Structural and mechanical design and engineering

Long established as the UK’s leading specialist in the field of hydraulic steel structures, our portfolio has grown to include hydropower, moving bridges, port equipment and specialist moving structures; to put it glibly, if it’s big, and it moves, we’re the engineers.

Most buildings or structures are designed to stand still; the corresponding consulting engineers use their skill and expertise to ensure there is no movement, sagging, deflection or excessive vibration. So the engineering skills required for structures which are specifically designed to move calls for an entirely different approach; to withstand the pressures and stresses of everyday use, and the environment, whilst efficiently performing their function to rotate, or lift, or swing.

As owners of expensive capital assets, some clients ask us to apply our expertise to the refurbishment of existing structures. We have considerable experience of extending the operational life of moving bridges and structures by analysing individual components, recalculating tolerances for today’s loads, standards and stresses, proposing more economic power solutions, collaborating with architects, contractors and other professionals to improve safety and recommending alternative, more innovative, cost-effective and / or durable materials.

Our accredited engineers understand the mechanics of structures, dynamics and control, data systems and fluid mechanics. Manually, and through finite element analysis (FEA), KGAL’s mechanical engineers undertake mathematical modelling and simulation to verify designs and push tolerances to future-proof project proposals and, thereby, their economic viability.

The image shows the upper part of the triple deck Berth 6 Ro-Ro linkspan at the Port of Dover, England.

 

BIM, 3D modelling and visualisation

Standardisation is everywhere; no matter who makes it, an AA battery will ways fit an AA size battery-driven device. This approach started with British engineering in 1901 and now standards exist for almost everything to help consultants, designers and manufacturers become more efficient and competitive.

As, in the wider context, structural Eurocodes supersede many British Standards to enable countries to harmonise designs internationally, so BIM (Building Information Modelling) allows global consultants and suppliers to collaborate on projects, sometimes in four dimensions, to see the functional data, material quantities and physical characteristics, and how these might change over time and impact on costs and delivery schedules. In the UK, BIM is now an essential tool­ for infrastructure assets as well as buildings ­for any business planning to contribute to publicly funded projects.

KGAL embraced BIM at an early stage as an extension to our 3D modelling expertise. It enables a project host to harnesses all the standardised information relevant to a project and the engineering design in one place, helping all those who collaborate in the supply chain to reduce risks, save time and save money. The information (accurate, complete and unambiguous) can be retrieved and shared and, over time, amended to reflect any modifications during the corresponding structure’s life.

As architects, engineers, contractors and suppliers head for ‘Level 2’ compliance with BIM, so we at KGAL continue to invest in systems and develop our expertise to ensure the delivery of our consultancy services meet the increasingly sophisticated expectations of clients and collaborators.