Cosmo Industrial general manager, Petrus Pretorius, talks about the features and advantages of using Lincoln Electric’s new PIPEFABTM welding system.

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“Everything about Lincoln’s new PIPEFAB system was designed with piping and vessel fabricators in mind, from the initial concept to laying down welds on the shop floor,” begins Pretorius. “The result is a welding system that removes set up complexity to enable welders to focus on what matters most, delivering high quality root, fill and capping weld seams for pressure piping and vessels,” he says.

PIPEFAB an ideal welding setup for pipe and vessel fabricationLincoln Electric has a long history of developing total welding solutions for pipeline contractors. “The company is the world leader in providing complete pipeline solutions, comprising the equipment and all of the consumables needed to best match the process and material being used, which must also be easy to use in the environment in which the solution is being applied,” notes Pretorius.

“The wide range of available equipment, consumables and solutions positions Lincoln Electric to enable the pipeline industry to expand and make the technological advancements necessary to meet increasing global and African requirements, he adds.

Pretorius suggests that in order to stay profitable in ever more competitive times, the pipeline industry has to increasingly adopt high productivity solutions. “Travel speeds, deposition rates and weld quality all have to increase in order to reduce welding time, rework and total costs,” he argues.

At the starting point of achieving these goals for pipeline welding is the company’s next generation STT® II (Surface Tension Transfer®) power source, which enables more flexibility for high speed, high quality root passes. “Achieving a sound root in a pipe weld is absolutely vital as any defect will have to be ground out and rewelded. The advancement of Lincoln Electric’s STT process makes it possible for a careful and skilled welder to achieve flaw-free welds repeatedly, at increased production rates, which immediately reduces weld costs per metre while significantly lowering repair costs.

Lincoln’s patented STT process was the earliest open-root modified short circuit MIG solution on the market. “After decades of leading the industry, STT process performance is better than ever, offering breakthrough travel speeds and industry-leading arc stability. Based on root pass comparisons using 0.9 mm (0.035-inch) welding wire with an argon-based shielding gas mix, deposition rates increased by up to 55% when using the latest STT technology,” Pretorius reveals.

For pipe-welding, there often has to be a process change between completing the root run and moving on to fill and cap weld runs. PIPEFAB incorporates its latest Smart PulseTM technology to achieve this far more simply.

“Also tailored for pipe welding, Smart Pulse delivers simple, high performance pulse welding. It uses Lincoln Electric’s Waveform Control Technology® to monitor the machine settings and to automatically tailor each pulse to deliver the ideal arc needed at every point along the pipe joint’s path,” Pretorius explains.

Available features include:

  • Low wire feed settings for out-of-position pipe welding, for which Smart Pulse automatically adjusts to give a narrow and focused arc.
  • High wire feed settings for 1G pipe welding, for which Smart Pulse automatically delivers a wider and softer arc.
  • Easy adjustment between the two, which enables more welding time welding.

“The PIPEFAB system comes fully programmed with weld modes optimised specifically for pipe and vessel fabrication. All processes – Stick, MIG, TIG and FCAW – can be accommodated and each one has been fine-tuned for maximum performance when using industry-standard filler metals, wire diameters and gas mixtures.

“In addition, stick modes are optimised for cellulosic and low hydrogen electrodes while MIG modes incorporate programmes optimised for 1.0 and 1.2 mm steel, stainless steel and metal-cored wires, with flux-cored modes optimised for 1.2 to 1.6 mm wires.

PIPEFAB also has a low-fume mode (Low Fume Pulse) and the power source is ideally suited for use with engine driven generators.

From a controls perspective, the PIPEFAB system allows operators of all skill levels to focus more on making sound welds by featuring: single button process changes; straightforward, easy-to-understand navigation; memory buttons for preferred settings; ArcFX® Technology for visual arc settings feedback; and single point of use controls that are all on the wire feeder.

Ready to connect to powerful, simple-to-use software, the system offers remote diagnostics and configuration, free and easy software updates; and access to Lincoln Electric’s CheckPoint Production Monitoring system.

“High-quality products and customer service are important aspects of the Lincoln Electric story, and these have been 100% adopted by all of us at Cosmo. We also offer welding expertise for workshop and onsite welding. If there’s a better, more cost effective or easier way to weld pipes or vessels, we at Cosmo have the expertise and full access to Lincoln Electric’s PIPEFAB technology to enable us to help,” Pretorius concludes.

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