welding power supplies

Types of Welding Process and Power Supplies

Photo Above: MIG Welding Process

The primary function of a welding power source is to convert electrical power into a current type that is suitable for the welding application being performed.  There’s a lot to consider when selecting the best power source for your welding systems.

Whether you’re looking to invest in new manual welding machines or ready to upgrade an outdated welder to a more modern piece of automatic welding equipment, we’re here to simplify the process. Read on to learn more about welding power sources and what key factors to consider before making a purchase.

 

Getting Started

There are a variety of power sources to choose from. To make the best choice, you need to pair your material type with the welding process and the best method of supplying power to the arc.

Choose your Welding Process 

Both the welding process and material type play a big role when selecting a power source because they are not always compatible with each other.

Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) or Flux-Core Arc Welding (FCAW)

Most commonly referred to as MIG or Flux-Core Welding; this process can be used on all of the major commercial metals, a wide range of thicknesses, and requires less operator skill than TIG or stick welding.  Welding speeds are higher because of the continuously fed electrode, absence of slag, and higher metal deposition rates.  Whenever possible, GMAW and FCAW are the chosen welding processes utilized in production shops.

Shielded Metal Arc Welding or Stick Welding (SMAW)

This is the most common form or ARC Welding.  A stick or electrode is placed at the end of a holder and an arc is struck between the tip of the electrode and the metal welding surface.  SMAW power supplies are generally the least expensive but are only capable of being used in manual operations.

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW)

In GTAW—or TIG welding—an arc is established between a non-consumable tungsten electrode and the base metal.  A shielding gas protects the tungsten and molten metal from oxidation.  GTAW produces high-quality welds on almost all metals and alloys.  It can be controlled down to very low amperages making it ideal for thinner materials.  GTAW can be done with or without filler material, it also has very little spatter and no slag.  Its biggest disadvantage is speed—GTAW is by far the slowest welding process.

TIG welding process
Tig Welding Process

Plasma Arc Welding (PAW)

Plasma Arc Welding is essentially an extension of GTAW.  Both GTAW and PAW use constant-current power sources and a high-frequency source for arc starting.  The primary difference is that the electrode is recessed in a nozzle to constrict the arc.  PAW is generally more expensive than GTAW but it is more tolerant of joint misalignment and can give better penetration.

welding power sources
PAW Welding Process

Submerged Arc Welding (SAW)

In a SAW welding process, the wire is fed continuously with a granular flux material to cover the weld area.  The flux plays a key role in achieving high speed and a quality weld.  Very little weld fume is produced— eliminating the need for fume extraction.  Utilizing granular flux limits welding positions and requires special handling and recovery solutions.

SAW welding process
SAW Welding Process

Select the Proper Power Supply 

Welding power source types are defined by how they modulate electrical currents and what arc welding process is best supported by this modulation:

Direct Current (DC)

A DC power source is a flow of electrons in a single direction through a circuit. In welding, it creates a steadier arc and smoother output. It can be used to weld with a negative ground, or the flow of electrons can be reversed to flow toward a positive ground in reverse polarity.

Alternating Current (AC)

The AC power source is the bidirectional flow of electrons in which the polarity shifts a hundred or more times per second from a negative to a positive ground. Arcs tend to be less stable and welding is harder to control. However, AC welding can break apart oxide formation and allow for purer welding in some processes.

Pulsed Current

This is a form of DC welding in which the current goes from a high peak current to a lower background current at a frequency determined by the operator. This narrows the arc, allowing greater penetration while reducing the effect on surrounding materials. As a result, pulsed current welding is an excellent choice for welding thin metal or performing deep welds on thicker materials.

Pulsed Voltage and Heat

Pulsing GMAW power supplies focus on controlling pulsed voltage and heat applied to the consumable electrode. Controlling the pulsed voltage (heat) and wire feed speed allows greater control over how the wire melts and the rate of deposition. Adaptive pulse GMAW carefully monitors feedback and automatically compensates to keep the arc consistent despite variation by the welder and differences in height and joint location.

 

Additional Items to Consider

Once you have your welding process and the type of power source selected you should consider a few more key items to determine the size including:

What is your Input Power?

Your power source needs to match the type of input power available. The amount of electricity your welding system needs will ultimately depend on the type of power supply you select.

  • Single-phase: 115, 200 or 230 VAC
  • Three-phase: 230, 460 or 575 VAC

Material Thickness

Simply put, the thicker the material the more power required.

Duty Cycle

Duty cycle is the percentage of arc on-time a welding power source can operate in a given period. One of the most common mistakes welders make is under-sizing their power source. It’s important to understand how much amperage your power source can generate at any given duty cycle and ensure it’s MORE than enough to meet your demands.

Understanding the types of welding processes and power supply types is a large undertaking and can be overwhelming but a reliable power source will serve you for many years.

 

About Bancroft Engineering

Our engineers can help you select the best power source for your welding needs! Bancroft offers custom welding systems and a variety of standardized semi-automatic welding equipment in stock such as positioners, Welda-Round rotary welders, seam welders, weld-lathes and much more!

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Shielding Gas Types for GMAW

How to Choose Shielding Gas Types for GMAW

Welding Enhancements

 

If you’ve ever experienced a low-quality weld due to your shielding gas selection, this article was made for you. Shielding gas protects the hot weld pool from outside contamination, which is the main reason why it’s so important to make the right selection for your application.

Here at Bancroft Engineering, we’ve seen how much the wrong shielding gas can drop quality, increase costs and negatively affect production rates. We are going to dive into choosing the gas that’s best paired for your gas metal arc welding (GMAW) job so you can enhance your process once and for all. Whether you’re using a manual process, semi-automatic welder or fully-automated equipment, we’ve got you covered—read on!

About Shielding Gas Options for GMAW

Use one—or combine—these most common shielding gas options for GMAW:

Pure Gases

  • Argon is most commonly used for GMAW on nonferrous metals. This single-atom gas has a low thermal conductivity and ionization potential which results in a low transfer of heat to the exterior of the arc. Because of this, Argon delivers a deep yet narrow weld penetration.

 

  • Helium has lower density than Argon which requires higher flow rates. Helium is also a single-atom gas, that’s commonly used on thicker materials. It’s also a good choice for welding aluminum. Because if its limited high price though, Helium is seldom seen in the industry anymore.

 

  • Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is rarely used on its own because it yields a wide weld bead and often ends up producing a lot of spatter. CO2 is more commonly combined with Argon to produce the best end result. CO2 is also a reactive gas, meaning it has high ionization potential.

 

Gases Used in Mixtures

  • Oxygen is a two-atom molecule commonly added in GTAW gas mixes at a rate of 10% or less. It may be seen as an addition to Argon for GMAW as it can help create a deep and narrow weld penetration in specialized applications.

 

  • Hydrogen is an active shielding gas also commonly used in GMAW mixes at a rate of 10% or less. This diatomic molecule tends to result in hot and wide surface beads. Hydrogen is mostly used for stainless steel materials to improve fluidity and increase travel speeds.

 

How to Select a Shielding Gas 

There are three main components to consider when selecting shielding gas for GMAW: material type, filler type and transfer mode.

  • Material Type: The most important factor of all is matching your gas to the material type. For instance, steel is much denser than aluminum which requires different shielding gas to achieve a desirable welding outcome. It’s also important to consider the materials thickness as thicker materials will require higher heat inputs.

 

  • Filler Metal Type: Double check that your filler metal matches the base material. This will give you reassurance when it comes to selecting the best shielding gas.

 

  • Welding Transfer Mode: Determine whether you’re using short-circuit, spray-arc, pulsed-arc or a global transfer. Each transfer mode will play better with certain shielding gases than others.

 

There’s a lot more to cover when it comes to shielding gas for GMAW. Stay tuned for future articles where we’ll walk through proper shielding gas flow and we’ll dive into detail about the GMAW process with each material type!

 

GMAW Welding Equipment Builders

Selecting the right shielding gas is an important step towards welding success. When optimized correctly, it will not only improve your weld quality, but also save you money and time. The team at Bancroft Engineering can help you decide on the proper shielding gas and ensure your automated or semi-automated welding system is producing the very best results. Get in touch with our welding engineers today!

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welding automation system types

Welding Automation for YOUR Business

Finding the Right Tool for the Job – Welding Automation Types

  

On the fence about whether welding automation can actually work—AND be profitable—for your business and project applications? We realize how imperative it is to get answers upfront to all your automation questions. We’ve put together this comprehensive guide to help you through the basics.

Automaton Works to:

  • Improve weld quality
  • Enhance safety and the overall well-being of operators
  • Increase productivity
  • Attract skilled workers
  • Lower ongoing costs
  • Grow your bottom line
Welding Automation Types

3 Needs to Move Forward in Automation

 

1. Workpiece Uniformity

Why is uniformity SO critical?

All automation or semi-automatic welding equipment is programmed on a “master part,” meaning the welding path and framework is set and then repeated over and over.  When the part location or welding condition changes, the automated equipment will not know without adjustments made by the operator.  Therefore, part uniformity is one of the most important aspects of any automated process.  One of the best ways to improve inconsistencies is to address the source!

Quality and consistency through repeatability is the most predominant perk to welding automation.

 

2. Opportunity

If you’re under the impression that you need a complex or large-scale weldment in order to make automation worthwhile, think again. We’ve noticed many shops experience huge gains from automating simple or small parts. This strategy allows for automation to do what it does best on the simplistic parts and gives your skilled welders time to focus on more complicated projects.

 

3. The Right Team

We talk a lot about teaming up with a reputable welding automation partner or integrator. Along with an experienced team like Bancroft Engineering, the most successful long-term automation gains come from teams of operators who have a high level of ownership and are willing to problem solve to get the job done right.

  

3 Types of Welding Automation

Having a full understanding of the automated welding solutions available, along with their benefits and drawbacks, is the first step to making the right choice for your needs. Here are the three main types of welding automation:

Fixed Automation

Fixed welding automation equipment is built and designed to weld a specific part or part-family. This is one of the most cost-effective forms of automation. A few examples of fixed automation systems include linear welders,  rotary welders and circle welders, seam welders and circumferential welders.  This solution is best for high volume parts.

robotic welding machines

Robotic Welding

Traditional robotic welding is what most think of when it comes to welding automation. Robots come in all sizes and are offered by robot manufacturers, suppliers, and integrators. Robots require a certain set of safety equipment to protect humans such as guarding, fences and sensors. The best fits for robotic welding are large parts, complicated welding, and high-volume operations.

collaborative welding automation

Collaborative Automation

One of the newest forms of automation is collaborative technology. Collaborative robots include internal sensors, allowing humans to work directly with the robot in the same space. This eliminates the need for safety fences and frees up more shop floor space. Collaborative welding automation is best for low volume production and for those needing a lot of flexibility.

With over 50 years of welding equipment experience, Bancroft Engineering has worked to improve automated welding processes for hundreds of businesses. We’re always ready for your specific application questions—get in touch with our engineers today!

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welding machine section 179 tax deduction

Using Section 179 Tax Deductions for a Welding Machine in 2020

Whether you’re buying a new machine for the first time or are ready to upgrade existing equipment, the Section 179 tax deduction is something you’ll want to look into. When you purchase automated welding equipment from Bancroft Engineering, you will not only be improving your manufacturing process but also saving your business money on your 2020 taxes with Section 179 expensing.

 

How Does Section 179 Expensing Work for Welding Equipment Purchases?

The Section 179 Tax deduction is for all businesses that purchase (or finance) new and used business equipment during the 2020 tax year.

Section 179 of the United States Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. § 179) is now available which allows you to write-off up to $1,040,000 of a qualifying equipment purchase for 2020. This annual deduction amount is up from $1,000,000 in 2019.

In past years, when manufacturers purchased welding equipment, they would write it off little by little through depreciation. For example, if your business spent $80,000 on a piece of machinery, you might write off $20,000 per year for five years.

When you use Section 179 in 2020, a business can write-off the entire purchase price of qualified equipment for the current tax year. As in our previous example, if your business spends $80,000 on a piece of automated welding machinery, you can write off all $80,000 in the same tax year using Section 179. This is an attractive tax deduction for small and mid-sized businesses to take advantage of!

How to Qualify for Section 179 in 2020

If you’re considering whether or not to purchase new equipment this year, section 179 is an attractive tax deduction to take into consideration. It’s also easy to understand and apply. Most new and used tangible business equipment qualifies as long as it meets the following criteria:

  • Equipment must be installed and ready for service in the same tax year
  • More than 50% of the use of the equipment must be used for business

Real Example of Section 179 Expensing in 2020

  • Cost of equipment after Bancroft Engineering discounts: $200,000.00
  • Section 179 Deduction: $200,000.00
  • Total First Year Deduction: $200,000.00
  • 35% Saving on Equipment Purchase: $70,000.00
  • Lowered Cost of Equipment After Tax Savings: $130,000.00
automated welding systems tax savings 2020
Image by: aws.org

NEW Automated Welding Machines + Tax Savings 

Buying equipment or upgrading your existing welding machines can provide many benefits from improved quality, increased production to better staff morale. Thankfully, these tax breaks allow you to afford the equipment you need!

Bancroft Engineering designs and builds welding equipment such as standardized and custom welding machines and much more out of Waukesha, WI—specializing in stand-alone equipment to fully robotic automated systems. Need help automated your welding process or have a special welding application? Give us a call at 262-786-1880, or email: sales@bancrofteng.com to get started.

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A Guide to Optimal Robotic & Automated Welding

Getting Started with Automated Welding Systems

 

Automated welding is the way many manufacturers are fabricating these days. With that, there are a lot of misconceptions about how easy automated systems are to use and if the benefits outweigh the struggles.

Automatic welding has a host of clear perks such as improved weld quality, faster cycle times, and a better working environment for welders. A common restriction is that robots require a certain skillset to program and run the equipment smoothly. Don’t worry, the technology has advanced greatly, leading to simple ways to accomplish quality automated welding without the hassle.

We’ve unpacked the most optimal process for getting started with automated welding systems so you can benefit from high-quality welding with less stress!

  

1. Define Welding Type & Tasks

With any welding project, you’ll need to first define and understand the task at hand.  What type of welding will be needed? Which steps will the robot or automated welding machine need to perform? There are a variety of different welding types—below are some of the most common:

  • Circumferential (Rotary) welding
  • Linear (Seam) welding
  • Resistance (Spot) welding

The technical specialists at Bancroft Engineering can help you confidently define the scope of your welding project and automated system requirements so your job will be successful—get in touch with us.

2. Secure the Needed Equipment

Now that you’ve clearly defined the task and welding type needed, it’s time to pick the right automated welding system—whether that be a robot or semi-automated welding machine. Most welding systems require the following pieces of hardware/software:

  • The robot or the welding machine itself
  • The welding tools & fixtures
  • A user-friendly programming interface
  • Welding power supply and consumables
  • Safety measures such as barriers or sensors
automated welding machine
Universal Welding Robot

3. Determine Proper Weld Settings

There are basic guidelines for picking weld settings, but they can vary from model to model and certainly from brand to brand.  To get to the best weld setting, a number of considerations must be made including:

  • Type of metal you are welding
  • Cleanliness of the joint
  • Joint design
  • Material thickness
  • Proper wire size
  • Voltage
  • Wire feed speed
  • Travel speed
  • Torch position
  • Shielding gas

This can seemingly be a daunting task, but any good welding equipment manufacturer will have engineers on staff to assist with this process.

semi automated welding postioner
TT500 Welding Positioner

4. Program, Test, & Debug

Programming an automated welding machine requires a trained specialist for the initial start-up.  This only needs to be done upon setting up your system for the first time.  General maintenance programs and welding schedules can be created and modified with little training throughout the lifestyle of the system.

Once your system is in place and programmed correctly, it’s time to sit back and watch the system make magic happen!

 

5. Team Up with the Right Automated Welding Provider

Lastly, team up with a reputable welding automation provider who can walk with you every step of the way. From concept to installation and run-off, the team at Bancroft Engineering is here to ensure your new welding system is successful!

 

Bancroft offers both customized welding machines and a variety of standardized semi-automatic welding equipment in stock such as positioners, Welda-Round rotary welders, seam welders, weld-lathes and much more!

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GMAW welding nozzle automated welder

How to Choose the Right GMAW Nozzle

Choosing equipment that provides the highest weld quality goes all the way down to the fine detail. The right welding nozzles—or contact tip—make a significate difference between running an efficient and productive shop or dealing with downtime to address problems. Gas metal arc welding (GMAW) guns have a variety of welding nozzle designs and styles to choose from—making it tricky to choose the right nozzle for your weld process.

The welding experts at Bancroft Engineering know a thing or two about optimizing all different types of welding processes—from small to large scale parts to automated welding systems. Let’s get into the common nozzle materials, designs and features so you can be equipped to make the best choice.

 

About Weld Nozzles 

The main purpose of a welding nozzle is to direct the shielding gas into the weld puddle in the best way possible. When selecting the right GMAW nozzle, you’ll need to keep in mind your welding application and joint access as some designs offer better gas coverage, while others allow better access.

Welding Nozzle Materials

The two most common materials used for welding nozzles are either copper or brass. Copper tends to be a better choice for overall spatter resistance, they also manage heat well at higher temperatures. Brass welding nozzles also have good spatter-resistant properties, but only in lower-amperage applications. Nickle-plated welding nozzles are also available and provide improved durability. Nickle is able to deflect heat, keeping the nozzle cool while welding. This allows for a longer life span and often is a preferred choice for robotic welding applications.

 

Weld Nozzle Shapes and Designs

Nozzle shapes include straight, bottleneck and short/long tapper styles. A straight welding nozzle usually has a larger inside diameter, but don’t offer the best joint access. If joint access is needed, a bottleneck nozzle is a better option. Bottleneck shapes are especially good for automated welding systems. Both short and long taper nozzles are also a common choice for achieving good joint access. When selecting your nozzle shape, keep in mind you’ll want to allow for the proper amount of gas to flow to the weld puddle. It’s best to use as large of a nozzle as possible that still allows easy access to the weld joint. This will ensure the greatest shielding gas flow and keep spatter to a minimum.

Threaded Welding Nozzle
Threaded Welding Nozzle
slip-on welding nozzle
Slip-on Welding Nozzle

Threaded vs. Slip-On Nozzles

The main distinction between threaded and slip-on welding nozzles comes down to speed and security of the connection. Threaded nozzles have a secure connection to the welding torch, preventing shielding gas leaks. This also helps align the contact tip correctly so the nozzle will not be off-center. A down-side to threaded nozzles is that they can be difficult to remove and replace—especially if spatter bridges into the threads. Slip-on welding nozzles are easy to remove and replace and are typically more cost-effective than treaded nozzles. Slip-on nozzles are ideal for welding applications that produce more spatter because their design protects the other welding consumables.

 

Custom Welding Equipment Builders & Welding Nozzle Experts

Weld gun nozzles play a critical role in your overall welding operation. Choosing the proper nozzle for the job will reduce welding defects, rework and downtime—this ultimately shows up in your bottom line!  Bancroft Engineering is a leading supplier of custom welding equipment for manual, semi-automatic to fully automated welding systems located in WI, USA.  Give us a call today at 262-786-1880 or email: sales@bancrofteng.com

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welding positioners WI

What to Know About Welding Positioners

Photo above: NEW TT530 Automated Positioner

Utilizing welding positioners can expand a fabricator’s opportunities for both productivity and profits. Bancroft Engineering specializes in both manual welding positioners and semi-automated positioners for welding.  Let’s get into the benefits of using positioners and what you should know.

What are Welding Positioners?

A welding positioner is a mechanical piece of equipment that holds and rotates a workpiece to allow a welder to work at a proper angle and on a consistent surface. It has the ability to rotate a fast speed, even when bearing significate weight.  The main purpose of a welding positioner is to ensure the workpiece is ALWAYS in the most suitable welding position.

Positioners Increase Welding Throughput

Positioners improve productivity because they remove wasted time in multiple aspects. First of all, welding positioners ensure maximum arc time. Cranes, chains, grippers and other types of rigging equipment take a lot of effort to move and oftentimes, welders are left waiting around for the workpiece to be positioned correctly—this may have to happen multiple times for one weldment.

The use of positioners also allows the welder to manipulate the part quickly! When it comes to large parts, positioners allow one operator to handle the job, removing multiple people to reposition the part. This shows up in labor savings and frees up employees to perform other work.

Positioners Improve Weld Quality

A major advantage of using the right welding positioner is that it yields consistent, high-quality welds. Any movement of the part during the welding process makes it difficult to produce quality welds. When your material is secured, it allows for adequate weld penetration and it also makes it easier to run complete welds without the interruption of repositioning. A welding positioner solves many problems when it comes to weld quality as it rotates the workpiece at a controlled rate and speed to maintain a continuous, penetrative weld.

semi automatic welding positioner

Retrain & Attract Skilled Welders 

With the current welding workforce being slim, retaining and attracting skilled welders is a huge benefit to any manufacturer. Positioners allow welders to work faster, longer and with more ease. This equipment improves the working environment—making it much more attractive to a skilled workforce.  Welding positioners also:

  • Enhance safety
  • Allow both skilled and entry-level welders to make high-quality rotary welds
  • Improve employee morale
  • Use semi-automatic functioning to limit worker fatigue and increase production speeds

Premier Welding Positioners Available

The line of multi-axis welding positioners by Bancroft Engineering provides superior accuracy, index time and flexibility to meet the demands of modern fabrication. Our positioners are designed and engineered for a demanding environment—they are also mechanically robust to suit any size application.

 

Premier Welding Positioner Models Available

  • TT100 Welding Poisoner
  • TT210 Welding Positioner
  • TT500 Welding Positioner
  • TT530 Automated Welding Positioner (NEW)
  • TT535 Automated Tilting Welding Positioner (NEW)
  • RT2000 Welding Positioner

 

Many of our positioners have add-on options to customize the best positioner for your needs.

Browse the Line of Welding Positioners

TT100 Weld Positioner
TT100 WELDING POSITIONER
Rotary Welding Positioner
TT500 WELDING POSITIONER

Welding Positioners WI 

Whether you’re looking to increase your bottom line, enhance the quality of your welds, increase production or give your employees a morale boost, our line of welding positions will deliver! Bancroft Engineering is a leading supplier of automated welding equipment located in WI, USA.  Give us a call today at 262-786-1880 or email: sales@bancrofteng.com

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Automated Welding Machine Builder

How Much Are Welders Paid?

Insight from an Automated Welding Machine Builder 

 

The welder shortage has been a known issue for years. With many welders nearing retirement age, the younger generation can’t seem to replace them fast enough. The demand for welders isn’t slowing down either—The American Welding Society shows that there is an even larger shortage in our future. It’s predicted that there will be a deficiency of over 400,000 skilled welders by 2024.

  • The average age of a welder is 55
  • Less than 20% of welders are under the age of 35

As an automated welding machine builder out of Waukesha, WI, (Wisconsin is one of the top 5 states with the most welding jobs) we recognize the challenges to filling this skills gap. Read on to learn more about welding careers and pay.

 

How Much are Welders Paid — The Break Down 

With all of this talk of a worker shortage, what does that mean for salaries? In 2019, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported welders to make an average of $44,800/year. This being said, salaries can range greatly depending on location, skill and application.  Welding is a skill that can provide a good, stable living. But, just like any career, you won’t be earning top dollar right away—most have to start at the bottom and work their way up.

fabricator automated welding machine builder

Experience & Skill Matter

Years of experience and leadership skills are an essential piece of the welding salary puzzle. Other than the art of welding metal parts, here are just a few essential areas welders must be equipped with:

  • Understanding of blueprints and technical specifications
  • Ability to calculate dimensions
  • Insight for inspecting weldments and materials
  • How to maintain equipment and machinery
  • Critical thinking for processes improvements
automated welding systems

The Role of Welding Automation

Automation has become commonplace for many manufacturing companies. Welding can be a semi-automated process where only a few elements are mechanized, or it can also be completely automated with the use of robots. Automation does not eliminate the need for skilled welders, it simply frees up these professionals to perform more challenging tasks. Even with the use of automated welding systems, it’s essential to have the knowledgeable staff who understand the ins and outs of the process, how to overcome challenges and ensure a high level of welding quality output. In summary, welding automation means MORE opportunities for welders!

 

The Future of Welding – Automated Welding Machine Builder

At Bancroft Engineering, we are advocates of skilled welders and understand what an asset they are for our economy. The future of welding is bound to be an exciting one for those interested in learning new, emerging technologies! We offer cutting-edge welding equipment for manufacturers who need to get the job done right.  Give us a call today at 262-786-1880 or email: sales@bancrofteng.com

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Automated Welding Systems

Conquering the Challenges of Welding Stainless Steel

Automated Welding Systems + Stainless Steel

Stainless steel has been gaining popularity in applications across the fabrication industry for many years. This is mostly due to the material’s corrosion resistance, strength and overall resilience. From kitchen appliances, automotive products, medical equipment and much more, stainless steel is found all around us. While this low-maintenance metal has many benefits, it can cause a variety of welding challenges and frustrations!

 

Welding Stainless Steel Quick Facts:

  • There are hundreds of grades of stainless steel.

  • The most commonly used stainless steel includes 304 and 316.

  • Stainless steel is best known for its corrosion resistance, strength and workability.

  • Stainless steel has low susceptibility for bacterial growth, making it a popular choice for food-grade and medical products.

  • Some stainless steels can be 3-5 times more expensive than mild steel.

 

Choosing the right manual or automated welding system and process is key. Read on to learn about the common challenges to welding stainless steel and tips to overcome them.

  

Chromium Oxide

The thin layer of chromium oxide provides stainless steel with its “stainless” characteristic. This layer is one of the main attractors as it protects the material from harsh environments. The challenge when welding stainless steel is avoiding damage to this layer with spatter or slag as this can cause vulnerability to the end product. Post weld cleaning with the proper tools is essential to avoid this challenge.

 

Temperature Input

The alloy content of stainless steel conducts heat at a much slower rate than carbon steel. This means, the heat from the arc won’t distribute as easily throughout the material—causing heat concentration in the weld pool. This will lead to warping, burn-through and oxidation. An indicator that too much heat is being used on stainless steel is when the weld begins to form a rainbow of colors. While the colors may look like a work of art, it’s a red flag that the end product may not pass welding quality tests.

 

GMAW vs. GTAW

Historically, gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) was the preferable method for working with stainless steels. However, as technology has progressed, gas metal arc welding (GMAW) has become more of a standard. This is due to the use of semi-automated welding equipment combined with state of the art controls which provide fast deposition rates, regulates heat input and improves consistency. Get in touch with Bancroft Engineering to discuss the many benefits of welding automation for stainless steel.

 

Finishing Processes

Stainless steel requires special finishing processes once the weld is complete. Don’t make the mistake of using steel brushes or polishing pads that have been used before on carbon steel—this will damage the protective oxide layer. Whether you need a matte, brushed or mirror finish, it’s important to use stainless-specific finishing tools such as finishing discs, belts and other tools.

 

Automated Welding Systems + Stainless Steel

Mastering how to weld stainless steel is a vital part of fabrication. Bancroft Engineering has years of experience building automated welding systems for stainless steel applications. We can help you optimize your production equipment and make huge welding improvements! Ready to upgrade? Give us a call today at 262-786-1880 or email: sales@bancrofteng.com

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custom automated welding machines

Custom Automated Welding Machines — Every Option

One-size doesn’t always fit all. The welding team at Bancroft Engineering knows first-hand the benefits of a fully customized, made-to-order solution! Whether it be a semi-automated or robotic welding system you’re on the hunt for, Bancroft’s custom automated welding machines use the latest technology to get the job done right.

Knowing that standardized equipment can’t always deliver the same result as a customized solution, we’ve created add-on options and custom configurations to all of our equipment to meet the demands of today’s manufacturing environment. Read on to learn more about all of our customization options.

  

Semi-Automatic & Fully Automated Options

Depending on your welding requirements, either a semi-automatic welding system or fully robotic option will be preferable.

With Semi-automatic welding, the operator is more in control. The operator will load the part and evaluate the process while in production. The semi-automated system will guide the part through the welding process, aligns the part to meet the specifications and repeats the process.

With fully automated welding machines, it’s a more hands-off experience. Either the welder or an automated piece of equipment loads the part and the robot takes care of the rest.

 

Why Automate Your Welding Process?

  • Offers reliable consistency and efficiency

  • Improves productions speeds

  • Increases weld quality (fewer part rejections)

  • Manageable to use by all operator experience levels

  

Custom Weld Lathes

Weld lathe machines are one of the most versatile ways to weld production parts. The Bancroft weld lathe family can be customized for vertical, horizontal or inclined drive orientations. Synchronized spindles and automated fixtures can also be added on for more optimized efficiency. Check out all of the available configurations available for our 605 circumferential MIG welder and the 1210 weld lathe model right here.

 

Custom Rotary Welders (Welda-rounds)

Bancroft Welda-rounds, commonly referred to as circle welders or rotary welders, are durable and compact tools to weld a wide range of parts. Our Welda-rounds can be built to offer both single or multiple torches, special frame configurations, powered index positioner bases, custom tooling options and much more! View our full line of rotary Welda-Round circle welders, right here!

 

Custom Seam Welders

Linear seam welders provide continuous welding from end-to-end. Seam welders are best used for single pass, full penetration welds of parts such as cylinders, cones, boxes and flat metal sheets. All of Bancroft’s seam welders can be fully customized to meet your needs with MIG, TIG-cold wire feeds and AVC.  Read more about our robust automated seam welders here.

 

Maximize Your Process with Custom Automated Welding Machines  

If you’re looking to optimize your welding process with improved efficiency and a stronger end-product, Bancroft Engineering can help! Our team of welding engineers have the experience designing completely customized automated welding systems for both small and large operations. Ready to upgrade? Give us a call today at 262-786-1880 or email: sales@bancrofteng.com

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