Monday, 20 November 2017

Surprising Reception

I got a nice surprise the other day. Hughie, our UK MD had just come back from head office in Germany and showed me a picture of their new reception. The main feature in that new reception is a three panel image consisting of one my photos!

It was the one I took of the Reilly's job at Merseylink, which also featured in this year's calendar and also a jigsaw puzzle!

Who'd have guessed when I took that photo it would become so enduring!

And here is the original:

Friday, 22 September 2017

New Reptor in Ireland

There may not be any snakes in Ireland but there is certainly now one Reptor! Scott, our chief engineer was down in Oranmore (near Galway) yesterday commissioning a new S 38 SX Reptor for its new owners.

They began the pour at 7am and had finished pouring the 200m3 by 1pm with every load going straight through - as you'd expect from a new Schwing.

Now is it off to celebrate with a Guinness or a Jameson's?

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Training For Cats

Today was the second of two days of training in our offices conducted by a gentleman from Caterpillar engines. As readers may be aware, our static pumps all now come with Cat engines and so it is important for our engineers to fully understand the technical aspects of these.

This training was to bring us up to speed with the latest (full and final) specifications for diesel emissions using Diesel Emission Fluid (AdBlue being a popular example). This means our engineers are now qualified to maintain the latest generation of Caterpillar diesel engines.

As well as our own engineers, we invited engineers from a couple of our clients, Coinfords and Careys to come along to the training too - because the more our customers get out of their Schwing Stetter equipment, the better it is for everyone.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Swash No Buckle

A bit earlier I was asked to gather up some information about pump pressures with regard to the angle of the swash plate. Now not being an engineer, this term went straight over my head and so Hughie, the MD very kindly took some time to show me what this meant.

I had seen plenty of hydraulic system drives (the bit that that turns engine revs into hydraulic oil being pushed around the system) but had never known how one worked. I am pleased to say that now one more of the many wonders of hydraulic engineering has  been revealed to me, and very interesting it is too!

Basically a circle of cylinders and pistons connected to an angled plate spins. Both the cylinder block and the angled 'swash' plate spin at the same time so the swash plate pulls the pistons in and out as each cylinder/piston moves around the circle. The changeable angle of the plate determines how much the pistons actually move in and out for each revolution.

The pistons moving away from and out of the cylinder block are drawing hydraulic oil into those cylinder while the ones moving back into it are pushing the oil out, having brought it around to the other side, and so oil is forced to move continuously from one side to the other. Ingenious!

Seeing (and have a play with) the cut away working demonstration one above really helped me to understand what was going on. So now next time someone talks about the angle of the swash plate, I'll know what they mean.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017


Just arrived! The third batch of our (predictably) popular sweet boxes has just been put safely away.

After noting which sweets were more popular in the last lot, or rather which ones tended to get left behind in an otherwise empty box, we swapped a couple of varieties for some new ones. I'm pleased to say the lemon sherbets are a new addition - these will be my personal favourites I'm sure. (Although I must point out at this time I have not actually had any).

These are of course strictly for our customers (other than the odd box opened out for us by the MD) and certainly make an interesting and possibly quite unusual 'promotional product'! And if it helps remind people about how much they love Schwing Stetter, all the better!

Monday, 17 July 2017

Concrete Manual On Disc

A couple of months back I was asked to dig out any copies of a CD we once did (before my time here) of a concrete placing manual. After opened a large number of boxes in storage I finally found the original master of the file which turned out to be a pdf of scanned pages from a manual.

The task was then to press another batch of discs with a slightly different front cover with more up to date shots of our machines (including Reilly's new S 38 SX). I thought an updated file might be a good idea too and so did an OCR (optical character recognition) on the images so people could search through the file for particular words and phrases.

I've pressed up music CDs before but not data ones but the concept is pretty much the same so sent the files off to the local disk pressers and hey presto - several boxes arrived this morning with the above merchandise! So if you'd like a concrete placing manual on disc, you know where to come!

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Raising Knowledge

Last Friday we had the chap from Tams come to re-certify our staff on the fork lift and the gantry crane.

We timed it rather well as a couple of people would have had their cards run out the following day.

With a great deal of very heavy items being moved about constantly, it is important we have all our workshop and supervisory staff qualified to use the lifting and carrying equipment. We need everyone to be able to lend a hand from time to time to move items about. In these situations a small mistake can lead to a big accident. And as the MD puts it, it's far cheaper and easier to pay to get everyone qualified properly than to explain to someone's mother that their son had an accident using some equipment they didn't fully know how to use.

This is all an ongoing process. As some staff members had been called away to assist clients on Friday we will need to repeat the process again in a few weeks to cover those who were not there.

And then there's the welding certification coming up soon too!

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Filling the Space

It's not often that we have rows of empty shelves and storage space in our parts warehouse but we've got some now due to a major reorganisation of our parts storage. Towards the beginning of the year we expanded the warehouse area by extending the mezzanine floor over the reception area and now with everything moved about we have put more shelving into the newly created space.

The reason for all this? It's all because of the wonderful new Schwing 'Reptor' S 38 SX mobile concrete pump that we are now selling!

When we add a new machine to the Schwing concrete pumping arsenal, we need to make sure that we keep our promise to have the full list of necessary spare parts available, as we do across our entire range of products. That's why Schwing Stetter can usually get you up and running again within hours of a breakdown.

So the new shelves will soon be stocked with S 38 SX parts, and you'll soon be able to order them - assuming you're lucky enough to have a new S 38 SX pump!

Friday, 2 June 2017

Stadium Tour

Yesterday I left very early to make the long drive up to St Helens (between Liverpool and Manchester) to get a shot of the new S 38 SX Reptor at work on site with Reilly's. Unfortunately the job was cancelled at the last minute so instead, Mark Reilly rose to the challenge and we took the pump round to their local Rugby stadium and set it up there. The pump driver set up the boom to look as if it were pumping concrete to some imaginary job on (or over) the roof of the stadium and I got the necessary shots!

Of course it's a bit of a give away that there's no truck mixer, no workmen, in fact no job site paraphernalia at all. However the point was to show the reach and to some extent the flexibility of the new 5 section boom of Schwing's latest mobile offering - and I think we at least did that.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Mug Shots

This morning we took delivery of our second lot of promotional mugs (the one on the right). I'm very pleased with these.

We got our first lot (the one on the left) in December last year. They were kindly drawn by the same chap who has been doing our Christmas cards and were so popular we thought we'd try another one along the same theme. That theme being concrete being pumped constantly around the mug by a ring of machines, all seemingly oblivious to the fact that it's the same concrete going round and round... Well we thought it was funny...

The first was a mobile pump and a static pump. The people who produced the mugs very kindly found a way to keep the image going through the handle to complete the effect.

The second is a separate placing boom, a truck mixer and a static pump. I'm sure these will be just as popular with staff and customers alike!

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Reptor Video

It seems, looking at the viewing statistic that you blog readers rather like the videos I put up from time to time and also stuff to do with the new S 38 SX 'Reptor' mobile pump.

Well then as a special Schwing Stetter May bonus - here for your viewing pleasure is a combination of both!

This short video showing the new mobile pump at work was sent to me this afternoon by our good colleagues in Germany and as soon as I saw it I thought I need this to be public so our customers and friends can see this amazing new machine at work.


Tuesday, 2 May 2017

More Platforms

Such was the success of our new workshop mezzanine floor last year (and the new floor space over the new reception area) that we decided to add a double version at the other end of the workshop!

Once again the lads rose to the task and had the thing built and stocked in less than a month.

The view's not too bad from up there either!

Monday, 24 April 2017

Schwing Gallery

The drive to fill up our office wall space with working testimonies to our products continues. The original lines of pictures along the hallway has been extended through into the room beyond as we try to visit more clients on site and showcase the work they are doing using their Schwing Stetter machines.

It's not just this hallway, we've put up pictures all over the place. It's more pleasant than looking at blank walls too.

Perhaps we'll end up with people popping round just to see our collection of concrete placement related images! Although I suspect the National Gallery will be resting easy for a bit longer...

Monday, 27 March 2017

Goodbye Ray

In memory of Ray Perry

Schwing Stetter Health and Safety Officer
who sadly lost his battle with Leukemia
March 2017

Ray’s contributions to our workplace went
far beyond his job description, both
professionally and personally.
Missed by everyone.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

The Reptor Has Landed

The first Schwing S 38 SX mobile concrete pump has finally arrived in the UK!

The 'Reptor' so named due to the booms ability to manoeuvre and reach into places other boom just can't reach, is a five section mobile pump that can open out in under 7.4 metres.

Our key engineers had already been over to Germany to see this amazing new machine in action but now it is the turn of the rest of us to gaze upon it's majesty.

I suspect this will be a very popular pump and find myself wondering who is lined up to be the owner of this first magnificent machine...

Friday, 17 February 2017

Showing Concrete

Yesterday was my annul trip to Birmingham NEC to visit the UK Concrete Show. It's always a good opportunity to catch up with a few people and to see the new development in the world of all things concrete.

The highlight this year was to see the large Utiform display area and catch up with Ian (our Utiform representative). We work with Utiform and sell their screed pumps and other products. They had a much smaller set up last year so it was great to see them expanding their reach this time round.

Monday, 13 February 2017

A Great Reception

If there's one thing you can say about our engineers at Schwing Stetter, it's that they are versatile. We have recently been making some adjustments to the workshop area, extending the mezzanine floor and sprucing up the reception area. And it was none other than our own engineers who did the major work.

We now have quite bit more upstairs floor space to accommodate our expanding parts inventory, and a much nicer front reception area (as you can see above).

Here are a few photos from different stages of the work...

Staircase reversed

Our Engineers' steelwork taking shape

The floorboards down and the new reception desk

Extra space for more (genuine Schwing Stetter) parts storage

Our engineers even install signage (note the new ceiling is now in place too)!

Monday, 23 January 2017

An Interesting Puzzle

As regular readers will know, a part of my job (a part I particularly enjoy) is to visit clients on site and get photos of their Schwing pumps and other Schwing Stetter equipment in action. The photos normally end up on our office walls in one form or another and on our website. I'm not a trained photographer but I'd like to think I have a reasonable eye and occasionally an image comes out particularly well.

One such image turned up after I spent some time with a camera up at the Merseylink Gateway bridge project where Reillys had three Schwing pumps working at the same time. We were so pleased with this image that we turned it into a puzzle - just for something a bit different and interesting. (It also features this month in the Schwing Stetter calendar!)

Last weekend I decided it was time to have a go at doing the puzzle. So on Saturday afternoon I cleared the dinning room table and emptied the pieces out onto it. For some extra interest, I rigged up my camera above the table to take a shot every thirty seconds to create a time-lapse video of the puzzle being done.

The 1000-piece puzzle came together over the course of the weekend with help from the whole family.

Sadly the camera did move a bit during the project - it was held to the room light fitting with cello-tape (this was a spur of the moment idea - not a major production!) so whilst I've tried to compensate in 'post production', there is a bit of movement and at times the corners are cut off. However if you can get past that, and like puzzles (and time lapse photography), and possibly concrete pumps, you might enjoy this little video...  (It's 1 minute, 21 seconds long - in case that matters to you...)

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Need A Lift?

On a recent visit to the Merseylink bridge building site I was
interested to see a Schwing S 24 X on top of an isolated platform. Another  S 24 X was at ground level, pumping concrete up to the raised one and the end of the lower one was connected directly to the pipeline on the boom of the upper one so the concrete was being pumped from ground level through both booms to the end of the upper one. The lower machine was doing the pumping while the other was placing the concrete!

I need to thank Mark Reilly from Reilly Concrete Pumping for this wonderful shot above showing the Schwing pump being lifted onto the platform - and also for the picture on the right here showing the crane about to lift it up - click on the shot to enlarge it.

Apparently a number of methods were tried in order to get the pump up onto the pylon including a large net before this 'mobile platform' was tried.

Mark very kindly showed me round the whole area where Reillys, who are supplying the concrete Pumps for the project had no less than 7 Schwing Pumps on Site! Three of them can be seen in the shot at the bottom including their new S 52 SX.