Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation (TNSC) is focusing on developing welding products, including the production and sale of the SANARC brand of premixed welding gas in Singapore, according to The Gas Review.
In addition to welding gases, the Tier One corporation is also actively developing related equipment, such as TIG welding systems and plasma welding products. Their SANARC TIG Meister features semi-automatic operation with a special torch and wire feeder attached to a commercial TIG welding machine, and it has recorded sales of more than 400 units to plant manufacturers and shipbuilders in the four years since it was introduced to the market. Product development, basic research and application technology research for this welding field is performed by the Processing Technology Section of the Yamanashi Laboratory. It was here that the results of many years of research into welding technology formed the foundation for the SANARC products.
Organisational changes made in April this year eliminated the Gas Application Technology Centre as department and replaced it with three new departments that would conduct more specialised R&D for fabrication technology, combustion technology and cryogenics technology. Of these, the Fabrication Technology Department is responsible for R&D into welding, cutting and heat processing, as well as technical support for users.
For welding, the company is proposing optimisation of gases based on premixed gases starting with SANARC. In the welding laboratory, it has installed more than ten welding robots from major Japanese manufacturers, including DAIHEN, Panasonic and YASKAWA Electric. The company also has welding power supplies from manufacturers all over the world. All of these allow TNSC to recreate the application environments in user facilities. The company monitors welding conditions with high-speed cameras and use cross-section observation devices to evaluate welding results. Test pieces from users are bought to this laboratory in efforts to optimise gases.
Tomoaki Sasaki, Manager of the Fabrication Technology Section, said, “There is a wide variety of steel materials, which are always progressing. There are an increasing number of consultations about not being able to achieve the same welding results even though the same gas is being used.”
Solving issues with premixed gases is important to users as well, which enables them to suppress investments in facilities. Sasaki replied, “We are working to improve after-sales service for our ongoing gas users. Our development theme is to achieve total cost reduction.”
For SANARC, TNSC’s Singapore subsidiary Leeden National Oxygen has been producing the SANARC brand of premixed gases from April this year and has started sales in Singapore and Malaysia. This is the first attempt to expand SANARC premixed gases overseas. To provide technical support for local staff, representatives of the Fabrication Technology Department have made trips to Singapore to provide training. During the current fiscal year, the facilities of the Yamanashi Laboratory will be refurbished, and the addition of training rooms is being considered.
“We want to use the facilities to deepen the general knowledge of welding technology for both staff in Japan and staff invited from overseas centres,” explaine Sasaki.
TNSC is also actively developing peripheral devices for welding. The above-mentioned SANARC TIG Meister was a very successful product that has been developed at the Yamanashi Laboratory.
Sasaki added, “There is a great need for slagless welding of duplex stainless steel. It was difficult to achieve this type of welding only by optimising the shield gas, so we adapted the total system in development.”
Essentially all of the research personnel involved in future technology development have onsite welding experience, and this creates a large advantage, according to Katsunori Wada, Senior Researcher for welding technology in the Fabrication Technology Department. Personnel exchange is periodically implemented with TNSC’s Kawasaki plant, where air separation units and other products are manufactured. Researchers too have onsite welding experience.
Wada contined, “If you do not understand the work site, you will not know what is needed where. This knowledge is vital to creating successful products. Onsite experience was invaluable in developing the TIG Meister, and it also leads to determining suitable mixture ratios for premixed gases.”
To expand the product lineup, last year saw the development of the SANARC Hot Wire System, which added a hot wire feature to the TIG Meister, and the SANARC Plasma Meister, which achieved equivalent welding performance to plasma welding using a TIG welder. A specialised nozzle is currently under development.
The Gas Review, issue no. 441t