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New welding tech cuts construction site clutter

Home Infrastructure Construction & Civils New welding tech cuts construction site clutter

AFROX has announced a new construction site solution which combines the Miller ArcReach offering with Afrox GasReach.

According Afrox’s Business Manager for the Manufacturing Industries, Johann Pieterse, the system is built around using its Multi-User Pressure Panel (MUPP) for distributing gas to multiple welders working in difficult-to-reach locations.

“The combination makes the use of modern welding processes, making onsite work easier than ever,” he said.

Initially designed for GTAW, Afrox’s MUPP solution has proven effective for any gas shielded welding process, including GMAW, FCAW and MCAW.

“In addition to solving the cylinder clutter problem in power generation boilers, the system provides a much safer solution to cylinder handling in other industries, where welding is often done on suspended platforms with restricted access and cramped workstations.”

Now part of the GasReach range, this Afrox solution is, said Pieterse, ideally partnered with Miller’s ArcReach technology, which eliminates the need for control cables between power sources and ancillary equipment, with digital communications being carried down the welding cables.

“This means that we can increase the distance between a welder and a power source up to a hundred metres, further reducing clutter and only needing to take smaller ancillary equipment into hard-to-reach places.”

He added that ArcReach eliminates the high level of maintenance required by qualified personnel to maintain control cables and torch extensions on site.

The technology can be used with multiple arc welding processes. “A welder can use GTAW to weld an open root, and then change directly to SMAW for the fill and cap, by simply unplugging the GTAW torch from the Miller ArcReach Stick/TIG remote and plugging in the SMAW electrode holder.”

According to Pieterse, the system automatically senses the process change and switches from GTAW mode to SMAW mode. Polarity Reversing technology automatically changes from DCEN to DCEP and the current (amperage) control is done directly on the remote.

Likewise, if the welder needs to switch to GMAW or FCAW, the welding cables can be connected to an ArcReach suitcase feeder, while the multi-process power source remains well away from the workstation. The suitcase feeder is also available in a smaller 8-inch version, which is ideally suitable for use in workspaces with small access openings.

“Maximum benefit and cost savings are ultimately realised when the Miller ArcReach SmartFeeder is connected to a Miller XMT FieldPro power source, because open-root and the fill-and-cap welding can be done with the same equipment, the same wire and the same shielding gas.”

This technology enables the welder to use RMD, a pulse-modified short-circuit mode, to deposit a perfect single-run open root much faster than when using the conventional GTAW process.

In addition, RMD eliminates the need for a hot pass, with the result that the GTAW process in conventional large bore pipe welding is replaced with a process that is often five times faster than depositing the conventional GTAW root and hot pass.

Once the root has been welded, the welder can immediately switch the wire feeder to GMAW-P mode and start to rapidly fill the weld joint. Capping is done using the same mode.

The process is suitable for welding with solid or metal cored wire, eliminating slag formation and slag inclusions. Using metal cored wires adds even more productivity gains and cost saving benefits, so it is recommended that a metal cored wire is used whenever a suitable consumable is available.

Pieterse said that compared to conventional welding, RMD and GMAW-P technology is at least three times faster than conventional GTAW and SMAW, and the resulting cost savings per kg of deposited weld metal are often more than 80%.

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