Robust Feed U82 promises productivity, reliability and durability benefits
ESAB has launched the Robust Feed U82 wire feeder, which includes a full suite of advanced process control functions that help users increase competitiveness through consistent weld quality and appearance, address workforce skill issues, improve productivity and reduce operating costs through more uptime.
The feeder accepts 200 and 300 mm wire spools and is designed to work with ESAB’s Aristo 500ix and Aristo Mig 4004i Pulse power sources for MIG/MAG, pulsed MIG, flux cored and TIG welding, as well as carbon arc gouging.
The Robust Feed U82 combines the extreme durability of a portable, enclosed feeder and the precision wire feeding and control of a shop-style feeder. Its PreciDrive wire drive system delivers better arc starts and stops without backlash or play in the gears and features a 4-wheel drive system. Large diameter (38 mm) drive rolls offer more gripping area and provide more pushing force without deforming soft cored and aluminium wires, a common source of feeding problems. It handles solid wires up to 2.0 mm and cored wires up to 2.4 mm and feeds wire at speeds of 0.8 to 25.0 m/min.
Finger on the SuperPulse
“With the introduction of the Robust Feed U82, which offers our most advanced control panel, users in every industry can take advantage of the unique productivity, reliability and durability benefits of Robust Feed,” says Arne Lagerkvist, global product manager – Heavy Industrial Welding Equipment, ESAB. “This feeder also offers ESAB’s exclusive SuperPulse modified pulsed spray transfer process. SuperPulse combines a conventional pulsed waveform and with a second waveform or process to achieve specific goals when welding aluminium or stainless steel.”
SuperPulse process combinations are said to include:
Robust Feed U82 enables users to set limits on voltage and amperage, ensuring that operators can’t step outside of a set welding procedure. Further, once weld parameters have been set, the control can be locked, preventing unauthorised personnel from changing them. Additional quality functions include storing data on the last 99 welds, monitoring production statistics such as arc-on time and quantity of wire consumed and exporting statistics and procedures using a USB connection.
Robust Feed U82 enables users to create custom synergic lines or to choose from 259 factory-programmed synergic lines for steel, stainless steel, aluminium and NiCrMo alloys using the MIG, pulsed MIG or SuperPulse processes. Pre-programmed synergic lines speed set up because they have optimised parameters for the wire type, wire diameter, shielding gas and process selected. Data associated with each synergic line can be fine-tuned and subsequently stored, and the U82 can store up to 255 welding schedules.
Synergic lines for pulsed MIG can save many hours of process development time. To begin pulsed welding, operators simply select the synergic line. The system then provides optimum dynamic arc control to maintain consistent penetration and weld bead appearance, automatically adjusting for variations in arc length and wire feed speed. If needed, operators can use the wire feed speed control to fine tune the arc and all pulsing parameters will be automatically adjusted.
System adapts welding parameters
Robust Feed U82 offers all standard controls, as well as Qset and Short Circuit Termination (SCT). Qset — or quick set — and automatically optimises the short circuit arc for the gas/wire combination installed. After a few seconds of welding, the system adapts welding parameters to match an operator’s individual welding style, notably compensating for variations in contact tip to work distance and torch angle (such as when operators manoeuvre the torch around corners). “This lets the operator focus on torch mechanics, instead of worrying about whether they have set proper parameters. SCT technology sharpens the end of the solid MIG wire at the termination of a weld to promote a positive next arc start, reduce spatter and reduce the possibility of cold lap. SCT technology also eliminates the need for the operator to clip the wire.”
The Robust Feed U82 includes a 50 mm dinse connection on the back for the MMA or gouging torch and, when paired with an Aristo 500ix power source, allows operators to select the gouging mode at the feeder, eliminating the need to return to the power source to set process mode or switch cables for gouging. In addition, the Aristo/Robust Feed U82 combination gouges using a CV output. CV provides smoother gouging performance because the system will adjust the output current to maintain a set voltage even as the distance between the carbon and workpiece varies.
Robust Feed, which won the prestigious Red Dot Award for product design, improves ergonomics. “When carried by the middle handle, it rests comfortably against the side of the operator’s body when walking longer distances. Closer to the point of welding, additional front and rear handles make it easy to carry up a ladder, manoeuvre through confined spaces or pass the unit from one person to another.”
The Robust Feed U82 offers an IP23 models protection class rating (other models offer an IP44 rating). A completely sealed wire feed compartment protects the wire from water splashes, dust and other contaminants. An optional heater inside the wire feed compartment drives off moisture to preserve wire integrity, and double-wall design has special zones to provide impact and abrasion resistance. The controls, power and gas cable connections are protected inside the housing, and a reliable strain relief removes cable stress.
The Robust Feed series also includes the Robust Feed Pro, Robust Feed Pulse and Robust Feed U6 models. Target markets include traditional portable feeder applications in the ship, boat, civil construction, offshore, railcar and heavy maintenance industries, as well as users in structural steel, tank, vessel, trailer, mobile equipment and general fabrication.
“Between grinding dust, dirt and physical abuse, workshop environments can be extremely demanding,” says Lagerkvist. “The durability of Robust Feed can improve uptime in all applications, while its PreciDrive wire drive system maintains precision wire feeding performance to promote consistent weld quality.”