ZoneSafe is a range of proximity warning and alert solutions manufactured in the UK by Avonwood Developments Ltd. Avonwood has been developing and manufacturing safety, security and asset management applications and RFID solutions for more than 25 years, serving various industrial sectors including waste and recycling, ports, manufacturing, construction and logistics. 

Interview with Tony Hart, Sales Office Manager at Avonwood Developments Ltd.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Tony Hart: Avonwood supply a range of proximity warning systems under the brand name, ZoneSafe. The system is easily applied to people, vehicles, assets and hazards. ZoneSafe offers customers tagged and tagless options that interact with barriers and signage, and can control vehicle speed where required. It is a user friendly and highly flexible system that be adapted to suit exacting customer requirements. 

E.E: What’s the news about new products?

T.H: All ZoneSafe solutions are built using Avonwood’s in-house design and developments teams. The suite of solutions is constantly evolving to meet the new challenges that customers face. The team has been working on further enhancements to existing technology and systems analytics software, and a new tagless system will be brought to market in 2022. 

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

T.H: ZoneSafe systems can be fitted to any type of vehicle or asset and can be used individually or work collaboratively with additional units to create a complete worksite safety solution. As all products are designed and manufactured in-house, the flexible system can be adapted to suit specific customer requirements.

ZoneSafe can be applied to many high risk scenarios in industrial workplaces. Some of the most popular systems include:

  • Vehicle to pedestrian proximity warning system – reduces the risk of accidents between pedestrians and vehicles working in close proximity.
  • Vehicle to vehicle warning – the anti-collision system detects vehicles from long-range to reduce the risk of collisions, injury and asset damage.
  • Asset Protection & Hazard Alert – proximity warning detection helps to prevent asset and vehicle damage by alerting drivers when they get too close to another vehicle.
  • Warning & Alert for Access Control & Vehicle Activated Signage – vehicles interact with signage and access control on approach to enhance safe operation. 
  • Person to person Social Distancing – Designed to assist with social distancing requirements by delivering vibration alert when in close proximity to co-workers. 
  • Drop Zone – For Working at Height – creates a demarcation zone with a diameter of up to 18m and delivers vibration to alert workers below of falling hazards. 
  • Pedestrian crossing alerts and automated signage – delivers a warning when vehicles come into high traffic areas. 

Avonwood also provide more specialised and tailor made products for customers most notably in the energy and agricultural markets.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

T.H: The market has seen some very large growth over the last two – three years. Safety education has progressed in that time and so too has market awareness of the role of safety technology including PWS and the benefits these bring to businesses. Advanced technology that protects people and assets and is backed up with supporting analytics software enables a more targeted, preventative approach to safety. The customer understanding that these products improve overall safety culture is an important factor and helps the market for safety technology generally.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

T.H: In competitive markets, companies must take their responsibility for employee safety very seriously – the financial and reputational damage of workplace injury or fatality, can’t be underestimated. As technology becomes more common in our everyday lives, the role of safety technology in the workplace has also grown. There is a clear trend toward improving safety through technology investment. Fines for workplace accidents are ever increasing so businesses are seeing the benefits of upfront investment more clearly. For a relatively small outlay, employers can demonstrate their commitment to worker safety and build morale and trust in their workforce. It would be of little surprise if systems such as ZoneSafe became mandated in the next 3 – 5 years. Watch this space!

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

T.H: ZoneSafe technology is often adapted to meet specific customer needs. The Drop Zone system was developed for a power supply company that identified risk to people working below a pylon. A system was deployed underneath the pylon to alert people below with an automatic alarm system when they enter the drop zone. The system is now available as an off the shelf option for new customers with similar safety concerns. The Avonwood team often work with customers in this way to adapt ZoneSafe technology to meet their needs. 

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2022?

T.H: We want to keep innovating and growing. At Avonwood, we are really proud of the work that we do and pride ourselves on our product’s evolving nature. We estimate more enhancements to our product range in 2022, increased market demand for safety technology and strengthening our customer portfolio in our target sectors.