Tag Archives: Security Fencing

Fastline and Zaun reap instant rewards from shareholding investment move

“Fantastic synergies” and a fresh driving influence mean that Fastline and Zaun are already reaping the benefits of the recent shareholding investment by Fastline and the appointment of the company’s managing director Mike Fellows to the Zaun Group’s Board of Directors.

Fellows and Zaun’s co-founder and owner Alastair Henman see this as only the start of the creation of a ‘united powerhouse’ for the UK and international fencing market to be achieved through close collaboration, combined sales efforts, joint procurement and the use of space to increase stock and production capacity.

In addition to this, there are clear advantages to be explored in the potential combination of specialist equipment and personnel skill sets. Henman stated: “We see this very much as the whole being greater than a sum of the parts.”

Fastline is currently one of only a handful of companies in the UK with in-house palisade rolling, boasting one of the most modern production lines currently in operation. The facility operates 24 hours per day to deal with an ever-growing demand. Add to that the welded and woven mesh production at Zaun along with laser and robot technology and there’s little that this collaboration cannot achieve.

Fastline is renowned for the quality of its products which encompass a near unlimited catalogue due to the business’ ability to produce standard items and also fabricate to highly bespoke requirements.

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Mike Fellows (left, managing director at Fastline) and Zaun’s co-founder and owner Alastair Henman

Fellows insight and expertise in the field have ensured that growth for Fastline has been constant and shows no sign of waning. In parallel, Zaun’s proven ability to deliver the most technically demanding and high security projects complements Fastline’s penetration of the general and medium security market.

Fastline has already benefited from an increased capacity for railing production and is capitalising on more opportunities by using Zaun’s labour and robotic welding technology. The companies will maintain large combined stock levels of standard perimeter systems going forward to enable “unrivalled” lead times.

Fastline is now actively pushing Zaun’s products to its own extensive customer base, in turn opening up a plethora of new business opportunities. Similarly, Zaun is now much better placed to serve existing and new customers with an expanded range of railings, palisade and associated products.

Henman concluded: “Fastline and Zaun are enjoying the immediate benefits of an intriguing and, I’m sure to some, surprising relationship within the perimeter security industry. Our varied customer base and, as we both agree, quite different modus operandi seem to have ignited the best of both companies. This was a move not expected by any in the industry, but one that undoubtedly all will now be watching with interest.”

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Middle East contract spawns “flat-panel masterpiece” from perimeter security specialist Zaun

A substantial contract in the Middle Eastern has given rise to a new flat-panel mesh security fence from Zaun. The company has designed a variant of its original HiSec ‘358’ welded mesh configuration with an extra wire every 250 mm on the inside to enhance security and keep the panel flat without the need for rails or pressed V-beams.

The British manufacturer is shipping a staggering 200-plus 40-foot containers of the new HiSec Plus panels over the coming year to secure a Middle Eastern site of Critical National Infrastructure. The first six containers have left the manufacturer’s Wolverhampton headquarters with a further six set to leave before Easter.

The design department has offset the additional 4 mm wires – setting quite a challenge to the production team – to enhance the security characteristics and make the single panel act almost like a dual-skin fence.

Zaun’s R&D manager Adam Christie said: “It’s brilliant to see this new system coming off the production line as it has been more than four years in the making. The customer had a very clear specification of what they wanted, but we’ve been able to work with them over time to make enhancements and reassure them at every step of the way on quality, design, production, sourcing and logistics.”

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The additional horizontal wires of HiSec Plus remove the typical bowing of traditional 358, while the 2.4 metres-high fence line is further secured with stainless steel razor coil topping and coated barbed wire as line wires.

The panels are bolted to 5 mm-thick cold-rolled steel posts, which are being welded to steel base plates at Zaun by a new robot welder bought specifically for the task, with each post and base plate a massive 75 kg in dead weight.

The rolled steel is folded back on the front attack-prone flange of the post to create an effective 10 mm thickness of steel.  The post assemblies are then bolted in the field to a continuous concrete beam.

The enhanced HiSec specification and fencing system cements Zaun’s ability to deliver bespoke high-security fencing solutions.

Zaun’s HiSec 358 is approved by NOMS for use by HM Prison Service installations where this mesh type is used prolifically due to its tight mesh formation and the fact that it can strecth to 5.2 metres in height in a single panel. It can easily be integrated with different toppings as well as CCTV, PIDs and other electronic security enhancements.

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Zaun accredits installers to roll out “unique” ArmaWeave security solution

High security perimeter systems manufacturer Zaun is bolstering the ranks of approved installers for its “unique” intruder-resistant fencing.

ArmaWeave fencing is produced on the world’s largest steel loom at the company’s West Midlands manufacturing base. Crime & Fire Defence Systems engineers were trained in the installation of the product and, over the last two years, have installed kilometres of the high-security woven fencing at utilities sites right across the country.

Now Zaun has formally accredited Crime & Fire Defence Systems as an approved installer of the product, along with Zaun Group subsidiary Binns Fencing.

Zaun has established the new installer scheme because of increasing requests from customers to recommend contractors with suitable installation, quality and safety standards.

ArmaWeave boasts some unique properties which give it distinct advantages, but require some fresh skills and techniques to install. For example, unlike welded mesh, the panels can rake up and down hills such that installers require new skills to square up or rake the panels.

The wire of the panels has a tensile strength typically more than double that for welded panels so special methods are required for cutting the panels during installation.

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Zaun’s Chris Plimley (left) celebrates the accreditation with Crime & Fire Defence Systems team members (from left to right) Craig Watts, Pete Rushforth, Chris Singer and Stuart Fletcher

Training for installation teams

Zaun will be training installation teams on the properties and tolerances of ArmaWeave and how it’s manufactured. Instruction is aimed exclusively at ‘fencers’ with proven skills and experience in high-security fencing works and deals only with the specific new skills and techniques required to install ArmaWeave.

Trainers will share the secrets of installation methods Zaun has developed over time for ArmaWeave to make best use of the properties of the high-security fabric.

The training will be for experienced individuals sponsored by a company which can demonstrate its professionalism through membership of a relevant trade organisation and valid UKAS-accredited ISO 9001 certification. The certificate of training will only be valid while the individual is working for the host company. This will ensure that properly trained individuals working under proper quality management install the product.

The plan is to increase the adoption of ArmaWeave as the standard for secure sites of Critical National Infrastructure – such as utilities, Data Centres and nuclear sites – while ensuring consistent installation quality.

Zaun’s sales and marketing director Chris Plimley said: “We invested in the steel loom ahead of the sales in the belief we could produce an innovative product that installers, specifiers and high-security facility managers would want. That has proven to be so true that we need to expand the number of contractors trained in installing it correctly.”

Resistance to attacks

ArmaWeave’s properties add substantial resistance to cutting attacks perpetrated with hand, powered and non-contact tools. The tight mesh pattern provides no climbing aids, again limiting the potential for intrusion.

ArmaWeave CPNI enhanced is tested to the very highest standards and can be combined with other intruder systems, electronics and access control to create the optimum in integrated fencing solutions. The product has also been approved for use with a range of microphonic PID cable systems after testing for many months at a Ministry of Defence facility.

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Perimeter security solutions developer Zaun celebrates 20th Anniversary

Zaun is currently celebrating its 20th Anniversary at what is the “leanest, greenest and keenest” point in the company’s history. The high security perimeter systems fencing manufacturer has reached its China Anniversary in rude health after bold investment decisions and innovations that sometimes ran against the grain.

Shrewd management, key contract developments, the support of clients and collaborators and a relentless focus on the customer have enabled Zaun to grow year on year since launching into the UK’s fencing market back in November 1996.

Co-founder and director Alastair Henman told Risk UK: “Trading conditions have been tough for a fair proportion of those 20 years, so we have had to innovate, invest and add more value to keep ahead and busy. Our ongoing investment in people, equipment and relationships has ensured that we have the most modern machinery and production software. This reduces wastage and speeds up production times, giving us the edge over the competition. Contractors have witnessed the change in emphasis and our commitment to customer care and strengthening relationships. They’re consequently collaborating on more projects with us.”

The business began on a small scale in Rupert Street, Birmingham, by importing mesh from Germany. A lack of space along with the lure of greater support from Wolverhampton Metropolitan Borough Council tempted Zaun to its current five-acre site on Steel Drive to the north side of the city at around the time when the dot com bubble burst, sending shock waves through other sectors of the investment community.

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Construction of the Paul Holloway Manufacturing Facility at Zaun’s headquarters on Steel Drive in Wolverhampton during 2010

Next followed investments in the depths of the post-credit crunch slump in the 44,000 sq ft multi-million pound Paul Holloway Manufacturing Facility that houses the world’s largest mesh weaving machine. This produces ArmaWeave, Zaun’s most intruder-resistant product for the high security market.

Process engineering

The past year has seen Zaun buy a new tube laser cutter, a further mesh welding line and engage in the automation of other key processes to further enhance its manufacturing capabilities and capacity as well as cut out waste.

Additional bailers and squashers have boosted recycling, while a new forklift truck has improved materials handling.

The new production equipment coupled with the process engineering brilliance of accomplished engineer Roberto Garziera – who has streamlined a series of processes and improved productivity and efficiencies in production – have helped make Zaun the “leanest manufacturer” in the perimeter systems market.

In recognition, Garziera has been elevated to Zaun’s Board of Directors as technical director. There have also been recent promotions for Chris Rowen (to operations director) and Chris Plimley, who has taken over the role of sales and marketing director.

New design software

Training for ‘shop floor’ staff has seen new welding qualifications for CE Marking and security-rated product manufacture. New 3D design software is replacing 2D throughout the business, in turn affording end customers clearer representations of designs, reducing errors and improving efficiencies.

Alastair Henman concluded: “The political, economic, technological and social environments have changed beyond recognition during the 20 years we’ve been in operation, but we have invested in the belief that we could produce innovative products that our customers would want. This philosophy has kept us ahead of the curve.”

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Thames Water extends security contract with Zaun to May 2017

The UK’s largest water and waste company has renewed the appointment of security and perimeter fencing systems manufacturer and specialist solutions designer Zaun on a multi-million pound framework agreement for a further year to May 2017.

Thames Water Utilities retains the option to extend the deal for a further two years to 2019 at the end of the current Asset Management Programme (AMP6).

Thames Water originally selected Zaun as one of four appointed contractors on its framework agreement for the supply and installation of security fencing and gates, and one of three for ongoing maintenance. It hoped to save almost £500,000 with the framework agreement, as well as reaping the benefits of dedicated account management, certified and experienced perimeter protection designers, engineers and technicians, access to new and innovative products and robust management reporting linked to an exacting Service Level Agreement.

Thames Water manages more than 4500 sites, the majority of them unmanned, that require security to protect the water supply for over 14 million people. Accidental pollution, the safety hazards of sewage, the potential for theft and even mindless vandalism all mean that site safety and security is paramount.

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Zaun first proved its reputation with Thames Water during its multi-billion pound London Tideway improvements to create a cleaner and healthier River Thames. This entailed work on sites of Critical National Infratructure (CNI) near to the London 2012 Olympic Park at Stratford where Zaun also provided security fencing.

For AMP6, Thames Water set about a “complete transformation” of the way in which it delivers capital investment through a ‘super alliance’ including MWH Global as programme manager that expects to carry out between £2 billion and £3 billion of work, with £200 million set aside for security, in turn bringing its estate up to Defra standards and rendering it fully prepared for any security eventualities.

Thames Water has often turned to Zaun to deliver full turnkey security solutions of integrated perimeter fencing, CCTV and access control systems. Indeed, Zaun has installed its most intruder-resistant product, ArmaWeave, around secure compounds.

Chris Plimley, Zaun’s head of sales, stated: “We’re delighted to have our relationship with Thames Water extended for another year and look forward to continuing to help the client upgrade both its estate and overall security regime with the very best integrated perimeter protection systems available on the market.”

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Binns focuses Fencing Contractors Association on delivering for its members

The Fencing Contractors Association (FCA) is on a mission to re-engage fully with members and adopt their priorities as its mission guide. That’s the mandate on which incoming chairman Adam Binns believes he has been elected since taking office for his two-year term at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on 25 February.

The AGM ratified the appointment of Administration Services Ltd (ASL) – who tabled a report at the meeting on its survey of all 150 members – to replace retiring general secretary Wendy Baker as the FCA’s administration specialist.

In advance of the AGM, Baker said: “After almost 18 years’ service, it will be my pleasure to have the opportunity to say a proper goodbye to the members whom I have been extremely proud to represent during my tenure.”

Adam Binns commented: “The ASL survey gives us an honest and independent insight on what we’re doing at the moment and on what is valued by members so that we can move the FCA forward and really start to deliver what they say is important to them. We’ve cut our running costs by a third, so there’s more money freed up to promote the FCA and its Certified Contractors Scheme.”

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Adam Binns

The Binns Fencing managing director, along with his FCA vice chairman Nick Dybeck (a director of HW Martin), now lead a “rejuvenated Council” which met on 21 April to review strategy and plot a plan for the future.

Promoting the security fencing industry

Rob Oliver of ASL stated: “What came through loud and clear from the survey is that members are very keen for the FCA to continue to promote the fencing industry as professional and for the FCA itself to be the badge of quality within it. Furthermore, given the size and scale of the industry, we ought to be able to grow membership from our current figure of 150.”

Oliver said that other member priorities include training and its promotion, especially given the national focus on apprenticeships and the fact that the industry now has a Trailblazer apprenticeship standard in development.

Members also want better communications, with regular newsletters, e-mails and briefings, more events and reasons to join forces and collaborate on matters of common interest. There’s also a stated desire for the FCA to be the ‘go to’ for guidance and business help with appropriate helplines and experts.

Oliver explained to Risk UK that ASL is looking at how much each of the Helplines is used and will table proposals very soon on which to enhance and which to shelve and how best to harness the expertise in the Council and beyond.

Delivering real value

Adam Binns concluded: “The bottom line is that we have to deliver real value and a reason to belong to the FCA if we’re to grow and strengthen our membership and the services we offer. We’re open to talking to other associations such as the Perimeter Security Suppliers Association (PSSA) and the European Fencing Industry Association (EFIA) to pool resources and strengthen our offer if that’s what works for our industry as a whole.”

The ASL team of Oliver, Robert Osborne and Kim Fitzpatrick boasts many years’ experience of working for Trade Associations, mostly in the construction sector and including the PSSA, which is widely acknowledged as having some overlap with the FCA.

The FCA was established in 1942 to help the buying of timber and other fencing materials to support the war effort. It has four specialist sub-groups: the Association of Safety Fencing Contractors, the Environmental Noise Barrier Association, the Electrical Security Fence Federation and the Gate Automation and Access Barrier Association.

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Jacksons Fencing shortlisted for Data Centre Physical Security and Fire Suppression Product of the Year category at coveted DCS Awards

Jacksons Fencing (one of the UK’s leading designers, manufacturers and installers of security fencing and access control systems) has been shortlisted as a finalist in the hotly-contested Data Centre Physical Security and Fire Suppression Product of the Year category at this year’s DCS Awards.

The DCS Awards were created to acknowledge and reward product designers, manufacturers, suppliers and providers operating in the Data Centre arena. They recognise the achievements of solution vendors and their business partners alike and, in 2016, encompass a wider range of both facilities and IT categories than ever before.

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The product selected by the panel is the Trident Jakoustic 3, an LPS 1175-certified perimeter fence designed, developed and manufactured by Jacksons Fencing. It’s the only timber-based fencing system that combines certified security ratings with acoustic barrier properties, and was designed specifically for sensitive applications where privacy, a discrete appearance and maximum protection against unauthorised access by cutting through, burrowing under and scaling over is required.

What makes Trident Jakoustic 3 ideal for applications in and around Data Centres is that it offers up to a 28 dB reduction in noise entering or migrating from a site. This is an important factor for a business operating 24/7, 365 days a year where generators for UPS and HVAC play an integral part in site operations.

Peter Jackson, CEO of Jacksons Fencing, commented: “It’s great to be recognised in the DCS Awards. It’s proof that, even in the Internet of Things obsessed world of data security, there’s recognition of the fact that, if you cannot protect the perimeter and manage access, you leave your facility, its staff and assets vulnerable to attack.”

*To cast your vote for Jacksons Fencing visit: http://www.dcsawards.com/voting.php 

**Voting closes on Friday 22 April

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