The Role of Robotics in Improved Resilience

With the end of the Brexit transition period fast approaching, the Government has extended its Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to support innovation in the industrial sector. AIS Vanguard is here to support manufacturers and operators in heavy industrial settings, such as power and renewables, as they capitilise on those opportunities and invest in upgrading their capabilities.

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund is part of a focus on putting industry at the heart of a robust UK economy, with a commitment to invest £4.7 billion over 4 years to strengthen UK science and business. The aim is to create a catalyst for research and development to tackle some of the biggest issues the world is facing, such as climate change and healthcare, by driving innovation across the supply chain in sectors such as electric vehicles and renewable energy.

Amongst the areas earmarked for investment is robotics. Already widely used in a huge variety of industrial environments, robotics will play an increasingly important role in supporting consistency, automating hazardous processes, increasing capacity and delivering technically complex requirements.

The latest Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund announcement includes a £15 million pot of grants to enable universities, research organisations and businesses to build robots to inspect, maintain and repair nuclear power stations, satellites and wind turbines. Outside of the energy sector, the funding also recognises the potential role of robotics in the post COVID-19 era, including remote operation, contactless delivery and infection-secure movement of hospital beds.

There is huge potential to realise the wide-ranging possibilities for leveraging the benefits of robotics technology in industrial settings. For companies keen to improve productivity, reduce safety risk and drive exceptional quality standards through robotics, facilities will need to be upgraded and existing layouts and processes may need to be revised.

This is where AIS Vanguard can help. Our expertise in delivering complex changes to existing facilities means that we can work collaboratively with your team to redesign the layout of your plant, either by reconfiguring your assets on the same footprint, or by helping you optimise an extended building. We can decommission, lift, move and reconnect existing machinery and equipment and we can also install and commission new robotics capabilities, with a complete mechanical and electrical service.

Our experience means we can work with you as Principal Designer and Principal Contractor, including full CDM management, to provide a turnkey package, whether you’re incorporating robotics into your plant for the first time, or upgrading to enhance your capabilities.

2020 has been a period of unprecedented uncertainty for everyone and, from keeping the lights on to getting food to our tables, the industrial sectors have been at the frontline. Technology has been central to helping us overcome the obstacles of the pandemic and will continue to play a pivotal role in addressing both the commercial priorities and the global challenges that lie ahead. Robotics will be an increasingly important part of the technological solution to productivity, resilience and commercial advantage and AIS Vanguard is the ideal partner to help you plan and implement your robotics strategy.


A Factory Relocation: Key Considerations

We’re proud to be one of the UK’s leading providers in factory relocation, alongside multiple other industrial services.

Factory relocation is available to clients as a singular service, or a full turnkey solution, both being led by our highly skilled, experienced team to ensure professionalism and a smooth transition during the relocation.

Prior to a factory relocation taking place, there are various aspects of the project that the client and our team need to consider. We explore these key considerations.

Factory Relocation Planning

A factory relocation requires careful and meticulous planning from start to finish. Considering your timescales and the various phases of the relocation will need to happen.

Our Project Managers and relocation specialists are on hand to do this for you from the start of the project.

At this stage, it’s important you – the client – also consider your staff and your business needs. Does production need to continue or can it be halted? This stage of the project is also the best time to consider any challenges or potential risks that may be involved.


During any project, thorough communication is paramount.

There will be multiple teams within your business that will need to be involved. Some of these include HR, Health and Safety, Quality Control and any operational control professionals.

The changes being made will require communicating to wider staff members too as a relocation project impacts everyone in the company.

What is Being Relocated?

Clients need to know what needs relocating and where it needs to be relocated too… But we’ll admit, this is easier said than done.

This is where the AIS Vanguard team steps in and provides assistance.

Factory relocation projects require a detailed floorplan that covers equipment quantities, equipment identification, sizes and weights, locations of all items on the premises and any potential obstacles or challenges. This may include overhead equipment, structures or cables and any aisles, pits or trenches to navigate.

Updating Your Asset Register

Relocations are the perfect time to update your asset register. This helps to provide peace of mind but also helps our team to complete a seamless factory relocation that ticks all the boxes for you.

Check the condition of all your equipment, prior to the project and tag every piece with some method of identification, ensuring it matches your current asset register. When this is done, provide as much detail as possible about the condition of the asset and any requirements for handling the asset.

Operations and Commitments

Factory relocations can have significant impacts on a business’s day to day operations and commitments to clientele. It’s imperative to plan ahead and manage expectations around any potential delays and predicted lead-times to avoid conflict by updating the supply chain on the planned relocation.

Our dedicated Project Managers will be on hand to offer advice, guidance and suggestions to ensure the project is completed with the utmost efficiency and as few constraints as possible on your business.

Every relocation comes with it’s unique challenges, but with AIS Vanguard’s experience of over 40-years, our teams have the skills and expertise to ensure the move is carried out efficiently, effectively and safely for all involved.

Get In Touch

Planning a factory relocation to ensure everything is taken into consideration is no easy task. AIS Vanguard’s expert team will provide peace of mind that everything is in hand and running smoothly.

Talk to us about how we can help relocate your operations by calling 01257 411111 or fill out our Contact Form and we’ll be in touch.


The Top Five Reasons Why Customers Choose AIS Vanguard

The Top Five Reasons Why Customers Choose AIS Vanguard

Whether a project is single machine move or a factory relocation complete with CDM, they are all unique and all have a degree of risk.   The planning, preparation and implementation required to make them safe and successful takes time and resources.  It requires specialist plant and equipment, attention to detail and years of experience in a highly skilled team to make a difficult task look simple.   It’s not core business to most companies and is why they come to us.

Outsourcing complex, safety-critical and logistically challenging industrial services projects makes sound commercial and operational sense, but making that decision is only the first step. More challenging is deciding which industrial services specialist to work with to minimise risk, costs and disruption. These are just a few of the reasons why our customers choose to come to AIS Vanguard.


  1. We work with you, not just for you

Our approach to every project is to begin with the principle that you know your business and your commercial and operational priorities better than we do. That’s why collaboration with your team is so important.  We work with you to understand the critical parameters we need to consider so that we can offer you realistic deadlines and accurate costs, working around your operational needs and addressing any challenges during the planning phase. We work with you throughout the project, adjusting the programme to any unexpected changes and keeping you up to date with clear and regular communication.

2. We make it easier for you to keep everything under control

Every project has assigned management & supervision proportionate to the works. A project lead in place, to understand and interpret the brief and deliver the planning, documentation, mobilisation and efficient execution on site.  This means that you know you’re in safe hands from the outset and that you have a single point of contact if you need to get in touch or have any questions. Our project managers and supervisors are experienced industrial services experts and will be proactive in communicating with you throughout the project, from contract award to final invoice. 

3. We offer interdisciplinary expertise within a joined-up team

At AIS Vanguard, we have our own fleet of vehicles transport and specialist lifting equipment and employ our own multi-disciplined team. That means we can always ensure you have the skills and assets needed to carry out your project, no matter how niche or complex. Working in this way not only underpins quality and safety but also prevents delays because we don’t have to rely on third parties.

AIS Vanguard Machinery Removal Services UK


4. We can be where you need us, when you need us

Whether you need to move assets around a single site or redeploy them in another location, our national network of branches means that we can be on hand locally, wherever your assets are and wherever you need them to get to. Our resources are available when they’re needed so we can always use the most appropriate equipment and team for the job and work within your timescales.

5. You can rely on the highest standards of health & safety due diligence

We have clear Quality and HSE processes and procedures in place across everything we do and we’re committed to ensuring they are upheld on every project. Planning for every project includes a bespoke risk assessment and all our managers, supervisors and foreman hold a safety qualification.

Our teams hold all the necessary certifications and training for the tasks they are assigned and for the equipment they are using, to give you complete confidence that every operation will be a safe environment for your team and ours.

These are just five of the reasons that our customers come to AIS Vanguard for a can-do approach to getting the job done efficiently, safely and on time. We pride ourselves not just on being experts in our field, but on being a team that’s easy to work with and reliable at every touch point. When our customers need us, we’re there for them, and that’s what brings them back to us time and again.


Celebrating 30 years of service from Steve Steele

Celebrating 30 years of service from Steve Steele

Wigan branch manager Steve Steele celebrates 30 years of service with AIS Vanguard this week. Steve is a hugely valued member of the company, known by his colleagues for his integrity and trusting management style as well as his unrivalled budget control skills.

Steve joined the original Ainscough family back in 1990 and his loyalty has seen him grow and adapt with the company through 30 years of progress. The thriving Wigan branch, full of team spirit, is testament to his effort and experience.

Matt Ainscough, group CEO of Ainscough Industrial Services, commends Steve’s huge achievement: ‘On behalf of everyone at AIS, I’d like to congratulate my longstanding colleague and valued team member Mr Steve Steele on 30 years’ service with the company.

‘When Steve joined us the ‘World Wide Web’ was little more than an idea, the first Gulf War was just beginning, and most importantly the Happy Mondays were twisting people’s melons at the top of the charts.

‘A lot has changed since then, and I’ve had the pleasure of working with Steve in one form or another for about 25 of those years. Throughout it all, he’s been a loyal and hardworking person who has played a great part in making our business the success it is today.

‘Thanks very much, Steve!’

Steve’s invaluable contribution has also been recognised by his team at the Wigan branch. Jason Shacklady, AIS Vanguard operations manager, says: ‘Over the years, Steve has shown fantastic loyalty both to the company and to his team at the Wigan branch. As one of the few remaining cornerstones of the ‘Ainscough’ family, he’s been through all of the highs and lows, and his loyalty, dedication and integrity has never wavered.


‘Steve shows complete trust and confidence in his staff, allowing them the autonomy to get on with what they do best. This approach has been key to the success of the branch and allowed it to prosper over the years. The rewards are there for all to see in the strong team bond that we all share.

‘Without doubt though, Steve’s most shining – if sometimes not his most endearing – quality, is cost control! To work with Steve is to witness his ‘Ninja-like’ cost saving abilities. His trademark budget management might be a source of fun to the team but is also a real skill, and crucial to ensuring the branch remains successful.

‘We’ve had lots of laughter and tears over the years. Congratulations Steve, here’s to another 30 years… ok perhaps not!’

Steve’s contribution to AIS Vanguard is hugely appreciated by the company, with countless colleagues passing on their own congratulations and hopes for an even longer working relationship. Group CEO Matt Ainscough jokes, ‘You get a carriage clock at 50 years, Steve, so keep going!’


AIS Vanguard Delivers BOC Oxygen to Fight Against COVID-19

Relocation of BOC Equipment

As you’ll undoubtedly be aware, the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to sweep the globe and it is vitally important that everyone, businesses and individuals all do their bit to fight against the virus.

London’s ExCel centre is just one of the various venues scoped out by the NHS to transform into a hospital to help treat the sick. ExCel London will become NHS Nightingale Hospital with 4,000 beds all equipped with ventilators and oxygen which AIS Vanguard delivered on behalf of BOC. This movement has been done to relieve the already pressured hospitals across the UK as the NHS prepares for the ‘tsunami’ of the pandemic.

The movement of equipment is a standard service from AIS Vanguard, however, given the current climate, we feel it is our duty to step up and help in any way we can. This includes going out of our usual remit, where necessary. The movement of liquid oxygen and ventilators for BOC ensures each bed has the resources required to fight against the virus.

Alongside ExCel, the NEC located in Birmingham and the Manchester Arena have also been scoped to become hospitals to help fight against the virus and AIS Vanguard are ready to continue the fight and help where necessary to ensure our hospitals and treatment facilities have everything required from BOC to effectively treat patients.


Continuing to Help

It is important that everyone in the UK does their part to help stop the spread and flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic. AIS Vanguard are here to help and to serve to ensure treatment is delivered to those who need it.

Our wholly-owned fleet means we’re available and happy to help support businesses in any way we can during the #COVID19 emergency, find out how AIS Vanguard can help your business throughout this unprecedented time.

Find Out More


AIS Vanguard Production Support For COVID-19

Production Support for COVID-19

As you are undoubtedly aware, the COVID-19 pandemic is currently sweeping the globe. Our clients deserve to know what we have done, what we are currently doing and how we can continue to help all industries with production support for COVID-19.

Our multi-site, nationwide service ensures that we have the flexibility and resources to reallocate staff across the UK, should the need arise. Due to our continued investments in technology, equipment, storage facilities and employees, it enables us to continue supporting new and existing clients during high-demands from the current UK market needs.

During this time, we are proud to continue our 24/7 service and be on-hand when we are needed the most. Extreme measures have been put in place to make sure that our staff and clients are safe during all operations, including high levels of cleanliness and minimal close contact with colleagues, suppliers and clients.

We are very fortunate to have in-house skilled employees and do not rely on external contractors or companies to carry out our work. By having this in place, it enables us to fulfil fast moving projects without being disrupted from temporary closures by third party support.

Industrial Mechanical And Electircal Services

Whether it’s the movement of machinery, stock or medical equipment, AIS Vanguard is here to help – as you will have heard many times now, we are all in this together.

How we can Support:

  • Production Line Relocations, Installations, Connections & Maintenance
  • Equipment & Machinery Recommissioning
  • Equipment & Machinery Moving
  • Equipment & Machinery Installations
  • Transport & Storage Services
  • Inventory Management

Find Out More


Help in the Production of Ventilators

As the UK responds to the Covid-19 virus, one of the key challenges will be managing supply chains to ensure enough resilience to cope with fluctuations in demand and operational limitations such as restricted imports and a reduced workforce.

AIS are poised with various contingency strategies for reconfiguring production facilities to maximise output for priority items and utilising vacant or decanted space to optimise storage, enabling just-in-time despatch and response to spikes in order volumes.

We have a nationwide coverage across the UK with a wealth of experience and industry knowledge across our teams along with a comprehensive fleet of equipment. Our extensive engineering expertise and high quality and safety standards deliver value and quality to a wide breadth of industry sectors including but not limited to Aerospace, Automotive, Food & Beverage, Pharmaceutical, Petrochemical and Heavy Industry.

AIS Vanguard has been built based on our reputation on reliability, quality and safety within the industrial market, and as such we are recognised as one of the UK’s leading experts for machinery relocation and removals.


How we can Support:

  • Production Line Relocations, Installations, Connections & Maintenance
  • Equipment & Machinery Recommissioning
  • Equipment & Machinery Moving
  • Equipment & Machinery Installations
  • Transport & Storage Services
  • Inventory Management

Find Out More

Latest News Uncategorised

Planning a Factory Relocation Project

Ainscough Industrial Services is one of the UK’s leading providers of factory relocation, machinery relocation and machinery installation. Our full turnkey service, lead by our highly skilled and experienced team, ensures we maintain a professional and smooth transition during relocation projects – even when production needs to be continued during the process.


New and prospective clients often ask “What do I need to consider when planning this factory relocation?”, so we’ve written up the key things that we consider before tackling a factory relocation project.



A factory relocation of any scale needs careful planning from start to finish. Consider your timescales and the phases the project will need to happen in – our talented project managers and experienced specialists are here to do this for you. Don’t forget to consider your staff and business needs – does production need to continue or can it be halted for the duration of the project? The planning phase is also the best time to begin considering the challenged and risks involved in the project.



With a factory relocation project, good and thorough communication is paramount. There will be many teams within your business that need to be involved including HR, health and safety, quality control and any operational control professionals. The changes being made will also need communicating to all wider teams in your business as a relocation often impacts everyone within the company, from top to bottom.


What is being relocated? 

You will know what needs relocating and where it needs to be relocated to, but it’s not quite that straightforward! That’s where AIS Vanguard steps in. The factory relocation will require a detailed floorplan that covers equipment quantities, equipment identification, sizes and weights, locations of all utilities on the premises (the start and end premises) and any potential obstacles or challenges. These include overhead equipment, structures or cables and any aisles, pits or trenches to navigate.


Update your asset register

Complex projects such as relocations are the perfect time to update your asset register. This gives you peace of mind but also helps the AIS Vanguard team to complete a seamless factory relocation that ticks all of the boxes. Check the condition of all equipment prior to the project and tag every piece with some method of identification, ensuring it matches your asset register. Once this is done, add in as much detail as possible about the condition of the equipment and any requirements for the handling of it.


Operations and Commitments 

A factory relocation can have a huge impact on your day to day operations and your commitments to clients. Be sure to plan ahead and set expectations around potential delays and predicted lead-times to avoid conflict by updating your supply chain on your planned relocation.


Ainscough’s dedicated project managers will be on hand to offer advice and suggestions to ensure the project is completed with efficiency and places as few constraints as possible on your business. Every major relocation comes with unique challenges but with over forty years’ experience, we have the skills and expertise to ensure the move is carried out efficiently and safely, ensuring your business can transition without any snags.


Ainscough Industrial Services is the perfect choice for any heavy machine removal or relocation; whether it’s a single machine removal or an entire factory relocation, we are happy to help.


Examples of our factory and machine removal and relocation projects include: 

Nippon Express

Zarafa Group

Arcadia Spectacular (Glastonbury Festival)

Brymor Construction

Latest News Uncategorised

A Day in the Life of…Our Senior Technical Sales Manager!

We pride ourselves on offering complete turnkey solutions for the movement and reinstallation of heavy equipment, machinery and other apparatus including technical lifting, project management and electrical support. However, the day to day running of all of these services across our numerous branches requires the help and dedication of every single employee! So, we’re shining the spotlight on various members of the team in our ‘A Day in the Life of…’ series to give you some insight into the brains and brawn behind our operations.

This week we’re taking a peek at a day in the life of Dave Shaw, Senior Technical Sales Manager at our Wigan branch.

Give us an example of a typical day…

  • Leave home at 6am for a 9am site visit in Birmingham to discuss the dismantling of equipment, loading to transport and exporting to Istanbul.
  • Take detailed measurements and discuss the scope of works with the client and leave the site to drive back to Wigan at 11.45am.
  • Stop at the Motorway services and have a sandwich and a coffee.
  • Arrive back at the office about 2.45pm, load the job onto CRM, generate cost sheets, issue enquiries for various sub-contracted works and apply for credit.
  • Begin working through my “to do” list from the previous day and clear as much as possible.
  • Make a “to do” list for the next day.
  • Leave the office about 5.30pm.

What does he enjoy about his role?

“I love the variety. I can honestly say every day is different so there is no chance at all of getting bored!”

What does he think the team at Wigan can offer to our customers?

“Our clients are usually looking for solutions to problems and without doubt, the guys at Wigan do this day in and day out because of this Wigan has many clients who use Vanguard repeatedly over the years.”

Who makes the best brew at the Wigan branch?

“Unfortunately, I think I make the best brew!”

Thank you to Dave for his time, it’s great to have insight into the daily lives of our Ainscough Industrial Services superstars!

To learn more about the Ainscough Industrial Services team and what we get up to in the meantime, follow us on Twitter here or connect on LinkedIn here.