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Jamestown’s extensive production facilities expand design possibilities

Jamestown’s extensive production facilities expand design possibilities

Responding positively to rapid technological advances and rising customer expectations ensured that Steel for Life Headline sponsor Jamestown thrived despite the challenging market conditions of recent years. Jamestown Managing Director Fiacre Creegan says the company now aims to build on these solid foundations.

Jamestown is a leading manufacturer of plate girders, box girders, cellular beams, bridge beams and high quality heavy fabricated steel sections, also providing an industry-specific steel processing service to the engineering, manufacturing and steel fabrication sectors.

Despite some difficult industry-wide conditions in recent years, Jamestown remains at the forefront of companies offering design, fabrication and fully-automated welding of plain and cellular plate girders. The company also manufactures heavy components for sectors including highways, rail, construction, marine, port and crane, and machine building.

The cellular plate girders produced cost savings in the region of 20 per cent

The cellular plate girders produced cost savings in the region of 20 per cent

Commitment to steel construction
Jamestown Managing Director Fiacre Creegan says joining the British Constructional Steelwork Association, and becoming a Headline Sponsor of Steel for Life in 2016, demonstrate that the company is committed to the promotion and development of the steel construction industry. “We recognise the crucial role of standards, quality levels and accreditations to the industry,” Mr Creegan says. “It was this recognition that led to Jamestown becoming an early adopter of CE Marking, achieving Execution Class 4, NHSS 20, and BS EN 3834 compliance.”

Unlimited possibilities
Jamestown understands that it operates in an industry that must respond to constant technological advances and high customer expectations, which means making appropriate investments. “As part of our commitment to growth and development, we have installed automatic welding technology on all three of our automatic plate girder lines,” says Mr Creegan. “In 2015 Jamestown moved to a large-scale 200,000 square feet production facility with  24, 15 and 20t overhead cranes on a 17-acre site, which allows erection or trial assembly of bridge structures of up to 200 tonnes weight and 150 metres in length.”

Jamestown can now produce beams on single- or double-shifts across one, two or three machines. The company attributes its continuing success in this competitive sector to specialist knowledge in welding, welding processes, weld testing and weld design.

Client confidence
Mr Creegan says clients know that their requirements will be met with total commitment as well as the necessary flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances. He said: “Jamestown’s specialist knowledge and experience give clients the absolute confidence that we can meet the most demanding of project programmes, and can manufacture a quality assured product on time, every time. We believe that our investment in manufacturing capability and design and management expertise mean we can offer an unrivalled degree of flexibility in design and manufacture. It is this flexibility which puts us in a unique position in meeting client needs.”

Expansion into new sectors
Jamestown has expanded its activities in recent years into new markets including the rail industry, where it has produced individual components weighing up to 100 tonnes in finished single pieces.

A recent successful project involved three rail bridges in the Chester area, including two on the important Manchester Airport railway line. The bridges needed to be worked on simultaneously, and the project required successful collaboration with multiple partners (concrete, waterproofing, craneage, haulage, painting, machining and others) in order to meet very tight deadlines. Time was saved and accuracy assured by a trial erection at the Jamestown site. Very large (19 metre) plates needed to be delivered and assembled on site. The project was completed on schedule, within a five-month timescale.

Jamestown trial erection

Jamestown trial erection

Innovative construction techniques
In more conventional steel construction, Jamestown has recently played a major role in a prestigious office development project in Aberdeen’s business district. The Silver Fin Building in Union Street is one of the the largest buildings of its kind in the city, rising to 13 storeys with a four-storey open atrium. The Jamestown contribution included 23 different beam types, with an average length of 9.7 metres. Advanced computer design techniques were employed to offer an alternative to the conventional ribbon cut beams which had been proposed; the cellular plate girders which were used instead produced significant cost savings, as well as a saving in construction time.

A different challenge was posed by a project in the East Village, the new London neighbourhood which was originally built as the Olympic Village of the 2012 London Games. The company was contracted to deliver large steel components manufactured to a very high degree of accuracy, and with a tight delivery schedule. Careful planning of fabrication and welding, in consultation with the designers, was required to allow for high level weld testing, intricate design and very tight tolerances. The innovative construction method on this site was being used for the first time in the UK.

Building a future together
In a mature market, Jamestown envisions a future in which expanding the range of client options, and collaborating with clients to save on costs and eliminate waste, will be two of the most important factors in ensuring the company’s continuing success.

As construction projects increase in scale and complexity, Jamestown knows its ability to develop plate girders of virtually any length, height and width, will be crucial in confirming its position as a leader in this field. Mr Creegan said: “The complex projects of the future will require high levels of trust and confidence among a range of collaborators. Jamestown’s reputation for customer service, attention to detail, skill and expertise, coupled with our ability to form effective working relationships, is our foundation for the future.”

Jamestown Manufacturing Ltd is a headline sponsor of Steel for Life

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