Smart-Space provides bespoke workshop solution to Aquila Truck Centres
Temporary building specialist Smart-Space has provided Aquila Truck Centres with additional workshop space in the form of a re-locatable interim building at its Head Office in Tipton, West Midlands.
Aquila provides high quality commercial vehicles and services to the logistics industry. The Tipton site is the company’s flagship depot, providing an extensive range of services including maintenance, repairs and parts ordering for trucks, vans and coaches.
Aquila chose Smart-Space because of its ability to deliver the project quickly and capacity to handle the entire project from start to finish. The steel structure also proved to be a more cost-effective option than a traditional bricks and mortar building or a PVC alternative.
Aquila sought to expand its existing services at Tipton by offering Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) approved space for Tachograph Testing for the Ministry of Transport. In addition, the company required a dedicated area for modifying Turbocharged Direct Injection vehicles and another for pre-delivery inspection.
In response, Smart-Space provided Aquila with a 25m by 14m custom-built semi-permanent structure. The building features windows, lighting, a pedestrian entrance and roller doors for easy vehicle access. It is fitted with 40mm steel wall cladding for improved energy efficiency, and a sturdy steel roof for extra security and protection. In addition, Smart-Space constructed an inspection pit for vehicle testing and an office for the mechanics.
Compared to other temporary buildings with PVC fabric roofs, the interim building is significantly better insulated, which creates a more comfortable and professional working environment. Unlike PVC fabric, the 40mm insulated steel roof will also help Aquila to save thousands of pounds a year in energy as it retains significantly more heat.
Smart-Space took care of the entire project from planning and design through to implementation and handover. This included preparing the ground by laying a concrete pad, obtaining necessary planning permissions and fitting concrete bollards to protect the building from moving vehicles.
“It was imperative to Aquila Truck Centres Ltd to continue to anticipate our customers’ needs and continue to provide the very best in customer care,” said Mak Khan, IT Facilities and Compliance Director at Aquila Truck Centres Ltd.
“The team at Smart-Space got to know our business and worked closely with us to come up with a bespoke solution that has provided us with valuable workshop space. The whole project came in on time and on budget and that was due to the dedication and expertise of the team.”
Biden establishes Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force
The US government is to establish a new body with the express purpose of addressing imbalances and other supply chain concerns highlighted in a review of the sector, ordered by President Joe Biden shortly after his inauguration.
The Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force will “focus on areas where a mismatch between supply and demand has been evident,” the White House said. The division will be headed up by the Secretaries of Commerce, Transportation, and Agriculture, and will focus on housing construction, transportation, agriculture and food, and semiconductors - a drastic shortage of which has hit some of the US economy’s biggest industries in consumer technology and vehicle manufacturing.
“The Task Force will bring the full capacity of the federal government to address near-term supply/demand mismatches. It will convene stakeholders to diagnose problems and surface solutions - large and small, public or private - that could help alleviate bottlenecks and supply constraints,” the White House said.
In late February, President Biden ordered a 100 day review of the supply chain across the key areas of medicine, raw materials and agriculture, the findings of which were released this week. While the COVID-19 health crisis had a deleterious effect on the nation’s supply chain, the published assessment of findings says the root cause runs much deeper. The review concludes that “decades of underinvestment”, alongside public policy choices that favour quarterly results and short-term solutions, have left the system “fragile”.
In response, the administration aims to address four key issues head on, strengthening its position in health and medicine, sustainable and alternative energy, critical mineral mining and processing, and computer chips.
Support domestic production of critical medicines
- A syndicate of public and private entities will jointly work towards manufacturing and onshoring of essential medical suppliers, beginning with a list of 50-100 “critical drugs” defined by the Food and Drug Administration.
- The consortium will be led by the Department of Health and Human Services, which will commit an initial $60m towards the development of a “novel platform technologies to increase domestic manufacturing capacity for API”.
- The aim is to increase domestic production and reduce the reliance upon global supply chains, particularly with regards to medications in short supply.
Secure an end-to-end domestic supply chain for advanced batteries
- The Department of Energy will publish a ‘National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries’, beginning a 10 year plan to "develop a domestic lithium battery supply chain that combats the climate crisis by creating good-paying clean energy jobs across America”.
- The effort will leverage billions in funding “to finance key strategic areas of development and fill deficits in the domestic supply chain capacity”.
Invest in sustainable domestic and international production and processing of critical minerals
- An interdepartmental group will be established by the Department of Interior to identify sites where critical minerals can be produced and processed within US borders. It will collaborate with businesses, states, tribal nations and stockholders to “expand sustainable, responsible critical minerals production and processing in the United States”.
- The group will also identify where regulations may need to be updated to ensure new mining and processing “meets strong standards”.
Partner with industry, allies, and partners to address semiconductor shortages
- The Department of Commerce will increase its partnership with industry to support further investment in R&D and production of semiconductor chips. The White House says its aim will be to “facilitate information flow between semiconductor producers and suppliers and end-users”, improving transparency and data sharing.
- Enhanced relationships with foreign allies, including Japan and South Korea will also be strengthened with the express proposed of increasing chip output, promoting further investment in the sector and “to promote fair semiconductor chip allocations”.