Question: How can I make my arc welding process more energy-efficient?

Answer: It all comes down to the power source! Here’s an overview of what you need to know about choosing a more energy-efficient way to weld.

What is arc welding?

Arc welding is the fusing together of two pieces of metal using an electrode. A current passes through the electrode to the base material in the form of an arc, joining the metal pieces together. Today, arc welding can be a manual, semi-automatic or fully automated process.

According to Robotiq, electrodes can be either consumable or non-consumable. Consumable electrodes act as both filler material and electrode and include: Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW), Gas Material Arc Welding (GMAW), Flux-cored Arc Welding (FCAW) and Submerged Arc Welding (SAW). Non-consumable electrodes demand a separate filler material (which form the strong joint between the metal pieces) and include Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) and Spot Welding, commonly used within the automotive industry.

Arc welding and energy-efficiency

When it comes to welding, power comes from the electricity consuming device. According to the Office of Energy Efficiency at Natural Resources Canada, there are between 110 000 to 130 000 arc welding machines in use in Canada, which total an electrical consumption  of approximately 100 GWh a year. Whether active or idling, welding power sources consume electricity; that’s a lot of power, and a lot of energy.

Thankfully, over the past twenty years, the development of inverter power sources that are multi-functional, lighter, more flexible, and provide a superior arc, have slowly replaced transformer-rectifier equipment, technology that had been used for years throughout the welding process.

Switch to an inverter power source and lower energy costs

Modern inverter power sources have energy conversion efficiencies near 90%, making them far better (50% better in fact) than the transformer-rectifier equipment of days gone by. If you’re still using the latter, it might be a good time to consider a switch.

Not only will your business enjoy significantly lower energy costs, you will see a payback period of eight months, with sustained long-term energy savings. Interested in learning more about energy-equipment that can help you save on energy costs at your business? Visit our Rebates & Incentives page and start saving today.

Questions about arc welding? Leave them below!

image credit: TWI Ltd