Automatic Spot Welding Equipment – Selecting the Right Tools For the Job
Automatic spot welders have become increasingly popular among construction workers because of several key reasons. Not only are they much more affordable than most dedicated welders, but they also tend to perform better and require less maintenance. Because automatic welders tend to run on auxiliary power and typically have long life warranties, they’re also a great option for large construction projects. Many modern automatic welding machines come with extended life warranties, so you’ll likely get more years of service out of it than you would with a dedicated welder.
There are two types of welders – the hand held type and the mounted type. Hand held welders can generally be used to weld both thinner and thicker materials. They’re also good for light fabrication work or smaller home projects. Mounted welders, on the other hand, can be mounted onto a table or workbench and provide the user with a much more ergonomic weld experience. Hand held welders often feel awkward to use, and don’t provide a very sturdy or stable weld.
Spot welds are one of the two types of automatic spot welding equipment that are commonly used. They are also the cheapest welding process available, especially compared to a dedicated weld machine. Spot welds usually start off with a preheated steel material to warm up before the welds, and then the material is fed into the welder via a hopper feeding system. The welder then positions the filler metal onto the weld puddle through a weld gun. Because they use a single continuous piece of steel to hold the welding gun and filler metal, these welds are referred to as ‘continuous welds’.
A third type is the tip dresser. A tip dresser is basically a table with two drawers, one for the welding filler and the other for holding the torch. The torch is placed on a pedestal at the end of the table, and the user places the torch down inside the tip dresser and activates the welding process. Like the previously mentioned, tip dressers offer a single continuous piece of steel for welding; however they offer a much less professional weld than a torch.
There are also three additional automatic spot welding operations available in today’s day and age of metal fabrication and welding equipment. These include: direct contact gas flow (DCGH), Continuous flow gas control (CFCG), and direct contact gas and electric current (DCIG). Direct contact gas flow is a convenient option for work pieces where the welder needs to control the flow of the welding fluid, but the constant flow of electricity makes it undesirable for certain work pieces such as automobile doors. Continuous flow gas control allows a welder to control the amount of welding fluid used, but this type of welding machine has no other worthwhile feature.
Last but not least is the use of tumblers. A tumbler is similar to a rubber stamp in that it can be pressed and rolled to produce detailed designs. However, instead of stamping the design directly onto the work piece, tumblers imprint a thin metallic coating over the welds. These do not affect the weld’s appearance in any way; however they provide a smooth surface that makes it easier to clean. Tumblers are commonly used in automatic spot welding equipment.