Welding machines and Plasma metal cutting machines

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F.A.Q. - Frequently Asked Questions

PLASMA CUTTING

What does “Synergic Plasma” mean?

It means that the power source, having acquired at least one processing parameter set by the operator (thickness, cutting speed, cutting current), is able to recall and to automatically set all the others. The three fundamental values of plasma cutting (thickness of the material /cutting current/cutting speed) are thus bound together in a synergistic way, to always guarantee the correct self-regulation of the power source at each variation of one of them.

How thick can the power source cut?

On the technical documentation of each power source are always indicated the maximum cutting and coarse cutting values. These values are referred to a quality cut and are obtained at the minimum cutting speed. Where two max. cutting values are indicated, the lowest thickness is obtained with speeds compatible with production workings while the highest one is obtained at low speed. The coarse cutting cut differs from the real cut because the quality obtained is rather poor and it normally shows a lot of burr.

What does the piercing value indicate?

Piercing is the maximum thickness value up to which it is possible to begin the cut starting from the workpiece instead of from the edge. It is a very important value when the power source is used in automatic cutting operations.

Are the cutting thicknesses shown in the technical data valid for steel, aluminium and stainless steel?

The indicated cutting values are obtained on mild steel; indicatively, they are similar also for aluminium and stainless steel but it must be taken into account that the cutting speeds are different: for aluminium they could increase while for stainless steel they could decrease.

Can gauging be carried out?

Plasma gauging is possible on all power sources of the DEFINITION PLASMA range which are equipped with one of the following torches: ECF-71 / ECF-131 / ECF-181.

Why should original spare parts be used?

Especially for a product such as plasma cutting, the quality and performances in the cut are the result of years of experience where the power source, the torch and the consumables as well, contribute, each in its own way, to ensure a balance giving as result the right performances, the correct operation, the operator safety and lifetime of spares.
In today’s highly competitive market it is important that a Company like ELETTRO C.F. focuses on research and development in order to allow its customers to constantly count on quality products manufactured according to accurate specifications, often subject to updates, which could modify the performances and/or lifetime of the products.
We also would like to point out that the use of non-original spare parts invalidates the warranty on the product.

What pressure is the power source to be used at?

The right pressure to be used is indicated on the nameplate of the power source; higher or lower pressures can have repercussions on spare parts lifetime and on the quality of the cut.

How many litres per minute (l/min) must the compressor to be used with the plasma power source supply?

Please, refer to the words "l/min" relevant to the air flow indicated on the technical documentation of the used item.

Is it possible to have long spares for cutting even in places difficult to reach?

Long spares are optional and are available for torches series ECF-71 and ECF-131 only.

Can ELETTRO C.F. supply torches with non-standard dimensions?

Of course, for some power sources are available torches of different lengths allowing to cut in places difficult to be reached in a safer, faster and more comfortable way.
For example, in scrapping operations, operators can cut parts difficult to reach without climbing, bending, crouching or using stairs.
Moreover, being at a greater distance from the plasma arc, the exposure to heat as well as the risk of being hit by falling scrap is reduced.
Even in removal operations of the skeleton after the mechanized cut, these torches allow the operator to stand on the floor next to the table maintaining a natural position, speeding the cutting operations thus reducing the preparation times to the next CNC cut.
Please, contact our sales department in order to get more specific indications.

Is it possible to use other commercial torches?

Absolutely not, a plasma power source is developed according to the torch it will be connected to, consequently, the latter is of prime importance with regard to the functioning, the obtained result and the operator safety. The use of non-original torches, besides invalidating the warranty on the product, can therefore cause safety, functioning and cutting quality problems.

Can the power source perform automatic cutting operations?

Many of our power sources can be connected to cutting tables for the automatic use, please contact our sales network for having a confirmation.

Is it required to buy the interface in case you are using the plasma power source connected to an automatic cutting table?

NO in case you need to manage only the START/STOP of the power source. Should you need to manage the height of the torch too (arc voltage VAC) and/or the effective arc transfer (OK to MOVE), then it could be necessary to buy also an optional interface circuit according to the power source it will be used. Please, contact our sales network in order to check the feasibility.

 What is the protection password?

It is an option available on the models whose name includes the word “LCD”. Once the function is enabled, the power source, every time it is switched on, requests to enter a three-digit code (univocal, non-modifiable and provided by us with the documentation of the machine) so to start up.

What does PFC (Power Factor Correction) mean?

This logo placed on power sources indicates the adaptation to the IEC/EN 61000-3-12 standard by means of the PFC devices, in order to eliminate or reduce the harmonic distortion.
With the same current used, a power source of this type has a lower consumption and it therefore requires a lower installation power than a power source without PFC and it reduces problems of use with power extensions.

MIG/MAG

What are the differences between MIG and MAG welding?

The difference between the two processes is simply in the type of gas used, if only of inert (Argon) or of active type (CO2, Ar-CO2, O2…) as the abbreviations mean Metal Inert Gas and Metal Active Gas.

What does “synergy” in a MIG / MAG welder consist of?

It means that once the desired welding program has been selected among those available stored in the machine, the power source automatically adjusts the welding current and the wire speed according to the type of wire, to the diameter and to the protection gas. This makes the use of the power source easier even for less experienced personnel and it reduces any required training times.

What is the protection password?

Where this option is available, if enabled, a password is requested when the machine is switched on, so that the power source can be used, otherwise it is locked.

What does it mean that the welder is "multiprocess"?

It means that the power source can weld alternatively in MIG/MAG, MMA and TIG DC mode.

What does PFC (Power Factor Correction) mean?

This logo placed on power sources indicates the adaptation to the IEC/EN 61000-3-12 standard by means of the PFC devices, in order to eliminate or reduce the harmonic distortion.
With the same current used, a power source of this type has a lower consumption and it therefore requires a lower installation power than a power source without PFC and it reduces problems of use with power extensions.

What are the advantages of pulsed arc MIG welding?

Pulsed arc welding guarantees an excellent welding quality on thin thicknesses and has a reduced heat input with a limited thermally altered area, with a consequent minimum deformation of the welded material. It also avoids material projections to be removed at a later time, eliminating wasted time in grinding operations

What are the differences between an inverter MIG welder and a traditional electromechanical welder?

Power sources based on inverter technology allow a more precise current regulation and, with the same used current, they have lower consumptions.
Also, the use of electronic components makes power sources lighter and often easily transportable. An electromechanical power source is intuitive to use and has a considerable impact resistance.

What kind of precautions must be considered for the MIG welding of aluminium?

Given the physical and mechanical characteristics of the aluminium wire, it is suggested to firstly use dedicated wire feeder rollers (u-groove), a welding torch of maximum 3 meters in which it is to replace the spiral metallic sheath with a Teflon sheath or another material which facilitates the wire feeding and then to choose current nozzles specific for aluminium, often identified with the abbreviation Al.
Another suggestion for welding this material is to choose, if possible, synergic power sources already having pre-set curves for this material, making operational settings easier. 

Which kind of gas should I use for aluminium welding?

Notwithstanding that there are different types of mixtures on the market, 100% Argon is conventionally used.

Which kind of gas should I use for stainless steel welding?

Notwithstanding that there are different types of mixtures on the market, it is conventionally suggested a 2% Argon-CO2 mixture or 2% Argon-O2.

Which kind of gas should I use in case of CuSi wire coils for braze welding?

100% Argon.

What does the HD synergic program consist of?

It is a synergic program (in SHORT and/or PULSE mode) available for different kinds of materials and wire diameters which allows to increase the wire speed keeping constant the voltage, thus allowing to increase the welding speed (up to a 30%) and consequently improve the productivity.

What does the MIG ROOT synergic program consist of?

It is a welding process which allows to carry out root passes where the operator usually uses the TIG process but with the speed and the easiness of the MIG procedure, in fact, this process allows to obtain high quality joints and a good penetration, comparable to those obtained with TIG process but characterized by higher productivity.
With this program it is possible to carry out root passes with a 5 mm gap in vertical down.

TIG

When is it necessary to use a DC TIG welding power source and when to use an AC / DC one?

A DC TIG power source makes welding operations possible on steel, stainless steel, copper and titanium. An AC / DC power source makes it possible to also weld aluminium and magnesium in addition to the materials previously listed.

What is the protection password?

Where this option is available, if enabled, a password is requested when the machine is switched on, so that the power source can be used, otherwise it is locked.

Can any TIG power source also perform electrode welding?

Of course, any Elettro CF TIG power source can also weld in MMA electrode mode.

Why does the tungsten electrode immediately damage?

Often, the most common reason is to have wrongly connected the torch to the positive pole of the power source instead of to the negative one: check that the torch has been properly connected.
This kind of problem can also stem from an excessive overheating of the electrode, due for example to the use of a too high current in relation to the diameter of the tungsten used, from a post gas time not long enough which does not make its cooling sufficient or even from the use of a gas not suitable for TIG welding.

Which kind of gas should I use for TIG welding?

Notwithstanding that there are different types of mixtures on the market, 100% Argon is conventionally used for TIG welding being is steel, stainless steel, copper, aluminium etc…

Why is the electrode tip blue / purple / gold at the end of the weld?

Most probably a too limited post gas time has been set. The post-gas time is used to keep the gas flow active at the end of the welding and has the purpose of both protecting the welded joint from air and cooling the electrode. A too short post-gas time does not allow the electrode to cool properly and, as a result, it will take on a different colour than normal. This kind of problem may also be due to a wrong adjustment of the gas flow, which does not guarantee a correct protection of the electrode from the environment during the welding.

Based on the diameter of the electrode used, what are the amperage limits that can be used to avoid its sudden damage?

It is fundamental to consider that each electrode has its own maximum bearable current before the tip deforms too much (for example in AC mode the half sphere on the top of the electrode must not become wider than the electrode itself).
In order to give you practical and easy to remember indications, we can suggest to multiply the diameter by 100 in case of welding in DC mode (for example d.1,6 Imax = 160A) and to multiply by 50 in case of welding in AC mode with green pure tungsten (for example d.1,6 Imax = 80A)

What amperages is it advisable to use in relation to the thicknesses to be welded?

We suggest to set a current of around 30A per millimeter in case iron or stainless steel are to be welded and around 40A per millimeter in case of aluminium. In the latter case, given the physical characteristics of the material, it could be necessary to modify this value during the welding process by using tools such as pedals or TIG torches equipped with current regulation on the handle (for example our UP/DOWN models).
We point out that the above-mentioned values are to be considered purely indicative, in order to have a reference from which you can start.

How does the SYNERGY related to the electrode facilitate the ignition in AC/DC TIG welding?

It is a function available in TIG AC mode in many Elettro CF power sources, with which to communicate to the power source the diameter of the electrode used. This is because, unlike the DC mode, for different diameters of tungsten used, specific and very different ignition parameters are needed in order to obtain a perfect ignition and that at the same time does not damage the electrode. In this way, once the diameter of the electrode used is indicated, the microprocessor will automatically optimize the starting parameters. Otherwise, without this function, the risk would be to have uncertain ignitions or which compromise immediately the electrode end with a consequent loss of productive time for restoring its function.

What are the differences between a LIFT-Start, a “Scratch”-Start and high frequency (HF) ignition?

In LIFT and “Scratch” startings, the electrode must be put in contact with the piece to be welded in order to generate the welding arc, thus resulting in a faster wear of the electrode and risking inclusions in the joint to be welded. Using the high frequency (HF) starting, a high frequency high voltage impulse is instead generated which allows the electrode arc to form at a distance, without the need to put the electrode in contact with the piece to be welded.

Can the use of the high frequency (HF) starting mode damage the power source?

Failures and/or malfunctions of the power source which can be attributable to this aspect are often due to the use of poor-quality torches, in particular with regard to their insulation. We suggest the use of good quality professional torches and at the same time to use thermo-shrinking sheath to protect the torch cables that are tinned to the pins of the control connector. Elettro CF guarantees that its torches, with already wired connector, satisfy these characteristics.

What does PFC (Power Factor Correction) mean?

This logo placed on power sources indicates the adaptation to the IEC/EN 61000-3-12 standard by means of the PFC devices, in order to eliminate or reduce the harmonic distortion.
With the same current used, a power source of this type has a lower consumption and it therefore requires a lower installation power than a power source without PFC and it reduces problems of use with power extensions.

What does the TIG Special Functions Upgrade Kit consist of?

It is an optional kit, which can also be purchased later, available only for the power sources of the EVOLUTION TIG range. It makes different welding modes available which facilitate the performing of otherwise difficult welding operations. Once purchased, all the Special Functions will be available in case of AC/DC type power source while for DC type power sources, the E-MIX and E-FUSION functions will be excluded. Explanations of the different Special Functions are available in the "Innovations" section of our website.

What are the advantages of TIG welding in pulsed arc mode?

Pulsed arc welding is a function in which two different current values alternate at a certain frequency ensuring an excellent welding quality on thin thicknesses because it has a reduced heat input with a limited thermally altered zone. The result is a minimal deformation of the welded material. In the Elettro CF range of power sources, where this function is available, it is always supplied as standard.

What are the advantages of a TIG welding in E-TWOPULSE mode?

The E-TWOPULSE function is an optional function included in the Special Functions Upgrade kit, available for power sources of the EVOLUTION TIG range. It allows to work with four levels of current, on two different pulses and it is ideal for automated works, ensuring a lower heat input (less deformation), a narrower bead and a higher production speed.

What are the advantages of using the E-MULTIPOINT function?

The E-MULTIPONT function is an optional function which can be used only in TIG DC mode and it is included in the Special Functions Upgrade kit, available for power sources of the EVOLUTION TIG range.
It is a tack welding system in which both working time and standby time may be adjusted to obtain a welding cycle suited to any need, to allow the piece to suitably cool and a reduction in thermal alteration. In welding stainless steel, it can make it possible to obtain "white" spots without the need to treat the joint later.

What are the advantages of using the E-ARC function?

The E-ARC function is an optional function which can be used only in TIG DC mode and it is included in the Special Functions Upgrade kit, available for power sources of the EVOLUTION TIG range.
By using this function, the machine automatically changes the welding current, simply lifting or lowering the torch, remaining in a current range set by the user (adjustable from 1A to 50A), with respect to the base welding current. It is substantially similar to the use of a pedal but in a manual way. It is very useful in repairs and welding operations on pieces of non-homogeneous dimensions.

What are the advantages of using the E-MIX function?

The E-MIX function is an optional function which can be used only in TIG DC mode and it is included in the Special Functions Upgrade kit, available for power sources of the EVOLUTION TIG range.
This function makes it possible to insert a DC semi-period within the AC period, adjustable in percentage. The effect is that of mixing the quality of AC welding with the penetration typical of DC welding, increasing the welding speed.
The E-MIX function thus makes it possible to obtain the weld pool very quickly, it is especially suited on significantly thick metal and it allows to obtain consistent welding beads on very dissimilar pieces.

Does the use of a display in the models of the EVOLUTION TIG range make it difficult to simultaneously view all the welding parameters?

No, because the display automatically adapts to the user's preferences, showing only the parameters that the operator deems necessary, hiding those not used.

How can I improve the final appearance of the welding bead in stainless steel welding?

Being understood that the type of welding (pulsed arc, E-MULTIPOINT, etc ...) and the efficiency of the welding bead protection carried out by the shielding gas are of significant importance, there are pickling products such as gels, pastes or our innovative INOX FAST CLEAN that uses simple wipes soaked in product, to facilitate the cleaning of the bead.

What are the HZ (AC frequency) and Wave balance parameters available in AC mode?

The regulation of the frequency and of the current balance in AC allows to personalise the welding bead in width, penetration and cleaning to obtain better results according to the different welding situations.

Is it possible to use a single-phase power source by connecting it to the home network (3KW)?

To be sure of being able to exploit the power source to its full potential, by connecting it to a home network, it is necessary to check that the Pi value (installation power) shown on the product's technical data sheet does not exceed 3KW.

When is it advisable to connect a cooling unit to the power source?

Remember that the cooling unit acts exclusively on the torch and not on the power source, consequently its use depends on the technical characteristics (duty cycle) of the torch used, with respect to the current required for welding.
In models where this type of configuration is available, the system is managed so as to immediately disable the power source, signalling it to the operator, if it is found that the cooling system is compromised. This is to avoid an excessive overheating of the torch which can cause problems such as a simple loss of power in welding, up to the final fault of the torch body.

MMA

What kind of electrodes can be welded?

Unless otherwise specified, ELETTRO C.F. MMA inverter power sources can weld rutile and basic electrodes. Type MMA2560CELL can weld cellulosic electrodes too.

What is the maximum electrodes diameter that can welded?

This information can be found in the technical data sheet relevant to each product under the heading “Electrodes”

Can a MMA inverter power source be connected to a motor-driven-generator?

Yes, provided that it is correctly sized as supplied power, stabilized and with automatic voltage regulator (AVR). For the right sizing of the power source we ask you to contact our technical office.

Can it weld with power supply extension cables?

Yes, provided that they are properly sized (length/section) so to avoid drops in performances. MMA power sources with PFC device can reduce these kinds of problems.

What does PFC (Power Factor Correction) mean?

This logo placed on power sources indicates the adaptation to the IEC/EN 61000-3-12 standard by means of the PFC devices, in order to eliminate or reduce the harmonic distortion.
With the same current used, a power source of this type has a lower consumption and it therefore requires a lower installation power than a power source without PFC and it reduces problems of use with power supply extensions.