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NRP debut high-performance planer on the M54


Wirtgen W 250i cold-milling machine equipped with 3.8m drum driving productivity on major highways project

NATIONAL Road Planing (NRP), Tarmac’s road planing contracting business, are driving improved productivity on a major highways project with the introduction of a new high-performance planer as part of a drive to boost output and lean efficiency.

One of only eight machines in Europe, a Wirtgen W 250i cold-milling machine equipped with a large 3.8m drum was used for the first time on the UK strategic road network by the NRP team as part of works in partnership with Kier and Highways England between Junction 10 of the M6 (westbound) and Junction 2 on the M54.

The machine, which has the capability to remove around 600 tonnes of asphalt per hour – the equivalent of 30 trucks – and plane one full lane width up to 3.8m wide in a single pass, improves the surfacing process and, ultimately, the rideability of the newly laid asphalt surface for the road user.

Jamie Town, general manager of NRP, said: ‘The high performance of this machine means that we have the capacity to plane the existing surface quicker, which ensures that our contracting teams can start laying new asphalt sooner to ultimately reduce disruption for road users and drive efficiency for customers.

‘With a need to operate in very tight working windows, we worked in close collaboration with Kier and Highways England to drive efficiency on the project. This required all disciplines to work together, identify where they can save time, and embrace lean best practice.’

Mike Holmes, asset delivery manager for Kier Highways, said: ‘The benefits of the increased productivity of this machine extend beyond efficiency and output. It facilitates a reduction in time taken to resurface the carriageway, which reduces the number of closures benefitting the travelling public as well as improving road worker safety.’

In addition to its efficiency benefits, the new planer supports NRP and Tarmac’s commitment to safety by eliminating 50% of reversing and requiring fewer passes, reducing potential interactions between people and plant.

The machine is also fitted with NRP’s innovative high-intensity lights, which help teams visualize the ‘5+2 protection zone’ – a 5m exclusion area in the direction of travel and a 2m exclusion zone to the side of all plant.

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