As part of the upgrade programme to the BMW Assembly Plant in Rosslyn, Pretoria, there was a requirement to raise and install a new roof structure over the existing operational assembly line. The finished roof would cover more than 4 100 square meters and weigh 560 tons.


The challenge, and hence Vanguard’s involvement, was that the complete installation had be done without any disruption at all to production in the plant below. In fact, the existing roof structure had to remain completely intact and fully operational until the new structure was fully installed.


Given these limitations – which were further compromised by the location and space constraints hindering the use of mobile cranes – the solution was a purpose-designed increment launch system from the only accessible side of the factory.


In consultation with the appointed engineers and lead contractors, Tiechman Group, Vanguard designed and implemented a purpose-built increment launch system that facilitated the building of the roof as requested by the client, with zero interruption to the production facility.


Ron Wiggill, Vanguard’s engineering manager, notes that without Vanguard’s unique jacking and control system which was built in-house specifically for the project, the launching of the roof sections with minimal tolerances on alignment, friction and control would not have been possible.


The BMW roof-launch project lead to Vanguard being announced as a winner in the Southern African Institute of Steel – Steel Awards for the second year in a row



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