For wind tower section fabrication, one company offers joint tracking and positioning systems for submerged arc or GMAW arc welding. Arc Products’ systems include Seam Tracker for automated weld joint tracking, motorized slide control systems for manual joint positioning, and a cross slide assembly for vertical and horizontal arc positioning.
Seam Tracker uses a tactile sensor, control and cross slide assembly to provide automated joint positioning. The company says the systems are ideal for repetitive welding applications and are recommended over manual and semiautomatic welding to improve quality and consistency while reducing costs. According to the company, features include:
- Easy set-up – Units are often installed in one day.
- Easy operation – Most operators with welding experience quickly learn the system.
- Simple system selection – Select required level of automation, choose a cross-slide assembly based on needed load capacity, determine necessary travel stroke length of each axis and select the application-specific seam sensor tip. Pre-configured systems also are available.
- Advanced Programming Control – Program an entire sequence of the weld cycle with position-based or time-based comments, storing up to 19 weld programs.
Seam sensor components and tips offer automated weld joint tracking. The seam sensor tracks the weld joint by responding to the probe tip’s movements in both x and y axes, sending feedback signals to an advance or standard control unit.
- Accurate tracking – Sensor-feedback loop lets the system maintain a ±0.005 in. accuracy to align the welding arc with the weld joint.
Motorized slide control systems provide horizontal and vertical axis positioning for submerged arc or GMAW arc welding. Operators control movement using an intuitive joystick pendant in simple, repetitive welding applications to improve weld consistency and quality, while reducing operational costs in comparison to manual welding operations. Features include:
- Responsive arc positioning control – Less operator fatigue and error compared to hand crank-operated manual slides.
- Easy to install and set up – Minimal fixturing required, delivering lowest cost entry to hard automation.
- Simple system selection – Choose a cross slide assembly based on necessary load capacity and determine the needed travel stroke length of each axis. Pre-configured systems also are available.
- Flexible integration – Incorporate with almost any welding power source, feeder, and controller group.
Cross slide assemblies can be used to mount submerged arc or GMAW single or tandem welding arc equipment. These compact, lightweight systems are capable of manipulating the arc in the horizontal and vertical axes with fast travel speeds. Features include:
- Three standard models:
- CS40—40 lbs. at 6 in. from adapter plate with a 24 ipm travel speed. Ideal for MIG applications where loads are small or size constraints exist.
- CS250 – 250 lbs. at 12 in. from adapter plate with a 32 ipm travel speed. Works with most single arc welding. A reverse motor allows two systems to weld in close proximity.
- CS450 – 450 lbs. at 24 in. from adapter plate with a 17 ipm travel speed. Features heavy-duty assembly for single or twin arc applications. A reverse motor facilitates simultaneous welding from two systems in close proximity.
- Rugged construction – Ball-bearing V-wheels ride on hardened steel rails mounted on an aluminum base structure, while totally enclosed dc gear motors drive the covered re-circulating ball screws.
Lincoln Electric Company
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