Improve Shipyard Welding Processes With Automation Carriage

Improve Shipyard Welding Processes With Automation Carriage

The Parameters

  • Travel speed: 25 cm/min
  • Arc Voltage: 26 volts
  • Amperage: 220amps
  • Torch Angle: 10° Pull
  • Oscillation: none

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The Project

In this new era of shipbuilding it is refreshing to see that new methods and technology are being used and embraced, particularly by the young. These up and coming tradesmen who are picking up new skills with ease are producing excellent results. This has been in part due to continuous “in house” training programs coupled with new technologies. A great example of how new methods are being used are at the “Govan” and “Scotstoun” Shipyard where their workforce has just recently been receiving on-site training put together and run by trained professionals within the Shipyards workforce.

The Challenge

The Govan / Scotstoun Shipyard were faced with building new vessels with more stringent quality standards as well as a tighter deadline. These problems of having to decrease distortion levels as well as increase production times, is what lead the shipyard to purchasing modern welding systems. The yard which was formally owned by Kvaerner was acquired by BAE Systems in 1999 and has gone from strength to strength. Through the use of welding automation from Gullco International (UK) Limited a long lasting strong business relationship with the Govan shipyard has formed. Gullco have supplied a good deal of equipment for past projects over the years such as beveling equipment, which has been used in the preparation of the Super Duplex steel used in their Type 45 Destroyer ships as well as welding carriage automation which was used to greatly reduce the time and cost of the welding procedure. This was done through the use of oscillation carriages, remote controlled by the welding technician. Precise, uniform welds are created consistently with much higher arc on time.

The Solution

The use of welding automation to improve the overall process and increase arc on time is something Govan and Scotstoun have used to stay competitive. The Shipyard formally owned by Kvaerner have had good experiences with Gullco product in the past and similar conclusions were drawn when reviewing welding automation equipment two decades later. The decision to go ahead with Gullco welding automation again on this project was due to its past reputation on this and similar jobs, as well as the innovations which had been made to the products over the years. The KAT carriages ability to create high quality repeatable welds as well us cut overhead costs are benefits Gullco has always been delivering since 1954. They have recently used Kat cutting and welding automation equipment on 19 “block hull link ups” on the Type 45 Destroyers with great results. The older equipment has recently been added to with, new, up to date Gullco KAT® oscillation equipment and gas cutting automation in anticipation of the Aircraft Carrier project of which a large portion will be completed by BAE Systems Surface Ships Limited, Govan. The use of welding automation from Gullco for the completion of this project resulted in an over 50% savings, having moved from MMA Manual welding to mechanized MIG/MAG welding. The chief welding engineer said ” [he] was pleased that they were proved right again regarding Gullco equipment”.

The Reputation

Gullco International is a world-renowned manufacturer of automatic welding carriages, cutting carriages, welding automation and accessories. Gullco’s weld automation equipment improves quality and increases welding productivity while reducing cost through its industry approved products which have been available since 1954. The KAT® welding travel carriage is used throughout the world in a variety of applications including: Shipbuilding, Tank Welding, Sphere Welding, Structure Steel, and various custom applications. Through the versatility and experience of the Gullco welding automation products the KAT® or other automation solutions from Gullco can be configured to meet the requirements of most applications.

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