Bad Soden, Germany,

Messer: Cost calculator shows savings potential

The quality of welds is considerably affected by the choice of shielding gas mixture. Significantly improved results are achieved with the new ternary mixtures. The Messer cost calculator shows how much money customers can save.

Time is money – this simple equation, in the end, also explains the cost reduction that is possible with the use of ternary mixtures. The analysis that Messer offers its customers is considerably more detailed though. The cost calculator allows a standardised total cost calculation that takes account of all the important welding parameters. The shielding gas used is a comparatively small factor in this regard, accounting for only about five per cent of the total welding costs. However, the gas mixture does have a major bearing on the quality of the result. The requirements it has to meet differ depending on the material and the welding process.

Welding vs. rework
Plain steel, for instance, is a standard material in plant construction and the manufacture of vehicles and machinery. The main priority for welding in these areas is to avoid weld spatter and slag islands at the welds as these can cause problems later on: if the surface is too uneven, water-soluble paints reach their limits. Whilst they are environmentally friendly and the most widely used paints, they are less effective at coating uneven surfaces due to their higher surface tension. This leads to damaged areas in the paintwork and, in the worst-case scenario, causes premature corrosion.

To prevent such damage, Messer has developed the shielding gas Ferroline C12 X2. This gas mixture combines argon with carbon dioxide and oxygen in order to minimise spatter and create a smooth, finely rippled weld surface. Etienne Besnard is Managing Director of Batista-MGPV, a Normandy-based manufacturer of baking trays for industrial bakery products. He has tested the shielding gas and is convinced of its benefits: “We have been able to improve the quality of our processes and products with Ferroline C12 X2. The welds are much smoother as a result, and the extent of weld spatter is significantly reduced. The amount of reworking required has been cut by a third. In addition, we have been able to increase the welding speed by up to 15 per cent.”

Speed and heat input
In order to find the right gas mixture for every requirement, all the important welding-relevant data are included in the calculation carried out with the Messer cost calculator. This ranges from the operating period, the voltage, the wire feed, the type of gas used and its flow rate, to the cost of energy, labour and materials. The reworking time is a particularly important variable. In this regard, use of the right shielding gas often creates great savings potential. If the customer does not have all the data to hand, a Messer employee can obtain it on the spot. On the basis of this data, the customer is given a recommendation as to which gas is best suited to their application. And they also get a precise calculation showing what kind of effect the selection of this cylinder gas will have on their manufacturing costs.