Cooperation, teamwork and expertise are the hallmarks of any successful construction project, and so it proved recently when work commenced on the new Maddens Lawyers building in Warrnambool, Victoria.
BDH Constructions is the principal contractor for the new two storey building and basement car park on Koroit Street, Warrnambool, and BDH engaged structural steel fabrication and erection specialist RA Structural Steel to complete the steelwork on the project, having worked together on a number of projects in the past.
RA Structural Steel has also worked closely with Coates Hire in recent years, so when it came to the stud welding work required on the Warrnambool project, the company knew exactly where to turn.
The stud welder was needed to weld the studs through the bond deck on both the ground and second levels of the building so the concreter could then proceed to pour the floors.
As this was the first time most of RA Structural Steel’s staff had used a stud welder, the company called on Coates Hire’s expertise to not only recommend what stud welding machine and what size generator to use, but also to ensure the job was completed safely, and on time.
Alan Kelly, National Product Manager – Welding at Coates Hire said there were a number of technical details that had to be worked through before the stud welding work could proceed.
“They needed to fire something like 4000 studs, so we had to supply a stud welder and all the studs, then we had to work out the size of the generator needed to power the stud welder, and organise to get that all on site,” Kelly said.
“If you aren’t used to stud welding you may not realise but between the stud and the gun there are other consumables other than the stud that also need to be replaced – shielding cups, arc shield grips, shear connectors, chuck tynes – so for every 1000 studs you are using you could be using a dozen of these parts as well.
“We asked the questions of the specialty people that do the stud welder. ‘How many studs do we need to cover this, what other consumables do we need, what about the power?’
“There was a fair bit of dialogue between us and them to get the right equipment and to manage the lead times, so hopefully we took all of that fuss away from the contractor.”
RA Structural Steel General Manager Anthony Wright said Coates Hire was instrumental in providing all the relevant information, including safety procedures for setting up and using the stud welder.
“This included sourcing the specs for the machine to make sure we had adequate power sources – which was the probably the biggest challenge – and resulted in us getting a 3 phase generator on site,” Wright said.
“We hired the stud welder instead of purchasing one because we only needed it for this project. It was financially more viable to hire than to invest in a stud welder that we wouldn’t use very often.
“When we were able to also source the relevant consumables from Coates Hire as well it was an easy decision to make.”
Wright said a major factor in RA Structural Steel’s decision to use Coates Hire was the fact it is a one-stop-shop.
“It was important to deal with just one company that could provide us with the equipment and consumables together on time, and with all the support regarding safety procedures and specifications,” Wright said.
“Having one point of contact is more effective if any problems arise. They were also able to coordinate drop off and pick up times to work with crane availabilities minimising the loss of time and man power.”
It is a view Kelly shares.
“We could supply the whole solution. The risk of dealing with two or three different supplies is coordinating everything to arrive on the same day,” Kelly said.
“And there was one occasion where there was an issue with the machine and we had to organise with the technicians of the stud welder to go down on site to get it sorted out.
“The customer didn’t know whether they were using it right or if something was technically wrong. And there was something technically wrong, so we facilitated with the supplier to send a technician down.”
Kelly’s message to other companies needing to hire a welding solution is straightforward.
“Deal with one company, and make sure that company is an expert in what they do. It will save you time, and it will save you money,” he said.