VDAB is the public employment service of Flanders, Belgium, with a remit to make the Flanders labour market as transparent and dynamic as possible. An important element of VDAB’s work is training and, to support this role, the organisation has purchased 25 universal welding machines from ESAB, plus 25 of ESAB’s Tig welding machines. These will be used at 11 different sites throughout Flanders for training and certifying operatives in possession of different skill levels – from beginners to experienced welders – working in industries including automotive components, construction, and a wide variety of light and medium engineering industries.
Staff at VDAB prepared a specification against which suppliers were invited to tender for a 4-year contract to supply the welding machines and provide ongoing support. The tender specification covered welding machine functionality, price, warranty, durability, and after-sales support and service. ESAB was able to achieve the highest score and get the order.
Some of the VDAB training establishments teach many different types of welding, while others focus on Tig welding, so ESAB tendered to supply 25 Aristo U4000iw universal welding machines with 3004w U8 water-cooled wire feeders, U8₂ Plus control panels and PSF 410w torches, together with 25 Origo TIG 4300iw TA24 AC-DC machines for teaching Tig welding.
The Aristo U4000iw kits are high-specification, versatile welding systems that can be used for MMA, MIG/MAG, pulsed Mig, Tig and pulsed Tig welding, as well as carbon arc gouging. Notable features include QSet ‘artificial intelligence’ that simplifies and reduces the time needed for set-ups, minimises spatter, and increases both quality and productivity. In addition, ESAB’s SuperPulse technology is a modified pulsed spray and Pulsed Short arc processes that controls the heat input for bridging variable gaps with a spatter-free arc. Furthermore, SuperPulse enables users to achieve a finish that is visually similar to that obtained with Tig welding, but with the speed of Mig welding. Another feature is TrueArcVoltage, which ensures the weld is always created at the correct voltage, regardless of the length of the welding cables and any associated voltage drop.
ESAB’s Origo TIG 4300iw kits are capable of producing very high-quality welds on virtually any weldable metal. High-specification functions include True AC rating, which maintains the true current at the preset level, and QWave that optimises the AC wave form for a smooth, stable arc and very low noise.
As part of the 4-year contract, ESAB is providing a 4-year warranty as well as full service, support and training for VDAB instructors over the period of the contract. Training takes place once or twice per year to ensure the instructors are familiar with the extensive functionality of the welding machines and can take full advantage of the machines’ capability when teaching operatives to weld, whether they are beginners or experienced welders expanding their skill set.
An important aspect of the tendering process was durability; to demonstrate the durability of its welding machines, ESAB provided a number of customer testimonials in which references were made to recently both (new) welding machines and welding machines that were 25 years old and still performing faultlessly.
Eric van den Bergh, welding instructor at VDAB, comments: “I have used ESAB welding machines for over 20 years and have always been impressed by the quality, performance and ease of maintenance; ESAB welding machine are more than exceptional. The 50 new machines are some of the best available and have replaced older ESAB machines that have served VDAB very well. Our instructors are very pleased with the new welding systems, and the service from ESAB has been equally good.”
For more information about ESAB welding equipment, visit www.esab.com.