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When only the best welds will do

Kemppi is a world-leading manufacturer of arc welding equipment and a provider of solutions for highly productive welding. Its equipment is used worldwide by a very range of customers, including shipyards and the offshore industry, automotive manufacturers, the oil and chemicals industries, and engineering companies.

Kemppi has introduced numerous welding innovations over the years, pioneering the development of both welding technology and productive welding solutions – and is committed to a continuous R&D programme dedicated to improving the usability and design of its products and their technical performance.

Founded in 1949, Kemppi soon began exporting its products. The company introduced its first MIG/MAG welding machine in the mid- 1960s and the world’s first welding inverters in 1977, quickly following this up with second-generation inverter technology in 1981. In the early 1990s, Kemppi was the first welding equipment manufacturer to switch from analogue to digital control; the new millennium saw increased customisation and the introduction of the Kemppi Arc System™ and Wise™ welding processes, in 2008 and 2009.

Kemppi opened its first production facility outside Finland, in Chennai in India in early 2011, to manufacture equipment, primarily HiArc M400i MIG/MAG welding machines, for the local market, one of the world’s fastest-growing.

A turnkey solution for better welding

Kemppi has introduced numerous welding innovations over the years.
The Kemppi Arc System™ – or KAS – is a comprehensive solution for collecting and analysing welding data to improve the quality and productivity of welding work and production processes.

Monitoring productivity is very important in the welding world, as filler wires and shielding gases, welding machine costs, and electricity account for only a quarter of overall welding costs; the remainder is represented by labour. Up until now, however, evaluations have had to be made on the basis of individual observations, which can often be ambiguous and imprecise. The systematic approach offered by the Kemppi Arc System™ eliminates these problems.

A state-of-the-art technique, KAS collects data from welding devices in digital format and sends it via base stations to the system server, where it is analysed and a report sent to the customer. The precise data on welding currents, voltages, wire feed speeds, maintenance needs, and other factors collected and analysed by the system can be used by everyone, from welders and production supervisors to managers.

KAS reports enable productivity-enhancement measures to be monitored very easily and pinpoints what needs to be done when things like pre-set limit values are exceeded, for example.

The Kemppi Arc system™ is designed to be tailored to customers’ specific needs and covers not only the data transfer hardware needed, but also device architecture specifications, consultancy and target information, and hosting services. As such, it represents the first productivity monitoring system in the welding world to be based on a true high-tech approach.

A family of enhancements

Developed over several years together with some of Kemppi’s major partners, the new welding software solutions in the Kemppi Wise range – WiseRoot™, WiseThin™, WisePenetration™, and WiseFusion™ – enable customers to improve the performance of their existing welding operations or introduce completely new welding processes.

Wise technology opens up new levels of performance that would be impossible to achieve with standard MIG/MAG welding systems, and can be incorporated into new Kemppi welding equipment prior to delivery or added later.

The Kemppi DataStore enables users to purchase and download welding processes, welding programs, firmware updates, and validation certificates for welding devices.
WiseRoot™ is a highly efficient and unique tailored short arc process for manual and automated root pass welding. Designed for the effective closure of root joint areas and to deal with gaps created by poor joint fit-up, WiseRoot™ is three times faster than TIG welding in this type of usage, is easy to learn and use, and saves time on rework costs. It also does not need backing.

WiseThin™ is a tailored cold arc process for the manual and automated welding and brazing of thin ferrous and non-ferrous plate, such as that used in automotive manufacturing. The process reduces spatter and post-weld material distortion due to the 10-25% lower heat input used compared to standard MIG/MAG welding. It also offers excellent weld pool control, reduces reworking needs, and increases overall welding speed.

WisePenetration™ has been designed to reduce poor fusion and incomplete penetration and save on the labour time and rework costs incurred as a result of defective welds. It does this by ensuring that consistent power is delivered to the weld pool, regardless of changes in welding gun orientation or the distance between a weld gun and the piece being worked on.

The fourth member of the wise family, WiseFusion™, creates and maintains an optimal short arc length in pulsed MIG/MAG and spray-arc welding applications to ensure improved weld quality and appearance and consistent results. Once set, regular parameter adjustments are no longer needed.

This store accepts guns

Another recent Kemppi innovation, the Kemppi DataStore, received Finland’s Quality Innovation of the Year Award for 2010 in the large company category from Excellence Finland. This enables users to purchase and download welding processes, welding programs, firmware updates, and validation certificates for welding devices and keep all their welding equipment up-to-date throughout its service life.

Using the new system, customers can equip their welding equipment with exactly the processes and features they need in their welding work with the Kemppi DataGun, a small, mobile phone-sized tool connected to a computer via a USB cable. The DataGun can also be used to duplicate settings and collect welding parameters.

> Anssi Rantasalo
(Published in HighTech Finland 2011)