New Welding Equipment Helps Business Drive Forward
Investing in new welding technology can often help companies improve their business and the bottom line. For Wilcox Commercial Vehicle, an aluminum body builder for commercial vehicles, new inverter power sources proved to be cleaner, faster and more efficient for welding aluminum.
Wilcox Commercial Vehicle, an aluminum body builder for commercial vehicles has improved efficiency and saved energy by installing welding equipment from Miller Electric Mfg. Co. throughout its entire factory with the help of its welding supplier, Foster Industrial.
Based in England, Wilcox Commercial Vehicles is a leading manufacturer of aluminum bodies for rigid and tipping trailers, building around 700 units each year. Having catered for almost any kind of bulk load transporting requirement for the past 40 years, Wilcox is recognized for the quality of its product, as well as the level of service.
In January 2015, the firm invested £3 million in an additional 3,000 square foot factory, and as a result business is booming. A combination of a broad product range and increasing demand from the construction sector means the order book is full and turnover is heading towards £14 million. Therefore, the 75-strong team needs to be able to complete jobs quickly but without compromising on Wilcox’s renowned quality of finish.
Installing Miller welding equipment, which has been developed specifically for use with aluminum, has enabled the team to improve efficiency, while at the same time producing better quality welds.
Vito Ronzano, managing director at Wilcox Commercial Vehicles, says, “Welding aluminum presents a number of challenges which can make it more difficult and time consuming — such as the metal’s high thermal conductivity and thermal expansion — but the output and behavior of the Miller equipment has been especially designed for this.
“It means that we get consistently good results, which in a business that is renowned for the quality of its products, is incredibly important.”
Wilcox has spent around £110,000 on twelve Miller XR push-pull systems and seven Dynasty® 350 TIG systems as part of its expansion plans. Both pieces of equipment have an inverter power source which means they take up less floor space, use less electricity, generate less fumes, and are cleaner and faster than earlier pieces of equipment. They also offer some particularly clever features.
Andrew Foster, welding application engineer at Miller, explains: “Miller has a strong experience in aluminum welding and the TIG equipment in particular — they actually invented the TIG square wave process. As a result, the Dynasty machine is a unique piece of equipment; it has an asymmetric power source and can isolate the weldment from the torch so the torch stays cold while the work heats up. This produces a deeper, narrower and faster weld and makes it 20 percent more energy efficient than other comparable equipment.”
The equipment was provided by Foster Industrial, which has supplied Wilcox with between 50-60 pieces of Miller welding equipment over the past 15 years.
Richard Foster, joint managing director at Foster Industrial, says, “We have a longstanding relationship with Wilcox and have been working on replacing their push-pull and TIG equipment as part of a rolling program. Vito recognises the value of equipping his factories with the best possible tools for the job and Miller XR™ Pistol push-pull guns have been a hit with aluminum welders for over 20 years.”
Vito adds, “We have always used Miller equipment; the welders like its operability and its gives good results. Since January we have seen a 40 to 50 percent increase in productivity. This is largely to do with the new factory where we have expanded capacity and reordered production, but there is no doubt that having reliable and consistent equipment plays an important part.”