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Medway Norse (UK) using TinyLineMarker for automated sports line marking
TinyLineMarker robotic sports line marking Rigby Taylor
Medway Norse congratulated by Rigby Taylor at Saltex 2018

Big future for TinyLineMarker at Medway Norse

The prospect of at least 30% time savings by using a robot line marker compared to manual line marking – plus the resulting additional benefits in costs and labor resources – proved irresistible to Medway Norse, as the Kent-based grounds and facilities management specialist has become one of the first users of the TinyLineMarker (TLM).

Launched at the 2018 SALTEX exhibition, TLM can mark a full-size football pitch in just 20 minutes. And for Medway Norse, which has a grounds service remit that includes the maintenance of all of Medway Council’s grass playing surfaces, including 68 football pitches, “that will mean we’ll be freeing up our grounds team from line marking these pitches for at least two days a week”, says Colinda Le Gall, Operations Manager – Grounds.

“I’m being very conservative with these estimated savings, too, because I fully expect the rewards to be much greater!”

Improved quality and service

Colinda continues: “Also, as a result of needing just one person to mark the pitches using TLM – instead of two by conventional transfer wheel methods – the investment will also mean that the available resource will be able to be redeployed on other pitch maintenance tasks,” she says.

“So, for example, we will be able to carry out additional pitch maintenance all year round, rather than just the annual end-of-season renovations, and that will surely lead to better quality playing surfaces. It’s all about improving and adding services to users within the same budget model.”

Medway Norse

TinyLineMarker

Initial markings completed in one week instead of four

The benefits of TLM don’t end there, either, says Colinda.

Lightweight and easy to transport, TLM utilizes the latest GPS technology with RTK receiver and antenna that connects with global satellites and mobile network connections. It takes the input of pitch line dimensions and multiple pitches via an App and re-positions them to best fit the site using Google Maps.

Once stored, the lines are never lost, even if they disappear if a pitch is not used for any length of time.

Initial marking of a standard size football pitch takes less than 20 minutes – “our initial marking of 68 pitches used to take around four weeks”, says Colinda, “but will now take just one week” – including all perimeter lines, penalty boxes, the ‘D’, centre circle, corner angles and penalty spot all with just one touch on the tablet control. Even pitches with fixed post sockets can be marked.

Operators quick to adapt to robot

TLM is able to mark football pitches (any length/width), and rugby union and league pitches as well as multi-lane athletic tracks, tennis, lacrosse and American football pitches, all with no need for formal measuring which is the big time saving.

TLM can just arrive on site and mark standard and bespoke shapes, which is often required for some smaller locations and events such as school sports days and boot fairs, marking car parking on the fields.

“TLM operation is so simple,” she adds. “Our operators were very confident after just a few minutes of tuition on the tablet.”

Medway Norse – a joint venture with Medway Council and the Norse Group – has been watching robotized line marking developments for the past few years, says Colinda, “and we are confident that Rigby Taylor has arrived at the ultimate cost-effective and highly-efficient solution”.

Expanded line marking business and service offer

She concludes: “While we also expect that TLM will eventually also be applied to the two grass tennis and the pair of cricket pitches we maintain, we are also confident that the expertise of our line marking and overall grounds maintenance will attract additional business, from local schools, sports clubs and our neighboring councils.”

Copyright © Rigby Taylor Ltd

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