Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Electro-Mechanical Evolution makes ongoing Training for Locksmiths ever more important


Surge in electro-mechanical hardware and integrated building systems means locksmiths need ongoing training in more areas than just the mechanics of the locks, says Allegion UK Commercial Leader Pete Hancox.

In the UK, locksmiths come from all walks of life, taking a variety of routes to join the trade. Ask any locksmith about how he or she got started, and then go and ask another, and you will more than likely get two different answers – whether it was via supplier-led training courses, a locksmithing apprenticeship, being an understudy to a practicing locksmith or through traditional employment.

Why is this? Partly, it is because, until very recently, the locksmith profession lacked a nationally recognised qualification, which the Master Locksmiths Association (MLA) recognised.

Although MLA was the first to offer a recognised apprenticeship, it took a significant amount of time for the government to recognise locksmiths as a profession. As of June 2017, details are still being finalised between the MLA and the government to re-develop a ‘trailblazer apprenticeship’.

This is in stark contrast to other professions where wellbeing is concerned. Take gas engineers, for instance. Gas engineers in the UK, according to leading jobs website reed.co.uk, must have relevant qualifications, usually an NVQ Level 3 in Gas Installation, and also be Gas Safe registered. Apprenticeship is a common route for attaining a gas engineer position, too.

This lack of regulation has given existing locksmiths a very diverse range of skillsets and experience. Of course, diversity is welcome, and diversity is known to bring outside-of-the-box solutions. However, when we start comparing the two professions, we can start to see how gas engineers will be ‘singing from the same hymn sheet,’ whereas our locksmiths could be working from all manner of different pages.


For the future of locksmithing, this very diversity could potentially be harming our buildings and our occupants’ wellbeing, as opposed to aiding them. We could be creating an environment where knowledge levels, procedures, best practices and the way building hardware solutions are selected are all different and varied.

While it could be years before we reach a standardised route similar to that of gas engineers, we should at least be encouraging our locksmiths to complete ongoing training, particularly to keep pace with daily developments.

The Electro-Mechanical Game Changer

We are now coming to a stage in the door hardware industry where development is rapidly overtaking existing knowledge. Electro-mechanical ‘smart’ hardware means the ability to unlock doors from phones, control access to secure areas and remotely lockdown, are all feasible and affordable functions which are being sought after by building managers.

Fully integrated building solutions and biometrics are also becoming more commonplace, and forward-thinking estates managers and architects will be thinking about scalability for the future.


In the face of this surge in development, which by no means will saturate as technologies get ever more clever, locksmiths are now faced with a real problem. If they do not train in these new technologies and learn new skills, they face becoming dinosaurs that do not understand the complex natures of electronically controlled doorways and buildings.

Ultimately, without a proper understanding, it can impact health and safety as well as compliance.

A case in point happened as recently as 2016, when a fire door in a hospital that was fitted with a self-closing device shut on an elderly patient, causing injury. Unfortunately, this injury contributed to that patient’s death. Intended to be an aid for the door, it has instead caused accident and tragedy.

After the case, the Department of Health suggested that risk assessments should be carried out on all fire door closing devices to assess appropriate closing times, taking into account the occupancy of the building. For locksmiths who are ‘self-taught’ and have little knowledge in these electro-magnetic devices and risk assessments, we can immediately see how ongoing training in this area will benefit them.


Health, Safety and Security Compliance – The Unwritten ‘Duty of Care’

In many commercial cases, it is the role of the facilities manager, or representative of the estate, to guarantee the health and safety and security of occupants, and there are strict guidelines and classifications to door hardware that must be met.

However, the varying level and difference in understanding of door hardware across both facilities managers and locksmiths leads to different ideas between the two parties. The former may be constrained by budgets and ‘the bigger picture,’ while the latter may focus on single aspects of doorways and locks, particularly if they are not acclimatised to electro-mechanical systems that are in place or being planned.

These blurred lines can be difficult to navigate, and health and safety can be compromised if one party or the other is negligent in their ‘Duty of Care,’ which is another unwritten code of conduct.

Take lockdown situations for example – a popular topic given the amount of security issues we are now accustomed to seeing in the media.

In the US, many schools are more accustomed to drilling students and staff on lockdown procedures and may also be advised on lockdown hardware. It is less common in the UK, but our access control systems are now ready to combat these situations, if required.

For the un-initiated locksmith though, there may be skills gaps which cannot be plugged – and this can lead to improper solutions, or even botched jobs. When faced in a lockdown situation, if there is a fault in the locking systems, this can be life-threatening.


When botched jobs do happen, it then becomes a story of whose duty of care it is to maintain the working order of the building and the locks – has the locksmith correctly set the locking devices, or have they set them to what they think is the correct setting, when it actually is not for that building’s particular use? Who is liable?

An unfortunate case whereby duty of care of the locksmith was called into question happened in 1981 in the US, way before our hardware was as technologically advanced as it is today.

Lori Einhorn was unfortunately assaulted during a visit to her then fiancĂ© Kenneth Einhorn’s flat by an assailant who was not a tenant of the building. The case was brought against the building landlord David Seeley and locksmith REM Discount Security Products. The claim was that the front door lock on the building was allegedly broken to an extent where it could be opened “with a firm push, even when locked,” and that as installers of the lock, REM allegedly had a duty of care to the plaintiffs for their faulty installation.

In the end, the judge ruled that REM did not have a duty of care or liability towards Lori Einhorn, as, amongst others, these was no special relationship between her and the locksmith.

However, we can start to see where locksmiths may get embroiled in complex cases of liability, particularly with electro-mechanical access control hardware where there are many stakeholders in the process.

Short-term Costs, Long-term Gains

As with all training, there is an associated cost. It can be hard to see past this cost if benefits are viewed as minimal or not even applicable to current situations.

For locksmiths who have conventionally worked purely in mechanical locks, it is even harder to see why they themselves will need training in disciplines such as biometrics or computer-aided systems, when traditionally these applications have only been used in select, sensitive buildings.

However, we as manufacturers are constantly exploring technology that can enhance door hardware capabilities and the customer experience, simply because we believe in innovating for the better. Technologically enhanced door hardware will soon be more accepted as the norm as we become accustomed to the benefits it offers, as well as if costs on such hardware continues to fall.

Therefore, if we do not encourage our locksmiths to train, in the end we are ultimately costing more to our buildings, and to the welfare of our occupants.

For more, visit www.allegion.com





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Tuesday, 15 August 2017

ABLOY Celebrates 110 Years


Security expert Abloy is celebrating 110 years since the Finnish invention that sparked a revolution in the lock industry – founder Emil Henriksson’s disc cylinder operated lock. 

With its unrivalled levels of product development, for over a century, Abloy has been at the forefront of the ever-changing global security market. Offering highly advanced and unique solutions, the Abloy name has become synonymous with quality and innovation.

This spirit of innovation began in Helsinki, in 1907 where precision mechanic Henrikkson recognised that the principle of the rotating detainer discs inside a cash register could be applied to locks. His initial idea for a secure and durable lock was patented in 1919, at which time, the now globally recognised Abloy trademark was also registered.


Thanks to its revolutionary disc design, the lock was virtually unpickable. This led to Abloy becoming the market leader in 1930’s Finland and gaining momentum on a global scale, becoming the locking choice for some of the world’s most important buildings.

The 1960’s and 1970’s saw the integration of electromechanical technology into Henrickkson’s revolutionary mechanical lock and Abloy maintained its position as market leader during the rapid technological advancement of the following decades.

In 1994, Abloy merged with ASSA to form the ASSA ABLOY group. In the last decade, Abloy has developed game-changing access control systems such as PROTEC2 CLIQ™ and CLIQ Connect™, maximising security yet reducing the number of keys required.

Abloy’s range of products encompasses mechanical and electric locks, as well as access control systems for applications including Utilities, Telecoms and Banking. Its innovative locking solutions can be found securing some of the world’s most iconic landmarks from museums and sporting venues to hospitals, airports and government buildings.

Abloy continues to invest heavily in research and development to ensure that its product range consistently meets the changing needs of consumers, striving to offer not only what customers need, but what they will need in the future. Abloy remains proud of its roots and history, with each product maintaining Henriksson’s Finnish values of reliability, resilience and durability.

For further information on products and services available from Abloy UK call 01902 364 500, email marketing@abloy.co.uk, or visit www.abloy.co.uk





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Monday, 14 August 2017

dormakaba Releases the First Combined Offering Overview Brochure


dormakaba has launched a combined Products and Market Sectors brochure to showcase its comprehensive product portfolio. 

The new catalogue outlines the complete range of products and services available within security and access control for buildings, allowing customers the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the full range of solutions available.

The first section has been divided into product categories including: mechanical key systems, door hardware, electronic access and data, interior glass systems, lodging systems, entrance systems and safe locks. This ensures customers have a quick and easy reference guide.


The last section has market sector categories that recommend fit for purpose products depending upon application. These include education, healthcare, airports, retail, rail, banking and finance, utilities and telecoms, hospitality and leisure, government and MoD, as well as manufacturing.

In addition, the new brochure includes an overview of the ever-expanding digital presence of dormakaba within the market. One area of focus is the dormakaba 360° City app, which allows users to take a virtual tour of the company’s extensive portfolio with in-situ images and detailed product information

The brochure release is the first visual consolidation of dormakaba’s products since the merger of DORMA and Kaba in 2015. The combination of technological expertise, knowledge and product range ensures customers benefit from a single source of supply for building security and access solutions and the highest levels of support and service.



Jenna Higgs, Marketing Manager at dormakaba said:

“In one practical brochure, customers will have access to the very best that dormakaba has to offer. We pride ourselves on our knowledge and capability, combined with a strong commitment to service and support. We hope both existing and new customers find the new brochure a valuable resource.”


To get your copy of dormakaba’s new Products and Market Sectors brochure, please download at www.dormakaba.com or contact marketing.gb@dormakaba.com to obtain your free copy.




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Sunday, 13 August 2017

All eyes on Impressive Modern Classics line-up for September Sale

Complete with factory-fitted Votex body kit, the 1988 VW Golf GTi
has a sale estimate of £7,000 - £9,000.

All eyes are on the growing list of modern classics set to go under the hammer at the Classic Car Auctions September Sale as market demand increases for eighties and nineties performance cars. 

Fast Fords, BMWs, and performance Audis are joined by Peugeot and VW hot hatches in an impressive line-up for the sale at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre on 23rd September.

With recent price records being set for eighties and nineties performance cars, examples such as the 1984 Peugeot 205 GTI and the 1988 VW Golf GTi Votex up for auction at the September Sale will be watched closely.

The Peugeot hot hatch on offer is the 1.6 litre predecessor to the 1.9 GTI sold recently at auction for almost £38,000. With an estimate of £14,000 to £18,000 and just 30,000 miles on the clock the Peugeot is sure generate excitement in the sale room.

A barely used 1991 E30 BMW 316i Lux is up for auction at the September
Sale with only 2,245 miles on the clock.

The GTI’s little brother, the 205 Rallye also makes an appearance in the lot list. The 1300cc version was developed by Peugeot specifically for rallying and this 1989 road-going version is a lightweight flyer powered by a 102 bhp engine and packs so much excitement into the driving experience that Top Gear’s Chris Harris has declared that it’s more fun than a Porsche 911R! The Peugeot 205 Rallye is gaining rapidly in popularity among collectors and is estimated at £10,000 - £12,000.

The Peugeot’s main hot-hatch rival in the eighties was the VW Golf GTi and this model is sure to rise in popularity in tandem with the 205. Classic Car Auctions has listed a superb example complete with a rare factory-fitted Votex body kit. A multi show-winning car with an extensive history and just 44,000 miles on the odometer, the iconic Golf is estimated at £7,000 - £9,000.

Another car that catches the eye is a 1991 Diamond Black BMW 316i Lux which, despite being 26 years old, has only covered 2,245 miles and accordingly is in great condition. This little used modern classic is also a lucky member of the E30 family of BMWs which have become extremely popular with enthusiasts in recent years. Family-owned and barely used, the BMW is estimated at £12,000 to £15,000.

The ultimate ‘Rocketship’ estate, the V10-engined BMW M5 Touring
is estimated at £18,000 - £22,000.

Estate cars, up until the nineties, were hardly the stuff of boyhood dreams until BMW and Audi decided to combine practicality with supercar performance and produced rocketships such as the Audi RS6 Avant and the BMW M5 Touring. 

Two of these powerful estate cars will go under the hammer at the September Sale with the 450 bhp Audi estimated at £8,000 - £10,000, and the even more powerful and rare 507 bhp BMW estimated at £18,000 - £22,000. Only 222 UK right-hand drive BMW M5 Touring’s were produced, so this E61, five-litre V10 is expected to draw a lot of attention from bidders.

“There is a rising market in certain types of modern classics and there are a number of reasons for this,” says Gary Dunne, Sales Manager of Classic Car Auctions. “A connection with motor sport helps, which is the case with the Peugeot 205 GTIs, and a lot of people who were growing up when these cars first came out are now in a position to afford the car of their dreams. There’s also a rarity factor as a lot of these cars have not survived since the eighties.”

The ultimate Ford Capri, this 1897 Brooklands 280 is a fine example
of the iconic eighties dream machine.

Fast Fords certainly fall into this category and a 1992 Sierra Sapphire RS Cosworth 4x4, an unmolested, low mileage, road-going version of Ford’s last effort to homologate a Sierra to compete in the World Rally Championship, is for sale with an estimate of £25,000 - £30,000. The Sierra is joined by an iconic Ford Capri 280 Brooklands from 1987 with an estimate of between £23,000 and £26,000.

The “Fast & Furious” film franchise that did so much to influence the market for Japanese performance cars in recent times is still much in evidence and a desirable right-hand drive 1997 Honda NSX manual makes an almost obligatory appearance on the lot list with an estimate of £40,000 to £45,000. Alongside it is a rally-inspired 1991 Toyota Celica GT4 Carlos Sainz special, one of only 5,000 manufactured and with a sale estimate of £10,000 to £12,000.

The September Sale takes place at Classic Car Auctions’ regular venue at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre on Saturday, 23rd September.

To see the latest line-up of cars listed for the  September sale please visit: www.classiccarauctions.co.uk.

Online Bidder Registration – www.proxibid.com

Twitter – @classiccarauc

Facebook – www.facebook.com/classiccarauc




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Saturday, 12 August 2017

Importance of Training and Compliance reinforced by dhf following Essati scandal

dhf’s publication
 ‘Safety of your new Automated Garage Door’

dhf (Door & Hardware Federation) is reinforcing the importance of training, in maintaining standards and compliance with regards to the safe installation and on-going maintenance of domestic garage doors. 

 The trade association’s advice follows a further report of rogue activity by garage door company, Essati. A press article published in the Crusader section of The Express on 31 July, recounts the woes of consumer, Charlie Ricketts, who, after spending almost £800 for a roller garage door and extended guarantee, has been left out of pocket when the garage door broke and the repairer removed it, but then didn’t return.

Nick Perkins,
dhf’s training officer
It’s not the first time that Essati have made headlines for all the wrong reasons. In December 2016, dhf were called upon by the BBC’s Watchdog programme for expert advice when it turned the spotlight on dodgy domestic garage doors. dhf’s technical expert, Nick Perkins, highlighted the safety issues caused by the incorrect installation of garage doors, providing on-air commentary during the secret filming of the installation of an ill-fitting garage door. 

 In the programme, Watchdog exposed one company that fitted a garage door which subsequently fell, injuring the person who was walking into the garage. The garage door company based in Chelmsford, had variously traded under the Essati, Vecelli and Roman company names but had the same family members involved. Guarantees issued had subsequently proved worthless following the company name changes.

dhf, which was founded in 1897, represents the leading manufacturers and installers of garage doors in the UK, and works closely with trading standards to ensure a consistent approach to best practice across the industry. Members of its garage door group are fully aware of their responsibilities and the need to meet legal requirements with regards to safe installation and maintenance.

Chief Executive, Bob Perry, explains:
“Each and every member of dhf’s garage door group must participate in its one-day garage door safety diploma training course as part of the Code of Conduct. It is specifically aimed at owners, managers and supervisors who are responsible for legal compliance within their domestic garage door companies.
“In addition, prospective members must also undergo an audit from one of our consultants for assessment, before membership is confirmed. We would urge all consumers to beware of rogue traders and eliminate the possibility of enlisting a company of precarious reputation, by choosing a dhf member with confidence.”

dhf’s consumer leaflet ‘Safety of your new Automated Garage Door’ can be downloaded directly from the dhf website: www.dhfonline.org.uk/publications 



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Friday, 11 August 2017

Biggest Crime Rise in a Decade shows no sign of abating



Jacksons Fencing comments on the need for adequate perimeter security. Police recorded crime in England and Wales has risen by a worrying 10% in the last year, including an 18% surge in violent crime, according to the latest survey by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). 

The crime rate itself has risen from 3% in 2015, to 8% in 2016, and now 10% this year. What could be exacerbating this increase is the drop in police numbers, a total of 20,592 officers have been cut since 2010. 

Crime numbers are expected to continue rising while the amount of police on our streets decrease at such an alarming rate, posing genuine concerns for safety and protection among businesses and individuals.

With reduced police numbers in the face of rising crime, it could be prudent for individuals and companies to consider re-evaluating their property’s security measures to ensure they are safe and protected. 


Cris Francis, Head of Commercial Sales at Jacksons Fencing comments: 
“It is always prudent to take security seriously, even more so in times of rising crime. The latest figures reported by the ONS paint a worrying picture and should not be taken lightly. Taking the time to properly assess your overall security including perimeters and access control followed by taking the appropriate steps with quality security products, should eliminate any need for worry. With the use of security measures such as fencing and gates, people can be safe in the knowledge that they and their property are adequately protected.”
Taking basic steps to secure your property’s perimeter can help assuage any security concerns. Jacksons Fencing designs and manufactures high quality perimeter security fencing and access control solutions in the UK. Their team of technical and engineering experts are readily available to provide support to the most complex and challenging projects.

For more information visit www.jacksons-fencing.co.uk or contact security@jacksons-fencing.co.uk




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Thursday, 10 August 2017

Codelocks opens the door to new smart lock - controlling locks has never been so convenient



Following the success of its first smart lock last year, Codelocks have announced a new addition to the range, the CL5520. 

Offering flexibility and convenience, the CL5520 utilises wireless technology giving users the ability to connect remotely and choose between pushbutton code, smart card or smartphone access.

The addition of a euro profile mortice sash lock with deadbolt and latch bolt features allows building managers to prevent code or card entry when necessary, offering increased security and control. The inside lever handle retracts the deadbolt and latch bolt preventing accidental lock in.

Using advanced programming capabilities, building managers can operate the CL5520 lock remotely via a Bluetooth compatible smartphone by downloading the K3 Connect App, update basic settings and generate multiple, date and time sensitive codes. The lock can also be set in code-free mode at fixed times of the day for ease of access.

Entry can be tightly controlled by issuing NetCodes, which are generated and sent via email and SMS. These codes can be created with a specific start time and date which will automatically expire after the set duration. Furthermore, audit trails allow building managers to keep track of when and where the lock was accessed, with full audit trail data available to download at any time.

“IoT innovations have transformed the end-user experience for those using wireless smart locks,” said Colin Campbell, Sales Director at Codelocks. “Our smart lock range enables better access control within buildings, while significantly reducing the burden on time for ongoing management tasks.

“There is no denying the customer need for flexibility and our smart locks with a range of access methods are able to offer just that. The combination of smart technology with wireless access, alongside traditional keypad and card access options suits many possible scenarios for many types of users. This includes building managers, school care takers and health service providers, all who demand security and greater levels of control from digital door locks.”

The lock and outside lever functions the same as the CL5510 lock, making it suitable for buildings and environments which require access control for large volumes of traffic. The keyless entry makes access control easier than ever before, eliminating the security issues that arise with lost keys and the need for key management.

For more information on the new CL5520 visit: www.codelocks.co.uk





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Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Adapting to the ever changing and ever demanding construction industry


The spotlight turns to KCC Architectural as they continue to ease the workload for architects and contractors across the country with their latest innovation.

Media surrounding the construction industry is constantly buzzing with information and news on Building Information Modelling or BIM, as most of us know it. We are all familiar with how important it is and understand at this point that it is the future of how buildings are going to be planned, designed, built, and managed.

In 2016 KCC Architectural realised that their traditional hardware catalogue was in need of updating, as there had been so many product additions and enhancements since the last publication. Given the constant changes in the construction industry, KCC understood that the world was a very different place since the last publication.

Steve Young, project development director for KCC said: 
“We knew that producing a new and updated product binder simply wasn’t good enough. Put simply, we could see four major factors had changed the landscape as we knew it, and we had to adapt our business to meet these requirements.”


The changes Steve was referring to are not specific to KCC, but relevant to the entire construction industry. One such requirement was CE Marking. In 2011, CE Marking became mandatory for construction products covered by harmonised European Standards (hENs). It became a necessity for manufacturers like KCC to make a Declaration of Performance (DoP) for the product and where appropriate  affix the CE Mark..

The second factor that had a huge impact on the construction industry, was the introduction of Irish Amended Building Regulations 2014 (BC(A)R). With a stringent inspection and certification process, the possibility of ‘passing the buck’ or slacking on quality adherence or best practice simply wasn’t possible.. This presented the need for comprehensive product performance statements and test evidence to allow buildings to be certified and occupied.

BIM, quite obviously, became another major factor. The UK Government mandate that came into effect in 2016, insists that all public government projects must be BIM Level 2 compliant by the end of 2016. The growing need to have products available as 3D objects, complete with performance data to use in a 3D Model, became a necessity for KCC to respond to their clients needs.

Steve saw KCC survive the recession and says:
“We have emerged from the economic recession and we see the construction industry is very different to what existed in 2008. We all have less time, less resources and less patience. As a company we already offer a ‘one stop shop’ solution to our customers and clients by taking away the need to deal with several suppliers. We wanted to take this one step further and develop a system that would save our clients time, energy and effort – so we developed Datastore.”

KCC built Datastore in response to their clients needs and a notable gap in the marketplace. To put it mildly, Datastore is an architect or building contractors dream! An enormous piece of work, in the guise of a vast database of every single component KCC provide, the information is publishable as concise yet comprehensive individual datasheets at the click of a button.

KCC haven’t stopped there however – The Datastore system also delivers project specific catalogues (aka ‘Technical Submittals’) detailing every item KCC are or providing to a particular project, and include images, performance characteristics, dimensions, options, finishes, test evidence, and warranty information.

Speaking excitedly about his involvement in the development of Datastore, Steve says: 
“These technical submittals link directly to our scheduling systems to allow us create project specific catalogues within minutes and it allows us the flexibility to make revisions  quickly where necessary. We weren’t content to stop there however, and we went on to develop the system further to be able to produce submittals with 100% of our back up evidence - every test certificate, every fire test report. We can provide the  submittal in hard or soft copy or for those that are working within BIM models, we can export the data in a variety of formats”.

It seems that this is just the start of KCC’s plans as they are now building a library of 3D Revit Models. These and other major enhancements will be released later in the year.


www.kccarchitectural.com



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Tuesday, 8 August 2017

VITECTOR OPTOEDGE Optical Sensing Edge Now available with indicator LEDs

Safety edge light source – Now with condition-indicator LED

The VITECTOR unit of FRABA has announced an addition to its popular OPTOEDGE sensing edge system for automatic doors and gates. The sensors are now available with an indication LED that displays the operational status of the system.

“The OPTOEDGE system has been very popular with the manufacturers and owners of large industrial doors and gates, providing a highly reliable way of avoiding harmful collisions between these doors and people or objects in their path.” reports Tobias Thiesmann, Product Manager for VITECTOR.

“With the new versions of OPTOEDGE, door owners will be able to determine if everything is working properly by simply checking the indicator LED. The indicator LED will also make it easier for technicians to install new systems.”

Advanced electronics in the new OPTOEDGE components minimize energy requirements and adjust the intensity of the IR light source to match local requirements.

OPTOEDGE systems are suitable for edges between 0.5 and 10 metres. The sensors are sealed against moisture and dust to IP68 and have a temperature range of -20°C to 75°C (-4°F to 167°F).

VITECTOR is a leading manufacturer of safety systems for the door and gate market in Europe, the USA and around the world.

The VITECTOR product portfolio includes optical and pneumatic sensing edges, bumpers, and photo-eye sensors that meet international standards for safety devices. These products are used in industrial doors, bus and train doors, and production machinery.

GfA UK Ltd is a leading supplier of door drive and control equipment to the UK industrial door market. With over 30 years’ experience, who pride themselves on delivering a market-leading product range and technical advice and service that’s second to none.

For more details about the Vitector OPTOEDGE Optical Sensing Edge for automatic doors and gates contact GfA UK Ltd on 01926 452452.





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Monday, 7 August 2017

SWA member supplies doors and screens for hotel winter garden


The phased refurbishment of both private rooms and the elegant public spaces of a Manchester hotel has been successfully completed with a member of the Steel Window Association, The Cotswold Casements Company, playing a pivotal role in the supply and installation of doors and screens.

Located near the centre of the city, The Palace Hotel has now been renamed The Principal Manchester following a £20m refurbishment and redevelopment with Michaelis Boyd Associates the architectural practice responsible for leading the design work.

As the specialist steel window package contractor for the project, Moreton-in-Marsh-based, Cotswold Casements, began by tackling the restaurant and winter garden where highly experienced operatives installed large screens as well as double and single doors to divide what was once the trading hall of a major insurance company. Then, in the bedrooms, they installed single doors which link into the en-suite bathrooms.

The winter garden is a major feature of the hotel’s entertainment spaces, sitting alongside The Refuge bar and restaurant which occupy the corner of the building on Oxford Road and Whitworth Street West. In the words of the hotel’s management, “The winter garden is housed inside a glass atrium cascading with natural sunlight. In contrast to the relaxed restaurant, the airy space will retain a sense of elegance as it plays host to afternoon teas.”

The Senior Architect on the project for Michaelis Boyd, Luke Rowett, commented: 
“The doors in the majority of the bedrooms, which Cotswold Casements has supplied, were chosen primarily to allow more play of light between the two spaces. The glazed steel framed doors are more permeable and interesting than a solid door while the obscure glazing still provides privacy.
“The major work though involving Cotswold Casements – who we have used on other projects in the past – involved the food and beverages area which is an enormous space of some 10,000 square feet, centred on the old trading hall. The initial thought was on how to make it feel there are specific purposes to different parts. We didn’t want to do this with solid walls or by compartmentalising it because the essence to the old trading hall was to keep the scale and as many original features as possible as well as the view through. Therefore, we used the steel framed screens to create glazed walls which were not full height – so that people can see through the space and walk between them.
“This has created five distinct spaces; the restaurant at the rear; the bar which you enter from the street outside; the winter garden which is located centrally beneath a very large roof light – having trees like an orangery; then the den which can be rented for private functions. Finally, there is a long narrow “street” which offers space for people to sit and work on their laptops or make a phone call. Importantly, what the glazing has allowed us to do is maintain views through this space and a feeling of openness which respects the history of the Refuge Insurance Company building.”

For the winter garden Cotswold Casements produced a total of 57 fixed screens together with three pairs of double doors and two single doors all fabricated using the classic W20 steel sections, finished in RAL 9004 Matt and glazed with 4mm clear toughened safety glass. Some of the screens featured ‘satin nova’ obscure glass to offer privacy.

Steel framed windows and screens are ideally suited to the creation and refurbishment of spaces like winter gardens, as the slim sight-lines enhance the feeling of openness and maximise daylight transmission. Steel frames also offer excellent strength in terms of spanning capability and resistance to forced entry.

The bathroom doors within the 20 guest suites were also produced using W20 steel sections in the same polyester powder coat finish, but they were glazed with 4 mm thick Reeded toughened glass.

For further information on the Steel Window Association, please visit www.steel-window-association.co.uk or call 020 8543 2841.


Photo credit – Luke White

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Sunday, 6 August 2017

Jamiroquai’s Cosmic Girl Lamborghini goes for sale on Auto Trader


Auto Trader has been at the heart of car buying and selling for forty years, but for the very first time in its history, the UK’s largest marketplace for new and used cars advertises a car that’s from another galaxy.

A Lamborghini Diablo made famous for featuring in Jamiroquai’s nineties hit single, Cosmic Girl, went for sale on Auto Trader this week, and as the name ‘Diablo’ suggests, it’s one hell of a car.

Watch the video to hear the single and see the car in action.



The viola-metallic coloured Lamborghini – priced at £549,995 and one of only 16 right-hand-drive models – was one of two identical cars that featured in the 1996 music video. The first was written-off following a crash on the video set and had to be replaced. 

The car currently advertised on Auto Trader, replaced the damaged Diablo, but also had an unfortunate incident of its own. During the filming a precision camera fell from a height, knocking out the car’s windscreen, but famously Jay Kay decided to drive the car for the remainder of the filming without any front windscreen protection.


Auto Trader Car’s Editor, Andy Pringle, said: 
“You’ll often find rare, exotic and famous cars on Auto Trader, but it’s not every day you’ll find one from hyperspace.
“One of three classic supercars used in the Cosmic Girl video - it’s the only one that the ‘Space Cowboy’ actually owned - so although it might price-out most music fans at over half a million pounds - there could be a love affair reunited on the cards if Jay Kay’s browsing Auto Trader this week.”


Amari Supercars based in Preston, who are selling the car through Auto Trader, claim to be the only car dealership to have owned the car, having been the first to sell the car to Jamiroquai in 1996. Since then the car has had two owners, but returned to Amari Supercars recently after spending some time in Germany under the ownership of a Lamborghini collector.


www.amarisupercars.com


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Saturday, 5 August 2017

Revealed: The Formula to the Perfect Bacon Butty

-3 slices of smoked bacon, white bread roll and brown sauce-

There are few things more British than the bacon butty, but the perfect sandwich and its composition have always been highly contested – however new research has finally uncovered the formula to the greatest British bacon butty.

Britons’ ideal sandwich is made of three slices of smoked bacon on a white bread roll with brown sauce, according to a survey of 2,014 UK tradespeople run in conjunction with IronmongeryDirect’s nationwide hunt for “Britain’s Best Bacon Butty”.

44% of respondents said their sandwich would be complete with a squeeze of brown sauce compared to 36% who preferred ketchup. 11% selected their sandwich without sauce, while 4% admitted to choosing BBQ sauce.

A quarter of Brits (24%) like their bread toasted when constructing their perfect sandwich, while 43% butter their bread before filling their sandwich.

What people call the bacon sandwich is also a matter of question divided by region. Those in the South commonly called their sandwich a bacon bap or roll, those in the midlands opt for cob, while those in the North West say barm.

Scottish residents are also known to call their bacon butty a bridie, buttery or rowie, with the research revealing they prefer sliced white bread (53%) rather than a roll (48%).

Wayne Lysaght-Mason, managing director of IronmongeryDirect, said: “We all agree that a bacon butty is a great way to start the day, however what we put in it is always up for debate. Reviewing the findings of our research proves how passionate we are about the great British breakfast staple, and how constructing it is a fine art.”


For more information, visit www.IronmongeryDirect.co.uk 




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