When it comes time to replace your MIG gun, you may think it’s as simple as going to the store and buying the same one you’ve used in the past; but is that really the case? Besides the obvious; amperage, wire type, air-cooled or water-cooled, what should you be thinking about when buying a replacement MIG gun?
When I visit welding facilities around the country I get to see the ins and outs of many different welding processes, including the treatment, handling, and safety of their MIG guns and their general weld technique. I’ve seen both ends of the spectrum, good and bad.
During my years as an Area Sales Manager, there was one question that I regularly got asked from our customers & welders:
"Danny, why am I going through an excessive amount of contact tips, gas nozzles, gas diffusors, tip adaptors & liners?"
The answer may be simple.
We often see different materials used for welding torches and their consumables. Mostly you can see Brass and Copper or Copper alloy - depending on the needs. Since there are various Copper alloys, we focus on the Copper Alloy: CuCr1Zr. Remember also that Brass, which is known as an alloy from Copper and Zinc, has many variations, as well. We will work with an example here.
Most lightweight welding torches are designed to last. Problem is, a lot of welders and welding professionals don’t believe it. There are ‘problems’ with lightweight torches – they can have a bad rap, or are misunderstood. Light doesn’t mean weak. In fact, a lot of times it’s just the opposite.
Usually when I'm meeting with a Foreman or Production Manager and get a chance to talk first hand to his or her welders, one of the most common topics that come up is their contact tips. The problem: they have to change them too much. This kills productivity for the shop, takes a big bite out of cost, and generally just creates a less efficient atmosphere for the welder to work in.
So why are your contact tips not lasting? And what are the problems that cause the contact tips to fail? How do you prevent them? I'm going to go through below the 3 most common contact tip problems I run across on a day to day basis, and how typically you can overcome those problems.
When I meet a customer for the first time I like to ask them first and foremost about the torches they currently use. Most of the time they answer the question something like this:
ABICOR BINZEL is excited to announce the launch of three new ABIMIG torch models to our manual MIG welding line. Our new ABIMIG AT and ABIMIG A combine the ergonomic and comfortable grip of the existing WT in an air-cooled model.
I've been in the welding industry for something going on 40 years. I've seen a lot, and to this day I still see a lot of welding operations out there that put some crazy contraptions on their welding fixtures to get their welds done. Some of them make sense for the applications, but a lot of times they're doing it to their own detriment.
When deciding on a new welding torch, value is everything. Value means you are getting the best performance, the easiest maintenance, and most comfortable usage for your competitive purchasing dollars. And when considering what value is when you’re looking at all the MIG gun options out there to try, superior design will deliver that value time and again. And if that design comes from the very same kind people who will end up using the final product, then you know you have a welding gun that was designed with the welder in mind.