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Automated Welding Equipment for Bullet Tank Construction

Bullet tanks, otherwise known as LPG or LNG storage containers are robust cylindrical vessels used to store and transport liquefied natural gas (LNG). Governments worldwide are focusing their attention on lowering carbon emissions by reducing usage of fossil fuels for energy.

While Liquified Natural Gas isn’t exactly a renewable energy source, it is an alternative to fossil fuels that’s used to heat homes, power cars with compressed gas instead of petroleum (cheaper too) and for power generation. The advantage of burning LNG as an alternative energy source is that there’s less carbon dioxide emissions.

For distribution, bullet tanks are the storage container of choice for LNG distribution. They can be used on gas tankers, LNG train carriages and for underground and above-ground gas storage. Ease of distribution is a big advantage, but even more so is the manufacturing time.

The benefits of bullet tanks over hortonspheres (large spherical storage containers for LNG) is faster project delivery, lower risk of failure due to the smaller spherical volume, simpler maintenance, and the ability to streamline operations. A hortonsphere can take up to 18-months to fully construct.

The lead time to construct a bullet tank is only 6-weeks to three-months when much of the process is automated

The construction of bullet tanks is what some of Redrock’s weld automation is used for as they provide the mechanical means necessary to lessen operator fatigue while improving the efficiency and quality of welds.

Manufacturing of Bullet Tanks

A range of industrial machinery is needed for bullet tank construction, some of which include automated welding equipment.

Weld Rotators
Among the most reliable and required technology is a weld rotator. It’s used to rotate large cylindrical vessels enabling fabricators to get precision welds done with ease, without fatigue and with a higher quality.

Fit Up Beds
Fit up beds make it easy to align large cylindrical vessels ready for tack welds to join the pieces together. A fit-up bed can also mechanically turn the vessels making it ideal for using a mechanical weld head for automated outer circumferential welds.

Growing lines
Growing lines can consist of more than one fit up bed or combined with other automated positioners to assist in manipulating larger objects with ease, negating the need for manual manipulation and increasing the operator safety.

Positioners
Positioners can be self-aligning or conventional and are used for rotating large, heavy round objects. These are ideal for a variety of fabrication techniques including ARC, MIG, SAW and TIG welding.

Column and Boom Subarc Packages
Our column and boom subarc packages are ideal for bullet tank construction as the column and boom manipulator handles the rotation of the tank while the fixed weld head provides and automated weld solution for joining two cylindrical objects together.
Various configurations can be integrated to create a custom solution to automate the manufacturing process of bullet tanks of any dimensions.
For more detailed information on our automated weld solutions for bullet tank construction, fit up and assembly, get in contact with our team.

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