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Tough little welder tackles clean-room piping.

Tough little welder tackles clean-room piping

The Miller Maxstar 90, which weighs in at only 31 lb, is taking on critical manual Gas Tungsten Arc (TIG) welding jobs for a company that fabricates process piping for the pharmaceutical, biotechnological, semiconductor, and aerospace industries.

The problem for process piping contractor Kinetic Systems Inc, Santa Clara, CA, was finding a reliable companion for its core of almost 100 automatic orbital welders in welding stainless steel for ductwork, piping, and containment structures.

Because most of the fabricating work is done on-site in clean-room conditions, there is a high demand for manual TIG welding to handle tacking welds that will be finished later with the orbital welders and applications where an automated procedure cannot be used.

Process piping requirements are highly complex and sophisticated. "Above all," says William Bianco, Kinetic Systems' founder and president, "they require meticulous, precise, and contamination-free welds." Such systems are specifically intended for applications such as pumping specialty gases and for duct systems, clean rooms, and everything else that goes into the piping and storing of high-purity gases and liquids. They can also be used for exhausting toxic gases to scrubbers and the like.

Most of the piping is stainless steel, although some plastics are used. Usually the piping is double-contained - for example a 1/4" tube inside a 1/2" tube terminating inside a box or enclosure of some kind.

Success of the Miller Maxstar 90 TIG welder has led Kinetic Systems to purchase 30 units with the eventual goal of buying a total of 60 to 70 machines. "The operators love the Maxstars," says Bianco. "Suddenly, somehow more and more of the previously used equipment is being passed in for replacement."

Running off normal 115-V 50/60 Hz primary current, the Maxstar 90 is capable of delivering 90 A power on a 20% duty cycle with a welding range of 0.5 to 90 A. The extraordinary size-to-power ratio of this little machine is obtainable through the use of the latest inverter technology. The result is a good machine for the sort of work Kinetics is doing, for which purpose, incidentally, Kinetics says a reliable machine did not previously exist.

Kinetic Systems purchased its Maxstar 90s with optional Snap Start High Frequency Arc Starters, a portable 250-A, 100% duty cycle, high-frequency arc starter, which attaches to the bottom of the Maxstar and impresses a high frequency on the welding circuit for noncontact arc starting when TIG welding.

At Kinetic Systems' headquarters in Santa Clara, systems are designed and some parts prefabricated and shipped to installation sites. Welding programs are also developed for use in the field by skilled welders.

Kinetics' job-site equipment includes a Class 100 clean room in a 40-ft trailer which the company has completely renovated and lined with stainless-steel sheeting. The all-welded air-conditioned and humidity-controlled unit is used for on-site clean-room fabrication.

Another Maxstar unit, the Maxstar 151, operates on a 230-V, single-phase line and delivers 150 A power for Stick or scratch-start TIG welding and 120 A power at 100% duty cycle.

Miller Maxstar 90 equipment was supplied by American Welding of San Jose, CA, one of the largest independent welding-supplies distributors in California.

PHOTO : A Miller Maxstar 90 constant-current DC inverter power source is used for Gas Tungsten Arc (TIG) welding the exhaust assembly for a reactor system going to Kawa Tech.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Nelson Publishing
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Manufacturing Solutions
Publication:Tooling & Production
Article Type:Product/Service Evaluation
Date:Oct 1, 1991
Words:559
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