Keller picked up two prizes at The Federation of Piling Specialists Awards 2021.
The company won the Safety Innovation and Technology categories in the face of competition from across the piling industry. They were also nominated in the Early Careers Award section.
“I am proud to say that this is a great achievement by our Keller team, I’d like to thank those involved for all their efforts,” said Bob Thompson, managing director.
“Keller people take pride in working collaboratively to provide safe, innovative cost saving solutions to our client’s geotechnical challenges; these awards reflect the continuous improvement culture we have at Keller”.
The Safety Innovation entry was the development of an anti-kink concrete hose for piling rigs.
It is based on an idea from Keller site supervisor Aaron Middleton who devised a simple solution to a common problem on site – how to prevent the kinking of concrete hoses, which causes wear and leaves them vulnerable to potentially dangerous blowouts.
It is based on a Slinky – a precompressed helical spring toy invented in the early 1940s.
Keller approached their hose supplier, Premier Pipeline, in early 2019 and asked them to use their expertise to develop the idea.
The result – the Anti Kink Hose Spring – is now being used on sites in the UK and solves the problem of kinking in concrete hoses and extends their working life, reducing the chances of them degrading to the point where a blowout could occur.
The judges said the hose was “a necessary innovation for the industry, especially considering hose blow outs are an ongoing issue, with potentially fatal consequences. It is a great workforce-led solution and with evidence of it being used by other companies shows the innovation is clearly a success.”
In the technology category, Keller was recognised for its work on the Thames Tideway project at Blackfriars.
Keller’s Double Special jet grout technology enabled the construction of a deep grout curtain and canopy above the tunnel boring machine crown. This decoupled the shaft from the tunnel construction allowing the TBM to progress through the Blackfriars shaft area without requiring the shaft to be excavated first.
This solution prevented a potential one-year delay to the project by doing away with the need to construct a diaphragm wall shaft prior to excavation.
The judges said the grout “showed that significant development work was used to create this technology and that the innovation shows clear cost benefits, but also research benefits of grouting in specific ground conditions. On site field validation has been used to effectively prove the success of the application.”
Keller’s Luke Deamer was nominated for the Early Careers Award for his work on sustainability in the ground engineering industry.
As part of his postgraduate research for his PhD with the University of Surrey, Luke has compiled more than 300 sustainability best practices from multiple Keller business units. He has also used his knowledge to help shape how FPS members should approach the subject.
The FPS Awards success follow on from Keller being shortlisted in five categories in the Ground Engineering Awards being held in November.