Armac puts the lights out…

Armac uses Cat high reach machines on lighting factory demolition

For demolition specialist Armac Group, turning the lights off took on a whole new meaning, when it was awarded a six month contract to demolish an old GE lighting factory next to the A10 in Enfield, London.

Following video courtesy of Finning TV:

Already at the halfway point of the project February saw the start of its most challenging phase, to demolish the seven storey high main GE lighting office building. Located just a few metres from the busy A10 main road connecting Enfield to Jct 25 of the M25, demolishing the main office structure required a very delicate approach, which involved the supply of a specialist 40 metre Ultra High Demolition Rig boom attachment by Caterpillar dealer Finning, for Armac’s Cat 385.
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Delivered to site by Finning on 3rd February the ultra high boom was assembled in its three parts onsite. Secured to the end of the ultra high boom was a Caterpillar MP20 work tool capable of delivering 3000kN force.

Complete with cab protection and tilting operator cabin function for greater visibility, the Cat 385 has been joined on-site by Armac Group’s Cat 345 high reach demolition specification excavator with MP15 concrete cutter jaws work tool. Working together across the building from corner to corner in a controlled demolition process, the Cat 385 and Cat 345 excavators ensure the building is taken down safely piece by piece.
With the Cat 385 concentrating its 40 metre reach on the top three floors of the 7 storey structure, the Cat 345 with its 26 metre reach is able to work the lower floors in sequence. With dust suppression equipment used to control any dust falling from the building to prevent it from landing on passing vehicles, the two Caterpillar excavators will be working more than 100 hours to complete the demolition of the main building.

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Commenting on the project and the use of its new Cat 385 UHD on-site, Adrian Mclean operations director said: “Because the main office structure was positioned so close to the extremely busy A10, as part of our assessment process, we recognised that we would not be able to use more conventional methods of demolition, due to the risk of falling debris hitting a passing car.

“In order to safely take down the building, we needed to use an excavator with a boom reach of 40 metres. We were therefore faced with a height dilemma as our Cat 345 with high reach boom we already had could only reach up to 26 metres. Recognising we had a 12 metre shortfall, we approached Finning to see if they could source a Cat 385 UHD model. Given the tight programme time constraints of the project, we had to rely on Finning to source and turn around delivery of the machine in order for us to stay on course to deliver the site to our customer.

“Not only did they achieve this, they were also able to assist us with putting the new boom together and realigning the machine, fitting new hydraulic pipes and testing the performance before we put it into action.

“Even though we were able to turn this process around, we did not rush back into the job, as we wanted to make sure our operator had enough time to get to grips with the control and safe movement of the Cat 385 with the new boom. This operator adjustment phase is particularly important, as even though we are fortunate enough to have a very skilled team, when you are used to operating a machine with a 26 metre boom and are then asked to operate a different machine with a 40 metre boom, it takes some getting used to. One of the main challenges for example is simply looking to the end of a longer boom as everything is that much further away!

“After we successfully completed this process we were able to attach the MP20 work tool and put the machine in to action. By the end of February we expect the Cat 385 and Cat 345 to be well into the job as they are working really well together.”

With the site itself measuring some 8 acres Armac Group is also using one of its Cat 320 excavators with various attachments to assist in the demolition of other lower lying buildings and the processing of demolition waste. With the demolition phase due for completion at the end of February the site will then start its rebirth housing a Premier Hotel, Toyota Car dealership and Yellow Box Storage facilities.