There’s a really lively atmosphere at AUS Ltd, supplying safety-critical, specialist equipment to the Rail, Electrical Supply, Telecommunications, and Arboriculture industries, as well as providing a wide range of services such as training, inspection, repair, and manufacturing. But that’s not all. In recent years, AUS have invested in creating a Product Development and Innovation team, tasked with designing new and developing existing products to improve the industries we serve.

 

Previous successful innovations include link box blankets; a product designed to mitigate against the significant threat to life caused by electricity link boxes exploding on the streets of inner cities such as London. Since then, AUS have created and developed over 70 significant products. However, it’s our biggest, and most recent project to date that is currently making noise in the rail industry and has gained the attention of Mark Eastwood, MP for Dewsbury, Mirfield, Kirkburton, and Denby Dale.

 

In a bid to increase safety at railway level crossings, Network Rail have been searching for a safer alternative and decided that a bridge would be the best option. However, as well as not being environmentally friendly, traditional steel bridges are expensive and inconvenient to install. So, we were tasked with creating an alternative.

 

The alternative that we decided on was a bridge made of Fiber Reinforced Polymers (FRP) which, due to its method of manufacture and its lighter weight, is far more environmentally friendly, and quicker, and easier to assemble. It achieves this lighter weight without compromising any structural integrity which means that it is as strong and stiff as steel, without the drawbacks. Other benefits of using FRP over steel include high thermal resistance and stability, no maintenance requirements in terms of corrosion, is electrically non-conductive, has a two-day installation time, and can be installed using standard road and rail HIABs.

 

This project, and AUS’ passion for innovation first attracted Mark to AUS in April, but since the completion of the bridge, he has returned. Speaking about Mark Eastwood's visit, AUS’ Managing Director, Simon Gibson said “It’s great to see such support coming from an MP in our local area. We strongly believe in supporting our community and do this whenever we can through measures such as apprenticeship schemes and creating jobs by manufacturing our own products in-house, so it’s great to see that our efforts are being recognised and supported”.

 

As well as the bridge, Mr Eastwood also came to discuss TransPennine route upgrades, and improvements on the Penistone Line, in addition to the prospect of HS2. Speaking of these opportunities, Mr Eastwood stated “It was a pleasure to meet up with the team at AUS Ltd. We had some really positive discussions about potential opportunities for growth due to HS2, the proposed TransPennine and Penistone Line upgrades, and the West Yorkshire Transport Strategy”.

 

Community is of utmost importance to Mr Eastwood, who also stated that developing and growing local companies was one of his main priorities as an MP “One of my key priorities as MP is to help local businesses expand and create more local jobs. The innovative work that AUS Ltd undertake is key to this and I look forward to working closely with the management team to help the company achieve its future goals”. These goals align with our own which means that exciting times lie ahead for both AUS, and local communities. AUS looks forward to working alongside Mark Eastwood MP to help our company, and community grow.