Last year, AFI gained multiple major projects for the first time for its new SmartZone system, which controls and monitors the use of powered access machines.
SmartZone ensures machines cannot be used by anyone who has not been properly trained or authorised, and sees machines fitted with a standalone card reader or combined with a biometric reader.
AFI says no machines fitted with SmartZone have been damaged to date.
This innovative safety system has helped keep AFI among the UK’s leading providers of powered access machines.
Altrad Beaver 84
Altrad Beaver 84 has three areas of expertise: access, groundworks and events, the latter bolstered by the acquisition of staging and rigging specialist Star Events Group in 2014.
In the past 12 months, the company has introduced a number of new products, enhanced its existing range and expanded its portfolio.
The firm also improved its purchasing strategy last year, freeing up cash to invest and continue growth in all product groups, improving profit by 53 per cent in the last financial year.
Doka UK Formwork Technologies
Doka aims to work closely with clients to deliver strong, integrated solutions to complex problems.
Last year, it developed a new approach to the deconstruction of high-rise buildings, a sector not previously familiar to Doka.
Early engagement with McGee saw this method used for the first time, using Doka’s demolition screens to reduce the requirement for traditional ground-up scaffold shields and removing the need for the presence of follow-on trades as the demolition progresses.
Groundforce’s specialisms include supplying equipment for major excavation support.
Stand-out recent projects include tunnels under the Thames for Crossrail, Wilton International energy-from-waste site on Teesside, and the Sheffield Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.
The firm has continually expanded its product range in recent years, increasing turnover from £23m in 2006 to £42m in 2014, with seven years of investment in research and development allowing Groundforce to respond to clients’ needs rapidly.
Following a number of successful pilot programmes in the US over the past two years, as well as a first trial in Germany late last year, Moba’s PAVE-IR Scan system is now being introduced to the UK construction industry.
The system prevents thermal segregation, one of the biggest problems in road construction.
It also helps increase road surface lifetimes, delivering potentially huge savings.
Moba’s technology and equipment has already been embraced in the North American and European markets and is set to make a splash in the UK this year.
Launching in 2013, the Pecolift from Power Towers is an eco-friendly low-access product.
It uses a patented gear design to elevate the user to a 3.7 m working height in under 11 seconds – without power, electricity or battery, therefore no battery acid or hydraulic oil are required.
The Ecolift was added in 2014, providing a working height of 4.2 m and elevation time of 15 seconds.
More than 3,000 Pecolifts are in use worldwide and it is 100 per cent designed and manufactured in the UK.
Siltbuster launched two major new products in 2014.
First, its Site Essentials range of water treatment solutions helps minimise pollution and make water treatment more affordable for smaller contractors.
Secondly, the Siltbuster pHD uses CO2 to neutralise the high pH of concrete water, transforming how contractors dispose of wastewater generated during concreting.
It says client satisfaction is high, with customers saving money and improving sustainability.
UK Platforms introduced its Activ’ Shield Bar anti-entrapment device in 2014.
Developed in partnership with Haulotte, the product creates a safety gap between a MEWP’s control panel and overhead hazards, preventing the operator from being crushed inside the basket.
Once activated, the Shield Bar also only allows reverse or lowering movements to prevent increased entrapment.
2014 also saw UK Platforms invest heavily in stock and open new branches, and the company also provides working-at-height training to customers.
Utterberry began supplying self-powered wireless sensors to Crossrail in 2014, with a network of 32 deployed in a tunnel at Mile End station.
The sensors weigh only 15 g each and have very low power consumption, meaning virtually no further interventions are required after installation to replace faulty sensors or batteries.
Utterberry manufactures the sensors in the UK, and the ease of installation ensures workers are exposed to hazardous environments for the minimum amount of time.