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C23 kicks off Earthworks season with plant pledge

Ahead of the new earthworks season, the C23 team gathered for a pre-season kick-off event focused on elevating efficiencies across the C23 programme.

The event was held at the British Motor Museum in Banbury and welcomed 100 people across the C23 team, including supply chain partners and subcontractors.

Earthworks Director, Mark Harrington, shared insights on C23’s earthworks plans for the year ahead, emphasising the importance of continuous improvement and making efficiencies where possible. He said: “The aim of this collaboration event was to discuss and promote what we can do to achieve cost savings within earthworks. We reviewed the 2023 earthworks plans to focus on how we can be more efficient with the resources we have at our disposal, whether that is the plant and equipment we use using DIGGER or the high-value earthworks material we must excavate and how we can maximise its recovery and reuse. Feedback has been positive, and it’s great to see the teams are up for the efficiency challenge.”

Blackwell and Buckingham Group had an opportunity to share their plans for 2023 and expanded on their support and focus on efficiencies. Buckingham Group Director, Angus Watson said: “It is clear that many challenges lie ahead, and we must continue to embrace change and remain focused on true collaboration to deliver solutions and maintain the planned programme. As the design, consents and other constraints are resolved, the challenge will be to avoid double handling, optimise the plant levels, focus on efficient and productive earthworks operations, and ensure blockers that may affect planned efficiency are resolved quickly. Efficient operation of the plant will also reduce fuel costs and emissions, improving the carbon footprint.”

Sharing similar sentiments, Blackwell’s MD, Niall Fraser, said: “We’re looking forward to our eleventh year working with HS2 and maturing the earthworks efficiencies from the register to the site. A highlight will be the commissioning of the Small Dean Conveyor.”

Walters’ MD Colin Chambers was also in attendance, he said: “The day was an excellent opportunity for the whole earthworks team to learn from each other. This is key to delivering the C23 programme successfully and achieving the efficiencies we are promoting, which is not only maintaining but increasing the current level of collaboration and ensuring the challenges ahead don’t get in the way.

Throughout the day, people participated in interactive activities, where they had the opportunity to brainstorm ideas on the biggest improvements that can be made to increase efficiencies and identifying blockers preventing efficiencies improvements.

One of the highlights of the day was Terry Thomson’s update on DIGGER, the earthworks technology for digital reporting and insights. He shared more about its latest technological updates for improved efficiencies, including a self-service platform connecting separate earthworks technologies to one platform for managing earthworks resources.

The event was a great success and a true testament to the power of collaboration and continuous improvement. Some suggestions for improvement going forward includes streamlining processes, timely design optimisations, training on eco-driving and use of hybrid machinery to reduce fuel consumption.


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