Gridweld Welding Systems has developed a new automatic pipeline welding crawler. This advanced unit uses online configurable DC motors from Maxon Motor’s DCX family.
Over the past decade, continual increase in energy demand coupled with strong development in the production of unconventionals and LNG (liquefied natural gas) has set solid grounds for growth in the onshore pipeline sector. Gridweld uses the latest technology to design and manufacture orbital welding systems. This specialised technique is used for joining pipes or tubes where the arc is rotated 360 degrees. The West Midlands-based company personnel have been involved in many pipe welding operations around the world. Since its development, the welding bug Scorpion has been used on projects within the UK, Ireland and Australia.
Like its namesake, Scorpion’s performance and durability in tough environments has proved to be exceptional. It is a lightweight bug (only 16kg), capable of independent dwell, enabling the operator to weld steep gradients and accommodate differing pipe wall thicknesses. Welding passes can be re-selected whilst welding and the insulated shroud and shield assembly ensure tip replacement is minimal. The onboard control box enables welding parameters to be stored and the software can be upgraded onsite. Each bug uses four brushed DC motors from the maxon DCX family of configurable products. Two DCX 35mm motors, with an incremental encoder (ENX EASY) and a GP 32mm HP gearhead are used for driving the bug around the pipe and wire feeding. Two DCX 22 motors with an EASY encoder and GP22HP gearhead are used for tip control.
Mike Penny, Technical Director at Gridweld says: “We chose to work with Maxon Motor because of the high level of support and expertise available and the short delivery times available for the DCX.” Ian Bell, senior sales engineer from Maxon Motor, says: “The new DCX range has increased deliverable torque without increasing size or weight, both important deciding factors for Scorpion’s customers.”
Global expenditure in pipe construction service and line pipe is expected to reach $216 billion over the next 5 years, with over 270,000km of pipelines expected to be installed (Reference: World Onshore Pipelines Market Forecast 2013-2017).
All configurable DC motors, gearheads and sensors of the Maxon DCX programme can be ordered online. After only 11 working days, the drive systems are ready to be shipped from the head office in Switzerland. Detailed product data can be viewed online immediately, and 3D data for the configuration is available for downloading. More information about DCX online configurable DC motors can be found at dcx.maxonmotor.com.