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RMD Kwikform

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Title: RMD Kwikform  
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Subject: Construction industry of the United Kingdom, Civil Engineering Contractors Association, Scottish Building Federation, Sweett Group, Construction Alliance
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RMD Kwikform

RMD Kwikform
Type Division of Interserve plc
Industry Construction
Founded 1948
Headquarters Aldridge, UK
Area served Worldwide
Key people Stephen Dance, Mike Jones, Ian Hayes, Mike Follet,
Products Formwork, Falsework, Scaffolding & Safety solutions
Revenue £ 157 million (2009)
Employees 1149
Website [1]

RMD Kwikform is the Equipment Services division of Interserve plc. It specialises in the hire and sale of temporary works and engineering design for complex building, construction and infrastructure projects. Interserve plc is a UK based engineering and support services company headquartered in Reading, Berkshire. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.


The system of Formwork was born out of the acute shortage of building materials which followed the end of the second world war.

At the time the company Robert M Douglas was the main contractor for the construction in 1947 of the Trostre Steelworks for the Steel Company of Wales near Llanelli. This scheme for the modernisation of the tinplate industry, called for some 200,000 cubic yards of reinforced concrete which necessitated the use of formwork for its construction.

Timber was the traditional material for such purposes, but could only be obtained on permit from the Ministry of Supply. The quantity allocated by the ministry was inadequate to maintain the required progress of the work so alternative means of providing the necessary formwork were investigated. Limited quantities of cold steel plate were available and the timber obtained by permit was to a considerable extent used as framing to which the steel plate was fixed. The available quantities were soon absorbed and the supply was augmented by the purchase of old “Anderson” air raid shelters, which were rolled flat and pressed into panels of uniform size. This was the first steel panel formwork system.

The system was so successful that the decision was made in 1948 to produce the units in large quantities and to make it available to the industry as a whole. With this decision came the formation of Rapid Metal Developments Ltd, a subsidiary of Robert M Douglas Ltd.

The company’s first export order was received from Australia in the early 1950s when large quantities of formwork were shipped out for use on the construction of the original Woomera rocket range.This led to the formation of an Australian subsidiary quickly followed by one in New Zealand.

Export markets were opened up around the world during the 50s and 60s with a major drive into the Middle East in the 80s. During this period the UK branch network had been developed with a focus towards hire of equipment.

In 1975 RMD received the Queens Award to Industry as an acknowledgement of the company’s export success quickly followed by the Group Chairman – Robert M Douglas becoming “Sir Robert”.

Further geographic expansion took RMD to New Zealand in 1967, the United Arab Emirates in 1978 and Spain in 1991.

Following the acquisition of R M Douglas by Interserve in 1991, RMD accelerated overseas expansion. During the 1990s, a significant number of product lines were introduced to broaden and deepen its service offering.

Following Interserve’s acquisition of Kwikform UK operations were transferred to RMD Kwikform in 1999.

In 2010, RMD Kwikform was awarded the prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise: International Trade 2010, for increasing its overseas business by 185%, to 30 countries, over six years, generating a total revenue of £154m


A few examples of Projects built using RMD Kwikform equipment


  1. ^ The tale of the Tyne Tube

External links

  • RMD Kwikform Official site
  • RMD Kwikform UK site
  • Interserve Official site
  • Interserve Yahoo profile

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