South African gas and welding products supplier Afrox has improved welding capabilities for onsite work by building a new construction site solution centred around its Multi-User Pressure Panel (MUPP) and combining its Miller ArcReach offering with its GasReach range.

The new system solves several issues in addition to improving safety in cylinder handling, as well as proving to be effective for any gas shielded welding process.

According to Afrox, the MUPP solution, designed originally for GTAW, also works with GMAW – to weld an open root, FCAW and MCAW and solves cylinder clutter problems in power generation boilers.

Process definitions

  • GTAW: Gas tungsten arc welding
  • GMAW: Gas metal arc welding
  • FCAW: Flux cored arc welding
  • MCAW: Metal-Cored Arc Welding
  • SMAW: Shielded metal arc welding
  • RMD: Regulated Metal Deposition

Considered ‘ideally partnered’ with Miller’s ArchReach technology, the new solution removes the need for control cables between power sources and ancillary equipment.

Afrox has also ensured that the welding cables are able to carry digital communications, developments that Johann Pieterse, Business Manager for the Manufacturing Industries, Afrox, have been assisted by the ability to increase the distance between a welder and a power source up to a hundred metres.

ArcReach products.

ArcReach products.

Source: Afrox.

A variety of arc welding processes can be used with the ArcReach technology, as indicated by the process below:

 · GTAW can be used to weld an open root before changing to SMAW for the fill and cap, achieved by unplugging the GTAW torch from the Miller ArcReach Stick/TIG remote and plugging in the SMAW electrode holder.

 · GTAW then switches to SMAW mode after the system automatically senses the process change.

 · Polarity Reversing technology automatically changes from DCEN to DCEP. The remote can then directly control the current.

The ArcReach suitcase feeder – available in full-size or smaller 8-inch version – can be combined with the welding cables if the welder needs to switch to GMAW or FCAW.

By hooking up the Miller ArcReach SmartFeeder to a Miller XMT FieldPro power source, Afrox said that costs and time can be saved as open-root and the fill-and-cap welding can be done with the same equipment, wire and gas.

To improve upon GTAW’s open root capability, this technology can also allow the welder to use a pulse-modified short-circuit mode, RMD. With RMD the need for a hot pass is eliminated, instead the conventional process involving large bore pipe welding is replaced with one the company claims are often five times faster that depositing the conventional GTAW root and hot pass. 

To rapidly fill the weld joint, the welder can switch the wire feeder to GMAW-P once the root has been welded. The process can eliminate slag formation and inclusion by using solid or metal cored wire. This type of wire is recommended whenever a suitable consumable is available.

RMD and GMAW-P technology can expedite the process considerably, with Afrox claiming it’s at least three times faster than conventional methods, with the resultant cost savings being more than 80%. 

Afrox states that the combination of the Miller ArcReach and Afrox GasReach technologies can ‘take modern welding technology to levels and places not previously imagined’. 

This ‘360° solution’ can be used in a variety of applications including carbon steel, stainless steel and low alloy creep resistant steel, with practical industrial uses being in large bore boiler pipe repairs, workshop build-up and cladding, in=situ repair welding and replacement welds in power generation boilers and petrochemical gasifier plants.