Baltimore, Maryland-based A-SAFE Inc. has installed almost a mile of safety barriers at a new Volvo facility in Ridgeville, South Carolina where it will eventually employ more than 4,000 people.
A full suite of premium safety products was installed, including traffic strength barriers, column protection and pedestrian guarding. Like all A-SAFE products, the equipment was made from the manufacturer’s Memaplex material, a patented blend of eight materials and rubber additives that absorbs impact without incurring damage. The contract included full installation services.
The new plant centers on three main buildings: the weld shop, the paint shop, and assembly shop. It was operational during two main installation phases, with initial install taking place with non-saleable test vehicles on the production line, before the project was completed in a fully operational automotive manufacturing environment.
Volvo wanted to install safety systems that offered premium protection for its employees, infrastructure and assets, with a particular focus on areas with higher amounts of traffic. The vehicle assembly area experiences the greatest volume of traffic, as thousands of individual parts go into making each car. All these components need to be transported, stored, picked and transferred to the assembly lines to be fitted to the chassis as they travel along the assembly line.
Paul Barlow, CEO at A-SAFE Inc., said: “We visited the site to complete a full safety survey before proposing a comprehensive solution. Volvo took the decision that it would limit the movement of its largest vehicles to specific areas within the building, mainly the logistics receiving areas. Our solutions have delivered a series of benefits including optimized traffic flow around the site, plus premium protection for pedestrians and infrastructure.”
Barlow explained that the site visit covered a full risk assessment, while intersections, crossing points, traffic areas and machinery that needed to be protected were identified. Tailored solutions were installed in all required areas, from pedestrian railing to the company’s Double Traffic Barrier and Double Traffic+ products. High-level barriers and column guards, gates and bollards were also notable features of the installation.
Robin Ollis, layout planning engineer at Volvo, said: “The depth of the A-SAFE product range provided the flexibility to meet our wide variety of applications. The strength of these safety barriers is impressive. They have demonstrated their ability to protect our people, equipment and the facility from the day they were installed. It was a pleasure working with the team from product selection through layout design and installation.”
Barlow added: “We get two to three orders on this scale every year, but this one stood out for a multitude of reasons, especially because Volvo is a world renowned safety centric brand and we aspire to similar goals. I’m also a big fan personally and own three of their vehicles.”
Volvo plans to expand the facility further in due course, presenting a requirement for additional barriers and safety equipment.