Elite Lego blocks win-win for Network Rail
Elite Precast Concrete is one of the leading manufacturers of low-cost precast concrete products in the UK. The business combines the highest levels of customer service with the aim of always being the best value option.
Our focus is on driving down the cost base and then passing these savings onto our customers. This enables us to provide a constant and predictable price structure which in turn underpins our ethos of developing customer relationships over the long term. Indeed, over 65% of our clients have done business with us on at least two previous occasions. We have clients ranging from small start-ups and private individuals to international blue chip businesses. Each one is cherished and each receives the highest possible level of personal and professional service.
We have a huge range of ’semi-dry’ and ‘wet-cast’ products which we supply to every sector of UK industry imaginable. These include service protection and drainage products through kentledge ballast blocks, safety and security barriers to our premier ranges of interlocking wall blocks.
Elite are the UK’s leading manufacturer of the revolutionary interlocking block systems which are used by thousands of businesses in a huge variety of industrial applications.
We offer three types of free-standing interlocking ‘Lego’ blocks – Legato™, Duo™, and Vee™. Each one is cast from premium quality, high strength (50N/mm2) concrete and incorporates its own integral lifting system. This means that whichever block type you choose you can be certain of getting the ultimate in both durability and flexibility.
The blocks are used in many varied and extremely demanding industries from metal and tyre recycling to radiation shielding (industrial/nuclear and health). Their applications also include... bay walls and bunkers, push walls, salt storage, firebreaks, silage clamps, radiation shielding, kentledge/counterweight blocks, embankment retention, site security, workforce protection, ground safety, and much more.
The blocks are cast from our high quality concrete, that doesn’t contain any steel reinforcing or recycled aggregates, which means they are extremely fire retardant. Our blocks are recommended by many insurance companies and are approved for use as firebreaks.
The interlocking Temporary Vertical and Jersey barriers in our product range are designed specifically to secure your site against unwanted visitors, for use as traffic management, as edge protection and to prevent falling debris from damaging railway tracks, car parks, etc.
Elite Lego blocks win-win for Network Rail
An example of the innovative usage of our Lego blocks was in a project for Network Rail. Signalling renewals in the Cardiff area were problematic because of a lack of access where the installation of two new sets of points to form a crossover on the main lines had been planned. A four-track stretch of railway was involved but in order to utilise the large crane to install the points and new track panels, an all-line block was required.
To carry out the work with lines open would need the crane to unload, move and slew panels that had a much higher potential to foul the relief lines. Additionally, operatives would need something to help keep them safe as though they were working in a full possession. Getting an all-line possession at that time wasn’t feasible because of the number of trains that were required to run, so to meet the timescales, an alternative was needed.
By thinking outside the box, the project team came up with the idea of a ‘real virtual wall’, from a throw-away comment about a child’s Lego blocks. The first section was delivered, installed at the depot and tested, passing with flying colours. After that it was ‘all systems go’ and the wall was assembled in the 10-foot width over the half mile stretch of track to be replaced.
This solution saved an all-line possession for 72 hours; it cut customer disruption and cut congestion in Newport and Cardiff stations. So it was win-wins for not only the project, but the route, the TOCs and FOCs, and the travelling public. Additionally, the blocks could be disassembled and used elsewhere for future works to again create a safe environment.
Elite are very proud to have helped to ensure both the safety of the workforce and the completion of the works ahead of schedule. Our high strength ‘Lego’ blocks have an almost endless range of uses and the vision of the Network Rail engineers in choosing our product means that we are able to add yet another to the list.
Design & manufacture
All our products are made to the highest standards at our two extensive modern manufacturing plants in Telford, Shropshire which cover 50,000 sq ft of production area and two and a half acres of stocking space. Rigorously applied procedures and the latest production techniques ensure consistency and efficiency, enabling us to provide high quality products at the most economic prices. All raw materials are fully traceable and that the concrete is monitored for all dimensional accuracy, density, compressive strength on a regular basis.
Our in-house support team are always on hand to offer advice, provide estimates and help with project planning. Elite prides itself on its strong reputation for excellent customer service coupled with a flexibility and desire to find solutions to the most challenging of customer requests.
Our customer service and technical departments are renowned for their ability to modify and adapt our existing ‘off the shelf’ products to suit the most specific and exacting of requirements. This approach provides the customer not only with a considerable cost-saving, from that of a totally bespoke product, but also a production and turn-around time that can be greatly reduced.
Testing for quality
The quality and consistency of our products is something we take very seriously. We operate within an approved BS EN 1917 quality system. We are one of the few manufacturers of precast concrete products in the country that can boast of having its own, purpose-built, testing facility. We regularly perform a number of tests on both finished products and the materials used to manufacture these products.
In addition to our simple wholesale supply business, over the last eight years Elite Precast Concrete has also developed trading partnerships with a number of strategically placed and highly skilled contractors who can in turn offer anything from a simple off-load and install service (under a client’s supervision) to a full turnkey installation.
Service and delivery
We regularly keep over £300K worth of standard products in stock. This allows, in most cases, for delivery times of between 24 and 48 hours from receipt of your order throughout the UK. We can deliver anything from one block to many thousands on a variety of different vehicles including flatbed artics and crane offload. We also offer a full install service.
All our operatives are trained to the highest standards to make sure all products are loaded efficiently and correctly ensuring they reach our customers safely and in premium condition. An export service is available on request to anywhere in the world.
Because our blocks are made from 100% natural materials sourced from local quarries, they are 100% recyclable at their end of their life. Combined with the 120 year design life, they therefore provide the most environmentally sustainable solution currently available. Our production processes benefit from the most modern and efficient low energy equipment and we embrace best practice in all aspects including rainwater harvesting.
We minimise our carbon footprint in all areas including making the best use of the transport network by utilising back loads for the majority of our deliveries. This minimises the road miles that any of our vehicles have to travel empty and of course means lower prices for our customers.