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David Black Award

Given the close association of the two companies over many years ARM Buildings is pleased to note the presentation of the prestigious David Black Award to Farmex director, Hugh Crabtree. His role in housing developments – among many other industry achievements – was highlighted at the National Pig Awards Ceremony, London, in November 2023.

ARM first started trading with Farmex in 1984 when Rob Ray of ARM’s precursor company, Alfred Lyons & Sons, spotted a commercially opportunity in the market to exploit the ACNV developments, researched at the Scottish Farm Buildings Investigation Unit at Craibstone, Aberdeen. The company started using Farmex controllers, actuators and other components. The sophisticated Dicam controllers were used exclusively by ARM.

By 2009, in line with the digital revolution, ARM, aware of all the potential advantages, fitted data loggers to all its new buildings as standard.  It was the first company to do so. This system, developed by Farmex, meant that in addition to ensuring that the buildings were ‘fine-tuned” at the commissioning stage, pig producers were able to monitor, through Barn Report, how a building was actually performing environment-wise, in terms of temperature, ventilation rate, heater use, etc. A big advantage was that the important data could be accessed remotely, for analysis.

Tim Miller ARM’s environmental specialist commented:

 “I worked with Hugh while employed as an MLC pig specialist at the NAC pig unit, where his opinion was always sought on ventilation issues and design. Following that I worked directly for Hugh at Farmex.

“He has always been the leading ventilation designer in the UK and constantly promoted the British pig industry.

“His technical support is second-to-none and, as a British manufacturer of control equipment, support and back-up is excellent. Equipment can be supplied overnight if required – which is not the case with some overseas manufactured equipment.


“Any ideas I have on new ventilations systems and ideas I run by Hugh before making changes.”