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Tech Talk: Auto-Line™ Technology Draws Fewer Amps For Sites Starved For Power

(As seen in Applied Welding, Issue 4, 2004)

Q: What is Auto-Line technology?
A: Auto-Line technology is the patented, front-end, power processing circuit of an inverter welding power supply. The key element of this circuit is known as a “boost converter,” which boosts primary input to a higher regulated voltage. The voltage then charges a capacitor, which is a device used to store and quickly discharge energy.

Q: What are some of the benefits of Auto-Line technology?
A: Auto-Line features a lower primary amperage draw, minimizing the chances of tripping the breaker and allowing more machines to run on the available primary current, which can save both time and money. In addition, Auto-Line provides quality welds and uninterrupted production by continuously compensating for line voltage fluctuations. By permitting direct connection to almost any type of input power, Auto-Line also allows location flexibility.

Q: Why is it important to be able to draw fewer amps?
A: A lot of places are starved for power and have limitations regarding total available primary current. Perhaps they have added so much new equipment that there’s no current left to run more welding machines without changes to incoming electrical service. That sort of situation could cost anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000.

Q: What types of organizations benefit from Auto-Line’s low amperage draw?
A: Basically, any organization that often needs more power than it has available will benefit. Construction sites are notoriously low on available power, as are successful fabricators and manufacturers. Contractors also benefit from Auto-Line’s low amperage draw.

Although Thompson Welding of Listowel, Ontario, only has a 60-amp breaker, owner Doug Thompson can weld with an XMT 350 because it draws less than 18 amps at full output.

Q: What are some examples of the benefits of Auto-Line’s lower amperage draw?
A: As a general rule, you can add two Auto-Line CC/CV inverters by retiring just one transformer-type welder. On 460 V primary, the XMT® 350 draws only 17.8 amps while delivering rated output. Seven XMT 350s welding at rated output will consume less current than 125 amps, whereas the same amp line can power only five competitive machines! In addition, you can run four Dynasty® 200s on less power than it takes to run a 250 amp conventional TIG unit. The Dynasty 200 draws a mere 16 amps on a 230 V, single-phase line.

Q: Which Miller products feature Auto-Line’s low amperage draw?
A: Several inverters offer Auto-Line’s low amperage draw:
* XMT® 350 CC/CV inverter (190 V-630 V, 1- or 3-phase, 50 or 60 Hz)
* Axcess™/Auto-Axcess™ Series (190 V-630 V, 1- or 3-phase, 50 or 60 Hz)
* Spectrum® 2050 and 1000 plasma cutter (190 V-630 V, 1- or 3-phase, 50 or 60 Hz)
* Dynasty® 200 AC/DC TIG inverter (120 V-460 V, 1- or 3-phase, 50 or 60 Hz)
* Maxstar® 200 DC TIG/Stick inverter (120 V-460 V, 1- or 3-phase, 50 or 60 Hz)
* Maxstar® 150 DC TIG/Stick inverter (115 V-230 V, 1-phase, 50 or 60 Hz)

* Millermatic® Passport™MIG Welder (115 V-230 V, 1-phase)

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