Construction sites are fraught with hazards. They can be particularly challenging for welding operators who are often required to work from dangerous positions, in chaotic environments. In addition to this, when operators have to walk to the power source to change their weld settings, they are exposed to further risk of an accident.
Welding Industries Australia (WIA) recently released the Miller Big Blue 400x Pro – a product that has been designed to lessen the challenges that welding operators face when on a job site. The compact size and lighter weight of the engine-driven welder translates to a smaller footprint and greater manoeuvrability. These attributes alone make it ideal for construction. But it also includes ArcReach, Miller’s groundbreaking remote control technology.
WIA’s Product and Sales Manager for End Markets, Fuhai Liu, said the product has already been met with enthusiasm from customers because of its transportability and ArcReach features.
“It is a reliable, low-speed, industrial engine-driven welding machine that has a small working footprint and is easy to transport on site or from one site to another,” he explained. “It is particularly suited for construction in urban areas, on mining construction sites, on infrastructure such as bridges or where the location of the welding joint is far from the engine drive welder, because in these scenarios, the welding operator would traditionally have to walk back to the welding machine whenever they wanted to change their amperage or voltage. With the Big Blue 400x, they can change their parameters via the remote wirefeeder or Stick/TIG control pendant, with no additional control cable required.”
While the product is new to the market, Fuhai has already been working with customers who have trialled it on their sites – one involved wharf construction and the customer feedback was very positive.
“The Miller brand is already renowned for its reliability. The Big Blue 400x shares many of the features of its counterparts – features that have already been proven in the Australian market. The advantages of this particular machine are that it is compact and light – so ideal for construction job sites – and has the ArcReach technology. ArcReach makes a significant difference.”
Fuhai reiterated the safety benefits of having the ability to change welding settings at the joint site rather than at the machine but also pointed out that ArcReach will improve job productivity, save costs and can safeguard the quality of a weld.
“First of all, it takes time to walk back to the power source to change your settings every time. And it can take a few times to get the parameters right on a weld. In a construction context, you may be 100 metres or so from the engine drive welder. If you add up all those trips made to the welding power source, that’s time that would be better spent on welding. It also means you run the risk of tripping on cables and cords across the job site,” he said. “Importantly, ArcReach gives you complete control over your settings. It locks the panel on the welding machine so nobody else can adjust your parameters. This is really important in terms of ensuring weld quality and also in terms of compliance. If the parameters have been changed and the weld no longer meets the job requirements, it will have to be re-done. That costs time and money!”
Other notable features of the Big Blue 400x include:
- Kubota heavy duty low-speed industrial engine: Designed to operate for 10,000 hours before a first maintenance overhaul
- Superior arc performance: Four pre-set DIG settings (Stick); Hot Start™ (Stick); Lift-Arc™ TIG with Auto-Stop™ and Crater-out; MIG/FCAW arc performance
- Quiet operation
- Auto remote sense: Detects if a remote control is plugged into the 14-pin receptacle and eliminates confusion of a remote/panel switch
- Three year Miller warranty
As with all of the products that WIA distribute, Fuhai recommends that customers speak with a WIA representative before purchasing a welding machine to ensure they’ve got the right product for their particular application.
“As a company, WIA prides itself not just on the quality of our brands and products, but on the expertise and knowledge of our staff. We are there to help customers make choices that will bring them the greatest benefit in terms of safety, productivity and cost-savings.”