fbpx Skip to main content

A New Automated Solution Takes TIG Welding To New Heights, Enhancing Both Speed And Precision

The following is an excerpt from an article published in Fabshop Magazine written by Joel Armstrong

Fabrication shops and contract manufacturers will soon experience another productivity boost. The introduction of SWR-TIPTIG, will give operators using the Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) or Tungsten Inert Gas Welding (TIG) process the ability to obtain the highest quality welds at speeds 2-3X faster than manual TIG welding, while maintaining the highest standards of weld integrity and the precision of the SWR.

With the smallest footprint in the industry, the SWR-TIPTIG is a cobot designed specifically for pipe, pressure vessel, and roll welding applications that demand the GTAW or TIG process.

The TIPTIG Welding Process

The TIG process uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode that delivers the current to the welding arc through the TIG torch. When filler metal is used, it is manually fed into the weld puddle by the welder. When it is not used, it is called autogenous welding. An inert gas, typically 100 percent argon, protects and cools the tungsten and weld puddle through the torch over the tungsten.

Fabrication shops typically use TIG welding when they need superior arc and weld puddle control. This process allows the operator to create clean welds when appearances are important. Because the heat input is often controlled by pressing on a foot pedal, similar to driving a car, TIG welding allows you to heat up or cool down the weld puddle, resulting in precise control.

TIG is used in situations where operators are working with thin material, exotic metals, and where high quality/testing requirements are required. In the past, root pass on critical pipe has required TIG because of the high quality of the weld (often called “defect-free welding”). The root pass on pipe is the foundation of the subsequent passes (and is often where defects/failures are found on SMAW and GMAW welds.)

The TIPTIG arc welding process is a unique hot wire TIG application known for the oscillating drive roll system to deliver the wire. The machine delivers 40-80 amps to the incoming filler metal and the oscillating drive rolls give the appearance of the “stacked dime” look.

The feeder oscillation is caused by the vibration agitating the weld pool. A secondary influence on the TIPTIG weld is the Hot Wire (HW) current which pre-heats the weld wire, improving the wire receptivity into the TIG weld. The agitation of the TIPTIG weld and the added weld energy creates unique TIG weld dynamics which slow down the weld solidification. Longer TIG weld fluidity allows more TIPTIG weld wire to be fed into the weld pool.

The Genesis of the Technology

Novarc began to receive more requests to enable the SWR to TIG weld. Novarc was adding more customers who were welding higher amounts of stainless steels, duplex, super duplex, inconel, etc. TIPTIG is a worldwide leader in TIG welding, and Novarc is a worldwide leader in pipe welding. The marriage made sense.

In terms of the advantages the technology delivers, Novarc pushes the limits of TIG welding to new heights using the advanced TIPTIG system, enhancing both speed and precision far beyond conventional standards. The SWR-TIPTIG not only significantly boosts productivity but also distinctly places welding operations above the competition in a demanding market.

Novarc’s SWR-TIPTIG system is the first of its kind. It’s a mechanized TIG welding system that allows the operator to make the highest quality welds with integrity and precision, at speeds that are 2-3x faster than manual TIG welding. Because of the ease of use of the SWR system, SWR TIPTIG reduces the skill level required for welding, making it accessible to a wider range of operators, allowing previously non-TIG welders able to make TIG quality welds.

Since its introduction, Novarc’s SWR has dramatically reduced human exposure to all welding hazards, positioning the operator several meters away from the welding arc and noxious welding fumes such as manganese, hexavalent chromium. Radiant heat and muscle fatigue are minimized as well. Conventional manual welders work closer to the arc where fumes will likely enter their breathing zones. Novarc’s welding technology allows the operators to work remotely from the arc, and with the use of proper ventilation, the risk of exposure to dangerous fumes can be eliminated.

In the Field

Understandably, a number of industries will benefit from SWR TIPTIG. The short list includes aerospace, food & beverage, mining and minerals, oil & gas, pharmaceutical, power generation, shipbuilding, chemical processing, water treatment & desalination. These industries, among others, will realize both speed and precision benefits far beyond conventional standards. All of these industries also have common struggles in today’s fabrication world as they are currently suffering from a lack of skilled labor and the limited productivity of manual labor. The opportunity to increase productivity without sacrificing weld quality is a huge driver across the board, which is why so many of these industries are interested Novarc’s cobot solutions.

Those that stand to gain a significant competitive advantage in a demanding market from Novarc’s SWR-TIPTIG process include fabricators already utilizing TIG welding (with Lincoln Power Wave® R450 Lincoln Power Wave® Advanced Process Module as their power sources) to weld a majority of their current production, and those working with common materials such as
stainless steel, duplex stainless, super duplex,Inconel, Monel and P91.

Read the full article on pg. 40 of Fabshop Magazine