The best from AWS

THE 52nd American Welding Society (AWS) Welding Show April 26-28 in Dallas attracted more than 5,600 attendees from around the globe. Total exhibitor space surpassed 90,000 square feet.

“We are extremely pleased with show attendance and sales,” said John Ospina, Director of Convention and Expositions for AWS. “Since this was our last stand-alone show, we are very happy to have ended a 52-year tradition on such a positive note.”

AWS joins FABTECH International in November 2005, at McCormick Place in Chicago, for the first FABTECH International/AWS Welding Show.

Three of industry's leading associations, The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), The Fabricators and Manufacturers Association (FMA), and the AWS, have combined forces to better serve the needs of the forming & fabricating/welding industries. Both attendees and exhibitors will benefit from the expanded event. In addition to broadened educational and networking opportunities, attendees will be able to view more than 900 exhibiting companies and thousands of pieces of working equipment, all in one convenient location.

The joint venture is a consolidation of the two existing trade shows; FABTECH International and The AWS Welding Show. The agreement covers the trade show portion of the association's business only.

The 2005 AWS Welding Show featured live product demonstrations, professional programs and seminars, welding contests, specialty pavilions, and celebrity appearances by West Coast Choppers' Jesse James and others.

NASCAR's Casey Mears opened the show driving in his #41 Target NASCAR with incoming AWS president Damian Kotecki by his side.

Visit for more information on the professional program, conferences and seminars, and other show activities.

For information on exhibiting at FABTECH International/AWS Welding Show, contact Susan Hopkins, AWS director of expo sales at 1-800-443-9353, ext. 295.

Some highlights from the 2005 show:

The 52nd American Welding Society (AWS) Welding Show attracted more than 5,600 attendees from around the globe to the Dallas Convention Center, where total exhibitor space surpassed 90,000 square feet.

Steve Hidden said trailer fabricators have been using the Spectrum 1000 plasma cutter from Miller Electric Mfg Co, Appleton WI, for a lot of short cuts, increasing productivity. Auto-Line automatically connects the unit to any primary input voltage from 208 to 575 volts single- or three-phase, 50 or 60 Hz. “The nicest thing about this plasma cutter is the Autoline technology,” he said. “And it only weights about 98 pounds. That gives the customer the convenience of not a lot of weight, but a lot of power.” The patented Ultra-Quick Connect Torch offers the fastest plasma torch connection and removal in the industry. Auto-Refire Technology provides ultimate customer convenience by automatically controlling the pilot arc when cutting expanded metal or multiple pieces of metal. The pilot arc will switch in and out as fast as needed when cutting expanded metal and provides maximum power for cutting thicker metal — all automatically. There's no need for manual re-triggering, reducing user hand fatigue. LVC line voltage compensation provides peak performance power under variable input voltage conditions (176-630 V) for steady cuts and cleaner ending cuts. Wind Tunnel Technology prevents abrasive dust and particles from damaging internal components. The Fan on Demand cooling system only operates when needed, reducing the amount of airborne dust/dirt pulled through the unit. CNC/Robotic Machine Interface is standard on all units, allowing automated control and rapid changeover to mechanized operation. It starts without high frequency so it will not interfere with or damage controls or computers.

Esab, Florence SC, has harnessed the power of water in the HYDROCUT Waterjet System, the first family of waterjet cutting machines to combine the versatility of waterjet cutting with Esab's advanced gantry and control technology. Esab also owns the patent on thermal and non-thermal process on the same gantry so it is easy to combine waterjet, conventional plasma and/or precision plasma, oxyfuel and stone routing on the same machine. ESAB's history in Abrasive Waterjet Gantries dates back to 1983. The advantages of water jet cutters: precise motion control and accurate cutting due to ESAB's rugged box beam gantry design and AC brushless drive motors; greater flexibility and easy access with a choice of low-rail, mid-rail pedestal, or high-rail gantry designs; reduced maintenance due to a new lip seal design with air purge that better protects the ball screws on the high rail, permitting unlimited spacing of independent carriages; flexible process and motion control with the easy-to-use Vision CNC control and software; height control specifically designed for waterjet cutting automates the process on all materials; and greater versatility with the option to add multiple heads, plasma cutting, plasma or ink marking, milling, drilling, etching, template tracing, with custom widths up to 40' and custom lengths up to 80'.

The S-20DS double-swivel band saw from Hyd-Mech, Woodstock, ON, Canada, provides exceptional miter cutting for light- to medium-duty applications. “A lot of trailer manufacturers we deal with are buying either the S-Series saw — which can be fully automatic with overhead bundling so you can do tubing in a bundle-type mode — or the M-Series, which is a step above,” Dave McCallen said. The versatile swing head, with easy-to-read angle scale, saves operator time. The heavy-duty gearbox and motor assembly ensures the S-20DS will deliver maximum productivity. The cast iron double-swivel head features an easy-to-read angle scale and “quick” stops at 90-, 45-, and 60-degree positions. The cast iron vise slides on linear ways that can be easily positioned to either the left or right side of the head and includes a quick release mechanism for rapid positioning. Standard features: miter capability from 60° left up to 60° right; easy sliding, cast iron vises; precise head and table rotation; carbide guides for longer blade life; coolant pump for band lubrication and cooling with wash-down hose; heavy cast iron wheels, head, and vise; conveniently located control panel within safe operator reach; safety limit switches; and manual blade tension with tension meter and blade-breakage switch.

The Vantage 300 welder/generator from Lincoln Electric, Cleveland OH, was released in January. It has: more welding output — 28% more than comparable competitive products (300A, 32 volts at 100% versus 300A, 25 volts at 100%); generator power of 12.5 kW peak (11kW continuous) three-phase 240-volt AC power or 11.5 kW peak (10 kW continuous) one-phase AC Power; Lincoln Chopper Technology that delivers easy starts and a smooth arc. Some features: it's simple to operate (select one of four Process Modes, including CC-Stick, Downhill Pipe for stick, Touch-Start DC TIG, or CV-Wire, then dial in the desired output); innovative service access (lockable, removable sliding engine access door — 55% more access than competitive products); automatic remote control capability (output switches to remote mode when remote device is connected); and monitoring performance (fuel, oil pressure and engine temperature gauges help monitor performance). Touch-Start TIG uses a very low voltage to sense when the tip of the tungsten electrode is touched to the work piece. When this occurs, a complete circuit is established. When the tungsten is then raised from the work piece, the circuit senses a change in voltage to support the TIG welding process. DC TIG welding avoids tungsten contamination when arc starting and eliminates the need for extra high-frequency equipment. The Vantage 300 has a corrosion-resistant stainless steel case with standard stainless steel roof, side panels, and engine-access door that deliver added protection, durability, and corrosion-resistance. It eliminates the need to paint or replace rusting panels.

Panasonic Factory Solutions Co of America, Elgin IL, displayed the TAWERS TA-1900: The Arc Welding Robotic Solution, with a welder brain and robot brain that are fused into one control platform, rather than separate units. It is 140 times faster than the highest 512 kb/s device net or digital protocols. A 100 khc primary inverter is five times faster than conventional welding power supply inverters, providing tight, precise control of welding arcs. With the SBMAG welding process, pulse and CV benefits are combined for ultra-low spatter welding comparable to pulse welding with a wide-process window. A high-resolution arc data monitor has three levels of software packages that offer upper/lower control limits. The robot lifts to create an arc using voltage and not current, producing a dramatic decrease in ignition.

The new internal cable manipulator AX-V4 from OTC Daihen, Tipp City OH, was shown to the public for the first time in North America at the show. The AX-V4 is part of the AX series of Arc Welding and Material handling robots. The AX Series utilizes the Windows NT-based AX-C robot controller for advanced functionality and system integration. The load is 8.8 lb, the reach 55.20". The built-in OTC coaxial cable helps keep constant wire feeding as well as improves welding quality. The structure of the upper arm allows for quick and easy replacement of the coaxial power cable. The PC-based controller provides more flexibility to adapt to Customized Systems (Windows NT embedded). Up to 54 axes and nine mechanisms (up to six manipulators) can be controlled by one controller. Standard memory capacity is 160,000 teach points. I/O control signal can be optionally enhanced up to 64 IN/OUT. The multi-screen function lets you view up to four screens simultaneously.

As part of a 2005 promotion, Piranha, Hutchinson KS, is giving away the 10,000th P-50 ironworker it manufactures. Dean Dick said the advantages of the P-50 are “throughput, ease of operation, quality cuts, fast cycle times, and user friendliness.” The P-50 features automatic urethane hold-downs on the punch stripper and bar, plate, and angle shear. This assures precise cuts and longer punch and blade life. Standard features: Complete punching attachment with split dove tail mounting; 14 punch and die sets; 8" bending attachment with split dove tail mounting; front and rear five-position joy stick controls (electric) with jog up and down, fast up and down, neutral; remote electric foot switch that can be connected at either end of the machine; electric limit switches that can be set for stroke control when using foot control; set of round bar knives (two-way, customers choice to 1-½"); set of 12.125 plate shear knives (four-way); set of angle knives (eight-way top, four-way bottom); set of Coper Knives (two-way top, four-way bottom); chip buckets (two each); extra oil filter; coupling Wrench and 3/8" Allen wrench; and integral lifting lug for instant portability.

Rick Drake of Gullco, Newmarket, ON, Canada, says some of the smaller trailer manufacturers are using the Moggy, a portable friction-drive welding travel carriage because it's ideal for automatic horizontal fillet, lap, and butt welding. It is guided by adjustable rollers that run along a horizontal workpiece. It can also run on standard 6" wide “V”- groove track when the wheels are reversed. The carriage travels in a forward or reverse direction at precisely controlled speeds ranging from 3" to 54" per minute, indicated on an LED readout. The system comes complete with automatic wire feed start with adjustable carriage delay start from zero to three seconds and a travel limit switch assembly. Vertical and horizontal micro-slides provide accurate welding gun positioning and torch tilt. Adjustable guide rolls mounted at front and back of carriage monitor the slightest seam variations and follow curved surfaces to maintain optimum torch positioning. Carriage wheel assemblies maintain constant guide roll pressure on vertical component.

Miller Electric Mfg Co, Appleton WI, showed its Millermatic 350P system that welds material from 22 gauge to ½" thick in a single pass and is geared for fabrication, manufacturing, maintenance, and repair. Two new features: An adjustable crater feature optimizes crater size for steel, stainless, and aluminum applications; and a crater time delay allows deactivation of crater feature for tack or small welds. There is superior aluminum performance on thin material as low as 19 gauge with a direct connection for optional XR push-pull guns or Spoolmatic spool guns. An exclusive gun-on-demand allows use of a standard MIG gun or a Miller spool gun without flipping a switch. With the built-in pulsed MIG programs, all programmed information is restored after each power up. There is an easy-to-use digital user interface with backlit words and alpha-numeric displays for showing words and numbers. SharpArc optimizes the size and shape of the arc cone, bead width, appearance, and puddle fluidity. The Fan-On-Demand cooling system only operates when needed reducing power consumption and keeping internal components cleaner. It comes complete with: power source; C-4012 Roughneck MIG gun; industrial power cord (without plug) for single- or three-phase; 10' work cable with clamp; factory-installed gas solenoid; Argon mix regulator/flow meter; factory-installed, low-mounted running gear/cylinder rack; extra contact tips; .035/.045" reversible V-groove drive rolls (order u-groove drive rolls for aluminum welding); set-up and operation CD. “It's very simple to use,” Chris Roehl said. “If you're using 4000 series aluminum 035, just set the dial for that and you're ready to go. You can just change the dial on the handle of the gun and you're changing the welding parameter. You don't have to go back to the welding machine.”

The FabMaster robotic welding cell from Capital Robotics, Tampa FL, provides job-shop flexibility with three distinct work areas suitable for very different applications. The unit includes a large stationary table, a 48" servo-drive rotary table, and a headstock/tailstock work area. Each location is well-suited for very different types of work. The large stationary table is ideal for large assemblies. The rotary table is the best solution for higher volume requirements of small and medium-size assemblies. The headstock/tailstock location is designed for any parts requiring welds on four sides or any cylindrical parts. “We're able to take small subcomponent parts on a fixed table and larger parts that can't be reached by a stationary fixture,” Brent Akin said.

MG Systems and Welding Inc, Menomonee Falls WI, has introduced the new EdgeMaster dual side drive plasma and oxyfuel cutting machine. Available in widths from 8' to 12', and lengths from 10' to 80', the EdgeMaster travels at an industry-leading jog speed of 1000 IPM. Cutting stainless steel, mild steel, and aluminum, the EdgeMaster can cut gauge up to 12", and can utilize plasmas up to 400 amps. There are four oxyfuel torches on the 6' model, and six oxyfuel torches on 8', 10', and 12' models. “The Edgemaster allows you to put both oxyfuel and plasma on,” Sam Williams said. “Oxyfuel technology cuts 28% faster. The show has been very successful for us as far as the amount of interest in the machine and the new features.”

The Trumatic L series of laser-cutting machines from Trumpf, Farmington CT, is based on the flying optic principle, where the workpiece remains stationary as the laser-cutting head is moved. This enables high acceleration and cutting speeds with consistent accuracy. The automatic pallet changer enhances productivity by allowing loading and unloading simultaneous to production. The integral machine control and three-side accessibility of the offline pallet ensure ergonomic operation.

The L3030 has a 5'×10' working area; 2000-4000-watt TLF lasers; pierce-control system; maintenance-free turbine; quick-change cutting heads; oil-free vacuum pump; and autoload and unload availability.

The Centerfire tip from Bernard, Beecher IL, is a drop-in tip with no threads. It has a built-in spatter shield that completely protects the gas diffuser. This extends the diffuser life and provides superior gas coverage of the weld pool. The design, which is similar to a TIG gas lens, “straightens out” gas from the diffuser so that it flows parallel to the contact tip. Centerfire consumables can improve weld quality and may alleviate porosity caused by fans or drafts. Cimarron Trailers found that by switching to these tips, it could cut downtime in half. The company also says its welding operators and managers immediately realized that arcs started very softly and lit instantly, with no big pop or stutter before arc initiation. And they've eliminated the black soot that was indicative of poor gas coverage with MIG aluminum. Cimarron has converted all 30 of its MIG aluminum guns to Centerfire series consumables.

TAGS: Fabrication
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