Allett's C34E battery powered Evolution cylinder mower has won 'Mechanical Product of the Year' at the British Engineering Excellence Awards (BEEA'S) sponsored by Eureka. The awards celebrate the best of design engineering in the UK and was hosted on the 23rd March 2021.
''The Allett Engineering team are very pleased to win the British Engineering Excellence Award for new mechanical product of the year. We set out to make a mower without compromise and with a lot of hard work from everyone at Allett that is what we have achieved. The Allett strategy to embrace battery technology has given the engineering team considerable challenges, but has also allowed us the opportunity to design some really good patented features into our mowers that customers love. Sustainability and the environment is always in our minds and this is a priority for our customers too. With the C34 Evolution mower we wanted to offer not just a sustainable battery powered product but one packed with features to make the ultimate tool for turf cultivations and mowing. The control options the drive system gives along with the ease of adjustments, low hand-arm vibration and low noise levels means we are helping our customers confidently make the switch to battery power. We built in some modular design features as we intend to use this winning formula to introduce a range of mowers to replace our petrol products. We are very proud to be a British manufacturer and have our product and hard work recognised by winning this prestigious award''
(John Gittins, Innovation and Engineering Manager)
''We are all so proud of our Engineering and Innovation team here at Allett Mowers and it is great to receive this prestigious British Engineering Excellence Award which recognises all the hard work this team has put in to the C34E Evolution product. It has been such a challenging journey to develop a new product platform based on the latest battery technology to deliver engineering excellence and a product packed with features which our customers are loving. At the same time producing a high capacity stadium mower and turf maintenance system which gives our customers access to cleaner and more environmentally-friendly solutions for the tasks they carry out every day to provide their impressive sports venues we have all come to expect. All this was achieved on-time and within budget – no mean feat when you consider all the new technical challenges this new application of battery and electrical technology required''
(Austin Jarrett, Allett Managing Director)
The C34E is a battery powered cylinder mower for cutting and maintaining sports turf and large fine lawns. The target markets are sports stadia worldwide which includes the sports of Football, Rugby and Baseball as well as private colleges/Universities and large private homes. Our professional customer base are fanatical about grass stripes, precision cutting and are very knowledgeable about grass care. The mower has an 86cm (34") wide cutting width and the cutting cartridge can be easily removed and replaced with several options including: a turf-rake, brush, verticutter and sorrel roller. These options allow the user to carry out turf maintenance tasks with one machine in order to achieve the very best grass surface.
It is Allett's mission to be battery powered by 2025, we had previous success converting a smaller petrol domestic mower into a battery product, this prompted us to turn our focus to the challenge of designing and manufacturing an 86cm (34") wide battery mower. Market intelligence also proved that there was a fast growing demand for battery powered products in the professional turf-care industry, which has been much helped by the recent and significant advancement in battery technology. Many of the large sports clubs we currently deal with and especially the school and college market were showing a growing interest in more sustainable practises. This was further reinforced by the introduction of "ISO 20121:2012, Event sustainability management systems" following the London Olympics demonstrating a growing trend in sporting events to embrace sustainability. A wide area battery powered mower answered this need.
There are several innovative elements on this product, in fact we have 3 patents pending. The first patent is for a handle mounted switch that controls the speed of the mower when turning, this reduces the forward speed conveniently with out adjusting any operator settings, this makes turning safer and more efficient.
Second is a handheld back-lapping switch that when plugged into the mower engages the cutting cylinder drive at a slow speed in reverse. Back-lapping is a maintenance technique used on cylinder mowers to keep the blades in perfect condition. It involves applying grinding paste to the cutting elements which poses an operator risk, with the back-lapping switch being hand held and "hold to run" this greatly improves the safety of the operation and the convenience to the customer.
The 3rd innovative feature is a cylinder mode switch, this allows the user to select the best of 3 modes for the cylinder or maintenance cartridge to operate at. Linked with the variable speed self propelled drive, this mower can always operate at the best performance for the task or conditions.
Another innovative feature is the chassis, on this type of mower the chassis is critical to maintain the required accuracy of the machine. We designed the chassis to minimise welding and remove the associated distortion. The chassis is a bolt together assembly that utilises Aluminium CNC machined side plates and square box section cross rails that fit into milled pockets. This ensures the assembly of the mating components is maintained precisely and offers a light weight solution.
The height of cut is altered by moving the front roller up and down, this is achieved with an adjuster that requires no tools yet maintains the accuracy and rigidity needed by this type of mower.
Allett have historically been producing products for the British Sports Turf industry since 1965. The aim of this project was to develop a professional specification low carbon, quiet cylinder mower that would meet the needs of the following markets; football clubs, rugby clubs, universities grounds and sports pitches. Our target is to develop a product which becomes the market leader and increases our market share within these markets. Since the launch last year this product has become the second largest professional cylinder mower model in terms of number of sales and total value of sales. We anticipate this product will continue to grow in terms of sales over the next 3 years and erode our main competitors market share globally. We have now also launched a 34'' battery powered rotary mower (Uplift86E) aswell as a 27'' version (C27E) of the cylinder. All three machines take the same batteries.
The feedback from customers has been extremely positive for this product launch. The product has given our target market the opportunity to mow and maintain sports surfaces with zero carbon emissions as well as establishing a much improved operator experience. The product contributes to a safer working environment for the operator, in particular due to the quietness and hugely reduced levels of vibration and emissions being produced by the lawnmower. Not only this, but due to the attention to detail in the design of the product the customers are also reporting improved cutting and collection as well as an even better Allett stripe. Customers are able to carry out turf cultivation and maintenance activities at the exact parameters/speeds to make a good job/maximise benefit to the turf.
Allett took the opportunity to collaborate with Keele University through the SEND project to produce an assessment of the cost and carbon emissions of Allett products which highlights the benefits of the C34 Evolution product for the target market and the environment as a whole. An example of this from the report is shown below, this table compares the lifetime carbon emissions and costs of C34 (Petrol) and C34 Evolution (Battery Power)
C34 Petrol powered
Carbon emissions 12,433kg
Energy costs £6708
C34 Evolution battery powered
Carbon emissions 588kg
Energy costs £264
This represents a Carbon emission saving of 11,845kg and an Energy cost saving of £6,444 over the life of the product. This is equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions of driving approximately 30,000 miles in an average passenger car and the Carbon dioxide emissions from burning 6,000L of petrol.
Carbon emissions: 12,433.2 kg
Carbon Emissions: 588.12 kg
Carbon emission savings by C34 Evolution = 11,845.08 kg
Cost savings by C34 Evolution: £6,444.36