Highway Care | Collaboration with Kier and HE sees award nomination shortlist
Highway Care, Kier and Highways England’s award entry for the Automated Cone laying Machine (ALCM) has been shortlisted for the Highways UK 2020 Civils and Materials Innovation Competition in the safety category.
Highways UK will be a virtual event this year, with the Civils and Materials Hub taking place on “Materials Monday” 2nd November, when the competition winners will be announced. Across both competitions over 140 entries were received, which is a 15% increase over last year, indicating how much of an achievement it is for the ACLM project to be shortlisted.
The ultimate objective of the ACLM is to revolutionise TM across the highways network, remove the workforce from harm and make the task both quicker and more efficient, with a collaborative project team working for the benefit of end-users and road worker safety.
To overcome the impact of coronavirus at a crucial stage of project delivery, the technical team, which are based across Europe, were required to host technical meetings in remote settings. Technology development and testing had to take into account social distancing and shift working to ensure on-time delivery.
Speaking about the ACLM project, Highways England Head of Lean and Continuous Improvement Martin Bolt said:
“This project is a fantastic example of how collaboration can bring innovation from our supply chain forward to enhance the safety of the workforce.
“While previous attempts have failed for a number of reasons, this project has set realistic aspirations and set the standards for others to follow. It has been a pleasure to be a part of the team that has achieved a new benchmark for safety.”
The Civils and Materials Innovation Hub, sponsored by AECOM, focuses on innovative solutions used in the construction and maintenance of highways including physical products, components, systems, processes and materials. Highways UK are particularly looking for innovations that have the potential to be trialled on a UK road within the next 6-18 months. This is exactly the case with the ACLM, which is out on the road currently being trialled, on the strategic road network on both the A5 and M54 in Shropshire.
Further testing is set to take place on the M4 in Berkshire around October/November 2020. Tom Tideswell, Head of Innovation for Kier said:
“Safety is our number one priority and Kier is proud to be part of this innovation which will take our workforce out of high risk of exposure by automating the deployment/retrieval of the longitudinal run of cones. Being shortlisted for this prestigious award showcases what the whole project group is trying to achieve for phase one of the Automated Cone Laying machines.”
Ben Duncker, Business Development Director for Highway Care said:
“Highway Care have a long history of introducing new, innovative, solutions which have proven to improve safety for both road users and road workers. When we were asked to be involved in this project, working with Highways England and Kier to develop an automated cone laying machine, from specification to a fully working solution, which would help improve road worker safety, we felt very privileged as it recognised our proven capability to take on such a challenge.
“Now to be shortlisted, as a team, for this prestigious award is a proud achievement as it validates the confidence we had, and that of Highways England and Kier, in choosing to take this challenge on together.”
This year’s Highways UK virtual finals, will include shortlisted organisations offering elevator pitches and face quick-fire questions dragon’s den style, from the judging panel of industry experts. Just 40 minutes is being allocated to each category final, which should make for a pacey and massively insightful visual competition.