Alnmaritec entered into talks with TWI over whether there was any room for improvement in innovative boat building.
The business's track record is distinguished having supplied to operators in the Arctic, the Antarctic and many other ocean-based businesses. Customised work boats for the oil and gas industries, fire and rescue, fishing, ferries and offshore supply vessels have all been produced and it moves into manufacture of support vessels for offshore wind tower maintenance.
There staff had a solid grounding in welding, but took on the mantle of 'improver' for the high standards demanded and formalised by Lloyds Register.
The boats themselves are largely 10 to 15m long single or twin hull vessels made from 5083 and 6082 grade aluminium alloy plate of between 4-6mm thickness. Design and fabrication to Lloyds Rules predominantly involved butt welding in the flat, horizontal, vertical and overhead positions using the conventional and pulsed MIG processes.
Although its success rate was high, x-ray examination, revealed that a 100% pass rate was potentially achievable with input from TWI.
Skill enhancement and re-familiarisation to conform with 2011 Best Practice was recommendation made by TWI for the company's six welding workshop supervisors. Sample welds revealed excellent surface appearance and advice was given on sidewall fusion and porosity, both of which were not perceptible visually.
TWI highlighted the importance of operating a gas-shielded process in a draught-free environment and the emphasis to be placed, according to 2011 standards, upon completing welding within four hours of degreasing which aligns with Alnmaritec's strategy of building its boats to the highest standard.
This work was made possible by REMTEC which is part financed by the EU's ERDF Competitiveness Programme 2007-13, securing £1.7m investment through regional development agency One North East.
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