AL-KO is an established, worldwide company, specialising in making automotive components, such as caravan and trailer chassis. With well over 50 locations in the UK alone, they are a market leading company in their field.
AL-KO recently contacted AUTOPA regarding the access facilities to their Southam branch. Since it first opened in 1999 the branch has had an AUTOPA automatic arm barrier securing its entrance. After eleven years, the existing barrier was approaching the end of its lifespan, and in need of updating. Happy with the products and service provided by AUTOPA they were looking to upgrade their existing barrier with our latest model. Having fitted the existing barrier, AUTOPA’s installers knew the site and its installation requirements well.
The entrance that needed protecting was 12.5m wide; a distance that a single barrier would be unable to cover, so two 6.25m barriers were installed at either side of the entrance. Shorter barriers are more stable, and are therefore safer in poor weather conditions. Fitting them to meet in the centre of the entrance would ensure the whole area was still covered.
Whilst restricting vehicle access was a priority for the new access control, deterring pedestrians from gaining unauthorised access to the site and encouraging them to use the nearby pedestrian entrance was a key requirement. To achieve this skirting was attached beneath the boom. Adding aluminium skirts to the barriers prevents unauthorised pedestrians site access via the vehicle entrance.
Skirting also makes the barriers more visible to both pedestrians and road users, reducing the chances of accidental collisions. This was important to AL-KO, as, despite the designated entrance nearby, there had been attempts by pedestrians to use the vehicle entrance. Increasing the visibility of the barriers reduces the chances of future attempts.
AUTOPA wanted to take pedestrian safety even further, to prevent injury should an incident occur. Photo electric cells were fitted to the body of the barrier’s cabinet, forming an invisible beam. When the beam is broken the barriers will freeze in their upright position, only lowering again after the beam is intact again, ensuring that any pedestrians using the vehicle entrance would be in no danger from the barriers.
Due to the large products that AL-KO make, many long and slow vehicles need access to the site. Default settings on the barrier left little time for a lorry to enter the site before it began to close. To combat this a three second delay was programmed onto the close loop for the barrier. This delay provided an adequate amount of time for the larger vehicles to access the site.
This new automatic barrier has replaced and improved upon the previous barrier. The fresh installation has enabled AL-KO to make changes to the design of the facilities, and adapt it based on knowledge gained. The new programming system provides a multitude of different options, giving AL-KO more flexibility over the functionality of their barrier.
Having provided barriers for the Southam site since it first opened, AUTOPA is confident that its products satisfy AL-KO’s needs, and that the new arm barrier will fulfil all of their access control needs for many years to come.