How Investing in an Advanced Welding Power Source Can Cut Costs
| By: OTC DAIHEN
When it comes to evaluating costs in your welding processes, many companies miss looking at the welding power source technology. Often, the right technology can cut costs associated with gas usage, wire selection and labor, significantly impacting profitability.
This article will examine how a switch to a more advanced welding power source, specifically the OTC DAIHEN Welbee II, can reduce hidden costs in welding operations.
Areas to Evaluate in Gas Consumption
The more stable the arc, the faster a welder can weld and reduce the overall amount of gas used. For example, if you have to make 10 pounds of weld and can do that faster by turning everything up and still have a stable arc, you can get the weld down in less time. Fewer hours of welding equals less usage of gas. The OTC DAIHEN Welbee II power source provides a stable arc at higher current and deposition rates than competitor machines.
Some manufacturers switch to a more expensive, high argon or specialty gas with mixed-in additives to achieve higher deposition with spray transfer or pulsed spray transfer. However, these more expensive gases may not be needed with the right technology.
The OTC DAIHEN Welbee II welding power source with extra horsepower and advanced waveform technology allows for the higher heat input and penetration required to weld heavy aluminum and stainless steel using a standard argon/CO2 gas mixture. Costs are saved by not using the more expensive helium or specialty gases.
“By using standard gas mixes, manufacturers can reduce the number of welding procedures they have to qualify and can reduce the number of different gases they have to keep in inventory. Standard gases are also less expensive and more readily available,” Mike Iverson, a welding engineer and regional sales manager at OTC DAIHEN, points out.
The amount of gas flow via the torch is another area to evaluate. For example, OTC DAIHEN welding torches have a unique gas baffle that provides uniform gas flow, allowing the welder to get the coverage needed at a lower flow rate, reducing the overall amount of gas consumed.
In the end, if you minimize overall gas usage and the types of gases needed, the costs associated with renting and storing gas cylinders also decrease.
Where to Look to Cut Costs in Wire
When it comes to wire, cost savings are typically uncovered by changing the type of wire used.
Expensive metal and flux core wire is often used because it has a wider range of operating parameters and is more forgiving for operators. With the OTC DAIHEN Welbee II, the machine has technology that provides that same operator appeal with standard wire. There is no need for the more expensive welding wires.
Also, the Welbee II is known for creating minimal spatter, which equals minimal wasted wire. With the Welbee II, a welder can get a deposition rate of near 98%, meaning they are laying down 98% of what is coming off the wire spool onto the weld, OTC DAIHEN R&D Engineer Larry Barley points out. When ordering wire by train or truckload, that cost adds up quickly, and it is key to using it as efficiently as possible.
How to Reduce Post-Weld Labor Costs
One of the fastest ways to reduce costs in post-welding activities is to reduce spatter. Along with being known for minimal spatter, the Wellbee II also creates smaller spatter than competitor machines. The smaller the spatter, the faster it will cool down and the less likely it will fuse to a part, significantly reducing the labor costs associated with grinding or prepping the material for the next process.
“The average arc on time in manual welding shops across the country is about 14%, which means they are only actually welding about 9 minutes out of every hour,” Iverson says. “This is one of the highest costs going into manufacturing these goods. If we can reduce the non-value activities, such as grinding and cleaning up spatter, we can increase the value-add activities or the arc-on time for higher production.”
Want more information on Welbee power sources? Learn more in the Welbee Welding Power Sources Buyer's Guide and Comparison Chart.
OTC DAIHEN is your one-stop welding system supplier. We produce everything you need — welder, robot, torch, wire feeder and all the know-how to put it together and apply it to your toughest welding challenges.