ENGINEERING: Capacity Boost At Belmet's Facilities
Recent Western Cape Business News
IN a move to bolster productivity and offer a broader range of solutions for its customers, Cape Town-based steel fabricator, Belmet has recently invested over R2.5 million in new equipment at its Cape Town and Walvis Bay workshops. The company has been operating in the international offshore oil and gas, marine and industrial sectors for over two decades and today boasts an extensive customer base in Europe, North and South America and Africa.
Following another year of growth, Belmet has purchased five new ESAB Origo MIG 502 multi-process welding machines with Miggytrac 1001 motorised tractors, in order to stay at the cutting edge of fabrication technology in the Western Cape. A key feature of the new system is a magnet on the tractor unit that ensures accurate and even welding during movement along the material weld seam.
Pieter Kroon, MD at Belmet, says this investment in equipment has enabled the company to achieve exceptional productivity levels during the fabrication of ‘rolled cans’ for the Sasol Gas Ducting System on behalf of our client, Wartsila/3cMetal. For example, during March, 500 out of 800 scheduled cans were fabricated (equating to 300 tonnes of 6mm rolled Corten 10 plate) with delivery only due in June 2012, due to the increased production levels offered by this new equipment.
Similarly, a guide track and manipulator on which the welder resides was developed so that the ‘can’ turns around the welder allowing for constant downhand welding, thereby further increasing productivity and virtually eliminating weld repairs using ESAB ER80-SG MIG wire imported from Sweden.
“Towards the end of 2011, we completed a large contract for an international offshore drilling client, Pacific Mistral/Hampco, by fabricating a 750 ton capacity Multi Purpose Elevator Transporter (MPET) for one of their new-build drillships,” says Kroon.
The MPET enables the drillship to carry Christmas Tree arrangements, risers, Blowout Preventers (BOPs) and other heavy equipment in unison, thereby eliminating additional heavy lift operations and increasing turnaround time. Extremely tight tolerances had to be achieved during fabrication since the clearances onboard the vessel during installation were a mere 300mm per side for the 150 ton structure to be loaded into - this required pre-machining of the structure, 3-D scanning after fit up and further 3-D scanning after welding to ensure that minimal distortion occurred during the welding process.
The load-out of the structural components required the use of Transnets floating crane for loading from the quayside onto a supply vessel and the drillships two onboard cranes then successfully installed the equipment. Belmet was further involved with the 3-D scanning for the on-site installation methodology, risk assessment and installation planning.
Further investment by Belmet included the purchase of a new Durma AD-R 30320 three-Axis CNC Syncro Press Brake and a Durma HRB-4 303 hydraulic 4-roll plate rolling machine for their Walvis Bay workshop.
This equipment complements the existing CNC dual oxy/fuel and plasma profile cutting machine in enabling the company to offer the local market pre-cut and rolled material through their service centre.
“The current order book looks healthy for the next six month period. There are a number of exciting projects that we await finality on, thereby ensuring that 2012 will be another year of continued growth and development,” Kroon says.
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