General maintenance isn't the only thing that we undertake for Millbrook. Over the years, there have been some exciting and innovative projects. Join us as we journey down memory lane and revisit some of the more diverse ventures.
Millbrook Proving Ground
Millbrook Group provides vehicle testing, validation and engineering services to the automotive, transport, tyre, petrochemical, defence and security industries. Constructed in 1969, the Bedfordshire Proving Ground has over 70km of varied test tracks designed specifically for vehicles to undergo repeated tests in a secure and safe environment.
Having worked with Millbrook since the company began in 2001, we’ve become involved in some exciting and innovative projects. And as part of our 15th anniversary celebrations, we’ve taken a look back at some of the more diverse ventures.
Illuminated Lane Signs
The track, made up of hill routes, high speed areas and challenging off road courses allows the engineers and professional drivers to perform repeated tests on all types of vehicles. One of our first projects was to produce illuminated lane signs; lane numbers and red / amber Wig-Wag lights to warn of danger or lane closure, for the high speed circuit. Having been in situ since 1969, the old lamps were coming to the end of their lifecycle. The new bespoke signs, designed and produced by ourselves to Millbrook’s specifications, replaced the old filament lamps with more efficient LED lights. However, replacing them with LED meant that we had to modify the control system to interface the new light fittings with the old control cabling. Awkward, but not impossible, one cold November morning our guys got to work, delivering the new signage in 9 days.
Withstanding heat of up to 50°C and 98% humidity, the insulated Corrosion Chamber was built to test the effects of heat and moisture on vehicles. In keeping with Millbrook’s commitment to the environment, the Chamber was designed and built to house a fully recycled water system.
Every vehicle that’s tested makes use of the system, ensuring nothing goes to waste. Efficient and effective, each vehicle can be tested in just 12 minutes.
Working directly with the Consultant, we were responsible for sourcing all the materials, overseeing all groundworks, steelwork and building of the specialist chamber, including mechanical plants and all electrical and fire alarm installations. From start to finish, the Chamber was actually completed in twelve weeks – not quite as quick as it takes to test a vehicle but fast nonetheless.
As part of their offering, Millbrook also undertake bespoke conversions. From initial strip down and protection installation to final inspection, one of their specialties is converting production vehicles for specific use by the Police and Fire services. Working with Millbrook on the conversions building, we were responsible for both the ground works and the fitting of all the internal services: electricity, water, fire alarms, data and air compressor, etc.
Our latest project with Millbrook are the Test Garages. Available for rent or to buy, the garages, complete with a fully functioning office suite, have been designed specifically for manufacturers to test both new vehicles and components, giving them the ability to test and modify in real time.
Working literally from the ground up, the project consisted of steelwork, partition walls, roller shutter doors, electrics, plumbing, and air conditioning. Once the garages were built, we then moved onto the interiors, fitting fire alarms, vehicle hoists, workbenches, furniture and high energy efficient lighting.