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Gaining Welding Productivity in the Field

A look at how new technologies can help contractors boost their productivity and safety when Stick and TIG welding in the field. 

Posted: September 25, 2015

The remote control capabilities of the FieldPro greatly reduce trips back and forth to the power source. This reduces jobsite movement and the risk for trips and falls, to help improve welding operator safety. 
With the FieldPro Remote, the ability to make adjustments quickly at the weld joint saves time and money, increasing productivity in a welding operation. The remote capability provides push-button changeover of polarity, process and amperage when stick or TIG welding in the field as far away as 200 ft from the power source, reducing trips back to the machine.

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 can 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. Fabricators 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. 

Remote technology provides the ability to make adjustments quickly and easily at the weld joint, saving time and money. The remote capability available in our PipeWorx 350 FieldPro™ System provides push-button changeover of polarity, process and amperage when stick or TIG welding hundreds of feet from the welding power source, reducing trips back to the machine to ensure correct polarity and connection to the appropriate welding power supply.

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. With the FieldPro remote 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.

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.

The FieldPro 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.

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 the FieldPro 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.

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