Oculus train hub – photograph by duo Hufton + Crow
Gullco’s KAT weld oscillator carriage has recently been selected and put to work on the Oculus subway project in New York.
The PATH train station which was destroyed during the 9/11 attacks, has been rebuilt and the weld oscillation carriage is being put to good use on a very pivotal part of the structure.
Part of Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava’s design includes bomb proof pillars which has resulted in a very substantial weld necessary to produce these reinforced pillars. These welds are being produced by our KAT oscillator not just because of its high weld quality but because it has a unique feature for weld carriages of this nature. Our weld oscillator head is independent of our carriage which allows for it to be maneuvered into a variety of different positions and can tackle even the deepest weld grooves. This benefit is very important on the Oculus project because of the immense material thickness and large bevel groove necessary to provide a pillar which can withstand an explosive impact.
KAT weld oscillator in operation at the Oculus project in New York
The independent head was not the only necessary benefit in this instance as the project has been consistently set back, taking 12 years to complete and has been extremely over budget to the tune of billions. Weld automation equipment is often selected when a project is falling behind deadlines or welds are becoming increasingly costly to produce and in this instance it is no different. Welding is often one of the largest overhead costs in any large scale construction project and by automating the process you remove many of the unnecessary pitfalls inherent in manual welding. Stops and starts are eliminated, welder fatigue is removed and accurate weld deposition is achieved.
On a weld as thick as this even a small amount of over-welding on each pass can result in tens of thousands of dollars. By deploying a welding automation solution such as the weld oscillator extremely precise control over the welding procedure is achieved and eliminates costly over-welding and rework pays back the investment in a short amount of production time.
Part of Gullco’s implementation strategy is to provide on site training for any equipment which has been purchased. This ensures quality results and sets both the end user and the equipment up for success. Once trained the operators at the site of the Oculus project were capable of completing these extremely important pillar welds, putting this part of the project back on schedule.
As a company Gullco attends over 20 trade shows a year in various countries around the world, we have distributors in over 80 different countries and have supplied welding automation solutions to every continent on the planet. As a salesman, I have been no stranger to air travel and have recently become a member of the Million Mile Club for Air Canada. I did not receive a visit from the pilot on my flight to Mexico when I reached this milestone and it was not like a scene out of the movie Up in The Air, but as I contemplate the number of times I have circled the globe and the unique places that this job has provided me the opportunity to go I realized how unique of an experience both a customer and an employee has when working with a company like Gullco.
We believe in our products and service so passionately that we fly from the top to the bottom of the world to show people our products and teach them about automation so that we can make sure projects get finished on time and under budget. It’s the kind of automation that gets you out of the factory and into the middle of the desert in Ghana. The type of welding solution that puts you into the mountains of Peru or the rain forests of Brazil. Going to these remote locations and training people on our equipment or setting up distributors is what makes Gullco such a unique company. There are very few in the industry with as much of a commitment to the relationship between the products, the service and the people in the field as we have.
Its not just about selling welding equipment. Its about meeting people, experiencing the different parts of the world and their cultures and how we are all brought together by the industry of welding. By providing our equipment to these places we have been able to assist in bringing electricity, fresh water and water storage to cities which didn’t have it before. Build bridges, ships and railcars to help improve trade and make doing business more economical. Improve the quality and productivity in welds to make businesses more competitive and improve the health and safety of its welders.
After flying what is the equivalent of going to the moon and back and equal to 40 times around the earth I have met many friends, in many countries. Have traveled over 100 days a year. Eaten food I cant pronounce in places I cant pronounce. I have been from the north of Russian to the south of Chile and back again. All the hours in planes and airports and hotels and restaurants is worth it when you know your doing your part in bringing a better quality of life to people around the world.
During a trip to India there was an opportunity to travel to Bangladesh to visit Shipyards. Western Marine in Chittagong City gave us an invitation to discuss welding automation and how to implement improved productivity solutions in their shipyard. Upon our arrival we were told that the only way to the yard was by water taxi which was provided by Western Marine.
As we got closer to the yard, however, the low water levels made it impossible for the water taxi to go any further. We would have to make use of a row boat to get us the last 500 meters to the dock. When we arrived we were greeted like dignitaries. One of the most memorable journeys to a shipyard I have experienced.
Their challenge was that their manpower was at the maximum for their size and were looking to automation to increase the productivity of the existing manpower they had. After walking through the shipyard we identified some bottle necks in their production and found two areas where great improvements could be made. We sold them some muti-pass weld oscillation carriages and track automation to suit their needs. The great thing about this solution for them was that the KAT® Oscillator could be used for a variety of different applications and could be equipped for cutting applications if necessary. By automating the welding process great improvements to the weld quality were achieved eliminating much of the rework as well as minimizing stops and starts which vastly improved the arc on time of the welding process. These two improvements alone helped the shipyard to reach their goals and get back on schedule.
One of the things that separates Gullco from other companies in the industry is our Distribution network. We have worked hard over our 60 years in business to build great relationships with companies around the world who have the same passion for welding as we do. One of these companies is Stuch Schweißtechnik in Germany. Like many of our distributors the employees at Stuch have become our friends and their commitment to Gullco extends far beyond sales.
Gullco Distributor Gerhard Stuch runs Bonn Marathon sporting Gullco orange attire.
Every year Gerhard Stuch (Owner) runs in the local semi-Marathon of his town of Bonn. Gerhard has recruited members of his family to run with him and it has become a yearly tradition. Special congratulation to his grandson who finished first for his age category!
Running in a Gullco orange outfit complete with Gullco hat, Gerhard shows just how committed he and Stuch Schweißtechnik are to the company. It is special to think that we have built such a great relationship that companies like Stuch are willing to represent Gullco in their personal time. This is just one example of how our distributors have a growing commitment to our company and our products. Whether it is making a service call or demonstrating our products. Local distributors like these have become a pinnacle element in Gullco’s ability to serve the world welding market with automation solutions, parts and service. Check out our distributor page!
Welding automation sales can take you to some very unique places. World travel and remote locations become common place, strange food and great stories a part of everyday life. This story takes place 8900 ft. above sea level in the Andries mountains near Huanuco, Peru.
I happened upon these 4 pigs while ascending the mountain switchbacks on my way to meeting some fellow Gullco employees at the site of a 6 meter diameter penstock. The site was part of a project being constructed to divert water for the purpose of power generation. Well underway, the setup of the KAT® weld oscillation carriage was being used to produce continuous welds, 4 meters long, in the vertical position. The customer was a large Brazilian contractor and I spent the night in the camp along with the 600 employees living at the work site by the river.
It is rewarding to know that Gullco is playing a part in improving the productivity in such an important hydro electric project. Once complete the plant will provide thousands of rural Peruvians with power. Weld automation really does bring it all together.
This March from the 18th-21st we will be exhibiting in the second annual FABTECH Canada show. We will have a variety of our welding and cutting automation solutions including our KAT® carriage
, used for continuous welding or cutting operations in a variety of applications such as shipbuilding, tank welding, beam and crane construction, pressure vessel manufacturing and many others.
Also on display will be our Pipe KAT®
orbital welding system. A fully integrated pipe welding solution which is ideal for field pipeline manufacturing and power plant construction applications.
Fillet welding carriage, KBM Series plate beveling machines
, carbon arc gouging automation
, electrode drying ovens
, and weld positioner
system can also be seen.
To see other tradeshows, Gullco will be exhibiting at around the world visit our tradeshows
We hope to see you there!
Over the past 60 years Gullco has come a long way from its small beginnings in Ontario, Canada. Now with over 100 employees and customers in over 80 countries we have truly expanded into a global company.
Thanks to the many people and companies who have played a part in Gullco’s growing success.