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ESAB Demos Welding, Cutting and Safety

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friction stir welded steelfriction stir welding processplasma cuttingCutaway of an ESAB regulatorProving that even an editor can effectively – and safely – use a plasma cutting torch, ESAB Welding & Cutting Products, North America recently allowed members of the media to try out its welding and cutting devices after the company’s experts exhibited them.

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The demos were part of ESAB’s press event on April 23 in Florence, South Carolina. In business for more than 100 years, ESAB offered demonstrations of its current product lineup. The press event also included a tour of ESAB’s facilities and a glimpse of the company’s operations implementing lean manufacturing principles to increase efficiency.

For body shops looking to increase cycle time and efficiency, ESAB recommended its MultiMaster 300X welding system. The company said the apparatus, used with Dual Shield X-Series wire, offers more forgiveness for less experienced welders and more production from skilled welders.

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For cutting metals, ESAB said its PowerCut Plasma cutting systems are easy to use and keep consumable costs low. The PowerCut system’s torch features a patented electrode design with integrated gas baffle.

Company representatives demonstrated the advanced friction stir welding (FSW) process used with aluminum and non-ferrous metals, which are difficult to weld with traditional arc welding methods. ESAB introduced the first friction stir welding system for carbon steels, and the company showed the press how the system doesn’t melt material; it softens, stirs and forges it together. FSW produces no fumes, noise or arc, and reduces part deformation. There is also virtually no dilution in cladding.

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Other ESAB exhibits included the AristoMig and Hybrid Laser Arc Welding (HLAW) systems. Company representatives also discussed ESAB’s various filler metals and core wire available.

Much of the day’s events focused on welding and cutting safely, and the company also discussed safety in all aspects of a shop environment – including gas regulators. ESAB manufactures a line of patented cylinder regulators designed to enable a cylinder explosion to be contained if a regulator is misused.

Spontaneous ignition can occur any time oxygen comes into contact with certain impurities, especially hydrocarbons, resulting in a cylinder-based fire or explosion. Regulator pieces can become burning projectiles capable of causing serious injury to employees. This risk exists whenever prescribed practices for safe handling are not rigorously followed.

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ESAB’s regulator design contains the explosion within the cylinder, minimizing the risk of injury. In testing to simulate operator misuse, ESAB regulators were more effective at minimizing the risk of personal injury than any competitive model, the company said.

Since actions speak louder than words, ESAB gave the media an explosive demonstration by introducing hydrocarbons into one of its regulators and into a competitor’s regulator. The demonstration destroyed the competitor’s regulator – which could have severely injured a shop employee in a real-world accident – while ESAB’s unit kept the fire from reaching the gas, preventing regulator destruction.

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For more information on ESAB, visit www.esabna.com.

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