Raising the step on the competition

Miller Electric Mfg. Co.
Appleton, Wis.

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The compact, mobile Dynasty 300 DX TIGRunner system works well in tight, crowded spaces.

A1A Dock Products relies on a Dynasty 300 TIGRunner system for producing the best weld bead appearance. The fillet weld shown here (between the rung and one side of the ladder) looks the same on every rung of the ladder.

A1A Dock Products, Hollywood, Fla., is a fiveperson, family-owned manufacturer of aluminum marine dock ladders and believes in constant improvement. Although its AC/DC TIG machines functioned perfectly, A1A upgraded to two Dynasty 300 DX AC/DC TIGRunner inverters from Miller Electric Mfg. Co. because the machines' advanced Squarewave technology provides increased productivity and better starts, while being easy to use.

"With the Dynasty inverter, you can weld much faster and, when you strike an arc, it draws a puddle at least twice as fast as a conventional TIG," says Derek Grundler, A1A production manager. A1A now uses the new process exclusively because it produces the best weld bead appearance, only a 0.125-inch etched zone compared to the 0.25 inches from a conventional TIG.

The inverter allows the operator to adjust the output frequency from 20 to 250 Hz and extend the balance control up to 90 percent electrode negative. For welding marine ladders, A1A uses a minimum frequency of 150 Hz and sets the balance control at 75 percent. This focuses the arc cone in a narrow column, increases penetration at the root of the joint, minimizes the etched zone, removes heat from the tungsten, eliminates over-welding, and requires less filler metal and less heat.

The new inverters were another step up in A1A's manufacturing savvy, and allowed for the production of eight more ladders per day. At an average cost of $85 per ladder, that meant the company could increase sales by approximately $600 per day after switching to the system.

According to Derek, "The Dynasty inverter bought itself in the first two weeks of operating."

Because it uses inverter technology, the machine does not require continuous high frequency (HF) for AC welding. Once it senses the arc has been established, it shuts off the HF to minimize any potential interference with electronic equipment, a problem with conventional TIG. "With the Dynasty system, arc starts are perfect. And we don't have to worry about high frequency, which is a big thing in Florida where we have a lot of moisture," says Helmut.

Finally, Derek acknowledges the inverter's ease-of use. "The difference between inverter and conventional TIG technology is like night and day. If I were ever to teach anyone how to weld, I would teach them how to weld on the Dynasty 300 DX AC/DC TIGRunner inverter, he says."

Before: A fabricator of ladders needed to become more competitive while increasing productivity, lowering costs and improving quality.

After: The company retired conventional technology and, with an inverter upgrade, increased production by 18 percent.

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