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Welding Guide to Power Efficiency

Miller Electric believes you shouldn't have to pay for welders that drain profits from your bottom line. That's why the Miller Electric Gold Star®, Deltaweld® and Dimension™ series welders feature an improved transformer that uses electricity 10 to nearly 20 more efficiently than most competitive products.

Miller even had an independent laboratory confirm that its traditional three-phase welders convert line power to welding output power with an average efficiency of approximately 80%. This could save you big money. And for even greater energy savings, a growing number of welding-intensive operations choose Miller inverters, which offer an average energy efficiency of approximately 85%.

Energy Use and ROI

To understand how energy efficiency impacts a purchasing decision, compare the Dimension 652 (a transformer-based, 650 amp, DC constant current/constant voltage welder) to the leading competitor's 650 amp product. Let's use an application calling for MIG welding at 400 amps and 34 volts, which is typical for 1/2" steel plate.

Because the Dimension is 82.7% electrically efficient at these parameters, it uses 16.97 KW of input power. The competitor's power source, which is only 63.46% electrically efficient, requires 21.43 KW of input power - meaning you pay the utility company for 4.46 KW of wasted line power.

Miller's energy efficiency advantage can yield a quick return on investment, helping you justify the cost of upgrading. To operate the Dimension in an eight hour shift with 75% arc on time and 25% idle time, you need to pay $8.27 for electricity*. If your facility runs at full capacity (52 weeks, 5 days per week, 3 shifts per day) the Dimension costs $6,450 annually to power. Conversely, an inefficient power source costs $10.48 to run per shift, or $8,174 annually.

Using a Miller welder can save you $1,724 annually per machine. Even if you have a less aggressive manufacturing schedule - say 25% arc on time and 75% idle time - the Dimension still saves you $710 annually. Miller welders can pay for themselves in two to five years, then they keep saving you money over their lifetime (perhaps as much as $10,000 or $20,000).

* Assumes electricity costs are $0.08 per KW-HR.

Idle Power

Energy efficiency is important even if a welder is idle for 75 percent of the time, because the machine draws power whether it is welding or not. Miller improved the "idle efficiency" of all its higher amperage welders by incorporating a unique Fan-on-Demand™ cooling system that only runs when needed, not continuously. In dirty or dusty environments, this feature also reduces the amount of airborne contaminants pulled through the machine, keeping internal components cleaner and reducing the need for maintenance.

Inverter Products

If you're upgrading from a old transformer to a new Miller Electric inverter, you can expect to save even more money. Our line of inverter-based welders offer an average power efficiency of 85%, as well as unmatched reliability and unbeatable benefits. Miller inverters control output power much more precisely than traditional welders, so you can react quickly to changes in the weld puddle. Inverters provide enhanced weld bead wetting control (e.g., a "soft" arc for better wet out and minimal spatter, or a "stiff" arc for better penetration). This lets you obtain the best weld bead characteristics for the application. Compared to conventional welders, inverters better reduce ripples and spikes in the welding output, creating an ultra-smooth, stable arc - even at low amperages. You also get minimal spatter and good arc initiations.

Invision Series

When paired with a Miller wire feeder, the Invision series of DC, constant voltage inverters produces the highest quality MIG, pulsed MIG and flux cored welds in the industry. The Invision 456P provides up to 600 amps of welding output (450 amps at 100% duty cycle), and the Invision 304P provides up to 400 amps of output (300 amps at 100% duty cycle).

Weighing just 118 lb. and 76 lb., respectively, the Invision's light-weight portability saves time when moving from one job to the next, and it provides flexibility when deciding where to set up a welding station. The Invision products are easy to use, even for beginners, as its control panel only has three things to adjust: an On/Off switch, a knob for adjusting voltage and an inductance knob for varying arc characteristics.

XMT Series

The XMT® 456 and XMT 304 CC/CV inverters are portable DC power sources designed for superior welding performance in industrial Stick, MIG, TIG, pulsed MIG and TIG, and flux cored applications. You can use either power source for Air Carbon Arc gouging and the Phoenix also performs Sub Arc welding. Any company with multiple-process welding requirements can benefit from these portable, powerful welders.

The XMT 456 weighs 118 lb. and has a 5 to 600 amp output range (100% duty cycle at 450 amps). The XMT 304 weighs 76 lb. and has a 5 to 400 amp output range (60% duty cycle at 300 amps). For maximum versatility, the XMT 304 operates off either single- or three-phase power, and its Auto-Link® feature automatically adjusts to accept 230 or 460 VAC, 50 or 60 Hz line power.

Miller Three-Phase Products

The Dimension, Gold Star and Deltaweld series are all rugged, reliable machines used by professional welders for superior quality welds. Available in 300, 450, and 650 amp models, they have the endurance to handle industrial applications. The Dimension and Deltaweld series are rated at 100% duty cycle, and the Gold Star series is rated at 60%.

Dimension Series

The Dimension DC constant current/constant voltage power sources provide uncompromising arc quality in all modes: MIG, flux cored, Stick and TIG welding. Operators in the construction, manufacturing, fabricating, pipe welding, and shipbuilding industries - those who need one machine for a variety of applications - appreciate the capabilities of this true multiprocess power source.

Gold Star Series

The Gold Star constant current DC power sources perform code-quality Stick and TIG welding, as well as air carbon arc (ACA) gouging. Use the Gold Star to make an x-ray quality TIG root pass, then switch to the Stick process for the fill and cover welds. With its high-output capabilities (850 amp maximum), the Gold Star 652 makes a great gouging machine.

Deltaweld Series

Miller designed the Deltaweld constant voltage power source to perform MIG and flux cored welding in heavy industrial, automated and robotic applications. Used for manual welding in high duty cycle/high production facilities, the Deltaweld has likely put down more miles of weld bead than any other industrial MIG welder.

Pulsed MIG, for Maximum Energy Savings

Anyone currently using short circuit transfer to weld 14 gauge to 3/8 in. metal may benefit by changing to the pulsed MIG process. Pulsed MIG welding uses substantially less energy than conventional MIG because the power source operates at a low background current for a portion of the arc-on time. As a result of going to pulsed MIG, companies like Ag-Chem Equipment Co., Inc. of Jackson, Minn., expect to spend only $24,000 per year to power their 33 Miller inverters - a 290% cost savings over straight MIG.

All Miller three-phase products and inverters are covered by Miller's True Blue® 3-year factory warranty. For a free brochure on any product, call 1-800-4-A-MILLER (1-800-426-4553) or write to Miller Electric Mfg. Co., P.O. Box 629, Conyers, GA 30012-9901. To visit Miller's website, point your browser to www.millerwelds.com.

Know Your Energy Costs

When considering a new welder purchase, ask your welding distributor for information on power efficiency across a range of welding outputs, as well as power used while idling. To learn more about the efficiency of Miller three-phase and inverter products, you can visit Miller's website at www.millerwelds.com.

To calculate energy costs, contact your local utility to find how much you pay for energy. You might also ask the utility if they have rebate programs which encourage companies to replace aging/lower technology equipment with energy efficient machines. Further, ask if the utility charges a penalty for electricity use at peak hours.

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