There was something for everyone at FABTECH 2018 but what most wanted to find out was what is going to be new - or improved - for next year.
More than 35,000 attended the trade show where there were 1,500 exhibitors at the Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta on 6th to 8th November.
They battled through stationary traffic around the city to see what the most popular and trend-setting products are, or will be, in the metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing industry.
Airgas had one of the largest booths in Hall C that featured a display of its ready-to-weld pure argon and argon mixtures (ARCAL™ Prime, ARCAL™ Chrome, ARCAL™ Speed, ARCAL™ Force and ARCAL™ Flux) in cylinder form. One of the key features of ARCAL™ is the SMARTOP residual pressure valve equipped with an on-off lever and a permanent pressure gauge.
“This has been a great opportunity to show it to the customers and learn how quickly they want to see it,” Eric Klein, Vice-President Manufacturing & Metal Fabrication US Markets at Airgas LLC, told gasworld.
Also at the Airgas booth was a jobsite skid featuring an innovative gas mixer that provides accurate mixes at minimum to maximum flow levels and low to high temperatures. This new Airgas dynamic onsite mixer provides accuracy and repeatability, as well as being convenient and portable.
Airgas also debuted the K-TIG technology fully integrated on a Red-D-Arc Port-A-Weld manipulator system, a single-pass, full-penetration keyhole welding technology which performs a six-hour TIG weld in under three minutes - just 1% of the time normally required.
Chart Industries, Inc. also had a sizeable booth and its new Trifecta® Pro Gas Suply System received plenty of interest. Chart has already done two installations of the project which is a solution for reliable and continuous laser assist gases for delivery pressures up to 550 pounds per square inch gauge (psig) and flow rates up to 15,000 standard cubic feet per hour (scfh).
Drawing liquid from a standard bulk tank, the Trifecta system boosts the liquid pressure by alternatively feeding two liquid cylinders equipped with innovative multifunction pressure building vaporisers. It boasts to have no down-time – it maintains pressure and flow when bulk tank is filled - and minimal losses and eliminates high-pressure pumps, compressors, cylinder cradles and surge tanks. Through the Trefecta, Chart has supplied a customer with a turnkey solution for their nitrogen laser assist gas expansion and remote monitoring with control. The Trifecta System is available for nitrogen, argon and oxygen service along with different flow rates and operating pressures.
During the three-day trade show, ESAB Welding & Cutting Products announced it was offering a lifetime warranty on Victor® EDGE™ 2.0, along with a 100% satisfaction guarantee on its gas and welding equipment.
“The proven performance in Victor EDGE 2.0 regulators has given us the confidence to offer the lifetime warranty,” said John Henderson, Director Product Marketing, ESAB.
“In addition, ESAB’s 100 Percent Satisfaction Guarantee provides enhanced purchase protection for 100 days after the date of purchase for qualifying products. If users are not satisfied within that time, an ESAB customer care representative can help them with a replacement or refund.”
Victor®, an ESAB brand, has also introduced the EDGE™ 2.0 ESS32 series of medium-capacity single-stage cylinder regulators, which are available for all common gases, including acetylene, L.P. (propane), oxygen, air, hydrogen, carbon dioxide and inert gases. The Victor EDGE 2.0 ESS32 medium-duty regulator enables users to differentiate between the high and low pressure gauges, as well as distinguish pressure settings from a distance. It has a large diameter delivery gauge and uses a high-contrast, colour-coded gauge face that enables operators to more easily see and set delivery pressure. The cylinder pressure gauge is smaller and offset to create a difference in depth perception.
Henderson added to gasworld, “People said the gauges are too small and I don’t know which one is which. We made the low pressure gauge larger. It’s also the only regulator in the world that can withstand a fall.”
Saf-T-Cart has teamed up with Cimarron Composites and at FABTECH they introduced their 2019 Pluto gas delivery package, which is designed to transport and stores molecules of gas instead of steel. The Pluto model can be filled to a pressure of 4350psi while maintaining a standard 2400psi outlet valve or a 4350 outlet valve. The total weight of frame and composite cylinder is 840 pounds and is used for argon, helium, hydrogen, compressed or natural gas, neon, nitrogen, ethane and propane.
McDantim, which specialises in on-site gas blending, showcased its Trumix® blender that mixes carbon dioxide and nitrogen on demand, keeping an applied pressure to the keg or serving tank while maintaining carbonation of the beer without disrupting its CO2 volume. The Montana-based company’s blender can make any dual or triple combination of gases from the shielding gas group (argon, carbon dioxide, helium, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen).
Praxair had a large presence and on display was its Portable Microbulk Gas Delivery System, which can be placed close to where the welder is working. It is a complete gas supply system that can be moved while full and works where the customer works. It helps improve productivity and boost efficiency, while reducing costs. The 86-inch wide system ensures a high purity gas supply that delivers argon and argon/CO2 blends at 600 cubic feet per hour. It is being used in the shipping and construction industries.
Cold Jet, an Ohio-based developer in providing high performance dry ice cleaning solutions, provided entertaining dry ice cleaning demonstrations over the three days. The demos showed the capabilities of Cold Jet’s i3MicroClean® and its dry ice blasting technology which is a non-abrasive, non-conductive cleaning method that is fast and without the use of chemicals or solvents. Cold Jet’s system uses recycled CO2 in the form of dry ice MicroParticles to clean and prepare surfaces.