Spinnaker International

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Spinnaker International is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.


Tony Westington, managing
Spinnakers’ CashTrack
in action
Based in Saltash, Cornwall, Spinnaker is a company creating
technology which protects billions of pounds in cash
around the world every day, all while enabling a record-
breaking 1,000mph attempt at the land speed record (they
are a technology partner and sponsor of the Bloodhound
Supersonic car project). Spinnaker International Limited has
its origins in a business founded back in 1985 to specifically
solve a growing crime problem around cash-in-transit thefts. Its
solutions these days have expanded to other areas and are more
sophisticated. Speaking more on the company’s evolution in the
following article is their managing director, Tony Westington.
From cashbox to rocket car – how Spinnaker is transferring
Back then, the deterrent was a simple cloud of red smoke that came from a
cashbox when it was stolen. These days, Spinnakers’ latest iBox technology
contains a multitude of new and patented technologies.
Any attempt to break into the iBox, or deviation from its intended route, will result
in a dispersion of specialist degradation ink that will degrade the banknotes, and
mark them irrevocably with an individual synthetic substance which can be used
to repatriate the notes and track down the criminal. Spinnaker makes it even
more difficult for the thief by integrating a sophisticated tracking and monitoring
device inside its products, which can send and receive real-time information on the
»Managing director:
»Established in 1985
»Based in Saltash, Cornwall
»Services: Creation of security
»No. of employees: 125 across
13 countries
»Turnover: £12 million
»Customers in over 40 countries
»Protecting billions of
banknotes globally
»Technology partner of
Bloodhound SSC
Highlighting best practice
status and activity of the product. This
system, which cannot be “jammed”,
allows Spinnaker’s customers to keep
very tight control of their assets at all
times. The various types of data flow
between the iBox and the customer
control centre mean that vital
information from the vicinity of the
iBox can be gathered and reacted to
in seconds, and its location is pinned
down to within a few metres on a
detailed map.
Although Spinnaker’s technology has
been adopted mostly by the cash and
valuables industry to date, projects like
the Bloodhound SSC demonstrate a
much wider application for their high-
technology products. The business is
heavily centred on the security industry
today, but Spinnaker is finding new and
exciting markets outside of that core.
The future of Spinnaker’s
current core market – cash
But what of the future of cash, and
the talk of a cashless society? The facts
are quite different from the public
perception of the situation and the
opinions of giant tech companies.
Spinnaker explains that cash is actually
growing around the world by over
3 per cent annually. There are a few
countries, such as Sweden, which have
certainly reduced their use of cash,
but there are already signs that this is
beginning to reverse. Senior figures in
Sweden are calling to keep banknotes
and coins in circulation. Although,
undoubtedly, there are convenience
benefits with electronic payment
systems, the Swedes are realising that
these systems can be fragile, and may
stop functioning without notice.
For a payment system to operate
properly within a society, it must be
fair, reliable and available to absolutely
everybody, all of the time. In addition,
the “public payment system” should be
backed by the central bank/government
to give people total confidence in
it. There is certainly a place for the
convenience and speed of electronic
payment systems, especially as the
internet is such a big part of our lives
now. However, Spinnaker believes
that cash must remain in circulation
for society to function. With internet
outages, technical glitches and
cyberattacks, electronic payments
systems have shown that they cannot
be available to everyone all of the
time. More fundamentally, though,
individual governments should be
asking themselves: do we want
our entire payment system run and
controlled by a few tech giants based
in another territory? The answer, I’d
reckon, is no.
Exciting development
Regarding our own development, it’s
worth mentioning that we work closely
with universities, both directly and via
iBox cash protection
Factory and Innovation
which protects
billions of pounds
in cash around
the world every
day, all while
enabling a
attempt at the
land speed
KTPs (knowledge transfer partnerships)
– a reflection of our commitment to
research, development and innovation.
One example of that innovation is our
new remote asset protection system.
Essentially, this technology will monitor
the behaviour of important assets,
which are remote to their owner. This
might be, for instance, a giant wind
turbine, a valuable piece of plant
machinery, or an exotic vehicle. The
system allows supervision over the
asset’s direction and location, and
provides video and audio feedback to
the customer. This technology is already
being used to good effect in the iBox,
and in cash vehicles, so we are widening
its applicability that little bit further.
Because many of our customers (and
competitors) are operating in Europe,
Brexit poses a potentially unwelcome
development. We do not want barriers
to trading in this part of the world.
Difficulties in this respect would be
deleterious to our company. However,
we export to over 40 countries, and
have our own staff in 14 countries
around the world, so we would
surmount some trading problems posed
by Brexit, if they arose. If we are to
trade in the EU on less favourable terms
than our EU-based competitors, then
the earlier we know this, the better
we can absorb the impact. Small to
medium businesses can plan, but can’t
really commit significant spend to make
change, unless that change is certain.
Another challenge for a technology
business like Spinnaker is the skills
shortage we have in this country with
regard to engineers. We have quite
a sore lack of them, so we have to
be more proactive in training and
developing them. To this end, we
encourage students at university to
work with us at an earlier stage, after
which we foster them within the
company. Employment agencies can be
helpful, but they are very expensive and
some of them can make it more difficult
for businesses by effectively trading
potential employees as a commodity.
In spite of this, we are investing heavily
in our future. We’re expanding our
business, and now have a brand-new
innovation centre and technology hub
to drive further product development.
These are exciting times, and we are
integrating many of our new patented
ideas into our latest designs, and
preparing for the launch of a new
range of secure technology.
For a payment
system to
operate properly
within a society,
it must be fair,
reliable and
open to
everybody at all
Bloodhound SSC
1,000mph car


This article was sponsored by Spinnaker International. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.