African Fusion talks to Petrus Pretorius of Cosmo Industrial about Lincoln Electric automation solutions.
As a comprehensive welding solutions provider, Cosmo Industrial strives to deliver the highest levels of value and productivity for customers, no matter how small or big their needs. “Among these needs, we believe that manufacturing must move towards high productivity solutions in order to lower unit costs and become more competitive,” says Pretorius.
“So, with the help of Lincoln Electric, Cosmo Automation Solutions has been established to deliver total automatic welding and cutting technology solutions for South African manufacturers and fabricators,” he begins.
“Through Lincoln Electric and the brands under its ownership, we have access to a vast range of the worlds most advanced welding and cutting technologies to improve the welding and cutting capabilities of our customers and to better position our manufacturing capability as globally competitive.
“Depending on needs, we can install customised solutions to suit the volumes and investment capabilities of companies of any size: to help pressure vessel manufacturers, chemical plant fabricators, railway contractors, fuel and storage tank constructors, pipeline construction companies, and many more,” Pretorius tells African Fusion.
Automated TIG and plasma welding solutions
Pretorius first focuses on Lincoln Electric’s new TOPTIG process, designed to make the TIG process easier to automate and more productive.
“TOPTIG is a major innovation in the world of automatic welding,” says Pretorius. “It is a new variant of the classic TIG welding solution, which is still a preferred process for high integrity welding work,” he adds.
The underpinning idea behind TOPTIG is enabling automatic and robotic TIG welding to be as fast and as convenient as the automatic MIG/MAG process. TOPTIG therefore offers better accessibility for robot and automatic welding of complex structures: very good performance with respect to speed and the high quality, spatter-free welding associated with the traditional TIG process.
This is achieved via a new compact torch design that feeds filler wire through the welding nozzle and into the hottest zone of the TIG arc, causing the wire to melt into small droplets, exactly as in the MIG process. The use of a pulsed current along with synchronised pulsed wire feed also enables better control and more flexibility.
“This new process can be used effectively on carbon or stainless steel plates of up to 3.0 mm or on galvanised sheet with brazing wires. It is ideal for use in the automotive, fine boiler making, metal furniture, aeronautics, chemical process and plant installation sectors,” says Pretorius.
Lincoln Electric offers two types of TOPTIG installation with steady or pulsed current driving synchronised steady or pulsed wire feed. The TOPTIG 220 dc power supply and its associated RC-JOB controller power and control the system, and the innovative torch and push-pull wire feeder can be attached to any robot or fixed automation installation.
Also in Lincoln Electric’s offering are its automatic Plasma/TIG welding systems, which offer multiple and varied high quality seam welding solutions to suit the needs of vessel, tank and column fabricators.
At the starting point of the assembly of large vessels is the seam welding of flat sheet to the exact dimensions required. Lincoln Electric’s Seamer bench for longitudinal welding is ideal for this purpose, offering either the single torch plasma/TIG keyhole process or, for longer seam lengths and higher productivity, the dual torch plasma + TIG process.
The INTER seamer bench can include the in- and out-feed tables for material handling to further streamline production and a video-based vision system can be incorporated to help the operator to guide the torches along the weld seam.
As well as seamers, column and boom systems with rotators are available for circumferential welding of closing seams of rolled fabrications… read more.