Project Name: AWE New Facility
Contract Value: circa £8 Million
Project Start Date: 2016
Project Completion Date: 2021
Scope: circa 20 no. Power Operated Security & Blast Doors
Following on from previous successful and impressive bespoke door design accomplishments by Booth Industries for AWE (Atomic Weapons Estabishment), we were contracted to carry out the detailed design, manufacture, testing, installation and commissioning of the security and blast doors for a new facility being built by AWE.
The doors were designed and manufactured to QC Grade 1, a unique achievement and one which ensured that they would meet the rigorous demands and assurance required under a Nuclear and Seismic safety case.
What were the project complexities?
Booth were responsible for the detailed design of mechanical and EC&I (Electrical Control & Instrumentation) works up to and including the local Programme Logic Controllers (PLC), inclusive of software design to SIL-1. All design was subject to configuration management, and underwent rigorous CAT-C & CAT-D reviews before it was deemed ‘fit for’ manufacture & installation.
The doors were to be provided as critical national infrastructure protection , and as such their design had to remain Sensitive in classification. All design work was carried out in our List-X facility by SC and DV cleared personnel.
Given that this was a QC Grade 1 project, there were frequent hold and inspection points required throughout the fabrication process. To ensure that any downtime was minimised, the business brought in a specific role for manufacturing scheduling. This person was responsible for ensuring that, at any given point, there were multiple workfaces available for the fabricators to be working on. This not only minimised downtime and inefficiency, but also enabled work to be progressed at a faster rate, contributing to savings of 15% against projected labour hours at tender, offering a significant saving to the client
The installation of the doors posed further challenges due to the maturity of the process facility itself. Extensive site surveys were carried out to enable custom trolley hangers (as temporary works) to be designed and manufactured. The trolley hangers would allow the doors to be transported throughout the maze of corridors, to their final locations and then stood up without the use of any cranes. Due to the size and weight of the doors, along with the Nuclear and Seismic safety case, each of the door frame sides and lintels had to be grouted into position by a specialist subcontractor.
What did we overcome?
It was Booth’s proposal of building a full trial assembly, including drive systems and associated software, that de-risked the project by ensuring any issues were removed prior to FAT testing. Without this risk mitigation, the project would have experienced significant delays which could have compromised the package on the critical path.
Full-scale units were manufactured in order to carry out tests and to satisfy the safety-case for the doors, which were to be fitted on the process side of the building.
The Functional requirements of the doors were extremely challenging. Crucially, the doors had to be built to a tolerance of no more than +/- 0.5mm for parallelism, perpendicularity, flatness and gaps between meeting edges. To ensure this was maintained, the business designed temporary supports and jigs which braced the side frames and lintels during the curing process.
The doors themselves weighed up to 10 Tonnes, and had to be operated by someone on the 50th percentile, whilst also having the option of being mechanically driven. Amongst other functional requirements, the speed of the doors opening, and the forces exerted on the closing edges of the doors, were both requirements identified as critical. All of the functional requirements were demonstrated through a client-witnessed FAT test, held within one of our Bolton facilities, over several days.
As this was the first facility of its type in the world, significant design change was introduced at several points. The business had a team of over 30 experienced Mechanical and Electrical Design Engineers who were able to react swiftly to demands, and to mitigate potential delays
What did Booth achieve?
In working collaboratively with the client to mitigate delays , which involved delinking design approval stages (allowing a phased release, instead of waiting for the full design to be complete), we cut the impact of the delay down to around 3 months – a huge achievement, saving hundreds of thousands of Pounds in prolongation costs, and demonstrating the business’ ability to mitigate much of the impact on its Completion Date, which in turn allowed the client to hold the end date of the project in-line with the Master Construction Schedule.
We managed to achieve full QC Grade 1 traceability over thousands of parts, through our robust processes and controls, to ensure that every piece of material could be identified and maintained.
Welding methods were Sub Arc, MAG and TIG, allowing us to achieve full penetration butt welds, partial penetration butt welds, fillet welds and sealing welds, with weld material thickness from as little as 3mm up to 75mm. Despite the complexity of the fabrication and welding required, there were no repair welds or repair works required through inspection and testing – a testament to the skills of the welders and fabricators in the business. Once welding and fabrication was complete, the parts were sent for final machining to ensure the exact tolerances as required on the doors.
Over 30,000 hours of fabrication work were required to complete all of the doors.
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