JCB Academy

The JCB Academy project was undertaken in partnership with a long-standing client of AF Switchgear, Imtech. To promote UK engineering and education JCB decided to sponsor an Academy opening its doors to Year 10, 11 and 12 students, accommodating up to 540 people.

Situated adjacent to JCB’s headquarters in Rocester, Staffordshire the Academy is part housed in the Grade II listed Tutbury Mill, with a new annexe housing the main classrooms. Built in 1871 by Industrial Revolution entrepreneur Richard Arkwright, renovation of the picturesque site began in December 2009.

In addition to the main LV switchboards, AF Switchgear were called in to provide specialist engineering assistance and to manufacture a control panel to run a modern version of one of the world’s oldest engineering wonders, an Archimedes Screw.

The device shaped like a giant corkscrew, was used for this project to create a fully functional water turbine. Weighing in at 13.3 tonnes, the screw generates up to 85% of the centre’s electricity saving up to 64 tonnes of CO² compared to using mains electricity.

Approx. 50% of the water is derived from the River Dove which runs through the site with the weight of the water forcing the screw to rotate, generating electricity acting as an asynchronous generator. This in turn, powers the local site load and can export to the grid when needed.

Strathclyde University

AF Switchgear secured the order to supply a range of LV switchgear for The University of Strathclyde Technology and Innovation Centre in Glasgow.

The project outline was to supply and install six primary LV switchboards, working closely with the appointed consulting engineers throughout the design stage process to meet customer requirements.

This was considered a flagship project for the University in conjunction with its many industrial partners, who work side-by-side in a state-of-the-art building in the heart of Glasgow.

Key stakeholders research solutions to challenges in sectors central to economic regeneration in Scotland and further afield, including power, energy, photonics, sensors, advanced engineering, pharmaceutical, manufacturing and bio-nano systems.

The Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC) is based at the heart of the city and is the cornerstone of Scottish Enterprise’s new International Technology and Renewable Energy Zone (ITREZ), a global economic hub to bring innovative businesses to Glasgow to sit alongside the University.