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.