For consistent results in repetitive, high volume handheld brazing applications, the Perfect Flame® system from the Harris Products Group (Mason, OH) includes torches, tips, flow control devices and software that work together to improve brazing quality and increase productivity. This engineered system sets high brazing standards and then controls variables to produce consistent joint quality. The process results in better flame control that leads to overall better brazing quality, fewer leaks and rejects, and reductions in operational costs related to labor, oxygen and fuel gas. This system is a major component of the popular Documented Cost Reduction (DCR) Program, where customers can benefit from Harris’ extensive knowledge of brazing from “both sides of the flame.” DCR outlines areas for potential improvements, such as leak reduction programs, material cost reductions, operator training programs and optimal brazing equipment selection. As part of this program, the Perfect Flame validates the changes that drive better operational and financial performance.
Before the Perfect Flame, it was very difficult to produce consistent braze joint quality because operators could independently adjust the flame setting on the torch. But now, with the system’s built-in software, companies can duplicate flame settings across an organization. The software measures flame chemistry, flow rates, and calculates temperatures’ BTU value to determine and control the perfect flame in production environments. These flame attributes are then saved into the system as presets and assigned to a project or part type so that the ‘perfect’ brazing flame can be replicated over and over again. “Ninety percent of all brazing failures are heat input related,” explained Randy Edenfield, the director of North American product development/R&D at Harris Products. “By controlling the process, this system can decrease these failures. It produces an engineered flame with the correct BTU setting to ensure that the proper amount of heat is being transferred, which will avoid heat input problems while decreasing the amount of time spent on each brazed joint.”
In addition to solving quality issues, the Perfect Flame helps remedy workforce issues by reducing the amount of time needed to train new employees. New hires can become productive sooner since less time is needed to instruct them on how to set a flame. The system also brings another first to brazing operations: Each Perfect Flame unit features installed software that collects data on each operator – flame set-up, gas usage, torch on-time, etc. This data is batch loaded to a cloud-based server and then presented in a dashboard that enables management to thoroughly monitor, track and improve its brazing operation. In fact, this system provides the first time that management can apply Six Sigma principles – Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control (DMAIC) – to the brazing process as a decision-making tool to help shops reach new levels of productivity and quality. Applying Six Sigma to handheld brazing operations has never been possible previously because there were no controls or measurement tools in place. Now companies can get new insights to help eliminate defects in the pursuit of brazing production perfection.
The Perfect Flame is available in two models: The ST single torch configuration allows the braze operator to toggle between five different settings so that they can quickly and seamlessly switch between different preset flames for different braze connections. Hands-free technology allows the user to switch between flames via a foot pedal, selecting up to five preset flames from a library of up to 100. This configuration is perfect for the brazing operator who has multiple, but different, braze joints per job and needs to quickly adjust the flame settings. The MT multi-torch configuration is best suited for high production operations where individual operators are brazing the same or different joints. Three operators can be using the same or different flames, each controlled by one MT unit.
The Harris Products Group, a Lincoln Electric Company, 4501 Quality Place, Mason, OH 45040, 513-754-2000, www.harrisproductsgroup.com.
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