29 Jun Minimize Orbital Welding Equipment Problems & Downtime
Once an Orbital Weld Technician has “couponed-in” or has his test coupon accepted by QA/QC to start performing welding, the last thing that they need is for the equipment to fail. Yet it happens all the time because orbital welding causes a great deal of wear and tear on the equipment. Failure related to Chillers, Pendants, Wire or Cable Disconnect, Home-Switch accounts for nearly 80 percent of all field failure and disrupts productivity — hours or even a whole day can be spent trying to identify and then qualify a new piece of equipment. This can be expensive as the skilled labor needed to perform orbital welding is costly, and even if welding is not taking place, payment for operator time is being logged.
Companies “in the know” understand that these failures cannot be avoided, but can be minimized by a few simple steps.
1. Maintain all orbital equipment at the end of each day by cleaning and replacing Tungsten. Also, a simple ‘blow down’ of the Orbital Weld Head with nitrogen or clean dry air can help clear debris and particles that can wear out your Home-Switch.
2. Upgrade the handle of your Orbital Weld Head to a new, “Strain Relief” handle that completely isolated each wire and cable giving longer life to the small control wires and cables that provide water and power to the weld head.
3. Ensure that the home switch isn’t damaged. Uneven wear and tear on a home switch can cause burrs and wire edges, which cause homing failures. CSI has a home switch solution that is more durable and forgiving, providing up to 10X the life (or more) of the standard home switch.
4. Buy a pendant that is lightweight and easy to use, having buttons that have tactile feedback or a touchscreen membrane or membrane switch. These are much more robust than the old style “rubberized industrial” buttons and are easier to use with less chance of breakage.
5. Utilize a Chiller or Cooling Unit that is robust and allows for isolated power to be provided as a power source. Many Chillers or Cooling Units rely on the power to run the pumps and fans to be provided by the orbital welding power supply. This can be a drain on the orbital power supply and may lead to poor welds in the field. It is also a source of power fluctuation to the Chiller or Cooling Unit which could lead to failure of the cooling supply that is vital to weld head temperature control.
Making your orbital weld system perform at its peak is not black magic. It requires a little time at the end of each day to do a bit of maintenance, and adding in a couple of simple components. Do these 5 things, and you will avoid breakage and ultimately “downtime.”
For more information on CSI’s Orbital Weld Innovations that were mentioned in this article, click here.