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Leaders & Innovators in Automated Orbital Welding
Newsletter - June, 2012 
GEA title
Reducing heat exchanger manufacturing times by up to 75%
Arc Machines, Inc. has given the biggest supplier of air-cooled heat exchangers in South Africa a triple boost by reducing manufacturing times at a plant in Johannesburg by up to 75 percent, winning the company more orders and helping it receive an innovation award.

GEA Aircooled Systems in South Africa is delighted it turned to AMI for automated orbital welding equipment after winning a major contract from a South African petrochemical giant to supply an Incoloy 825 alloy air-cooled heat exchanger.

Because restricted access to the air cooler tubes limited the amount of manual welding that could be used during the manufacturing process, GEA ordered two of AMI's Tube Welding Model 207 Power Supplies, together with the Model 9-2500 and Model 9BT-1500 weld heads. These solutions have helped the company to complete the contract a month ahead of schedule - much to the satisfaction of the client.

Exel title
Performing a diverse range of projects with the EXEL EPS-1500

A market leader in orbital welding, Orbital Fabrications which specializes in the assembly of gas and fluid handling systems, has become one of the first UK companies to purchase an EXEL EPS-1500 welding system by AMI, following its launch earlier this month.


Cambridgeshire based Orbital Fabrications, no stranger to Arc Machines having used its products for over 22 years and has nothing but praise for the EXEL EPS-1500. The company says that it has enabled it to adopt a far more flexible method of working.


In addition, the EXEL EPS-1500 will allow the business to undertake a more diverse range of new projects, as its Chief Executive Officer, Philip Pearson, explains: "The EXEL EPS-1500 is almost universal because it operates with a cross-section of different manufacturers' weld heads, is compact and has a continuously adjustable weld level instead of a step level. The cost was no more expensive than any other comparable welding system so it was not only a highly viable purchase but has also assisted Orbital Fabrications with future proofing."
process piping code title

Chapter X to allow coupon examination for orbital welds

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Weld Coupon

The 2010 edition of the Code, published in March, 2011, includes a new chapter, Chapter X, High Purity Piping. A new B31.3 High Purity Fluid Service was introduced in Chapter X that permits the use of weld coupon examination in lieu of 5% radiography when orbital (fusion) welding is used in fabrication. Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) has been listed as the only acceptable welding process for High Purity and a definition of the term orbital welding has been added to the B31.3 list of definitions since this is the first mention of orbital welding in the Code.


During the ASME B31.3 Process Piping Code meeting held in Reno last April, there have been several modifications made for the 2012 Edition of B31.3 which will be published later this year. The allowance of coupon examination will be limited to autogenous orbital welding and autogenous orbital welds done with consumable inserts as are used for welding 6-moly superaustenitic and duplex stainless steels. The committee may also extend the use of coupon examination to autogenous lathe welds, but this needs further discussion by the High Purity subgroup, Subgroup H.

meet barbara title
About Barbara Henon, Ph.D.

Barbara_Henon_photoBarbara K. Henon, Ph.D., specializes in the orbital welding of thin-wall tubing and components for semiconductor and biopharmaceutical process piping applications.  

She has over 15 years experience training orbital welding operators and engineers in the field for pharmaceutical and semiconductor high purity applications. She has been an Instructor at the annual ASME Bioprocess Technology Seminars since 1989.


Dr. Henon is a seasoned technical writer on the applications and metallurgy of orbital welding of tubing, pipe, and tube-to-tubesheet. Her honors include Pharmaceutical Engineering's "Article of the Year" in 1999 and the American Welding Society's (AWS) "Silver Quill" award in 1997. She received the "Image of Welding" award from the AWS in 2008.
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