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  • Orbital Welding Stainless Pipe

    I have been tasked with determining whether or not an Orbital Welding System would be profitable for us to purchase. I know NOTHING about orbital welding other than it costs a lot for the equipment. The job that has prompted this inquiry has the potential for 2 units a month for the foreseeable future. Each unit has 7 - 6" pipe welds, 25 - 4" pipe welds, and 19 - 3" pipe welds. The pipe is Sch 10 316 Stainless Steel. In our shop we bid 1 1/2 hr per 6" weld and 1 hr for 3" and 4" welds. Our quote for that welding is 54.5 hrs. that time includes all time used from first getting the drawing to making cut list to cutting, weld prep, fit up, tacking ,welding, and post weld wire brushing. Actual weld time for a 3" weld is 4 to 4 1/2 minutes per pass. They get a root and a cover so 8 to 9 minutes per joint. So my questions to Y'all are,

    1) Which systems out there are quality systems.
    2) How much time does orbital welding really save.

    Thanks in advance for your input.

  • #2
    Call in the salesmen from RedDArc & Precision and they will happily provide you with information by the wheelbarrow load.

    More importantly they will willingly lease you equipment, which on a job of this nature may be the best way to go. Leasing saves you money up front, is 100% tax writeoff, and is MAINTAINED by the leasing company.
    There is also a good chance one of them or another salesman can arrange a field trip for you to see a system in production.

    Honestly I don't see your prospective job as either sufficiently large or guaranteed sustainable ongoing to invest in equipment at this point.

    The industry has changed considerably over the last 20 years, largely due to leased equipment that arrives when needed and leaves when finished with KNOWN cost rather than the shop with the machine gets the job at their price. Leasing or rental is 100% writeoff rather than a depreciable asset. That is usually advantageous.

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    • #3
      Thanks Franz, I have reached out to my local welding supply rep, he's an oldtimer with tons of welding knowledge. I have also seen a few companies on line today that have leasing programs. Leasing does sound like a viable option. We do whats called bead and crevice free welding on ploypro plastic pipe and rent that machine when we need it. Thank you for the input.

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      • #4
        You also want to look at working leasing companies backwards once you figure out what machine you need and how heavily you'll be using it.

        Leasing companies got only 1 product, money, and they go nuts figuring out how to wangle deals.

        Let's say you decide you want a Lincoln XYZ 3794 with Q, W, and Z capability and the option to add options D & K in the future.
        Instead of spending your hours sourcing the machine and getting it leased you put the specs on paper, send the paper forth to multiple leasing companies and let them brawl. They have economic power you and I never will, and manufacturers will bend over to sell machines to leasing companies.
        Leasing agents rarely have a clue what the machine is, or what it does, but they have the power to make the manufacturer or actual vendor jump and make you happy.

        I fell into leasing backwards in the 80s when money was tight. My salesman would spend hours putting a deal together oly to watch the banker laugh at the buyer's ability to pay = No Sale and lost hours.. Brought in a Leasing company who would pick the client up from Bankruptcy court and finance the deal he desired. I made sales nobody else could because I didn't have to deal with client ability yo pay.

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        • #5
          I have 2 orbital tig units
          Bob Wright

          Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
          http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

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          • #6
            And that is why when Franz talks, I don't mind listening.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by aametalmaster View Post
              I have 2 orbital tig units
              I'm curious to ask, do you use these in house or have you sourced outside work to make them pay?

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              • #8
                They were given to me. Just the welders. They prob welded small tubing
                Bob Wright

                Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
                http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

                Comment


                • #9
                  What units do you have Bob, and how large do they go? What I've found so far today for rotating heads units go from either 1" pipe to 4-1/2" or 1-1/2" to 6". I would want the larger cap. unit for my needs.
                  Franz you right about working with people that have buying power. My Grainger rep (Yes Grainger) has gotten me deals on a few tools, his price totally crushed all other deals I could find.

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                  • #10
                    I would say probably not worth it but then it all depends on how good your welders are. You still have to fit up and tack the pipe so its only the weld time you might save some time on. Do you gap the pipe and run a root or do you butt it tight and fuse?

                    I haven't used their orbitals but MK makes quality stuff. Not cheap Im sure but I would check out their stuff if your in the market.

                    http://www.mkproducts.com/p-orb-diamondback.htm
                    www.silvercreekwelding.com

                    Miller Trailblazer 325 efi
                    Miller extreme 12vs
                    Thermal arc 186 ac/dc
                    Lincoln power wave 455m/stt with 10m dual feeder

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                    • #11
                      Also another thing to consider is you will likely need to develop new procedures for orbital.
                      www.silvercreekwelding.com

                      Miller Trailblazer 325 efi
                      Miller extreme 12vs
                      Thermal arc 186 ac/dc
                      Lincoln power wave 455m/stt with 10m dual feeder

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Another option you may not have thought of is stt or millers rmd. From what I hear millers rmd is close but not as good as lincolns stt. With these processes you don't need to purge the pipe and so that is a time saver in itself. Im not sure how well they work on sch10, I would be more inclined to tig it. Certainly wouldn't try on the under 6" but for the 6" it could be an option.
                        www.silvercreekwelding.com

                        Miller Trailblazer 325 efi
                        Miller extreme 12vs
                        Thermal arc 186 ac/dc
                        Lincoln power wave 455m/stt with 10m dual feeder

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks Willvis My guys and myself are GOOD. I told my boss the same thing that you still have all the fit up and tacking, We do gap sch 10 so it's a root and a cover. about 8 minutes weld time on 3". I don't know if orbital can do a fusion on sch 10 but I'll find out. This is only the start of day 2 on this adventure, I'm sure I'll learn a bunch and will pass the knowledge along. Thanks for the link I'll check it out. I've looked at the Lincoln stuff. The C663 does 1 1/2" thru 6", that would cover my needs.Today I'll check out Miller.

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                          • #14
                            Really good looking work.

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                            • #15
                              If you want to save time on that sch10 then butt it tight. You still need to bevel the pipe. Go slow and around 60 amps. What your watching for is to see the puddle swirling. If you've ever welded sanitary then you'll know what I mean. Swirling means that the inside is fussing. Done right it will looks smooth as glass on the inside. May take a few practice welds before you understand what I mean. The key is to go slow especially at the start. Once the swirling has started you can speed up a bit. Then its just one pass over top to cap it out. You will save a ton of time on fitup and its much easier to purge. I still tape the joint to get the initial purge but once that's done you can pull all the tape off. This only works on sch10 or thinner.

                              Its pretty easy once youve been shown how. Maybe your company is better off spending that orbital money on having me fly down and do some consultation work
                              www.silvercreekwelding.com

                              Miller Trailblazer 325 efi
                              Miller extreme 12vs
                              Thermal arc 186 ac/dc
                              Lincoln power wave 455m/stt with 10m dual feeder

                              Comment

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