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 Kat’s 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.