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.