The valve on the gas cylinder is turned open as far as possible so that gas flows sufficiently and a safe shielding gas coverage is ensured. Finally, the weld seam should be of good quality and besides ... gas is always there. In this way, day after day, litre after litre of shielding gas flows out of the gas cylinder into the working area, and thus into the environment, completely unnecessarily. At first glance, the gas manufacturer may be pleased with the high gas consumption of the customers, whereas the bank account of the producing company and the environment are not. However, it is so easy to reduce gas consumption through the appropriate gas setting in gas-shielded welding – and this applies to robot welding as well as to manual welding. Yes, that' s right: manual welders can also have the exact amount of shielding gas supplied automatically. And they can do this completely without a pressure regulator for shielding gas.
Gas Management – a win-win-situation
Gas offers incredible savings potential for companies that employ welders or use welding robots. Each of these companies can reduce about half of their gas costs for a welding workplace through a small device. The gas supplier could sell more superior, process-optimised gases and both would additionally contribute to CO2 reduction. In fact, it is possible to get support for the correct adjustment of shielding gas. And this is how it works.
Problem: initial gas emission – Can a pressure regulator for shielding gas be useful?
Everybody knows the problem, when starting the gas flow with the so-called initial gas emission, an accumulated amount of gas is released abruptly. This emission is caused by a ring line pressure applied up to the solenoid valve in the wire feed unit when the gas flow is stopped. This pressure discharges as soon as the gas flow is restarted – and allows an unnecessary amount of unused shielding gas to escape. The opposite case occurs if not enough shielding gas coverage is achieved with the first gas flow. In particular, this is the case when a ring line supplies gas to several welding stations at the same time. This is also referred to as a charging blockage. We have experienced live that when using conventional pressure regulators, three welding workplaces starting at the same time could not achieve proper gas coverage even with a 1-inch ring line. The welding torches took so much gas away from each other that each had too little shielding gas coverage.
Disadvantages of pressure regulators
Conventional pressure regulators are very slow but can significantly increase the demand on the ring line in the opening moment. An additional disadvantage of such pressure regulators is that they are set manually and the set pressure does not automatically adjust to the current intensity. Although the current volume flow in l/min flowing through the gas line can be checked through a sight glass – if it is visibly attached and not damaged or dirty. However, necessary adjustments can only be made manually.
Setting the correct gas volume for gas-shielded welding
The most important factor for a welder is a good quality weld seam. The amount of gas used for gas-shielded welding is not important. Unfortunately, because a significant amount of gas and thus CO2 emissions can be saved by using the optimum gas quantity for gas-shielded welding at any time. The best way to set the correct gas quantity for gas-shielded welding is to use the appropriate technology without manual intervention. The EWR 2/EWR 2 Net gas management system automatically regulates the gas flow rate – no pressure regulator for shielding gas or flow controller can do that. The responsible welding specialist or the production supervisor determines the pre-setting for the gas flow rate. With this small intermediary device, the welder can no longer change the gas flow himself. And this is not necessary, because the gas flow is adjusted automatically. Disturbances in the gas line such as leaks or debris that cause insufficient gas flow are compensated directly. This means that the optimum amount of shielding gas is always fed to the welding process and only when required. Faults are also indicated.
But a quick return to intervening in the gas volume: Nothing can be adjusted by third parties on the gas management system itself either, because this is ensured by the password protection.
Visualised in black and white: the savings potential
Is it worth investing in such a gas management system for your own production? Is it possible to see the individual savings potential directly? Yes, it is worthwhile for robot welding as well as for manual welding. With the EWR 2 or EWR 2 Net, the current shielding gas consumption and how much less gas is needed to achieve exactly the same welding result can be analysed directly on site and visualised in a report.
The same applies to the question if investing in such a gas management system is worthwhile at all. The amortisation calculator integrated in the EWR 2 software can also be used for a comparison measurement to show directly after how many months the costs for one device will have paid for themselves
How can your shielding gas consumption be determined on site?
It's very simple: use the ABICOR BINZEL calculator to determine the savings potential and then schedule a free trial run. With such a test placement every customer receives an individual shielding gas consumption analysis.
The following example of a consumption analysis at a customer with robot production shows the savings potential:
Quickly implemented in the welding process
Extensive retrofitting or even other welding equipment is not necessary for the implementation of the patented gas management system EWR 2/EWR 2 Net from ABICOR BINZEL. Find out here how the relatively small device can be installed in the existing process directly between the gas cylinder and the welding power source and thus always automatically set the correct gas quantity for gas-shielded welding.
A gas-saving device for manual welding – that's not worth it, is it?
If you haven't watched the video above yet, you are probably wondering at this point: Is a gas-saving system for manual welding worthwhile at all? Wouldn't it be more suitable for robotic welding?
We can say quite clearly: Saving shielding gas is also worthwhile for manual welding. Gas can be saved with an EWR 2 unit not only when preparing components that will be processed with a welding robot in the next step. Examples in this regard are:
- the tacking of components
- many short weld seams
- frequently changing components
- high quality requirements
- expensive and high-quality components
Watch the video on how the EWR 2 / EWR 2 Net works!
Added value also for welding distributors
Every welding distributor who also offers welding gases may think now: "This EWR 2 is not my thing, after all, I want to sell my gases too". From our point of view, exactly the opposite is the case: The EWR 2/EWR 2 Net is not a competing product for gas sales. If a distributor includes the ABICOR BINZEL gas management system in his product range, he can be more to his customers than just a supplier. Moreover, he can be someone who offers his customers solutions and added value based on partnership. He can therefore also be a distributor who enables his customers to have better processes and higher quality. And best of all: he contributes to CO2 reduction and environmental protection.
If the gas management system is calibrated every 12 months, it can be used for many years. In Germany – according to the Ordinance on Industrial Safety and Health (BetrSichV) – and many other European countries, an annual inspection of the working and operating equipment is mandatory. The calibration can either be carried out directly on site by the ABICOR BINZEL service team and takes approx. 15 minutes, or the system can be sent to ABICOR BINZEL for calibration. The system will be returned with an enclosed calibration report.
As you can see, settings for gas-shielded welding are not that difficult. With the right equipment, it is even child's play – and that applies to robot welding as well as manual welding.
Read more about the gas management systems EWR 2 and EWR 2 Net, including their technical details here.
Small effort, great effect. Are you in? Feel free to contact us if you would like to find out about your savings potential. We look forward to visiting you on site.
See you soon …