ESAB South Africa will be launching its new Rebel™ multi-process welding machine into southern Africa at Electra Mining Africa (EMA) next month. African Fusion talks to Kim Brightwell, sub-Saharan Africa country manager and marketing director for ESAB Middle East & Africa, about this and other innovations being showcased in 2016.
According to Brightwell, the Rebel welding machine is ideal for professional and non-professional welders. “ESAB is to offer two Rebel models, the full-featured Rebel EMP 215ic and Rebel EM 215ic which will be launched later, the Rebel EMP 215ic includes MIG, sMIG and flux-cored welding outputs and features an innovative user interface with a large TFT display to provide a clear view of the weld parameters and settings,” he says.
“The Rebel welding machine is an industrial quality MIG, flux-cored, lift-TIG and stick welding machine that offers excellent performance, particularly with difficult-to-weld E6010 (cellulosic) electrodes. In fact, ESAB encourages side-by-side weld test comparisons and believes that the Rebel will provide a superior experience for welders at all skill levels,” he adds.
The new machine has two operating modes, basic and advanced, to make welding easier for beginners on the one hand, while allowing those with more experience to fine tune the parameters on the other. Operators interact with the Rebel using a control that combines traditional weld parameter adjustments with the functionality of a smart phone – the 4.3-inch colour display uses the same thin-film transistor (TFT) LCD technology found in smart phones. No other welder combines this level of simplicity, performance and control.
The Rebel accepts 100 and 200 mm diameter wire spools, runs 0.6 to 1.0 mm wires and enables users to run on 120 V or 230 V primary power. The machine weighs 18 kg, measures 584×229×406 mm and features a five-handle roll cage and uni-body construction that integrates the front, back and top panels to provide superior durability for protecting internal components.
When connected to a 230 V supply, the unit provides a MIG output from 20 to 220 A, a stick output of 30 to 180 A and a TIG output of 5.0 to 240 A. Applications include auto repair and restoration, maintenance and repair, mechanical contracting, light construction, farm and agricultural use, training facilities, sheet metal and HVAC.
The unit comes ready-to-weld for MIG and TIG processes and ESAB includes a professional-grade MXL 200 MIG torch, electrode holder and return cable kits (3.0 m), a 4.5 m gas hose with quick connection to the machine, a 200 mm spool of 0.8 mm Aristorod 12.50 wire, as well as contact tips and drive rolls for wires between 0.6 and 1.0 mm wire.
“The Rebel EMP 215ic offers outstanding all-process arc performance because ESAB has enhanced the control algorithms from our industrial systems such as the Warrior™ and Aristo®, gathered input from real world welders and then incorporated that knowledge into the Rebel design,” Brightwell says.
With the Rebel’s smart MIG (sMIG) function, users begin MIG welding by setting metal thickness and selecting the wire diameter. The Rebel will automatically adapt to any popular steel, stainless, chrome-moly or aluminium filler metal/gas combination and provide a stable MIG arc. The sMIG mode enables users to weld thicker or thinner metal by increasing or decreasing wire feed speed, as well as to raise or flatten the bead profile (crown) by increasing or decreasing the voltage (trim). Welders can also adjust inductance to fine tune arc stability and control spatter. As users adjust one parameter, sMIG automatically adjusts others to keep the MIG arc stable.
Using an exclusive, built-in algorithm, sMIG monitors the operator’s technique and continuously adapts the MIG output to provide a stable arc and superior, repeatable welds. The Rebel enables experienced welders to become more productive and novice welders to start producing quality welds in less time. “The sMIG feature takes away the doubt of welding with incorrect settings and so users can focus on good welding torch technique. The machine gives users confidence to weld anywhere with a ready-to-weld package,” he adds.
For those welders who prefer traditional MIG and flux-cored welding, the Rebel enables users to pre-set and adjust wire feed speed and voltage, as well as set run-in (creep start) speed, adjust burn-back control and program timers for spot and stitch welding. When welding, the control shifts to display amperage and voltage.
Because different types of MMA electrodes require different controls, the Rebel lets users optimise performance by selecting from one of two settings: Cellulosic Electrodes (E6010, E6011) or all other Electrodes (E70XX, E308, E309, E316). To further fine-tune performance, the Rebel features adjustable arc force and hot-start control.
With TIG as well as MIG welding, users can select either 2T/4T trigger control; 2T for standard operation and 4T to provide a hold function that reduces hand fatigue.
Other ESAB Innovations on show
Also on the machine side, says Brightwell, ESAB will be featuring its full-featured high-end Aristo equipment range. “We will have an ABB robot on the stand fitted with ESAB’s Aristo MIG 5000i power source, a Robofeed wire feeder, an Aristo RT robotic torch and a Marathon pack of Aristo-rod MIG wire – all connected to the robot,” he reveals. “We have interfaces to allow us to connect ESAB welding equipment to almost any robot brand, but because of the longstanding co-operation between ESAB and ABB, which both have Swedish connections, a lot of ABB robots are supplied with ESAB welding equipment,” he tell African Fusion.
ESAB consumables continue to do well in southern Africa. “75% of our local sales are consumables, led by our OK AristoRod 12.50 advanced surface characteristics (ASC) solid wire, which undergoes a unique surface treatment process instead of being copper coated. This leads to excellent starting properties; trouble-free feeding at high wire speeds and lengthy feed distances; a very stable arc at high welding currents; extremely low levels of spatter; low fume emission; reduced contact tip wear and improved protection against corrosion of the wire,” Brightwell explains.
ESAB SMAW electrodes, such as the XcelArc E6013 general purpose electrodes continue to do well, “but our OK range of low-hydrogen electrodes, such as the OK55.00 LH, are among the best in the world. These are fully tested to Sasol specs and are vacuum packed. Also, because the electrode contains some metal powder in the flux, the electrode delivers 125% weld metal recovery per kg of core wire – one of the highest efficiencies and a market differentiator for us,” he adds.
Also to be featured are ESAB’s new range of Victor gas equipment, regulators and cutting torches manufactured to high-end standards. Flash back arrestors and ESAB’s Cut Master range of hand held plasma-cutting machines will also feature. “The Cut Master range of compressed air-based plasma cutters goes from 40 to 120 A, but we can also supply systems with CNC cutting tables, such as the ESAB Crossbow, a small cost effective CNC cutting system,” Brightwell informs African Fusion, before adding “We will also have our little Pug tractor on the stand, which is ideal for mechanising gas cutting.”
“Following recent changes with respect to our import and distribution partners in South Africa, we are settling down nicely in our new home with Howden Africa. We are starting to grow again and we see good opportunities, particularly in the construction and infrastructure development fields north of our borders,” Brightwell concludes.