Matthew Rawlings General Manager for JH Woods, describes recent events in his first monthly blog.

I am delighted to have been invited to write a regular blog for our website, and for this month I am talking about the Pig, Pipes and Brian.

There is a pipe which runs 320 Kilometres from the Shetlands to the UK Mainland. You could say it has a “cholesterol problem” – and in some places is most probably furred up. The industry calls the x-ray machine, which can detect this, a Pig – but before it can snuffle its way down the line, it has to be calibrated. After searching for a specialist to solve the problem the owners recruited JH Wood, as we are renowned for solutions.

We are machining a calibration pipe – all 12m and 3 tonnes of it – so it can be set up correctly. The Pig will then be sent down the real pipe, all 320 kilometres, sniffing out wear and tear, and dodgy bits. They rely on the results – our pipe has to be right, or we might be in deep water.

On the matter of pipes, winter is a time we all need heat. Farming enterprises with biomass boilers are reliant on heat exchangers. If not drained down correctly, they can incur huge damage and costs. So remember prevention is better than cure, as not everyone has done, and we have been draining down, and completing internal metal repairs on a large boiler.

Continuing down the pipe route, the protection, health and safety of staff is a priority for every business. Recently, we have been invited to construct the equivalent of a metal bus shelter for a large manufacturing company in the Borders which needs a shelter for its staff when checking and changing the filter of an external pipe. So, no longer will staff, or the pipe, be left open to the elements – a perfect solution for all.

After a very wet autumn, with pipes overflowing, we have now seen temperatures drop below -5C. Therefore, we now need to think about pipe pressures and performance, and the risk of vehicle cooling systems freezing. Our stores department have seen a steady flow of those looking for antifreeze and supplies to prevent problems with radiators and heating systems for all types of vehicles, these are the customers who know that prevention is always the best solution!

And now from the pig and pipes to Brian! We are delighted to welcome Brian Tait to our team as Head of Stores. Brian who has worked in Kelso for a number of years has now crossed the border. And although who knows what Brian and his stores has in the pipeline for 2020, one thing I do know is that next month in the workshop we will be continuing our pipe theme, making hydraulic hoses.

So, as I sign off, I would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year – and I am looking forward to writing to you next month about Beach Huts and Lambing, so spring cannot be far behind!

Best wishes

Matthew Rawlings – General Manager JH Woods.