“Early involvement ensures the best results”: RMD Kwikform
The divisional operations director at RMD Kwikform, Paul Williams, talks about the firms “continuously improving” products
Despite a retraction in project awards and construction activity surrounding high value projects in the GCC during 2019, RMD Kwikform (RMDK), has played a major role in the timely completion and delivery of megaprojects across the GCC over the last 12 months.
The UK-headquartered formwork, falsework, and ground shoring solutions firm – which has become synonymous with the civil engineering and infrastructure sectors, particularly with large and complicated fast track projects – provided the formwork and shoring solutions for five bridges on the $122.3m (AED449.2m) 10km, six-lane Parallel Roads project in Dubai.
In addition, the firm was involved in the successful delivery of The Royal Atlantis Resort and Residences, as well as the Expo 2020 Dubai’s Al Wasl Plaza, among other projects within Expo 2020’s 4.38km2 site, and elsewhere in the UAE, during 2019.
Speaking exclusively to Construction Week, the divisional operations director at RMD Kwikform, Paul Williams says: “In Saudi Arabia, RMDK ensured the successful completion of the Riyadh Metro, as well as associated infrastructure projects in 2019. In Kuwait, we were involved in the successful completion and delivery of various highway infrastructure projects.”
He adds: “In Bahrain we were heavily involved in the Dilmunia Mall and Marassi Galleria Mall developments and were chosen as the preferred supplier and commenced supply on the multi-billion dollar BAPCO Sitra Refinery project.”
RMDK has also established a strong presence in Oman. The firm was selected as the supplier of choice to partner with various contractors for the Duqm Refinery project in 2019, following the on-time delivery on the Liwa Plastics project.
In line with its plans to explore opportunities in the wider market, the company has also introduced a number of product ranges, including Ground Shoring, Ascent, and Tetrashor, which not only deliver additional penetration into adjacent sectors, but also create project opportunities.
Commenting on the most exciting GCC projects to watch out for, Williams says: “KSA undoubtedly represents the largest and most exciting market in terms of forward prospects and opportunities – there are too many big-ticket developments and opportunities to list. Notable projects include, in particular, the multi-billion dollar megaprojects such as NEOM and The Red Sea developments.”
“These projects aside, KSA offers the most exciting business opportunities across multiple sectors in the GCC looking forward. The Etihad Rail project and AMIA projects in the UAE; the North Field LNG development; the Sharq Crossing; and the HIA expansion projects also represent notable developments to watch out for.”
Coping with construction challenges
In 2019, the GCC construction industry has had to soak up the impact of a liquidity crunch, lower profit margins, and increased pressure on deadlines.
“The environment of the industry – in terms of liquidity – is a significant challenge to the stakeholders, including governments, developers, contractors, sub-contractors, suppliers, and service providers alike,” Williams says.
“The drivers and contributing factors can perhaps be summarised as representing a “new normal” that businesses and industries across the Middle East have to accept, accommodate and adapt to.”
RMDK, which has been in the region for 45 years, has experienced and coped with the ups and downs of the industry by adapting, accepting, and responding to the ebbs and flows of the industry.
Williams says: “As a worldwide business we are excited and encouraged by the level of opportunity that is present across the Middle East markets going forward.”
The firm has developed a reputation for collaborating with customers through the lifecycle of the project – from planning and bidding to on-schedule delivery.
“We pride ourselves on our engineering capability, product range, logistic capabilities, and perhaps above all, our expertise and complete customer service offering, from the tender stage through to successful project execution,” he adds.
“Our experienced engineering design staff translate the customer requirements into cost effective formwork and shoring design solutions, tailored to the exact needs of the customer and project.
“Our technical sales staff also work with the customer to identify requirements, analyse formwork options, planning, design, and safety specifications. Early involvement ensures the best results.”
Diversified product range
Williams also points to RMDK’s temporary works product range as a key area driving the firm’s success. The firm focuses on offering measurable value propositions that benefit all the associated stakeholders in the construction industry across various stages of the business cycle.
For instance, RMDK’s recent 400kn Tetrashor system serves as a cost-effective, modular, lightweight system, which is tailored toward the building sector offering a practical and alternative product solution to RMDK’s 1,000kn Megashor, which is used by the global heavy players in the infrastructure and civil markets.
Tetrashor's lightweight properties — 30kg/m — allows it to be easily carried about by workers, eliminating the use of a crane and delivering an ideal strength-to-weight ratio. The system can be used horizontally, vertically, and in an inclined position.
Williams says: “This serves to highlight RMDK’s strategy to offer the widest range of effective, productive, and cost -efficient temporary works solutions to markets across the globe.”
RMDK have also taken a lead in the advancement of technical and digital aids in the temporary works industry through the past decade. Driving the push toward digitalisation and the adoption of technology, the firm has focused on 3D CAD design and has developed industry leading design and visualisation software such as Locus.
“BIM requirements are now playing a bigger part in terms of construction industry expectations, fundamentally driven by developer demand for more collaborative and informative assessment platforms,” Williams adds.
“For temporary works providers, ‘innovation’ is not only part and parcel of the design process, but is also equally important while incorporating the precision and efficiency required in fabrication. This is witnessed in 3D modes enhancement in terms of temporary works production, and the adoption of CNC and robotic technology in fabrication.”
RMDK’s strategy evolves around “continuous improvement” in its capabilities, and its service and product offerings. Its recent introductions include the Ascent Safety Screen, Tetrashor, and its Ground Shoring system. These product offerings complement its existing solutions, which provide complete temporary works solutions from ground works to the top of structures.
As the decade has gone by, it has also witnessed a marked improvement in health and safety across the wider construction industry in the Middle East, with the industry demanding added levels of importance and focus to HSE practices, specifically in terms of temporary works solutions.
Williams concludes: “Health & Safety remains at the top of the RMDK agenda and is of equal importance internally as it is when it comes to our design, products, and service offering.”
“The introduction of our Ascent Safety Screen system and our Ground Shoring product range represent good examples of RMDK’s response to the industry’s HSE demand.”