Swartfager Welding is the epitome of a family business done right. What started six generations ago in the 1800s as a traditional blacksmith operation has evolved today into a booming modern fabrication business.
We visited Swartfager to discuss with them one of their more successful process advancements: transitioning to metal-cored wires and optimizing these applications with new Pulsed MIG and Regulated Metal Deposition® capabilities as made possible by the PipeWorx multiprocess pipe welding system.
Benefits achieved by Swartfager include increased productivity, less post-weld cleanup, and easier operation and training for its workforce – all while meeting code requirements.
Selecting a MIG gun (or torch) for your welding application should be done with just as much attention to detail as the welding power source itself. Think of it as the human body: an injured toe or finger inhibits our ability to perform basic functions such as walking or grasping. The gun — while an extension of the system — is just as critical to the quality of the weld itself and the productivity of your operators. There are also important considerations when selecting a MIG gun that may help you lower your operating costs. In this article, we’ll take a look at common types of MIG guns and considerations you should make when selecting the gun that’s right for you.
The new Invision 450 MPa MIG/Pulsed MIG welding inverter is the big brother to the popular Invision 352 MPa. Optimized for use on thicker materials and larger diameter wires, the Invision 450 MPa offers manufacturers and fabricators 450 amps of Pulsed MIG welding power at 100 percent duty cycle. Additional features include:
Longer welding times with larger wire diameters for increased productivity, thanks to higher amperage and duty cycle
Dual wire feeder capability so you can always have two wires ready as particular jobs change, saving time and money with less set-up.
Additional Pulsed MIG programs for .052- and 1/16-inch wires and all the great programs found in the Invision 352 MPa
Simple interface and controls for operators
Improved Pulsed MIG welding arc with ability to weld on wider range of thicknesses
Synergic “one knob” controls that automatically adjust pulse parameters to match wire feed speed
Improved energy efficiency over older and non-inverter welding equipment
The new Invision 450 MPa is designed for extremely easy use: the operator selects the wire diameter, wire type, gas being used and wire feed speed and they are ready to weld. The machine features standard built-in programs for steel, metal-cored, aluminum, stainless steel, nickel, silicon bronze and copper nickel wires. Advanced arc controls provide a more robust, stable Pulsed MIG arc at very low arc length, which reduces heat input and provides the ability to weld on a wider range of material thicknesses.
The system is optimized when connected to a 74 MPa Plus wire feeder. Additional benefits include:
Operation is simplified with synergic Pulsed MIG controls, which give the operator “one knob” control over pulse adjustments by adjusting wire feed speed.
The system also offers Profile Pulse™, a feature that gives a cosmetic bead appearance similar to TIG welding.
Consistent, versatile and dependable aluminum welding is possible with the 74 MPa Plus wire feeder, using Alumination™ technology that also allows for the use of extended-reach push-pull guns.
The Invision 450 MPa also offers 115 volts of auxiliary power for added flexibility when matching the system with a water cooler or using hand tools.
Pulsed welding equipment has been around for a long time. However, technical advancements have made pulsed welding equipment much easier to use and, consequently, better for training operators to make quality welds. Some of the new Pulsed MIG and Pulsed TIG welding technologies provide excellent welding performance on thin gauge aluminum.
Upgrading to modern Pulsed MIG or Pulsed TIG inverter technology could potentially help you increase productivity, improve weld quality, reduce weld costs, and boost operator efficiency. That being said, you will need to study your particular application in detail to determine which, if any, of these processes is appropriate for you. Remember, pulse welding is not the answer to all aluminum welding-related problems.
Check out one of our latest case studies on Greenheck Fan, a Wisconsin manufacturer who has experienced a number of welding efficiencies by relying on Pulsed MIG for welding aluminum:
As customer demand drove the company to shift much of its product to be fabricated of aluminum (lightweight, aesthetic versatility), Greenheck addressed the need to optimize its aluminum welding applications while maintaining the ability to weld mild, stainless and galvanized steels effectively. The solution: an advanced Pulsed MIG welding system (Miller’s Invision™ MPa Plus System) that not only improved weld quality, but due to built-in efficiencies, also helped the company streamline its welding operations. Improvements include:
Improved welding of thinner aluminum (reduced burn-through, blistering, reduced distortion).
Improved productivity (faster travel speeds).
Improved starts and stops to the weld (ensures quality).
Standardizing on a larger diameter wire (greater deposition, lower cost per pound, simplification of inventory and equipment outlay).
Dual wire feeder makes it fast and easy to switch between types of filler metal.
Improved weld aesthetics compared to conventional MIG welding on aluminum.
Read the whole story here. Check out videos from our visit with Greenheck below.
Miller is excited to announce today the introduction of the new XMT® 450 MPa multiprocess welder. This new machine offers one of the industry’s most powerful and consistent options for Pulsed MIG welding. It features increased power and duty cycle ideal for heavy carbon arc gouging and large diameter welding applications. It is also optimized for MIG, Stick, TIG, and Flux Cored welding processes.
This powerful new inverter-based power source features the reliability and arc performance of the XMT 350 MPa but with more amperage, exceptional power efficiency and additional programs for Pulsed MIG welding with up to .052- and 1/16-inch wires.
You’ll be hearing a lot from us over the next few months on aluminum. One of the first things we’d like to share with you is this great snapshot of the aluminum welding needs at Bollinger Shipyards in Lockport, La.
Read the whole story here. After the excerpt, see what the folks at Bollinger Shipyards had to say about Miller’s AlumaFeed™ System.
Aluminum is increasingly specified in marine applications because it’s lighter without sacrificing strength and functionality. This makes ships faster, saves on fuel, and provides them with excellent anti-corrosive properties. It does, however, present difficulties: distortion, cleanliness, aesthetics, burn through and difficult wire feeding, to name a few.
To best meet these challenges, Bollinger overhauled its entire aluminum welding facility to include a new bulk gas delivery system, wall-mounted booms for wire feeders, and new AlumaFeed™ synergic aluminum welding systems from Miller Electric Mfg. Co. The system is designed to simplify and improve MIG and Pulsed MIG aluminum welding applications and has proven a good fit at Bollinger.
Improvements include: Hours saved in productivity, thanks to the synergic controls; reduced distortion and burn through, thanks to the Pulsed MIG capabilities; the aesthetics of a TIG weld with the production speeds of MIG welding; less bird nesting, thanks to advanced wire feeding technology; switch to a larger diameter wire, which allows for faster travel speeds.
Fabricating and MetalWorking recently ran an article on Shinn Mechanical of Kent, WA and its use of Miller’s PipeWorx welding system. An excerpt from the article:
Shop operators here complete joints three to four times faster than shops that rely solely on stick and TIG technology. How? They use a pipe-specific multi-process welding system from Miller Electric Mfg. Co. (Appleton, WI) called PipeWorx™ that was recommended by Jim Hedberg, a representative from Pacific Welding Supply (Tacoma, WA).
The PipeWorx system uses Pro-Pulse™ pulsed MIG and RMD™ (regulated metal deposition) processes, as well as stick, TIG and flux cored processes that have been optimized specifically for pipe fabrication. The system also provides traditional MIG processes. Switching between processes requires only the push of one button, with no need to manually switch polarity, cables or hoses, thus increasing productivity and eliminating a potential source of errors.
You can read the whole article here. You can also watch a video of the guys from Shinn discussing RMD and Pro-Pulse here.