JCB stops production as global demand for machines reduces

JCB IS today stopping production at all of its UK manufacturing plants as disruption resulting from the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic causes an unprecedented reduction in global demand.

The company is halting production for the rest of this week and the whole of next week at its nine manufacturing plants in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Wrexham. Shop floor employees affected by the move will be paid in full during this period. No decision has yet been taken on what happens from the week commencing Monday, 30 March and beyond. Office staff will continue to work a 39-hour week, with many working from home, in support of the Government’s social distancing policy.

JCB CEO Graeme Macdonald said: “These measures are unprecedented in the history of JCB but are absolutely necessary to protect the business. As we continue to deal with the health implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become more challenging to maintain business continuity in this volatile economic climate.

"JCB is a global exporter and worldwide demand for our products has dropped sharply as customers cancel orders and defer deliveries. This is not just a UK issue, it is worldwide and with countries like France, Spain and Italy going into lock-down, those key markets for construction equipment disappear overnight.

“In light of this fast-changing situation, we need to re-plan our production and, as a result, manufacturing at all UK factories will cease for the rest of this week and all of next week. This will allow us to take stock of the situation, re-plan our order book, prioritise products that are definitely required by customers, and ensure parts and components are reassigned to support the production of these products.”

JCB’s plant in Pudong, near Shanghai, ceased production last month as the impact of the pandemic initially took hold. After several weeks of disruption, the factory is now fully operational again.

www.jcb.com

DIY SOS BBC Children in Need special comes to Nottingham

DIY SOS, BBC One’s popular property renovation show, will head to Nottingham later this year to take on a one of a kind build that will benefit a local charity, Community Recording Studio (CRS).

DIY SOS: The Big Build BBC Children in Need Special (working title) will see Nick Knowles, with his trusty team of Mark, Chris, Jules, Billy and designer Gabrielle Blackman convert and expand a rundown youth centre into an exciting and inviting community hub which will include, amongst other things: state-of-the-art recording studios, rehearsal space, educational kitchen facilities and all-weather, outdoor sports facilities, all of which will provide crucial support to some of the city’s most disadvantaged young people.

The Community Recording Studio (CRS) started in 1991 and was founded by a group of local people to teach film, video and music skills to children and young people from across Nottingham who are facing various challenges in their lives. The CRS has occupied a few rooms in the existing Russell Youth Centre for the last 28 years, but the increased demand for their outreach means that they need more space and the centre is in need of a major renovation.

The DIY SOS team, with the help of kind trade volunteers, have big plans to renovate the centre and turn it into a space that will provide much needed outreach and support for some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged young people in Nottingham, whilst also providing a space where they can develop skills in music, video, photography, cooking and exercise in a professional environment and give them the opportunity to reach their potential.

Nick Knowles, presenter of BBC One’s DIY SOS said: “The team and I are delighted to be heading to Nottingham for this Big Build special working with the Community Recording Studio, which helps young people affected by a wide range of issues turn their lives around to build a positive future.

“It’s going to be a huge challenge for us, as it’s a really ambitious build but I know that with the help of the community in Nottingham and beyond we’ll be able to transform this rundown centre into a space that will change young people’s lives. Please get involved if you can.”

Trevor Rose, chief executive and founder of the CRS said: “We’re over the moon to hear that DIY SOS: The Big Build BBC Children in Need Special are coming to Nottingham to renovate our youth centre. Young people from across the community have been coming to the CRS for the last 28 years. We provide a safe haven for many of the young people in our area, some of those are facing issues such as gang violence, knife crime and exclusion from school, and we work with them and support them to help change their attitudes and improve their outlook for the future. With this help from DIY SOS we’ll be able to increase this support further and continue making a positive difference to young lives in the area.”

Simon Antrobus, chief executive of BBC Children in Need added: “We’re delighted that Nick Knowles and the DIY SOS team will be in Nottingham later this year for another spectacular Big Build BBC Children in Need Special. The programme changes lives and we know that this one will be no different, leaving a lasting legacy and supporting children and young people to do brilliant things across Nottingham.”

BBC Children in Need has funded Community Recording Studio since 2017. Currently, the CRS uses a three-year grant of £27,140 to deliver creative workshops in music and video skills for young people who are facing various disadvantages and have challenging behaviour. Attending the workshop sessions inspires their creativity and helps to reduce aggressive behaviour, increase their confidence and self-esteem, engages them in positive activities and encourages them to learn new skills.

Across Nottingham, BBC Children in Need currently funds 46 projects to the value of £2.8million supporting disadvantaged children and young people.

DIY SOS charitable builds are hugely ambitious and rely on the generosity of trade volunteers and company donations and so is appealing for tradespeople including; electricians, plumbers, carpenters, plasterers and decorators to offer support with the transformation in September.

Those interested in volunteering  as a professional trade or donating product to this ambitious charitable build should email: [email protected].

Prep work for the build will begin over summer, with the two week build commencing and completing in early September 2020.

The episode will broadcast in November 2020 as part of BBC Children in Need’s 40th celebrations.

iF Design Award for Hultafors Tools

IN addition to the Red Dot Design Award for Workwear, the Hultafors Group has just won the iF Design Award for the Hultafors Snap-Off Knife (SRP18A) and the HDM Dry Marker.

With over 7200 entries from 56 countries, competition was intense. After much deliberation, the 78-member jury - made up of independent experts from around the world – chose Hultafors’ innovative Knife and Marker products as winners in the Tools category for their innovative, ergonomic designs and user-friendly features.

Considered to be one of the world's most prestigious product accolades and renowned as a symbol of innovation and quality for nearly 70 years, the iF DESIGN AWARD has been recognised globally as a hallmark of quality for exceptional product design for nearly 70 years.

Getting information on the Hultafors Tools range is easy. You can call the Hultafors Group UK Helpline on 01484 854788, checkout the website at www.hultaforstools.co.uk  or email [email protected] 

Total Rental Solutions keeps sites bright

LEADING hirer, Total Rental Solutions, has bolstered its lighting portfolio after investing in excess of £500,000 for Shindaiwa’s Site Bright M1 Series.

A unique portable LED lighting solution, the Site Bright M1 Series is ideal for use in Petro Chemical, Offshore and Hazardous Area Industries. 

Available in 25W and 50W, the M1 can provide up to 9000 lumens of diffused, clear and soft light for any location where there is potential for explosive dust or gas components.

The M1’s unique cable entry system, combined with fitted end cap protection boots, provides unbeatable protection and simple cable replacement for easy maintenance.

Total Rental Solutions – which provides rental equipment to the petrochemical, oil & gas, water, waste, energy, and manufacturing sectors – purchased the lights at the Executive Hire Show in February, and two thirds of the M1 lighting fleet is already out on hire across UK petrol chemical sites, but is also suitable for utility, quarry and mining, offshore and other heavy industry applications.

Total Rental Solutions’ operations director, Peter Gallagher, said: “We have invested in Shindaiwa’s M1 Series because of the superior quality that these lights offer our customers. Safety, robust casing and clear LED efficiency are just some of the essential qualities that these lights deliver over and above the competition.”

At a technical level the lights can operate within extreme temperature variances from -20⁰C to 40⁰C and can provide up to 360⁰ column lighting. The lights can be powered and simply daisy chained for lighting large areas from a single supply cable.

Shindaiwa’s sales director, Tom Page, said: “We have an established relationship with Total Rental Solutions and are delighted with the instant response for the M1 Series. With five years warranty covering the whole light, the M1 Series offers the lowest cost of ownership in class for rental companies and end users.”

Established since 2010, Shindaiwa is celebrating its ten year anniversary and is the sole distributor for Site Bright products across the UK and Ireland. Focused on delivering best performing, quality and durable site solutions, all products are designed to be efficient, eco-friendly and built to last with compliance for all the latest UK and CE guidelines and testing procedures.

Site Bright M1 Series is available now along with a comprehensive range of portable LED pod lights, rechargeable work lights and fixed flood lights. 

Pumps to the rescue from MSM

AS the extreme weather conditions continue to cause chaos with flooding for businesses and communities up and down the country, the hire industry is being increasingly called on for vital pumping and cleaning equipment.

Morris Site Machinery’s Hilta range of centrifugal and diaphragm pumps are primed and ready to restore order and clean up in the most challenging environments.

In emergencies the Hilta Proflow D5, a 3" diesel diaphragm pump, available with a 24-hour running tank, proves its worth. Its compact design makes it easy to transport and manoeuvre. It will pump muddy water, sewage effluent and nuisance water and will pass solids in suspension up to 40mm. The pump is capable of running dry on ‘snore’ indefinitely so it can be run overnight for draining purposes.

David Chadwick of One Stop Hire said: “We’ve bought a number of Hilta Proflow D5 Pumps from Morris Site Machinery and have been impressed with how effective they are. Our customers know these pumps can be relied on to get the job done.” 

The Hilta Proflow Sprite D50 Petrol and the Hilta Proflow Sprite D50 Diesel pumps are both compact, flexible options suitable for solids and muddy water. They have 2” diaphragm pumps and can run dry without causing damage to the pump end. The D50 Diesel has a 5.5 litre fuel tank capacity.

The biggest pump in the Hilta range is the Hilta Proflow C150, a diesel powered 6” super-silent vacuum-assisted pump. It can be fitted with a skid base or a road-towable trailer making it easy to transport. With a huge output of 330m³ per hour, combined with 75mm of solids handling, it can handle almost everything thrown at it.

Hilta pressure washers also come into their own after floods. The Hilta Hyperwash 3000D diesel pressure washer, for example, is easy to move, built with a protective roll cage and has four large wheels suitable for tough terrain.

UK Sales Director Richard Denholm said: “It pays to be prepared for emergencies and not be caught out when recovery work gets underway. Flooding and unpredictable weather conditions do happen and with serious consequences. It makes sense to invest in rugged and reliable equipment that can provide organisations and people with the practical help they need at a time of crisis.”

www.morrismachinery.co.uk

RUBI UK & Ireland celebrates its 15th birthday

IT has already been 15 years since RUBI opened its doors in the UK and Ireland.

It was in April 2004, when the company started running with a team of seven employees, four of whom still work in the company. The main professional cutters available at that time were the TS and the TX manual cutters.

RUBI UK grew significantly and had to move in June 2007 to the current much larger premises. Since that date the growth has continued rapidly to where RUBI UK is today with over 15000 loyal users in the UK & Ireland. 

The following years were crucial in terms of technology and innovation. RUBI UK launched the redesigned TX & TX-N range in 2009, the predecessor of the latest most advanced TX to date, the TX MAX, and also the new TS-PLUS range with a more powerful breaker system. Three years later, the company launched the Slim System Cutter in the UK & Ireland, the manual cutting system with connectable guides for large format tiles up to 310 cm.

In 2016 Rubi UK & Ireland employed a new sales representative to service the North and South of Ireland. This completed the Sales Representative team giving users a great service from Lands End to John O’Groats, Ireland, the Channel Islands and Shetland. 

RUBI hasn’t stopped innovating and developing new products and, in 2017 it launched the TS MAX manual cutter, a manual cutter with a high-performance breaker and patented the RUBI ZERO DUST, a system to improve on-site working conditions with electric bridge saws.

Following this trend of innovation, in 2018 RUBI launched the most advanced manual cutter in the market, the TZ. Also launching the new Speed Magnet and TR Magnet into the professional cutter market. 

All these efforts have been recognised when RUBI won the Delta Awards by the Industrial Design Association of Arts and Design (ADI-FAD) in the category Best Design, for the Tile Level Quick levelling system and the TZ manual cutter, and been ranked on the top 4 Catalan companies in number of patented companies by the European Patent Office. 

This year 2019 has seen more new innovative products: RUBI upgraded its SLAB System range, introducing the SLAB TRANS HEAVY DUTY and the TC-125 KIT for large format tiles, and presented the powerful TX-MAX, a professional manual cutter with high-performance multipoint breaker.

But all these achievements and improvements wouldn’t have been possible without the trust and support of more than 15000 loyal users of the RUBI Tools!

RUBI wants to thank these users for the confidence shown over the last 15 years and offers to their users great deals on the TX-MAX professional manual cutter.

For more information, visit RUBI's 15th anniversary page.

QEP announces landmark charity partnership with the Rainy Day Trust

LEADING tiling tools and accessories supplier QEP has announced a new partnership with the Rainy Day Trust, a charity that helps people who have worked in the home improvement and enhancement industry.

The partnership, which began January 2020, will see QEP assist the Rainy Day Trust through fund raising and activity support.

The Rainy Day Trust began as an ironmongery and hardware trades benevolent society in 1843. Today, the charity supports workers in DIY retail, manufacturing, and distribution, as well as tradespeople within the home improvement and enhancement sector.

The trust provides beneficiaries and their families with assistance through financial and legal aid, alongside the awarding of grants.

Peter Stone, Rainy Day Trust chairman, said: “It’s great to form a new partnership with businesses such as QEP. The company’s long-standing position within the DIY consumer marketplace means we can share knowledge and raise awareness to better help the people who need our support.”

Paul Boyce, President – International Operations/European CEO at QEP, said: “We’re extremely proud to announce our partnership with the Rainy Day Trust. The work the charity does is incredibly valuable for those within our industry. We hope to make a valuable contribution to the Trust’s fundraising and awareness initiatives.”

“We have many different activities planned throughout the year to both increase awareness and raise funds for our former and fellow industry professionals in need.”

www.rainydaytrust.org.uk

Toolstation celebrates 400th branch opening in Balham with launch event

THIS month, British retailer Toolstation is celebrating a significant milestone – opening its 400th branch on the Zennor Road Trade Park in Balham.

Part of the Travis Perkins plc Group, Toolstation supplies tools, accessories and building supplies to the trade nationwide. The launch event is on Friday, 24 January, from 11am to 2pm.

The 400th branch opening is a significant milestone for the business and follows a period of sustained growth that is set to continue into 2020. The business has enjoyed 10 consecutive quarters of double-digit growth. Most recently, Q3 trading results showed growth of 21.3% and 15.4% on a like-for-like basis.

On the day, the team from the popular On the Tools social media platform will be in attendance. They will be checking out products, interviewing staff and live streaming the event to their audience of 3.5m from 12.15pm. They will be running a variety of games giving customers a chance to win power tools, pressure washers and a lawn mower.

Rugby fans will be able to try their luck at the Toolstation rugby kick and pass challenge, to be in with a chance of winning a Dewalt Combi drill.

Trade brands Trend and Everbuild will be in attendance showcasing their products and will be on hand to talk to customers.

The first 400 customers can pick up a free Greggs sausage roll and soft drink in-branch or available for collection from the near-by Greggs bakery. Free hot drinks are also available at the Balham Toolstation branch.

To celebrate, there will be a 10% discount off everything in-store, from Thursday, 23 January to Sunday, 26 January.

At 12.30pm on Friday, Toolstation Managing Director James MacKenzie and Marketing Director John Meaden will be cutting a ribbon to celebrate the 400th store opening, as well cutting a celebratory cake with customers and staff.

The Balham branch is the 400th nationwide and the 64th in London. The Balham branch employs seven people permanently. The ambition is to double the number of stores in the capital in the coming years. In 2019, Toolstation opened 67 new branches nationally, creating 800 new jobs. In London, nine new branches opened and 67 jobs were created last year. This growth shows no sign of slowing down with a similar number of new branches planned this year.

James MacKenzie, Managing Director, commented: “Toolstation is one of the fastest growing retailers in the UK. As well as having market leading products at great prices, we make it easy for our busy trade customers to buy online and pick up from store. The 400th Store in Balham has free parking and complements the other 63 stores in London, which means a Toolstation is never far away.”

Hitachi adopts new CESAR ECV initiative

HITACHI Construction Machinery (UK) has confirmed that from January 2020, every mini, medium and large excavator, wheeled loader and wheeled excavator will be fitted with the CESAR Security System powered by Datatag technologies as standard.

The Construction Equipment Association (CEA) officially launched the new CESAR Emissions Compliance Verification (ECV) at Plantworx in June 2019. CESAR ECV is an invaluable ‘bolt-on’ product that compliments the existing CESAR Security System and allows quick and easy verification of a machines emissions category.

The initiative developed in response to the demand for an easy and reliable way to confirm the emissions category of construction equipment has been well received by the industry, including Hitachi who will adopt CESAR ECV as well as the standard CESAR Security System.

This feature, using evident colour coded labels with a unique alpha/numeric code is linked securely to a machine’s unique CESAR identity and ensures complete integrity of the system.

David Roberts, CEO of Hitachi Construction Machinery (UK) said, “Helping our customers to protect and optimise their Hitachi machines is an increasingly important element of our value proposition, and in conjunction with our online Global e-Service telematics system which has GPS location capability, the addition of CESAR gives our customers even more peace of mind. CESAR is not only a proven theft deterrent, it also provides an accurate and efficient proof of identity to the Police when they need to trace stolen machines, which has been an industry-wide issue for years. Our customers also require a quick and easy way to identify which stage of the EU emission regulations their machines comply with, as more sites control and monitor their carbon footprint. The addition of the Emissions Compliance Verification or ECV to the CESAR program gives our machines a visible and traceable identity in regard to which emission stage they comply with.”

Stephen Creaser, Director of Product Support at Hitachi Construction Machinery (UK) commented, “Having taken the decision to security mark all new machines with the CESAR security system, we also want to offer the same peace of mind to our existing customers. From early 2020 the CESAR security system will be available to existing customers as an aftermarket retrofit kit that can be installed at the customers premises or job site by a fully trained Hitachi engineer.”

Rob Oliver, Chief Executive of the CEA said, “The Emissions Compliance Verification (ECV) application for CESAR is the single biggest development since the scheme was launched as an anti-theft device initiative in 2007. Today there is an urgent demand for quick identification of the certified emission levels of machines and in developing ECV we have had some great input from the industry as well as HS2, the Energy Savings Trust and London boroughs. The ECV’s easy to see and scan visual label reduces the workload for construction site managers and local authorities alike.”

The construction industry is looking increasingly on its’ environmental impacts and as such CESAR ECV will be invaluable to companies required to manage large scale projects and multiple contractors ensuring plant on site is as environmentally efficient as possible.

Andy Huddleston, Superintendent of Northumbria Police said, “As the national Police lead for Agricultural Machinery theft I am delighted that Hitachi CMUK, one of the industry’s leading companies, has chosen to security mark all their new machines sold in the UK. We know that by doing this the chance of recovering these high-value machines is higher and makes life harder for criminals. We hope that all manufacturers will adopt this approach.”

www.thecea.org.uk

Dormole continues to invest in Tools and Fixings Trade

FORGEFIX owner, Dormole Ltd has continued its policy of investing in independent suppliers to the Tools and Fixings Trade by taking a majority stake in Harrison & Clough (H&C), the fixings and fasteners wholesaler based in Keighley.

Michael Brown, MD of Forgefix who led the discussions with H&C commented: “We have long been admirers of H&C who have developed several market leading brands such as MetalMate, MasonMate and TimberMate that all complement our existing ranges and we believe that by combining resources we can greatly improve our offering to customers.”

H&C Managing Director Mark Hutchinson said: “As an independent, privately run business it has become increasingly difficult for us to maintain the level of investment that is required to develop our ranges and services in the way that we want, and the market demands. Therefore, the opportunity to join the Dormole group, who share our values and ambitions, is ideal.

“We have seen the way they have invested in companies such as Forgefix, Olympia and BIZ and have been impressed by how they have grown those businesses. We are all really excited by the opportunities this collaboration will bring for all stakeholders - customers, suppliers and colleagues.”

Michael Brown continued: “I am absolutely confident that this investment is an excellent fit for all involved and will enable us to improve our offer to our customers whilst at the same time providing a very positive future for the H&C and Forgefix teams.

"The management team at Keighley, will continue to run the business with the additional backing of the resources and support of the Dormole group.”

www.dormole.net

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