ESAB is launching the Rebel EMP 215ic, a 120/230V, CC/CV, MIG/TIG/MMA welding system that offers true multi-process arc performance, location flexibility, lightweight portability and a groundbreaking operator interface. A special sMIG (smart MIG) function enables users to begin MIG welding – with a very stable arc and little or no spatter – just by setting the material thickness and wire diameter. Unlike competitive units, there is no need to enter information for the shielding gas mix. Following an initial 'soft launch' that included a social media and YouTube campaign, ESAB UK has already sold hundreds of Rebel machines, with many customers placing orders before they had even tried using one, so impressive are the specification and the YouTube videos.
The Rebel provides an industrial-quality arc for MIG, flux-cored, Lift TIG and MMA (stick) welding, including excellent performance with difficult-to-weld cellulosic E6010 electrodes. In fact, ESAB encourages side-by-side weld test comparisons and believes that the Rebel will provide a superior experience for welders of all skill levels.
ESAB's Rebel has two operating modes, Basic and Advanced, that make welding easy for beginners or lets those with more experience fine tune parameters. Operators interact with the Rebel using a control that combines traditional weld parameter adjustments with the functionality of a smart phone (in fact, the 4.3inch/110mm colour display uses the same thin-film transistor (TFT) LCD technology found in smart phones). According to ESAB, no other welder combines this level of simplicity, performance and control.
The Rebel accepts 100 or 200mm diameter wire spools, runs 0.6 to 1.2mm diameter wires and can be operated from 120V or 230V primary power, or the Rebel can be powered from a generator; an auto-detect function identifies the supply voltage that has been connected. The Rebel weighs 18kg, measures 584x229x406mm and features a five-handle roll cage and unibody construction that integrates the front, back and top panels to provide superior durability for protecting internal components.
For stick welding, the Rebel offers excellent performance with electrodes up to 4mm diameter. The machine truly provides an industrial quality arc for MIG, flux-cored, Lift TIG and MMA welding.
ESAB believes the Rebel is the most powerful single-phase welding machine on the market. When operating from 230V the unit provides a MIG output of 20-220A, a stick welding output of 30-160A and a TIG output of 5-240A (with a 120V supply, the corresponding outputs are 15-130A, 5-110A and 5-140A). Applications include framework fabrication, sheet metal, auto repair and restoration, maintenance and repair, mechanical contractors, light construction, farm and agricultural, training facilities and HVAC. Mild steel, stainless steel and aluminium can all be welded, and the maximum plate thickness is 9.5mm.
The unit comes ready-to-weld for MIG and TIG welding processes, though the TIG torch has to be purchased as an optional accessory (a foot control is also available for TIG applications). ESAB includes a professional-grade MXL 200 MIG torch, electrode holder and return cable kits (3m), a 4.5m gas hose with quick connection to the machine, 200mm AristoRod 12.50 0.8mm non-copper-coated wire spool, and contact tips and drive rolls for wires of between 0.6 and 1.0mm diameter. For easy replacement of the torch, the Rebel benefits from ESAB's Euro connector, so operators can quickly step up to a heavier-duty torch for additional feedability and current transfer, such as for aluminium or flux-cored welding.
Martin Freibergs, Product Business Manager for Arc Equipment at ESAB Europe, says: "The Rebel EMP 215ic is the most incredible go-anywhere, weld-anything machine on the market. Users have to experience this machine to believe just how good it is. The Rebel offers outstanding all-process arc performance because we enhanced the control algorithms from our industrial systems such as the Warrior and Aristo, gathered input from real-world welders and then incorporated that knowledge into the Rebel design."
Smart control system
Available on the European market, the Rebel's interface enables users to choose from 21 different languages. The control display incorporates a built-in user manual with graphics and text to help with weld process set-up, such as for connecting the work and ground leads to the correct terminals, as well as a parts list for ordering spares, plus a guide to welding parameters. Of course, the display also lets users select the welding mode, and set and control all functions. For each welding process, up to four sets of welding parameters can be stored in the unit's onboard memory.
With the Rebel's sMIG function, users begin MIG welding by setting metal thickness and selecting wire diameter. The Rebel automatically adapts to any popular steel, stainless, chrome-moly or aluminium filler metal/gas combination and provides a stable MIG arc with little or no spatter. sMIG enables users to weld thicker or thinner metal by increasing or decreasing wire feed speed, and users can raise or flatten the bead profile (crown) by increasing or decreasing voltage (trim). Welders can also adjust inductance to fine-tune arc stability and control spatter. As users adjust one parameter, sMIG automatically adjusts others to keep the arc stable.
Using an exclusive, built-in algorithm, sMIG monitors the operator's technique and continuously adapts the MIG output to provide a stable arc and superior, repeatable welds. Freibergs says: "sMIG takes smart to a level never before seen in the industry. Experienced welders become productive more quickly and novice welders start producing quality welds in less time. The sMIG feature takes away the doubt of welding with incorrect settings and so users can focus on good welding torch technique. Rebel gives users confidence to weld anywhere with a ready-to-weld package." [Having tried the Rebel myself, I can confirm that a total novice can, indeed, produce a good weld thanks to sMIG and the intuitive interface - Ed.]
For those welders who prefer traditional MIG and flux-cored welding, the Rebel enables users to pre-set and adjust wire feed speed and voltage, as well as set run-in (creep start) speed, adjust burn-back control and program timers for spot and stitch welding. When welding, the control shifts to display current and voltage.
Because different types of MMA electrodes require different controls, the Rebel lets users optimise performance by selecting from one of two settings: Cellulosic Electrodes (E6010, E6011) or all other Electrodes (E70XX, E308, E309, E316). To further fine-tune performance, the Rebel features adjustable arc force and hot start control.
With TIG welding (as well as MIG), users can select either 2T/4T trigger control; 2T for standard operation and 4T to provide a hold function that reduces hand fatigue.
Choice of Rebels
ESAB offers two Rebel models. The full-featured Rebel EMP 215ic has all of the capabilities outlined above, while the Rebel EM 215ic provides MIG, sMIG and flux-cored welding outputs and features a more traditional interface with digital meters (due for launch later in 2016). Both machines are extremely rugged and come with a three-year warranty; in the unlikely event of a failure, a service technician visits the customer to repair the machine, so there is no need to return it and wait for the repair to be carried out.
Martin Freibergs concludes: "Rebel welders appeal to operators because they are the most powerful, portable single-phase units on the market. Rebel enables users to be more productive, as well as improve results with their best-of-class arc performance."
Follow the link for more information about the Rebel EMP 215ic welding system.