Seaborne trade has a strategic economic importance, because 80% of world trade by volume and more than 70% of its value are performed by seaborn trade. The world shipping fleet consists of bulk carriers, container ships, oil, gas, chemical tankers, ferries and passenger ships. In addition to such commercial ships, military navy-ships, power-ships and offshore platforms are also built in shipyards. Shipbuilding is a “strategic industry” not only in terms of world trade but also in terms of security and defence reasons.
The global shipbuilding market is expected to grow in future due to increasing seaborne trade and economic growth, rising energy consumption, demand of eco-friendly ships and shipping services. Because of these reasons, shipyards are concentrated on building lighter ships in shorter time, increasing the ship capacity by modifying the existing ships, renovating the old ships to increase their load-carrying capacity.
Shipbuilding is labour intensive industry, although there are many shipyards using robotic automation in their production phases. In some shipyards, partial-automation is impossible because of their tailor-made shipbuilding, where design is changing from one ship to the next one. As a result labour skill and labour time become increasingly important to have sustainable quality and cost in shipbuilding.
Shipbuilding is performed indoor and outdoor sites in shipyards. Main indoor shipbuilding steps are; cutting, forming, assembly, grand-assembly and outdoor steps are; outfitting, painting, pre-erection, erection, testing and delivery of the ship. Plates, stiffeners, profiles and pipes are joined by welding, which is also the main manufacturing method in all assembly steps, outfitting and erection of panels and blocks. Welding process is chosen according to production type, place and shape of the joint, site and weather conditions. Main arc welding processes used in shipyards are; SMAW- shielded metal arc welding, GTAW – gas tungsten arc welding, FCAW- flux cored arc welding, SAW – submerged arc welding.
Various steels and non-ferrous alloys are welded in shipbuilding, e.g.; steel plates from medium strength to high strength steels for hull manufacture, armour plates in patriot vessels, navy ships, austenitic and duplex stainless steels for corrosion resistance purposes in chemical tanker sections and in yacht production, aluminium alloys in yacht and patriot vessels, pipes made of steel, stainless steel and copper alloys, for piping purposes. Performance of welding consumables and welding machines, in production conditions, are very important, to have high quality in welds and high efficiency in welding job.
Magmaweld has been serving the shipbuilding industry by following expectations and trends of the industry. With the support of specialists in the shipbuilding industry, he had the opportunity to learn in detail the expectations about welding by examining the production on site. Special welding machines used in shipbuilding or existing in ships during sailing, welding machine groups for ease of carrying on site, portable plasma cutting machines for weld joint preparation, abrasive and cutting discs for alignment and cleaning oxides in joint surfaces, ceramic backings to improve weld quality, wide variety of flux cored wires, submerged arc welding fluxes and wires to fulfil the mechanical and production expectation, are some examples.
Many years of experience and knowledge provide Magmaweld to develop and produce high-quality, reliable, portable, efficient and easy-to-use welding machines, welding consumables and ancillary products which meet ship building industry needs.