17 February 2020
Founded in 1972, Persimmon is one of the UK's most
successful house builders, committed to the highest standards of design,
construction and service.
The group is made up of a network of 31 regional operating
businesses, offering nationwide coverage.
With brick availability subject to change and many builders
turning to Europe for their bricks, Persimmon became the first UK volume
house-builder to build its own brick factory in 2017, with construction of a rooftile
factory following shortly afterwards.
Persimmon’s 1,900m2 facility at Harworth, South Yorkshire,
can turn out 80 million bricks a year.
Now the brick factory is fully operational it has the
capacity to provide around 60% of Persimmons current total requirement for
bricks, the tile factory once operational will provide 100% of the total
requirement for roof tiles.
As part of the new brick and tile manufacturing project,
Persimmon initially required a rugged mobile solution to provide truck mounted
devices for the vehicles used on site.
The rugged devices would need to use information from
Persimmon’s Microsoft Dynamics ERP to ascertain what stock to pick for
collections or where to put stock from production.
To enable the trucks to travel the entire site and stay
updated, a Wi-Fi solution would also be required, and this naturally progressed
into CCTV requirements to monitor the site and map out the location and
infrastructure for both.
Persimmon’s site has cutting edge automation requiring
little or no human intervention for collections or deliveries and with up to 80
vehicle movements per day running 24/7, so the CCTV requirements were to cover
all areas at all times.
TouchStar ATC installed a full CCTV solution with public
address horns to cover the new brick factory, which is in the process of being
expanded to also cover the tile factory.
This included the installation of thermal cameras on columns
around the site in order to create a ‘thermal curtain’ around the area. An
additional three pan, tilt, zoom (PTZ)cameras from the BOSCH IP5000 range allow
further investigation and identification of any entrant to the site that breaks
through the initial ‘curtain’
The expansion of the site simply involves opening the
thermal curtain and adding more camera columns to expand its reach.
The entire system can be monitored from one point of control
backed up by TouchStar technology.
Meanwhile, TouchStar Rugged Mobile Computers, a sister
company to TouchStar ATC introduced the TS7000 (truck-mounted) rugged hardware
and Wi-Fi infrastructure.
This offered a number of advantages for users on the site,
such as backlit wipe-clean keyboards that allow for gloved usage, high
resolution screens and various data entry options.
TouchStar also pre-configured the devices before usage and
installed the vehicle-mounted devices.
Following thorough analysis of the site to determine the
number of access points required for optimal Wi-Fi coverage across the site,
TouchStar installed 10 internal points and four external with all necessary
cabling and testing taken care of. TouchStar also advised on the type of
antennae required to ensure full connectivity and installed wireless
Tom Chidler, IT Project Manager at Persimmon, adds:” The
implementation was very successful, we had spent time mapping out the exact
requirements and getting the infrastructure in place so that TouchStar could
come along and install the systems with little or no disruption or downtime.
Once installed we did have a small issue with networking which was soon
resolved by TouchStar we then linked all the equipment together and everything
fired up straight away. We ran a number of tests during our test phase and
everything passed as required.”
Results and benefits
The benefits to Persimmon staff using the vehicles on a
daily basis are significant, as they have no need for any paper-based
information as everything is displayed on screen in the cab and managers are
able to see output from production in real time.
Persimmon can also track, review and playback all of the
CCTV footage instantly and provide any related footage as required, providing peace
of mind across the new site and also helping to prevent theft.
The single system solution has proven to be easy to use and
ensures that managers have an overview of the entire site. This helps with the
protection of staff working in the area and visitor safety.
The solutions met the scope for the project that Persimmon
had set, with everything working as needed with zero downtime on the Wi-Fi
infrastructure in over two years of operation - one of the key objectives
promised by TouchStar.
Persimmon is now working on new notification systems and has
started work on the tile factory phase of the project. TouchStar has continued
to provide guidance to help Persimmon define the requirements.
Tom Chidler concludes: “We felt that TouchStar was a stable
and reliable partner based in the UK with a wide range of technical knowledge
and experience in the fields that the project required, the people we had dealt
instilled confidence that TouchStar could meet our requirements. We would also
look to TouchStar on other projects where we could utilise their service.
“Since we went live TouchStar has always been there to
assist with any questions or changes we have had to the systems we have put in
place. We look forward to working closely with TouchStar on future projects we
have in the pipeline.”