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"Vault" Increases Reliability of Engine-Driven Welder/Generators

APPLETON, Wis., October 9, 2007—Miller Electric Mfg. Co. has announced reliability ratings on its Big Blue® 400 and 500 Deluxe Model, Big Blue Air Pak™ and PRO 300 CC/CV. These diesel engine-driven welder/generators contain Miller’s patented “Vault” technology, which hermetically seals the circuit board and is impenetrable to dirt, dust and moisture.

Submerged in a fish tank and still functioning, Miller’s unique Vault creates a hermetically sealed environment to completely protect the printed circuit board inside it. The Vault, found only in the Big Blue® and PRO 300 series of diesel engine drives, gives these products a reliability rating that exceeds 98 percent. A PC board is required to create a true constant voltage output, which structural welding codes demand when welding with E71T-8 flux cored wires. The board also improves arc performance when Stick, TIG and MIG welding.

Based on Vault-related warranty claims versus number of products sold, Miller’s Big Blue CC/CV welder/generators show a 98.8 percent reliability rating (January 2006-present), while its PRO 300 comes in with a 98.1 percent rating (June 2006-present). The ratings also include board upgrades supplied to customers under warranty, so actual reliability ratings are even higher than noted.

Created out of two aluminum halves sealed with silicone, as well as a watertight harness for connections, the Vault provides a clean circuit board environment, protecting the electronics—and controlling output—of the machine in heavy industrial applications. Without the sealed environment, circuit boards are exposed to harsh elements that can disrupt the electronics, and therefore the operation, of a CC/CV welder/generator. Consequently, operators may avoid upgrading to a multiprocess machine, settling for a simpler CC machine, and steering clear of the reliability issues that circuit board electronics can present.

“Many people are afraid of electronics because of the reliability issues involved,” says Joe Gitter, product manager, Miller Electric Mfg. Co. “The Vault removes almost all of those issues while giving operators true CV performance and a more stable output. Further, you can fine tune the machine to match your application because now you have a protected PC board to accurately control the output of your machine.”

A PC board improves flux cored welding output, enables short circuit MIG welding, Hot Start™ to improve Stick electrode arc starts, Arc-Drive to prevent the Stick electrode from sticking and Lift-Arc™ TIG arc starts (an alternative to scratch starts which helps prevent tungsten inclusions).

Miller’s newly released reliability ratings persist over thousands of welder/generators sold, and Gitter expects to see even better ratings in the future.

“Right now, our numbers compare very well to—if not significantly better than—others in the industry,” says Gitter. “But we’ll continue to look for additional improvements to the Vault to increase our reliability ratings.”

All Miller engine drives are covered by Miller’s True Blue® three-year factory warranty; the engines are covered separately by the manufacturer for three years. For more information or to download a product spec sheet, visit Miller's Web site at MillerWelds.com, call 1-800-4-A-MILLER (800-426-4553), fax 877-327-8132 or write to Miller Electric Mfg. Co., P.O. Box 100, Lithonia, GA 30058.

With headquarters in Appleton, Wis., Miller Electric Mfg. Co. is a leading worldwide manufacturer of Miller arc welding equipment and related systems for metalworking, construction, maintenance and other applications. Miller Electric is a wholly owned subsidiary of Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE: ITW), Glenview, Ill. ITW is a diversified multinational manufacturer of highly engineered components, assemblies and systems.