Shield Technologies say their Shielding Gas Economiser could save welding facilities large amounts lost on excess shielding gas.

They say that leading South African water-heating equipment manufacturer Kwikot is saving more than a million rand ($200,000) per annum using their product, which has also helped to increase production throughput by reducing defects.

Shielding Gas Economisers were installed on all welding machines as part of a comprehensive intervention to increase efficiency at Kwikot's Benoni plant, which operates three eight-hour shifts. $quot;We checked the entire gas reticulation system for leaks, but did not find many. This means that Shield Technologies can take most of the credit for the 50 percent saving in gas consumption that we have achieved,$quot; says Kwikot production director Michael Davel.

The Shield Technologies Shielding Gas Economiser reduces gas consumption by lowering the pressure in gas hoses. Shield Technologies managing director Wayne Holt explains, $quot;Most users of MIG and TIG welding consume two to three times the amount of shielding gas that they should. This wastage is caused by excess gas stored in the delivery hose. The Shielding Gas Economiser is designed to restrict gas flow surge at the start of a weld by reducing the pressure and volume in the hose.$quot; The small pressure drop in the Shielding Gas Economiser hose and the smaller volume can reduce gas wastage by up to 80 percent, says Holt.

By eliminating gas surges, the Shielding Gas Economiser also reduces defects caused by porosity at the start of a weld. According to Wayne Holt, this feature is responsible for the significant increase in production throughput that has been recorded at the Kwikot plant since the Shield Technologies equipment was installed.