Bolted vs Welded connections

Bolted vs Welded connections

With ever increasing demands on ‘Time and Budget’ the debate is often raised around whether to go ‘bolted or welded‘, when looking at manufacturing an E-House or Switchroom.


Traditionally most North American businesses prefer a welded system, whereas Australia, Asia and Europe have looked at the bolted system as a more lean alternative, so resolving if ‘the client will accept’, a bolted connection over a welded system needs to be resolved.


So how do you win the discussion for the benefit of both parties, firsts things to consider are vendor facility and process:

  • Do they have the floor space?
  • Where is the facility located in regard to painting or galvanizing workshops.?
  • Do they have overhead cranes?


All of these elements point to one thing ‘Cost reduction’ as a bolted system allows flexibility in both manufacturing and logistics.    


Consider we have five (5) 19m x 4.5m building baseframes to manufacture – if the fabricator doesn’t have to ‘fill’ their shed with welded frames, but can instead manufacture in stick form, handle and transport to the protective coating shop, (whether internally or externally) then ship directly to a facility or site for assembly as opposed to the construction and logistical issues around handling, lifting, transporting and set down of a welded baseframe, the client then begins to see a cost benefit.   


Further benefits on time and budget is that ‘stick build’ can be manufactured quickly with beamline systems meaning the steelwork for 5 buildings could be completed and available and less cost and considerably less time than the more conventional welded frame.


And from a logistics standpoint life is made easier with single truck loads of steel instead of oversize or wide loads to and from the paint shop.  


Any reduction in time during the manufacturing processes benefits the project immeasurably and offers the ability and flexibility of the ‘OEM’ to deliver on Time, within budget and to a satisfied customer.


Make sure to follow our Linkedin Page to follow our series of cost savings in your baseframe design and fabrication.  Next time we will discuss Galvanised vs Painted systems, which again benefit to both time and cost.

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