Thursday, May 19, 2022
BusinessScots safety specialist on hand to deliver new rails on sites across...

Scots safety specialist on hand to deliver new rails on sites across the country

A SITE safety specialist is delivering what it calls “the first major innovation in 90 years” for simple handrails which protect millions of workers across the UK.

Scottish-based Kite Group already provides safe access to industrial and commercial premises nationally – and says its new product brings major environmental benefits.

Managers of the more than £3 million-a-year firm have harnessed laser-cutting technology to transform how its steel systems are produced and how the components fit together.

The new system, called ModiFix, utilises laser precision-cutting to assemble parts quicker and more efficiently.

The new ModiFix tubular safety handrail.
The new ModiFix barrier requires no clamping or welding.                                                                            (C) Kite Group

Previously, the parts had to be fitted together with multiple clamps or welding.

The technology to allow precision cutting at scale has only recently become available with advances in computer-controlled laser cutting equipment.

Rigorously tested to meet load rating regulations to current British Standards, the new system reduces the amount of steel required, lowering costs by up to 20%.

Whilst the old system required a minimum of 14 components to assemble, ModiFix requires a maximum of only six parts.

Founded in 2003, Kite Group is one of the foremost UK suppliers of handrails, ladders, roof edge protection systems and fire escapes all made from galvanised steel tubes.

The company has more than 500 clients across the UK and major projects in Scotland have included the Forth Bridge, Edinburgh Trams and Edinburgh Airport.

Anthony Wells, Managing Director of the firm, said: “Delivering the first major innovation in a product since the 1930s is something we are proud of.

“Tubular steel handrails are so ubiquitous that they are virtually invisible.

“It is like they have been around so long and are so prevalent that no-one stopped to think how they could be improved.

“The innovation we have brought to this is genuinely transformative and brings multiple benefits for health and safety, for the environment – and also in terms of reduced costs.

“While this might not mean much to the man in the street, it is of huge interest to local authorities, engineers and contractors or sub-contractors across huge numbers of sites.”

Managing Director of Kite Group, Anthony Wells.
Anthony Wells has heralded the new system as “genuinely transformative”.                                                  (C) Kite Group

Mr Wells added: “This is great news for businesses, particularly as the cost of steel has more than doubled in the past year.

“It’s also great news for the environment because it dramatically reduces the carbon footprint of every project we complete with the new technique.

“On top of that there are health and safety benefits from eliminating the need for welding.”

Mr Wells, who took the helm at Kite Group in 2020, added: “When I arrived at Kite Group and was shown how everything was done, it struck me as very traditional, so I immediately asked if there were other ways we could be doing things.

“The team have risen to that challenge brilliantly and ModiFix is the result.

“With so many potential users – including architects, engineers and facility managers across dozens of sectors – we are incredibly excited about the future of this product.”

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