Product Applications – Twin Arc Seam Tracker Welding

Gullco KAT Travel Carriage, Gullco Seam Tracker: Automated MIG Welding Process Case Study

Product Applications - Twin Arc Seam Tracker Welding

Product Applications – Twin Arc Seam Tracker Welding System

When the company began its industrial engineering and tolling program for a new series of hydraulic, truck mounted cranes, it became clear that a new welding process would be required. The company had extensive experience in long automatic seam welding, using the Submerged Arc Process, but the new high tech product designs from their Engineering Department called for 20-foot long seam welds on all for corners of new, box section crane components. The new joint designs were perceived as not being applicable to the company’s existing submerged arc welding process. A decision was made to apply the MIG Process in a fully automatic mode, controlling two torches and welding two joints at the same time. Experiments were initiated at the company to determine the exact welding parameters required to successfully complete each joint. Gullco international Ltd. Was contacted to examine the type of equipment required to automate the process.

Product Applications - Twin Arc Seam Tracker Welding

The equipment chosen was Gullco’s KAT variable speed travel carriage and Gullco electronic seam tracker modified to position two 400 amp. water cooled, torches in micro-adjustable gun holders. Tests proved out the concept that two seams could be put down at the same time, using a single automatic seam tracker provided that the individual guns could be accurately set up for each different joint design and size. The Gullco micro-adjustable holders enable the machine operator t repeat proven set-ups within 0.010 tolerance providing fast changeover time from one set of section design to the next.

The automation aspect of this process was then addressed by Gullco with the design operator control station providing control of all travel carriage, seam tracker and torch ignition functions. The control station is integrated with the travel carriage which also carries the two identical wire feeders and two spools of wire.

Product Applications - Twin Arc Seam Tracker Welding

The operator sets the carriage travel speed to the required DATA setting for the joints and orients the torches into the specified angular approach setting then zero adjusts the automatic seam follower for pre-determined torch stick-out setting.

The welding operation is then performed automatically with the operator now controlling travel carriage stop-start and torch stop-start at the front mounted traveling control station. The installation was completed with the incorporation of a water cooler, to cool the two straight shank mounted 400 AMP water cooled torches. The company’s need for high quality seam welding for two joints at a time and the cooperative efforts of the company’s welding engineers and supervisors with Gullco’s application personnel resulted in the development of a highly successful low cost automatic, twin arc seam welding system conceived and assembled out of available, high quality and proven welding components and automated to proved weld control from the beginning to end of seams.

Product Applications - Twin Arc Seam Tracker Welding

By Removing the variables of manual controls and automating the welding process, using pre-determined valves and settings, the company was able to produce precise filler profiles at high travel speeds with the two torches counteracting the tendency of each torch to induce distortion in the box section being produced.

The company cites this system as a striking example of how highly effective automation can be accomplished using readily available and serviceable components in unique arrangements with out the costs of custom-design, one off specialty equipment.

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