‘Vending Machine’ for Tools and Materials Trialled on HS2 Site

A TOOLS AND MATERIALS ‘vending machine’ has been installed on a HS2 site to make their purchase and collection faster and to cut down deliveries.

The VJ iStore is on one of the Align HS2 Phase One construction sites, located at Rickmansworth.

Inspired by Amazon Lockers, the secure by design VJ iStore consists of a 40 ft high bespoke modular shipping container which acts as a vending machine.

It will feed Align’s supply chain contractors a constant supply of their most used products that can be clicked and collected in minutes from the on-site iStore at the point of need.

Vending Machine

About 30 Align contractors are authorised to buy and collect from the VJ iStore. They can buy almost 300 separate items, ranging from bolts, washers, nails, sealants, hand tools, paints, lubricants, mechanical anchors, locks, foams and brooms.

As the products are available 24/7 it increases productivity and they are only paid for once they have been collected, improving cashflow. The locker store is replenished once every 10-14 days as the active stock control system indicates, cutting carbon emissions previously caused by daily deliveries to site by about 70%.

Peter Mckeown, Cross Passage Superintendent, Align, said: “We use the VJ iStore 24/7 and so far 25% of our orders have been out of hours – before 8am or after 5pm – and 15% have been on weekends. Previously this could have resulted in project delays and or rescheduling, but this solution enables us to continue.”

Align is the joint venture between Bouygues Travaux Publics, a subsidiary of Bouygues Construction, Sir Robert McAlpine, and VolkerFitzpatrick, a subsidiary of VolkerWessels that is delivering the Central 1 portion of HS2 Phase One.


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