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Japanese ‘JIT’ put into practice by Land & Water

Monday, March 17, 2014

The term ‘Just-in-time’ was first introduced by the Japanese in the mid 1970s, which marked a radical new approach to the manufacturing process.

Fast-forward to Thursday, December 12th 2013, and the term was being used in a completely different context, albeit with significant help and influence from a Japanese product – a specially configured Hitachi Zaxis 70, amphibious excavator.

How? Well, around midday on the 12th, significant flooding in and around the Walberswick, Suffolk, resulted in a breach in the river wall, and an urgent request for help was made by the Environment Agency to help repair the flood defences. However, given the challenging environment and difficult conditions, there was only one company who could help – Land & Water - the UK's leading dredging company and operator of the largest fleet of specialist long reach excavators in the UK.

As a specialist plant hirer, Land & Water pulled one of their Hitachi Zaxis 70’s from another customer’s site, to answer the SOS call. The excavator which has a 10m reach and a 0.40m cubic capacity, was the only option as it is built to be able to travel over very soft and flooded terrain.

Travelling overnight, the machine arrived at the job site at 8am on Saturday 14th and worked through the day and night thanks to the Land & Water shift operators. The efforts of the team were further backed by HM Plant’s Service and Support team, which were on hand to support the machine and its operatives as they worked relentlessly for over 24 hours until the work was completed late on Sunday evening.

Richard Houghton, Operation Manager at the environment agency said “These flood defences could not have been repaired without this specialist plant and the Land & Water team behind it.”

The ‘Just in time’ response by Land & Water, aided by HM Plant and  the unique and innovative capabilities of the Hiatchi Zaxis 70, prevented further flood damage and safeguarded the homes of those living in the area.

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