Product Applications – Ship Building 2
Gullco KAT Travel Carriage Automated Welding and Cutting System: Welding Design & Fabrication Feature Story about Shipbuilders Swan Hunter Ltd. Of UK
Gullco Kat Travel Carriages are used extensively to produce quality welds in all positions at the Swan Hunter Shipyard.
Product Application File – Automation at Swan Hunter Improves Quality and Efficiency
Download PDF Brochure/Literature (PDF – 1.35MB)
Swan Hunter (Tyneside) Ltd. Of Wallsend, UK are in the process of building two Alternative Landing Naval ships for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. When complete, the ships will transport troops, stores equipment and vehicles worldwide for deployment in battle. They will also be suitable for disaster relief and other humanitarian missions. One of the main challenges faced by Swan Hunter in this 140M project is to maintain high quality standards while at the same time reducing manufacturing costs and meeting tight delivery schedules. IN order to meet these challenges, Swan Hunter had to review their production processes and identify areas where automation could be utilized.
During the process, weld prep and automated welding/cutting equipment manufactured by Gullco Int. was selected for several areas of production on their ships. Gullco is known throughout the world as a leader in the design and manufacture of reliable, cost reducing welding and cutting equipment. The highly versatile Kat travel carriage system was selected for a variety of applications including positional cutting. It was found that, in this application, the Kat was able to produce cuts equal to those preformed on ground based equipment. The benefit of the Gullco Kat is that is allows these quality cuts to be made in any position, including horizontal, vertical and overhead. This greatly enhanced efficiency as cutting was easily integrated into the ship building process. Gullco Kats are used for a wide variety of multi positional welding applications. Outfitted with Gullco Oscillators, these units provide high quality mechanized welds in all positions, including overhead. This greatly reduces production times while improving the quality of the welds. Swan Hunter also took advantage of the efficient Gullco Moggy trackless fillet welding machine in there stiffener welding operations. These units saved hours of welding time and improved weld quality.
Plate edge preparation was another area of production that Swan Hunter was able to incorporate Gullco Technology. They decided to use Gullco GBM-18 high speed portable plate edge beveling machines. This decision was based on the GBM-18s ability to cold cut edge bevels, saving time and eliminating heat input to the plate resulting in improved weld quality. This feature of the GBM-18 eliminates any heat affected zone that could be hardenable preventing potentially disastrous results in the welding of critical structures.
The unit is operated by one man and is quiet and vibration free. Most modern shipyards are now using ceramic weld backings in order to aid in weld quality and facilitate single sided welding. They chose Gullco KATBAK ceramic weld backing for use in this project. The product more than pays for itself as it enables high quality, single sided welding, producing x-ray quality back beads without costly grinding or gouging with re-welding. KATBAKs radius edges enable use on flat or curved surfaces.
Swan Hunter and Gullco Int. continued to find new ways of improving quality, reducing production time and adding efficiency in these ship building projects. To date, Gullco equipment has proven to be very effective at the Swan Hunter shipyard and at other ship building operations worldwide.
Gullco series of GBM plate edge bevelers provide clean machined bevels in weld preparation.
Capping pass weld using Gullco Kat Oscillator Combination.