ESAB LAUNCHES FIRST PORTABLE WIRE FEEDER WITH IP44 PROTECTION CLASS RATING FOR EXTREME DURABILITY
July 30, 2019
ESAB Welding & Cutting Products today introduced the Robust Feed Pro portable wire feeder, the first product in its category with an IP44 protection class rating, which means it is protected against water splashes from all directions, as well as solid objects larger than 1 mm.
The completely-sealed Robust Feed Pro has a double-wall design with special impact zones made from a more flexible material to absorb more impact energy. All controls, power and gas connections are inside the case with a dedicated service cover, providing easy access to the electronics.
“The Robust Feed Pro is the only feeder on the market that you can leave outside in a heavy rain. A heat kit inside the units wards off condensation and keeps the wire dry,” says Arne Lagerkvist, Global Product Manager, Heavy Industry Welding Equipment, ESAB Welding and Cutting Products.
All cable connectors are protected inside of the feeder. There is a robust strain relief for the interconnection cables that makes sure there is no strain excerted on the cable connectors.
“You can drop this feeder and drag it through the mud by the cable and nothing happens. There is no strain or risk from shearing off a cable or hose connection,” says Lagerkvist.
The Robust Feed Pro’s extreme durability, portability and performance are particularly suitable for industrial fabrication operations such as marine and offshore, steel erection, structural steel fabrication, hard surfacing and cladding, repair and maintenance, pressure vessels and pipeline.
The Robust Feed Pro is compatible with ESAB’s Warrior 500i, Warrior 400i and Warrior 400i MV power sources, allowing operators to adjust voltage and wire feed speed at the feeder. At outputs of 550, 500 and 400 amps, it has a duty cycle rating of 50, 60 and 100 percent, respectively.
Powerful Drive System
The Robust Feed Pro accepts wire spools up to 300 mm, measures 595 x 250 x 430 mm and weighs 16.8 kg. It comes equipped with a new precision wire drive system with enough power to handle up to 2.0 mm solid wire and 2.4 mm cored wire. ESAB minimised the footprint of the 4-roll drive stand while accommodating 38 mm drive rolls, which feature a quick change design and are color-coded for size clarity.
The system provides a large range of wire feed speeds (WFS), from 0.8 to 25.0 m/min, which offers the speeds necessary for solid wires as small as 0.6 mm solid wire and as large as 2.4 mm cored wire.
“Our design improves accuracy at lower speeds, has the power to feed larger cored wires and the high speeds necessary for smaller diameter hard wires,” says Lagerkvist. “The Robust Feed Pro is truly an all-purpose unit.”
The front of the feeder has crisp, bright, large LED displays that are visible in strong sunlight, as well as backlit symbols that makes the unit easy to operate in dimly lit conditions. The front has control knobs for voltage and wire feed speed buttons for wire jog and gas purge. Inside of the unit contains controls for 2T or 4T operation, wire inch, crafter fill and a flow meter for setting accurate shielding gas flow rates.
The Robust Feed Pro also incorporates a switch to optimise arc termination for solid or cored wires. In the solid wire position, the switch activitates Short Circuit Termination (SCT) technology, which sharpens the end of the solid MIG wire at the termination of a weld. By eliminating the ball that typically forms on the end of the wire, the feeder optimises the wire condition to promote a positive arc start. SCT technology also eliminates the need for the operator to clip the wire. In an operation with numerous weld stops and starts, the time savings will quickly add up. To improve arc starts when using Flux-Cored or Metal-Cored wires, the cored wire setting enables burnback control.
The Robust Feed Pro has three comfortable handles — all are crane certified — and two additional lifting points for best-in-class portability and maneuverability. The long top handle provides a way to lift the unit in its center of gravity, with or without a spool inside. Handles on the front and back make it easier to move through manholes and smaller spaces.
“This is the only feeder on the market with clearly-marked crane-rated handles, an important feature for offshore and shipyard applications where they often lift objects into position,” says Lagerkvist.
For greater mobility, the Robust Feed Pro has an optional wheel kit that mounts on either the bottom or side of the feeder. To keep digital voltage and amperage meters oriented for easy viewing (e.g., horizontally), the control panel can be rotated 90 degrees with the removal of two screws.
“Putting the wheel kit on the side of the feeder creates a low, flat profile that’s more stable,” says Lagerkvist. “In applications such as trailer manufacturing, the operator can easily move the feeder under low objects. In any setting, its low center of gravity enables pulling the feeder past obstacles and across uneven floors without risk of it tipping over.”