Reducing Heat Exchanger Manufacturing Times by up to 75%




Arc Machines Inc. (AMI) 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.


In fact, GEA’s International Welding Engineer, Angel Krustev, says that the success of the project and the resultant further orders it has received for air-coolers from the same customer, can all be put down to the performance of AMI’s orbital welding equipment.


He explains: “We knew of the excellent reputation of the AMI brand for years and have not been disappointed. The quality of the welds is outstanding. We welded more than 1,000 welds on 1” tubes in space with very restricted access. It reduced the manufacturing time by 60-75 percent and has tremendously increased our productivity.”


Mr. Krustev has already recommended AMI’s automated orbital welding equipment to other GEA companies and has used the Model 9-1500 weld heads for developing a new welding application that won the bronze medal at the GEA Annual Innovation Contest, a competition which is open to the organization’s multitude of companies worldwide.


He is also planning to present live demonstrations of the new technology, using the AMI equipment, during the regional congress of the International Institute of Welding, to be held in Johannesburg later this year.


The flexible Model 207 Tube Welding Power Supply is suitable for a lot of diverse industries, making it an ideal acquisition for global companies such as GEA. The Model 207 is designed to work with all AMI’s orbital fusion weld heads and is capable of welding tubing and thin wall pipe. The internal memory of the machine stores up to 100 different welding schedules for quick access.


High-integrity, sanitary welds are easily reproduced at the touch of a button to meet or exceed the specifications required by many sectors including, semiconductor, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, aerospace, and nuclear.


Other features include dust and moisture-proof soft touch membrane switches - ideal for cleanroom use and harsh environments - internal printer, external memory port, three-position key switch to limit operating or programming access to the user and optional remote control to allow welding function overrides and access to any four pre-determined welding schedules.


GEA in South Africa is the latest company to benefit from Arc Machines’ automated orbital welding solutions, boosting its order book thanks to the excellent performance of the equipment it has purchased so far – and plans to buy more of in the future. ♦