Orbital Welding | Pipe Welding | Tube Welding
New, Used and Refurbished Orbital Welding Equipment
For Sale or for Rental, we have the largest range of makes and models in Used and Refubished Orbital Tube to Tube sheet, Tube welders and Pipe orbital and Pipe welding machines.
We can also supply Worldwide tuition, sub-contractors, spares and repairs for any Orbital Welder we supply.
Manufacturers of Orbital Welders for tube and pipe including edge prep ancillary equipment and tube and pipe tooling
Trading for over 50 years, Westermans International has built up a huge knowledge of Orbital Welding Equipment stocked at our warehouse in the centre of England.
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Orbital welding systems offer computer controls that store welding schedules in memory. The skills of a certified welder are thus built into the system, enabling the production of enormous numbers of identical welds and leaving little room for error or defects.
Orbital welding first found use in early 1960 when the aerospace industry recognized the need for a superior joining technique for aircraft hydraulic lines. The solution: a mechanism to rotate a welding arc from a tungsten electrode around a tube-weld joint. Regulating weld current with a control system automated the entire process. The result was a more precise, reliable method than manual welding.
Orbital welding became practical for many industries in the early 1980s with the development of portable combination power supply/control systems that operated from 110-V AC. Modern orbital-welding systems offer computer controls that store welding schedules in memory. The skills of a certified welder are thus built into the system, enabling the production of enormous numbers of identical welds and leaving little room for error or defects.
Orbital welding uses the gas-tungsten-arc-welding (GTAW) process as the source of the electric are that melts the base material and forms the weld. During GTAW an electric arc forms between a tungsten electrode and the work piece. To initiate the arc, an RF or high-voltage signal will ionize the shielding gas to generate a path for the weld current. A capacitor dumps current into the arc to reduce are voltage to a point where the power supply can regulate. The power supply responds to the demand and provides current to maintain the arc.
In the orbital welding process, tubes/pipes are clamped in place and an orbital weldhead rotates an electrode and electric arc around the weld joint to make the required weld. An orbital welding system consists of a power supply and an orbital weldhead.
Power Supply: The power supply/control system supplies and controls the welding parameters according to the specific weld program created or recalled from memory. The power supply provides the control parameters, the arc welding current, the power to drive the motor in the weld head and switches the shield gas(es) on/off as necessary.
Weld Head: Orbital weld heads are normally of the enclosed type and provide an inert atmosphere chamber that surrounds the weld joint. Standard enclosed orbital weld heads are practical in welding tube sizes from 1/16 inch (1.6mm) to 6 inches (152mm) with wall thickness' of up to .154 inches (3.9mm) Larger diameters and wall thickness' can be accommodated with open style weld heads.
Reasons for Using Orbital Welding Equipment
There are many reasons for using orbital welding equipment. The ability to make high quality, consistent welds repeatedly at a speed close to the maximum weld speed offer many benefits to the user:
- Productivity. An orbital welding system will drastically outperform manual welders, many times paying for the cost of the orbital equipment in a single job.
- Quality. The quality of a weld created by an orbital welding system with the correct weld program will be superior to that of manual welding. In applications such as semiconductor or pharmaceutical tube welding, orbital welding is the only means to reach the weld quality requirements.
- Consistency. Once a weld program has been established an orbital welding system can repeatedly perform the same weld hundreds of times, eliminating the normal variability, inconsistencies, errors and defects of manual welding.
- Skill level. Certified welders are increasingly hard to find. With orbital welding equipment you don't need a certified welding operator. All it takes is a skilled mechanic with some weld training.
- Orbital welding may be used in applications where a tube or pipe to be welded cannot be rotated or where rotation of the part is not practical.
- Orbital welding may be used in applications where access space restrictions limit the physical size of the welding device. Weld heads may be used in rows of boiler tubing where it would be difficult for a manual welder to use a welding torch or view the weld joint.
- Many other reasons exist for the use of orbital equipment over manual welding. Examples are applications where inspection of the internal weld is not practical for each weld created. By making a sample weld coupon that passes certification, the logic holds that if the sample weld is acceptable, that successive welds created by an automatic machine with the same input parameters should also be sound.
Industries for Orbital Welding
Thanks to its ability to realise high purity results, orbital welding found its place in the production of clean-room components for the semiconductor industry. Its application has now expanded to the construction of pipework and equipment for diverse industries like food processing, pharmaceuticals, chemical engineering, automotive engineering, biotechnology, shipbuilding and aerospace. Automated orbital TIG welding is also used in the construction of power stations, (thermal power plants). The construction materials used must be able to withstand the enormous mechanical loads produced by the high pressures and temperatures created by the media carried in the tubes. Notches, pores and inclusions in the weld seams must be avoided at all costs, as these create weak points that can lead to subsequent formation of cracks, which in turn can have serious consequences in terms of component failure. This means that tubes are often made from nickel-based materials with walls up to 200mm thick. One manufacturer has developed an orbital narrow gap welding system with hot-wire feed specifically for this purpose, which uses running gear that moves on a guide ring fixed around the tube. This new variant has excited a lot of interest in the sector, with the worldwide boom in power station construction fueling the never-ending search for increasingly productive manufacturing methods using new types of high-temperature steels.
* Aerospace: The aerospace industry was the first to recognize the advantages of automated orbital welding. The high-pressure systems of a single aircraft can contain more than 1,500 welded joints, all automatically created with orbital equipment.
* Boiler tube: Boiler-tube installation and repair offer perfect applications for orbital welding. Compact orbital weld heads can be clamped in place between rows of heat-exchanger tubing.
* Food, dairy and beverage industries: These industries require consistent full-penetration welds on all weld joints. For maximum piping-system efficiency, the tubing and tube welds must be as smooth as possible. Any pit, crevice, crack, or incomplete weld joint can trap the fluid flowing inside the tubing, becoming a harbor for bacteria.
Orbital welding equipment can also be used to manufacture Process Towers, Chemicals Reactors, Silos, Storage Tanks, Heat Exchangers, Pressure Vessels, Boilers, Pipelines, Ovens, Structural Steel, Columns Process , Biodiesel Plants plus much more.
Other Industry Sectors: Semiconductor,Pharmaceutical/Biotechnology,Nuclear,Power Generation,Shipbuilding,Defence,Oil/Gas Installations,Petrochemical,Fossil,Brewery,Pulp/Paper,Offshore,Vessel Manufacturing,Wastewater Treatment, Heat Exchanger Manufacturing
Applications for Orbital Welding
Aerospace: As noted earlier, the aerospace industry was the first industry to recognize the requirement for orbital welding. The high pressure systems of a single plane can have over 1,500 welded joints, all automatically created with orbital equipment.
Boiler Tube: Boiler tube installation and repairs offer a perfect application for orbital welding. Compact orbital weld heads can be clamped in place between rows of heat exchanger tubing where a manual welder would experience severe difficulty making repeatable welds.
Food, Dairy and Beverage Industries: The food, dairy and beverage industries require consistent full penetration welds on all weld joints. Most of these tubing/piping systems have schedules for cleaning and sterilization in place. For maximum piping system efficiency the tubing must be as smooth as possible. Any pit, crevice, crack or incomplete weld joint can form a place for the fluid inside the tubing to be trapped and form a bacteria harbor.
Nuclear Piping: The nuclear industry with its severe operating environment and associated specifications for high quality welds has long been an advocate of orbital welding.
Offshore Applications: Sub-sea hydraulic lines use materials whose properties can be altered during the thermal changes that are normal with a weld cycle. Hydraulic joints welded with orbital equipment offer superior corrosion resistance and mechanical properties.
Pharmaceutical Industry: Pharmaceutical process lines and piping systems deliver high quality water to their processes. This requires high quality welds to ensure a source of water from the tubes that is uncontaminated by bacteria, rust or other contaminant. Orbital welding ensures full penetration welds with no overheating occurring that could undermine the corrosion resistance of the final weld zone.
Semiconductor Industry: The semiconductor industry requires piping systems with extremely smooth internal surface finish in order to prevent contaminant buildup on the tubing walls or weld joints. Once large enough, a build up of particulate, moisture or contaminant could release and ruin the batch process.
Tube/Pipe Fittings, Valves and Regulators: Hydraulic lines, and liquid and gas delivery systems all require tubing with connector fittings. Orbital systems provide a means to ensure high productivity of welding and improved weld quality. Sometimes the tubing may be welded in place to a valve or regulator body. Here the orbital weldhead provides the ability to produce high quality welds in applications with restricted access to the weld joint.
Specialties: Automated Orbital Welding, Orbital GTAW, Narrow Groove Welding Technology, Mechanized Welding, Mechanized GTAW
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