The versatility of the Lindapter fixing systems is shown very well by the project, which upgraded the baggage handling system at Gatwick Airport North terminal. The upgrade was part of a £31 million pound upgrade of its baggage handling systems. The design was such that it enabled the use of the Lindapter clamps to be used to fix the new baggage system to the existing beams, which were of different shapes and sizes. The difficult part was calculating the loads that required supporting and establishing how this could be achieved using the existing steelwork, whilst minimising disruption.
The project was based on connecting vertical SHS Hollow Sections with stiffened end plates to various types of different structural sections, this was successfully achieved with a safe working load capacity of 250 kN per connection. The system used was a hanger type suspension using a type AF24 clamp with suitable support bolts. The advantage of this type of construction system is that the design required no drilling into the existing supporting beams which made the construction process far quicker and also attained the correct load requirements and dealt with any potential vibration considerations.
One of the major considerations was the fact that the system is easy to adjust so that the suspension system can be easily changed to get the correct alignment of the baggage handling system. The ease with which this could be carried out accurately and quickly improved the construction time considerably. The advantages of using a system, which clamps on to the existing beams is extremely useful in an environment, where the speed of construction is such a major benefit to Britain’s second largest airport. To have a baggage handling system down for any period of time makes life extremely difficult. There is an added benefit that hot working licences for welding and other operations were not needed and removed yet another hazard.
This system has been used at several International Airports around the world including Dubai and Dublin. The system whilst used on a very large project gives a good insight as to what is possible on a smaller application where an upgrade of a handling system or production line is required using existing steelwork of various sizes and shapes. A good fixing supplier will be able to advise on what is available and how the different types of clamps and fixings can be used to the benefit of the project.
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