On Monday 16 September, my colleague John Morby and I set off on our first concrete roadshow trip.
We set off from Sika HQ towards Edinburgh with our new mobile concrete laboratory in tow, enjoying an overnight pit stop at Everbuild in Leeds along the way.
The fully-fitted lab we had in the back of our vehicle was a first for Sika – a portable work station which allows us to perform trial mixes for customers and can also act as a training academy.
The lab gives us the opportunity to test our products at customers’ premises – ideal for those who are rurally located or do not have their own laboratories on site.
It is an ingenious way of offering our customers the flexibility and customer service that we pride ourselves on. They no longer have to come to us with their own materials in order to undertake trials – we can bring the lab to them.
We can accurately measure customers’ trials in-situ with the correct proportions of aggregates, cement and water, with everything self-contained – even the power source!
Having undertaken extensive testing on the lab, we were finally ready to hit the road in September – just in time for our first Deminar (a combination of a demonstration and a seminar) in Scotland.
The mobile lab in action
The Edinburgh Deminar was our first opportunity to showcase the benefits the lab offers, both in terms of demonstrations and testing.
Our technologists Ryan Sheppard and John Morby put on a couple of exhibitions of our self-compacting and underwater concrete admixtures to key clients, as well as showing them how to conduct a fibre beam test.
John and Ryan on the day did a superb job with the demonstrations and the Mobile Concrete Laboratory looked the part with the participants gathered around under the awning.
We then hit the road again, to Glenrothes, where we carried out our first ever mobile customer trial mix at client Skene Group’s plant.
We tested the moisture of their materials, batched up and spun the pebbles in the pan to show them using ViscoFlow 3000 to achieve 710mm slump flow. Ian Burke, the technical manager at Skene, was very impressed of the outcome and wants to use this for all future SCC mixes.
Speaking of the programme, Ian Burke, quality/technical manager at Skene Group, said: “A helpful addition to the SIKA technical offering. The support it can offer could prove invaluable to us as a customer.”
After the success of both events, we look forward to bringing this cutting-edge, innovative lab-on-wheels to a site near you!