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Bridging the gap

Customers are demanding bigger and heavier plate girders.

Jamestown says it is now fabricating bigger, heavier and more challenging sections to meet customer demands.

“We start the New Year as we finished 2022, building bridges,” says Jamestown UK Business Development Manager Mark Stewart.

“It seems that with each new project plate girder sections are increasing in size, both flange and web thicknesses increase proportionately, and customers need our support in both trial assembly and transport of longer sections thus reducing the erection time on site.”

The company says it is constantly searching new markets where there is a synergy with its construction methods, and Jamestown are able to assist customers based on its extensive experience.

Consequently, the past year has seen the company open the door to new markets including wind energy and sub-sea, in addition to its ever-growing commitment to crane building and bridge manufacturing.

“These sectors are all in addition to our core and long-established general construction related business,” adds Mr Stewart.

Continuing Jamestown’s investment programme, the company has started the New Year with plans to revise its shop floor layout and introduce greater oxy-fuel and plasma profiling capacity. A revised plate storage and handling facility, together with a more efficient conveyor system, will complete this first stage of investment, and the throughput of flanges and webs for plate girder production will also be increased.

The company has diversified its work with the production of offshore assemblies.

Jamestown General Manager Niall Fortune, comments: “Working on such heavy structures demands that we constantly review our manufacturing techniques and all processes including cutting, welding, fabrication, painting, and handling.

“While Jamestown has more than ample space to expand and accommodate trial assembly and storage of large structures, investment must continue to maintain the high level of support expected by our customers.”

A second round of investment, later this year, will see the planned installation of two 65-tonne overhead gantry cranes in the company’s heavy fabrication workshop. It will have the capacity to accommodate structures up to 160m in length, ensuring Jamestown has the capability to handle many of the larger structures currently being encountered.

“So where will 2023 take us?” concludes Mr Fortune. “We are certainly on a journey to expand both the business sectors and geographies that we supply and, with a strong pipeline of challenging projects ahead in a diverse range of market sectors, we are looking forward to another busy year.

“Of course, the forthcoming arrival of new, larger and more advanced profiling machines, plus the later investment this year of heavy craneage, demands the talents and expertise of the necessary personnel to both operate and get the very best results from them.

“Like any business we cannot operate efficiently without the right investment in people, and our customers demand the very best, and as we take on new challenges, we continue to introduce the right people to the Jamestown team. After all, we are only as good as the team.”

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