New Design Improves MIG/MAG Wire FeedingOct 28, 2014
Portable system incorporates single-source delivery concept for smoother, simpler delivery approach and higher-efficiency welding
Reliable wire feeding promises to bring the efficiency and consistency of automated welding processes to operators working in more standard situations, including work sites. EWM AG’s drive 4X wire feeder is a new development that allows MIG/MAG welding operators to have all the reliable components of an automated system, from the power source and filler materials, to the welding torch, with the reliability of automation. By optimizing the welding sequence, the operator is able to improve process speed and efficiency, and achieve greater welding precision.
The core of the system is a new wire-feed mechanism. Each wire-feed roller is driven by its own cogwheel. As these four cogwheels are interlocked with the drive shaft, the wire-feed rollers are guaranteed to run synchronously. The result is a safe and reliable wire feeding.
Each of the drive shafts of the four wire-feed rollers are mounted on two ball bearings, promoting longer service life than is common with sliding bearings (which are more commonly used in similar devices.)
Two set-screws can be used to adjust the contact pressure of the roller pair simply and individually, according to the material used.
With a diameter of 37 mm, each wire-feed roller is sized similar to the wire-support areas so the pressure on the wire is very even, and as a result the wire delivery is effectivley stabilized.
Different filler metals and different wire diameters require appropriate wire-feed roller sets, each of which consists of four identical wire-feed rollers. These wire-feed rollers are color-coded and available for wire diameters from 0.8 to 1.6 mm. V-grooves are suitable for steel, stainless steel, flux cored and solder wires; U-grooves are suitable for feeding aluminum materials. The color codes allow operators to distinguish between 10 different roller packages.
To exchange the rollers, each one is unlocked and folded open without removing it from the wire feeder. The rollers are then exchanged and the roller holder is closed and locked. Thanks to the interior lighting, this can also be done where lighting conditions are poor. The process is safe, requires no tools, and no parts can be lost.
Threading the filler metal is simple, too. The wire is inserted into the wire-feed nipple, and the wire-feed mechanism then transports the wire until it comes out of the torch's contact tip. The wire spool is exchanged quickly too, including threading-in.
The device is assembled for sturdiness and convenience, with ergonomics in mind. The carrying handle is arranged to balance the wire-feed mechanism and the system’s light weight makes transport easy. The dimensions are suitable for difficult to access spots, even for carrying through manholes.
All the connections of the wire-feed mechanism are easily accessed from the outside, but shielded by a protective flap. Intermediate hose packages are connected without tools and without the need of expert personnel, which also adds to the system’s portability. The central and water connection at the front is recessed and additionally equipped with a plastic impact protection.
The drive 4X has a single universal control unit for all MIG/MAG welding machines in EWM’s alpha Q, Phoenix and Taurus Synergic S series. The devices are standard equipped for all welding methods, and the Multimatrix control unit has a stand-by mode that saves energy during welding breaks. Essential information — e.g., the job number, the kilowatt indication for calculating the energy input per unit length, and the motor current of the wire-feed mechanism for improved operational safety — is visible at a glance.