A Weld Positioner Designed for Complex Pipe Assemblies

October 5, 2016

Weld Positioning Products

gimbal-weld-positioner-rotating-p2xg-irco-automation
How do you weld complex workpieces and pipe assemblies that traditional tilt rotate positioners were never designed for? It’s this question that first led IRCO to create the P2XG Gimbal Weld Positioner.

The Gimbal is a legacy IRCO product and extremely popular with the companies that own them. Unfortunately, the Gimbal is also one IRCO’s best kept secrets. This article is intended to show some examples of where you may be slowing down your production throughput by not using the right positioner for the job.

P2XG Gimbal Weld Positioner

The P2XG is most commonly used for more complex pipe assemblies where valves, flanges, unions and difficult to reach joints are required to be welded. The unique rotational properties make it ideally suited for workpieces that are a challenge to orientate correctly on tilt rotate positioners.

For these types of applications, the Gimbal Weld Positioner can:

  • Improve ergonomics and reduce welder fatigue
  • Decreases set up time by removing the need to reposition the height of the weld positioner
  • Reduce the overall footprint required for the machine
  • Increase production throughput

 

Comparing Tilt Rotate and Gimbal Welding Positioners

Below is a simple application where the two axis Gimbal positioner (P2XG) excels in comparison to a manual elevating tilt rotate weld positioner (PTR-M). Image 1 shows the position used to tack the flange (purple) on to the pipe (pink).

After tacking, the P2XG Gimbal Positioner can be immediately rotated into the optimal weld position (Image 2). The P2XG is also capable of performing circumferential welds at varying heights (Image 3).

irco-p2xg-gimbal-positioner_1-faceplate-pointed-up

Image 1 – Fit Up

irco-p2xg-gimbal-positioner_2-faceplate-angled-down

Image 2 – Finish Weld

irco-p2xg-gimbal-positioner_3-faceplate-pointed-horizontal

Image 3 – Circumferential Weld


 

With a tilt rotate manual elevating positioner (PTR-M) the finish welding cannot be completed until the PTR-M is raised, usually by crane. Once the finished weld is completed, the positioner must be once again lowered to start tacking the next workpiece.

irco-ptr-m-tilt-rotate-positioner_1-faceplate-pointed-up

Lowered for fit up

irco-ptr-m-tilt-rotate-positioner_2-lowered-w-faceplate-angled-down

Lowered position

irco-ptr-m-tilt-rotate-positioner_3-raised-w-faceplate-angled-down

Elevated for finish weld

irco-ptr-m-tilt-rotate-positioner_4-raised-w-faceplate-pointed-up

Elevated position


 

Positioning More Complex Pipe Assemblies

 

Weld Position 1

In this example we have added a ring, half green and half red, to identify which side of the flange is being welded. In Position 1 we are welding the red half of the flange. Both positioners are able to provide an angle for the weld, but the P2XG Gimbal Weld Positioner offers additional benefit by being able to position the weld joint at a more ergonomic height.

Weld Position 1

Weld Position 1


 

Weld Position 2

In Position 2 we are welding the green half of the joint. The tilt rotate weld positioner first needs to be raised to allow clearance for the pipe. The welder is then forced to reach around and in between the pipe/flange and positioner to finish the weld (yellow circle).

In comparison, the P2XG can immediately rotate to the correct orientation and ergonomic position; saving time and preventing the welder from having to stretch into an unsafe working position.

Weld Position 2

Weld Position 2


 

Weld Awkward Shaped Weldments

The P2XG comes in 1,000, 3,000 & 4,000 lbs. capacities and can be fully integrated with PLC automation (start/stop/positional feedback, etc.) and robotic applications. If your team is assembling workpieces that resemble any of the options below, or any other complex/awkward shape, contact an IRCO representative to see if the P2XG Gimbal Weld Positioner could help improve your welder’s throughput.

Pipe Assembly 1

Pipe Assembly 1

Pipe Assembly 2

Pipe Assembly 2

Pipe Assembly 3

Pipe Assembly 3