Multi-Process Welding

The design and capabilities of welding power supplies has changed and is continuing to change, rapidly. One of the technologies driving this change is the development of power supplies based on inverter technology.

This technology is particularly well suited to welding aluminum alloys, especially thin aluminum alloys.

Advancements in multi-process machines are making it even easier to gain quality results for various welding processes, even in harsh environments, and they feature a smaller footprint to maximize space on tight job sites and in fabrication shops.

In the welding industry, companies are always looking for ways to create a more efficient operation and maintain — or better yet, increase — profitability.

For some operations, a single-process power source is enough to meet the job’s requirements. However, for companies that have applications with varying needs, a multi-process power source can offer significant benefits in terms of quality, productivity and cost by providing the capacity to TIG, MIG and/or stick weld, as well as carbon arc gouge.

Transformer-based Welding Machines

Traditionally, welding power supplies have been based on transformers. Transformer-based welders are typically heavy and large. Transformers are relatively inefficient operating at 50 Hertz. A lot of heat is generated in the transformer and subsequently, the transformer must be relatively large and heavy. A significant part of the power cost goes into heating the transformer and the surrounding air - with much of the heat wasted. Most such welding power supplies weigh up to 180KG and have a shape something like a 32-inch cube. 

Inverter-based Welding Machines

In inverter-controlled power supplies, the same incoming 50 Hertz power is used. However, instead of being fed directly into a transformer, it is first rectified to 50 Hertz DC. Then it is fed into the inverter section of the power supply where it is switched on and off by solid state switches at frequencies up to 20,000 Hertz.

This pulsed, high voltage, high frequency DC is then fed to the main power transformer, where it is transformed into low voltage 20,000 Hertz DC suitable for welding. Finally it is put through a filtering and rectifying circuit. Output is performed by solid state controls which modulate the switching rate of the switching transistors.

The Benefits of Multi-Process Inverter Welders

Welders which utilise Inverter-based power supplies are typically much lighter and are far more portable than transformer machines. The main benefit, however, is that Inverter machines offer multi-process welding functionality which allows users to MIG, TIG & Stick using the one machine.

Multi-process welders are hugely popular because they offer more flexibility than single-process machines and often helps improve overall efficiency with regards to costs and productivity.

In addition to their portability, Inverter-based machines are more energy efficient than traditional machines which means a significant reduction in power costs.

Even with the reduced size and weight, newer multi-process power sources still provide plenty of power when applications require it. While offering enough power to weld and gouge thick metals, many new multi-process power sources still provide a precise enough arc to weld thin materials, so operators have the ability to meet multiple welding needs for many different types of jobs — from small to large.

With increased demand for multi-process welders across the industrial, metal fabrication and construction industries, inverter-based machines are now the obvious choice for productivity, efficiency and price. 

Interested in Multi-Process Welders? Check out the full range on our website.