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A Welding-machines page designed to cover Welding Equipment has obviously a general character.
It must address characteristics pertaining to all kinds of systems designed and built to perform welding operations.
As described elsewhere in this website, welding processes can be classified according to the phenomena responsible for the generation of coalescence or material continuity.
This is defined as the intimate metallurgical contact at the atomic level that makes up welds.
Weldments are called all assemblies, however simple or complex, whose elements are joined by welding.
In fusion welding there is melting at the two joined faces, with or without additional filler metal.
Welding-machines can produce Fusion from heat generated by different means.
Heat can be provided by electric arc, or by resistance to the passage of electrical current.
By an oxyfuel flame, by the impingement of a powerful electron beam, by the energy delivered by a suitable laser beam.
Or even by the chemical energy stored in an exothermic mixture, and released upon initiating the reaction.
Non fusion welding processes, described as solid state welding, need different Welding-machines.
The oldest known process of this type, called forge welding, is performed by hammering together two pieces of steel brought to elevated temperature.
Belong to this class also explosion welding, ultrasonic welding, friction welding and derivatives, magnetic pulse welding, roll welding and cold deformation welding.
The great diversity of processes available maximizes the possibility of finding the most suitable and economic process that meets requirements, for any given application, by using the most suitable Welding-machines.
One well known presentation of welding processes is The Master Chart developed by the American Welding Society.
To get it, please register as a guest (if you are not an AWS Member) and download the Welding Processes Master Chart at:
The selection of suitable welding equipment starts with the complete description of the items to be built.
That should include not only materials and detailed design, but also service conditions.
Knowledge of the production cycles and their size is essential for optimizing the planning of production lines, capable of supplying the required quantities with the prescribed quality in the given time.
The planning ends with the issue of detailed Welding Procedure Specification (WPS) for each of the processes involved.
Usually more than one process can be adopted for any given job. Unless it is necessary to prepare for a new job to last for a long time, one will probably always try to use available Welding-machines, even if less economic than specially selected equipment.
The selection of suitable Welding-machines for any given production program must be based on an intimate knowledge of the process considered, on good understanding of the metallurgy of the materials concerned and on considerable familiarity with the work.
Leaflets or equipment specification sheets are available online for most types of Welding-machines, from many manufacturers, so that general acquaintance with specific products is easy to achieve even to beginners.
Learning on available or favorable features helps to gain understanding of operation and maintenance and is a most recommended way to get familiar with new tools.
If you did not yet find what you need, why not typing your question in the following Search Box?
A brief overview of Welding-machines follows hereafter, highlighting some characteristics needed to perform the processes indicated.
Friction welding is performed in specialized Friction Welding-machines, built around particular requirements on material, joint shape and dimensions, and, as already explained somewhere else in the context, most adapted to mass production.
Friction equipment may be basic for simple assemblies, or more complex for stir welding of large constructions. Even if still considered hi-tech and therefore regarded with awe, FSW is a recommended process for demanding requirements, friendly to the environment and not unduly based on rare personal operator skills.
See Friction Welding Equipment, and
Friction Stir Welding Equipment.
Gas Welding, equipment has certainly its niche of application for fine industrial work, either with a manual torch or with semi-automatic Welding-machines like those needed for production of brazed bicycle frames and other small appliances.
It is probably the most easily usable also for Hobby and Home applications, (see Hobby and Home Welding) whether for repair or for new creations, if limited to small thicknesses.
Oxyfuel Gas Welding Equipment even if not required for current production, is considered essential for any maintenance shop, and may become handy for emergency repair if more suitable Welding-machines are not available. In the hands of skilled welders it may save the day.
Electric arc Welding-machines used for fusion welding have a Power Source, where the electric energy is transformed to the needed parameters so that the arc can be initiated and maintained, and a power control device to regulate the amount, the timing and the shape of the current being supplied.
A new page was recently added to this website on the subject of Power Sources for Arc Welding, where different types are introduced and explained.
For arc welding, the Power Source is the most important and costly piece of equipment. It must be able to deliver the required maximum current for the jobs at hand, at the actual duty cycle employed.
Duty cycle is the percentage of time, in any ten minutes period, during which the equipment can be operated at the rated current without overheating.
One cannot select the power source needed without basic understanding of the characteristic curve and when ignoring if constant-current or constant-voltage is required.
One must also know if the welding process and the material require direct, alternating or pulsed current.
Suitable cables and electrode holder or special torch complete the equipment, while a wire feeder is needed for GMAW and FCAW processes using continuous consumable electrodes.
Universal machines may seem attractive as in principle they have the potential to cover different processes that would otherwise require dedicate equipment.
But one should know or investigate if the added cost for increased versatility is justified, and if the turn-over effort from one process to another is easy enough and does not take up excessive time.
Especially for temporary peak of demand, it may be easier and cheaper to lease any required dedicated equipment for the time needed, and delay any final decision until it is clear if the orders cover the expenses.
Resistance Welding-machines, are presented in our page where this equipment is presented in some detail.
They consist of three basic elements: the electrical circuit, the control devices, and the mechanical system providing the force that actuates the electrodes.
Separate parameters define the limits of performance of given equipment relative to classes of production items. If known in advance, projected future applications should be preferably weldable with the same equipment without requiring upgrading.
For selection of suitable equipment it is suggested to propose to different manufacturers the production program, including materials, dimensions and requirements, asking for offers that demonstrate actual welding of typical parts.
The discussion of the selection procedure will illustrate the details of machine construction relevant to the needed production.
The process will provide understanding, especially if completed by visits to industries employing the same equipment for other purposes.
High Energy Welding Equipment are specialized types of Welding-machines whose mature technology is well affirmed everywhere.
While new equipment with standard or special capabilities tends to be expensive, there is a flourishing after-market for used, revised and refurbished old machines that find a new lease of life even in job shops.
In general rebuilt Welding-machines have brand new electronic controls and include recent experience and cheap yet reliable devices that provide the heart of the equipment.
Judicious selection of suitable used and refurbished equipment from dependable sources can save considerable investment while providing the production capabilities required.
In the hands of operators with knowledge and experience, this equipment may perform fine welds on delicate materials and fill a useful task in production and repair.
When Welding-machines purchase is considered, one should question if their anticipated productivity justifies the cost of financing, purchasing, maintaining, and operating them. To the basic cost one should add training and learning curve.
One should also investigate if additional welding equipment, welding accessories or details could improve productivity by maximizing welding time and freeing welders from unproductive tasks.
Robotic cells for production of repetitive work can prove worth the investment, but only if one can depend on knowledgeable and expert workforce for programming, operating and maintaining them.
The introduction of automatic equipment should be gradual, and followed with utmost attention, if substantial advantages are sought.
Before finalizing the purchase of any Welding-machines, one should check floor space, accessibility, utilities and supplies (electricity, water, gas, compressed air, etc.) needed, special safety requirements and possible interference with other surrounding machinery.
Besides Welding-machines, also accessory equipment should be taken into account, like lifting and moving devices, tables or positioners, turntables, special tools or fixtures, jacks, hold-downs, weld curtains, fume extractors, exhaust fans, post-heating devices, stress relieving furnaces etc.
Personal protective garments and accessories for welders should be provided and a rigid discipline on their constant and correct use should be enforced to prevent accidents.
Suitable Welding-machines are the necessary foundation to a prosperous welding operation. They should therefore be always in perfect operating condition.
Look for the useful AWS Welding Buyers Guide, at
|Watch the following Videos:
Miller Welding Machines
Lincoln Electric Ranger® Engine Driven Welders
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Artwork for Hobby
Just in case you missed it, let us remind you, as written somewhere else in this
Site, that you are entitled, if you are interested, to a FREE subscription to our Practical Welding Letter.
To reach a Page, listing the most important Articles from Past Issues of Practical Welding Letter, click on Welding Topics.
And you can get a FREE download right to your computer, of our
book on PRACTICAL HARDNESS TESTING MADE SIMPLE: just Subscribe.
The book, in pdf format, contains information useful in general, but especially when welding difficult or hard materials.
To see any one of the detailed Equipment Pages of this Section, click on the underlined item:
Friction Welding Equipment
Resistance Welding Equipment
Gas Welding Equipment
Arc Welding Equipment
High Energy Welding Equipment
Robotic Arc Welding
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Welding-machines: select for successful performance of difficult jobs. Plan in advance, use suppliers' help, research useful accessories. See here...