Logo Logo

Logo Logo Logo Logo


Alcomet Aids Waste Management Facility With Solution to Switchgear Replacement

gec refurb

The Background

Alcomet were recently approached by a leading waste management facility seeking an immediate solution to the breakdown of their historic switchgear at their principal UK site.

The Brief

Long term wear on their oil circuit breaker contacts forced the client to shut down the equipment following a major fault. The breakdown identified the significant potential of future disruptions at their numerous facilities due to deteriorating historic parts.As original manufacturer parts were no longer available, a supplier with superior historic switchgear knowledge and experience was critical. Equally, a suitable solution to the immediate issue that would minimise the risk of further disturbances was essential.

The Solution

After researching their limited options, the client was considering the inconvenient probability of replacing their switchgear due to difficult to source parts.

Fortunately, before committing to a costly overhaul, the client found Alcomet online. Our team of 24/7 experts were able to offer the alternative solution of replacing the oil circuit breaker contacts with reverse engineered parts, saving the client excessive costs and delays.

Through detailed analysis our engineers determined the exact material content and specifications of the corroded contacts. We were then able to reverse engineer replacements to the original manufacturer fabrications, in addition to refurbishing the damaged contacts for use as emergency spares, maintaining close contact throughout.

Our stock of Oil Circuit Breaker Contacts and Accessories and commitment to customer satisfaction ensured the client was able to resume operations promptly, using redressed contacts as a temporary solution whilst replacements were being back engineered.

Alcomet are able to refurbish and reverse engineer many historic oil circuit breaker contacts, as well as offering bespoke solutions for removal and handling. We strive for a 48hour turnaround on refurbished contacts. Please contact us here for more information.

Alcomet's Trenchlite® Installed for UK DNO Critical Requirement

Before and after trenchlite Trenchlite after

Alcomet have recently completed work for a UK Distribution Network Operator where there was an urgent need for an open cable pit to be covered with a vehicle rated GRP lid.

Alcomets Trenchlite® heavy duty trench covers were the perfect solution as they offer the performance of concrete covers but are considerably lighter in comparison. At less than 20kg per cover with a 1 metre span, they created significant savings on installation time, transport costs and labour.

Furthermore, precision cutting was carried out at Alcomet’s GRP Processing Centre, fabricating to the customers exact dimensions enabling Alcomets installers to spend minimal time onsite.

For this project there was an additional requirement for GRP ramps to go around the perimeter of the pit as it was a trip hazard. Alcomet supplied pre cut lengths of GRP Ramp Edging and suitable fasteners enabling the installers to work quickly and efficiently.

The customer was pleased with the quality and suitability of the product and the speed of which it could be installed.

For more information on our range of GRP products please click here.

Alcomets trench covers are tested and certified to British Standard BS EN 124, class B125 rated, and are suitable for weights of up to 5 tonne working load (successfully tested to 12.5 tonne ultimate load).

The Trenchlite® trench covers are manufactured to Alcomet’s unique design combination of resins and fibreglass reinforcement. They are also supplied with a gritted anti slip surface and a half lap joining system which ensures strength is maintained where covers join. Other covers are available in the Trenchlite® range to suit pedestrian areas.


Alcomet's Products Selected for Construction of Solar Farm Substation

Alcomet substation image


Towards the end of last year Alcomet were selected by a specialist substation builder to assist with the delivery of a prestigious project for one of the UKs largest solar farms in the South West of England.

The commercial benefits of sourcing from a single supplier of a variety of critical components and materials were a key consideration in deciding to partner with Alcomet.

Working to limited time constraints and rigid connection deadlines Alcomet planned and achieved all of the scheduled stages of the supply programme to ensure the project ran smoothly.

The multiple aspects of the contract included:

Consultation, specification and supply of Earthing materials and Earthing protection with the Guardian Security Range

Design and supply of Busbar & Power Connectors

Fabrication and supply of GRP Open Mesh Grating

Fabrication and supply of Vehicle Rated GRP Trench Covers

Design and supply of a  GRP Enclosure

Design and supply of Concrete Troughs 

Alcomet successfully met all of the requirements of the project and was commended by the end customer for the quality of service and support provided by its account management and technical team. 


For more information on the range of products we supply and how we can help you contact the sales office today.

You can contact us via our Contact page.

Or call us on 01384 404488

Or email on sales@alcomet.net


Alcomet Fabricate Giant GRP Circle for National Trust Property

GRP open mesh fabrication

The Background

Alcomet were approached at the end of 2015 to offer a solution to a client who was working on a National Trust property.

Due to the nature of the site a sympathetic approach to the required works was essential.

The Brief

The customer needed to cover an existing circular tank that was in the ground and previously covered by concrete which has begun to crack and needed replacing.

GRP Open Mesh Flooring had been discussed as access to the tank may be required going forward and it was less disruptive to the site than replacing with concrete.

The Solution

Alcomet offered the client a large, six meter diameter circle of GRP mesh grating, that he could fit into the existing recess. The circle was made up of 10 individual pieces and for ease of installation were numbered and then supplied with a sketch of how each numbered piece fit together.

Alcomet pride ourselves in thinking outside of the square (literally!) and offering bespoke solutions to our clients when required.


Alcomet GRP Open Mesh Walkways offer the perfect solution for Cold Storage Warehouse Facility

The Background

A national Cold Storage Group has recently reviewed the effectiveness of its storage warehouses across its multiple sites. The client maximises storage capacity within each facility by installing raised mezzanine floors and walkways for its staff.

The Brief

The client’s existing raised walkways were installed with chipboard panels which did not provide adequate air flow to maintain the perishable products stored on-site. The existing walkways had to be replaced with a material fit for purpose and certified to meet the relevant health and safety standards.

A specialist mechanical engineering company was chosen to carry out the work.  After thoroughly researching the market they approached Alcomet to discuss the viability of using GRP Open Mesh to provide the solution.

The Solution

Upon considering a variety of options including steel, GRP Open Mesh was an obvious choice due to its air ventilation, anti slip, high strength, lightweight and low maintenance properties.  

Alcomet easily met the client’s stringent health and safety requirements including;

  • The Code of practice for the design of industrial type stairs, permanent ladders and walkways.
  • Certification to British Standard BS 5395.

Alcomet supplied grey, anti slip, 38mm thick GRP Open Mesh Walkway. The square open mesh construction offers bi-directional strength and uses a resin type resistant to chemicals, fire or corrosion as well as being non-conductive and anti slip.

After close liaison with the client, the Alcomet GRP Processing Centre cut the required panels to the client’s specified size and delivered to site with fixing clips, ready to simply fix into place.  

Quick and easy to install with no lifting equipment required, GRP was a simple and cost effective solution for the client.

The client is so impressed it is now looking to roll out Alcomet GRP across all sites within its Group.

“This project demonstrates the versatility of GRP and its many advantages over more traditional materials such as chipboard or steel. Furthermore, GRP is proven to be more cost effective with less overall material and maintenance costs in comparison. This represents real value for money for our customers. ” Gary James, Managing Director.


Alcomet Refurbishes Critical Switchgear Part

The Background

A major distribution network operator contacted Alcomet after an Isolating Contact had become damaged during a routine inspection on some switchgear.  The circuit breaker was being isolated from the housing and during the racking process the Isolating Contact became caught on Oil Circuit Breaker Contact English Electricthe shutter mechanism, shattering the contact’s retaining ring, rendering the equipment unserviceable.

The Brief

Due to the age of the Isolating Contact the customer was no longer able to purchase the part from the original manufacturer.  The customer approached Alcomet after being referred to us by a colleague who had previously purchased Oil Circuit Breaker Contacts from Alcomet.  The customer required the Isolating Contact to be refurbished as soon as possible to ensure the Circuit Breaker had minimum down time.

The Solution

To speed to process up for the customer, Alcomet had the Retaining Ring back engineered from an original part and was able to refurbish the Isolating Cluster.  The damaged part was manufactured, and the refurbished Isolating Contact was returned to the Customer within 3 days. 

Alcomet Supports Construction of 132kV Grid Substation with GRP, Earthing and Guardian Range

The Background

A regional electricity distribution network operator has recently invested over £14m in an initiative to boost their distribution power network. The new initiative involves the construction of a new build grid substation. The initiative has been designed to accommodate any increased demands placed on the power network in the future.

Substation GRPThe Brief

Alcomet were involved with the DNO and civil contractors from early project specification and design stage. The client required a solution for cable trenches and covers to protect main electricity cables on site, and needed a viable cost effective alternative to concrete due to some specific challenges with the brownfield site.

To enable the safety of the structure, equipment and occupants, an effective earthing system for the substation was also required alongside a solution to combat metal theft.

The Solution

Alcomet supplied multiple runs of Alcomet GRP cable trenches and covers on site providing a solution for vehicular and pedestrian access. With high strength to weight ratios, ease of installation, and zero maintenance, the Alcomet GRP range easily met the stringent requirements of the project.

Alcomet collaborated with project designers to accommodate specific layout requirements on site, producing bespoke mouldings to create various sizes of trenches and covers to suit. Precision cutting was carried out at Alcomet’s GRP Processing Centre and held in stock for call off by the client as and when required.

To counter the problem of theft and vandalism in the area, specifying the award winning Alcomet Guardian Security Range was an obvious choice. Tested and approved, it offered the perfect solution to protect the customer’s investment.

Alcomet supplied earthing materials including; earth tape embossed with the customers name, equipotential earth mats and the Guardian Security Range cover guards and pins.  Guardian cover guards have been specifically designed to protect valuable earthing material as an added security measure on site.

“Alcomet added real customer value with this successful venture through close collaboration with all parties involved on the project.”  Gary James, Managing Director


Water Utilities installs the Guardian Security Range to protect lightning conductor

Brooke Edgley Specialist Technical Services Limited (Best) and Alcomet’s Guardian Security Products

Since its formation over one hundred years ago, Brooke Edgley Technical Services (Best) has built an enviable reputation for quality, reliability and service. Today the company provides some of the UK's leading blue chip companies with the safest and most economic solutions to their Lightning Protection, Earthing, Maintenance, Steeplejack and Access requirements.

Project Challenge

Best was approached by a prominent water utilities company that had previously adopted the Guardian Security Product range for several sub-station refurbishment projects. Alcomet was already an approved supplier and the Guardian endorsed and specified in policy and procurement documentation.

The utility company needed to resolve the problem of metal theft on one of its key water treatment sites. The site had been stripped of its aluminium lightning conductor rendering it unprotected and hazardous. The thieves had not been deterred by fact that part of the conductor was difficult and dangerous to remove due to its height. The perpetrators of the crime had exposed themselves to the risk of falling into the water tanks, a potentially life threatening situation.



After a period of site consultation and discussion on how to make the site secure and protected, Best installed Alcomet’s  ‘award-winning’ Guardian Security Products range. Decided the perfect solution. 

Guardian Security Products offer a multi-range of protective complementary components that can be either fully integrated to achieve maximum levels of onsite safety or deployed separately to defend crime-vulnerable hotspots.  It offers a ‘tried and tested’ solution that will render any site installation safe, completely secure and fully operational 24/7.


As a result of Best installing the Guardian the site is now fully protected by using non-corrosive ‘impregnable’ security pins, tamperproof cover guards and joint covers designed to give maximum site protection. Each pin has been designed to withstand over 1 tonne of force to remove when fixed to concrete. Additionally Guardian’s joint covers ensure that the conductor is fully protected leaving no area exposed and therefore vulnerable to theft or damage.

Colin Clinkard, Best’s director and was key to the project’s onsite installation said: “The unlawful removal of any lightning conductor obviously presents a hazardous situation as it leaves the structure without effective lightning protection. In the case of water treatment sites thieves put themselves in danger as by scaling areas at height to remove conducting metals they are exposing themselves to the risk of falling into deep water which could result in drowning.

“The Guardian provides a cost-effective solution that ensures total site protection and security on a number of levels. Aluminium is an expensive metal to replace and the site maintenance involved in rectifying situations where metal has been stolen can be time consuming and costly. Water utility companies have a responsibility to provide clean fresh water to their customers and site disruption due to metal theft can often have a negative impact on this provision.”

Total Oil installs the Guardian Security solution at Gatwick Airport

Following numerous attacks on the fuel storage facility at Gatwick Airport, the British Transport Police approached Alcomet to provide an effective deterrent and protection of a crucial earthing and lightning conductor.

The facility, which was adjacent to railway track at Gatwick Airport, had attracted the attention of thieves who had attempted to steal the copper conductor from the site which was described as critical by the transport police. They maintained that the consequences, in a worst case scenario, of damage or the removal of earthing material could have interrupted the fuel supply to the entire airport.

British Transport Police were aware of Alcomet’s Guardian Security Products range since it had been installed at many of the electricity substation sites under their control to protect earthing conductors from theft and vandalism.  As a result Total Oil installed Guardian security pins to eliminate any further risk of the copper earth tape from being removed.