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Whether you are a professional or amateur gearhead, the automotive shop you work in requires a lot of tools, technology, and know-how to bring a project from start to finish. In that process, welding is one of many critical skills in the world of automotive fabrication and repair. Like all skills, staying sharp on the tools and techniques used in automotive welding can certainly pay dividends by making your work higher quality, faster, and easier.
Welding Processes for Intake and Exhaust Fabrication & Repair
Intake and exhaust components often utilize either Gas Metal Arc Welding (aka MIG) or Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (aka TIG). When comparing the two processes, TIG offers a much greater degree of control at the expense of speed and ease of use while MIG offers improved speed and ease of use at the expense of precision. It is possible to fabricate complete systems using either process, but muffler repair shops working on consumer-grade and OEM components typically employ MIG, while custom fabrication typically employs TIG.
Many of these custom fabrications (an example being intake manifolds) utilize exotic materials such as titanium to help reduce weight. The difficulty in forming these materials to the desired radii often require “pie cuts” to be pieced together, which requires a lot of precise welding and fabrication know-how. Here, TIG has a distinct advantage, since the ability to feed filler wire independently of the heat source allows for sufficient penetration while producing aesthetically pleasing welds requiring minimal—if any–post-weld finishing.
A power source such as theMiller Dynasty 200 AC/DC TIG Welder allows for direct-current (DC) operation on carbon, stainless, low-alloy steels such as “chrome-moly” (often AISI 4130 and similar steels), and titanium. With a button press and a change of filler wire, it is possible to weld aluminum and magnesium using the power source’s alternating current (AC) output.
A Tip for Welding Intake and Exhaust Components:
Keep Gaps to a Minimum. Spending time learning layout theory can greatly reduce the time spent achieving perfect fit-up. Like painting, spending time with preparation is key to reducing headache later.(more…)
Aluminum alloys continue to gain popularity in metal fabrication worldwide due in part to the ease with which these alloys can be fabricated—bent, welded, and most importantly, cut. The ease at which aluminum can be cut to shape and size can have a big influence on the cost and quality of subsequent operations and the final component itself. As with steel, the use of plasma arc cutting (PAC) on aluminum alloys is a popular choice for quickly producing high-quality cuts.
Speed is one of the greatest justifications for plasma arc cutting aluminum over mechanical cutting methods. Laser cutting can certainly exceed the speed of plasma but is not without its own process disadvantages. Waterjet cutting certainly has advantages over plasma from a metallurgical and edge quality perspective. Instead, cutting aluminum with plasma provides an excellent balance of speed, quality, and cost. Compared to these other processes, it has a notably lower capital investment and is also simpler to implement as a handheld process for in-service repairs in both the field and shop.
Like shielded metal arc welding (SMAW, stick), Flux Core Welding (FCAW) is a popular welding process that uses the assistance of flux within a tubular wire to help produce high-quality welds. Unlike shielded metal arc welding, flux cored welding can be divided into two distinct processes: self-shielded flux-cored arc welding (FCAW-S) and gas-shielded flux-cored arc welding (FCAW-G).
Both the home hobbyist and professional welder will encounter situations where one process is advisable over the other. FCAW-G is most often used indoors, while FCAW-S is typically used outdoors. To maximize productivity and quality, welders should become familiar with the welding tools and equipment of both processes so that they can quickly setup and operate whichever process is best for their application and welding environment.
Due to the rapid acceptance and increasing demand from the steel fabrication industry for the BotXTM cobot welder, Red-D-Arc Weld Automation opened its Robotics and Automation Center (RAC) at our Mableton (Atlanta), Georgia location, on January 3, 2022.
The new RAC facility will be used as a staging facility for integrating BotX systems, which are currently offered to met-fab manufacturers throughout North America on a rental, lease and purchase basis. Capabilities will also include real-time virtual product demos, as well as both in-class and virtual training for technicians, sales associates and customers who want to quickly get up to speed with the BotX system. (more…)
In addition to portable stick, MIG, flux-cored and spool gun welding, the GX300XL also allows you to perform in-field Touch Start TIG welding with Pulse capability.
DC TIG Welding with Optional High-Frequency
For DC TIG welding without high frequency, the GX330XL is available with an air-cooled TIG torch, gas regulator, and a K780 Foot Pedal, and a K930-2 TIG Module can be included which enables high-frequency arc starting.
For AC TIG Welding, add a Square Wave TIG 200
For AC TIG welding with high frequency, you can power a Lincoln K5126-1 Square Wave TIG 200 (which includes a PTA-17 TIG torch and a K5126-1 Foot Pedal) from the 120/240 VAC dual voltage, full-power receptacle on the front control panel of the GX330XL. (more…)
There are no shortage of reasons for current supply chain issues and correspondent price increases, but it would be safe to say that we’ve never experienced anything like this in recent history.
For contractors, fabricators and other industry segments that require welding services, it’s more viable than ever to consider equipment outsourcing as a means of fulfilling existing orders and contracts, not to mention the ability to quote on new business opportunities without having to worry about having access to the most suitable equipment in sufficient quantities.
The basic tenet of rental versus ownership, is the idea of paying for equipment use, without the complexities and inconveniences of the cost of equipment ownership. These costs are often referred to as “hidden costs” as they are frequently overlooked when determining the total cost-of-ownership. To cite just a few examples, fleet owners not only have to arrange for back and forth transportation of equipment to their job sites, they also have to arrange and pay for storage and servicing of the equipment when not in use. If the equipment becomes out of date due as a result of being superseded by a new product, or if a new welding process is required, they can be stuck with obsolete or non-suitable equipment that has to be disposed of, or at the very least, loses some of its utilization potential. For servicing, maintenance and troubleshooting challenges, paid in-house personnel or outside service shops need to be retained and relied on to keep the equipment up and running, as well as certified or calibrated to meet published operational standards.
Welding automation has been around for a while, but recently its role has grown exponentially in manufacturing. For years, the welding industry has faced a skill gap, which is expected to grow wider in the coming years. To combat this, employers are adopting automated welding equipment to increase the efficiency of weld operations.
What Is the Skill Gap?
The “skill gap” describes a discrepancy between the skills held by job seekers and the skills employers need. This leads to a paradox where there’s a large pool of applicants, but companies aren’t able to hire workers with the appropriate knowledge and skill set. This has led to increasing welder salaries as manufacturing businesses compete to attract skilled workers, and even then, many positions are left unfilled.
If you’re looking for a portable, hassle free, full-featured spool gun solution for your steel or aluminum welding projects, look no further than Lincoln’s Magnum PRO 250LX GT K3569-2 spool gun for you next in-field welding job. The Magnum PRO 250LX GT connects directly to Red-D-Arc’s new GX330XL (and Lincoln’s Ranger 330MPX) without the need for additional adapters or control boxes. It’s simply a matter of attaching the gas hose, attaching the 7-pin control cable, and attaching the power cable to the output studs for .025”, .035” steel wire welding or .030”-.035” and 3/64” aluminum wire welding. (more…)
Lessons From the Storms of 2021: Planning for Blackouts
Winter storms in February 2021 rocked just about everyone from the Canadian border to Mexico. Parts of the deep southern desert of Texas received nearly a foot of snow, while rolling blackouts from Winter Storm Uri left 4.5 million homes and businesses without power in Texas alone. Also, the 2020 hurricane season was the most active on record. It’s hot, sultry summer time now, but winter is right around the corner, and we are already in the midst of hurricane season again. To ensure your business and livelihood are protected from future blackouts, you need to invest in a backup generator. (more…)
Video: Watch how easy it is to set up the BotX Robotic Welder for a radial weld. Just over 2 minutes total.
This next generation welding robot is easy to learn and use and is operated via a mobile app.
When a major auto parts manufacturer asked an Ontario fabrication shop to weld 50,000 parts in just 2 months, they took the job immediately; then they had to solve the problem of how to get that much welding production done within such a short time time period. Read about how the adoption of welding cobots helped them deliver in this article from Shop Metalworking Technology magazine.
“If you turn this down once, you will never see a job like this again.”
Readily available power is a requirement for most businesses. In fact, power outages on construction sites and other facilities can be disastrous without a reliable electricity backup.
A dependable generator is often a requirement to power all the necessary tools on a job-site. In other circumstances, generators can be used as a supplementary or backup supply as a precaution for any incidents that cause the loss of power. Generator rentals are an easy way to protect your power at all times. (more…)
Welding aluminum just got easier with the help of the Magnum SG spool gun from Lincoln Electric. The Magnum SG is a lightweight, semiautomatic spool gun designed to provide easy and reliable aluminum wire feeding. It works with a variety of CV power sources and engine-driven welders. Rated 250 amps @ 60%, the Magnum® SG features a 25 ft (7.5 m) gun cable and integrated wire feed speed control in the handle to reduce the need for walking back to the power source. (more…)
The Dual Maverick™ 200/200X is an advanced diesel engine driven welder with dual welding outputs. This best-in-class arc welding machine provides reliable power for multiple welding arcs, runs quietly, and promotes fuel savings with variable engine RPM and auto start/stop capabilities.
“This best-in-class arc welding machine provides reliable power for multiple welding arcs, runs quietly, and promotes fuel savings”
Miller’s ArcReach air-cooled induction heating system is designed for preheat and bake-out applications at temperatures up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit (315°C), without requiring cooler and coolant. Temperature control settings can be manually programmed or uploaded via USB stick. All heating data is recorded automatically and can be saved for quality control and documentation purposes.
“Achieve critical temperatures quickly and hold them steady over long periods of time”
Most of us are aware of industrial welding robots—those large, fast machines found on big assembly lines. But what about collaborative robots, also known as cobots? These compact machines can work safely alongside humans, but don’t let their size fool you; they’re the next big thing in welding automation.
Let’s explore how Red-D-Arc’s welding cobot can support your operation.
Setup is a breeze
If you can operate a smartphone, you can set up and operate the BotX welding cobot. Traditional industrial robots can take weeks to install and program. This same app offers a real-time cloud connection, which allows for 24/7 performance monitoring and troubleshooting support. (more…)
On Saturday, December 12th, Red-D-Arc supplied a 45kVA generator and 4 propane industrial heaters in partnership with BC Rentals, to a local Vancouver, BC event called The Vancouver Street Store. The Street Store is a free outdoor pop-up store facilitated by Employ to Empower, held each December for residents in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side. The goal of the store is to provide a dignified holiday shopping experience where residents can choose what they need at no cost, and it’s set up like traditional shops, with departments in different tents and volunteers who act as sales assistants. (more…)
Southern states find the winter months colder every year, leaving power grids strained as people warm their homes and businesses. Midwestern states continue to battle tornado weather during the spring. Even northern states are seeing an increase in electrical needs as temperatures soar higher in the summer. If you run a business or industrial complex, you understand just how important continued access to electricity is. You also know just how easily grids can become overwhelmed or powerlines can go down, leaving you in the dark; unless, of course, you’ve opted for an industrial generator rental. (more…)
A good generator rental can mean the difference between a profitable and failed project. Generators make it possible for you to source power during natural disasters and in areas without existing infrastructure. When sourcing a generator, you might wonder if buying is better than renting. You might also feel overwhelmed by the many different types of generators you can choose from. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the factors you need to consider. (more…)
Planning for emergency power outages due to weather, brown-outs, or natural disasters by using a generator rental can save your business thousands of dollars in lost revenues. However, to get the most out of your generator, you need to choose the correct size and type for the job.
The Importance of Choosing the Right-Size Generator
Cost-conscious business owners may be tempted to try to get by with an underpowered generator to save money, but this is not a good idea. Using the wrong size generator can damage both the generator and the equipment that is being powered by it, which can end up being more expensive than renting the correct size generator in the first place. When estimating your emergency power needs, it is better to choose a generator based on the high end of your estimate for several reasons:
Once you have determined the type and size of generator you need, the next big question is usually whether you should get a generator rental or purchase a generator outright. Several factors determine which route is best for you.
Advantages of Renting
The primary benefit of renting a generator instead of buying one is that the upfront costs are lower. The purchase price of a large industrial generator can be twenty to well over one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. If cash flow is a concern, renting may be a more attractive option, and the lower cost isn’t the only benefit.
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.