Simon Flecther, Operation Director at AJC Trailers Ltd, tells Graham Crisp, Managing Director of Stilton Surveys Ltd, about the company’s achievements to date and the hopes for the future.
The interview is in the latest issue of Transport Britain.
The first thing that strikes you when you enter the AJC reception area is a rather striking green glass globe sitting in a prime position on the reception desk. My curiosity got the better of me so I bent forward to examine the engraving on the base of the sphere. It was then that I heard a voice behind me saying, “We won that last year. We were a Green Champion Winner in the Environmental Best Practice in the Engineering and Manufacturing category. A bit of a mouthful I know, but write it down, it’s important to us.” I turned to find a smiling Simon Fletcher, AJC’s Operations Director standing close behind me. He swiftly added, “There were over five hundred nominations, so we were more than pleased get the top award.”
Simon introduced the company to me. Informing me that AJC EasyCabin manufacture a wide range of static and mobile welfare accommodation units marketed under their EasyCabin brand. The company has been around since 1964 and remains family owned. The premises we were in is their third incarnation and covers around 32,000 sq. ft. Simon went on to tell me that EasyCabin units are used widely in the UK construction, rental, rail and event markets. The company is considered to one of the UK market leaders in the production of temporary accommodation. Although open to export opportunities, the UK remains by far their largest market.
Simon was keen to explain why the company took the decision to begin researching and developing products that would bring environmental benefits to an operator of an EasyCabin set up.
Simon stated, “Energy efficiency and fuel management is an important component in an environmental audit on a rail, construction or utility project. In addition, outside event managers are also under pressure to reduce the carbon output of their event. In-depth research by our marketing team discovered that both the contractor, end user and their rental partners were seeking environmental innovation that operated with the minimal input from site workers. They wanted systems that operated independently, so that fuel conservation and energy savings took care of themselves.”
Armed with this research the company focussed a large part of their resources in designing and developing a series of devices that were ready to bring real energy savings and significant carbon reductions for their range of temporary accommodation units.
The judges at the 2017 Green Apple Awards were impressed with AJC’s development of Eco-hybrid systems, low energy heating/lighting and the use of battery power. “That is all well and good and we were immensely proud of what we achieved,” continued Simon. “But that really was just the start; the Green Apple award gave us the impetus to push forward into the development of renewables and the use of solar/hybrid power.”
With an undisguised flourish, Simon handed me five glossy A4 documents. These cleverly designed and easy to read leaflets detailed in graphics how the new AJC ‘Ecosmart Solar’ worked. It would reduce energy usage, without compromising essential services. I could instantly see how the hybrid solar eco-technology switches power, seamlessly, between the solar panels, battery and engine power.
“We’ve estimated that a user of an ‘Ecosmart Solar’ system could give a 93% increase in energy efficiency when compared to a continually running 6.0kVA generator,” added Simon. “This is achieved by combining four components; Our ‘Solar box’ which provides intelligent power switching, the ‘Smart boiler control’ which is a temperature monitoring power system. We also have developed the ‘Smarteye’ power saving system and an ‘Autosmart’ power on demand system.”
Simon was quick to point out that they have a ‘Patent Pending’ on all of these all these systems.
“This is a tough market to operate in, there a number of manufacturers of temporary accommodation units in the UK, so we have to be smart and innovative to stay ahead of the game,” said Simon. “We are not standing still; we have ambitious plans to develop the promotion and growth in the use of renewables and research into the use of other environmentally positive forms of energy. Whilst this research continues we have pledged to continue to monitor battery power developments with the aim to increase battery use and eventually dispense entirely with power from fossil fuels”, concluded Simon.
“This is no lone effort,” Simon stressed, “I know I can rely on the support right through the company from the MD, Jav Samsa to everyone in the sales and production teams.
Undoubtedly AJC EasyCabin is a company on a mission and it’s passion to develop environmentally biased products is very evident.
I sensed a high degree of dynamism within the company and I was left with no doubts about the direction in which this company is heading. With companies like AJC EasyCabin and their overwhelming desire to produce products that help to protect our environment and to reduce the use of the ever decreasing carbon based fuels, we should all stand and applaud their imagination.