Intelligent Quarrying Conference – Blog



Harvey Sugden and Penny Lewin from QMJ, talk about what we can expect from Hillhead 2016:

15:20pm: “At the 2016 event, Hillhead will follow the scope of the Construction, Design & Management 2015 Regulations.” See more on CDM Regs here.

15:14pm:  “The new fully responsive Hillhead website was launched just last week…” Take a look here:

15:09pm: “In 1982 there were 1,000 visitors, and at the previous show in 2014, there were 17,412.”

15:05pm: “Hillhead commenced its Health and Safety contract with HSE in 1999.”

15:02pm: “Penny Lewin talks about the founding of Hillhead, having been a part of each event since the early 80’s.”

15:00pm: Behind the scenes at Hillhead 2016

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Erica Parkinson, Business Manager from SITECH UK & Ireland:

13:25: “The bottom line is this: safety + productivity = profitability.”

“SITECH UK & Ireland offers a complete end-to-end service, from feasibility and mapping, planning, surveying, design, bidding, earth works and project monitoring. Our technology allows us to track our customer’s machines via GPS; we assess volumes, supply stockpile updates that alleviates the need for surveyors on site, along with overall site activity.”

13:20pm: “Currently, we provide 3D Machine control on excavators, dozers, skid steers and other compact equipment. We can track a machines’ activity via wireless data, base stations or via VRS, which is a real-time connection, with real-time feedback.”

“Delivering value across the entire life cycle of a project providing enhanced information for improved productivity, safety quality and transparency through real-time information.”

“The industry is changing, but not as quickly as we’d like. Onsite technology will ensure accuracy and improve performance on site.”

13:15pm: Erica Parkinson, Business Manager from SITECH UK & Ireland:

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We’re now back on schedule with Mick Knight, Business Development Manager FMS:

11:50am: “We’re moving beyond competence to competence with efficiency.

“As you know, an efficient site is a safe site. You have to ensure your induction process is of a high standard and operators must understand the standard operating procedures on site.”

11:45am: “We have a three way approach with customers to achieve operational excellence, with efficient people, efficient equipment, and an efficient site. It’s not only collaboration, it’s a partnership.”

11:40am: “Employee engagement is very important. We can analyse the load time, travel time, travel loaded etc. Something we find quite often is that the average travel loaded is less than the travel emptied. This alerts us instantly – what is the operator doing? With this information you have the opportunity to engage with your employees to prevent unnecessary downtime.”

11:35am: “As we’ve heard, everything is about data, ‘big data’. Are we analysing the data quick enough and are we utilising the results effectively?”

“So what are some of the issues we’re seeing? Will the equipment you choose today work tomorrow? Data allows us to assess various scenarios, for instance, what about the waiting times at the crusher? There are various elements of the site cycle that can affect productivity.”

11:30am: Mick Knight, Business Development Manager FMS

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Ignacio Jimenez from Caterpillar is now talking about how product development can drive efficiency on site.

“What are the challenges on site? And how do we deliver innovation to achieve best practice and see results?”

“There’s more focus now on cost management, the skills gap and ageing assets. Central to everything is of course, health and safety.”

11:12am: “Technology by itself doesn’t mean anything, you need researchers to interpret the data. We will continue to help you with more and more enriched data.”

11:10am: “We have to invest in a new technology-abled solution…

“We will have various tools to determine the operator’s habits in order to help our dealers and partners.”

11:06am: “Finning has the Finning Fuel Promise; this programme determines the level of fuel consumption. If the machine is not performing as well as it should, Finning will work with you to help reduce the consumption with collaborative tracking.

“We also have safety built in to the machines – including object detection, scalable systems of cameras, radars and display units.”

11:04am: “336FL XE is build for energy efficiency and smoother operation. It is built to conserve fuel with an electronic programmable pump and a hydraulic hybrid swing system.”

“We also have the 966M XE which has a continuously variable transmission, it is 25% more fuel efficient than previous series. We eliminated the Torque converter issues and simplified the operational capability.”

11:00am: “We have machines that can identify the real fuel consumption vs re-fuelling costs. If there’s any fuel abuse, we can determine when this occurs and provide a solution.”

“We can use real-time trends to show you how productive your operators are on site.”

10:56am: “We’re going to talk specifically about what your machine is telling you, what will happen tomorrow, and how can you save money? Caterpillar can produce more and more technology to improve your efficiency.”

10:55am: “Some warnings you get from your machine, such as idle time, transmission abuse warning etc. highlight problems, but it also shows the opportunity for improvement.”

10:55am: Ignacio Jimenez from Caterpillar

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Roy Bush, HSE and Mike Phillips, Institute of Quarrying:

10:36am: “We’ve got to give QNJAC access to everything, including supervisors, operators, working quarries… the lot.”

Mike Phillips: “We’re starting to invest more in social media and communication, that was the core theme of Day One. So, we’ve created a free app so you can access the health and safety guidance pages wherever you are.” See here for more details –

10:33am: “The members own QNJAC, it is not owned by HSE, it’s owned by you, its members. You have to tell us what you want to do. Our purpose is to help the quarrying industry become a ‘Zero Harm industry’ – this is achievable, we just have to make it sustainable.”

10:30am:  “We should be in no doubt that quarrying remains a dangerous industry..

“We know the accident incident rate is increasing, we have to do something different.

“This industry has the expertise and the will to make this industry have ‘no harm’.”

10:15am: We’re running slightly behind schedule at today’s conference, the current speaker is Roy Bush from the HSE. He’s here explaining the roles and purpose of QNJAC (Quarries National Joint Advisory Committee).


It’s Day Two of the Intelligent Quarrying conference, here at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. 

Today we have seminars from Finning, Caterpillar and Sitech UK & Ireland, for today’s programme, see here for full details.

10:15am | Seminar B2:

Caterpillar: Ignacio Jimenez, Systems Application Manager in Northern Europe, talks about driving efficiency with product development.

Get in touch: @CaterpillarInc

11:30am | Seminar B3

Finning: Mick Knight, Business Manager, informs us on how to transform site performance through solutions.

Get in touch: @FinningNews

13:15 | Seminar A5

Sitech: Business Manager, Erica Parkinson talks about revolutionising the connected jobsite.

Get in touch: @SITECH_UK_IRE

Also, if you haven’t seen the latest Finning News Magazine – Quarrying Special? Follow the links below and get sent your free copy. 

Click here for your free copy of the latest edition of our magazine, complete with exclusive video. It is available to download/view on Apple Newsstand, page turning and PDF.  For those attending the conference, you can pick up your own copy today or tomorrow. If you would like a print copy, simply contact us with your name and address quoting ‘Free Magazine’ and we will send it to you.

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We are live blogging from the Intelligent Quarrying event – current speaker – Time for the Panel Q&A 

Question – ‘A lot of technology changes are starting to come through but a lot of people see them as optional and nice to use. When you look across Europe people are adopting these technologies far quicker – driving efficiencies and being more productive.

Peter Hansford – It is clear that European Tier 1 contractors as doing things that are way ahead of what we are doing in the UK. Government is not going to incentivise things or legislate, they are expecting industry to adopt it in the first place. So there is a cultural issue that needs to be addressed.

Oliver Novakovic – We are interested in innovation, so if someone can deliver a solution to me that will help my business, I will be more than happy to use it, hire it and invest in it.

Question – “How do we attract talent into the industry”

Oliver Novakovic – “This generation likes to play on computers and phones ‘Minecraft’ is the way they look at buildings. So we have to push BIM, create apps and get young people involved in the industry by showing them what real building is all about.”

Question from floor – “Issues around sustainability and carbon measurement and delivery”

Dr Miles Watkins – “There are methods of how carbon and sustainability can be measured that exist already, but are not being used effectively. So there is a need for people to pick up the things that exist, but unless this starts it is difficult to have the amount of activity in the space that is meaningful.

“Stepping up and showing leadership is key here. Don’t just wait for people to  start asking,  start doing it. So it is not difficult, it just needs enthusiasm.”

Peter Hansford – “I would encourage the quarrying sector to engage with the Sustainability School (like other members of the supply chain) Developed by tier 1 contractors like Skanska, Costain and Laing O’Rourke – the Sustainability School will make a difference.”

Oliver Novakovic – “We are pulling together suppliers to highlight what the carbon drivers are for us as a business.  We recently had 50 suppliers together in a room to work together to see how we can develop easier ways of meeting targets – the quarrying sector needs to be part of that journey and to help us change specifications to become more sustainable.”

Alan Gibbon – “Following recent European research, the biggest energy related factor to driving out inefficiencies in the delivery process is getting the quarry right in the first place.  This relates to the planning, equipment and processing.”

Question – “Do we have the leadership skill set to be successful.”

Peter Baker – “From previous major hazard experience in the chemical and oil sector, the successful businesses are those that understand H&S management is not something that is separate. It is part and parcel of how to run a successful business, as often management principles are the same as running different elements of a business, like its finances.

“The first tier of supervision is what will deliver management and control. Leadership is ok but if it does not percolate down to the first line of supervision, a business will not work. It is about genuine employee engagement.”

Comment from floor  –   Railheads and infrastructure are a major concern for the aggregate industry. We have been waiting for 7 years to get a new quarry licence so planning policy is just not working.

Peter Hansford – “The Northern Powerhouse is having a lot of focus from the chancellor and it would not surprise me if we had a greater focus on infrastructure like HS3 in the future.

“The West Midlands Combined Authority will also have a lot more impact on the division of spend.

“This Government, more than the last wants industry to step up, it does not want to take the lead. It sees itself as an enabler and we as an industry have to step up.”

Oliver Novakovic – I hear too many suppliers that come to a meeting to say ‘if you changed we could help you. The question is how the supply chain can change to support change in general.

From the floor Richard Bird – British Aggregates Association 

“We have a shortage in aggregates in the south and if the quarrying industry is to balance we need to promote construction across the UK and change the way we build.

4.16 Dr Miles Watkins – “We are going to have a major car crash in the industry very soon with a rise in construction, infrastructure, retrofit and a huge railway that will use a major amount of material. I am not sure about how this is all added up so innovation has to be pushed forward. We need to show we can innovate to match the supply needed and give confidence to the tier 1 contractors to bid for and deliver work.

Tier 1 contractors are worried and looking outside the UK to secure supply for these major projects, so we need to make sure we know if we have a crisis in resources coming and how we can prevent this from happening.

4.12 Peter Hansford – “UK construction is a massive diverse industry with lots of different players. But in order to change the industry we to have engagement with the whole industry. What quarrying can bring is a significant development of the supply chain.

“The way we contract at the moment is a little crazy and I often wonder why we can’t collaborate more to make it a much more profitable industry and increase margin as it is so low. We need to cut out waste and process waste. I think quarrying has a lot to offer and can engage in the process of refining the change.

4.11 – Question – Quarrying has been around for 100’s of years but what advice can you give the sector to help deliver 2025 (to Peter Hansford)

4.07 – Oliver Novakovic – “1800 units will be delivered by Barratt next  year – by 2020 20% of units we deliver will require innovative solutions. 6000 direct employees and many more in the supply chain employed by Barratt.

“1,000 units will use innovative techniques and solutions above ground, but Barratt currently does not see any below ground innovation. Barratt are also responsible for a lot of infrastructure

4.05 – Alan Gibbon – MIRO – Research and collaboration in research is key to driving discussion in the industry. The Institute of Quarrying is key to playing a role in this area.

4.03 – Peter Baker – ‘H&S and risk control are key things I want to discuss with the quarry sector. Injury rates higher than the national average so there are challenges to overcome in quarrying.”

4.00pm – Panel Session with – Colin Jenkins MD Jenco Consultancy – Peter Hansford Government Construction Advisor – Dr Miles Watkins (BRE) – Peter Baker Chief Inspector of Construction HSE, Alan Gibbon Development Director MIRO, Oliver Novakovic Technical & Innovation Director Barratt PLC

3.24  Dr Miles Watkins – circular economy 

The thinking behind the delivery of the circular economy is starting, but there is a great deal more that can be done. More conversations are now being had about the refurbishment of buildings not the knocking down and starting again.

3.20  Dr Miles Watkins – modern slavery act

Every large organisation will soon need to make sure that they are not supporting modern slavery in the production of products.

3.12 Dr Miles Watkins – Top Tip 3 Show innovation 

The industry must show it has the capacity to think outside the box and collaborate with others in the wider construction industry.

A good example of collaboration is the Wienerberger E4 house – Energy, Environment, Economy, Emotion – homes for life consortium See the E4 house here

3.06 Dr Miles Watkins – Tip 2: Collaborate and communicate with your customers – understand their needs

Early engagement and dialogue can be very beneficial on all projects especially large projects. You need to have people that can be bothered to make a difference and understand what they need to know. It is about how you can bring benefits to the customer and think through the challenges.

3.04 Dr Miles Watkins – Digital communications

‘An organisation is not just a name. I would encourage businesses to put people at the front of communications and interact with others, especially customers. Creating yourself as a professional in this space is what I would encourage.’

2.57 – Dr Miles Watkins – Technology and Safety 

“We should find ways between us to use digital tools in the workplace to make it more fun. Embrace technology and bring it into our working lives. People are now joining the industry that are digital natives and people that have not been brought up on ‘digital’ should not be ignored”

2.57 – Dr Miles Watkins – World of BIM 

“Ask yourselves –  What is the interaction with the products you produce and the structures they are used to create – understanding what the construction industry needs from the quarrying perspective will be key”

2.52 – Dr Miles Watkins (BRE) – On Top Tips for Leadership and being the supplier of choice – 

“Embrace the digital agenda – BIM level 2 is coming right now but the industry needs to be preparing for BIM level 3 as well’ BIM will inform the language of construction so it is a need to know topic that will underpin the dialogue across the industry.’

Background ‘£2m spent by BRE a year on research into the built environment’

Day One – Tuesday 24th November

2.49 – Peter Hansford concludes  – ‘There are exciting times ahead and everyone has a role to play.’

2.47 – Peter Hansford – Building Britain Productively 

‘With so many schemes, Crossrail 2 HS2, new runways, new highways, rail enhancements, the Northern Powerhouse – the challenges the quarrying industry faces are wide and varied. So how can the industry play its role in supporting the opportunities and changes needed to transform the industry?

2.45 – Peter Hansford – Innovation 

“We need to make sure we don’t look to reinvent the wheel. Smart Infrastructure a change in Business Models and a focus on Retrofit all require one thing an Innovative approach’

2.42 – Peter Hansford – Changing the image of construction 

‘We must inspire teachers, parents and pupils. School adoption is a perfect opportunity to do this. Can the quarrying sector do this and raise its profile in the local community.

2.40pm Peter Hansford – Key issues for Quarrying Sector are:

People and Skills – ‘There is a real shortage of skills in the quarrying sector and a major skills gap. Skills academies, pipelines of work, school initiatives are all playing a part.

“Standardisation, robotics, drones, BIM and technology are all real opportunities to close the gap. However we need to change the image of construction to attract talent and retain it.

“Working conditions, occupational health as well as H&S are key issues. With less than 14% or women in construction and 2% of minority ethnic groups there is much more work to be done.”


2.35pm – Peter Hansford is the first speaker for the event as the Government advisor on construction:

“Quarrying sector has an important role to play in the transformation of the construction industry. Construction 2025 strategy vision is key to the delivery of a better construction sector and a driver of growth across the economy – Download the paper here complete with overview statistics.

“The new government continues to support ambitions of Construction 2025 with key themes of People, Smart, Sustainable, Growth and Leadership.

“Changes to the Leadership Council will take the group into a smaller streamlined organisation with a greater focus. Reduced to 12 members the new Leadership Council is drawn from across the industry.”

“The quarrying industry urged to contact the Leadership Council leads on the six core workstreams – People and Skills – Green and Sustainable – Supply Chain and Business Models –  Smart and Innovation – Exports and Trade – Industry Communication.

Conference begins – 2.30pm – Anthony Morgan IQ President introduces the Intelligent Quarrying Conference : “A focus on leadership, employee engagement and new technology will be the theme of the event.”

Today marks the start of the Institute of Quarrying ‘Intelligent Quarrying conference 2015’, jointly sponsored by Finning, Caterpillar and SITECH UK & Ireland.

In this live blog we will be covering some of the highlights from the event and looking at the challenges that lie ahead. The first day starts at 2.30pm, so we have put together the following key articles and content, to wet your appetite for what should be a very interesting event. You can also follow our twitter feed @finningnews and the event hashtag #IntelligentQuarrying2015 for live tweets.

Day One – Tuesday 24th November

For a full lineup of the conference speakers and topics Click Here


Government 2025 Construction Strategy 
On the speakers list this afternoon we have the Government Construction Advisor, Peter Hansford. We spoke to Peter about the Government 2025 strategy in a previous edition of the Finning News Magazine. Click here to watch the video and read what he had to say.

HS2 – Meeting the delivery challenges

Part of the conference will be addressing the challenges of delivering HS2. We have been collecting the views from industry leaders on this topic and already have the following in-depth articles and exclusive video interviews about the project.

Mike Phillips, Head of the Institute of Quarrying – Click Here to read his views and watch a video on the HS2 Aggregates Challenge

John Caroll, Procurement lead for HS2 – Click Here to read an overview about the project and view our exclusive video interview with John.

Niall Fraser, of specialist earthworks and construction contractor, C A Blackwell (Contracts) Ltd. Click Here to read his views and watch his interview on the challenges of delivering the project from the perspective of earthworks contractors and plant hirers.

Free Finning News Magazine – Quarrying Special 

Click here for your free copy of the latest edition of our magazine, complete with exclusive video. It is available to download/view on Apple Newsstand, page turning and PDF.  For those attending the conference, you can pick up your own copy today or tomorrow. If you would like a print copy, simply contact us with your name and address quoting ‘Free Magazine’ and we will send it to you.