Achilles Member

Achilles BuildingConfidence Advanced

In addition to our Achilles TransQ Global accreditation for the Transport sector, AF Switchgear can now proudly announce that the company is now also a validated Achilles BuildingConfidence Advanced Member for the Construction sector.

Achilles is a Supply Chain Management system which collects and validates supplier data to mitigate risk. Achilles use a registration process, risk models, comprehensive pre-qualification questionnaires and (for advanced members) a two day audit, to create a platform where buyers can find qualified partners and suppliers who can prove their credentials.

Achilles work across 10 sectors and more than 20 countries.

Remote Factory switchgear

Remote Factory Acceptance Tests

During these changing and challenging times we have all had to adapt our usual way of doing business in many areas.
One such change has been the introduction of Remote Factory Acceptance Testing with the use of Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

Our engineers have been tasked with hosting the events via live streaming using mobile cameras and stabilising equipment.

The tests to date have been extremely successful with excellent feedback from clients who were not only keen to praise Test Teams for their efforts but also to point out the huge steps in reducing all of our carbon footprints.

Check out the quick walk-trough video on our LinkedIn:

AF Irm

Covid-19 Update

At AF Switchgear we have a dedicated Incident Response Management team under the umbrella name ‘AF irm’. As a result the team have produced a risk assessment to ensure our employees and visitors are working safely during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The risk assessment sets out safe systems of work in order to manage the risk within the business and sets out measures to ensure social distancing. Emphasis is also placed on the physical and mental wellbeing of all employees by introducing appropriate cleaning and hygiene procedures across all Group activities. 

Solar installation

The future is electric!

Electric cars

AF Switchgear made a decision to install a Photovoltaic array a couple of years ago, therefore our very own Solar Farm and we are delighted with the results.

Our PV array is made up of hundreds of Polycrystalline panels, each rated at 260W covering our factory roofs. The DC power is converted to AC through 25kW inverters into a bespoke built Switchgear and Monitoring System.

In total we have generated over 275,000 kWh to date, contributing greatly to our power usage.

Click here to take a quick look at our Solar installation video on our LinkedIn!

AF Switchgear Virtual Learning

Lockdown Virtual Learning

With COVID-19 impacting all Colleges and their ability to continue the apprentice training programme it was crucial that a way could be found quickly to ensure our apprentices did not miss out on their academic work.

With a ‘can do spirit’ and working with our provider, West Nottinghamshire College we soon found a solution to support our current apprentices.

We have fully IT equipped a meeting room at our HQ for use as a college classroom where
students via Microsoft teams are able to have interactive lessons with the tutor on a ‘one to one’ or group session.

Assignments are set as normal together with the NVQ level 3 reviews. This has benefited all students to ensure that they do not miss out on study time, thereby maintaining levels of attendance and advancement.

AF Group currently supports over 20 apprentices within the electrical, administration and Fabrication sectors of the business.

EFACS

AF Switchgear upgrade to EFACS E/8

Enterprise Resource Planning – in other words, ERP!

AF Switchgear is pleased to announce that with the help of our key partners at Exel Computer Systems plc, we have recently migrated to the new EFACS E/8 Enterprise Resource Planning solution.

This is a major step-change for the organisation and involved a complete review of all legacy processes. The E/8 system was stress-tested to ensure that the technology and automation features coupled with the design innovation as a package, met our needs as a business and delivered the immediate benefits we were looking for.

Now the new ERP system is in place, further enhancements and modules will now be added to improve production scheduling, stock control, shop floor data capture plus field service reporting which will follow later this year.

Special mention must also go out to Richard King and Lee Harding both from Exel for their support throughout the whole process.

Stan Carter

25 Years Anniversary – Stan Carter

AF Switchgear we are fortunate to have many long-term serving employees established in our workforce.

Stan Carter is no exception; having reached his 25-year milestone just recently, Stan was presented with a bottle of bubbly and some holiday vouchers by our Operations Manager, Mike Ratcliffe to celebrate this milestone achievement. Stan joined AF Switchgear back in 1995 from Sutton Riley Engineering as a Switchgear Panel Assembly Team Leader and has remained a valued member of the Production Team ever since.

In those days, there were just 15 production staff building AF Switchgear panels; today there is more than 80 production staff, so Stan has certainly seen some significant changes and growth over the years! On behalf of the company, we wish to congratulate Stan and thank him for his many years of service to the company.

*presentation and photo were taken just before lockdown phase

AF Switchbeer

Company Announcement

At AF Switchgear, meeting our customers’ expectations is a key priority. As concern over COVID-19 (Coronavirus) grows, we want to assure you we are monitoring developments, as well as following health and government regulations whilst continually assessing and responding to changes.

At this time we are still operational and open for business as we are tasked with supporting our customers and end users, concentrating our efforts on critical equipment needed for Government, NHS, Data and Telecoms projects.

Our ever-changing Business Continuity Plan includes:

  • Prioritising the safety of our customers and employees
  • Regularly communicating with our employees on safety and hygiene.
  • Coordinating with our customers before any essential site visits to ensure safety measures are in place for everyone.
  • For essential manufacturing we have adopted a 3 shift system, open 24 hours to ensure we can comply with social distancing guidelines in place.
  • Our office staff are working from home where possible and the remainder are working split shifts between 6am and 10pm
  • We are in regular dialogue with our supply chain and partners who are also working hard to minimise delays and disruption and where necessary actively exploring alternative sources of supply where needed.
  • Any team members working remotely use company issued secure computers complete with end-point protection and connection to our network using a secure VPN

AF Switchgear group operations meet the criteria of an essential critical infrastructure supplier as defined by the government. While we do not anticipate major interruptions to our operations, we are experiencing some material delays and staff absences for obvious reasons.

Should the government dictate further temporary containment measures or mandatory closures we will of course comply.

We will continue to seek support from the government and/or local authorities to maintain critical business operations as an essential business for our customers.

While it is difficult to predict the impact of the COVID-19 situation, please rest assured that we have the people, technology, and tools to continue to serve you during these unique, challenging times.

Data Centre World 2020

Data Centre World 2020

AF Switchgear would like to thank all our customers, suppliers and industry peers for taking the time out to visit us at Data Centre World 2020. The feedback for our new stand was incredibly positive and everyone enjoyed our new AF Switchbeer!

Your continued support & feedback on our products helps us to maintain our position as one of the largest switchgear suppliers in the market and for that, we are truly appreciative.

The company would also like to make a special mention to Experium Agency and publicly thank them for their support, hard work and brilliant design ideas in regard to the exhibition throughout the whole process.

AF Switchgear logo

Open Evening Update

AF Switchgear was due to hold a specialist Open Evening in conjunction with the West Nottinghamshire College Apprenticeship Service on the 25th March 2020. However, due to the current Coronavirus epidemic, we have regretfully decided to cancel this event.

We have a duty of care to our employees and those of the public so have decided, in-line with the current government and proposed advice the company felt it had no choice but to cancel the planned event. This is a decision that has not been taken lightly particularly given the numbers of invitees that were due to attend the event, currently well over 100 people.

On the bright side, the WNC is still planning to run assessments on the 15th and 16th April, so candidates should be aware that they will still need to attend those. After the assessment period, low key visits for selected candidates including their guardians will be arranged.

Again, special thanks to Ricky Singh and Lee Speed for helping with this recruitment drive, your efforts are very much appreciated and Good Luck to all the candidates.