Monday, 23 October 2017

Nine Jewers Swift Doors Ensure Integrity of New Elizabeth Line OMC Depot


Specialist industrial door manufacturer, Jewers Doors, has installed eight of its latest Swift- SEW and two smaller Swift horizontal bi-folding doors at Transport for London (TfL)’s new Operations, Maintenance and Control (OMC) depot for the Elizabeth line at Old Oak Common, West London. 

This new state-of-the-art 9-track, train maintenance building is part of the £142 million contract awarded to Taylor Woodrow and will accommodate 33 trains while routine maintenance is carried out.

Keith Fulton, Associate Architect with RPS Consulting Services Limited, the Lead Designer for the new OMC depot commented, 
“In addition to securing the building, there were a range of practical issues that were critical in the design of these doors. The major factor was accommodating live overhead electrification lines (OLE) which meant vertical opening doors would have been impractical.
“These were eight extremely large openings so effective thermal and acoustic insulation was important for the doors to ensure compliance with TfL’s strict environmental requirements.”

Each door is 4 metres wide and 6.6 metres high, comprising four highly insulated, single piece composite panels, with two leaves folding to each side when open. An 850mm x 760mm cut-out in the door allows an OLE cable to pass through the closed door. 

The cut-out is lined with 9mm thick safety matting tested to 30kVA to prevent bird entry, and for additional safety, the door is earthed back to the structure with suitably rated earth bonding braids.

For visibility when closed, each door panel incorporates a 600 x 600mm argon filled, toughened glass, double glazed vision panel, and is fitted with multi-wall rubber seals to all edges to reduce water, air and dust ingress. 

To meet the environmental criteria, panels are injected with CFC-free polyurethane foam providing a thermal efficiency U-value of 1.1W/m2/°C and noise reduction of 25dB. To eliminate the spread of fire and to provide great rigidity and strength, panels incorporate an internal steel frame to all edges.

The doors are operated by a powerful, centrally mounted SEW drive unit, combined with a purpose designed control panel incorporating inverter control for smooth starts and stops. 

 The system takes less than eight seconds to full open and close, and safety is ensured with full height pressure sensitive safety edges and photocell beams to create a safe zone around the door during operation. 

 In addition to the drive unit holding the door in the closed position, a pair of automatic solenoid floor bolts provide additional security, and prevent wind-damage. In the event of power failure, a low-level disengage handle enables the doors to be opened quickly by hand from ground level.

Fulton added, “This is a high-profile flagship project and as Jewers are a tried and tested company in the rail sector, we were confident that the doors would be of the highest quality, fully meet the spec and provide reliable service for many years to come.” 

About Jewers Doors

Established in 1983 and still a family run business, Jewers Doors is a world-leading supplier of industrial doors operating from a state-of-the-art facility in the heart of Bedfordshire. 

With over 50 highly skilled and experienced staff, the core of the business is design, manufacture, installation and repair of industrial door solutions across all industrial sectors. 

The Phoenix range of doors are designed for medium to large industrial applications, while the Esavian range is recognised as one of the world’s leading range of aircraft hanger doors. 

Incorporating the very latest concepts and technologies, Jewers Doors have been installed not only in the UK, but also throughout the world including Europe, Middle and Far East and New Zealand. 

For more information visit www.jewersdoors.co.uk



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Sunday, 22 October 2017

Lotus Elise Cup 260: Sports Car Alchemy


Rare and race-bred, the extreme limited-edition Lotus Elise Cup 260 packs the company’s passion for motorsport engineering into one of the most accomplished cars it has ever produced. 

Taking what’s widely regarded as the benchmark for intuitive handling and driver involvement, Lotus has integrated some of the latest design philosophies from high-performance stablemates including the Exige Cup 380, and the mighty Evora GT430, as well as building upon the track and competition only Elise Race 250.

Setting a standard for outright track pace and low lap times, this ultimate Elise has been unveiled as the company prepares for the 70th anniversary of when founder Colin Chapman built his first car in 1948. Referencing Lotus’ motorsport successes, the new Elise Cup 260 has a laurel wreath decal on the left buttress and the Union Jack on both the rear wing end plates together with the option of finishing the car in iconic Championship Gold.

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO, Group Lotus plc said, 
“Our philosophy for producing extraordinary vehicles is world famous, but the new Elise Cup 260 goes beyond what many believed possible from our smallest car. It is directly developed from the Elise race cars that are competing in series around the world, giving the ultimate Elise experience on the road. More power, motorsport components and the introduction of aerodynamics unheard of in its class make driving this Elise an unrivalled experience.”

Clive Chapman, son of Lotus founder Colin Chapman and Director of Classic Team Lotus, said, 
“Each and every one of the sports cars produced by Group Lotus today carries the true spirit of Lotus, laid down by my father nearly 70 years ago. I am extremely proud that his legacy and achievements are being acknowledged and celebrated in this iconic version of the Elise.”


Taking a blend of exotic and lightweight materials to produce a truly noble sports car, the Elise Cup 260 is considerably greater than the sum of its parts. Building on the production Elise Cup 250 released earlier this year, and drawing heavily on the development the motorsport Elise Race 250, the Elise Cup 260’s performance is formed through a first-class combination of intelligent engineering and advanced aerodynamics as well as a boost in engine performance. 

Not only the lightest ever Elise Cup, it’s also the heaviest at speed – with the car’s design and aero configuration generating up to 180 kg of downforce at 151 mph. 

Key to this exceptionally high level of downforce are the new louvred front wheel-arch vents, lightweight carbon fibre front splitter and wide high mounted rear wing. With a no-holds-barred approach, the Elise Cup 260 includes nearly all of the lightweight Elise Cup options as standard, ranging from the sill covers, roll hoop cover, front access panel and engine cover which are all in carbon to the two-piece brake discs. 

With a race chassis developed by Lotus Motorsport, two way adjustable Nitron dampers – fitted to an Elise for the first time, a polycarbonate backlight glass and hand-trimmed interior with bespoke detailing, the Elise Cup 260 will earn its reputation as the ultimate Elise.

Lotus Elise Cup 260 – race proven

Lotus’ coveted Elise and Exige Cup versions represent a model’s most concentrated iteration – conceived, designed and constructed using the company’s unique sports car DNA – each with the express aim of providing an unrivalled driving experience on the road as well as the track.

Delivering big gains from focused development, the new Elise Cup 260 provides a sparkling blend of purpose with purity at the top of the Elise line up. With 250 hp from the supercharged engine, designed to make the most of the Elise’s exceptionally stiff extruded and bonded aluminium chassis, it endows the Elise Cup 260 phenomenal straight-line speed, agile handling and, with the significant downforce available and the wider, road-legal motorsport tyres, harder and faster cornering. 

These elements combine to deliver a lap of the Hethel track in just 1 minute 32 seconds, 2.5 seconds faster than the Elise Cup 250.

The Elise Cup 260 continues the new model’s visual styling, first introduced on the Elise Sport and Sprint models, but incorporates the aero lessons learnt from Lotus’ latest models, including the Evora GT 430. This includes louvred front wheel arch vents to reduce lift, and a new oversize motorsport-derived rear wing, developed from the Lotus 3-Eleven. 


Working with the redesigned lightweight front clam panel, with wider apertures, carbon front splitter and the rear diffuser, these generate up to 180 kg of downforce at the car’s top speed of 151mph. This is a 44% gain on the already impressive Elise Cup 250, allowing greater grip levels and higher cornering speeds.

As befitting the marque which was first to build and run a carbon fibre F1 car, the Elise Cup 260 comes with lightweight carbon fibre and composite components as standard. These include the large rear wing, the front access panel which saves 1.1kg, the engine cover saving 3.3kg, the roll hoop cover, 0.7kg and the side sill covers, 0.8kg. Ultra-efficient and lightweight two-piece brake discs save a further 4 kg. 

 Standard lightweight parts carried over from the Elise Cup 250 include Lotus’ beautifully finished lightweight carbon race seats, weighing 6 kg each, a Lithium-Ion battery, saving 9 kg, lightweight forged alloy wheels and a polycarbonate rear screen. Collectively the Elise Cup 260 is 15 kg lighter than the Elise Cup 250, weighing in at just 902 kg (unladen) and 862 kg in the lightest possible dry configuration.

The all-alloy, chargecooled supercharged 1.8-litre engine has undergone development, with new induction components and revised calibration. Delivering 250 hp and 255 Nm of torque it’s mated to a six-speed manual gearbox with sports ratios. 

The change to the induction system including a race derived performance air filter and the Elise’s tuned exhaust note means that the Elise Cup 260 retains the crown for best-sounding forced-induction four-cylinder on the market. Overall, the fall in mass and rise in power boosts acceleration, with 0-60 mph dispatched in 3.8 seconds and a power to weight ratio of 290 hp / tonne (dry). Emissions figures are also impressive, at 175 g / km CO2.

Providing its trademark handling and steering feel, the Elise Cup 260 features fully independent double wishbone suspension with an adjustable front anti-roll bar, with Nitron coaxial coil springs and, for the first time on an Elise, adjustable Nitron high-performance dampers. With 24 settings for rebound and compression, the dampers allow owners to perfectly dial-in the car’s setup to their preference.

As standard, the Elise Cup 260 comes with ultra-lightweight motorsport forged alloy wheels (16-inch at the front and 17-inch at the rear) and are fitted with Yokohama Advan Neova AD08R tyres (205/45 R16 front & 235/40 R17 rear) which have been specifically developed for high performance track and road use. 10 mm wider front and rear than the tyres fitted to the Elise Cup 250, they provide the mechanical grip necessary to exploit the power and downforce the car generates. Braking is provided by AP Racing twin-piston front calipers and Brembo at the rear, which are perfectly matched to the lightweight two-piece brake discs.

The Elise Cup 260’s interior bears testament to the car’s handbuilt nature, with beautifully detailed components. Centre of attention is the detailed, manual gearbox’s open gate mechanism, which is both technically and aesthetically appealing. Developed by Lotus, it provides precise and direct gear changes for quicker shifting.

The finish of Lotus’ in-house manufactured carbon race seats, trimmed in black Alcantara® with contrast red or yellow stitching, is echoed by the door panels and face-level vents. Bodywork keyed colour inserts for the sports seats, transmission console, HVAC surround and window switches are both complemented by the cabin’s exposed aluminium and carbon fibre elements including a new carbon fibre instrument binnacle cover.

Interior options include an Alcantara® trimmed steering wheel and sill covers, leather or tartan trim packs for seats or door panels. Other options, including an in-car entertainment system, including iPod® connectivity and Bluetooth® functionality, can all be selected when ordering.

Summing up the new Lotus, Jean-Marc Gales said,
 
“As we near the 70th anniversary of the inception of Colin Chapman’s engineering legacy, it’s only right that we build the very best cars as special editions, and the Elise Cup 260 is certainly worthy of that accolade. Our special editions have always proved extremely popular with our customers around the world, and we know they value the extensive development work that goes into each one. With just 30 examples to be built, there’s no doubt that the Elise Cup 260 is a future classic.”
The car shown is painted in Championship Gold to commemorate the forthcoming 70th Anniversary of Lotus. This colour is available across the whole Lotus range through the Lotus Exclusive programme, from November 2017 onwards.

To find out more about Lotus Elise Cup 260: www.lotuscars.com.



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Saturday, 21 October 2017

Assa Abloy Access Control Strengthens Team with Two Key Appointments


ASSA ABLOY Access Control, has strengthened its team by appointing a new Regional Sales Manager and Business Development Executive. 

In his new role as Regional Sales Manager, David Smyth will be responsible for identifying and qualifying new sales channels, developing and integrating new OEM partners, providing support to systems integrators as well as strengthening relationships with existing customers.

David was appointed as a Technical Engineer in October 2016, responsible for managing technical enquiries and resolving issues for customers, whether over the phone or by a site visit. He also led training courses highlighting best practice and addressing common industry challenges for the division’s extensive OEM network and system integrator database.

“I am thrilled to have been recognised for my work and promoted within this dynamic and forward-thinking organisation,” said David.
“I am looking forward to taking on new responsibilities as part of the sales team and applying my expertise at a higher level. ASSA ABLOY Access Control has established itself as a global leader in supplying innovative access control technology, and it’s great to be a part of that.”

The second key appointment is Claire Jones as Business Development Executive, who will be supporting and further developing relationships with the division’s current partners.

Claire previously worked as a Marketing Assistant for ASSA ABLOY for more than four years before her promotion, helping deliver the group’s marketing activities and implement marketing strategy.

Claire adds: “I’m looking forward to building and strengthening relationships with new and existing customers and showcasing the excellent selection of innovative products we have available.”

Gareth Ellams, Managing Director at ASSA ABLOY Access Control, said:
“Innovation is at the heart of our organisation, and we are always quick to reward those who work hard and stand out. With that in mind, we are delighted to promote David and Claire, who I’m sure will continue to perform brilliantly in their new roles, and help drive this company forward.” 

For further information on ASSA ABLOY Access Control, please click here.




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Friday, 20 October 2017

Comelit’s ViP entry system adds security and style to developments in Manchester


IP-based ViP video entry systems from Comelit have been used to enhance security and convenience at three prestigious residential developments in Manchester.

All three developments – by leading Manchester-based real estate company Renaker Build Ltd – benefit from Comelit’s ViP network systems using bespoke stainless steel door panels and Multi-User Gateways. These allow residents to operate the system by answering audio and video calls from the external unit via the building’s LAN, using their smartphones or tablets.

At One Regent in Water Street, situated in a riverside setting in the historic Castlefield district of Manchester, the scheme consists of a 26-storey apartment building with 301 apartments and six townhouses. Three bespoke stainless steel audio door panels – installed by Signal Electronic Systems and featuring a digital call facility, dedicated concierge button and integrated Simplekey proximity access control readers – provide direct calling to residents on their smartphones or tablets.

Using Comelit’s Multi-User Gateway, door panels transmit calls via SIP trunks over the landlord’s broadband connection. A porter switchboard allows the concierge to take calls from all three entrances and contact any of the residents as required. The concierge can also handle calls from three audio help points located in the common areas of the building. A further 19 Simplekey readers are installed throughout for resident access, while a pair of RF Simplekey readers provide access to the residents’ car park.

At Greengate – which comprises 497 luxurious apartments in two towers at a riverside location bordering Salford and Manchester – six panels similar to those at Water Street have been installed by Aerial Wired Systems (TV) Ltd, with the addition of two direct call buttons. This means that any entrance panel can call through to any apartment in either tower, without any confusion about the numbering system. Here again, the panels can call through to residents’ devices using the Multi-User Gateway. A total of 26 Simplekey readers provide proximity access control and a remote RF reader is installed at the vehicle entrance.

The third development is Wilburn Basin, again located between Salford and Manchester around the historic River Irwell basin. Here there are 491 apartments in four blocks ranging from eight to 21 storeys. The installation, by Aerial Wired Systems (TV) Ltd, features Comelit’s ViP Multi-User Gateway, which enables residents to respond to calls without the need for an internal unit – and four bespoke stainless steel audio digital external panels located at the entrances to the buildings.

“By working with Renaker on these three prestigious projects, we have been able to demonstrate our versatility as a manufacturer, as well as offer significant cost-savings,” said Francesca Boeris, Comelit’s Managing Director. “Installing our multi-user gateway at each site means users can receive audio and video calls from the external unit directly to their smartphone or tablet with the Comelit ViP app, without needing to install an internal unit.” 

Facilities include a gym, cinema, residents’ lounge, meeting rooms, a hotel-style reception lobby and 24/7 concierge. Outside, residents can enjoy landscaped gardens and seating areas around the river basin.

www.comelitgroup.com



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Thursday, 19 October 2017

More Hart’s Speedors in Africa


These two Hart Speedors, the high-speed environmental doors, are the latest to be installed at the Bakhresa Group’s Buguruni flour mill, Dar es Salaam,Tanzania, Africa’s largest flour mill.

The Speedors were installed with internal and external wind bars to cater for wind pressures from both sides of the opening. They are the result of continued successful operation of four Speedors installed in the Kurasini grain intake areas also in Tanzania.
“This is our third visit to this Tanzania and we must thank our friends at Bakhresa for their assistance and cooperation during the installation,” says John Loftus, a member of Hart’s export team.
Africa has also been a very successful export market for Hart in particular at international airports at Julius Nyerere Airport, Tanzania, Harare Airport, Zimbabwe, Bole International Airport, Ethiopia and Casablanca Airport. Hart has also been successful in a variety of commercial projects with more work in the pipeline.

www.hartdoors.com           

T: 0191 214 0404




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Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Facial Recognition App launches to help tackle the challenge of Modern Slavery


With demand outstripping supply in the construction industry, the pressure on recruiters and sub-contractors to employ workers from outside of the UK is greater than ever, meaning that right to work checks have to be more stringent to combat modern slavery.

Credas is a new app which has been created to help those who manage construction recruitment to save time and money and provide peace of mind that their employees and sub-contractors are verified to work in the UK.

The Cardiff-based company uses real-time facial recognition technology to quickly process and verify over 4000 types ID to help construction companies to recruit ethically.

Since the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act in 2015, all companies with an annual turnover of more than £36m must issue a Transparency Statement, detailing what they have done to ensure modern slavery is not present in their business or supply chain.

Earlier this year, a Government report estimated that there are between 10,000 and 13,000 modern slaves in the UK*, and in a 2015 research report by the European Union, construction was second on the list of economic sectors in the EU most prone to labour exploitation.**

Credas’ CEO Rhys David said: 
“Demand is currently outweighing supply in the construction industry, meaning the need for a scalable, quick and temporary workforce sees no sign of waning.
“Consequently, the risk of a forced workforce entering the sector is increased, yet the industry still has a lot do when it comes to tackling modern slavery. It is an industry which relies on sub-contractors, and so is an easy target for traffickers. Due diligence is difficult to undertake, but essential, and construction companies are forced to go through long processes to avoid putting themselves at risk. 
“The main issue for construction companies is ensuring that all employees – regardless of where they are on the supply chain – have been properly verified before stepping on-site. By integrating the right technology and processes early on in recruitment, businesses can ensure they are compliant and that their staff are safe.
“Firms face huge financial and reputational damage if they are found to be breaching modern slavery law. By putting in place facial recognition software and verifying staff documents early on, risk is minimised later down the line.” 

Credas gives project managers and recruitment staff the ability to verify new starters’ Right to Work documents quickly and easily, with a suite of products and services designed to cut the time and cost it takes to onboard staff by using real-time facial recognition.

The Credas verification process consists of three simple steps – a selfie, a photo of the photo ID and a liveness test. Credas does the rest. The liveness tests ensure that the person is present when the verification photo is being taken.

The Credas app is compatible with all mobile devices (iOS and Android), ensuring that the verification process can happen swiftly, safely and at any time that’s convenient to the client and user – even on-site.



**Modern Slavery Report by the Work and Pensions Committee, published April 30th, 2017. https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/work-and-pensions-committee/news-parliament-2015/report-victims-modern-slavery-16-17/



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Tuesday, 17 October 2017

ASSA ABLOY UK opens conversations around fire door safety in the Midlands


More than 60 prominent facilities managers, architects and door hardware installers attended a free event hosted by ASSA ABLOY UK, the global leader in door opening solutions, to discuss fire door safety at West Midlands Fire Service’s headquarters in Birmingham.

The event – ‘It’s Time To Talk About Fire Doors’ – featured talks from Steve Shoker, Fire Safety Officer at West Midlands Fire Service; Dan Cooling, Associate at integrated building design business One Creative; and Ian Humphries, Planning Maintenance Officer at the University of Birmingham.

With fire safety front of mind following the tragic incident at Grenfell Tower this year, the talks discussed the challenges faced by professionals responsible for managing building design, construction and maintenance, offering invaluable insights into how to check fire doors are properly installed and maintained.


Representatives from ASSA ABLOY UK also took to the stage to outline typical issues surrounding fire doors and a best practice guide to specifying door hardware, with opportunities to answer key questions from the audience following these sessions.

The event was run as part of Fire Door Safety Week, organised by the British Woodworking Federation to raise awareness about how third-party certified fire doors can prevent life-changing injuries.

Fred Williams, Service and Repair Manager at ASSA ABLOY UK, said: 
“We were thrilled with the turnout to our event at West Midlands Fire Service. It’s encouraging to see so many professionals engaged with how fire doors should be safely installed, managed and maintained, which will ultimately help save lives.
“We would like to thank West Midlands Fire Service for its support in helping us to highlight such an important issue, as well as the British Woodworking Federation, which ran such a successful Fire Door Safety Week campaign this year. Initiatives such as these are vital for spreading the message about the importance of fire door safety.
“To keep the conversation going we have established a new LinkedIn group –also called ‘It’s Time To Talk About Fire Doors’ – to continue raising awareness, plus help connect followers with experts in this field for advice and support.”

For more information about ASSA ABLOY UK, please visit www.assaabloy.co.uk.




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Monday, 16 October 2017

BigChange technology transforms Customer Service for Complete Shutter Services


Nationwide industrial door specialist Complete Shutter Services has rolled out BigChange’s Mobile Workforce Management Technology across its operation. 

Based out of Sheffield for over 30 years, the company designs, manufactures, installs and services door systems for clients including BP, Shell, The Co-Op, Waterstones and House of Fraser.

The company switched from a manual T-card system to BigChange’s All-in-one, Paperless Cloud based system that combines back-office CRM (Customer Relationship Management), Job Planning and Scheduling and a Mobile App for engineers and real-time tracking of vehicles. 

Managing Director Paul Quealey scoured the market for a technology solution that would take the business paperless and provide real-time visibility across the operation.

“As our business grew, planning and scheduling work became increasingly challenging and at times it was difficult to keep track of when things were due. We looked at various systems but couldn’t find anything that was the right fit. Then we discovered BigChange; it was as if I had written the software myself. It ticked all the boxes, and the integrated vehicle tracking was unlike anything we’d seen before,” said Quealey.

Complete Shutter Services are using an Industrial Doors specific version of the BigChange system that allows back-office users to plan, manage, schedule and track work effectively including planned maintenance and urgent reactive work. In the back-office, the system is enabling planners to respond faster to customers and is intelligently allocating work orders based on real-time engineer availability, skills, live location and parts stock. 


This is significantly increasing productivity; minimising customer wait time and driving first time fix at competitive cost for clients. The integrated CRM is also providing customers with a joined-up experience, thanks to automated job booking confirmations, service reminders, ETA updates on the day of service and instant access to job-cards and reports instantly after work has been completed.

MD Paul Quealey said, 
“Customers now expect real-time information as standard. Our back-office team were inundated with calls from clients wanting to check the status of an order or service. This led to multiple phone calls to engineers out in the field. BigChange has empowered the team with real-time information.
“Our use of the system has been key to winning a number of new contracts. Without the system, we’d need more administrators in the back-office, so from a commercial perspective, the technology is adding real-value for us. For me as a Managing Director, I have the confidence that we have a robust system in place to ensure we maintain our reputation for customer excellence.”

Complete’s mobile engineers benefit from an easy to use Android mobile app. They start their day by completing an electronic timesheet and vehicle check, before instantly accessing job information. Integrated sat-nav with live traffic ensures the best route is taken and customers receive proactive updates by text and email. 

On arrival, the app allows engineers to create instant estimates and guides them step by step through health & safety and job-specific workflows including photo capture. Proof-of-service is instantly relayed to the back office and the system generates fully branded job-cards that are automatically shared via a customer’s booking portal or via email.

Martin Port, Founder and CEO of BigChange said, 
“Our technology is helping Complete Shutter Services maintain its excellent reputation and excellent levels of customer service in the marketplace. They are reaping the benefits that our scalable, cloud based system provides. We look forward to working with Paul and the team for the next 30 years and beyond.”

About BigChange

BigChange by name, BigChange by nature! BigChange is an established force in mobile workforce management and telematics, offering a system that transforms the way industrial door companies manage their mobile operations.

JobWatch from BigChange is the paperless way to plan, manage, schedule and track a mobile workforce. This powerful all-in-one Mobile Workforce Management platform combines back office software, mobile apps, fleet management and real-time vehicle tracking in one simple to use system. Using JobWatch, customers can manage their entire operation, from quote all the way through to invoice.

For more information please email: info@bigchangeapps.com, or phone +44 (0)113 457 1000, 


www.bigchangeapps.com



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Sunday, 15 October 2017

DB11 Volante: return of the ultimate convertible Sports GT


The most elegant of convertible Aston Martins begins a new chapter with the introduction of the eagerly-awaited DB11 Volante. Joining the DB11 Coupe, which was launched to wide acclaim last year, the new DB11 Volante sets new standards of performance, innovation, engineering and style to create the definitive open-top Sports GT.  

Powered by a new 4.0-litre twin-turbo 510PS V8 engine, the DB11 Volante is built around the all-new bonded aluminium structure first seen in the DB11 Coupe. Lighter and more rigid than the model it replaces, the DB11 Volante has been engineered to deliver a much broader envelope of abilities. Greater levels of performance and handling accentuate the more sporting side of its character, while increased refinement, comfort and interior space ensure it remains a consummate grand tourer.


This depth and breadth of ability is made possible by the Volante’s 3-stage powertrain and chassis modes. Working in perfect harmony with the 8-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission, electric power steering and limited-slip differential with dynamic torque vectoring, the driver is able to configure the car’s responses and tailor its behaviour in a way that best suits the road, weather conditions or their mood.  Creature comforts such as a heated steering wheel encourage all-season open-air motoring, and rear seat ISOFIX attachment points - a first for a Volante model - bring added versatility.

Visually the DB11 Volante features the striking single-piece aluminium bonnet and innovative ‘Curlicue’ aerodynamic feature from the DB11 Coupe, combined with new wood or carbon fibre veneer panels on the seat backs, a beautifully tailored fabric hood – available in a choice of bordeaux red, black silver or grey silver -  dramatic ultra-slim ‘light blade’ tail lights that create a bold C graphic and a striking new design of forged alloy wheel. The end result is a breathtakingly sleek and athletic form that perfectly expresses the DB11 Volante’s character.


Of course the defining feature of the DB11 Volante is its convertible roof. Combining the timeless appeal of a fabric hood with the very latest acoustic and insulation materials, the all-new 8-layer roof cossets occupants from the extremes of weather and wind noise. Folding to a class-leading stack height, the Volante’s hood takes just 14 seconds to lower and 16 to close and can be operated remotely from the key, or on the move at speeds of up to 31mph with a 31mph headwind. The new hood system has also led to a 20 per cent gain in boot volume compared to the outgoing DB9 Volante.


Aston Martin’s exhaustive testing procedures pushed this all-new roof mechanism to punishing extremes. In the Life Cycle Durability (LCD) test, engineers subjected the roof to more than 100,000 cycles in special weather chambers designed to simulate conditions in the world’s harshest environments, compressing 10-years of use into a one month test. The results of the LCD test were then validated with real world testing of DB11 Volante development prototypes in locations including Death Valley and the Arctic Circle.

Engineered to be the most advanced and complete open-top Aston Martin ever built, styled to put its rivals in the shade and honed to achieve a fine balance of ride, handling, responsiveness and refinement, the DB11 Volante is dedicated to delivering a new dimension of driving pleasure.


Aston Martin President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andy Palmer, said of the DB11 Volante:
“For many of our customers, indeed many generations of Aston Martin customer, the Volante has always offered something very special: a unique combination of elegant style, innate sporting ability and sensory engagement that lifts it above other open-top cars. The new DB11 Volante captures those qualities perfectly and promises the kind of pleasure and enjoyment that can only come from driving an open-top Aston Martin”. 

Max Szwaj, Aston Martin Chief Technical Officer, adds:
“The challenge of creating a convertible car is retaining structural and dynamic integrity. To protect the former you need strength and rigidity, but to preserve the latter you need to keep weight to a minimum. With the DB11 Volante we have maximised the advantages of the DB11’s all-new bonded structure to underpin our new Volante with a structure that’s 26kg lighter and 5 per cent stiffer than its predecessor. The result is a truly magnificent car. One that combines greater performance and agility with increased comfort, refinement and interior space for occupants and their luggage”. 

Recommended Retail Price from £159,900 in the UK, €199,000 in Germany and $216,495 in USA, first deliveries of the DB11 Volante are scheduled to begin during the first quarter of 2018.



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Saturday, 14 October 2017

Industry support rolls in for dhf initiative, ‘Gate Safety Week’


dhf (Door & Hardware Federation) initiative, ‘Gate Safety Week’, which started on Monday has received an unprecedented level of support from leading UK organisations.  

The campaign, which started in 2014 and is now in its fourth year, is an all-year round crusade and culminates in a week of activity from 9th – 15th October, with the objective to raise awareness about the dangers of unsafe gates, as well as how to spot a potentially dangerous gate and report it.  This year’s campaign has focused on automated gate safety within the school environment. 

‘Gate Safety Week’ traditionally climaxes with a flurry of activity industry-wide, including interest from press and via social media and this year is shaping up to be no different. 

Midlands-based organisation Easygates has produced and is heavily promoting a video regarding gate safety, national organisation, Procter Brothers are running an article highlighting the importance of regular maintenance and Cova Security Gates are offering free gate safety checks to local businesses, producing a gate safety video and have dedicated an area of their website to the importance of gate safety. 

Twitter in particular, has been extremely active with followers utilising #safegatessavelives to join the debate. 

“Gate Safety Week shines a light on the very important safety issues that need to be considered when using automated gate systems,” says Tony Daniels-Gooding, Managing Director at EasyGates.  “Gate safety is something we take into account on a daily basis when speaking to installers and users of gates.  The correct safety procedures and products are imperative to ensure safe and proper use is carried out.  Our team of staff are on hand to offer free gate safety advice to all who need it.”

“Being in the perimeter security business for 30 years, Gate Safety is of paramount importance to Cova, so we are very proud to be supporters of Gate Safety Week, helping the dhf raise the awareness of #SafeGatesSaveLives not only during October, but throughout the year,” adds Karen Deacon, Marketing Manager at Cova Security Gates.  

“Powered Gate Safety is an important topic for us at Electro,” explains Marketing and Business Development Manager, Niall Bishop, of Electro in Ireland.  “Our team of engineers based across Ireland have seen many non-compliant examples of powered gates on commercial premises and seek to educate business owners on the potential risks involved.  As members of dhf, our team go through their gate safety training courses with the aim of reducing the risk of injury caused by powered gates.”

“As one of the founding members of dhf, Procter Contracts are proud to support Gate Safety Week.  ‘Safe gates save lives’ is such an important message to raise awareness of.” said Chairman, Jeremy Procter.


These pro-active organisations join other industry heavyweights in putting their force behind dhf’s Gate Safety Week campaign.  The British Safety Council, the British Safety Industry Federation, (BSIF), the Federation of Private Residents’ Landlords (FPRA), the Institute of Residential Property Management (IRPM) and many other influential organisations in the security, enforcement, inspection, education and safety sectors have, once again, lent their support to the Gate Safety Week initiative.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are one such organisation who are urging the need for greater safety and awareness:

“HSE supports Gate Safety Week 2017, the dhf and all those involved in ensuring the safety of powered (automatic) gates. By working together in the design, manufacture, installation and maintenance of safe powered gates, we can reduce the risk of people being hurt,” says Philip White, Head of Operational Strategy at HSE.

The statistics behind the number of unsafe gates in operation across the UK is disturbing.  In recent years, there have been nine deaths in the UK and Ireland - six adults and three children – as well as several serious injuries and countless near misses in accidents involving badly installed and poorly maintained automated gates and barriers.  With more than 500,000 automated gates believed to be in use, it is estimated that more than 70% are deemed unfit for purpose.  But, as a result of dhf’s on-going campaigning and training programme, progress is being made.

“With Gate Safety Week now upon us, we are delighted that so many influential organisations are getting involved in the campaign to make automated gates safe,” says dhf Chief Executive, Bob Perry. 

“The Gate Safety Week campaign has grown significantly since 2014 and through its training programme, Technical Specifications, and collaborative working, the organisation has seen an encouraging improvement in the quality of gate installations as well as the knowledge of installers in the UK.  For example, dhf members must abide by the Code of Practice for the Design, Manufacture, Installation and Maintenance of Powered Gates and Traffic Barriers (DHF TS 011:2016) which provides a framework to ensure a gate is safe and therefore complies with the law.”

For further information about Gate Safety Week, please visit www.dhfonline.org.uk;

Twitter: @gatesafetyweek @dhfonline. 

The dhf video regarding gate safety can also be viewed here:
http://www.dhfonline.org.uk/gsw/gate-safety-week-for-homeowners-and-the-public/19.htm




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Friday, 13 October 2017

Garador Supports Macmillan Cancer Worlds Biggest Coffee Morning!


Staff at Garador, the UK’s leading manufacturer of garage doors, took a break on Tuesday 26th and Wednesday 27th September to enjoy a piece of cake and some coffee all in aid of raising money for renowned UK Cancer charity, Macmillan Cancer Support. 

Macmillan Cancer Support offer people diagnosed with cancer help in all sorts of forms; in 2015 alone they reached 5.8 million people. As a charity, they campaign to improve the lives of people affected by cancer.

Garador ran its event at its manufacturing facility based in Yeovil Somerset. The event went off without a hitch, with lots of people baking cakes and savouries of all shapes and sizes, which were then sold in pieces to help raise a sum of money for the charity.

The variety of treats was impressive, with everything from mouth-watering lemon drizzle cake and  moist chocolate-cherry cake, through to yummy pizza swirls made with Samantha’s grandmother’s secret recipe!

Overall, the staff at Garador raised £260 for Macmillan Cancer Support, an amount that Garador’s Managing Director was delighted with as he commented ‘we have supported the Macmillan coffee morning for a few years now, but this year we raised even more money and I’m really pleased that we were able to support such a worthwhile charity’.

To find out more about Garador’s garage doors, please visit www.garador.co.uk



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Thursday, 12 October 2017

Retail and the influence of doors


Phil Wise, European Category Manager for Commercial Products at Formica Group, discusses the different factors that can influence and help secure sales in the retail environment.

Research indicates that once a customer is in the fitting room the likelihood of converting the sale rises from 10% to 67% (1).  A quintessential focal point in the path to purchase, the fitting room provides a secure and comfortable area for customers to make their purchase decision. Having well trained and friendly sales staff on standby, combined with an inviting atmosphere, are also factors for consideration.

Another aspect to take into account is hygiene. When it is considered that the industry average for amount of time spent in fitting rooms is 5 minutes and 45 seconds (2) , it is not unreasonable to surmise that dirty fitting rooms are unlikely to inspire repeat custom. Unsurprisingly, research indicates that hygiene is vital to influencing a customer’s return visit with over 18% of those surveyed admitting to not returning to a retail store due to the facilities having poor levels of hygiene (3)

 The fitting room door is the first point of contact a customer will have when entering a changing room. Due the high traffic nature of the retail environment, specifying doors with surfacing properties that offer an ease of maintenance is an attractive proposition for retailers since it assists in delivering the hygiene standards consumers have come to expect. Materials that require little more than water, mild detergent and a wipe to stay clean make for a sensible option.

Conversations with designers reveal that interior door design is responsible for setting the right tone before you enter a room. In the context of a fitting room, the door is just one aspect of the overall retail design but is one of the few surfaces customers will come into direct contact with in the retail environment. From this perspective the option to be able to create custom design doors both in terms of décor and size is an interesting proposition for retailers and one worth consideration.

Aesthetically, today’s fitting rooms need to be inviting and comfortable in order to provide shoppers with an experience akin to trying on clothes in their own home. It is also worth considering that despite the rise of online shopping and free return policies, research indicates that 70% of online apparel is returned due to fitting issues (4).  With this mind, brick and mortar stores should view their fitting rooms as a significant determiner in securing a customer’s purchase; providing a fitting room with an appealing design will certainly contribute to attracting repeat custom.

Colour plays an important role in creating an interior atmosphere and influencing mood. It creates a reaction and can be used cohesively across a store whether it works across the whole interior or complements the existing colour palette, product displays and lighting.

The latest door collections available in the market provide a breadth of design options to reflect contemporary trends, including the on-trend aesthetic of nature and eco themes through the use of organic material such as wood.

Advances in digital technology mean it is now possible to replicate the looks of wood, metals and more natural materials, but with more durable materials featuring hardwearing surface properties that are much better suited for retail environments.

Manufacturers can now print practically any design to meet the most creative or demanding of design briefs; from brand colours and logos to reproductions and eye-catching artwork, retailers are limited only by imagination rather than technological progression.
 
Such advances offer further advantages where it comes to the consistency of design detail. For example, with wood, should an existing door need to be replaced it is not always possible to get consistency in grain, shading and colour. This is not an issue for manufacturers with the technology to apply authentic looking finishes to material such as laminate since the doors can be colour matched as required. High Pressure Laminate is particularly resistant to stains, impact, scratches and moisture, as well as meeting fire-resistant to Building Regulations.

Door technology is improving and with it comes a broader scope of colours, sizes, finishes and styles to suit any retail style.

www.formica.com


Information sources:

(1) http://alerttech.net/retail-industry-benchmarks-for-fitting-rooms/

(2) http://alerttech.net/retail-industry-benchmarks-for-fitting-rooms/

(3) http://www.fmj.co.uk/hygiene-standards-drive-revenue-reputation-retail-hospitality-sectors/

(4) https://www.retaildoc.com/blog/apparel-stores-use-fitting-room-to-fight-online-retailers




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