When should an operation consider switching to pulsed MIG welding? Use these questions to help you decide.
- Are excessive post-weld grinding and cleanup costing too much time and money?
Pulsing allows the ability to use the entire wire speed range without entering globular transfer. This is a benefit when welding material thicknesses that don’t fall cleanly into spray transfer or short-circuit mode. Conventional CV would require a globular transfer, which results in extreme spatter, poor arc characteristics and the potential for rework. With pulsed MIG, operators can run globular transfer wires speeds but still keep a clean arc and bead profile. This reduces spatter and the time and money spent on cleanup.
- Do I spend a lot of time training new welders?
Pulsed MIG systems are designed with synergic control that provides ease of use for welders of all skill levels. This means easier process setup that translates into time savings and better weld quality, since it helps ensure operators are using the right parameters for the job.
- Am I spending money on wasted materials due to distortion or burn-through?
Because (as mentioned below) wire feed speed can be increased to match welding amperage, travel speeds will also increase. Travel speed is one of the main drivers of heat input — when travel speed goes up, heat input comes down. Therefore, the higher travel speeds of pulsed MIG help reduce heat input, which helps reduce distortion and burn-through that can cost time and money.
- Do I need to increase productivity in my operation?
Pulsed MIG welding will typically see an increase in wire feed speed to match welding amperage when compared to standard spray transfer. This results in more weld metal going into the joint, which can increase productivity in the welding operation. The ability to reduce spatter, distortion and burn-through also helps improve productivity, since less time will need to be spent on these non-value-added activities.
- Does my operation do a lot of out-of-position welding?
Pulsed MIG delivers better weld quality and puddle control when welding out of position with solid or metal-cored wires. This results in less part handling for reduced operating costs.
- Are you looking to reduce consumable costs?
With pulsed MIG welding, it’s possible to use larger-diameter welding wire. This is because the lower amperage better controls the current, allowing a larger wire to be used on the same material thicknesses where normally a smaller-diameter wire would be required. This can allow an operation to standardize all weld cells with larger-diameter wires, which typically offer a lower purchase price than smaller wires.
Watch this video to learn more about the challenges that are driving manufacturing operations to pulsed MIG welding.