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Industrial flooring company Watco wins ECMOD Direct Commerce Award

Innovation and excellent customer service are key to Watco’s success in being named Best Industrial and Warehouse Supply Business.

Watco, the UK’s leading direct supplier of industrial strength flooring products, has won the ECMOD Direct Commerce Best Industrial and Warehouse Supply Business Award. Held at the Hurlingham Club, Fulham, the award was presented to Ed Suthon, Managing Director, Steve Chanter, Product and Operations Director, and the UK Marketing Team by Dermot Murnaghan from Sky News.

The ECMOD Direct Commerce Awards, organised by Direct Commerce Magazine and supported by the Direct Commerce Association, was created to celebrate excellence across a range of categories and is entered by direct commerce and multichannel businesses. Watco was adjudged to have demonstrated excellent performance in key areas of customer service and innovation, to win the Best Industrial and Warehouse Supply Business.

Commenting on its success, Ed Suthon said, “Watco is driven by a passionate team of staff and a culture of innovation making us extremely successful in the industrial and warehousing industry. This innovative culture keeps us up-to-date with new technology, but we also listen to what our customers say. Our customers are at the heart of everything we do and many of our products are in response to their requirements, and are often inspired by a customer enquiry.”

Watco prides itself on its high-quality, trustworthy approach and innovation. With customer service a top priority, the company has invested in web site improvements for easier customer navigation, and investment in product training to offer top quality customer service, resulting in a high level of customer loyalty. The constant drive to improve product offering saw several new products launched in 2015– the main ones including Putty Patch, Powerfloat Sealer and the Protect range.

Watco also takes great pride in supporting charities local to their head office in Godalming, Surrey,  Support Shooting Star Chase, a hospice dedicated to helping families with children that have life-limiting conditions, and Age UK’s ‘Call in Time’ scheme.

Welsh Welders Win Hat-Trick

  • Coleg Cambria, from North Wales have been crowned winners of the Weld Off 2016 for the third time
  • Hosted by Morris Site Machinery and partners Speedy Services the welders aged between 16-26 years took part in a live welding competition which was themed on ‘God Save the Queen’, to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday

Students from Coleg Cambria have been crowned the best young welders in Britain for the third time at the sensational final of the national live welding competition, Weld Off 2016.

Four Coleg Cambria students from the North East Wales college took the top spot and prizes worth more than £3,000. Matthew Hughes, Gareth Phillips, Owen Fitzgibbon and Thomas Lavender wowed judges with their breath-taking replica of the Queen’s Royal Carriage, complete with gilded crown, ornate royal detailing and even a piece of red carpet inside which the Queen herself has stepped on.  

Morris Site Machinery, supplier of ArcGen Welding equipment and in association with Speedy, hosted the competition which required four finalist teams of students between the ages of 16- 26 years old from across the UK, to showcase their welding prowess. The competition comprised a Q&A round, a skills section and a creative test which challenged contestants to create an inspiring exhibition piece based on the theme of ‘God Save the Queen’.

The live competition hosted at Speedy’s National Distribution Centre in Tamworth, now in its third year, attracted some of the most talented welding students and apprentices from across the nation.

National business broadcaster, Steph McGovern, winner of ‘Young Engineer for Britain’ at just 19 years old, attended the competition as special guest, assisted the judges and provided moral support for all the contestants throughout the day.  

The national judging panel was made-up of welding specialists from across the industry including  Michael Scarrott from awarding association for industry qualifications, EAL, who was head judge; Richard Denholm, Sales Director and Welding Specialist from Morris Site Machinery, along with Mick Link from Speedy.

Phil Winnington, Managing Director at Morris Site Machinery, said: “This has been an outstanding year for the Weld-Off and it was a truly competitive atmosphere! Every year the bar is raised and we have been astounded by the level of creativity, quality and interpretation of the theme which celebrates Her Majesty at 90.

“British manufacturing is seeing a renaissance and we wanted a theme which would compliment this.  Our competition attracts and uncovers a wealth of talent and skills we have in the UK. This is something we wanted to champion and encourage more young people into engineering to ensure that Britain’s skills base and manufacturing heritage are retained as best as possible.

“Coleg Cambria continue to set the standard every year and we would like to congratulate them on their performance and achieving a hat-trick. We would also like to thank all the teams who entered and especially those who competed to make this year’s competition the best yet.”

The highly commended runners-up included apprentices from City of Wolverhampton College, who created a robust interpretation of London’s famous Tower Bridge; students from Training 2000 in Lancashire, who also took cues from the Royal Family and welded a Royal Carriage and the team from New College Durham who produced an afternoon tea setting complete with French Fancie cakes fit for the Queen and any garden party.

Jane Nugent, Marketing Director of Speedy Services, the UK’s leading tools, equipment and plant hire services company, said: “We were delighted to host the competition at our National Distribution Centre. Everyone was very impressed with the calibre and creativity of work.  The contestants’ work ethic, skill and passion really shone through and all 16 are a real credit to young people in the manufacturing and engineering sectors.

The Weld Off – British Style Phil Winnington Throws down The Welding Gauntlet

Phil Winnington, Managing Director of Morris Site Machinery, has a mission – to make The Weld Off 2016 bigger, and better than ever before. He took some time out of a busy schedule at the Executive Hire Show to talk to ToolBUSINESS+HIRE to tell us more about the competition.

The Weld Off is now in its third year, and its profile, along with that of UK Welding continues to grow. This year Morris Site Machinery, Speedy Services, EAL and KEMPPI will sponsor the competition aimed at young welders throughout the country.  Phil believes that this is the type of competition that will inspire the next generation of welders, a profession that has slowed down in recent times. As Phil says ‘You want real life things to aim for within colleges, so to get young welders involved in something which was targeted, has enabled us to introduce ourselves to the industry at grassroots level.’

After the initial comprehensive assessment of largely college-based applicants, the judges choose the four teams to compete in the final at the Speedy Services base in Tamworth on May 11th 2016. Like the Great British Bake Off, knowledge, skills and creativity are tested in full on the day of the final via a rigorous process. It begins with a questionnaire establishing the teams’ knowledge of welding practices and design, amongst other skills, as well as the all important Health and Safety regulations. Two members of the team are then chosen to compete in an extended skills test during which they have to demonstrate full familiarity with a variety of welding techniques.  Finally, the whole team has to cooperate to design and make a big piece – this year’s theme is “God Save the Queen” to celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday. Also, the Sex Pistols made the charts with their version of the national anthem 40 years ago, so this could add a different slant to the theme. The chance of potentially witnessing Punk Welding is a notion I find very intriguing!

The previous two competitions have given a real indication of potential diversity and progress being made by young people within the sector.  Phil spoke highly of the collaborative nature of the competition, ”If you are putting a team together for a design piece, so you may need one or two be the lead creative, and then two more with strong hands on skills. It is important to have all four working alongside each other as a cohesive team.” The first year’s winners also included a young woman, which is a real step for the future of welding and engineering in general.

Phil went on to explain that Morris Site Machinery would like to expand the scope of the Weld Off in the future. This would ideally involve regional finals so that more students would have the opportunity to enter the competition and be more  “hands-on”, with the strongest candidates heading for the finals.

From Phil’s words and indeed all those involved with the Weld Off, it is clear they are keen to raise the profile of welding as a key skill in the British industrial landscape. The competition will help further this aim; introducing a skill that could provide both young and older men and women with an exciting career that has good prospects for the future.

ToolBUSINESS+HIRE will be in Tamworth at the finals of the 2016 finals, which take place on May 11th, so watch out for full coverage of the event in the June Issue. After speaking to Phil, I for one am very much looking forward to checking it out.

If you would be interested in getting involved with the Weld Off 2016, or future events, please contact the Morris Marketing Department on 01743 234 224 or email [email protected]

Weld Off 2016 competition sparks search to crown top young talent

Weld Off 2016, a competition to celebrate the skills of the UK’s top young welders and help them forge ahead with their careers, was launched today (12 January) by leading equipment manufacturer Morris Site Machinery.

The company, based in Four Ashes, Wolverhampton and supplier of ArcGen welder generators, is now seeking entries from promising welders aged 16 – 26 who are in college or at work.

Back for its third year, The Weld Off is set to celebrate some great British milestones in its 2016 competition, by challenging the UK’s young welding talent with the theme: God Save the Queen.

 From Her Majesty celebrating 90 years in May, The Prince’s Trust reaching its 40th anniversary - the same year that Punk arrived and the Sex Pistols recorded their eponymous No 1 hit - it’s a timely theme to fire up the imagination. Morris Site Machinery’s welding brand ArcGen, in conjunction with Speedy Services, EAL and KEMPPI are on the hunt for the UK’s top young welders to use their bright sparks to now translate this year’s theme ‘God Save the Queen’ into a piece of welded creativity.

The four teams who make the final will face a series of challenges to demonstrate their ability and knowledge with a Q&A and safety round, a welding skills section and a creative test on the theme ‘God Save the Queen’. At stake is a top prize of £1,000 for their welding department or workplace, plus £500 for each member of the winning team.

Phil Winnington, Managing Director at Morris Site Machinery, said: “This is a great opportunity for budding young welders to think around this very current theme and bring to life their own spin on it.  We’re expecting some great interpretations and fantastic entries to demonstrate all the talent out there. The UK welding industry is a competitive one and we want to help young people get ahead and enhance their skills and knowledge with this competition.”

The teams will have to work together to impress judges including Mick Link from Speedy Services, Head Judge Michael Scarrott from EAL and welding specialist Richard Denholm returning as a judge in his new role as Sales Director for Morris Site Machinery.

Jane Nugent, Marketing Director at Speedy Services, said: “Speedy are once again delighted to being a part of ‘The Weld Off’ and to help promote this unique competition to an even wider audience for 2016. The Weld Off is a fabulous opportunity for young apprentices and students to showcase their talents and creativity, whilst also helping them develop their careers in the welding industry.”

Michael Scarrott from EAL, said: “We are keen to encourage young people to learn skills and gain confidence that will help them be successful in careers in valuable industries such as welding. We would urge students either employed in industry or at college, and employers and tutors, to get a team together and enter Weld Off 2016 ahead of the closing date on 11 March.”

The competition will be judged in two stages. There is a paper-based/online entry for the first round and the competitive live Weld Off final will be held at Speedy’s National Distribution Centre in Centurion Park, Tamworth, on 11 May.

The deadline for entries is 11March. To download an entry form, please go to www.morrismachinery.co.uk/weld-off

Seaward Group - Hire Industry Safety Testers on Show on Stand X25 at Executive Hire Show 2016

Seaward’s market leading range of Clare electrical safety testers for the tool hire, service and repair industries will be on display at the Executive Hire Show to be held at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry (10 – 11 February, 2016).

Visitors to stand X25 will have the opportunity to see the SafeCheck 8 – an advanced technology safety tester for use in workshops in hire outlets, rental stores and tool repair companies.

The compact bench top tester enables all relevant electrical safety tests to be carried out quickly and in line with the recommendations of the HAE EHA electrical safety code. The comprehensive safety testing functions can be initiated manually or in automatic mode using simple controls with a large clear display providing an immediate indication of pass/fail test results.

In addition, a special feature of the SafeCheck 8 is its ability to record details of all test results, time and date of tests, together with the identity of the person carrying out the test.  This data is stored in the unit’s large capacity internal memory for subsequent print out of test reports or transfer to a PC for the compilation of databases. This provides a fully traceable audit trail for quality assurance and safety management purposes.

Also featuring at the Executive Hire show will be the established hire industry tester, the Clare B255. This dedicated unit features a comprehensive electrical safety testing capability enabling tests to be carried out quickly and effectively, ensuring that power tools and other electrical rental equipment function correctly with maximum safety.

The B255 enables the full suite of electrical safety tests to be undertaken on rental equipment and includes earth/ground bond and hipot/flash testing alongside load, run and leakage testing functions.

Full details of the Clare range of electrical safety testers for the tool hire and rental sector are available at, http://www.seaward.co.uk/hire

THS Show 2015 – 40 Years to Celebrate and a New Venue

Report by Peter Brett

With 40 years of trading to celebrate, 2015 is an important year for THS. The Directors spoke of addressing the range of challenges facing the tool market with confidence. Perhaps one of the less challenging decisions was to organize the annual show at the new venue at Donington Park. The decision was, in the opinions of everyone I spoke to, a great success because it got the thumbs up for a wide range of reasons. For visitors, the warm space was welcoming and well lit and organised, with facilities like tea, coffee and snack food available on tap. There were a number of informal sitting areas where the free Wi-Fi could be accessed as well as a huge demo area for the people who just need to see the “hands-on” stuff. People like me for example!

The exhibitors also liked the venue because of its easy motorway and airport access and free and generous parking close by. But their biggest thumbs-up was for the ease and speed of access to the hall for setting up stands. A big plus, especially for those who need to get going quickly at the end of a day – October being a very busy month for shows and exhibitions.

A theme for some of the exhibitors I spoke to was how to make the best use of show days. Many had new stand designs, publicity, video demos, mini-competitions and the staples of free pens and chocolate. Successful marketing often means being able to stand out from the crowd, so they are looking at increasingly ingenious methods to do just that. However, it still seems that a really slick demo is a crowd puller and sales generator. I await the results of the post mortems with interest…

The power tool market continues to grow in double digits each year, and there were many power tool companies who had new models on display. Flex Power Tools had a range of new 18v drivers to show. Very compact and up to date, I look forward to giving them a review in ToolBUSINESS +HIRE soon.

Key news at Hitachi centred on the new site radio (see this November’s issue) and the 12v cordless driver duo.

Metabo’s big draw was its excellent range of well-priced and very capable mitre saws – all bases covered from mains to cordless. The new Lithium HD battery technology has been a phenomenal success too.

Fein had newish mains Multi-Master with reduced noise and vibration, but with the 18v cordless version now in stock, my fingers are twitching to get a test done soon. Also new, were the 12v cordless drivers (It seems to me that 12v is the new 14.4v as so many manufacturers seem to be launching new models in that segment.) 

Over at Panasonic, the new “carbon fibre” look drivers have a number of key advantages like dual battery platforms and weather sealing. In an era where choosing the best battery platform for you is key, since it will very likely ensure continued loyalty to a brand, battery flexibility makes a lot of sense.

Draper had a prominent stand as ever and with new products aplenty promised in the New Year, I am keen to get down to Draper’s demo and sales area at Chandlers Ford to get my hands dirty.

Wera always has a steady stream of new concepts to market, most of which add directly to the Wera “System” and make it easy for users to continue to buy Wera kit.

Rollins had a generous display of some very good “standard” products like Estwing Hammers and Channellock pliers that no trade can afford to ignore. But when you have used a quality hammer for example, it is very hard to ignore the shortcomings of a cheap hammer, especially if you are using it every day.

DART Tools have a similar philosophy, picking from a range of manufacturers to provide best value and quality for many users.

The brightest stand by far was Schneider’s – lit by its range of very well designed and flexible work lights. In a market driven by price it was good to see such clever functionality and bright but diffused lights.

As a dealer, one can’t afford to ignore work clothing these days, and the competition is very fierce. Brands like Dickies and JCB are well established, but the new boy on the block, Dassy from Belgium, displayed a good range of standard workwear for men, as well as a range designed to fit women perfectly - a trend that acknowledges the growing number of women in the trades.

Adhesives, paints, lubricants were also well represented. I need to find a good use for the sample cartridge of Siroflex adhesive, but since I use wipes all the time now, the Ambersil ones look like they will go straight into my site bag ready for use. Delta adhesives and silicon tapes are also high on my agenda since I always seem to have a few minor emergencies that need dealing with. And to throw a light on it all, a good torch from Coast or LED Lenser is now an absolute necessity as the clocks go back on Sunday.

Although gambling wasn’t on the menu this year, the Radisson Hotel was a spacious and gracious venue for the annual members’ and suppliers’ dinner. A relaxed event, and judging from the babble of conversation, a very friendly and chatty one too. Well done THS organisers!

For more photos of the day visit www.facebook.com/ToolBUSINESSHIRE-Magazine/

Campingaz at ToolBank 2015

Campingaz launched  its brand new innovation range of Hyperformance Gas and Hyperformance blowtorches at the Toolbank Autumn shows which started at Brands Hatch on 10th September.

The combination of the new Campingaz Hyperformance Gas® with new distinct nozzle designs on theHyperformance blowtorch range, provide ultra-performance by transmitting more energy and heating-up metals faster than ever before, saving customers both time and money.

The new Hyperformance blowtorches have been re-designed and improved to optimise the benefits of the Campingaz Hyperformance Gas® blend which works faster, is more powerful and allows a much faster transmission of energy. Using this gas blend with the newly designed Campingaz® blowtorch nozzle ensures a reduced pre-heat time and up to 35% more power than other Campingaz® products in the range.

The reduction in pre-heat time, improvement in liquid phase resistance and increase in power allow tradesmen to complete jobs in a flash.

Visitors to the show also had the opportunity to see the new Campingaz® Garden Torches and Garden Gas™ blend which is up to 4 times more powerful than previous models.

Two new gas torch models will be launched in Spring 2016, combining a comfortable ergonomic handle, lightweight design and powerful gas flame powered by the distinctive Campingaz® Garden Gas™ cartridge. This new range allows consumers to clear weeds quickly, without having to bend or kneel and without worrying about toxic residues being left behind that could be harmful to others and the environment.

For more information on Campingaz products contact your local Toolbank stockist or visit: www.campingaz.com

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