Accessing the Advantages of Remote Control Welding Technology
Remote control welding technology allows welding operators to set welding parameters at the joint without the need to carry, route, troubleshoot and maintain expensive control cables — all while delivering consistent welding performance.
Gaining optimal welding parameters
Efficiency, safety and profitability are important to any company, but especially to a welding operation. In addition to general best practices and welding operator training, equipment advancements can help meet quality and production goals, while also helping keep welding operators safer on the job. Remote control welding technology is one of those advancements.
Remote control welding technology allows welding operators to set welding parameters at the joint without the need to carry, route, troubleshoot and maintain expensive control cables — all while delivering consistent welding performance. Learn more about the advantages of remote control welding technology.
Welding on the jobsite
For any application, following proper welding parameters is critical, as is employing proper and consistent techniques. On some jobsites, however, the expanse of the location can sometimes compromise that goal.
Welds in some environments are often made at extended distances from the welding power supply. Because of this distance, operations often use portable wire feeders that do not require a control cable. However, up until recently, these feeders did not provide voltage control. As a result, welding operators often select a single set of welding parameters that are a “best fit” to accomplish all of the joint orientations. This best fit eliminates the need to travel back to the power source repeatedly to change settings.
At first glance this approach seems viable. It enables the welding operator to stay at the joint, reducing the need to access controls in inconvenient locations. In reality, a company may be sacrificing quality and productivity by settling for less-than-optimal settings.
For example, it’s possible that the welding operator may have selected a lower output setting for out-of-position welds and is using that same setting for welding in the flat/horizontal position. Because you can use higher output settings and travel speeds for flat/horizontal applications, the welding operator is losing time with these less productive weld settings. That can lead to costly rework, too, since too cold of a weld setting, for instance, can lead to poor fusion and/or porosity, especially when welding over pre-construction primer.
Remote control technology enables the welding operator to set welding parameters at the arc without a control cord and without using wireless controls that require batteries or line-of-sight for operation. This technology uses the existing weld cables to communicate with the power supply. This helps the operator obtain the best welding parameters for the desired joint orientation — right at the joint. These optimized settings, when coupled with good techniques, help produce high-quality, properly sized welds at a faster rate.›
Having the proper weld settings can also reduce the cost per foot for welds. In some cases, reducing these costs can add up to thousands of dollars annually per welding operator.
Achieving quality, productivity and cost savings through remote control technology
Providing welding operators with a convenient means to obtain the right weld settings and the skills to watch for problems is critical to reduce rework. Proper training is key. Also, Iook for ways to minimize downtime, including reducing maintenance activities, to gain greater productivity and reduce costs.
Fabrication welding environments often use long weld cables that are easily worn and cut when operators pull them over sharp surfaces. Worn cables with damaged insulation can lead to a bad weld. The result is downtime to repair both the cable and finished component, and potentially, issues with weld quality. Control cables, when utilized, are often routed with or taped to weld cables, and are exposed to the same hazards, resulting in even more problems for the welding operator. Damaged control cables can result in significant downtime and costly repairs.
Newer remote welding technologies don’t remove these environmental hazards, but it removes the additional cables to minimize maintenance. By eliminating control cables, companies can remove costs not only for purchasing them, but also repairing and replacing them. And they can eliminate downtime to troubleshoot issues associated with damaged cables, while reducing trips back to the power source to make adjustments.
Power sources that employ remote control technology rely on voltage sensing wire feeders. These feeders display the actual arc voltage and current measured at the arc. This enables the welding operator to compare the real-time reading to weld setting presets. Welding operators can continually monitor parameters to ensure that the machine is delivering appropriate power to the arc. This capability helps welding operators take out the guesswork when it comes to adhering to the prescribed weld procedures, resulting in more consistent weld quality. It also helps to reduce rejects, rework and scrap, further improving weld quality and increasing productivity. Plus, making fewer trips to the power source to make voltage adjustments means there is more time available for welding.
Improving safety on the jobsite
The degree of difficulty, fatigue, frustration and/or potential hazards associated with welding are very real challenges in many welding environments. The work can be tiring, especially on vast job sites that require a lot of travel between the power source and joint. Creating a safe workplace is just as important as creating an efficient one.
Remote control technology supplies the benefit of a control cable electronically, without the need for the physical control cable. It operates by using the existing secondary weld cables for communication. In doing so, it adds control to welding system components that were previously available only at the power supply. There is no longer a need to walk back to the machine for adjustment, which can greatly reduce a welding operator’s exposure to trip hazards and ladder use, increasing safety and reducing fatigue at the end of the day.
Advantages of remote control technology
When it comes to operating a safe, efficient and profitable welding operation, look at all aspects that contribute to that success. From establishing the best welding parameters to minimizing unnecessary jobsite movement, it is possible to gain greater quality and productivity. Welding operators who are empowered to make the best welds with equipment offering remote control technologies can contribute positively to the overall welding operation, while also gaining the benefits of greater safety.