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Teseo has provided its modular aluminium hollow bar system to deliver compressed air to BAE Systems’ Astute Class nuclear submarine production line at Barrow-in-Furness.

The company is currently building four of the planned seven-strong class – Astute, Ambush, Artful and Audacious – with the cost for the first three agreed with the Ministry of Defence at GBP3.8bn.

Mark Earnshaw, principal operations engineer for BAE Systems Barrow says: ‘The construction vision programme sought, among other things, a solution for compressed air delivery that was adaptable, could be easily modified, and was clean and tidy.

We found Teseo’s system and used it on the first prototype as the vision became a reality.

The work crews used it, pointed out where and how things needed adapting and we optimised the system accordingly.’ The HBS (hollow bar system) and the AP (aluminium profile) products feature aluminium extruded piping that has an external rectangular section with tee slots and a fine, smooth internal bore.

A wide selection of angle and straight joints, quick clamping pieces and connectors make the Teseo system totally flexible in layout design and quick to install.

Darren Lawson is operations improvement manager at BAE Systems Barrow and led the integration of the Teseo system into the modules.

‘The Teseo product’s flexibility has been useful; we hang it from the existing cable supports and run it around the hall.

‘Our stackable modules are ‘plug-and-place’ and loaded four-high; the Teseo system allows us to have just one input line coming into the stack which can then be split to feed each module.

‘Crucially, we are not restricted to where the outputs go.

‘We have 5-6 outlets per workshop and can run in the pipework and then decide where we want an outlet.

‘Connecting the Teseo fitting after that is simple.

‘There are no cables to worry about either, so there are no health and safety issues.’ Local contractor, Edmunson Electrical has been responsible for the installation of the Teseo products.

Lighter than traditional galvanised steel airlines to install and handle, the Teseo lines are also more energy-efficient, due to the high flow rates of a smooth-profiled aluminium tube (typically 30 per cent higher than steel) which equates to a lower pressure drop and overall energy savings from day one.

Since the introduction of the Teseo system, build times have shortened.

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