ferry to Carrolls boatyard
In the pipeline 11
Right on Track Unilokomotive general manager Ulick Egan with the prototype dual feed refuse truck
For the past 55 years, Unilokomotive Limited has been building specialist road/rail wagons that are probably the most efficient, versatile and costeffective machines on the market. The company manufactures the Unilok Road/Rail Wagon Mover or Shunting Locomotive used for moving railway wagons, carriages or locomotives. Unlike many of the vehicles manufactured by competitors, these are not truck or excavator conversions, but purpose built rail yard workhorses that travel as easily on road as on rail. The company has an interesting history, having been purchased by Toyota, sold again in the 80s
and finally resold as part of a management buy out in 2001. The company is one of only two in the world that manufacture a true road/rail shunter as a fully-flanged rail unit. Today, there are more than 2,000 Uniloks at work in over 60 countries, from port terminals in the Russian Arctic, through cement plants in the Malaysian tropics, to train and carriage repair facilities in the UK. Although there are a further seven Unilocks on order for the New Year, general manager Ulick Egan says the company needs to diversify and look at other niche markets in the present economic conditions. "All of the rail products are for export and we can't rely on rail products alone," he says. "We have a huge amount of manufacturing experience and fabrication capability available on site. We also have our own design team, we do our own electronics and don't sub anything out. So it made a lot of sense to look at the home market this time." Mother of Invention According to Ulick, one of the fast growing sectors of the Irish market is recycling, with a lot of companies coming into the market place in recent years. “We looked at this market and realised immediately there was a problem with the standard method of refuse collection, that of separating dry recyclable material and wet landfill material. At present, you need two vehicles or two collections, when one vehicle could do both jobs,” he continues. "So we designed one. At the moment we are converting a standard refuse truck so that it will have two separate compartments, each with its own sealed container, rams and hydraulics. This will be used as a test vehicle before we fabricate a new custom-built truck. We are currently installing the 170 bar ram control gear into this vehicle. We believe the concept will be extremely popular and are already looking at the UK market where a similar problem of separate collection exists." At the heart of this “necessity is the mother of invention” innovation lies a close working relationship with PirtekGalway. "We have used Pirtek for years to fabricate all the weird and wonderful hoses we need. One of our shunters has 102 hoses on the hydrostatic drive unit alone. We have our shunters all over the UK with customers as diverse as Rio Tinto and Alstrom, and rely on Pirtek to come out for repairs at any time of the day or night - and they do. We've even called upon them in the US. Their reliability is 100%,” Ulick Egan concludes. “When our refuse truck takes off, I'm sure PirtekGalway will be at the forefront of supplies."
Top of the Pops The recent MTV awards in Belfast wouldn't have gone with such a bang without some last minute help from Pirtek Belfast. Having spent 10 years lobbying to bring the prestigious awards to the city, the show arrived only to hit an unexpected production problem during the set up. Despite arriving with an truckload of equipment, Devizes-based Quantum Special Effects – which produces all the stage special effects found it needed additional connectors to make anything work. "We had an air gap in the system that needed extra connectors, this was only discovered at 9.30pm on the Friday night before the show on the Saturday! But we needed have worried," says special effects and pyrotechnics designer and supervisor, Sean Barnett. "We regularly use Pirtek in England and realised we could use their emergency call out service in Belfast sort this out.” That call took Pirtek Belfast by surprise. "I certainly didn't expect to have a callout on a Friday night concerning MTV," recalls Pirtek Belfast licensee, David Adams. "After explaining the problem, I arrived armed with the right parts and the show went ahead as planned. We connected
up the trademark flame thrower bars, made sure everything worked before heading home. The biggest problem was concentrating on getting the job done while ignoring all the celebrities milling about. But it was very satisfying to hear Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol stand on stage the next night and say how MTV had thrown a spotlight on the city, and know we had played a small part in that."
Quarter 1 2012
In the Pink Short Strand depot engineer Colin Bennett with Belfast MSST Alan Craig and the pink fleet
You can't miss a Metro Translink bus in Belfast, well not since they changed the traditional red and cream livery to a startling Barbie pink and white. However it does have its downside because the buses are even more noticeable if they don't turn up. After spending 32 years with the company, Belfast's Short Strand depot engineer Colin Bennett knows pretty much everything there is to know
One of the car transporter fleet that needs the occassion tweak from Pirtek Dublin
Green Tiger is a vehicle logistics company specialising in the movement, storage and preparation of new, pre-owned and end-oflease vehicles for the trade, between Ireland and the rest of the world.
about keeping his fleet of 125 buses on the road. The diverse fleet ranges in age from three to 15 years with an average age of eight years. Short Strand runs the largest depot fleet in Ulster - half of the Translink fleet with 70 more based at the Falls depot, 25 at Great Victoria and the remainder at Newton Abbey. The majority of the fleet are Volvo B10BLE single-deckers with B7 and the newer B9 double deckers, although there is also a number of Wright or Alexander bodied Scanias running alongside. "At £150,000 a bus you can't expect to replace too many vehicles in this economic climate. So we have to ensure that the current fleet operates to its maximum efficiency. We do all the bus maintenance in-house, with scheduled monthly inspections, and daily visual checks that soon pick up any likely faults. But we’re still likely to have two or three in for testing, the same number in for scheduled maintenance and several in for mechanical failures or repairs at any given time. That doesn't leave me with much of a contingency if something fails unexpectedly." Colin reports that buses are notoriously tough on hydraulic hoses used to operate the steering, compressor, gearbox or brakes. “To keep a full range of hoses in stock for all these eventualities would be prohibitively expensive. So we use Pirtek for that service. It not only makes good economic sense - they can provide a hydraulic hose far cheaper than Volvo - but also logistical sense. They can do it within the hour." Having helped to conquer many of Metro Translink’s ongoing repair issues, Pirtek has now taken an even more proactive approach. "Pirtek’s engineers have worked with our workshop to help cure persistent faults. We have an ongoing programme to replace inflexible steel pipes that are prone to breakage, with flexible hoses that move with the bus. Where we have common parts that need regular replacement, Pirtek have made spare complete sets of hoses we can keep in stock and avoid a call out. That does them out of business but it suits us,” Colin Bennett concludes. "We have used Pirtek for 10 years, simply because they fulfil their promises. They come on time, armed with all the right parts, hoses and fittings. They make the hoses on the spot, and if we need anything really special they will go back to their workshop and return within half an hour. The bus is back in service really quickly and we get no complaints from the passengers - how good is that?" The company prides itself on being able to transport just about any vehicle anywhere, whether it's the last of the Beetles from Mexico to Ireland, or a high value export to Switzerland. Green Tiger also specialises in moving construction equipment between the UK and Ireland. The company’s trucks are not just green in colour. They are also equipped with engine "Hush Kits" to ensure minimal noise levels and where available, they run on Pure Plant Oil, with all used maintenance oils recovered for recycling. "Anti spray" equipment is used throughout the fleet to allow for better visibility for other road users. The Green Tiger fleet has some of the most up-to-date car transportation equipment available in Europe. But as Jerry Kiersey, manager at the Dublin HQ explained, that does not preclude them from problems. "We quickly learnt of the many things that can go wrong on a transporter, a large majority of them seeming to be hydraulic leaks," he says. "We discovered Pirtek Dublin when we entered the transporter business in 1999 and since then they have always been there whenever we’ve needed them. As we have expanded into the UK, so has our relationship with Pirtek. Our call outs are generally outside normal working hours and are often in poor weather, but the Pirtek lads never demure, they just Jerry Kiersey get on with the job quietly and efficiently.”
In the pipeline 13
The Shannon Foynes Port Company is Ireland’s second largest port operator, with statutory jurisdiction over all marine activities on a 500 km2 area of the Shannon Estuary.
The company provides a variety of services, from controlling navigation and marine safety, to warehousing, logistics and cargo handling, and process the largest vessels entering Irish waters, up to 200,000 dwt. To deal with vessels of this nature, there are some impressive cranes at work at the docks, all of which require the attention of Pirtek Limerick licensee Michael Fogerty and his team. "It's a very busy port that competes with Cork for business. Everything depends on the mobile cranes, a 32 tonne LHM100 Liebherr, purchased in 2001 supplemented by two 64 tonne HMK 170 Gottwalds purchased in 2008. To give you an idea of scale, the grab on the Gottwald is 18 m3," says Foynes Terminal Operations Supervisor John Hayes. "We import oil, coal, and even offshore wind turbines, which are a growing business in Ireland. Last year we had 10 ships in port each carrying six complete turbines, and we've had a further six this year. With such a large volume of traffic coming through the port, we can't afford to have the cranes out of action, so we carry out an extensive preventative maintenance programme which is where Pirtek comes in.”
According to Joh, the port places very specific demands upon both equipment and suppliers. Salt water is highly corrosive and can play havoc with components, particularly the hydraulics. With one of the cranes dating back to 1986, obtaining spares is a constant challenge and, on occasions, lead times have been ridiculous. “We were compelled to look at alternative sourcing and Pirtek came up trumps. They come out within the hour and make up the hose on the spot, including a 2" drop flanged pipe, considerably cheaper than the OEM I might add. We can't keep spares of everything the cranes need, so we hold a stock of regular wear parts and Pirtek makes the rest as required," John Hayes concludes. “When those parts are being fitted, the MSST keeps a close lookout for other parts displaying signs of wear. Thanks to that, our breakdowns have gone down to virtually nothing. The service from Pirtek Limerick is simply priceless.” Operations manager John Hayes with Limerick frnchisee Michael Fogerty and one of the Gottwald cranes in his care
Quarter 1 2012
Open Door Policy Right, Because of long lead times, Micheal O’ Brien Ltd hold over 200 tonnes of virgin timber on site. Below, the state of the art SCM router now working perfectly after a little help from Pirtek Cork. Below right, Michael and Pirtek Cork MSST Sean O’Shea with some of the 19 basic designs in a cohice of 9 different woods that can be manufactured on site
Michael O’Brien Ltd’s purchase of new equipment to increase production while retaining quality ran into some teething problems before the timely intervention of Pirtek Cork. The eponymous Michael O'Brien has been modifying the furniture company his father started in 1975, since he took control in the 80s. "I soon realised that the furniture side wasn't making any money but the kitchen side did. So we switched to just making custom made doors for kitchen companies and became real specialists in this field. The timing was spot on as there weren't many competitors then. " The products proved extremely popular and the company moved to its current location in Vicarstown, Co.Cork where the 1,100 m2 of workshop facilities were four times larger than their previous offices in Blackpool, allowing it to produce 700 doors a week. Although the company makes everything on site, production was limited by the existing machinery where 12 separate operations were required to make one door. To increase production, a new machine was required, and subsequently a new SCM routing machine was purchased. "It was a massive investment and only one of two similar machines in Ireland. We can programme all of the processes in one go and cut down 12 separate actions to just four. It is so much quicker,” Michael says.
But the greasing hoses on the SCM failed and trying to find replacements on a near unique machine proved fruitless. After a phone call made to Pirtek Cork, Michael O’Brien was amazed to find a Pirtek MSST waiting for him in the workshop inside the hour. "When the engineer said he would be able to replace the hose within 24 hours, I simply didn't believe him, but he took it away, and as good as his word he returned with the replacement which has worked perfectly ever since," he recalls. “ Although the SCM is a wonderful machine, there are parts that need to be redesigned and Pirtek Cork came to the rescue again. They are now working on an automatic lubrication system rather than the awkward manual system." And Pirtek involvement doesn’t end with a single machine. "They are looking at the workshop airline at the moment and there is a heavy duty airline from the main building to the paint shop that was leaking. I wanted it replaced, but Pirtek Cork insisted that it simply needed rerouting, the damaged part cutting out and rejoined,” he recalls. “What could have been a profitable little job for them, proved to be a real money saver for me.”
In the pipeline 15
Lifting the Spirits The Willingness of Youth
MD Frank Smith, Left (l-r) Emma Palmer, Collette Hope, Rachael Hancock, Below Stuart Pritchard, service manager
Customers experience a moment of serendipity when they come across Avonmouth-based forklift experts, Solution MHE, as they operate in a quite unique fashion. Operating across the UK, Solution MHE sell, service, maintain and hire gas, electric and diesel forklifts and pallet trucks - nothing exceptional about that. But it is the company’s operations side that makes it stand out from the crowd. "We know we are experts in the field, and we provide lots of specialist equipment such as narrow isle trucks. We can hire, lease or sell equipment over just about any time. Where we come up trumps is taking the time to talk to customers to find out what they actually need,” says managing director Frank Smith. "This has lead to some interesting conversations with finance departments who must think I've gone mad when I decline to sell them a piece of equipment. Because we only deal with the best equipment, we can often supply a better, cheaper and more efficient working solution, even if that means supplying one good machine when I could have sold two mediocre replacements.”
Contrary to headlines in the Daily Mail, not all teenagers are hoodiewearing, pensioner-baiting, work-shy louts, as two new recruits to the Pirtek Liverpool team illustrate. Engineering isn't the most glamorous profession in the world, so it is hardly surprising that it's not the career path of choice for many of today's teenagers, who'd prefer to sit in front of a computer, in a nice warm office. Bu then Tom Comer and Jordan Middleton aren’t regular comfort-first teenagers. The pair, both 17, have joined Pirtek Liverpool on an apprenticeship scheme. They have already been inducted into the workings of the Centre and have hands on experience in the parts department. They have accompanied the more experienced MSSTs in the mobile workshops to obtain first hand experience of the types of equipment they will be expected to service and repair. And they have both been enrolled on day release on mechanical engineering courses in local colleges to gain a City and Guilds certification. When asked why they had chosen Pirtek as a career, they both agreed that their current education had taken them as far as it could, and they both preferred to start work and gain practical skills. Work placement by the school had also helped sway their decisions. Baggage-Free Pirtek Liverpool realised that finding qualified hydraulic engineers is becoming harder if not impossible and decided to use the apprentice route so that the engineers could be taught from fresh, rather than retraining an engineer with set ideas and bad habit baggage. Pirtek Liverpool took on both lads because they said they had stood out head and shoulders from the rest of the candidates. They realised this was the start of a two year investment for the Centre, before each apprentice would be allowed out with their own vans. However judging by the start they had made, it could be money well spent. Both Tom and Jordan have seen the promotion opportunities offered by Pirtek and it won't be a surprise to see either or both of them managing or even owning a franchise in the future; they are certainly keen enough. Jordan Middleton and Tom Comer
Tracking System Another key differentiator at MHE is its ability to track its equipment, its engineers and any spare parts that might be required. "We operate a net reporting system that enables the company and customers to track engineers and spares. All our vans are tracked so we can stop site duplication and even redirect an engineer for urgent work,” Smith explains. “When you have customers like Cadburys, Betterware, DHL and Honda, you have to be efficient, as well as fast.” It is a policy that clearly works, and one that has earned MHE a loyal band of blue chip customers. "It is a delight when a customer tells me that they would never dream of using another forklift company," he says proudly. "That is the ultimate proof that they trust us and the way we work. And that's really the same reason we use Pirtek Bristol. They supply a really good service, they are fast, their admin is spot on, and they do what we want, when we want it. For such a long-standing supplier we've never had a customer complaint and consequentially we are very pleased to continue trading with Pirtek. I'm pleased to say Pirtek do as good a job as we do."
Quarter 1 2012
It's a Rollover!
Unforeseen Repairs This policy, combined with the numerous unforeseen repairs and maintenance duties makes caring for the CRH fleet a full time job. "With myself and 5 fitters, we carry out extensive preventative maintenance programmes and regular servicing to make sure everything works perfectly, but we do have to cope with a lot of repairs on top. So it's very helpful to have Pirtek Wigan working alongside the company. They do all our hydraulic work,” Eaton says. “Pirtek Wigan started with us here at Ashton in 2007 and are regular visitors, but CRH use Pirtek on a national basis. They have direct links for parts with our suppliers Wirtgen and Volvo, which saves a lot of paperwork for the workshops as they will work directly with the OEMs, especially on warranty issues." According to Eaton, caring for CRH Plant’s huge compaction equipment fleet requires considerable teamwork. "Pirtek are very much part of our maintenance programme. They turn up on time and come equipped to sort out the problem or repair, regardless of where a particular machine happens to be working,” Mike Eaton concludes. “We have absolutely no complaints about their work. We're very pleased with everything they do." The name CRH Plant will be familiar to anyone with even the most tenuous connections to the UK construction industry, where it is known as a market leader in the compaction equipment field. But it takes a lot to keep the company’s fleet rolling. CRH Plant offers a vast range of plant equipment from a 427 kg pedestrian roller to 19 tonne padfoot compactors. The range of compaction equipment in between is staggering, as are the number of specialist applications they can be used for. The company proudly boasts that its rental fleet is one of the most up-todate currently available in the UK today, and having established a reputation for buying state-of-the-art equipment and ensuring it is always reliable, it is down to the service department to continually maintain and service that machinery. "With eight national depots servicing the UK, and with machinery constantly on the move between customers, it's almost impossible to accurately say how many pieces of equipment are based at any one depot,” says works foreman Mike Eaton. “In fact, it's a good job that we achieve such good utilisation levels. We would never fit it all in this yard if it came off hire.” Eaton runs the busy Ashton-in-Makerfield workshop on the outskirts of Wigan, and has the challenging job of keeping the fleet in good running order. "Only today we've had a Bomag BW24RH roller returned to us from a six-month contract on the Isle of Man," he says. "This is a specialist roller for the production of ultra smooth tarmac surfaces. It’s popular because it is very adaptable and can be ballasted with sand, water or steel weights taking it from a standard 10 tonnes to 24 tonnes to suit the material to be rolled. It was new when it went out but, in keeping with our determination to ensure our customers receive only the very best, we will now put it through a major servicing programme to get it ready for the next hire."
Right, Works foreman Mike Eaton at the CRH North West depot, Wigan, with Pirtek Wigan MSST Tom Barrow Above the ultra smooth tarmac roller freshly arrived from the Isle of Man works department that morning. Below, some of the huge array of CRH kit.
In the pipeline 17
Doing the Can Can
Pirtek Warrington MSST Jamie Harris, the Glama and the crucible usually full of molton aluminium
A unique machine used to suck molten aluminium from a furnace presented an unusual challenge for the team at Pirtek Warrington. Travel around the Warrington area and it won't be long before you come across a flat bed trailer loaded with aluminium ingots, all bearing the statement 'made from 1.5 million aluminium drink cans.' Those statistics provide an idea of the scale of work undertaken at the Novelis recycling works at Latchford. Novelis is the leading producer of rolled aluminium products in Europe and South America, the number two producer in both North America and Asia, and the global leader in aluminium beverage can recycling, processing approximately 40 billion cans each year—enough to circle the globe more than 100 times. This recycled aluminium is primarily utilised in its own rolling facilities to produce new can sheet but is also incorporated in the latest Jaguar and Land Rover models. Recycling aluminium obviously means melting it. That happens at 660 deg C, so machinery working on the factory floor has to be well protected against the hostile environment. The Hyster forklifts used on site, for example, have their hydraulic hoses protected by steel sheathing as the standard hoses melt under sustained use in the factory. Each forklift uses two 4.5 and 3.5 metre hoses that have been systematically protected by Pirtek Warrington.
Above, one of the giant ingots of recycled aluminium. Middle, another specialist vehicle, complete with rake for furnace clearing. Bottom, some of the millions of cans waiting to be turned into new cans or even cars
Glama, and replaced numerous hydraulic hoses, as MSST Jamie Harris verified. "The Glama is the key piece of kit on the site. If it doesn't work, then the whole plant goes quiet. To ensure this doesn't happen, we are looking at keeping a complete set of hoses on site to reduce any unscheduled downtime. But the majority of the work here is for Barloworld which operates the site’s forklifts." Barloworld has two on-site engineers Rob Murray and Mark Fillingham - and their overseer Carl Black who had this to say about Pirtek, "We use them because of the excellent service. If we call them out, they'll be here in the hour. Their mobile workshops carry a lot of stock, so that any visit will usually cure the problem. They have a good pricing policy, which certainly helps in this economic climate. But where they really score is on out of hours’ service, which we use a lot,” he concludes. “They have even been known to send a van from Stoke to make sure we get the service on time." Left, armoured steel clad hosesfor the Barloworld forklifts Right, the nightmare of hoses on the Glama crucible lifter
Glama Puss There are other specialist vehicles in use on the floor. There are three JCB 426 wheel loaders equipped with what looks like a huge metal proboscis used to push material into, and to rake waste out of, the furnaces. But the weirdest vehicle at Latchford must be the Glama crucible transporter. This bizarre vehicle sucks molten aluminium out of the furnaces and transports it in crucibles across the factory floor and into the casting areas. A truly unique vehicle, the Glama mobile forging manipulator is the only unit of its kind in Europe, and as such, all the fixtures and fittings are equally odd. Pirtek Warrington has replaced and resealed a ram on the
Quarter 1 2012
Walking on Air The trouble with being the expert in one particular industry field is that customers often forget all the other services Pirtek can offer. Although renowned for its emergency hose replacement service, Pirtek is also a leader in pneumatics, ram repairs, and – even more surprisingly - air conditioning. This is demonstrated by Pirtek Reading which operates a mobile air conditioning unit under the control of centre manager, Martin Cogdell. The dedicated service vehicle is fully equipped with gas tanks, a sniffer/tester, test system, vacuum and siphon pumps and a tiny crimping rig for work on the aluminium pipes. Cogdell typically reconditions 400 vehicles a year, along with a plethora of excavators and most of the black cabs in Berkshire. And he is half way through a prototype replacement glycol air conditioning programme on 60 trains based at Reading. Most recently, Cogdell has combined his background in marine engineering with his air conditioning expertise to help vehicle restorers and repairers, Specialised Paintwork, undertake some interesting projects. Car Collection Based in Calcot to the south west of Reading, the company's premises hold an array of some of the most beautiful and iconic vehicles in various states of restoration, including an MGA currently undergoing £15,000 worth of restoration. There are several Lotus Elises, Porsches, Morgans and a wonderfully sinister black Mustang parked outside. But the yard is dominated by a restored 1960s S1 Jaguar E type now reported to be worth an eye-watering £92,000. It is a car that is only driven for three weeks a year when its Australian owner returns to Britain. Specialised Paintwork was formed in 1983 by father and son team Alan and Karl Rigarlesford, after they worked with Mike Spence Racing and Lotus cars. The company became Lotus Authorised Repairers and now
Alan and Karl Rigarlesford with Pirtek Reading centre manager Martin Cogdell between. Below the regassing unit in the back of the van. Below left, Martin and the mini crimper, the fabulous E Type being drooled over and a small array of some of the classic cars being restored
deal with a multitude of post production issues as Karl Rigarlesford explains. "Lotus are a production facility and are not geared up for paintwork issues or repairs, so we have taken that work on for them. However there are some issues, such as the air conditioning on the Elise, where we happily pass the problem over to Pirtek Reading,” he says. “The air conditioning pipes pass through a sealed foam filled sill, through 90 degrees and into the engine compartment. Because of the bend, you can't pull the pipe through the foam, leaving you with the option of cutting out the sill at a cost of £1,500. Martin Cogdell devised a method of cutting away part of the foam through the rear wheel arch with an air saw and then replacing the pipework. That was seven years ago, since then we've had the faith in Pirtek to use them on a multitude of projects. They now supply everything from Esprit cooler hoses to the jet wash reels in our workshop." Problem Solver According to Rigarlesford, this single innovation typifies Pirtek Reading’s “can-do” approach. “Martin Cogdell is one of those engineers who delight in solving a problem, and we've never found a problem he couldn't fix. He typifies Pirtek's working practises, he puts himself out, puts in lots of effort and nothing is too much trouble." Karl Rigarlesford concludes. "When we can spend 800 hours restoring a car, we want the best results, best products and right skills to do the job properly. We are approved suppliers for Rolls Royce, Ferrari and Aston Martin, which is as good as it gets. We wouldn't dream of using anyone that would jeopardise that. That’s why we use Pirtek"
In the pipeline 19
'Big' Paul Johnson, centre manager at Pirtek Ellesmere Port, minus for once the pink tutu that he is famed for wearing at charity events
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) thankfully isn't something that most people come across on a regular basis. However, for those that do, it's a real life-saver. When Pirtek Ellesmere Port provided the original flex pipe fixtures and steel fittings in 2006 for the eight person decompression/recompression chamber at the heart of the Hyperbaric Medicine (North West recompression unit) situated next to Murrayfield Hospital in the Wirral, little did they know that five years later they would still be providing hoses for fire engines for the same company. Although hyperbaric treatment is used to treat decompression in divers (28 of them needed treatment last year) it actually has a myriad of other beneficial uses on the emergency front, particularly when treating carbon monoxide poisoning or smoke inhalation. Using HBOT, patients are able to breathe pure oxygen, instead of the 20 percent normally found in the atmosphere. This increases the oxygen transport capacity of the blood. "We have very seasonal use for the chamber," says facilities manager John Mills. "In the summer it tends to be divers, in the winter it’s gas poisoning, usually when people turn on the unserviced gas central heating boiler. But we get gas poisoning all year, including a case where someone kept a gas fridge in a tent thinking it was safe." Mills reports that Hyperbaric Medicine has also diversified. "We now offer a huge range of medical training courses, all provided at the UK’s best-equipped facility. These are divided into Military pre-hospital trauma life support, Clinical Governance, Trauma Management for emergency services and medical personnel, Pre-hospital Management for the trapped and injured and Advanced Life Support courses, all approved by the Royal College of Surgeons. We also run IMCA approved diver medic technician courses and Diver Medicine courses. We have training groups from all over the country and even abroad, including the RAF, police, fire services, commercial divers, doctors and nurses and paramedics. The paramedics from the John Moore University in Liverpool are also trained here. So it is vital everything works and kept in pristine condition, hence our involvement with Pirtek Ellesmere Port." If Hyperbaric Medicine has diversified, then so too has Pirtek Ellesmere Port. “Pirtek did all the initial chamber installation work, so they were the obvious choice for auxiliary hydraulic parts,” John Mills concludes. “They have since supplied all sorts of hydraulic hoses including instantaneous assemblies for the fire engines, hydraulic fittings for a Komatsu excavator and hoses for a pressure washer.
John Mills, Facilities manager
The decompression chamber an below right part of the rescue and training training facilities
Quarter 1 2012
In the pipeline 20
BTCC season review
The bare statistics from the season are impressive. In overall BTCC terms, Andrew scored a race win, six more overall podiums and took 15 more points’ scoring finishes from 30 races to make it 22 times in the points. He was third in the final Independents’ Trophy with four wins and another seven Independent podiums. Meanwhile, Andrew’s team mate Jeff Smith had a very impressive first season in the BTCC in the team’s other Vauxhall Vectra with seven top ten finishes including a best of fifth overall at Donington Park. But the numbers are only part of the story. The 2011 season was the year when Andrew really established himself as one of the star names in the BTCC. His excellent media profile grew even stronger and he won the hearts of many race fans with his determined performances and fabulous car control. With huge race day crowds and massive live TV audiences, the BTCC continued to ride high at the top of British motor sport and that provided superb exposure for the teams and their commercial partners as the BTCC circus toured the country. The 2011 season was something of a transition year for the BTCC as the
Competition With the British Touring Car Championship concluded, In the Pipeline is offering one lucky reader a chance to own a Pirtek Racing Hoodie and an Andrew Jordan Baseball cap. To be in with a chance, just answer the following question: According to the Pirtek UK website, when did Pirtek enter the UK market? Please email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org. The winner will be drawn from the correct entries on 27.02.2012. Good luck. And congratulations to Simon Parker from Normenca Limited, in Cheshire, who correctly answered the competition in the previous edition of In the Pipeline and joined Pirtek Racing for the final race of the season at Silverstone.
Q1 Product Promotion Pirtek branded Water Displacement Spray l Displaces Water l Multipurpose l Penetrates l Cleans 500ml – List price £3.75
By any measure the 2011 MSA British Touring Car Championship season was a memorable one for Pirtek Racing and its lead driver Andrew Jordan.
series organisers juggled to equalise three different car specifications while encouraging the development of the Next Generation Touring Cars (NGTC). With the performance of the various types of car being regularly adjusted, the Pirtek Racing Vauxhall Vectras went into some race weekends at a disadvantage, but there were still some absolute highlight events for the team. At Donington Park in April Andrew had sensational pace and bagged a win and two seconds to make it the best weekend of his BTCC career to date. That front-running pace continued through the events at Thruxton, Oulton Park and Croft, but after the summer break the Vectra was up against it at Snetterton, Knockhill and Rockingham. The team came back strongly at Brands Hatch in early October when Andrew delivered a mighty qualifying performance to put the car second on the 29-car grid. But a computer fault, completely out of the team’s control, struck before the first race and he was unable to take the start. But those highs and lows are all part of the challenge of competing at the highest level and plans for 2012 are already well advanced. The new season promises to be an even more successful season for Pirtek Racing when its to field a pair of new NGTC Honda Civics for Andrew and Jeff in the BTCC. Team principal Mike Jordan confirmed that the squad has ordered two cars from Team Dynamics ahead of the coming season. “This is the start of a new two-year partnership with Pirtek and that has given us the confidence and stability to make a major investment,” said Jordan senior. Andrew can’t wait to start running the latest Honda Civic. “I’m very excited,” he said. “We’ve straight away put ourselves in the best car on the grid for next year. I’d like to think we’ll be consistently near the front in 2012 and consistency is something I want to concentrate on.”