Vehicle barriers first rose to the forefront of public attention after 9/11. The focus from 2001 to 2010 was on anti-terrorism, and vehicle barriers appeared at military and government facilities around the world.
The U.S. Capitol breach on Jan. 6, 2021, brought heightened attention to the risks in a society that is increasingly fractured and volatile. Various protest events in recent months have made customers more aware of possible threats and prompted many to proactively install vehicle barriers and other systems to protect their premises.
Shifting market focus
Since 2010, and with the anti-terrorism market mostly saturated, the market focus for vehicle barriers shifted to public safety applications such as stadiums, schools, universities, large tech companies, and data centres.
It’s an example of deploying technology developed in “wartime” to the broader public good, says Keith Bobrosky, the new president of vehicle barrier company Delta Scientific Corporation.
Withstanding the pandemic
The only remaining hurdle for Delta Scientific is to deal with continuing uncertainty going forward
Like many in the security market, Delta Scientific has withstood a tumultuous two years during the duration of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
They have “come through with flying colours,” says Bobrosky. The company never closed down, and its vaccination rate is high. The only remaining hurdle is to deal with continuing uncertainty going forward.
Delta Scientific’s commitment
Bobrosky began working in sales at Delta Scientific in 2007. Along the way, he has expanded into management, production, and engineering management.
Through it all, he has seen a company that provides employees the autonomy to do their jobs and who have a strong commitment to customers, he says. The privately-owned company is nimble; decisions can be made quickly to respond to market changes, adds Bobrosky.
Addressing needs during a pandemic
The company was concerned about lower demand when the economy shut down, says Bobrosky, but they did not see an impact. The business was steady as a result of government entities and other organisations taking advantage of being closed to evaluate and address security needs. “We saw a decent flow of government business because of the shutdown,” says Bobrosky.
Delta Scientific focuses on the domestic U.S. market but also has a presence selling to partners in the Middle East and Europe, where the equipment is known for its ability to take multiple hits. Even after withstanding an impact according to ASTM standards, their barrier is still operational.
Increased steel purchased
Delta Scientific ramped up its purchasing power, staving off any shortages and striving to keep lead times short
As material shortages have spread through the industry, Delta Scientific has ramped up its purchasing power, staving off any shortages and striving to keep lead times short. Steel is their major component – literally, 98% of the weight of the products is steel, and there are 5,000 pounds of steel per barrier.
The price of steel has gone up and there have been shortages. The company has maintained supply by leveraging its reputation and purchasing power. Most of their components are made in the USA, which has helped them dodge the recent challenges of the global supply chain.
Application of barriers and bollards
Automotive dealerships are another market for Delta Scientific; their bollards and barriers are used as anti-theft devices to keep vehicles from being stolen from a sales lot.
Delta Scientific’s products can foil car thieves who might otherwise use a large vehicle to plow through a barrier and then enable a parade of accomplices to drive away in additional vehicles. Auto resellers buy anti-terrorism products to protect their inventories.
DSC550 Open Frame vehicle barrier
Delta Scientific’s products have evolved from push buttons and relay to touch screens and microprocessors
New efficient product designs enable Delta Scientific to use less steel while keeping prices competitive and maintaining crash ratings. The products are more innovative, says Bobrosky. New barriers include the DSC550 Open Frame vehicle barrier, which does not block the view as solid barriers do.
During the last decade control systems for Delta Scientific’s products have evolved from push buttons and relays to touch screens and microprocessors, although some customers still prefer the simplicity of the older approach.
Portable crash barriers
The equipment can also be controlled remotely and integrated with PSIM-type systems. Although the systems are stand-alone, some clients have been toying with the idea of controlling them through the internet, emphasising the importance of appropriate cybersecurity.
A separate line of portable crash barriers can be towed into place in 15 minutes by a vehicle or even a golf cart. They are used for events such as the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, the Oscars, music festivals, etc. There are hundreds of units in the field, available as needed for various events and rented out to event management companies and other organisers.
Improving customer relations
As the president of Delta Scientific, Bobrosky says his biggest opportunity is to continue improving customer relations – a never-ending goal. He will also strive to increase communication. Looking ahead, additional crash tests are scheduled for 2022, and the company will continue to look for ways to “do more with less.”