D-Drill hits the jackpot in Vegas
A UK Diamond drilling company has landed a prestigious international award at a ceremony in Las Vegas.
D-Drill (Master Drillers) Ltd, which has headquarters in Shilton, near Coventry, picked up the award at the International Association of Concrete Drillers and Sawers Diamond Awards.
Firms from Spain and Italy also picked up awards, which celebrate the most complex and innovative projects in the field from across the globe.
It was D-Drill’s delicate efforts to remove a 100-year-old piece of ceramic art in a Newcastle hospital that have been honoured.
The judges rated the company’s work highly on planning/complexity, innovation, degree of difficulty and quality demands.
Julie White, managing director of D-Drill, said: “I am absolutely thrilled. This is a massive award for us and I thank everyone who helped to achieve it, not least the guys on-site who completed the work.
“To win any award is great but when we were up against the most complex drilling and sawing projects across the world, it’s a real achievement.”
The Royal Doulton panels had been on display at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary since Edwardian times and depicted scenes from famous nursery rhymes.
The children’s ward where they were housed was being closed and demolition work had already started when D-Drill was called in to remove the tiles without damage so they could be remounted at a new state-of-the art hospital.
It meant a delicate operation explained D-Drill’s John Emberson.
He said: “After looking at the on-site situation and realising that there were old steel conduits within the rendered wall behind the tiled panels, we decided that the only way to carry out this delicate operation was to cut a chase around the perimeter of the panels through the plaster and render with a 110volt diamond hand held saw.
“We then fed the diamond wire into the chase and on to the wire saw drive machine which was powered by electric /hydraulic.
“We were grateful for the help we received from Laing O’Rourke, who assisted us with site access, power and water.
“We had to use a bespoke pulley wheel system that was built in our workshop to control the diamond wire as it cut down behind the panels without cutting the tiles.
“When you are dealing with anything as valuable and important as this, you’ve got to get everything right and it requires a lot of expertise to get it right.
“There were 68 panels to take down and we needed to make sure they were not too heavy to transport and handle.
“The process started by gluing a board and holding a frame on the face of the tiles, and then cutting down behind the panels so that there was nothing left bar the original tile cement. That meant they could then be moved safely.
“We’re delighted with the outcome because they are beautiful tiles and they were a part of the RVI’s history. Now most have gone into storage although some have been remounted and add a touch of the past to a modern hospital. It is hoped that others will follow.”