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BotX™ Demo Days are Back

17 February, 23 1:45 pm · Leave a comment · Peter Germanese
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The Red-D-Arc team is excited to bring back BotX Demo Days. The demo day events give people who are curious about cobotic welding technology a chance to get an up-close look at what BotX can do. You’ll also have an opportunity for hands-on experience using the BotX collaborative welding robot so you can see for yourself how easy it is to set up and operate. We’re excited to partner with Airgas, an Air Liquide company, to bring these events to locations across the country.

BotX Demo Day events are currently being scheduled. Stay tuned for more details on upcoming events and follow us on social media for the latest updates on events near you. You can learn more about BotX here.

Want to talk to someone about the BotX collaborative robot now?

Reach out to your Red-D-Arc representative and ask to schedule a demo today.

1-866-980-3612

Dry Ice Blasting for Robotics, Weld Lines and Fixturing

17 February, 23 12:58 pm · Leave a comment · Red-D-Arc
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Weld spatter, resin, smoke, dampening adhesives, and other carbonized deposits pose continual challenges in fabrication, automotive, and manufacturing environments, gradually contaminating robots and surrounding production equipment. Without proper maintenance, these accumulations lead to misalignments, subpar welds, increased scrap rates, and decreased operational efficiencies. Enter dry ice blasting—a revolutionary cleaning solution perfectly suited for maintaining cleanliness in robotics, automated weld lines, fixturing, tooling, and intricate machinery requiring specialized care.

The various advantages of dry ice blasting include:

  • Minimized production downtime
  • Mold disassembly becomes unnecessary
  • Superior cleaning ability, even in hot and confined spaces
  • Elimination of waste disposal costs
  • Increased operational uptime
  • Non-abrasive, preserving the integrity of tooling
  • Environmentally responsible, leaving no harmful residue
  • Produces impeccable, as-cast finishes

Moreover, dry ice blasting offers a carbon-neutral, non-toxic alternative that aligns seamlessly with sustainability initiatives and proactive maintenance strategies.

In contrast, traditional manual cleaning methods pale in comparison:

  • Labor-intensive and time-consuming
  • Results in prolonged equipment downtime and revenue loss
  • Poses risks of equipment damage, jeopardizing asset longevity
  • Diverts skilled labor from more valuable tasks

Dry ice blasting revolutionizes cleaning and maintenance practices, enabling ‘clean-in-place’ capabilities, thereby eliminating the need for equipment disassembly or recalibration. Its non-abrasive nature ensures the safety of sensitive machine components, such as photo eyes and electricals, while mitigating misalignment-related performance issues. With only one operator required, dry ice blasting outperforms manual cleaning in terms of efficiency, safety, and efficacy.

The applications of dry ice blasting are extensive and adaptable, addressing cleaning needs across various equipment and components.

Common applications include:

  • Fixturing and tooling
  • Transfer cases and proximity switches
  • Electrical components and cabinets
  • Cabling and ancillary equipment
  • Weld tables, positioners and trunnion systems
  • and most other equipment or components that require cleaning

The Red-D-Arc team of dry ice blasting specialists are positioned nationwide and can tailor a turnkey rental solution that fits the needs of your next maintenance cleaning, deep clean, equipment refurbishment, or upcoming shutdown.

Lori Kuiper Featured on Arc Junkies

17 February, 23 6:51 am · Leave a comment · Peter Germanese
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Red-D-Arc’s Orbital Welding and Pipe Product Manager, Lori Kuiper, recently sat down with Jason Becker to record an episode of the Arc Junkies podcast. Arc Junkies is a welding podcast that is on a mission to help, educate and inspire the next generation of welders. Lori was joined by Red-D-Arc’s Welding and Automation Specialist, Bryson Ward.  During the conversation, Lori, Bryson and Jason discussed a variety of welding topics and some of the latest trends in the industry. They also delved into Lori’s journey to becoming an expert in the industry and what it takes to build a solid career in welding today.

We’re excited to hear all of the wisdom that Lori and Bryson shared. The episode drops on Monday, February 20 so be sure to check it out. You can listen to Arc Junkies on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.

 

Limited Time Only Offer: Welding Equipment Packages

16 February, 23 2:38 pm · Leave a comment · Peter Germanese
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Red-D-Arc is excited to announce a new program for in-stock welding equipment. Beginning on March 1, you can choose from select welding equipment packages and lock-in pricing for 36 months.

Welding equipment packages include:

  • Equipment guaranteed by Red-D-Arc
  • Replacement equipment during repairs
  • Option to upgrade equipment over 36-month period

Contact your Red-D-Arc representative to learn more. Hurry while this offer lasts and equipment is in stock.

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Viper and Python SYNC series plasma cutters

16 February, 23 8:34 am · Leave a comment · Peter Germanese
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The Viper65 SYNC® and Python85/105 SYNC® from Red-D-Arc, offers a dramatically simplified platform for Viper65 and Python 85/105 systems. Features include advanced torch communication for automated setup and a single-piece cartridge consumable that streamlines consumable inventory, lowers operating costs, and maximizes performance.

 

Benefits of Viper and Python SYNC series

Easy to use

  • Easy-to-identify single-piece cartridge consumables are color-coded by process to eliminate parts confusion and simplify consumable inventory management
  • New SmartSYNC® torches with the Hypertherm cartridge automatically set the correct amperage and operating mode, eliminating setup errors
  • Ability to tackle a wide range of jobs with easily interchangeable torch styles and application-specific cartridge consumables for various types of cutting and gouging
  • End-of-life detection lets you know when it is time to change your cartridge

(more…)

Benefits of Lincoln Electric Advanced Welding Technologies

06 February, 23 9:41 am · Leave a comment · Red-D-Arc
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Advanced welding technologies on Lincoln welders from the Power Wave line benefit demanding professionals in almost all welding applications. These machines are feature-rich, built to last, packed with proprietary waveforms, and ready to tackle any welding job at the highest quality.

Learn about Lincoln’s advanced process welders and how innovative waveforms and process control mechanisms can benefit your welding business.

Benefits of Lincoln Electric Advanced Process Welders

Using advanced welding technologies on Lincoln welders improves productivity and provides reliability you can count on. These machines offer advanced multi-process capabilities for GMAW, FCAW, GTAW, and SMAW processes. 

The proprietary waveforms and numerous accompanying features ensure you get the most suitable arc for the welding job at hand. But, process standardization using Power Wave Manager and Weld Sequencer combined with CheckPoint Production Monitoring software helps you stay on top of your business and improve production times.

Waveform Innovations

Every Lincoln Power Wave welding power source includes a plethora of waveforms that can make a significant difference. These waveforms are designed to improve filler metal deposition, reduce spatter and welding fumes, increase travel speeds, enhance weld appearance and joint quality, and make out-of-position welding easier.

Advanced process welders allow you to tailor the welding arc to match your welding application perfectly. For example, you can employ Lincoln’s patented STT (Surface Tension Transfer) waveform to simplify open-root pipe welding. The STT eliminates common problems like lack of fusion and burn-through when performing short-circuit MIG welds. The STT root weld face is flat, and the operator can achieve excellent fusion with higher travel speed and less cleaning/prep time.

Lincoln’s patented Pulse-on-Pulse GMAW-PP drastically improves welding thin aluminum. The GMAW-PP can achieve a TIG-like weld appearance thanks to two distinct pulse types. Pulse-on-Pulse improves travel speed and reduces the chance of excessive heat input, making the GMAW-PP process easier to perform. 

Many other waveforms are available with Power Wave Lincoln welding machines, like HyperFill, RapidArc, Rapid X, RapidZ, AC-STT, STTBraze, Low Fume Pulse, and Precision Pulse. Each is designed to improve performance and help you get the job done better.

Maximum Process Control

Lincoln’s Power Wave Manager software lets you standardize your fleet’s welding procedures, save and transfer machine settings, configure and select memory slots, modify parameter ranges and enable lockouts. You can easily create memory modules, name them, and specify every setting, like pre-flow, post-flow, crater time, initial WFS, wire run-in, weld trim, and others. 

Your operators don’t have to bother with the arc settings. They can just select the specified memory slot on the Power Wave advanced process welders and be ready to weld. For example, if your shop often fabricates certain parts, selecting the memory slot for each weld saves your operator’s time. Instead of re-adjusting the settings every time, they can switch between pre-set settings and weld. As the process manager, you can set and re-adjust their settings and even lock out setting ranges to prevent operators from accidentally burning through or causing other weld defects. 

Lincoln’s patented Weld Sequencer software can improve welding performance and weld quality. This visually-aided process control clearly defines each assembly part, including hidden welds. Combining Lincoln’s Power Wave machines with Weld Sequencer and Power Wave Manager makes complex welding jobs far simpler, improves completion time, and reduces assembly errors. 

Production Monitoring

Power Wave welders can work with Lincoln’s CheckPoint production monitoring software. CheckPoint allows complete visibility of your entire welding operation via cloud-based 24/7 access. It doesn’t need any software installation, and you can use it on any device anywhere in the world. 

CheckPoint collects weld data like OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness), material consumption, operator’s arc on time, and weld and assembly information. All stakeholders can easily view and track welding productivity and receive notifications and custom alerts. Production monitoring may help you identify bottlenecks, reduce waste, improve weld completion time, and ultimately increase your company’s profitability.

Lincoln Power Wave S350Lincoln Power Wave S350

The Lincoln Power Wave S350 is a portable multi-process welder capable of MIG, flux-cored, stick, and DC TIG welding. Its maximum amperage output of 350A lets you weld thick materials, but the 5A output on the low end allows you to professionally join thin stock too. This versatility combined with low weight makes it a suitable choice for automotive shops, fabrication, and construction site welding jobs.

While compact and relatively lightweight (85 lbs), the Power Wave S350 packs a serious punch. With over 65 optimized waveforms and an IP23 rating, you can make excellent welds in harsh conditions. The Power Wave S350 also includes pulsed TIG welding and Pulse-on-Pulse MIG welding for flawless aluminum welds.

Lincoln Power Wave S500

The Lincoln Power Wave S500 is a more powerful multi-process welder than the S350. However, both share many features like PowerConnect and Tribrid Power Module for automatic input power adjustments and high power efficiency. Additionally, the S500 also supports over 65 optimized waveforms and includes pulsed MIG and TIG welding modes.

But, the Power Wave S500 outputs up to 550A, allowing you to join thicker metal efficiently. The S500 is heavier than S350 but makes an excellent choice for heavy-duty fabrication.

Lincoln Power Wave 355M

The Lincoln Power Wave 355M offers more power than the S300, but it’s more compact and has a lower weight (81.5 lbs) thanks to the state-of-the-art inverter technology. This multi-process welder supports MIG, FCAW, DC TIG, and SMAW processes and includes Lincoln’s proprietary waveforms like Pulse-on-Pulse, Power Mode, STT, and others.

With amperage output up to 425A, the Power Wave 355M provides a great middle ground between the S300 and S500. It’s lightweight, portable, and offers exceptional welding power. 

Rent Or Lease Equipment from Red-D-Arc

Red-D-Arc has over 60,000 units and over 70 rental centers strategically placed throughout the USA, Canada, and Mexico, making it the largest rental welding equipment company in North America. 

For many reasons, investing in expensive welding equipment may not always be a financially sound decision. Renting or leasing high-end equipment has many benefits, like having the most modern equipment available at a lower price than the purchasing cost. Buying equipment yourself is an investment into a depreciating asset, which may result in lost profits compared to renting or leasing.

Red-D-Arc is ready to help you determine which welding equipment suits your application the best. Contact us for expert assistance today. Our team regularly provides assistance in the welding process and equipment selection.

The Benefits of Miller’s Suitcase Wire Feeders

03 February, 23 10:18 am · Leave a comment · Red-D-Arc
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The semi-automatic wire-fed process known as self-shielded flux cored arc welding (FCAW-S) easily exceeds the efficiency and productivity of manual processes such as stick welding/SMAW. However, the construction, pipe welding, and field fabrication/repair industries have expressed some hesitancy to the widespread adoption of FCAW-S. This hesitancy is largely the result of concerns regarding the durability and performance of the equipment used to feed the wire.

The line of “suitcase” style wire feeders offered by Miller Electric are worth considering, as they have been designed to address industry concerns and provide other value-added features that allow you to confidently implement the high-productivity FCAW-S process.

Location Flexibility

Suitcase feeders are most often used for field welding. These applications often require frequently relocating the feeder to the joints to be welded. Unlike stationary benchtop feeders, weight is a key consideration in the design and selection of a suitcase-style wire feeder. Miller Electric’s Suitcase X-treme 12VS feeder weighs under 40-lbs without wire, which helps ease the burden of transport.

These feeders are also suitable for applications other than self-shielded flux-cored arc welding. They feature an internal gas solenoid and connections that allow for the use of the external shielding gasses required for gas-shielded flux cored (FCAW-G) or MIG (GMAW) welding. Suitcase-style feeders are popular in large-scale industries such as shipbuilding but are a popular choice in any application where you anticipate moving between the field and shop.

Durability

Field welding demands equipment that is resistant to the elements and the nature of the job such as equipment being dragged, dropped, or exposed to sparks. Working out in the field or at an unprotected jobsite leaves room for disruption of the equipment. Mud is common at field sites and often working under a shelter isn’t feasible. However, protecting the wire is critical to consistently producing welds of high quality. The flame-retardant and crush-proof cases of the Miller Suitcase feeders have a gasketed seal to provide complete protection to the wire and feeding mechanism inside. This additional feature makes this equipment both protected and durable for a variety of locations. 

Consistent Wire Feeding

Protection from the elements is critical to good weld quality, but so is consistent wire feeding. Problems are minimized by maintaining a good preventative maintenance schedule that addresses worn contact tips and liners before they become a problem. However, the Miller Suitcase wire feeders have design features that can help minimize unexpected downtime due to burn backs and bird nesting. First, this equipment features a wire pressure knob with a scale to help ensure that wire drive roll tension is set consistently and not excessively. Second, the inlet guide of this equipment directs the wire into the feed rolls is designed specifically to help minimize wire drag.

Easy Parameter Adjustment & Simple Operation

Field welding on the job site might involve tackling welds that are significantly different in design or position. Operators could try a “one size fits all” approach to setting welding parameters, assuming the welding procedure allows doing so. However, this can lead to producing welds that are sub-optimal. Sub-optimal welds might require rework due to excessive spatter, less-than-ideal weld profiles, or poor fusion among all the possibilities.

The alternative is walking back and forth between the workpiece and power source each time a new joint is encountered or enlisting the help of a stationary assistant. However, a more productive solution to achieving optimal weld quality is available for rent from Red-D-Arc.

The ArcReach Suitcase 12 wire feeder from Miller Electric features ArcReach technology that allows adjustment of both wire feed speed and voltage at the wire feeder using only the durable power cabling. Conventional equipment only allows adjustment of the wire feed speed at the feeder unless a delicate control cable is used (assuming the equipment possesses the capability).

While wire feed speed is an important adjustment that controls amperage (and depth of penetration), wire feed speed should be adjusted in conjunction with voltage to ensure optimal results. The Miller ArcReach Suitcase 12 wire feeder makes adjustment of weld settings easy thanks to large and bright digital displays and large, accessible, yet protected adjustment knobs.

Conclusion

Wire feeders have had their fair share of critiques over the years. Because of concerns about subpar feeding capabilities and durability, many fabrication and construction job sites hesitate to adopt these machines. However, The wire-fed processes can be significantly faster than the manual processes without a loss in weld quality.

 This equipment should not be a barrier to maximizing productivity. The durability, capability, and performance of the Miller Suitcase series of wire feeders help to ensure that your transition into and time spent with the wire-fed processes is as smooth as possible. Contact us today to learn more about the features of each wire feeder to determine which model is best for your application.

Weld Aluminum with a MIG Welder

01 February, 23 2:16 pm · Leave a comment · Red-D-Arc
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 is not the only process capable of producing high-quality welds on aluminum alloys. The high degree of control that the process provides makes it well-suited to tackling very thin materials, but as material thickness increases, the relatively slow speed of the process becomes more apparent. When ease-of-use and cost-effectiveness are prime considerations in an aluminum welding application, many fabricators choose to implement MIG (GMAW). While the process fundamentals are unchanged from MIG welding steel, MIG welding aluminum requires some specialized equipment and additional care to achieve high-quality results with minimal frustration.

Delivering the Aluminum Wire

Much of the additional care required is focused within the wire delivery system, since the lower columnar strength of aluminum wire makes it susceptible to burn-back and bird’s nesting. MIG welding aluminum typically requires fabricators to choose between “push-pull” or “spool gun” welding torches.

The Push Pull Gun:

  • Ideal when the workpiece can be brought within 15-25 feet of the power source 
  • Advantages: Lighter and more maneuverable; can utilize wire packaging of any size (meaning reduced changeover cost)
  • Disadvantages: Reduced forgiveness to compounding issues in the feeding system
  • Example: Spoolmatic 30A Spool Gun

The Spool Gun:

  • Ideal when the workpiece cannot be brought close to the power source
  • Advantages: Improved forgiveness in the wire feeding system
  • Disadvantages: Less ergonomic; use is limited to 2# spools (meaning increased changeover cost).
  • Example: Miller XR-Aluma-Pro Push-Pull Gun

Regardless of the MIG welding gun being used, it is critical to ensure that the MIG consumables used are properly sized and in good condition. For example, both gun types require contact tips. Ensure that the wire diameter stamped on the contact tip matches the wire diameter being used and that the contact tip is inspected periodically for the formation of a keyhole shape at either end that is an indicator of wear. As the contact tip wears, micro-arcing between the contact tip and wire can lead to costly burn-backs that are prevented by a quick change of consumables.

A typical carbon steel MIG welding setup will typically use steel liners, brass inlet and intermediate wire guides, and either V-groove or V-knurled drive rolls. Users of a push-pull gun will need to go beyond simply changing contact tips. When MIG welding aluminum, it is important to use ALL the following: U-groove drive rolls, Teflon inlet and intermediate wire guides, and Teflon liners. Ensuring that these components are properly installed (and dedicated for aluminum use only) will help to minimize the potential for wire shaving that can cause the liner to become clogged and complicate wire feeding. Likewise, users of bulk wire packaging such as drums should carefully read the drum’s set up instructions and carefully consider the drum placement and conduit routing to help keep the overall “drag” in the system as low as possible.

Selecting Aluminum Welding Parameters

As with welding steel, it is possible to weld aluminum using one of several “transfers” depending on the specific wire feed speed and voltage combinations used. 

  • Thin materials typically require a short circuit transfer that is the result of low wire feed speed and low voltage. These “low” settings help to minimize penetration to prevent burn-through from occurring. Attempting to use short-circuit on thick material without proper base metal preparation may lead to lack-of-fusion defects.
  • Thicker aluminum is best welded using a spray transfer. The higher wire feed speeds and voltages required to achieve the stable spray transfer provides additional penetration. Attempting to use spray transfer on thin aluminum will require significantly higher travel speeds than when welding using short-circuit.

Aluminum & Modern Pulsed Waveforms

“Pulse” is a feature found on many modern power sources where the output of the power source is “pulsed” between a low “background” and high “peak” current. By offering the “best of both worlds”, pulsed waveforms are beneficial when welding a wide range of common aluminum thicknesses. Using thinner material as an example: the “peak” current maintains a stable arc when welding at the “low” settings needed for thin material while the “background” current helps to keep overall heat input low to further minimize the risk of both distortion and burn-through.

Looking through a welder rental supplier’s catalog will reveal that there are many choices to be made when selecting aluminum MIG welding equipment. Consult with these experts to learn which combinations are best for your application; they may even have MIG welding packages which can help to alleviate some guesswork by bundling popular options together.

Before pulling the trigger, make sure to purchase some 100% Argon (or 75% Helium/25% Argon shielding gas for a little extra “punch”), set the flow rate to 35-50 cubic feet per hour, and always remove the oxide layer from the weld zone! With some modern technology and a little knowledge, achieving great results when MIG welding aluminum doesn’t necessarily have to be difficult.

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Airgas, an Air Liquide company, is the nation's leading single-source supplier of gases, welding and safety products. Known locally nationwide, our distribution network serves more than one million customers of all sizes with a broad offering of top-quality products and unmatched expertise.