Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mig Welders And Other Automotive Service EquipmentMig Welders And Other Automotive Service Equipment

Ask anyone in the industry what the hottest equipment is in the world of automotive service equipment and they'll name items such as plasma cutters, mig welders, and other welding equipment. And, when you try them out and discover the quality of the cuts and welds they make, it's no surprise. This equipment is a cost-effective and easy-to-use option when compared to the work done by earlier technology.

Mig Welders And Other Automotive Service Equipment

This type of equipment comes in a number of convenient types to repair or make almost anything quickly and easily. With these machines, you'll look like a seasoned professional. All you need to do is match the machine to the work you're doing.

Arc Style Machines

The earliest advancement on the traditional torch, arc welders are an entry level of automotive service equipment that are also some of the easiest to use. More commonly known as stick welding, this unit joins thick metals together quickly using an electrode and electric arcs.

Mig Welders

The next step up from an arc welder, mig welders, use a wire feed and produce a lower heat. This prevents metal distortion and allows you to do a higher quality job on thinner metals such as those involved in auto body work.

Mig welders feed a constant stream of wire with a pull of the trigger, but you'll still need to choose your supplies carefully. Wire, for example, comes in easy-to-use flux core wire for a quick job on thicker materials, or a gas/solid wire combination for all other work.

The type of gas you use also makes a significant difference on the weld quality. Argon and CO2 are best for stainless steel and aluminum. To prevent the wire feed from sticking on the weld line, be sure to use a Teflon liner. Finally, you'll need to choose the appropriate wire diameter and tip size.

Once you've chosen the appropriate automotive service equipment, you'll still want to practice on scraps before working on the final piece for the best results. This is particularly true for aluminum and other delicate materials. Also, don't be afraid to watch the gauges and flow meters on the supply lines as well as on the machine itself. In the end, you'll find mig welders quick and affordable while still doing a quality job.

Tig Or Tungsten Inert Gas

Unlike the first two machines mentioned, this style requires a combination of heat and tungsten electrodes to work. One of the biggest advantages to this style of welder is the fact that it heats and joins the two metal pieces together without the need for filler materials. The only exception is argon or other gasses needed to create the shielding.

You'll notice that mig welders join metals together much faster than tig welders. However, tig welders work with higher precision and accuracy, which is great for customized work. Tig machines require more skills and practice to use properly. The possibility of preventing cracked seals or damaging the weld is also significantly decreased.

Plasma Cutters

There's no denying the precision of plasma cutters. To get clean, accurate cuts, these units use an electric arc and gas/air at a high pressure, along with a high-speed wire and low heat setting. You'll also notice that newer lines of plasma cutters have an inverter in place of the transformer. This keeps the temperature of the machine lower and makes it possible to have smaller, lighter machines without jeopardizing safety or quality.

With all of the different styles of plasma cutters available, you'll want to choose carefully. Duty cycle should be one of the main determining factors in your decision. This determines how long you can use this automotive service equipment before having to allow it to cool. Generally, you'll discover that bigger machines can handle thicker metals and run longer to give it a bigger duty cycle.

The other important feature you'll want to make note of is the rating that is assigned to plasma cutters by the manufacturer. This will tell you how long each unit can cut through mild steel before needing to be cooled down. The rating varies, however. If you're working on tempered steel, the length of time you have to make the cut will be far lower. Aluminum, on the other hand, is far easier to cut, and therefore gives you more operating time to work with.

Features Found On Mig, Tig, Arc & Plasma Cutters

Arc Welders

Arc welders are packed full of helpful features to improve the precision of this automotive service equipment and make them easier to use. Unlimited amperage control means you have the ability to create professional welds. Their lightweight and super-sturdy design makes this type of welder highly portable and durable enough to withstand regular wear. You'll also find that some models of arc welders have thermostatic heat protection and a roll bar design to give the unit increased protection against damage.

Mig Welding Equipment

Ranging in size from a small, portable 115v, 20 amp machine to full sized shop automotive service equipment, mig welders are one of the few that combine a relatively low price tag with high quality performance. You can also gain full control over the quality of the weld with a full range of settings. Finally, these machines come with added benefits such as colder running temperatures and some of the best warranty options.

Tig Welders

Even the most basic tig welding machines come loaded full of features. Push button control panels make them easier to use while higher end models let you easily adjust the machines repeatable weld cycles, start, and weld crater. To customize the shape and size of the bead, look for models with true square wave AC output and pulse mode. Lastly, look for models with added safety features such as warning code circuitry and voltage protection.

Plasma Cutters

Like the welders mentioned previously, plasma cutters come with a full range of features. Single-dial controls for quick adjustments, pressure gauges, and built in air pressure regulators put you in full control of this automotive service equipment and result it cleaner cuts.

Additional features such as parts-in-place indicators, line voltage compensation, and thermostatic protection add to the safety of plasma cutters. Finally, if you'll be doing repetitive work with complicated cuts, CNC robotic interfaces on your automotive service equipment will ensure you get consistent, accurate results every time.

Automotive service equipment like mig welders and plasma cutters come in a variety of different types with many different features to get you the best cut or weld possible. In order to achieve the cleanest, most precise repairs, you simply need to match the right automotive service equipment to the job.

Chris Harmen is a writer for ASE Deals, America's top choice for automotive service equipment. ASE Deals offers competitive prices on all tools and repair equipment including mig welders, air compressors, auto lifts and more.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Chris_A._Harmen

Information For the Manufacturing Engineer

As a manufacturing engineer one must be familiar with all the available manufacturing processes. In this article we will be discussing water jet cutting and how it can be used to improve your manufacturing process. Waterjet cutting at its simplest form is a jet of water at a very high pressure that abrasively removes material. This water usually has an abrasive material such as Garnett added to aid in the abrasive material removal qualities.

It works by pressurizing water up to 60,000 psi, and forcing it through a tiny opening Waterjets are capable of cutting a variety of materials with CNC accuracy. Typical part tolerances range from between 0.005 and 0.010 of an inch. When small amounts of abrasive particles, such as garnet, are mixed into the jet stream, the resulting "abrasive waterjet" can cut virtually any hard material such as metal, composites, stone and glass.

Waterjet Cutting vs. Lasers
Laser cutting is a very productive process and certainly has its place. However, Waterjets do have several advantages over lasers:

There are no thickness limitations. A typical 1500 watt CO2 laser is limited to about .625" thick steel plate. There are no problems cutting with reflective materials such as Brass, Copper and Aluminum. There is no heat output, so there is no heat-affected zone (HAZ). Waterjets can cut materials, which are heat sensitive such as plastics, rubber or composites.

Waterjet vs. Plasma
Plasma removes material around 5800 deg f. leaving a large heat-affected zone. The surface finish of plasma generally is very course with a lot of slag. This slag requires secondary operations to remove where water jet cutting does not. Abrasive Waterjets have no thickness limitation, and can be much more closely nested.

What tolerances can we expect from waterjet cutting?
The accuracy you will get Typically +/- .010" but depending on part size and part thickness.

How thick can it cut?
Typical waterjet's can cut up to 8.00" in thickness depending on material type and hardness.

What materials cannot be cut?
Almost any material can be cut by water jet. There are some exceptions that can prove to be difficult; these materials tend to be laminated in construction. Test cuts have resulted in delaminating.

How thick is the Kerf?
The Kerf is about 10% of the diameter of the cutting orifice. If a .040" diameter tip is used Kerf is around .043" in diameter.

What is the minimum radius/ diameter that can be cut?
The radius limitations are dependent on the diameter of the orifice being used and are equal to the Kerf diameter. Using a .040" diameter tip the minimum radii and hole diameter will be around .043".

What taper can I expect?
The taper you get is a function of the cut speed. However, the worst taper you will get will be equal to the maximum Kerf width at the top (example: 0.043") and 0.000". At the bottom. As you slow down the taper will be reduced until you get parallel sides.

What fixturing is required?
Since the force exerted on the work piece is very small (under 5 lbs. for average cuts), the need for very large, stiff fixtures is eliminated.

For more information on waterjet cutting services and how they can benefit your manufacturing production visit http://www.e-bti.com.

Brent Cohagan
Cohagan Engineering, Inc.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Brent_Cohagan

Purchasing Plasma Cutters

Plasma cutters are an important tool to have when it comes making sure you have the right automotive service equipment to get repairs done right. Like mig welders, this equipment uses electricity and gas to work, but that's where the similarities end. If you're looking to buy plasma cutters for your home shop or commercial garage, this article will explore a few things you should know before making a final purchasing decision.

Types and Features of Plasma Cutters

This type of automotive service equipment comes in three main types:

Compact - Noted for high power in a small, portable package, compact machines like these run off a standard 120V AC outlet, making them ideal for repairs on the go and onsite repairs. They cut everything from aluminum and stainless steel to carbon steel with ease and will remove spot welds almost instantly.

This style also uses a basic air compressor rather than requiring special gases and classes to haul it from place to place. Quality models will come with fans to keep everything cool and extend the life of the machines, built-in regulators with air reducers for total control, electrodes of various lengths, and different nozzles.

Low Amp Plasma Cutters - Low amp automotive service equipment models are similar to mig welders in the fact that they run off either 120 or 230V outlets. You can't beat this type of machine when it comes to cutting stainless, carbon steel, or aluminum, or removing spot welds. They also have built in pressure regulators, easy-to-use control panels, and fans to keep them cool. Larger wheels ensure that they move around far more easily and, because they run cooler, these machines won't over heat and damage the metal. For ease of use, look for models with compact handles, long tips, and longer nozzles, which are designed specifically for tight areas.

High Amp Styles - This type of plasma cutter runs upwards of 85 amps and weighs in at almost 100 lbs. Generally, thought of as stationary automotive service equipment, this style is available in 'engine driven' models or with a 'valet style' undercarriage for improved maneuverability. Machines that include VORTECH technology and dual winding technology give you a fast arc, better cutting speed, and improved performance with superior cutting abilities.

Features such as quick disconnects make it easy to remove and change torches while LED panels and indicators make the system easy to read and control. Other features to watch for include Parts-In-Place and lockout circuits for improved safety. For increased precision, particularly with repetitive or difficult cuts, select plasma cutter models with a CNC/Robotic interface.

Use & Application of Different Types of Plasma Cutters

Once you're aware of the types of plasma cutters you can choose from, you'll need to weigh the benefits of each style in order to determine which type is best for you.

Compact plasma cutter models are ideal for on site repairs of lighter metals of 3/8" or less in thickness. This means that those in auto body, farm, hobby, HVAC, and sheet metal fabrication absolutely love these machines. Additionally, since they run on 110V outlets, you won't be fighting to find somewhere to plug them in either.

Low amp machines are ideal for those industrial uses such as HVAC, light plate, and sheet metal fabrication. They make quick work on metal up to 3/4" thick and have winding technology, lower dross levels, and quick arc transfer rates for easy starts and fast restrikes so that you find it easy to work on even expanded metal.

If you'll be cutting metal up to 1 1/4" thick, you'll definitely need to look at high amp plasma cutters. This style of automotive service equipment is ideal for the most intense, industrial situations. In fact, this style is a favorite model for those working in fabrication, maintenance, and other heavy-duty applications.

Best Plasma Cutters Brands

Lincoln, Thermal Dynamics, and Marquette are just some of the best brands of plasma cutters you can find on the market. However, the reason why these brands have earned that title is far more important.

Warranty is an important aspect of any quality automotive service equipment brand. You want to be sure that the style of machine you purchase comes with at least two years worth of parts. This is vital since these cutters can be extremely expensive to repair. Also, be sure to go with a brand that has been around for awhile in order to improve the likelihood that you'll be able to get parts 10 or 15 years down the road.

ISO certification is also important when identifying quality brands. This system ensures that each machine meets strict industry standards and is tested before it ever leaves the plant. The plant itself is assessed and tested on a regular basis to ensure that it meets standards from start to finish.

Most importantly, make sure that you only purchase from a reputable dealer who offers quality equipment at a competitive price. This will ensure that you get the automotive service equipment that you ordered without worrying that the price is inflated, or that the certification and brand has been faked. You'll get quality equipment and quality customer service, and that's worth the time you take to research machines and dealers.

Chris Harmen is a writer for ASE Deals, America's top choice for automotive service equipment, including plasma cutters, car lifts, motorcycle lifts, welders, auto shop equipment and air compressors. ASE Deals offers competitive prices on all tools and repair equipment.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Chris_A._Harmen