Mabey to use robots for manufacturing modular steel bridges


UK-based bridge and engineering services provider Mabey is making an investment for purchasing new robots that will be used at its Mabey Bridge site in Lydney, Gloucestershire.  

Robots will support Mabey in manufacturing its modular steel bridge Mabey Compact 200 (C200), which is most widely used worldwide. 

The company anticipates that its £2.6m investment for new robots would enable them to manufacture their Mabey’s C200 bridging system quickly, safely and more efficiently. 

Once the robotic systems become operational, the manufacturing time for the C200’s panels and chords is expected to come down by nearly 50%.

Currently, the company uses automated welding machines for making the panels and chords of the C200 bridges. 

The small welding operations are carried out by hand on the panels, which are later transported manually between three separate machines.

The new robots come as a comprehensive unit that has the ability to manufacture both chords and panels, removing intermediary steps. 

After an employee loads all raw materials into the unit, the robots begin its operations and manoeuvre the heavier components, weld all sections together and make it ready for drilling. 

The company also added that there would not be any reduction in the manpower, as these new robotic machines require the same amount of manpower when operational. 

"The robots will reduce health and safety risks by removing manual lifting and handling."

Mabey Bridge chief executive Michael Treacy said: "This investment in the next generation of industrial robotics demonstrates our commitment to investing in and accelerating our own manufacturing and construction processes.

“It also represents our broader aim to help our customers achieve their goals more quickly, more safely and more efficiently.

“Significantly, the robots will reduce health and safety risks by removing manual lifting and handling, whilst enhancing the quality of the weld, guaranteeing consistency and increasing output. In addition, the robots also reduce the need to reach and weld the more awkward places further improving quality.”

Mabey’s Compact 200 system features interchangeable steel components that can be used for building bridges that are permanent, temporary, floating, access types, footbridges, and emergency and contingency bridging applications.


Image: New robots used for manufacturing modular bridges. Photo: courtesy of Mabey Group.