Intelligent safety solutions could help prevent targeted attacks

You may not have heard of Heald Ltd, or know what hostile vehicle mitigation systems are. But, the company designs and manufactures these public safety solutions that could reduce the threat of terrorist attacks.

For more than a quarter of a century, Heald has supplied some of the world’s most high-profile sites with advanced protection against hostile vehicle attacks.

The Hornsea-based business’s global portfolio includes some of the most prolific buildings in the world; palaces, embassies, border controls, airports, oil refineries, military sites, banks, presidential buildings, shopping malls, government buildings and many more.

For such precise and highly advanced safety solutions, there is certainly no ‘one size fits all’ approach, each and every case requires a bespoke design and manufacture.

What are hostile vehicle mitigation systems (HVM)?

Barriers, bollards, roadblocks and traffic control, all form solutions that Heald has designed and manufactured previously. But that seems simple? This is not the case.

Heald has supplied some of the world’s most high-profile sites with advanced safety solutions - image courtesy of Heald.
Heald has supplied some of the world’s most high-profile sites with advanced safety solutions – image courtesy of Heald.

Introducing protective security measures into public sites is essential for reducing the threat of a terrorist attack.

Often the importance of a comprehensive security system is underestimated though, and this can have catastrophic consequences.

But when you first think of ‘security’, you might consider guards, alarm systems or even cyber security measures. Rarely, would a barrier be your first thought.

However, there are so many important elements to a robust security system. The best security plan involves the design and installation of elements within the architectural structure of a building. This of course happens much before an alarm system can be fitted.

The capacity and mobility of vehicles offer convenient storage of explosives for targeted attacks. In a hostile vehicle attack, a vehicle is maneuvered into a target location, often a high-profile site with many people in the perimeter.

The objective of a HVM system is to prevent access to the high-profile target and create the idea that any attack could present serious personal risk to the attacker.

For example Heald’s Matador range can be simply bolted to the ground, or sunk a scant 10cm into the surface, and still stop dead an 18 tonne truck at 40mph, with only a few scratches.

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Award winning and proudly British

Managing director, Debbie Heald was highlighted as an exemplar in The Manufacturer's Top 100.
Managing director, Debbie Heald was highlighted as an exemplar in The Manufacturer’s Top 100.

The business won the ‘Progressive SME’ category at The Manufacturer MX Awards earlier this month.

The celebration formed the finale of Digital Manufacturing Week, this the largest gathering of manufacturing executives in Europe. See the full list of winners here.

Debbie Heald, MD at Heald Ltd and also highlighted as an exemplar in TM’s Top 100, told The Manufacturer.

“I feel Heald represents the very core of British manufacturing. The majority of our products are designed and produced at our site in Hornsea using wherever possible British or European steel.

“Over the past three years we have taken the decision to bring our electronics in house too, this has resulted in further business growth, reduced quality issues and enhanced delivery timescales for our customers.

“Britain is seen as a leader in innovation when it comes to manufacturing. We certainly find being British to be one of our USP’s when selling our products to the rest of the world.”

Intelligent security systems

HVMs can usually be operated either manually or powered by intelligent monitoring systems.

HVMs can usually be operated either manually or powered by intelligent monitoring systems - image courtesy of Heald Ltd.
HVMs can usually be operated either manually or powered by intelligent monitoring systems – image courtesy of Heald Ltd.

Heald’s groundbreaking technology, the Hydra, provides an intelligent remote control and monitoring system that connects security operations.

The Hydra enables users to control and monitor multiple road blockers and bollards securely via smart devices.

The intelligent system can be set to text regular updates to a user’s phone or to text only when an issue is detected. This means that users can be kept fully informed anywhere in the world about the real-time security of their site.

Heald’s safety solutions play a leading role in the defence of vulnerable buildings and properties worldwide, and crucially reduce the risk of terrorist attacks by utilising intelligent design, bespoke manufacture and a precise install.