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August 9, 2017

British Cables Association public announcement

The practical implications of bringing cables within the Construction Products Regulation (EU 305/2011), came into effect on 10 June 2016. This date, known as the Date of Applicability (DoA), was confirmed via listing in the OJEU (ref 2016/C 209/03) a).   From this date, manufacturers of cables with

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Boosting energy security for Bulgaria and Greece

Moves to increase energy sector competition, boost cross-border supplies and decrease the region’s and Europe’s dependency on Russia for natural gas are afoot in the Balkans. An important part of the plan is the construction of a short but significant cross-border pipeline, the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (ICGB), due to start next

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Express steeled for £100m Hinkley rebar deal

Express Reinforcements Ltd (ERL) is in line for a contract to supply 200,000 tonnes of reinforcing steel for the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset. It is preferred bidder for a contract, worth more than £100m, with BYLOR, the joint venture between Bouygues TP and Laing O’Rourke.

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Construction in recession as output falls in Q2

The latest quarterly data from the Office for National Statistics shows a downwards revision of the 0.4 per cent Q2 decline initially estimated last month. Two consecutive quarters of negative growth mean that construction is now technically in a recession, after the ONS reported a 0.3 per cent quarter-on-quarter decline in

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JLL launches specialist higher education division

7 July 2016 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal Real estate company JLL has announced a new higher education services group.  The move “formalises JLL’s higher education expertise in facilities management, real estate portfolio management, workplace strategy and development services”. In a statement JLL said: “As colleges and universities continue to address the

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Procurement starts for final phase of Worcester southern link road

Worcestershire County Council has gone out to tender on the £70m fourth and final phase of its A4440 Worcester southern link road improvement scheme. Above: Third phase works on the A4440 Norton to Whittington The county council is advertising for a contractor to carry out the design and construction for

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LJJ picked for £8.5m Royal Holloway scheme

LJJ has won an £8.5m building services installation contract at a student accommodation project in Surrey. The work is for Willmott Partnership Homes’ £39m scheme for Royal Holloway, University of London, delivered as part of the Scape Major Works Framework. The scheme, which has been designed by Stride Treglown in

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UK construction gloom

A slowdown in growth has been reported by UK construction companies in July, reflecting lower volumes of commercial building and a softer expansion of housing activity, in the latest IHS Markit/CIPS (Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply) UK survey. It also revealed a reduction in new business volumes for the

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BDC 319 : Aug 2024

August 9, 2017

British Cables Association public announcement

The practical implications of bringing cables within the Construction Products Regulation (EU 305/2011), came into effect on 10 June 2016. This date, known as the Date of Applicability (DoA), was confirmed via listing in the OJEU (ref 2016/C 209/03) a).   From this date, manufacturers of cables with requirements for Reaction to Fire, meaning flame spread/propagation, heat release, evolution of smoke and acidic/corrosive gases, and restriction on flaming droplets, may make a Declaration of Performance (DoP) for their product against the harmonised European Standard (hEN 50575) and apply CE marking under the CPR. There is a second category of requirements for cables under CPR, namely Resistance to Fire, meaning retention of functionality during a fire.  The necessary work to admit such cables has yet to be completed. Under CPR, the manufacturer is the person who places the product on the market in the EU. It may be the actual manufacturer, an importer or a distributor placing the product on the market under his own name but in all cases the responsibilities in respect of DoP and CE marking apply. The recent listing in OJEU gives a second date, namely 1 July 2017.  This is the end of the so-called co-existence period.  After this co-existence period the manufacturer, importer or distributor must make a DoP and apply CE marking. The CPR lists “Power, control and communication cables” as those to which the regulation applies, and it defines a construction product as: “Any product or kit which is produced and placed on the market for incorporation in a permanent manner in construction works or parts thereof and the performance of which has an effect on the performance of the construction works with respect to the basic requirements for construction works” Whilst the definition embraces a wide variety of cables, it does not say specifically whether a particular cable type is included or excluded.  From the time of the DoA manufacturers will begin to ensure that potentially relevant cables are put on the market with a Declaration of Performance. It will not, however, be their responsibility to decide if cables are to be installed in a permanent manner in the construction and therefore need to comply with the regulation. It is important to be aware for cables there are seven classes of reaction to fire, ranging from Aca down to Fca.  These are detailed in the recently updated listing in the OJEU of the Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/364 (ref L68/4 of 15 March 2016) b).  The use and designation of a particular class of cable within a construction works is the responsibility of the Member State. The UK government has not issued any such requirements, for instance via Building Regulations, and has said that it does not intend to do so.  Therefore, for UK usage, the selection of the particular class for a given installation will derive from the commissioning authority, for instance local council or hospital trust, or the building designer.  Here an installer or contractor retains a general obligation to purchase and use construction products that are ‘fit for purpose’ under whatever regulatory system is allowed.  In time BS 7671 (the Wiring Regulations), which is a de facto regulation for low voltage installation, will be updated to give guidance in this respect. As a note of caution, all parties should be aware that it may not be until some weeks after 10th June 2016 that a manufacturer is able to offer cable with the relevant DoP.  Due caution should be exercised in this early period. Any queries as to the suitability of particular cables to satisfy requirements under CPR should be addressed to the manufacturer or the supplier.  BCA will be pleased to assist with any general queries – please contact Peter Smeeth on 020 8946 6978/07973 636688 or email peter.smeeth@btconnect.com. Further information about the BCA is available at – http://bcauk.org/   a)        http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52016XC0610(04)&from=EN b)       http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32016R0364&from=EN   Source link

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Boosting energy security for Bulgaria and Greece

Moves to increase energy sector competition, boost cross-border supplies and decrease the region’s and Europe’s dependency on Russia for natural gas are afoot in the Balkans. An important part of the plan is the construction of a short but significant cross-border pipeline, the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (ICGB), due to start next year. The 180km reverse-flow pipeline will be able to pump gas in either direction between Komotini, in Greece’s northeastern province of Thrace, and Stara Zagora in central Bulgaria. The ICGB has €45m of EU funding and a €110m guarantee facility from Bulgaria, which could ensure favourable financing terms for a commercial loan. In addition to boosting energy security for Bulgaria and Greece, ICGB would link central Europe to the so-called Southern Gas Corridor, a $45bn project to supply natural gas to Europe from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz 2 field in the Caspian Sea. The connector is a joint venture by state-owned Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) and IGI Poseidon — a partnership of Greece’s state gas company DEPA and Edison of Italy. It will be able to ship 3bn-5bn cubic metres of gas a year from 2019. The scheme was first mooted in 2009, after Russia cut off midwinter gas supplies to Ukraine in a payment dispute. But the €220m project initially faced problems in finding backers other than the Sofia and Athens governments. That changed after the Southern Gas Corridor became critical to the EU’s efforts to diversify its supplies, says Teodora Georgieva, executive officer of ICGB. “The Southern Gas Corridor project gave ICGB a big push. ICGB makes much more sense if it’s part of a transit route to Ukraine’s border and part of an integrated regional market,” she says. The connector is part of a wider set of efforts to increase competition in the region’s markets. After prods from the European Commission, state-controlled Hungarian, Romanian and Bulgarian gas distributors have signed agreements opening their networks to alternative domestic and foreign suppliers. Related article The nation’s history as the former Soviet Union’s IT hub has given it a head start “These agreements are a game changer for the region,” Ilian Vassilev, a Bulgaria-based energy consultant, says. In Thrace, ICGB will connect to the 870km Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). This will bring Azerbaijan’s gas from the Greek-Turkish border across Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy. Construction of TAP began in May and its first supplies are due to reach the EU in 2020. At Stara Zagora, ICGB will also connect with the existing TransBalkan pipeline built to carry Russian gas from Ukraine to Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. Greece, too, is poised to allocate capacity to alternative suppliers, as a pipeline carrying Russian gas from the Bulgarian border to Athens has been upgraded to handle 3 bcm of reverse flows annually. Sample the FT’s top stories for a week You select the topic, we deliver the news. Source link

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Express steeled for £100m Hinkley rebar deal

Express Reinforcements Ltd (ERL) is in line for a contract to supply 200,000 tonnes of reinforcing steel for the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset. It is preferred bidder for a contract, worth more than £100m, with BYLOR, the joint venture between Bouygues TP and Laing O’Rourke. Express Reinforcements was acquired by Spain’s Celas Group in 2009. Along with BRC Ltd and ROM Group, it forms Celsa Steel UK. Express is based in Neath, has manufacturing capability in Newport and uses steel produced by Celsa Steel in Cardiff. Managing director Andy Lodge said: “We are pleased to be the preferred supplier of reinforcing steel to this contract through BYLOR. It cements long-term relationships and puts Express at the forefront of reinforcing steel supply, having already been a major supplier to other key infrastructure projects such as Crossrail and Heathrow Terminal 5. It shows that our proven track record in delivering on these significant projects is highly valued and local, responsibly-sourced steel to the highest quality standards (Eco-Reinforcement/BES 6001) is fundamental to all involved on this construction.” BYLOR project director Martin Westbury said, “The Bouygues TP/Laing O’Rourke joint venture is delighted at the prospect of working with Express Reinforcements as our preferred supplier to the Hinkley Point C project. The choice supports our strategy of working with the UK supply chain wherever possible, using UK-sourced materials.  BYLOR is currently working closely with EDF Energy to prepare the site at Hinkley Point C for the main construction programme, so that when full governmental approval is received, work can commence in earnest without delay.”       This article was published on 7 Sep 2016 (last updated on 7 Sep 2016). Source link

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Construction in recession as output falls in Q2

The latest quarterly data from the Office for National Statistics shows a downwards revision of the 0.4 per cent Q2 decline initially estimated last month. Two consecutive quarters of negative growth mean that construction is now technically in a recession, after the ONS reported a 0.3 per cent quarter-on-quarter decline in Q1. New work declined by 0.8 per cent quarter on quarter and 1.7 per cent year on year in Q2. Across the sectors, public housing new work saw the largest quarterly and annual declines, at 6.5 per cent and 21.7 per cent respectively. On a quarter-on-quarter basis, only three sectors saw an increase in activity in Q2: private industrial (7.3 per cent), public other new work (2.4 per cent) and non-housing R&M (0.9 per cent). All other sectors reported a quarterly decline. On a month-on-month basis, construction output fell by 0.9 per cent in June. Output has only reported one month of growth so far this year, with a 2.9 per cent increase in April. In June, only two sectors reported growth compared with May: public housing (1.2 per cent) and private industrial (1.9 per cent). Year on year, new work was down by 1.9 per cent in June, while all work was 2.2 per cent lower. The data tallies with findings from the Markit/CIPS Construction Purchasing Managers Index, which this month reported the fastest drop in output since June 2009. The report found commercial building experienced its steepest fall in six-and-a half years, while civil engineering activity dropped for the first time in 2016. Source link

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JLL launches specialist higher education division

7 July 2016 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal Real estate company JLL has announced a new higher education services group.  The move “formalises JLL’s higher education expertise in facilities management, real estate portfolio management, workplace strategy and development services”. In a statement JLL said: “As colleges and universities continue to address the challenges of cost control, deferred maintenance, student attraction and retention, access to private sector capital and best practices, many are turning to their campus real estate to optimise its value.  JLL has formed a centre of excellence in higher education real estate advisory to help educational institutions realise the potential of their real estate.” JLL has appointed David Houck, a veteran JLL managing director, to co-lead its higher education group in collaboration with Kevin Wayer, co-president of JLL’s Public Institutions group.  Houck’s appointment and the creation of the group formalise JLL’s continuing work in the education sector. The firm has a long history of working with public and private colleges and universities across the United States and abroad.  Source link

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Procurement starts for final phase of Worcester southern link road

Worcestershire County Council has gone out to tender on the £70m fourth and final phase of its A4440 Worcester southern link road improvement scheme. Above: Third phase works on the A4440 Norton to Whittington The county council is advertising for a contractor to carry out the design and construction for Phase 4 on an early contractor involvement (ECI) basis. This section of the scheme includes dualling the A4440 between Ketch and Powick roundabouts, including Carrington Bridge. The council describes the southern link road as one of the county’s most important routes, providing a link between Worcester and the M5 with the south of the county and Herefordshire. It also provides a bypass for the city and residential areas. Contractor Alun Griffiths began phase three works to reconfigure the Norton roundabout in October 2015 and is due to complete this winter. The contract notice in the European Union Official Journal states that the start date fo rthe fourth phase contract is to be 15th February 2017.     This article was published on 21 Oct 2016 (last updated on 21 Oct 2016). Source link

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LJJ picked for £8.5m Royal Holloway scheme

LJJ has won an £8.5m building services installation contract at a student accommodation project in Surrey. The work is for Willmott Partnership Homes’ £39m scheme for Royal Holloway, University of London, delivered as part of the Scape Major Works Framework. The scheme, which has been designed by Stride Treglown in Bristol, will form the cornerstone of the university’s North Campus in Egham, Surrey. There will be 621 student bedrooms across 56 townhouses, along with an amenity block with a lecture theatre and teaching spaces. It will enable the university to offer a residential place to all first-year undergraduates. The BREEAM Excellent scheme will see LJJ install a new district heating system in the new amenity block linked to the university wide building management system. A combined heat and power unit will be the primary energy source, delivering 90kW of thermal energy and 49kW of electrical energy.  The system will also include three gas-fired boiler with a total output of 1,250kW for boost and back up. LJJ will install a pre-insulated district heating main that will run under the development to deliver heat and domestic hot water to the townhouses via a 300 litre heating interface unit in each building. For the cold water supply, LJJ will install a cold water storage tank of 30,000 litre capacity together with a booster system. LJJ will also install a mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery in the roof space of each town house to feed the supply and extract for all bathrooms, corridors, kitchens and communal areas. The electrical installation will involve provision of a new HV network, including a new transformer and three HV ring main units. An LV switch room in the amenity block will then supply four feeder pillars around the development which will supply the townhouses and external services, including CCTV and street lighting. LJJ will install a mix of LED and fluorescent lighting throughout the scheme, with PIR presence detection in corridors and amenity block toilets. The electrical installation also includes access control for all main entrances, student bedrooms and the amenity block, 20 CCTV cameras and a fire alarm that will release all doors in the event of a fire. The company will also be responsible for a Cat 6 data installation, including fibre networks connected to individual cabinets in each town house and the amenity block, providing site-wide wifi. Willmott Partnership Homes design manager Andrew Vittery said: “This is an ambitious project to construct 56 town houses with a business-critical completion by the start of the academic year in September 2017.  Our response has been to include a significant modular element to the build and we are confident that LJJ’s experience of major university schemes will help to ensure that the building services elements of this project are similarly focused on fast and high-quality delivery.”   This article was published on 16 Aug 2016 (last updated on 16 Aug 2016). Source link

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“Critical road safety issues” lead to licence revocation for South Wales aggregate firm

A South Wales aggregates and ready mix concrete business has lost its transport licence after the Traffic Commissioner for Wales said innocent people were far more likely to be injured or killed when such little regard was given to safety rules. Brian Hughes, who operates across South Wales, was also disqualified indefinitely from acting as a transport manager because of his “lamentable performance” in that role. Nick Jones, the industry regulator, said his decision to revoke the operating licence held by Mr Hughes had been a relatively easy one.   He said: “It is clear from the totality of the evidence that maintenance arrangements and controls were chaotic or non-existent. A feature [of this case] that caused me particular concern relates to the lack of any real attention to brakes.” During a public inquiry, an examiner from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) told the Traffic Commissioner he was especially concerned about a vehicle which had been used with braking defects. Despite a driver reporting the defects on a daily basis, no corrective action was taken. In evidence to the hearing, Mr Hughes claimed maintenance had taken place on the vehicle and said his driver failed to appreciate whether the brakes were defective or not. Nick noted that vehicles involved in the aggregates industry, which are used off road, are more likely to suffer damage to brakes and other components. As a result, operators and transport managers needed to put in place maintenance procedures which make sure those vehicles are safe when out on the public roads. DVSA also reported a number of other issues with the operation run by Mr Hughes: • Routine vehicle safety inspections had not taken place on time • Essential safety features on inspection paperwork were missing • Repeated vehicle defects were being identified on successive driver reports • The prohibition rate for mechanical defects on vehicles was twice the national average • The MOT failure rate for vehicles was twice the national average • Vehicles were being parking at sites not authorised by the Traffic Commissioner. “There are critical road safety issues involved in this case,” he added. “As I told Brian Hughes that I was closing his business from midnight on the date of the hearing, it was only then that the seriousness of his failures properly sank in.”

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UK construction gloom

A slowdown in growth has been reported by UK construction companies in July, reflecting lower volumes of commercial building and a softer expansion of housing activity, in the latest IHS Markit/CIPS (Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply) UK survey. It also revealed a reduction in new business volumes for the first time since August 2016, which “acted as a headwind to job creation and input buying across the construction sector”. At the same time, intense supply chain pressures continued in July and prices for construction materials increased at one of the sharpest rates since the first half of 2011. Meanwhile, the UK’s Construction Products Association has said that growth prospects for the construction industry in 2018 have been downgraded as the UK prepares to leave the EU. In the CPA’s latest forecast, it said output was expected to soften, blaming a slowing economy, falling real wages and rising costs which it said would adversely affect the industry. It said growth for 2018 was therefore only expected to rise by 0.7% – the slowest in six years, and a downward revision from 1.2% in previous forecasts. The IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), when adjusted for seasonal influences, dropped from 54.8 in June to 51.9 in July, which was said to signal the weakest construction performance since August 2016. The latest reading was below the long-run survey average of 54.5, and pointed to only a moderate pace of business activity growth. Lower levels of commercial construction were identified as a key factor holding back overall business activity growth in July. Although only modest, the reduction in commercial activity was the fastest for 12 months. IHS Markit/CIPS said a number of survey respondents had cited delays in decision making by clients, linked to worries about the economic outlook and heightened political uncertainty. Residential Residential building remained the strongest performing category of activity in July, although the latest rise was the slowest for three months. The only upturn in output growth was recorded in the civil engineering sector. Construction firms were reported to have noted a greater reluctance from clients to commit to new projects in July. Weaker demand led to an overall reduction in new business volumes for the first time since a rebound following the Brexit referendum (for the UK to leave the European Union) began in September 2016. The July PMI data suggested that UK construction companies responded to lower sales by tightening up purchasing activity at their business units. The latest increase in input buying was only marginal, and the weakest since March. Tim Moore, associate director at IHS Markit and author of the IHS Markit/CIPS Construction PMI, said, “July data reveals a growth slowdown in the UK construction sector, mainly driven by lower volumes of commercial development and a loss of momentum for house building. “Weaker contributions from the cyclically sensitive areas of construction activity more than offset resilience in the civil engineering sector.” He said that worries about the economic outlook and heightened political uncertainty were key factors contributing to subdued demand. Construction firms reported that clients were more reluctant to spend and had opted to take longer in committing to new projects. “The combination of weaker order books and sharply rising construction costs gives concern that an extended soft patch for the construction sector may be on the horizon,” he added. Duncan Brock, director of customer relationships at CIPS, said, “Continuing price pressures from the weak Pound lingered, driving cost inflation near to a six-year peak, stifling purchasing activity and jobs growth.” At the CPA, while saying that growth prospects for the construction industry in 2018 had been downgraded, it reported that for now, activity on site was high and output was expected to rise by 1.6% in 2017 – an upwards revision from 1.3% in previous forecasts. It said this would be partly a result of a sharp rise from new contracts and activity in the £6.9 billion (€7.62 billion) public housing repair, maintenance and improvements to deal with short-term urgent measures that would need to be made in light of the Grenfell Tower fire disaster which occurred in London during June. Increases in infrastructure activity and private housebuilding were expected to be the primary drivers of growth over the next two years, which the CPA said would help offset a sharp fall in the commercial and industrial sectors. Major projects It said growth in infrastructure would be a result of major projects in rail, and water and sewerage – such as HS2 high speed rail, and the Thames Tideway Super Sewer in London – with activity forecast to grow by 7.4% in 2017 and 6.4% in 2018. Growth is said to be reliant on delivery of these projects, while it added that the extent of the continued delays to main works at the Hinkley Point C power station meant it was no longer included in the CPA forecasts. Growth for the industry in 2018 was also said to be heavily reliant on private housebuilding, but that the sector was still reliant on the government’s Help to Buy equity loans to drive housebuilding numbers. The policy is in place until 2021, and was expected to support demand for new build and drive growth in private housing starts of 3.0% in 2017 and 2.0% in 2018. However, the CPA warned this was slower than in previous years given uncertainties over the strength of consumer confidence and falls in real earnings. Further ahead Looking further ahead, growth for 2019 is projected to be 1.8%, but given the unprecedented economic and political uncertainties following the lack of a significant majority for the UK government as the UK leaves the EU, the risks around this forecast were felt to be considerable. Noble Francis, economics director at the CPA, said, “Construction firms are still reporting that activity remains high and there are still lots of cranes around. But there are clear signs that construction output is slowing and that next year, in particular, will be difficult for

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TONE Scaffolding Adapts to Challenges of Changing Construction Industry

The construction industry is constantly adapting and changing in order to find solutions to new problems and the development of new approaches in order to deal with older more long term issues within the industry. As a part of this, contractors in the construction industry find themselves having to work faster and faster across an ever expanding range of sites. With the increased volume and variety of demand in the construction industry, one issue that arises is how the weekly hours worked by the operatives are tracked and monitored.  Some operative may only be required on site one day at a time, and some may be required for longer periods, making it difficult to monitor the working schedules of operatives with a one-size-fits-all solution. TONE Scaffolding Services is an independant contractor and has found that a possible solution to the tis challenge. The Scaffolding supplier and contractor has opted to work smarter and use a MobileClocking in order to monitor time and attendance through a smartphone app. This mobile clocking device uses facial recognition software from the specialist Aurora. By using this app, TONE has a record of the precise location of operatives at certain times in order to remove the arguments about the number of hours worked. This will ensure that reports are written up properly and operative’s wages are paid correctly. TONE Scaffolding Services is the leading scaffolding contractor in the UK.The company is based in Croydon and is well known for delivering high quality scaffolding even on some of the most complex of projects. TONE works across five different divisions including Rail, Power, Town, Aviation and Industrial. TNOE also operate a Special Projects division that allows for larger one off projects. The previous clocking in system that was used by TONE was ideal for operations that were more long term, and the plan was for the company to be working on the site for a year or two. This old method was static and with the speed of construction project turnarounds increasing, TONE were in need of a solution that was better suited to the changing industry.  

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