COMIT at Wacker Neuson in Stafford
Our Summer Community Day took place on the 29th June and was hosted by Wacker Neuson at their UK headquarters in Stafford. Despite problems on the M6 about 40 people attended and the day included a chance to see some very advanced equipment.
Wacker Neuson is an international company and a leading manufacturer of light and compact construction equipment. Their zero-emissions equipment is particularly interesting and later in the day we saw a demonstration of what was the worlds first battery powered rammer.
The community day started with a Safety Moment delivered by Stuart Young about the fire risk posed by the lithium ion battery chargers used for hand-held power tools - which have resulted in a number of fires (see the slides on our website). The safety advice issued includes not leaving batteries charging overnight, use of an interval timer and not trusting the manual if it says it is o.k. to leave batteries charging!
New Members & Guests
We welcomed four new members into the COMIT Community:
We also had guests from App-Focus, Lilee Systems, Marsh, Ramtech, Snugs and TRIK.
Thoughts from the Construction & Technology Chairs
Tony Shooter (Technology Chair) and Steve Slater (Construction Chair) briefly recounted their appearance at 5G World that was held at the ExCel in London. They had been invited to speak on the impact of 5G on the construction industry by David Wood, Chair of London Futurists and a previous speaker at COMIT events.
Tony reminded the audience of current COMIT projects and how they could get involved. Those interested in the Drone project should contact Tony and those interested in the Rapid Site Set-up project (kick-off meeting on 11th July) should contact Steve [or use the contact form on the website and you will be connected with the right person].
Throughout the day we had a number presentations from members and guests. Most of these are now available on the Community Day Page of the COMIT website, along with photographs from the event. The presentations included:
Using Drones - I'm insured ... right? by John Hanslip (Marsh Ltd)
Field Mobile Solutions for Construction by Rob Elvidge (Plangrid)
And as usual at COMIT days we also had a several shorter Ten Minute "Tech" Talks and calls for partners later in the day which included:
Rapid Deployment - "Mobile SD-WANaaS" a case study by Peter Mayo (Ecologic) and Steve Slater (Wates & COMIT Chair for Construction)
Our BIM Journey by Neil Craggs (Speedy)
Viewpoint 360 - a new way of linking 360 degree videos into a navigable "chain" by Vin Sumner (Clicks and Links). Anyone interested in exploring possible uses for this should contact Vin [or contact COMIT via the website and we will put you in touch].
Wearable Technology - Paul Jobin described custom-made ear defenders (Snugs) and the many future possibilities for enhancing them with communications technologies.
Many thanks to all of our presenters for taking the time and effort to share their knowledge and experience with the rest of the community.
This was facilitated by myself and focused on how to better market COMIT and clarify the value proposition for its members. I gave a summary of some of the conference statistics which were very encouraging in terms of the balance between construction and technology delegates and the number of non-members it attracted. What was less positive was the low number of women who were present, both among the delegates and the speakers.
This year one of our conference sponsors was a production company, Colonel Duck Productions. They recorded footage on day 1 of the conference, including interviews with a number of delegates and exhibitors and produced a short promotional video for COMIT.
The video was shown to the audience and used as an intro to the workshop on how COMIT could improve its reach and marketing and how we could increase the number of women who attend our events. The workshop lead to lively discussions and provided some very useful suggestions which COMIT will develop over the coming months.
Wacker Neuson Showcase
The highlight of the day was the showcase by Wacker Neuson. Kevin Ranshaw gave us a potted history of the company and then with the help of his colleagues demonstrated some of their newest innovations. These included zero-emissions versions of light and compact equipment, including a battery powered rammer and a mini-excavator that could be powered electrically.
(video courtesy of Glyn Mathews of Codegate)
Never being shy to come forward our own Gerry Samuelsson-Brown (COMIT's Finance Director) had a go at remotely controlling a vibratory trench roller. She was also quick to get into Wacker Neuson's DW60 - an innovative dumper with a cab and guard so that the operator can safely remain in the vehicle while it is being loaded. Apparently Gerry was disappointed that they would only let her switch the radio on...
Many thanks to Kevin and the team at Wacker Neuson for hosting the day and for the very interesting showcase.
Our next Community Day is on the 14 September and will be hosted by COMIT member Clicks and Links in Basingstoke, Hampshire.