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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Protecting Sydney harbour bridge and the environment
Protecting Sydney harbour bridge and the environment
International protective coatings beat off stiff competition from five other paint companies to win a groundbreaking maintenance contract for the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Along with the Sydney Opera House and Ayers Rock, the 72-year-old bridge is one of Australia's most recognised landmarks, so the effective protection of the steel structure against corrosion and its visual appearance are extremely important.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge, once known locally as “The Coathanger”, is the largest (but not the longest) steel arch bridge in the world. Measuring 1,149m in length and 49m in width, it incorporates 58,000ton of steel and carries eight lanes of traffic and two railway tracks. At its highest point the bridge is 134m above the sea level. The traditional coating system was a low technology – two coats of alkyd primer followed by two coats of mio metallic chlor rubber. While the aesthetic finish was fairly durable, corrosion resistance was minimal. The organisation charged with the care of the Bridge, RTA (Roads and Traffic Authority, New South Wales) was therefore faced with the need for regular and sustained maintenance and accordingly put the coatings contract out to tender on a biannual basis.
Shortly after the spectacular millennium firework display around the bridge, seen world over, RTA decided that the coating system needed upgrading for the new century.
Proposals for a new system were invited and judged on anti-corrosion longevity, aesthetic longevity, environmental impact and cost.
“The cost balance between access, containment, surface preparation and painting is changing, making the actual paint a smaller and smaller part of the equation,” explained Jim Mackay, National Project Manager in Australia. “Our system was not the cheapest, but the total package of proven products, technical support and price won the day.”
The International Protective Coatings system to be used is an Interzinc®, metallic zinc rich epoxy primer; Intergard® 475 HS, a high build, high solids intermediate coat and an Interthane® polyurethane topcoat, which will be applied after the structure has been abrasive blasted back to bare steel.
This system is more durable and corrosion resistant than the previous coatings – with three to four times the life to first maintenance. It is far more environmentally friendly, with only 25 per cent of the VOCs (solvent) released into the atmosphere compared to the original system. As the new system has increased volume solids, it also offers approximately the same applied costs as the previous paints, but can be applied in around half the time.
The International Protective Coatings system will be used on 90,000 m2 of the southern approach span over the next 2 years.
Join the 2004 Productivity Race
A staggering 48 per cent of the UK Metal Treatments Industry will be unable to afford the 4.1 per cent average wage increase estimated for next year. Salary negotiations are set to be fraught. This is just one of the alarming findings from the latest Plimsoll analysis examining the financial performance of the Top 687 UK Metal Treatments companies.
With the average salary next year set to raise from £22,570 to £23,491 the implications may seem trivial. However, research by Plimsoll has concluded that with profit margins at a record low and with a staggering 29 per cent of the industry already making loss, any increase in salary costs would be foolhardy. The fact is that many of the industry's Top 687 companies simply cannot afford this extra cost.
The key issue for 48 per cent of the industry is that they seem to be losing the productivity race; a simple calculation sums up this perfectly. The amount of sales these companies generate per employee is £49,851. The most productive companies generate almost twice this figure at £80,885 or around 39 per cent of sales on salaries. For the unproductive this figure rises to nearly 33 per cent of sales.
Compounding this issue, the analysis has also placed 39 per cent of the 687 companies in “financial danger”. This situation means that the companies have severe financial constraints making extra costs simply unsustainable.
David Pattison, Senior Analysis at Plimsoll Publishing said, “The productivity race has started. You only have to look at the USA where any increased sales have not lead to extra jobs. Companies have just got more productive by getting more sales and profit out of their existing employees simply to remain competitive. In the UK, companies must be aiming for at least £69,000 per person to even get in the race”.
The latest Plimsoll Analysis – Metal Treatments assessing each of the top 687 companies on their financial position in the industry is available for £305 by calling 01642 626400 or visiting www.plimsoll.co.uk
Newly launched financial software for the UK Metal Treatments industry
The newly launched Electronic Plimsoll Portfolio Analysis – Metal Treatments is a groundbreaking new piece of electronic financial analysis. With total industry coverage and user-friendly format, you can analyse your company, competitors and industry with just the click of a button.
Complete with every company in your industry the analysis includes functions and applications of a Plimsoll Portfolio Analysis plus the following.
Top 1,000 companies in the UK Metal Treatments industry analysed in a searchable user-friendly interface.
Full set of industry analysis highlighting averages, rankings and other performance benchmarks. When analysing each company it is important to do so in the context of the industry.
Identify acquisition targets using the section of the analysis that highlights the 25 companies in the industry that represent the best companies to buy.
Spot the winners, the aggressors, the best trading partners, and much more. The analysis includes ten different areas of exceptional company performance.
Save all your favourite companies into the “favourites” section for easy future reference. Also use the “save to” option to merge to presentations and other print media.
The Electronic Plimsoll Portfolio Analysis is not an e-Book, a pdf or a spreadsheet application that requires the user to input data. It is a complete, interactive analysis of the top 1,000 Metal Treatments companies designed with the busy manager in mind.
Compatibility with Microsoft Office and other leading 3rd party applications make this latest analysis crucial for board meetings, strategic planning sessions and report building. It is really the complete tool for the busy decision maker.
The software is priced at £499 (plus VAT). To try a demo of the software or order your copy, please visit Web site: www.plimsoll.co.uk or call 01642 626400.