System scaffolding powers up in Wales

By Euan Youdale08 August 2014

Xervon Palmers uses Layher system scaffolding at Aberthaw Power Station, Wales, UK.

Xervon Palmers uses Layher system scaffolding at Aberthaw Power Station, Wales, UK.

Xervon Palmers has used system scaffolding to provide access for the bi-annual overhaul of the interior of a huge boiler at Aberthaw Power Station, in South Wales, UK.

Working closely with client Doosan Babcock and its customer RWE, up to 47 Xervon Palmers operatives have constructed a 25 x 13 m, 19-lift Layher System Scaffold within the enormous coal-fired boiler at the power station, located near Cardiff on the North bank of the Bristol Channel.

The decision to use Layher System Scaffolding in preference to traditional tube & fitting scaffolding was made to improve the performance and efficiency of the scaffolding to suit the large, but confined space within the power station boiler and the time constraints of the contract.

A key factor of the Palmers job at Aberthaw was to help reduce the amount of time the boiler was offline. The boiler helps the power station generate 1555MW of electricity to the national grid, enough for three million homes.

The Aberthaw contract meant operatives were working in hot, dusty and noisy conditions and had limited storage facilities for the significant amount of manual handling that was required to get the Layher equipment initially through two small (48 x 18 inch) holes to erect the first three scaffold levels. As work progressed materials were passed through larger doorway-sized holes above levels three to 19.

"The decision to move from conventional tube and fitting to modular system scaffolding has proved to be a wise choice at Aberthaw, as we were able to complete the installation of the Layher scaffold more efficiently with considerably less components. This helped make the overall work environment safer and quicker," commented Ian McFarlane, director at Xervon Palmers. Palmers’ parent company Xervon GmbH based in Germany is one of the biggest scaffold companies in Europe.

“As a company, we are starting to see a rise in demand for system scaffolding jobs now – even in traditional tube and fitting areas, like England. System is the scaffold of choice in Europe and very popular in Scotland too, so it’s interesting to see it taking a more prevalent role in England now,” Mr McFarlane added.

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