A Birmingham company has agreed a deal with the Midlands Assembly Network (MAN) to bring a new solution to market that could potentially prevent $80bn of cargo going missing every year.The collective, which is made up of ten world class sub-contractors offering technical excellence in mechanical, electrical and electronic engineering processes, will provide pre-production, manufacture and assembly of the E-Containerlock for Guardfreight International.
The new locking mechanism can be fitted to shipping containers and provides an in-built GRPS tracking system that provides location updates and immediate alerts if entry is forced.
Invented by industry expert Andrew Harrison, the breakthrough product will be unveiled for the first time at Subcon next week (June 4th-6th) where it will be the main feature of the MAN Stand (D6).
“We are very excited about this partnership as we now have a complete manufacturing process for E-Containerlock using just one source – this is great for security of supply, taking cost out of production and fine-tuning assembly,” explained Andrew.
“We have developed a working prototype and the next stage will be to enter into producing a small batch that can be trialled with some of the world’s leading freight monitoring agencies as these organisations will ultimately be our biggest customers.”
He went on to add: “It’s early days, but we’re confident that this solution will change the way cargo is transported, with our business plan showing a £16m turnover by 2018 and the possibility of creating up to 50 jobs directly and in the supply chain.”
The E-Containerlock is fitted in seconds and offers a host of security benefits, including wrap around fitting, hub shield and extended housing that prevents tampering, handle rotation and left hand opening respectively.
Its innovation comes in the multiple sensors and GPRS technology that are built into the device. This gives clients the chance to monitor their cargo at any point of the journey and also receive alerts if the container is opened.
This is ideal for preventing theft of goods and for insurance purposes as you can prove the exact place where the tampering or break-in occurred.
Steve Gaston, Business Development Manager for the Midlands Assembly Network, picked up the story:
“We are delighted to be working with Guardfreight in bringing a local innovation to market and one that has the potential to change global transport forever.
“It also demonstrates perfectly the benefits we offer as a group. By having so many different engineering disciplines under one roof, we can take on any size project from initial idea right through to production, assembly and fulfillment.
He added: “In this instance, we will be tapping into the expertise of four companies. The project lead will be Barkley Plastics to look after injection moulding and they will bring in Mec Com for the fabrication, Westley Engineering for the presswork and SMT Developments for the PCB population.
“Subcon is one of our biggest shows and we are delighted to able to prove the MAN concept with the launch of E-Containerlock.”
The Midlands Assembly Network is made up of ten companies including Advanced Chemical Etching, Alucast, Barkley Plastics, Brandauer, FW Cables, Grove Design, Mec Com, PP Electrical Systems, SMT Developments and Westley Engineering.
Together they employ over 700 people and turnover in excess of £65m, providing access to world class manufacturing in precision pressings, casting, etching, injection moulding, wiring looms, toolmaking, PCB assembly and electrical control systems and assemblies.
Mec Com’s electromechanical assembly and testing cells provide high quality, on-time, globally competitive solutions to our Customers.
Continuous investment has provided Mec Com with a comprehensive range of world class CNC sheet metal fabrication equipment.