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Structural Steel



VNF’s Steelwork team specialise in providing 3D design services in the Structural Steelwork sector. Floor mounted, suspended from existing structures, building fabric or roof trusses; independent, co-dependent, symbiotic or fully integrated structures for equipment, conveyors, services, access walkways, tools, equipment, components or storage. These can be high level, low level or multi-tier and include any features necessary, e.g. ship and/or escape ladders, steps and stairways, railings, gates, fencing/guarding runs and under-slung equipment. 

SteelWork Catia Design

Integration into the surroundings is always critical to fit within confines of other equipment installed around, above or underneath the new structure. Likewise when attaching to or extending existing structures, so our team operate dynamically within the supply chain to achieve this – liaising as required with other providers and teams working within the local area, sharing data to ensure right-first-time and interference free installation.

All design utilises BS structural steels – beams, channels, profiles and columns – and a host of connection methods, design techniques and devices so we can ensure that your requirements are not only met by design but are fully optimised before any steel is ordered.

Our proven processes ensure key stakeholders have the information required at all stages from concept to delivery, a great example of which being output to FactoryCAD providing planners and integrators the detailed information they need to ensure whole-of-plant integrity.

Steelwork with Cell Integration

Typically we supply our clients:


  • Site survey – detailed survey of the surrounding area

  • Concept model – initial design to specification, sited within surroundings

  • Preliminary loading data – assessment of fit-for-purpose and for facilities approval within building fabric

  • Finalised model – adjusted as required by prior stages with connections, junctions and integrations resolved, safety features and automations added.

  • Model outputs - detailed for engineering and holistic for planning/integration

  • Finalised loading data – to BS EN 1090 for final sign-off and record keeping

  • 2D manufacture drawing packs – detail drawings for manufacture, assembly and installation

  • Manufacturing support

  • Installation support


We provide all this as a complete service, or mix-and-match to suit what you need.

Floor Mounted Steelwork

Whether the task is providing flow and return routes within production lines and systems, or just creating extra floor space within an existing facility, as a more traditional solution, floor mounted platforms are typically mounted on concrete pads or other surfaces, be they on ground, first or upper floors within buildings.

Suspended Steelwork

Suspended platforms provide all the same opportunities -  flow and return routes within production lines and systems, access walkways, structures for tools, equipment, components or storage – but with minimal or zero interference with planned or existing equipment below. Typically hung from roof trusses or structures, sometimes other structures, upper floors new or existing, and at any required height - high level, low level, or multi-tier, suspended platforms require careful optimization of loads and load positioning to ensure compliance with safe limits of the parent structure. 

Structural Loadings

Typically at two stages, VNF provide loading assessments for structures if required; preliminary at the concept stage for outline approval, and finalised issue with completed design for sign-off. Floor loads, pressures and locations – e.g. relative to a building grid - for floor mounted platforms; transferred/imparted loads for suspended systems into the applicable support locations.   

Working in finite detail within our 3D CAD software we simulate all materials and components to ensure the most accurate figures are derived. Centres of Gravity are easily identified, from which a load map is made and the loadings distributed accounting for factors or rigidity within the design.         

As standard we use tapering safety factors to suit the evolution of the design – more generous in the early phases, culminating in the figures required by BS EN 1090 for load classes at final delivery.

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