Bridging the gap

Nusteel Structures is looking to remain at the cutting edge of industry

With an extensive background in supplying bridges and gantries to the road and rail industries, Nusteel Structures, founded in 1954, can be considered a national leader in its field. Always seeking to further the products and techniques it offers, Nusteel, is continuously building on its reputation by developing its methods of construction, and adding new levels of qualification and training to its staff.

Nusteel Jul Aug 07 bThe effect of this investment is demonstrated by the fact that the company is regularly contracted for major projects across the UK as well as the respect that we have gained within the industry. “Nusteel is now one of the leading suppliers of steel bridge and sign gantry structures in the UK, providing complete design and build solutions to the infrastructure sector,” says Mark Baylis, who joined Nusteel in June as commercial manager. “Our clients; including main contractors, local authorities and the Highways Agency; believe they benefit from our extensive experience and unrivalled knowledge gained from many successfully delivered projects.”

Over the years, Nusteel has worked on many high profile projects, which is testament to the excellence that prevails within the organisation. The business is currently working on the manufacture and installation of the sign gantries for the M1 widening project between Junctions 6A and 10. This multi million pound project will involve the installation of some 63 traffic management gantries and was won on the back of a similar project to install gantries on the M42 in 2004.

The project on the M42, around Birmingham, involved the installation of 48 gantries in two separate 12- week periods. This was significant as it was recognised across the industry as an important and high profile project and used some of the newest
technology available in the form of triangular lightweight gantries. “The system went live in September 2006 and allows the hard shoulder to be opened up to drivers in times of heavy traffic under tight speed controls with ‘refuges’ for those unfortunates who break down, the idea being to keep traffic flowing instead of grinding to a halt in the tradition of traffic jams of old,” Mark explains. “After years of planning and hard work on the Active Traffic Management Project on the M42 we are happy to see the system working and successfully managing the flow of vehicles.”

Another such project is Gatwick Airport Baggage Handling development, as Mark explains: “This project was completed in March and involved the fabrication of three huge span decks, up to 46 metres in length which substantially increase the baggage handling capacity at the airport. The contract was won on the basis of previous experience working on the Gatwick site and with the primary contractor, both relationships based on the quality, flexibility and reliability offered by Nusteel Structures.”

There is no doubt that due to work on such high profile projects Nusteel occupies a leading position in the industry. In order to stay at the cutting edge however, Nusteel has developed a programme of recruitment and training that guarantees a high level of competency throughout the organisation: “If we are to maintain our high level of competency we need to continually invest in training and recruitment,” comments Mark. “To this end, we run a traditional apprenticeship scheme, whereby youngsters are brought in from school at 16 to train, and given continued education through courses at the local college. The apprentice scheme has been expanded in the last 12 months to take on more people as Nusteel Structures continues to expand. These skills are absolutely vital – it’s the backbone of the company, bringing new, skilled people in and making them part of the system.” The emphasis Nusteel puts on bringing its entire staff up to the same high standard, is a sign of how important the people are to the company. Indeed, without the skilled workforce that it has, Nusteel wouldn’t be the market leader it is today.Nusteel Jul Aug 07 c

Mark continues: “Equally as important as investment in training is investment in our assets. The business is making a substantial outlay in manufacturing facilities and technology, which has enabled us to focus on our client’s needs and provide the highest quality and service at an acceptable price. “We are currently investing £1 million in increasing our manufacturing space to the tune of approximately 30 per cent. As part of this, we are increasing the maximum length within the fabrication bays to 140m, which gives us as a significant increase in the capacity of the shop as well as improving the shot blast and paint shop facilities.”

He adds: “With these investments, as well as a focus on integrated design, manufacture and installation systems, we are constantly looking to innovate the industry and push back the boundaries of bridge and gantry construction. To offer an example, we now offer specialised transport services and have triple expansions trailers, which enable us to deliver structures up to 50m in length on a single vehicle. This simplifies site erection as no assembly has to take place on-site prior to lifting the structure into position.”

The strength that the company has in the market is based on its constant search for improvement and innovation. With its series of training programmes, internal investment, the manufacture of new technology and a strong focus on meeting every new requirement, Nusteel Structures can only build on its current success.