GREG HAMM 2010

Vehicle access control equipment firm Delta Scientific highlights rise in ‘soft target’ business

Delta Scientific Corporation is a leading manufacturer of vehicle access control equipment with over 260,000 square feet of production facilities in California, US. The company’s three product lines consist of high-security vehicle barricade systems, parking control equipment and guard booths. The company has been engineering and manufacturing vehicle access control equipment since 1974 and sells its products worldwide. Greg Hamm (pictured), Delta’s Vice President, Sales & Marketing, gave SSN Gulf the lowdown.

How would you describe your global market position right now?

More than 17,000 Delta systems protect people and property at 8,000 locations in over 130 countries around the globe. Delta Scientific product lines consist of high-security vehicle barricade systems, parking control equipment and guard booths. Services run the gamut from custom designs to total installation and maintenance.

Give us a sample of Delta’s large scale international installations.

Delta protects US, UK, Japanese and other countries’ embassies around the world. Buckingham Palace is only one of the palaces protected by Delta in the UK. Delta also protects the Singapore Parliament building, Chevron, ExxonMobile, Conoco, BP, Shell and other leading gas and oil producers in oil fields, refineries and distribution centres. Delta also protects Sydney Harbour in Australia, Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and scores of harbours worldwide.

Which sectors/countries are you doing most work in?

Delta products are used by organisations that are concerned about truck bombing threats from terrorists, break-ins using vehicles to penetrate facilities and errant drivers. As a result, government entities – ranging from the military to embassies to water utilities to transportation hubs – are the largest group of users. Other major   verticals include petro-chemical, public and private utilities, and colleges and universities. Lately, more and more “soft targets” such as hotels and retail outlets are installing barriers. Delta does most of its work in North America, the Middle East and Asia. However, there is good presence in Europe and Africa is coming on strong.

Can you describe any work/plans you have regarding the Middle East?

Delta’s initial Middle East installations were at other nation’s embassies throughout the Middle East, followed by their petro facilities and military bases. Once they were seen and reviewed by Middle East government and business managers, more and more barriers, barricades and bollards we purchased by and installed for Middle Eastern governments and businesses. Although we would love to discuss plans that Delta has in the Middle East, buyers do not want to discuss projects until they are completed and the people and facilities at those locations are safe.

This region (GCC) offers unique challenges in terms of climate/terrain and ways of doing business – any comments on this?

We are already prepared for the environmental factors of the GCC region. Delta vehicle access control systems are already being used at oil and gas producing, distribution and storage facilities, government facilities, military bases and other facilities throughout the GCC region and have been doing so for many years.

How has your performance been in 2015 and how is the rest of the year looking? Trends?

In 2014, hard targets, such as government facilities, airports, refineries and similar installations continued to boost sales by protecting themselves from car- and truck bombers through the use of Delta Scientific’s crash rated vehicle access control equipment which includes bollards, barriers, barricades and guard booths. However, over the last several years, we’ve seen a growing percentage of our total business come from soft targets, such as major hotels, colleges, office buildings and other places where larger numbers of people congregate. Portable barriers, which can be temporarily put up within 15 minutes and moved on to another location once an event is over, also continue to be very popular. From sporting events to political conventions to bazaars, portable barriers are providing a quick, inexpensive solution to traffic control and stopping errant drivers from creating harm. Within only 15 minutes of being sited, the mobile crash barrier lowers itself into position with built-in hydraulic jacks.  There is no hand cranking. Wheels are stored at the sides and then the vehicle ramps are folded out, completing the deployment.  To move the barrier, the procedures are simply reversed. For the rest of 2015 and into 2016, we expect these trends to continue and become intertwined. With a growing threat from homegrown terrorists, there will be a boom in protecting soft targets as well as the use of portable barriers. By their very nature, terrorist attacks are unpredictable and predicated on surprise. Staying one step ahead by identifying vulnerable areas, and securing them, is critical to staving off vehicular attacks. For those areas where a vehicle will never enter, fixed bollards and barriers are the norm. However, at entrances, barriers that go up and down are needed to let authorised vehicles through. That means being able to deploy security equipment in tough conditions, at a moment’s notice. Terrorists typically don’t go where they see barricades, so placing them wherever possible attacks can happen reduces security risks dramatically. Temporary barriers can protect facilities while permanent ones are being built and they’re even effective for the long-term where physical conditions preclude permanent solutions.