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Crown shortlisted in Made in the South West awards

We were delighted to be named as finalists for Insider’s Made in the South West awards following partnership with FET-E to develop a new carbon capture and exchange technology.

The project was nominated in the Collaboration category and, while we weren’t named as winners on this occasion, being shortlisted is fantastic recognition for the project and demonstrates the excitement that is being generated around this revolutionary new technology.

Keep your eyes peeled for more updates over the next few months.

Crown launches pole installation service

Portishead-based Crown International, which designs and manufactures road and rail-side safety equipment, has launched a new installation service to help contractors meet growing demand for its road-side poles.

The poles, which are used to mount a variety of road-side cameras and other safety equipment, have been in particular demand over recent months as Highways England rolls out its Smart Motorways scheme across the network.

However, the scale of the programme has created challenges for contractors who need to recruit specialist teams to install this key equipment.

Mark Stacey, managing director of Crown International, said: “Our road-side poles have proved particularly popular due to their unique safety features and low life-in service and maintenance costs.

“The variable height, dual unit enabled PTZ mast is currently being deployed across a number of Smart Motorways schemes but, the volumes involve mean the availability of specially-qualified contractors to manage the installation of the poles could delay completion.

“At Crown, we have the appropriate skills and qualifications in house and decided to launch this new service to help both Smart Motorways contractors and other key customers meet the growing demand for our equipment. We have installed both our own manufactured poles but also poles for other companies who require the expertise that we can provide.”

The PTZ masts measure between 7.5m and 15 metres in height and are installed on pre-prepared bases. The Crown team is currently able to install poles measuring from 3m up to 18 metres in height.

Crown supports rail engineers to improve safety

Crown International, which manufactures innovative road and rail-side safety equipment, has completed a training programme for Network Rail to help its team manage the maintenance of gantry poles across its network.

The business has over 400 gantry poles in use across the UK rail network, the majority of which can be found along the West Coast Mainline.

The gantry poles use a unique, counterbalanced design to give the train driver a clearer sighting of the signal while allowing the pole to be wound up to the gantry for easy maintenance and cleaning.

Mark Stacey, managing director of Crown International, said: “The poles were designed specifically for Network Rail and have proved particularly popular across the network.

“Like many of our products, they were designed with ease of maintenance in mind, and contain a number of safety features to protect personnel during maintenance procedures.

“The training involved more than 40 of Network Rail’s in-house maintenance team, bringing them up to speed with how the equipment works to make sure they are equipped to manage the maintenance of the signals safely and with minimum disruption to passengers and operators.”

Crown’s gantry pole uses a special mounting bracket that has a number of location points, allowing the height to be adjusted vertically to achieve the ground to signal head clearance required for easy signal sighting. A chain and sprocket and counterbalance weights ensure that minimum effort is required to raise or lower the signal head into position, and a door allows access to the counterbalance mechanism. When this is fully closed and locked after maintenance, it ensures the signal head remains in its fully lowered operation position.

Mark continued: “With network upgrades underway across the country, the biggest challenge facing rail operators is delivering upgrades and maintenance services in a safe and efficient manner, without disrupting what is a tightly-scheduled service. Not only does the Crown gantry pole enable Network Rail’s maintenance teams to provide regular signal maintenance with minimal disruption to services, but it is also designed to allow new gantries to be installed behind existing signals, allowing a smooth transition between the old and new signal equipment.”

Crown signs carbon capture & conversion partnership

Crown International is delighted to have signed a contract with a Bristol-based environmental technology company to provide components for an exciting new carbon capture technology.

The technology has recently been used for two pilot projects funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, successfully demonstrating its ability to capture Carbon Dioxide (CO2) cost-effectively and convert that CO2 into a range of valuable commodities using an efficient, commercially-viable process.

Mark Stacey, managing director of Crown International, said: “We’re excited by the potential this new technology offers. Initial results suggest it performs significantly better than existing carbon capture and carbon conversion technologies and, as a result could play a significant role helping the UK Government reach its carbon reduction targets.”

Crown expands into new premises

Crown International, a leading supplier of road and rail side safety equipment, has relocated to a new 18,000 square foot facility on Old Mill Road Industrial Estate in Portishead to provide additional capacity for increasing orders.

Mark Stacey, managing director of Crown International, said: “2015 has seen strong performance across our portfolio of safety enforcement products, with new contracts to support safety schemes across the UK’s motorway and rail networks driving significant growth.

“Moving into this new facility will provide us with more space from which to service these important contracts, as well as allowing us to create a dedicated testing and inspection facility and new product development area.

Working for highway authorities, leading service companies and technology firms, Crown International designs, develops and manufactures road and rail safety equipment to meet the need for secure, easily maintained installations in urban, rural and motorway locations.

With more than 6000 installations across the world, it has become the world leader for the design and manufacture of poles and cabinets for the road traffic safety market.

Crown celebrates Level Crossing trial success

Leading road and rail traffic safety manufacturer Crown International is celebrating the successful delivery and completion of a two-year, national pilot project for the installation of 54 Level Crossing Enforcement Smart Poles across the UK.

The pilot project was part of Network Rail’s £130m National Level Crossing Safety Improvement Programme, delivered to improve the safety of the public at level crossings following 97 deaths in the 10 years to March 2014.

Network Rail is now looking to extend the technology with rollout to be delivered over the next three years.

The Smart Poles are used to mount digital safety-camera equipment to support motorist cameras that dissuade jumping of the lights. The design also allows roadside maintenance by a single operative, reducing the need for costly rail closures and improving safety for maintenance workers.

Mark Stacey, managing director of Crown International, said: “This is a very important programme of works that aims to improve safety at level crossings and, in turn, minimise risk.

“Our Level Crossing Enforcement Smart Poles are bespoke, the next generation of roadside health and safety equipment. Compared to traditional road and railside fixed enforcement equipment, the Smart Pole offers quick and effortless access for removal and repair, with the ability to lower the camera equipment to ground level making it a low-cost and safer maintenance option.”

Working for highway authorities, leading service companies and technology firms, Crown International designs, develops and manufactures innovative road and rail safety equipment to meet the need for secure, easily maintained installations in urban, rural and motorway locations.

With more than 6000 installations across the world, it has become the world leader for the design and manufacture of poles and cabinets for the road traffic safety market. For further information, visit www.crown-international.co.uk

Crown wins £347,000 Balfour Beatty Contract

Crown International has secured a £347,000 contract with Balfour Beatty to supply and install Variable Height Dual Unit Enabled PTZ Masts, as part of the SMART Motorways project on the M3. The masts will be used between Junctions 2 and 4a and will be delivered in Spring 2016.

The mast will be used to mount infrared equipment to support lane monitoring cameras and has been designed for roadside maintenance by a single operative, reducing the need for costly lane closures and improving safety for maintenance workers.

Mark Stacey, managing director of Crown International, said: “We’re really pleased to have secured this contract, which follows hot on the heels of contracts to supply equipment for SMART Motorways schemes on the M1 and the M6.

“Our PTZ mast has several unique features designed to provide greater reliability of operation than traditional equipment. The integrated cable-management system means cables remain in place when the platform is lowered or raised for maintenance, eliminating the need to disconnect wires or power supplies. It also features a fully-integrated winch and braking system, meaning it can genuinely be maintained by a single maintenance worker, thereby reducing operating costs.”

Working for highway authorities, leading service companies and technology firms, Crown International designs, develops and manufactures innovative road and rail safety equipment to meet the need for secure, easily maintained installations in urban, rural and motorway locations.

With more than 6000 installations across the world, it has become the world leader for the design and manufacture of poles and cabinets for the road traffic safety market. For further information, visit www.crown-international.co.uk

M25 contract

Crown wins M25 contract

Bristol manufacturer Crown International is celebrating a successful 2015 with a second contract win to support the Smart Motorways (previously Managed Motorways) speed-enforcement programme.

The Portishead-based business already provides road-side poles for overhead cameras on the M6 and M1 motorways and has now secured a contract with Redflex Traffic Systems to supply poles for its Highways Agency Digital Enforcement Camera System (HADECS) 3 system on the M25.

The road-side poles support dual radar cameras, which automatically adjust to changes in the flexible speed limit in force at the time and monitor up to five lanes of traffic at once.

The cameras, which can also be mounted on overhead gantries, are smaller than traditional speed cameras and grey rather than yellow, leading to comments they are harder for motorists to spot than traditional cameras.

Mark Stacey, managing director of Crown International, said: “This contract is great news for the business and further enhances our reputation as one of the leading providers of road-side safety equipment in the country.

“With our in-house design and manufacturing capability, we’re constantly looking at ways to improve the design of road-side equipment – improving safety for maintenance operatives as well as reducing maintenance costs for operators.

“This contract is testament to the positive reputation our team now enjoys – designing and delivering equipment that not only performs well on a day-to-day basis but also improves safety, cost and convenience for both our customers and the wider public.”

Working for highway authorities, leading service companies and technology firms, Crown International designs, develops and manufactures innovative road and rail safety equipment to meet the need for secure, easily maintained installations in urban, rural and motorway locations.

With more than 6000 installations across the world, it has become the world leader for the design and manufacture of poles and cabinets for the road traffic safety market. For further information, visit www.crown-international.co.uk

M1 Contract

Crown International wins motorway contract

A Bristol manufacturer is celebrating after securing a contract to supply roadside poles for a stretch of Smart Motorway on the M1.

Portishead based Crown International designs and manufactures safety equipment, primarily for the transportation sector.

The contract with Simulation Systems Limited is significant and will see the company’s PTZ winch poles being used to mount CCTV and infra-red cameras between junctions 39 and 42 of the motorway.

Mark Stacey, managing director of Crown International, said: “We’re delighted to have won the contract, which is our second as part of the national roll out of the Smart Motorways scheme.

“Not only will the cameras installed on the poles improve safety on the motorway network but they have been specially designed to improve the safety of maintenance workers too.

“The poles use a counterbalance system that enables a single operative to lower mounted equipment to ground level for road-side maintenance, rather than having to work at height to maintain the equipment.

“As well as improving safety, this feature also limits the need for road/lane closures to allow for equipment maintenance and reduces operating and maintenance costs. The system also means that the camera equipment can be lowered without the need to disconnect power and communications cables, again making it safer and easier to operate.”

Working for highway authorities, leading service companies and technology firms, Crown International designs, develops and manufactures innovative road and rail safety equipment to meet the need for secure, easily maintained installations in urban, rural and motorway locations.

With more than 6000 installations across the world, it has become the world leader for the design and manufacture of poles and cabinets for the road traffic safety market. For further information, visit www.crown-international.co.uk

Crown PTZ Dual Unit enabled CCTV Mast

Crown International’s Variable Height Dual Unit Enabled PTZ Mast has been designed and built as an improvement on existing PTZ platforms combining true single operation, an in-board braking system, integrated cable management and the capability of mounting additional equipment to support lane monitoring cameras.

The design has several unique features and will provide greater reliability of operation. A winch is fully integrated into the pole and the integrated cable management means that all cables can remain in place when the platform is lowered or raised. Like other Crown International products this makes the pole a true single person operation thereby reducing operating costs.

The pole can be made in variable heights and can be deployed onto concrete and screw pile foundations. It is currently in deployment across a number of Smart Motorways Schemes in the UK.

Crown\Redflex Pilot new equipment for motorways

Crown in collaboration with Redflex and Telent have supplied new equipment for the HADECS pilot scheme. Working on two new concepts, Crown’s design and fabrication teams have built an EAV pole with top bar mount to take multiple equipment arrays and a universal  Gantry Clamp, which will allow different equipment platforms to be deployed onto the existing infrastructure. Both designs were created with input from Redflex and Telent to assist our in house design team to come up with new and unique solutions.

The Gantry Clamp, can be used on both square and circular section gantry legs and is built to be able to take a variety of different platforms. As such it has a broad range of applications and can be customised as needed.

The EAV pole also has further potential uses and can be built to given heights dependent on the application.

Both products are IP protected and HA Approved.

Crown VMC installed in Australia

In July this year Crown International delivered and facilitated the install of 4 specially commissioned VMC poles working alongside project partners at  Jenoptik Australia. The project was part of a major upgrade on the M1 as part of a Managed Motorways scheme.The poles were an evolutionary design of Crown’s award winning VMC poles and  the length of the truss arm was increased to 7.5m allowing all lanes on one side of the carriageway to be enforced. The customer was delighted and the accruing benefits will see a significant saving in maintenance costs over the fixed gantries.  The ability of Crown International’s in house design team and it’s quality metal fabrication team enabled delivery of this project through an entirely new set of approval processes in a 6 month lead time. The pole is built to BS-EN and AS standards and type approved and proof engineered for use in Australia. To help manage the installation, a dedicated team from Crown went over to Australia in late June.

Yet again, Crown and their partners have delivered a World’s First.

http://www.jenoptik.com/au-jenoptik-australia-traffic-solutions

Crown Quality Programme Gains NHSS 6 Certification

In August of last year as part of its programme of continuous improvement, Crown International embarked on gaining National Highways Sector Scheme Accreditation for the supply of CCTV Poles (Sector 6).  The Sector Schemes have been created as a bespoke solution to ensure that the design and build of products for highways schemes are managed through an approved and certified quality system.  By achieving certification,  Crown International will join a select group of companies who can supply product to the Highways Agency and main contractors working on Highways Schemes.

The project has involved a lot of work to review and check our existing ISO9001 processes and subject them to a two stage external audit. The second stage audit was completed in December 2012 and following our response to that audits finding we have been awarded our Sector Scheme 6 Accreditation.

Our work to improve our processes will continue during 2013 and we will progress towards further Sector Scheme Accreditations, principally Sector Scheme 20.

New Strategic Relationship for Cabinet Solutions

Crown International Ltd are pleased to announce that they have formed a new strategic relationship with Control Engineers. Based in Hampshire Control Engineers provide their customers with a range of design and build of control and automation systems including PLC’s, HMI’s, SCADA, HMI’s and VSD’s. Web enabled into MCC’s and/or Process Panels. Control Engineers can offer expertise in on-shore and off-shore solutions

With Crown International Ltds range of CEC Cabinets, the strategic relationship allows Crown International Ltd to offer turnkey solutions for the design and build of bespoke cabinet solutions.

Combined Equipment Cabinets (CEC Type Cabinet)

Modular Cabinet Construction

The Crown CEC cabinet has been designed to allow a host of different configurations, this is achieved with a simple modular bay system. A range of different bay types are available and these bays can be bolted together to form a variety of different cabinet configurations.

This system means that we can construct a cabinet to suit the desired specification without having to customise the design for each configuration. This also means a cabinet can be altered to allow it to be used for a different or additional purpose.

Cabinet Bays

Each bay has been designed for a different purpose and can include 19″ racking, a simple back board or an array of shelving and 19-inch racking. Custom bay designs are also available on request.

Individual bays can be open into its neighbouring bay or can be sealed off and have different keys, allowing control over access to different equipment for different departments or companies.

Cabinet Design Features

The Crown Combined Equipment Cabinets have been designed to meet the MCE-1227 specification for Combined Equipment Cabinets, and have the following key features:

  • Modular bay system to allow flexibly in configuration
  • Welded stainless steel construction, but also available in galvanised and painted mild steel on request
  • Powder coated or wet painted to any colour in the RAL and BS4800 range
  • Manufactured to BS EN ISO9001 standards to ensure quality and reliability
  • High security Mul-T-Lock Cylinder & Key + Euro Shutter Locking System with S/S Multi-positional throw bars, however custom locking systems and remote locking systems can be fitted on request
  • Individual bays can be open into the next bay or it can be sealed off. Each bay can also have a grand master locking system to control access to equipment for different departments or companies
  • Custom designed bays available on request
  • Anti-vibration equipment rack mountings to reduce shock on equipment
  • Front and rear access is available on most bay styles
  • Internal hinges for added security
  • Keyed access to inside the plinth via individual removable panels
  • High quality rubber seals

Shipment of First Adjustable PV Mounting Frame

Crown International have shipped the first of the Mark III Adjustable Solar Panel Mounting Frame to a Mole Valley customer. Crown International finalised the commercial agreement with Mole Valley Farmers earlier this year and is now proud to be shipping products to their customers.

The Adjustable PV Mounting Frame has been designed to be adjusted every season to maximise the yield of each solar panel, helping to recoup investment costs quicker and maximise investment. It is believed that seasonally adjusted panels see an increased yield of  around 15% in winter and approximately 25%  in the summer in comparison to fixed mounting solutions.

For more information on the product take a look at our dedicated Season Adjustable Solar Panel Mounting Frame product page.

Viper Subsea

Crown International Ltd has completed another exhibition piece for Viper Subsea.  This is the second time that Viper Subsea has turned to Crown International for the expertise in fabrication of precision components.

The work demonstrates Crown International Ltd capabilities in delivering one-off bespoke pieces to customer requirements.

VMC Pole Inspection

ERH has commissioned Crown International Ltd to provide an annual inspection service on the VMC Poles installed between J24 and J28 onto the M4 in Wales.

The first inspections started last week and should be finished by the end of this week. The VMC was designed to require limited maintenance overhead and the cost of the work reflects this. The inspections will conform to LOLER standards and provide Traffic Wales with a report on each VMC Pole.

For future VMC Pole installations, Crown International Ltd will offer a similar low cost service. The unique design of the VMC Pole means that the Traffic Management requirements for the work are zero and risk to operatives is minimised. The travelling public are unlikely to be affected by the work.

Aeolus Update: Lyme Park

The final pieces were shipped in August and the Aeolus Acoustic Wind Pavilion has been installed at Lyme Park.

The creator of the piece, Luke Jerram was very pleased with the fabrication work done by Crown International Ltd. Over 300 polished stainless steel tubes had to be rolled and welded with no weld penetration visible from inside.

Several other sheet metal fabrication companies had been approached to do the work but were unable to meet the requirements of the artist.  It is a testament to Crown International Ltd’s technical capabilities in fabrication and welding techniques that we were able to deliver to time and budget on such a demanding project.

For more information on Aeolus and to see it in situ, visit http://www.lukejerram.com/aeolus


Solar Panel Mounting Frames

Crown have finalised the commercial agreement with Mole Valley Farmers which will see the Crown International Ltd seasonally adjustable solar panel frames marketed through Mole Valley Farmers in the South West.

This agreement follows on from several months of collaboration between both organisations which included supplying prototypes and a mark 2 version to Mole Valley Farmers’ test site in Somerset. The learning gained from this work has been used to develop an improved mark 3 version which has been engineered to ease manufacture and reduce price to the customer.

The design has ensured that the frame is both easy to install and mount the solar panels onto as well as being simple to operate.

Seasonal adjustability is believed to provide as much as a 20% increase in yield from solar panels, significantly improving returns. The Crown International Ltd frame is simple to use and install.

Combined Equipment Cabinets (CEC Type Cabinet)

Combined Equipment Cabinets (CECs) have primarily been introduced for use on manage motorways. The single, multi-purpose cabinets have been developed to replace the existing multi-cabinet system currently in place by the highways agency (Cabinet type 609 & Cabinet type 600).

Crown International  have been manufacturing road side and rail side cabinets for many years and have built up a high level of experience and quality in the manufacture of enclosures. Now looking to expand their cabinet portfolio they have developed a range of modular cabinets that meet the MCE-1227 specification for Combined Equipment Cabinets. These include:

  • CECR
  • CECLB
  • CECEB

Modular Cabinet System

The cabinets are based on a simple modular system, that enables multiple configurations by adding a variety of additional bays. Each bay has been designed for a different purpose and can include 19″ racking, a simple back board or a custom array of shelving and 19-inch racking.

Individual bays can be either open into its neighbouring bay or can be sealed off and have different keys, allowing control over access to different equipment for different departments or companies.

For more information on CEC cabinets contact us.

More information on other road side and rail side cabinets and enclosures.

Aeolus Tube Manufacture Update

Luke Jerram the creator of Aeolus Wind Pavilion visited the Crown International fabrication workshop to check on the progress of the project.

Whilst he was here he created a short video showing parts of the process of manufacturing the 340 polished stainless steel tubes, see the video below.

The Aeolus Wind Pavilion is going to be toured around the UK this Autumn it will appear in Liverpool Festival Gardens, Lyme Park (Cheshire) and the Eden Project. For more information on the project see out previous news stories and take a look at Aeolus website.

Aeolus Wind Pavilion Update

Earlier this year Crown International announced that they will be manufacturing the acoustic tube sections of the Aeolus Acoustic Pavilion.

After a few months of planning and preparation the 165 polished stainless steel steel sheets arrived and fabrication of the 340 tubes is now under way.

The Aeolus Wind Pavilion has been designed allow you to hear the silent shifting patterns of the wind whilst also tunnelling light from the surrounding landscape enabling you view the changing scenery.

Luke Jerram gave the below interview a few months ago where he explains his inspiration for this sculpture.

For more infomation on the Aeolus Wind Pavllion see Luke Jerram dedicated website

See the orignal news story on the announcement of  Crown International taking on the Aeolus Wind Pavilion Project

UK Speed Enforcement – Update

Over the last 12 months there has been a degree of turmoil amongst UK Speed Enforcement Bodies due to changes in government funding.

In some parts of the UK, the use of camera technology for enforcement was temporarily suspended although the technology was left operational. The statistics captured where this occurred, showed both a marked increase in the number of enforceable events – up by 88% – and regrettably an increase in deaths and serious injuries.

Clearly, speed enforcement is needed unless the UK wants to see an increase in speed related road traffic injuries.

The work that ACPO have been doing has seen a move towards using education of the driver via speed awareness courses as opposed to straight forward fines and penalty points for speed offences.

Whilst this in itself has helped to ease the budget pressures of the operators, ACPO have now published the guidance document for the outsourcing of safety camera operations and offence processing, which is expected to assist in creating a different business model for the future.

As a result of these initiatives, some of the operators are beginning to think about renewing investment in their infrastructure, particularly the use of digital equipment to replace existing wet film cameras.

With some of the world’s safest roads the enforcement of safe speeds will continue, but the business model employed to support the infrastructure and processing will change over the next few years.

Crown International’s New Solar Panel Frame For PV Farms

With photovoltaic (PV) farms accelerating in popularity the efficiency of the solar panels is becoming more important.  Crown International in partnership with Mole Valley Farmers have developed a low cost solar panel mounting frame that allows seasonal adjustment to help maximise the power output from the PV farm. This easy to use, low cost solution helps to limit initial investment whilst not limiting the efficiency by having the panels in a fixed position all year around.

Crown International have completed the second prototype solar panel frame ready for testing on the Mole Valley test farm. The first solar frame has already been installed on site and initial feedback is very positive.

See here for more information on our design services of manufacturing facilities.

Collaboration with Amey for new Gantry Pole

Crown have been asked by Amey to design manufacture and supply a new version of their Gantry Pole for the Pendolino project.

The Gantry Pole design will consist of a bespoke body and mounting structure to enable the pole to take a multi head signal array and attach to a cantilevered railway gantry.

The structure will be unique but it shows the versatility and utility of the original design that it can be modified to suit different applications.

Timescales are for the new gantry pole to be delivered by the end of May.

More information on the Gantry Pole

Crown International Announce New CCTV Pole Range

Over the past year Crown International has been designing and developing a series of new products to add to the ever growing product portfolio, the latest addition is the new range of CCTV Poles.

Crown have been looking at getting into the CCTV pole market for a while but have not had a set of products to offer the their clients. However the development of this new CCTV pole range gives Crown the opportunity to supply CCTV pole solutions for a wide range of applications.

This new range includes 3 main types of poles:

Fixed CCTV Pole

The fixed CCTV camera pole is a standard pole, it does not allow ground level access to the equipment, but there is a built in cabinet at the base of the pole to mount electrical equipment. This pole is available in a large variety of heights ranging from 4 meters up to 9 meters, but is also available in custom heights to suit requirements. The pole can also be fitted with a washer jet to clean the camera lens.

Hinged CCTV Pole

The hinged CCTV pole looks similar to the fixed version, however it folds over just above the cabinet. This allows ground level access to the camera for maintenance or repair. This pole much like the fixed version also comes with a large cabinet for fitting electrical equipment and can be fitted with a washer jet to clean the camera lens remotely.

Lowering CCTV Pole

The lowering CCTV pole also allows ground level access to the mounted CCTV camera. However the pole does not fold over like the hinged pole, instead it lowers the camera equipment straight down, this means it requires a smaller obstacle free footprint.

The Pole is completely hand driven, no electrical or hydraulic systems just a simple counter-weight system the allows a single operative to quickly lower the camera by hand.

Much like the standard and hinged CCTV pole it has a large cabinet at the bottom of the pole to store electrical equipment and has the option to have a remote controlled wash jet to clean the camera lens.

To find out more and download a spec sheet see the CCTV Poles page.

Mounting Frame For Viper Subsea Exhibition

Viper Subsea have recently exhibited their hydraulic V-Lock product and used Crown Internationals steel manufacturing and fabrication services to produce the mounting solution.  This follows Crown Internationals desire to enter the renewable energies market and hope this will stimulate further work within this field. The mounting frame was fabricated in house by Crown Internationals experienced team of welders and fabricators under the supervision of the design team.  Made from box section and laser cut sheet metal plates, all sourced from Bristol suppliers, the frame had to support the V-locks substantial weight.  The product also had to be exhibition quality and so it was finished with a white zinc rich powder coat paint. The exhibition and the frame was a success and Crown International hope Viper Subsea use their manufacturing and fabrication services again in the future.

Aeolus – Acoustic Wind Pavilion

Crown International are proud to announce that they will be a part of Luke Jerram’s Acoustic Wind Pavilion project – Aeolus.

Aeolus – Acoustic Wind Pavilion is a project by Luke Jerram into acoustics, wind, architecture and light. A viewer stands underneath the arch and can explore the surrounding landscape in a entirely new way. The structure will make audible the otherwise silent wind patterns by humming low frequencies, allowing the listener to hear every slight change in the wind. The tubes will also channel light down from the sky and surrounding landscape displaying an inverted and magnified view. As the wind and sky changes throughout the day the experience within the pavilion will dramatically change for the viewing public.

Crown International will be contributing to the project by fabricating the 310 stainless steel internally polished tubes that will be drawing the surrounding light and wind acoustics into the viewing arch.

Once completed the pavilion will be touring the UK before finally being installed permanently somewhere in the UK.

Bristol with Watershed.
Canary Wharf London.
Liverpool Biennial, located in Everton Park.
The Eden Project celebrating its 10th birthday.

Read more about the Aeolus – Acoustic Wind Pavilion project

Crown International Marketing Video

Crown International recently commissioned the filming of a marketing video to help promote the company and the VMC Pole.

The VMC Pole has been designed to hold traffic safety equipment above a carriageway. However the unique design of the VMC Pole means that it can be rotated to above the verge and then lowered down into the verge for safe ground level access to the mounted equipment. This feature protects road workers by eliminating the need to traffic management, thus removing the need for them to be exposed to a live carriageway.

This video has now been completed and here is the final edit.


Special thanks to Portishead based Hanover Pictures who filmed and edited the short video.

Crown International New Brochure

Crown International have just released the new brochure for the start of 2011.

The new brochure now includes more information on the current range of motorway poles including both the VMC Pole and Slip Road Pole. As well as more information about the design and manufacturing services that are offered at Crown International.

Also included in this latest brochure is the new Lowering CCTV Pole concept and the latest development in the VMC Pole family with the new Lightweight VMC Pole.

Metal Fabrication Services

Crown International core manufacturing skills are within metal fabrication, we have highly skilled sheet metal and general metal fabricators in our manufacturing team.

We are based in Portishead in Bristol and have been getting a high level of local interest  in our fabrication services. Due to this high level of interest we have now added a new page to our web site detailing our fabrication skills and capabilities, view here for more information on our fabrication services.

All our products are produced to a high standard of quality and we work to the approval of ISO 9001:2 and all our welders are BS EN 287-1 and ISO 15614-1 qualified.

Metal Fabrication Capabilities

  • Sheet Metal Fabrication
  • General Fabrication
  • Stainless Steel Fabrication
  • Mild Steel Fabrication
  • Aluminium Fabrication
  • Laser Cutting/ Laser Profiling
  • CNC Bending

VMC Pole Marketing Video

Crown International this week are recording a promotional marketing video on the VMC Pole, this video will show details of the design and how the product works. The video is also going to include information about Crown International and the design services that they offer.

Portishead based Hanover Pictures are shooting the video today, keep checking the news section of the website to see the final video after editing.

Find out more about the VMC Pole or our design services

2010 Review of the Year – A story of Outstanding Success

The year just gone has proven to be an eventful one in the history of Crown International. It began with us working on delivering the VMC Pole to the Welsh Government M4 VSL Scheme and one the heaviest snowfalls for some years and it ended with even worse conditions for most of December and having extended our contacts into new markets and with new partners.

Our design led approach to problem solving created the VMC Pole and the Slip Road Pole which were successfully delivered during the summer and which gathered 3 Industry Awards for Innovation. We showcased the prototype VMC Pole at Intertraffic in Amsterdam and created global interest in this product and our overall design and manufacture capabilities which we expect to generate significant growth opportunities over 2011 and beyond.

We strengthened ties with existing customers and were able to broaden our offering to them by demonstrating our new products and concepts for innovative designs for road and railside infrastructure.

Potential new customers in our core business sought us out to discuss ways Crown could design and supply motorway poles to their markets.

The change of Government created some uncertainties amongst Speed Camera Partnerships and we have yet to see the full result of the austerity measures but towards the end of 2010 we began to hear some positive news from the market place.

Following up on our plans to branch out into new sectors where we can apply our design and manufacturing competencies has led to establishing new relationships in exciting areas in the renewable sector.

Crown was invited to present to the CIHT in November and we became a member of Balfour Beatty Zero Harm.  Both of these are recognition of an increased presence and awareness of Crown in the roadside infrastructure supply chain.

All in all it has been an outstanding 2010. With the current interest and activities this will lead to an exciting 2011.

Traffic Wales Commence Training on New Crown VMC and Slip Road Motorway Poles

Crown International have started the training program for Traffic Wales staff on the new VMC and Slip Road Poles that have recently been installed on the M4 motorway. The first batch of trainees have been introduced to the the new products, they have been shown in detail how to operate and maintain the two types of motorway pole.

The VMC Pole and the Slip Road Pole are two new products from Crown International that have only recently been implemented on the M4 motorway, there are 27 VMC Poles and 8 Slip Road Poles between junction 24 and 28.

The VMC Pole is a brand new design of motorway pole that has been engineered to hold variable message signs above the carriageway whilst still allowing safe and easy access to the sign for maintenance or repair at ground level. The pole does this by rotating away from above the motorway and then lowering down to ground level in the verge. This allows the traffic to continue to flow with no traffic management, eliminating disruption to a busy motorway.

Crown International signs NDA on Electric Vehicle Infrastructure with ChargePoint

Crown International have signed a non-disclosure agreement with supplier of electric vehicle charging technologies, ChargePoint, as part of their ongoing collaboration to deliver a quality and affordable electric vehicle infrastructure in the UK.

UK Government is suggesting setting a target for 1.7m electric vehicles to be on the road by 2020. The need for a robust and affordable recharging infrastructure is part of that target. With the second round of bidding underway for Plugged in Places aimed at creating a UK wide integrated recharging network, there remain a number of complex technical and commercial issues to be resolved. Crown International and ChargePoint have committed themselves to providing innovative solutions to these problems and the non-disclosure agreement allows greater exchange of ideas to take place.

Research on possible solutions has already been taking place and working prototypes are expected to be available in the New Year.

For more information on the services that we offer take a look at our design services section

APCO – Future for Speed Enforcement

ACPO have released the first output from their discussions with the Government about decisions taken earlier this year which affect the ability of Local Authorities to fund the existing operations of the various speed camera partnerships.

It is expected that the emphasis will change from a strategy firmly weighted towards penalty points and fixed penalty notices to a policy which encourages more use of speed awareness courses to help modify behaviour. The change is expected to help bridge the gap in funding that exists.

Other initiatives are being considered with a move to digital technology being seen as major step forward in both reducing operational running costs for local authorities whilst improving the ability to identify speeding infringements in more cases.

In addition some thought needs to be given on the organisation and running of the multiple groups with some industry members looking at schemes in Ireland and the US as a blueprint for the future.

Transport Spending Review – Reaction

Last Wednesday the Government formally announced its spending plans over the next 5 years. As widely reported some £80bn will come out of public spending by 2015, made up partly in real cash reductions in spend and no allowance for inflation increases.

For transport, some £800m will come out in cash terms over the period with the majority of savings being found in the resource – maintenance and operation – budget. The capital spend element remains largely flat at around £7.5bn.

Of key significance for Crown are the decisions to proceed with Managed Motorway Schemes on the M4/M5, M62 and the M1. We believe that the savings offered by using the VMC  Pole provide the platform for enabling operational and management cost savings.

Also of interest is the decision to go-ahead with plans for Cross Rail. With the changes envisaged, Crown gantry and cess systems can provide the same solution that they did for the West Coast Line Upgrade.

Despite the gloomy outlook from some quarters the changes that the spending cuts will bring about will create opportunities for companies who can supply creative solutions and innovative designs. We believe that Crown with the VMC Pole having already proven itself on the M4 in Wales, is ideally placed to take advantage of these changes.

Highway Industry Product Of The Year Award

Crown International’s VMC Pole wins its third major award, winning the Highway Industry Product Of The Year at the 2010 Highways Magazine Excellence Awards. The award ceremony was held at the Millennium Hotel in London Mayfair on the 20th October 2010.

The Highways Magazine Excellence Awards highlight and celebrate the achievements of products, services, companies and authorities that display innovation and excellence within the highways industry over the past year. This was the 7th annual award ceremony and they are now recognised as one of the major industry events. The awards spread across a wide range of categories, which gives a greater opportunity for involvement across the industry.

The VMC Pole is a ground breaking new product that has been designed to vastly reduce traffic management costs when maintaining and repairing traffic equipment that is hung over the highway. The VMC Pole rotates the mounted equipment from over the road to over the verge, and then lowers it down to ground level for easy and safe access. This removes the need for traffic management and hire of mobile elevating working platforms, as well as increasing safety by eliminating the need to work at height.

Read more about the VMC Pole

Crown International have a vast experience in the design and manufacture of this type of product if you have a similar requirement then have a look at the design services on offer to see what their design engineers could do for you.

Crown International to Present at CIHT Seminar

Following on from the successful completion of the VMC Project on the M4, Crown International has been invited to present a technical paper on the design, build and implementation of the VMC Pole at University of Glamorgan on November 18th.
The title of the presentation will be “From Snake Oil to Reality” and it will chart the story of the VMC Pole through custom design, manufacture and installation. It will demonstrate how using in house skills in design and world leading expertise in counter balanced technology an innovative solution has been delivered which has both cost saving and harm reducing benefits.

The VMC Pole was designed and manufactured at Crown International, it is a revolutionary new pole that holds many types of traffic products including variable message signs, CCTV cameras, ANPR cameras and tolling equipment. Its prime feature is the ability to rotate from over the road and then lower down into the verge to allow easy access at ground level for maintenance and repair.

More on the VMC Pole

More on the CIHT Annual Seminar

Highways Magazine Excellence Award

Crown International’s VMC Pole has been short listed for a third industry award. Highways Magazine as part of their Excellence Awards has short listed The VMC Pole for the Highways Industry Product of the Year. Award winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on 20th October 2010, at the Millennium Hotel London Mayfair.

The VMC Pole is a new and innovate pole that hangs over a carriageway supporting various equipment such as variable message signs, speed cameras, ANPR cameras, CCTV cameras or any other traffic equipment. The unique feature of this pole is the ability for it to rotate away from the carriageway and over the verge next to the road, it then lowers down to ground level allowing access to the mounted equipment for maintenance, replacement or cleaning. This new product, designed and manufactured by Crown International, is a world first, it has huge cost benefits as it negates the need for traffic management for maintenance and repair of the mounted equipment.

This year the VMC Pole has already won two other industry awards, the CIHT Innovation Award and the Intertraffic Innovation in Infrastructure Award.

Find out more about the VMC Pole

More on the Highways Magazine Excellence Awards

27 VMC Poles Installed on the M4

Crown International are proud to announce that 27 VMC Poles have been successfully installed on the M4 in Wales between junction 24 and 28, it is the first install of our revolutionary new product, we would like to thank everybody who was involved in making this a successful project for us.

The VMC Pole is a unique product designed and manufactured by Crown International that allows safe, secure and easy access to equipment mounted above the carriageway, it rotates away from the road and over the verge before lowering down to ground level for easy access to any mounted equipment.

Find out more about the VMC Pole

Truvelo Smart Pole

Crown International have been working with Truvelo for many years and have many hundreds of successful speed camera installations with the original Crown Pole™ in the UK. Truvelo had a new “D-Cam” family of digital technology speed and red-light and mobile cameras that needed a roadside housing. They were impressed by the benefits that the Crown Smart Pole™ had to offer and a design project got under way.

The result of the design project is a very sleek designed product that is more in-line with contemporary street furniture than roadside engineering equipment. The curved aesthetic enables the pole to sit comfortably on the roadside at any angle, essential for their renowned bi-directional capability. The new fully integrated pole and cabinet design and high security MUL-T-LOCK mechanism help improve the vandal protection of the product.

Truvelo Smart Pole

GATSO Serco Smart Pole

With many successful years in the UK camera market Gatso have been a dominant leader in the UK with many thousands of conventional Crown Pole™ speed camera installations.

UK Home Office approval of the Gatso digital camera system late in 2007 Serco (Gatso’s UK distributors) were extremely keen for Crown to commence in the Gatso type bespoke Smart Pole™. We have been working alongside Serco/Gatso in developing new design poles for both Speed & Red Light camera systems which offer substantial benefits compared to the conventional poles, the new Gatso speed camera Smart Poles™ are now on many UK roads.

Robot International Smart Pole

Working alongside Robot Visual Systems (now Jenoptik) we are currently developing two Smart Pole™ (Easy Poles) designs for both domestic and international speed camera markets. (See Robot Domestic Smart Pole).

The international pole is the bigger of the two poles as it holds more speed enforcement equipment, it  has been taken on in the UK by Siemens.

Our prototype poles have featured on Robots stand at various traffic exhibitions around the world. Siemens have installed a number of test sites in the UK which are being submitted for UK Home-Office approval alongside their new digital camera system.

Robot Domestic Smart Pole

Working alongside Robot we have developed two Smart Pole™  (Easy Pole) designs for both domestic & international markets. (See Robot International Smart Pole)

This domestic version of the Robot Smart Pole is the slimmer of the two poles as it contains less internal speed enforcement equipment. Prototype domestic type poles have featured on Robots stand at various traffic exhibitions around the world and they have  installed a high spec prototype currently located outside there world headquarters in Germany.  They are now starting to roll the pole out to customers with a number of these poles now installed around Germany and Canada.

Redflex Smart Pole

During the launch of the Smart Pole™ range at Crown’s first Traffex exhibition in 2007 Redflex expressed a keen interest in the new design pole, its many benefits both to its clients & engineers. Immediately following the exhibition in 2007 Crown set to work on a bespoke Redflex speed camera Smart Pole™ design & prototype. Within a week of receiving the prototype at the Redflex Headquarters (Australia) an order was placed for 24 poles destination Qatar in the Middle East. This was quickly followed by a further 68 poles for Qatar all of which are now installed on site. In its first year (since starting the design) Redflex have installed well over one hundred Smart Poles™ in a variety of counties ranging from the UK to New Zealand.

In 2008 Redflex officially added the Smart Pole™ to there range of products. At Intertraffic 2008 in Amsterdam Redflex appeared with a comprehensive range of digital enforcement systems, a major new innovation on the Redflex stand is the company’s SmartPole™, a next generation of a combined camera head and counterbalanced system for the worldwide market, designed in partnership with Crown International. According to John Harris, Redflex business development director, Smart Pole™ offers the ability to have “fit and forget” camera technology or the more traditional semi-mobile camera system, where cameras and dummies are interchanged. “All camera operations are carried out at the technicians eye level,” says John Harris.


VMC Pole

The VMC Pole™ is a rotating and lowering  cantilevered motorway pole. Supporting sign or surveillance equipment it is mounted by the side of the road. The pole can be rotated off carriageway and then lowered for access to the equipment mounted on it to allow for repairs and regular maintenance.

It delivers significant cost savings over fixed posts, removing the need for lane possession and additional safety and access equipment when maintenance is required. The new and innovative design has already won three industry awards.  The pole’s first implementation is on a managed motorway scheme in the UK, holding reduced size MS4 variable message motorway signs.

The inbuilt safety features ensure the pole must be fully rotated before the lowering mechanism can be driven, removing the risk of it being inadvertently lowered over the carriageway.

Designed to fulfil a number of functions the VMC Pole™ is currently used for mounting VMS (variable message sign) equipment as well as traffic monitoring and enforcement equipment over highways. However the design is not just for use with motorway signs, it can be extended to other applications and can be both upscaled and downscaled depending on need.

VMC Pole Operation Guide

Illustration shows the transition from the operation position to the maintenance position.

Crown International's VMC Pole Operation Motion

  1. Unlock the pole
  2. Release rotation locking pin
  3. Wind the handle to rotate the pole
  4. Once the pole has rotate through a minimum of 90 degrees the lowering locking bar will be able to be released (the pole has been designed so that it is not possible to release this handle until the pole has rotated a minimum of 90 degrees)
  5. Release the lowering locking bar, once this is released the pole can now be lowered
  6. Wind the lowering handle to lower the arm to ground level
  7. Lock the arm in the desired position (can be locked at any height)
  8. Maintain your equipment
  9. Unlock the arm again and wind the arm back up into position
  10. Engage the lowering locking bar (this can only be engage when the arm is in its up most position and until it is engaged the pole will not rotate back over the road)
  11. Ones the pole is back over the road the rotation locking pin can be engaged
  12. The pole can now be locked

VMC Pole Video

This quick video shows the VMC Pole in action and demonstrates how it works. 

Highway Industry Awards

Intertraffic, Innovation Award within Infrastructure
CIHT (Chartered Institute of Highways & Transport), Innovation Award
Highways Magazine, Highway Industry Product of the Year

VMC Pole Images

Smart Pole

These Smart Pole designs have adopted the visual language of contemporary street furniture. They are the next generation of roadside health and safety equipment. By keeping the renowned counter-balanced Crown Pole™ system and improving on its vandal protection, a quality product has been produced. The unique ability to lower the client’s equipment to ground level makes the Crown Smart Pole™ the only choice for low cost and safe maintenance.

Operation Guide

  1. Unlock the Smart Pole’s main door using the 8mm security alan key and the multi-lock key
  2. Open the door
  3. Remove the lowering handle from inside the door
  4. Hook the handle into its corresponding location hole in the “throat section”
  5. Slowly pull the “throat” down to its lowest position
  6. Slide the lowest end of the handle in the corresponding location hole at the base of the pole and secure
  7. Ground level access is now available to the unit
  8. Each variation of Smart Pole will have different procedure to gain access to there individual unit, such as slide trays or rotation trays to gain the desired access to the equipment
  9. To re-secure the unit reverse the above steps

Smart Pole Range

Crown International have spent the last two years developing their innovative new range of Crown SmartPole™ products. They work closely with each specific client to ensure that their bespoke design meets their aspirations both aesthetically and technically. Listed below is the current range of Smart Poles.

CCTV Poles

Fixed and Hinged (Tilt Over) CCTV Poles

The CCTV Poles are available in both a fixed and hinged (tilt over) configuration, they also come in a range of standard heights though they can be produced to your specification on request. All the CCTV Poles are fitted with the standard 101.6 PCD CCTV fixing holes.

All the CCTV poles can be finished in any paint colour in the RAL or BS4800 range or can be hot dip galvanised depending on customer preference. The maximum load at the top of the pole is 80kgs, however this can be increased to customer requirements.

Hinged (Tilt Over) & Fixed CCTV Poles

Lowering CCTV Poles

The Lowering CCTV pole is a counter balanced pole that has been designed to lower CCTV cameras down to ground level for safe maintenance and repair. Its unique design allows the camera to be lowered vertically negating the need to fold the pole over on a hinge. This method of lowering the vastly reduces the obstruction free space required around the pole compared with hinged poles, which means taller poles can now have ground level access and it can be easily placed within dense urban areas.

Key Benefits

  • Safe ground level access to equipment even on tall CCTV poles
  • High quality bearings for smooth lowering motion
  • Contemporary design
  • Large obstruction free space not required
  • Large base cabinet
  • Single man hand driven mechanism
  • Low maintenance product
  • Bespoke sizes on request
  • Hold multiple cameras

CCTV Pole

Custom Lowering CCTV Poles

The Lowering CCTV Pole Can be custom designed to suit the customers requirements, it can be as tall as 15 metres or as short as 4 metres. As each pole is custom designed it can be tailored around the technical specification required including localised wind loadings equipment size, equipment weight and the environment it is going to be situated.