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.

1 Million Mile Club

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.

The Water Taxi

water taxi

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.

Map

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.

Row Boat

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.

KAT Oscillator - Shipbuilding - 2G welding

Distributors Go the Extra Mile

Marathon 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 Distributors

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! Marathon Finish 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!

Four Pigs and a Penstock

4 Pigs

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. map

 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.

welding_automation_penstock_peru

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.

Visit Gullco at FABTECH Canada – Booth 2315

fabtech-logo 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. The MOGGY® 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 page. We hope to see you there!