Technologies Can Help Boost Productivity and Safety when Stick and TIG Welding in the Field
August 1, 2015
New technologies offer optimized stick and TIG performance, designed to specifically meet the needs of open root pipe welding. Companies that invest in this new equipment have the flexibility to gain even more benefits by implementing advanced wire processes when they are ready.
Gaining productivity in field welding applications — while maintaining or improving quality and jobsite safety — is important for many contractors. Finding ways to save even a small amount of time can have a big impact through reduced operational costs, given that nearly 80 percent of the cost to weld is labor.
Welding systems on the market provide conventional stick, TIG, MIG and flux-cored welding as well as advanced wire processes. However, there may be factors that prevent the use of wire processes for some applications, such as welding procedure requirements or workforce training.
In these cases, productivity and quality gains can still be had with new technologies in equipment used for stick and TIG welding. New technologies offer optimized stick and TIG performance, designed to specifically meet the needs of open root pipe welding. Companies that invest in this new equipment have the flexibility to gain even more benefits by implementing advanced wire processes when they are ready.
In addition, these systems are available with full remote control hundreds of feet from the welding power source for many processes, including stick and TIG. This technology can also help reduce rework and weld cleanup, resulting in time and money saved, and saves trips back and forth to the welding power source for improved productivity and jobsite safety.
Improve productivity with remote control
Remote control technology provides the ability welding parameter adjustments quickly and easily at the weld joint using the feeder or remote, saving time and money. The ArcReach® technology remote capabilities available in the XMT® 350 FieldPro™ power sources from Miller Electric Mfg. Co. provide push-button changeover of polarity, process and amperage when stick or TIG welding — even hundreds of feet from the welding power source. This reduces the trips the operator must make back to the machine to ensure correct polarity and connection to the appropriate welding power supply.
The XMT 350 FieldPro can be paired with ArcReach SuitCase® feeders and ArcReach Smart Feeders for wire welding processes or with the stick/TIG remote for stick and TIG welding processes on the jobsite.
Compared to previous machines, this technology saves time and lets the operator get more arc-on time at the weld joint, and it also reduces the chances that an operator will make do with less-than-optimal welding parameters that could lead to reduced weld quality or rework.
Using an XMT 350 FieldPro with ArcReach technology, the only thing a welding operator needs to do is press the TIG button to automatically set up the proper welding process, polarity and amperage for TIG welding the root pass. Once the root pass is complete, a welding operator using this technology can change the process, polarity and amperage for stick welding with the push of a button at the weld joint, again without the need to walk back to the welding power source.
With each weld joint that uses TIG and stick, the remote capabilities can save a minimum of two trips back to the welding power source. This translates to a significant time savings for changing from stick to TIG welding and allows the welding operator to spend more time welding, which results in a lower cost per weld.
The system provides these remote capabilities without the need for a control cable, which saves time and money in cable management and repair, and improves jobsite safety by reducing cable clutter.
Improved jobsite safety
The simplified cable management that results from not needing a control cable also eliminates the time and hassle spent setting up extra cables. Also, a remote system that eliminates the control cable helps reduce clutter, which contributes to a safer jobsite with fewer hazards.
Eliminating extra cables and reducing the necessary trips a welding operator must take back and forth to the power source can help reduce the jobsite hazards that can cause slips, trips and falls.
Available technology can also help improve productivity by reducing the time lost to rework in TIG and stick welding. With available solutions on the market, the correct polarity is automatically set for each welding process, and the system alerts welding operators if the weld cables are connected incorrectly.
XMT 350 FieldPro with ArcReach system also reduces the potential for porosity at the end of a weld by sensing rapidly increasing arc voltage as the welding operator pulls out of the weld. The system then shuts the weld current off — especially important in TIG welding, so the operator is able to hold the torch in place to shield the weld pool from the atmosphere until the weld pool is completely solidified.
These advanced systems also keep the amperage turned off during a TIG weld until the operator is ready to establish the arc. This reduces the chance for the tungsten to become entrapped in the weld. Advanced field systems also produce a smooth arc that reduces weld puddle agitation for stick and TIG welding, decreasing the chances of cold lap.
Made for the field
There are new systems on the market that have been optimized for stick and TIG performance to specifically meet the needs in critical pipe welding applications — and that are specifically designed to provide productivity, quality and safety benefits.
These new systems provide complete control at the weld joint to improve productivity for stick and TIG processes, and contractors also have the option of adding a wire feeder that offers advanced wire processes.
With complete remote control at the weld joint, the remote capabilities of Miller power sources with ArcReach technology provide all the same functionality of the welding power source from hundreds of feet away, including process changeover and amperage adjustments — all with no special control cable.