On a Friday afternoon in August, AVK Syddal took a call from a customer urgently needing two emergency Series 214 fabricated tees to stem a gas leak. The AVK Syddal team, who deliver the 24/7 rapid response service, worked through both Saturday and Sunday to ensure the fittings were ready for despatch on Monday morning.
However, this is only a part of the story!
Aaron Whitehead is Production Manager - Water, at AVK Syddal - the fittings manufacturing site based at Hyde near Manchester.
‘Until the customer excavates down to the pipe, they rarely know what they are going to encounter. There is a record of all previous work carried out, but on occasion, this historic data can be found to be inaccurate.
Because of this uncertainty, each emergency fitting we make is specific to the pipe being repaired. It is effectively ‘made to size’ and has zero tolerance. It’s a skilled job.
In this case, the two tees were 474mm OD with a DN300 PN16 flanged outlet. The tees were fabricated to ISO/TS 29001, the strict quality management system applied to the gas and petroleum sectors.’
AVK Syddal has invested in automated robotic welding which has made the fabrication of both standard and emergency products more efficient. This is continually enhanced by the application of lean manufacturing processes and, in particular, kaizen workshops.
Sean Brody is Production Manager - Gas at AVK Syddal:
‘To accommodate this growth in demand, we put the emergency tee fabrication process under the microscope in a kaizen workshop. It should be noted that the complete process also includes spraying, matting, assembly, packing and despatch.
The workshop identified ways in which the process time could be almost halved, it also highlighted areas in which the secured capital investment should be targeted, to optimise our processes further.’
Gareth Toyer is AVK UK’s Sales Director – Gas:
‘It was a tremendous effort by the team at AVK Syddal. There is no doubt in my mind that, during the COVID-19 lockdown and beyond, customers have really come to value the fact that our manufacturing and fabrication facilities are based in the UK. This is particularly true when there is a requirement for rapid-response emergency fittings.’