A welding positioner may be a great option to complete your next project – resulting in time and money savings as well as clean, finished metal tubes.
Think of it as a hybrid of automated and manual welding, as a welding torch completes the weld instead of an orbital weld head inside a machine. Using a positioner allows a welder to keep the weld puddle within the weld joint without wielding the torch.
A welding positioner functions by clasping a tube joint, rotating the tube, while a technician seamlessly welds a joint in a downhand position. Axenics welders use a positioner with a welding turntable that performs a similar action as an automated orbital welding machine, but instead of a tungsten electrode rotating around the tube in a machine, the tube spins via a turntable on the positioner around the electrode.
Positioner welding is a human-controlled form of welding, but offers a lot of positives:
- Welders centralize focus on the weld joint, rather than getting fixated on arc length or other elements of hand welding. This focus results in extremely smooth welds.
- There is good control speed around the tube (our welders often work on 300 series stainless steel tubes in a wide variety of dimensions).
- There’s manageable control of how much amperage goes into the weld, based on the spinning speed of the positioner.
- This can become hands-free welding by clamping a welder’s torch into a specific position, so there’s no potential for torch shaking or wobbling, which can occur when wielded by a human hand.
- The process provides precise positioning in flat or horizontal positions. Weldments are top quality as the process has no overhead or vertical positioning.
All the positives above benefit our customers in time-, labor- and money-saving ways:
- The positioner welding process allows our technicians to complete welds faster than by hand alone.
- The welding positioner takes on some of the work, so there are fewer man hours needed to finalize a project.
- Weldments performed on a welding positioner are long-lasting, lessening the need for repairs to your system and lengthening the time between replacing tube components.
One thing to keep in mind, the welding positioner practice does not ensure as pure a weld as an orbital welding machine, as turntable welding doesn’t happen in a completely enclosed environment, but instead the component is welded in the environment created by a welding torch. The base material is not getting as much exposure from a shielding gas such as Argon to protect against oxidation as it would inside an orbital welding machine. Some customers request our technicians use the orbital welding process for producing ultra-pure components.
But automated orbital welding may not be your ideal solution depending on a variety of factors, such as the number of components to produce, the dimensions of the base material and the quantity of welds or joints per fixture.
Instead, welding positioners offer a lower-cost, high-precision method of welding stainless steel pipe for a variety of functions. The positioner handles some of the work, meaning a welder can complete projects for a longer period of time without fatigue, completing your project quickly and effectively.