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Welding Showcase One

Our first review of some of the latest welding equipment and accessories.

Tested in heavy fabrication application using .045 in and 1/16 in gas shielded flux cored wire, 13 Tweco Velocity contact tips from ESAB lasted for five months.
The Tweco ArcMaster 401MST (MIG-Stick-TIG) and 401S (Stick-TIG) from ESAB deliver best-of-class welding performance, portability and durability for mobile and on-site industrial fabrication, power generation, pipe fabrication, shipboard installation and repair, petrochemical fabrication, maintenance and repair and rental.
The SMART NJ 650 robot from Comau handles a payload of 650 kg, has a horizontal reach of 2.70 m and repeatability from 0.15 mm. It is ideal for handling, spot welding of large automotive body parts and manipulating heavy components for machine tending.
Building on the performance of legacy Axcess machines, the Continuum 500 system from Miller Electric provides easier arc starts and more-stable arc performance, providing better results from weld operators of all skill levels when welding on either thin or thick metals.
Multiprocess XMT ArcReach systems from Miller Electric are ideal for shipbuilding and construction. They reduce downtime, costs and safety hazards by allowing welding operators to set the power source voltage at the weld joint without the use of control cables, minimizing unnecessary trips to the machine.

Tweco®, an ESAB (Florence, SC) brand, offers the patent pending Velocity MIG welding consumables platform. The contact tips feature shielding gas ports that keep the tip 30 percent cooler. By running cooler, consumable parts life is improved up to 5X or more in some applications. These consumables are integrated on Spray Master® MIG guns, and the Classic Number Series. Several unique changes define Velocity and deliver meaningful performance enhancements. Gas porting in the contact tip, coupled with an all-copper conductive path with fewer connections, improves electrical and thermal conductivity dramatically. Engineers have demonstrated how this unique solution improves conductivity and manages thermal effects to achieve improved arc stability by 15 percent.

Because the contact tip runs cooler, it reduces the ability for spatter to stick, so the tip needs less cleaning. Fewer threads and a careful consideration of the thread design also deliver more convenience and reliability. Extra threads were eliminated by implementing a thread-less, drop in style contact tip. Contact tips can be exchanged without the use of tools. Conventional designs employ soft on soft thread designs made of copper or brass, an approach plagued with cross-threading, seizing, and premature wear. Velocity employs a heat treated stainless threaded sleeve, which further alleviates much of these problems.

“The drop-in style tip also eliminates the hassle associated with burn backs. There’s no need to get out vice-grips when the electrode fuses inside the tip,” explains Ross Fleischmann, the senior brand manager. “Velocity reduces the part count compared to typical, conventional consumables, which further simplifies inventory management.” It also maintains tight, positive alignment and adjustment that welders find critical. Traditionally threaded nozzles, as well as a slip adjustable nozzle with a unique indexed collar, enable the welder to define the contact tip-to-nozzle relationship – protruding, flush, or recessed. “Welding supervisors appreciate tighter, more positive front end adjustments and settings that do not loosen up over time,” notes Fleischmann. “It enables more control of contact tip-to-work distance, maintaining more consistent welding practice throughout the shop.”

Tweco also offers the ArcMaster® 401MST (MIG-Stick-Lift TIG) and ArcMaster 401S (Stick-Lift TIG) power sources that offer best-of-class performance in on-site and portable welding applications. These units have a 10 amp to 400 amp output and provide superior welding performance, especially with cellulose 6010 electrodes and MIG and flux cored wires (401MST). A rugged case protects the units from a 3 ft drop and take up 50 percent less space than welders with similar outputs; the units measure 16.5 in x 8.3 in x 17.7 in. The ArcMaster 401MST weighs 54 lb and the ArcMaster 401S weighs 46 lb, both about 40 percent less than competitive welders.

Automatic primary voltage selection with no mechanical changeover enables the unit to operate off single- or three-phase power, 208-230/400/460 VAC. Combined with 20 percent better energy efficiency and strong performance when connected to generator power, the ArcMaster 401MST and 401S are ideally suited for use in industrial fabrication, power generation, pipe fabrication, shipboard installation and repair, petrochemical fabrication, maintenance and repair and rental.

In addition to adjustable Stick Arc Force and Hot Start control, both units feature dedicated modes to optimize performance for specific processes, including 6010 electrodes, 7018 electrodes and air carbon-arc gouging with carbons up to 3/16 in. The ArcMaster 401MST also features optimized modes for using 100% CO2 or mixed shielding gases, as well as adjustable inductance control to increase arc stability and reduce spatter. A “Job Save & Load” function allows operators to store and recall up to ten sets of optimized welding parameters. The ArcMaster 401MST works with all common wire feeder platforms.

ArcMaster welders control the welding process using six micro-controllers that monitor current and voltage at 1.5 million times per second. Further, they use leading-edge MICOR™ — MIcrocontroller COntrolled Resonant — inverter technology, which defines the new standard for lightweight, portable welding equipment designed for extreme use. MICOR technology provides numerous benefits to end-users:

  • Enables producing more output from a smaller power source.
  • Delivers rapid On/Off power control (up to 200 kHz), which provides superior control over arc characteristics.
  • Stores voltage and power so that the unit can provide a fast dynamic response to changing arc conditions.
  • Allows the use of longer primary power cables (up to 200 yards) while maintaining a consistent, smooth and stable arc.
  • Uses energy more efficiently and provides a nearly perfect power factor, which in turn can lower utility bills and offer the potential for utility rebates.

Tweco/Arcair, 2800 Airport Road, Denton, TX 76207, 800-569-0547, Fax: 800-535-0557,

The new SMART NJ 650 heavy load and high reach robot from Comau, LLC (Southfield, MI) has an elevated payload and is designed to meet the market’s need for robots than can efficiently manipulate components of significant size and weight. From a technical point of view, the robot can handle a payload of up to 650 kg, has a maximum horizontal reach of 2.70 m and ISO 9283 repeatability from 0.15 mm. The SMART NJ 650 is characterized by high stiffness, a compact, space-saving design and an optimized load capacity / payload relationship.

The SMART NJ 650 is perfect for multiple industrial applications, including handling, spot welding of large body parts for the automotive sector, and the manipulation of heavy components for machine tending operations, as well as palletizing, deburring and polishing, packaging and machining in general. It is ideal for production areas that require robots with a large payload capacity, such as foundry operations or virtually any other industrial sector.

Comau LLC, 21000 Telegraph Road, Southfield, Michigan 48033, 248-353-8888,,

Miller Electric Mfg. Co. (Appleton, WI) offers the latest advanced industrial MIG welding system: the Continuum™ 500. Building on the proven performance of legacy Axcess® machines, the Continuum 500 system provides improved arc starts and more-stable arc performance, generating better results from welding operators of all skill levels when welding on either thin or thick metals. User-friendly controls and system modularity make the new system more capable of managing challenging jobs to help improve productivity and provide a competitive advantage as fabrication and manufacturing needs evolve. The system provides 500 amps of welding power at 100 percent duty cycle.

The Continuum 500 system is designed for semi-automatic welding and features an all-new smart, powerful and fast-responding digital design that delivers exceptionally stable arc performance for better welding results. Developed as a platform to meet current and future welding needs, the Continuum 500 offers improved Accu-Pulse™, MIG, Regulated Metal Deposition (RMD®) and new high-deposition MIG welding capabilities that result in more consistent arc starts, greater arc and weld puddle control (even for welding operators of varying skills), reduced spatter and higher weld quality — all factors that lead to better overall productivity.

The improved arc performance provided by the Accu-Pulse process allows for faster travel speeds to increase productivity further and reduce heat input that could lead to distortion, while the MIG and RMD improvements both provide reduced heat input and a more forgiving arc to make it easier to manage varying torch angles and designs. The high-deposition MIG function offers a lower heat input than a standard spray transfer, while still providing as much as 33 percent more deposition when welding thicker material and larger welds (6 mm to 8 mm).

An intuitive interface makes the Continuum 500 simple to set up and adjust with minimal training. A LCD display shows complete words, graphics and numeric values, while memory buttons allow weld operators to change programs quickly and easily. A remote connection provides easy viewing and adjustment of the machine parameters from virtually anywhere in the world via Internet-enabled devices (computer, tablet or Smartphone). The Continuum 500 also allows for easy updating of firmware, viewing of diagnostics and provides USB functionality to save and update the machine’s settings for a specific operator or job, or to manage fleet configurations.

The modular design of the Continuum 500 makes the system adaptable to a variety of weld cell configurations and requirements. The system also features a control interface that can be located where it is most convenient, including on the power source, on the feeder or on the remote operator interface (ROI). The all-new feeder design, which features balance-pressure drive-rolls and tensioners to feed wire in true, straight manner, can be easily configured for standard spool sizes, 60-pound spools or bulk-feeding systems.

The new multiprocess XMT® ArcReach™ systems are designed to reduce downtime, costs and exposure to safety hazards by allowing welding operators to set voltage at the weld joint without the use of control cables. This capability minimizes unnecessary trips to the power source, allowing for more arc-on time and greater productivity. By providing control of voltage at the weld joint, the new systems also reduce the opportunity for trips, slips or falls on the jobsite; encourage best-practice weld settings and weld techniques; and lessen operator fatigue associated with excessive walking to and from the power source.

The XMT 350 VS ArcReach (for 3-phase or 1-phase power) and XMT 450 VS ArcReach (for 3-phase power) are both ideal for industries such as shipbuilding and construction, where welding operators work at significant distances from the power source. Both systems are compatible with SuitCase® X-TREME™ 12 VS or 8 VS ArcReach feeders, and provide multiprocess welding capabilities, including MIG (GMAW), Stick (SMAW), TIG (GMAW) and Flux-Cored (FCAW), and Air Carbon Arc Gouging (CAC-A).

In addition to generating more arc-on time by reducing trips to the power source, XMT ArcReach systems help reduce downtime to address operator fatigue so welding operators are able to spend more time welding. They also reduce downtime for troubleshooting welding system problems that result from damaged control cables, as well as the expense of purchasing, maintaining, repairing and replacing control cables. These systems save time by eliminating the need to access and reconfigure power source settings after use. When a welding operator connects the ArcReach-equipped feeder to the XMT power source, the panel setting automatically converts to MIG/FCAW (with gas) if it detects an electrode positive connection or FCAW (no gas) if it detects an electrode negative connection. Disconnecting the feeder restores the power source’s original panel settings, making it easy for the welding operator to switch processes right at the weld joint.

These ArcReach systems provide remote override of weld process and arc voltage at the power supply, which prevents other welding operators from making setting changes. The welding operator can precisely set arc voltage at the feeder and monitor the actual arc voltage and current delivered to the weld using the digital meters on the feeder. Having this control at the weld joint makes it easier to adhere to weld procedures and prevents welding operators from settling for less than optimal settings, resulting in more consistent and higher weld quality.

Miller Electric Mfg. Co., 1635 W. Spencer Street, PO Box 1079, Appleton, WI 54912-1079, 800-426-4553, Fax: 877-327-8132,,


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