BAE scoop top award

Posted on 11 Dec 2009 by The Manufacturer

Engineers from Glasgow have won the automotive and marine award at this year’s Engineer Technology & Innovation Awards.

The team received the accolade for its work to reduce the number of bumps formed in steel during the ship building process — helping to save time and cost in the programme to build Type 45 destroyers for the Royal Navy. Engineers from BAE Systems worked in partnership with the Universities of Strathclyde, Newcastle and Malta, as well as Corus and NST Welding, to develop a robust solution to prevent distortion to thin steel plates. As a result, the team reduced straightening rework on the Type 45 programme by 75%.

Where plates of less than 6mm thick are exposed to high temperature processes such as welding, it can often lead to distortion or buckling of the metal, which requires a significant effort and resources to correct. BAE Systems brought together experts from within the business, industry partners and academia who investigated all aspects of the shipbuilding process including design criteria, assembly and welding practices over a 15 month period.

The team identified and introduced a series of measures to minimise distortion to steel during the build of Type 45, including the handling of steel parts to help retain shape as well as reduce the heat put into the structure during the welding process.

Norrie McPherson, steelwork development manager, BAE Systems Surface Ships, said: “This award highlights the close working relationship we have with our academic and industry partners. The initiative is a real team effort, and we couldn’t have achieved such great results without their input. It’s a real honour to receive this recognition from our industry peers, especially when the standard of competition was so high.”