In the shipbuilding manufacturing process, mobility is key. Pipefitters on ships don’t stay still for long. Whether it’s shifting from side-to-side to make pipe connections or navigating up and down different levels, workers are constantly on the move.
With each movement, welding, cutting and brazing equipment is in tow. Typically hauled by hand or on a cart, the weight of this equipment — in combination with long cables and gas lines, respectively — hinders the mobility of pipefitters in the shipbuilding manufacturing process. This creates headaches from both a safety and efficiency standpoint.
When Equipment Bogs Down Marine Pipefitters
In the case of welding, you’re dealing with long cable leads that run out to the power/gas source. Meanwhile, cutting/brazing operations require gas lines and inert gases to minimize oxidation on the surface of the pipe (both outside and inside).
While equipment handling, in general, can result in personal injury, the addition of cables and gas lines increases these risks. The pulling and tugging of these lines require more physical strength (and time) on the part of workers and also creates hazards for others working in the welding area. It’s possible they could trip on a line or be electrocuted by one of the cables — an issue that becomes even more likely in confined spaces.
Even with alternatives like electrofusion, a similar scenario plays out. Using electricity to fuse together two metal surfaces, this approach also requires equipment to be hauled and the use of a power source. So the safety concerns are similar, and installation times are on the slower side.
Technology to Streamline the Shipbuilding Manufacturing Process
Like a welding machine, a press tool can be carried by hand or over your shoulder while on a job site. While considerably lighter than a welding machine, the biggest differentiator with a press tool is that you can make pipe connections right away. There’s no need to go back and forth to haul cables, gas hoses/tanks, welding masks, jackets, gloves, etc.
While the removal of cables and lines creates a safer environment for workers, it also allows pipefitters to work at faster speeds. By the time you haul all of the welding equipment to the location of a pipe connection, a pipefitter using a press tool already has the fitting in place and has long moved onto another location to do it all over again.
With Viega press technology, secure, consistent pipe connections can be made in a matter of seconds under any conditions. Our tools are designed so that you have to complete a press once it begins. Even if the battery dies halfway through joining pipe, you’d have to replace the battery before you can remove the tool — just another way we guarantee the optimal end result.
Looking for additional tips on press technology in marine applications? Check out this resource.