Written by arcmaster

Equipment Maintenance: The Ultimate Guide For Welders

Regular equipment maintenance is key to increasing the longevity of its lifespan. In this series, we are going to go over how to maintain welding equipment (this blog), plasma cutters and oxy-fuel torches. The sole idea is to keep your equipment in tip-top shape to decrease downtime and increase output with maximum efficiency.

One thing you’ll notice if you’ve worked in a machine shop for any amount of time is when it gets hot during the summertime, machine downtime tends to increase. This also ties directly to the cleanliness of your equipment. In a welder there is a lot of build up from lubricants, metal shavings, grease and dirt, creating higher internal machine temperatures. The external heat only adds to the ‘fire’ so-to-speak, aiding in mechanical issues. Taking the time to properly inspect your welder will help you to identify potential causes for troubles. 

General Equipment Maintenance Tips

Unplugging And Allowing Rest Time

It's very important that you FIRST unplug your machine and allow it to sit for 5 minutes before beginning an inspection. This is to avoid possible shock. Once that is done, you can find the side door/cover on your unit. Most weld machines have a door that you can open up or a side cover with screws that you can remove to get inside to repair the mechanical components of your welder. Taking a look inside to examine all the working parts often is a good way to get familiar with your machine. On heavily used equipment, you’ll likely see the build-up of debris mentioned earlier as soon as you open the door.

Preventing Grime Buildup

Things that you can do to prevent grime buildup in your Lincoln welders, your ESAB multi-process welders, or nearly any welding unit, are taking the time to thoroughly clean your machine. You can use an air hose to blow out any debris on the inside of the machine and wipe down with a dry rag. While cleaning your welder, examine control cables and weld cables that may need replacing. Signs of wear typically appear as cuts and cracks in the cables.

Maintaining The Weld Hood

Another thing that is always helpful when welding is to be sure you are changing your inner and outer lens on your weld hood. There is always a huge difference when going from an old dirty/scratched outer lens to a brand new lens. Regularly changing both the inner and outer lens of your weld hood is essential for better visibility and safety while welding. Old, dirty, or scratched lenses can impair your vision, leading to subpar welds and potential safety hazards.

Equipment Maintenance Checklist For Welders

  • Drive Rolls Inspection: Ensure that the drive rolls are still in good shape and functioning properly.
  • Fluid Levels Check (for engine drives): Inspect and maintain appropriate fluid levels in engine-driven welding equipment.
  • Filter Examination: Check and clean/replace air or oil filters to maintain proper ventilation and prevent contamination.
  • Contactor and Relay Inspection: Visually inspect contactors and relays for signs of arcing or damage, and address any issues found.
  • Fan Functionality: Verify that the cooling fans spin freely and are working efficiently to prevent overheating.
  • Debris and Oil Spills Removal: Thoroughly clean the inside of the machine, removing any debris or oil spills that may affect performance.
  • Consumables Check and Replacement: Regularly inspect and replace worn or damaged consumables, including tips, nozzles, diffusers, wire, liners, etc.

Periodically running through your equipment maintenance checklist should do the trick in helping maintain your welding equipment. A thought to remember is to not be afraid to check/replace your consumables (the same goes for the settings on your units). Sometimes a problem that is frustrating can be as simple as needing new consumables or adjustments in the weld settings.

Welding Equipment Troubleshooting Q&A

The ability to troubleshoot your equipment is also a good skill to learn. This skill comes with time and experience, and the longer you’ve welded the more familiar you’ll be with the issues that can occur. As mentioned before, it is a good idea to get familiar with your machine both inside and out. So, when an issue arises you have a better chance of nailing down what is the problem before it causes significant amounts of downtime.

Here are some troubleshooting scenarios with example machines, but do what applies in your case: 

Q: What do I do if my Lincoln Power MIG 215 is having trouble with poor weld quality?

A: The problem could be poor porosity, so be sure the surface you are welding is clean and the consumables you are using are appropriate, specifically your wire. Using a deoxidizer with the wire is a way to help control porosity.

Q: What do I do if the arc on my Lincoln Power MIG 211i is erratic?

A: You’ll want to begin with checking your input voltage to the machine. Take your time to check that cables are also working and there are no faulty connections. Another possible cause is incorrect type/size gun tip, also being sure the tip is damage free. While doing this it is helpful to double check over your gun to make sure it is in working order without breaks. You can also check your ground clamp for a weak connection.

Q: What do I do if my Lincoln POWER MIG 140 is having issues with unstable welds and arcing?

A: This could be much like the last issue. Do you have any faulty connections? Are your electrodes tightly connected to your lugs? (Connections that are loose can cause overheating and lead to fusions of metal, putting your machine in need for repair.) In this scenario, you can also check your ground clamp for a weak connection.

Key Takeaways Of Welder Equipment Maintenance 

Takeaways from the maintenance guide in a nutshell would be to ensure your welder and the surface you are welding are clean and clear of debris. Along with that, make sure all equipment and consumables are in good shape and not in need of replacement (such as cables, liners, drive rolls, nozzles, tips, and diffusers.) Taking the time often to run through a good maintenance checklist will help prevent your machine from going down and needing to be repaired. In our next series we are going to address the techniques and maintenance of plasma cutting machines. Stay tuned on our Facebook page for the debut of that blog!
Be proactive with your welding equipment and ask Arc Solutions about our Preventative Maintenance Program!

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Written by arcmaster

Are You Using Modular Welding Fixtures?

Your weld needs are changing and so are your fixtures. In this ever-changing industry shouldn’t your weld fixtures be as adaptable as you? Modular fixturing allows you to do that.

What Are Modular Welding Fixtures?

A modular fixturing system is composed of a flat welding table with precise machined holes for the setup of clamps and components on the tabletop. This set up makes fixture components interchangeable and reusable, allowing for the quick accurate set up of new jobs saving time and not sacrificing quality.

Modular fixtures can bring a benefit to almost all work environments; from being able to be used in the smallest to largest factories they also maintain the same accuracy of permanent fixtures at a lower cost. You can also save on the floor space that standard fixtures consume when not being used.

Eliminate the high price of machining new fixtures and the lost value in dedicated fixtures. With the correct modular fixturing system, you can create fixtures on the fly without the worry of costly engineering changes making your permanent fixtures obsolete.

Ready to take the next step? Modular fixturing can come in many shapes and sizes and choosing the correct setup for your needs can be tricky. The experts at Arc Solutions are here to help match up the correct fixturing system that best suits your needs.

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Written by arcmaster

What Is 4C® Lens Technology?

Lincoln Electric’s proprietary liquid crystal display (LCD) enhances the visible color spectrum of the display. Unlike traditional auto-darkening filters, 4C lens technology broadens the color range & hues which can be seen in both light and dark states in this welding helmet. This eliminates imperfections and color saturation to create the clearest view of the base material, arc & puddle, while reducing eye strain 4C technology is ideal for a range of industries such as general fabrication, power generation, shipbuilding, structural, offshore and pipeline that use multiple welding processes, including Stick, MIG and TIG. Whatever the task at hand, 4C technology gives you a clear view to productivity and quality.

Check Out The Video

The 4 Cs


Broadens the color range & hues which can be seen in both light and dark states. This eliminates imperfections and color saturation to create the clearest view of the base material, arc & puddle while reducing eye strain.


All VIKING® welding helmets feature the highest optical clarity in the industry. This rating is determined by measuring blurriness, distortion, shade consistency and angle uniformity of the auto-darkening welding lens.


The weight of the 4C® auto-darkening lenses were reduced which improves balance and reduces neck strain to provide all day comfort.


The propriety technology improves clarity and shade consistency in out of position welding applications

The 4C Lens Technology upgrade to Lincoln Electric’s VIKING® welding helmets – including the 1840 series, 2450 series and 3350 series – improves visibility and reduces eye strain by minimizing the traditional lime green coloring in the helmet view screen.

It's Time To Upgrade Your Welding Helmet

Arc Solutions, Inc. is your go-to expert for welding products. Shop Now for Lincoln Viking Helmets with 4C Technology

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Written by arcmaster

Get To Know The Lincoln Electric SP-140T® Wire Feeder Welder

A lot of welding equipment ends up being more complicated than they're worth, but the Lincoln Electric SP-140T® Wire Feeder Welder packs power and reliability into one simple welding machine. With its forgiving arc and simple tapped voltage control, welding is easier and say goodbye to messy and erratic arc starts, because this powerhouse ensures smooth starts with minimal spatter. Plus, with a wide 30-140 amp welding output range, you have the flexibility to tackle a variety of welding projects with ease.

A Feeder Welder With The Best Arc Performance

Precise Wire Drive

The precision full adjustment drive system reduces the chances of wire tangling and crushing, as well as Brass-to-Brass gun connections for enhanced conductivity.

No Hassle Tool-Less Design

The SP-140T features stress-free wire spool mounting, wire drive service and polarity changes for a seamless experience.

Easy-To-Add Spool Gun

For a smoother aluminum wire feeding process, add the economical Magnum® PRO 100SG spool gun for an efficiency boost.

SP-140T Welding Capabilities


  • Magnum® PRO 100L gun
  • 10 ft. (3.0 m)
  • Gas Nozzle
  • Gas Diffuser
  • Cable Liner
  • 035 in. (0.9 mm) Contact Tip
  • Work Cable and Clamp
  • Adjustable Gas Regulator and Hose
  • Spindle Adapter
  • 0.025 - 0.030 in. (0.6 - 0.7 mm) and 0.035 in.
  • (0.9 mm) Smooth Drive Roll for MIG & FCAW

Get A Welding Upgrade!

Ready to elevate your welding game? Don't miss out on this exceptional welding companion that delivers superior arc performance, precise wire drive, and hassle-free operation. Click here to visit our website and secure your own SP-140T®!

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Written by arcmaster

The Power of Change: Upgrading Your Welding Tools

Is it time to upgrade that old faithful welder you bought at an auction over a decade ago? Every company has that piece of equipment they don’t want to get rid of for a multitude of reasons, but is in desperate need of a welder machine repair, or an upgrade. These reasons could be sentimental: an employee’s favorite, fear of change, false belief of cost savings or almost anything else. Let’s take a dive in and see if it’s time to finally pull the trigger and upgrade your tools.

A New Welding Machine Saves You Power And Money

An often overlooked reason to upgrade is reflected in power savings. Let’s use a few Lincoln machines and calculate the power savings of a traditional transformer machine vs. a newer inverter machine. In the chart below, a calculation was done for one production shift of power savings with a new Lincoln Electric inverter style machine (Powerwave S500) and an older Lincoln Electric transformer style machine (CV-400).

When the $4.95 per shift is multiplied out to a full year (estimated 260 working days) this equates to $1,287 per year. When multiplied by 3 shifts that grows to $3,861 cost savings per year.

In addition, many electrical companies will provide discounted rates or rebates for companies who convert to equipment that requires less power draw. If you are switching to newer, more efficient machines this would be a great option to explore.

Improve Your Weld Quality With Advanced Welding Technology

After power savings comes weld quality. Welds that used to be difficult or even impossible may now be very feasible to do. Each manufacturer has their own terminology, but from a high level the general ideas are similar. The benefits of newer equipment include better gap filling, higher deposition rates, more aesthetically pleasing welds (prettier welds), decreased porosity, capabilities to weld exotic materials, different transfer modes to help when welding out of position, and constant penetration. These can be broken down even further. For instance, high deposition rates mean more weld metal gets put down in a given amount of time. It also means that less overall heat goes into the base metal and this helps to minimize distortion.

The advanced waveforms make the welding easier so less technical operators are required. All welding requires is someone who understands the welding process to dial in the parameters. However, once the new machines are dialed in, they weld a wide range of thicknesses using the synergic setting. Now the operator is only turning one knob and the machine compensates for the rest. Existing programs can even be saved so that it takes the guesswork completely out of a parameter adjustment. If applicable, the welder can even record the real weld data to save and refer back to in the future.

Save Space And Strain With A New Welder

The size and weight of welders have decreased significantly with technology. Older machines, like the CV-400 weigh in at 383 pounds. The inverter based Powerwave S500 is capable of 25% more output but only weighs 68 pounds. This creates less strain on operators who move their equipment around. It also saves valuable floor space because the footprint of the machine is significantly smaller.

A final tick against the older machines is repair parts. As product lines become older they are no longer supported by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). If and when the older equipment breaks down, being able to quickly get the machine repaired and back into production becomes difficult.

We’ve Got Your New Welding Equipment!

If you would like to learn more about new welding equipment, reach out to Arc Solutions, Inc. We have technical sales employees who are happy to help educate you on the pros and cons of major industrial welding brands. We will also provide you with a quote to replace your equipment if desired. If you have a welder that needs service work, our team of authorized service technicians will get your machine fixed and back on your floor ASAP. Contact us today to upgrade your welder and your workflow, and shop our equipment in our store!

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Written by arcmaster

Cost Justification for a Welding Cobot (or Robot)

When making an investment into automation, it is important to calculate your Return On Investment (ROI). The term ROI is a fancy way of saying how long it will take until this equipment makes me more money than it cost me. ROI can be calculated many ways and must meet different requirements for different companies, but below is a good start to cost justifying your purchase.

The first and easiest thing to calculate are direct cost savings. Direct costs are costs that can actually have a dollar value put on them. Purchasing agents love direct cost savings because they look great on paper. The most expensive direct cost in most welding jobs is labor: their hourly wage and the overhead associated with each worker. The overhead includes cost like bonuses, vacation time, holiday pay, sick days, insurance, HR cost, etc. The typical labor and overhead cost is three times the hourly wage of the employee meaning that a $20/hr employee actually cost the company $60/hr to have on staff. When robots are introduced, the very conservative numbers are that one welding robot will double the output of a manual welder, but in reality the production rate of a robot is typically triple that of a manual welder. The actual productivity of a robot can be calculated using a cycle time analysis formula. Contact Arc Solutions, Inc for a cycle time analysis on your parts if you are interested in working towards automation.

Consumables are another direct cost savings. Contact tips in robots will weld more parts than contact tips in manual applications. This is because the contact tip to work distance is more accurately maintained to create a smoother arc and less spatter. Weld cleanup and part rework is also reduced because the spatter is much more controlled and the robot is far more accurate than a human can be. As you well know, the cost of grinding wheels and labor associated with cleanup and rework is a number that adds up quickly and adds no value to the part. Over welding parts is a common human error also. Welders will error on the side of caution and create bigger welds than required when welding manually. With robotics the exact weld size is controlled so it speeds up travel speeds, lowers the amount of wire consumed, and uses less shielding gas all while increasing the quality of the weld.

Indirect cost savings are a little more difficult to put a number on. The biggest indirect savings from a robot is weld quality. Robots make perfectly consistent movements every time so you can be confident that the weld is the right size and in the right location. You can also be confident that welds didn’t get skipped over by human error. Weld spatter and wire stubs being cut off at the end of the torch are common when manual welding. However, with robotics this can be closely controlled and a higher percentage of the purchased wire actually becomes weld metal and not wasted material that needs swept up off of the floor.

In today’s market, no one is looking to get rid of employees, but instead the exact opposite is happening. Rather than hiring employees, the addition of cobots and robots allow you to free up and move existing employees to other jobs in the shop. On a similar topic, the employee training required as a robot operator is far less than that required as a welder. The pay scales of robot operators vs. manual welders reflect the necessary skills for the job as well with operators typically earning a lower hourly wage than welders. The one thing robots do require is someone with the proper training to program them. First time robot purchasers typically get free training for one person. The standard length of training is four (4) days. It is important that the robot programmer has some welding experience as well as being comfortable with computers. Cobots however are much less technical when it comes to programing. With the most recent programming methods being icon driven; a production welder who is comfortable with a smart phone can be programming the cobot on their own with only a few hours of training.

There are a few options for getting automation into your shop. The traditional way was a full purchase of the equipment from a number of integrators. Another option is rental or lease to own plans. These plans allow customers to get introduced to automation without having such a large upfront risk. Arc Solutions has rental plans available for both cobots and traditional robots. Our lease to own plan has a percentage of the lease price being applied towards the purchase price of the equipment if you choose to buy. We also offer financing options for customers who are looking to buy equipment.

Reach out to Arc Solutions, Inc. today if you would like to explore your automation options. We can be contacted by phone at 419-542-9272 or via email at

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Written by arcmaster

Welding Cobots – Are they worth the investment?

Traditional Robots Vs. Up and Coming Cobots

Automated welding in the manufacturing industry has always been most sought after for high volume, low mix weldments. Automation began as “hard automation” where a machine was built to do only 1 specific job and then evolved into “flexible automation”. Flexible automation as we know it today consist of multi-axis weld robots (typically 6 axis) that can be programmed through a teach pendant for hundreds of different jobs. The first of these programmable robots were developed in the 1960s and have advanced with technology ever since. Fully automated robots today move at lightning speeds to cut down on air move time, but require multilevel safety features including a full fence to keep humans protected. Cobots (collaborative robots) are now making their way into this automation scene because they are designed to collaborate (work alongside of) a human operator. Since the fencing has been eliminated, cobots take up a much smaller footprint. In fact, the Cooper™ Cobot option from Lincoln is on a wheeled cart so that it can be pushed anywhere its needed in the shop.

Why invest in a Cobot?

Cobots have brought an exciting new face to the world of robotic welding. The technology helps in many facets. Programming is now completed with a tablet instead of a traditional robotic teach pendant. This makes the device extremely user friendly and even more inviting for the younger generation. The programming side is icon driven and built around drag and drop techniques so it is very quick to learn. Even beyond that, the cobot can be programmed by physically moving it with your own hands to the desired location. Then you can hit one button to save the point, drag it to the next location, save the new point and so on. These features allow welders off the production floor to be taught to program in hours. With traditional robots, companies had to hire programmers who knew how to program a robot and how to weld. As those in the manufacturing business know, that is a difficult combination to find. With the ease of programming cobots, everyday welders can now teach cobots.

What companies offer cobots?

There are a handful of companies that currently offer welding cobots. The professionals at Arc Solutions, Inc. have chosen to team up with Lincoln Electric for collaborative robots. Lincoln Electric and Fanuc have a long standing history of working together for arc welding automation. Through decades of knowledge and know-how, the two companies have launched the Lincoln Cooper™ Cobot. This system is an off the shelf part number that utilizes Fanuc’s R30iB mini controller. Those with a background in automation know the R30iB controller and its power in the automation world. The controller chosen for the Guru package still contains the programming features that automation programmers have come to depend on. The companies believe so wholeheartedly in their own equipment that Fanuc is promoting 8 years zero maintenance on the arm and Lincoln offers a 3-year warranty on the welding power source.

Is a cobot right for everyone?

No, we don’t believe they are. Like everything else in life there are tradeoffs. To account for human safety, cobots move slower than traditional robots. This increases the air move time thus increasing cycle time when compared to a traditional robot. If you are looking to weld 100,000 of the same part every year for 5 years, then a traditional robot is still your ticket. However, if you are more job shop oriented and build 50 parts of multiple different items you should look into cobots. The amount of time you lose with slower air moves would easily be justified by the time savings of programming. A current downfall of cobots are lack of weld positioners. With traditional robotic weld cells part positioners are used to rotate the welds in the optimal orientation. Cobots cannot do that yet. Collaborative positioners have not been tied to collaborative robots yet, BUT the clock is ticking and the technology will soon follow to allow cobots and positioners to work in conjunction.

What kind of weld quality can I expect from a cobot?

Weld quality from robots and cobots is nearly impossible to beat. Once the weld parameters have been dialed in (which manual welders are typically skilled at doing), the welds are extremely consistent. Robots and cobots both go to the exact same location and travel the same speed every time. This eliminates weld quality issues due to operator fatigue or trying to rush a job. It also helps to eliminate spatter since all the variables remain constant. The Guru package has a built in software package that locks in the torch angle as well. This allows for the first weld point to be taught and the torch angle to remain consistent for the entire length of the weld. Software packages like Touch Sense can be purchased in addition. Touch sense uses the wire to go around and locate the orientation of the part if there are consistency issues. On thick plate there is a software called Through the Arc Seam Tracking (TAST) that uses voltage measurements to maintain the programmed path on joints such as T joints.

How does cobot pricing relate to traditional robotic cells?

Cobots and simple one or two station traditional robotic cells are priced very similar to one another. The dollars saved on safety gear like fencing and light curtains are now used in the technology to make the arm collaborative. The Fanuc CRX arm that the Lincoln cobot package offers has sensors in each of its 6 axes. These sensors are what stop the cobot arm immediately when it hits something in its path. If the cost of buying a cobot seems daunting, Arc Solutions offers a leasing/rental program. In fact, both cobots and traditional robots can be used on a rental or a lease-to-own program that helps take risk away from the purchaser.

Are there options to customize a cobot?

With the Guru cobot package there are all kinds of options. The system comes standard with a Powerwave R450 powersource and a Lincoln Magnum 550 amp gun. The gun can be upgraded to a 650 amp water cooled option. Additional options like fume extraction, fabrication tables, thick plate software which includes multipass software, touch sense software, and different length arms are available. The standard reach arm is 49 inches and the long reach arm goes out to 55 inches. This is measured from the center point of the robot. This means the reach is actually 49/55 inches in each direction from the center. Reach out to Arc Solutions Inc. for a full list of cobot options and arm lengths!Arc Solutions has a full technical staff well versed in the welding and cutting industry. Please feel free to call us at 419-542-9272 or email for sales and technical assistance.

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