Clients demand even greater functionality, adaptability and speed of installation from security enclosures, access covers and associated products for protecting vital process, storage and distribution assets.

Applications become more specialised as the drive for greater cost efficiency is being seen in upgrades and refurbishment of older assets to extend service life. Meanwhile, security performance remains paramount; unauthorised entry, criminal attack or terrorist activity can have serious impacts on operational efficiency, customer service and, not least, people’s safety.

The following sets out the five modern foundations to implementing robust, cost-efficient physical protection essential to the long-term resilience of UK water assets and supply.

1. Combining security and operational needs to maximise TOTEX cost-efficiencies

Many projects are focused on the hardening of existing infrastructure and its adaptation for new process technologies, invariably demanding a bespoke approach.

Physical resilience is not just about meeting a security rating, but also delivering a fully evolved operational response, from fast installation of equipment to minimise downtime of live assets, to supporting on-going operational efficiency.

With the ‘whole life’ cost efficiencies of TOTEX in mind, the best value solutions typically take the form of fully integrated access and housing systems. As well as being built offsite, they offer scope to ‘design in’ exhaustive functionality which clients are often unaware they should or can demand, though is crucial to providing lowest whole life cost.

Technocover’s Total Service approach aims to provide the lowest cost solution by addressing every possible aspect of the product’s life cycle to ensure the best return on investment. This goes from maximising the buildability and operational advantages of the design, to ensuring a high quality system finish for long, low maintenance service.

2. Offsite solutions for reduced programme time

Demand is growing in particular for large, modular enclosures to upgrade the protection of installations such as water treatment plant, telemetry, chlorine dosing, valves, switchgear and power supplies.

With the emphasis on keeping assets live, clients and contractors increasingly want ‘plug and play’ solutions. Typically, these are built and kitted offsite with full M&E, then craned in and hooked up to services, sometimes all in one day.

Carefully planned pre-builds can shave days, even weeks, off site build time, helping to keep construction programmes on track or even ahead of deadline. The management and certification of complex fit-outs is transferred to the quality-controlled environment of the factory, under the responsibility of one supplier.

3. Early involvement allowing supply chain to innovate and problem-solve

Through early consultation with project partners, Technocover collaborates and uses value engineering to realise cost savings and ensure solutions respond to needs across the whole product life cycle.

This allows timely consideration of vital aspects, from logistics and installation to health and safety, and in-service operation.

Will the system be easy to install, operate and maintain? How can it be constructed to overcome access constraints on site, or reduce construction time? Is the design configured in every aspect for site compatibility and functions such as water-shedding, installation of site alarms and client locking suites? Can components be hoisted to give access for inspection and replacement equipment where it is needed? Can bespoke interfaces between security enclosures and impinging cover frames be resolved within the certification parameters, or does the assembly need modifying?

4. Identify supply partners competent in delivering bigger, more complex solutions within LPCB parameters

Having the manufacturing resources and skills to produce the new generation of super-size security solutions is only part of the challenge. They must also be achieved within the scope of LPCB third party approval.

Now more than ever, the industry is looking to LPCB specialists like Technocover to execute intelligent and complex solutions that fully exploit, but do not over-reach, the envelope of their security certification.

Technocover’s success in delivering solutions that achieve the full continuum of functional needs within the LPCB performance envelope provides the only truly robust foundation for total cost accountability in this TOTEX era. We firmly believe it can help water companies and their design/construction partners to better control ‘whole life’ cost in the pursuit of lower prices for customers.

5. Materials engineered for long life structural durability

A potentially life-critical piece of engineering warrants a high quality finish, which means a galvanised zinc coating to properly corrosion-proof steel. Clients should always scrutinise the system protection of a product as it may not meet service life expectations, or the supplier could be offering a lower specification in order to reduce price. The outcome can be a product that may meet the security specification but needs replacing after, say, as little as three or five years.

Despite technical advancements in the performance of modern paint systems, few if any will give much more than 10 years complete protection. Technocover uses high quality steel, galvanising and paint processes to provide 25 years minimum service life of products.

Technocover Ltd