Hitachi Rail Europe Vehicle Manufacturing Facility

Metsec Design Service Boosts Supply Chain Excellence at Hitachi Rail Europe Vehicle Manufacturing Facility Project

Hitachi Rail Europe Vehicle Manufacturing Facility

Photo Credit: Hitachi Rail Europe

Light gauge structural steel specialist, Metsec is supplying a heavy end bay purlin system and side rails for the roof and wall construction of Hitachi Rail Europe’s first UK rail vehicle manufacturing facility at Merchant Park in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, to support its curved canopy-style roof, ductwork and photovoltaic modules.

With an investment from Hitachi of £82m, the site will serve as the primary train manufacturing facility of Japanese engineering company Hitachi, which moved its rail headquarters from Japan to the UK last year. More than 2,000 tonnes of steel were used in the primary steelwork for the 43,000m2 factory area that is built on a 104acre site owned and developed by Merchant Place Developments.

Designed by Ryder Architecture to attain BREEAM Excellent and with extended building life in mind, this flexible manufacturing plant will be suited to service Europe-wide orders. The manufacture of trains for the Intercity Express Programme (IEP), a £5.7 billion programme commissioned by the Department for Transport, is due to commence here in early 2016.

Principal contractor, Shepherd has encouraged close collaboration throughout the supply chain to ensure progress on site is aligned with the construction programme. The construction and engineering specialist has appointed Finley Structures Ltd. to construct the steelwork for the facility. Jim Graham, Operations Manager at Finley Structures said:

“I have worked with Metsec for some 30 years now because I value their service. Technical support is available through their sales staff and design office, and where cold-rolled elements were involved for this new manufacturing plant, Metsec’s design software has helped us to deliver to the main contractor a cost-efficient, maximum performance structural solution.”

Metsec’s building shell design software, MetSPEC EURO1 provides extensive functionality with optimised design of purlins and side rails, and includes load capacities based on design analysis to Structural Eurocode BS EN 1993-1-3.

Metsec’s Sales Director for purlins, Kevin Jones understands that excellent service is vital to building strong relationships with supply chain partners: “We aim to make the production of light gauge structural steel designs as smooth a process as possible for our clients, so customer support is key. The greatest recognition is when the design consultants choose to specify our sections for high-profile projects like this Hitachi rail vehicle manufacturing facility, where our combined technical capability has delivered a first-class result for the contractor.”