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Bridging the Gap

Project - Bogibeel Bridge, Assam - HCC

 

When discussing infrastructure in India it is hard not touch on the topic of bridges. There are so many bridge construction projects underway or in the planning stages as it is one of the India’s most important industries.

 

The Bogibeel Rail - Road bridge is one such project that recently was completed on December 25th, 2018. It is a double decker bridge with a two line railway track on the lower deck and a three lane road on the upper. With the title of India's longest road and rail bridge at 4.95km. It was important that the construction of the bridge be of the utmost quality. As the first fully welded rail and road bridge over the Brahmaputra the choice of welding equipment was paramount to the success of the project.

 

The Bridge is a combination of fully welded steel trusses and concrete. It spans 125m and has strong heavy box sections throughout. It was difficult to turn and position the girder boxes at the construction site while welding the joints so the company in charge of construction, HCC chose to implement GULLCO’s welding automation carriages to complete the GMAW welding process. By incorporating welding automation such as the KAT® all position welding carriage, HCC was able to produce UT and MPT quality welds on site without having to worry about manipulating or turing the heavy structures. They were able to achieve this because GULLCO’s carriages are designed for field welding applications and the equipment can be installed directly onto the structure using a modular system of track and mounting devices (most commonly magnets). The KAT® Oscillator carriage with Rigid track was used to weld these butt joints in vertical and overhead positions. The carriage is a portable, light-weight and is easily mounted or repositioned other weld joints by one welder. The use of these carriages removes the need of skilled welders and eliminates weld defects and costly repair work as it ensures high quality and repeatable welds at increasing productivity through consistent arc on time. Mechanised welding makes the planning more predictable, and, since it is less strenuous for the welders, helped this project meet its production deadlines and save money through welding efficiency which can only be achieved through the use of automation.

 

GULLCO’s KBM-28 bevelling machines also played a vital role for edge preparation of the plate used in the box sections. At a thickness  of 8mm to 50mm. The bevellers produced clean machined bevels with no thermal distortion or heat affected zone. This meant that after the material was bevelled it was immediately ready for welding. Completing these bevels at a speed of 2m/min this cold shearing method of plate preparation is the most time efficient way of bevelling the plate and is 4 to 10 times faster than cutting or grinding and improves work environment by reduce noise and vibration.

 

As more and more infrastructure projects like these get underway and the competition for these projects becomes increasingly more competitive companies will have to adopt automation into the planning phase in order to reduce cost and increase price competitiveness when bidding against others. The Bogibeel bridge is another great example of how the effective use of welding and cutting automation solutions can give you the productivity and quality necessary to meet production deadlines and reduce costs.

INTRODUCING THE KAT 300

PRODUCTIVITY - DURABILITY - SUPPORT

Gullco International Limited’s welding and cutting automation products combine high quality productivity and uniformity with reliability and durability for a multitude of applications. Wherever there is continuous repeatable welding or cutting processes, there is an opportunity for the implementation of Gullco’s automation equipment. We have built our world-renowned reputation by delivering excellent automation equipment and pairing it with superior service. Find out more by calling or emailing to learn how your application is right for automation.

ENGINEERED TO BE
DURABLE - DYNAMIC - TOOL-LESS - LIGHT WEIGHT

The re-engineered KAT® welding automation carriage is smaller and lighter yet robust and feature rich. The carriage incorporates a tool-less design for simple setup and adjustment. Self-aligning wheels, dynamic dovetail racking and semi-rigid track all combine to make the KAT® the most versatile welding automation carriage on the market.

Pillars of Support

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.