Costain fast-tracks steelwork installation with specialist machine
Costain has developed an innovative new way of installing offsite-manufactured pieces of steel needed for rail overhead line electrification (OLE), using what it calls a “steel manipulator”.
The solution for landing steel structures has been developed alongside rail track maintenance products firm Thomson Engineering.
The steel manipulator has been used on the Stirling, Dunblane & Alloa (SDA) electrification project – a major extension to the wider Edinburgh to Glasgow Improvement Programme, electrifying the major commuter routes to the north.
During the project, Costain had to install 1,800 steel structures and their associated supports. The manipulator can install the pieces of steel that make up the OLE without the need for additional plant. Costain and Thomson Engineering claimed that it “eliminates significant safety, health and environmental harm” in the process.
Among the benefits of installing off-site manufactured steel pieces, using just one piece of plant, Costain listed:
- Reduced exposure to risk from plant/pedestrian interface
- Reduced need for night working with associated fatigue/wellbeing issues
- Simplified lifting with greater control of the load
- “Significant” reduction of the need for working at height
- Reduction of carbon footprint as fewer machines are needed
- Increased efficiency and productivity.