The added complexity of hiring skilled labour for project work, and the difficulty in finding enough skilled welders means that the process and equipment selected must make it easier for businesses.
Many pipe fabricators have been using the stick process for decades, but now there is another option. The PipeProâ„¢ 450 welding system is a new multi-process inverter-based welding package, designed and manufactured by Miller Electric Manufacturing Company specifically for pipe fabrication.
The PipePro was specifically designed to optimise pipe fabrication and suits both field and shop fabrication. The product uses the RMD process, which is a modified short circuit transfer process that precisely controls welding current during all phases of metal transfer to eliminate excess weld puddle agitation.
The system can achieve tungsten inert gas (TIG) quality root pass welds at more than twice the travel speed and with substantially less operator training time and operator positioning. The calm weld puddle produced by the RMD process makes it much easier for the operator to manipulate. A significant benefit of the RMD process is that novice welders learn faster and quickly gain the confidence in the quality of their welds and can become productive in less than two days. Experienced welders learn the process in under two hours and soon have total control over weld quality.
The calm weld puddle produced by the RMD process produces consistent fusion lines on a pipe root pass, so that welds pass inspection the first time, eliminating the costs associated with rework. In addition, to further keep costs down, greater deposition rates are achieved compared to traditional TIG and metal inert gas (MIG) processes, eliminating the need for a hot pass, which can save up to $20 per weld.
The Pro-Pulse technology at the heart of the PipePro 450 controls both current and voltage to remain within the optimum range for a specific wire type and diameter, wire feed speed and gas combination. The tighter and faster control over parameters provides shorter arc lengths and a more focused arc column.
The benefits include:
- More control of the weld puddle;
- Better directional control, particularly when working out-of-position;
- More tolerant of contact tip-to-work distance variation, which helps when encountering tack welds, welding in tight corners or on pipe bevelled with steep angles;
- Improved fusion and toes at the toes of the weld, which helps to ensure quality welds are achieved on the first go; and
- Lower overall heat input, which reduces interpass cooling time and weld cycle time.
The RMD and Pro-Pulse technology allow the operator to achieve nearly ideal weld parameters by simply selecting the wire type, wire diameter, gas combination and desired process. The system then uses that information to select the optimum parameters from a library of application programs.
Moving away from the traditional stick process and adopting the RMD process provides the operator with more control and increases the speed and ease of the learning process for novice welders and ultimately reduces cost by limiting the amount of rework required. All this means productivity gets a boost.
Keeping costs down and productivity up is a standard part of business and it’s no different when it comes to welding. As the resource market continues to grow, businesses must find ways to refine processes to keep up with demand, and of course to keep costs down to remain competitive.
For more information on the PipeProâ„¢ contact Brett Blackwell at Welding Industries of Australia on (08) 8276 6494.