Bad Soden, Germany,

Welding gases for scooters and trikes

Armchair comfort and city agility

Riding a trike is like sitting in a comfy armchair. It’s just that the armchair is whizzing along the road at a considerable speed while the rider sits back and enjoys the changing scenery. When it comes to scooters in Southeast Asia, the picture is more likely to be one of a large, bustling city, with riders trying to find the quickest way through the labyrinth of streets and lanes on their agile two-wheelers. What both riding experiences have in common is the wind in one’s hair and gases from Messer. The latter play a crucial role in the manufacture of the vehicles.

The picture of the armchair on wheels was supplied by Roland Lindenlaub, the Managing Director of Wolftrikes. The company was founded in 1998 in Szajk, a small town in southern Hungary. Back then, three employees produced parts for the motorised three-wheelers; today, this number has grown to 43. Final assembly of the vehicles takes place at Boom Trikes, a partner company in the Swabian town of Sontheim. From there the vehicles are exported all over the world. Together, the two companies have conquered about half the EU trike market. Besides the electronics, the main components made in Szajk are the frame and bodywork, the forks, handlebars, luggage carriers and exhaust pipes. The Hungarian-German trikes are handmade works of art; special requests are the rule. “For a customer in Saudi Arabia, we even covered the bodywork with gold inlays. The gold works alone cost 100,000 euros,” recounts Roland Lindenlaub. All that glitters on a trike is not gold, but most trike owners want it to glitter a lot. That is why, increasingly, they order high-alloy stainless steel, especially for the exposed parts of the chassis. It does not rust, making it more durable, and any paint applied does not flake off. Unpainted, it can be polished until it gleams.

The high-grade material requires a welding process that meets very high standards. That is why only certified, skilled workers are employed at Wolftrikes. They weld with consumable electrodes and use Ferroline C18 (18 per cent CO2, 82 per cent argon) as a shielding gas when working with plain steel.

When working with high-alloy steel, pure argon is used. The latter is supplied by Messer in pallet tanks, while Ferroline C18 is supplied in cylinders. “We have worked closely with Messer from the beginning and benefited greatly from the know-how of their welding specialists,” stresses the Managing Director. “The perfect look can only be achieved with the right gas.”

Messer consulting for welding quality
Quality and efficiency are influential factors when it comes to promoting the sale of end products – including motorcycles and scooters. This is something that two-wheeler specialist Piaggio is also aware of. The company gave Messer in Vietnam the opportunity to analyse its production process and give practical tips on potential savings, for example in terms of rework and production time.

In last February, Piaggio Vietnam and Messer held a MIG/MAG welding workshop at the Piaggio site near Hanoi. Messer experts from Germany and Vietnam provided information on the latest technological developments and highlighted optimisation possibilities. The workshop was attended by Piaggio employees as well as employees of Piaggio suppliers.