Susanne Szczesny-Oßing: Innovative welding processes – Sustainability for trade and industry

Welding speeds up to three to four times faster in pipeline construction with the  EWM pipeSolution process (Block 9 at GKM power plant in Mannheim).

Welding speeds up to three to four times faster in pipeline construction with the EWM pipeSolution process (Block 9 at GKM power plant in Mannheim).

Economic efficiency and environmental protection are not mutually exclusive – in many sectors, they can result in a win-win situation and increased growth. This is especially true for the welding technology industry and its customers. Innovative technologies and highly efficient welding processes deliver savings for the user while having minimal environ­­mental impact. This allows companies and businesses to achieve clear competitive advantages in the market.

As Germany’s largest manufacturer of highly innovative welding technology, EWM Hightec Welding has for many years produced solutions that offer cus­­tomers shorter welding times and allow a lower consumption of power and re­­sources. The resulting lower production costs go hand in hand with sustainably protecting the environment. EWM is focusing on the economic and environmental efficiency of its products and is combining its activities in the blue­Evolution initiative.

Innovative welding processes result in cost savings. Besides the hardware like welding machines, wire feeders, welding torches and welding consumables, it is the welding processes developed by EWM that are both environmentally friendly and produce substantial cost savings. In comparison with a conventional spray arc, the user saves time and materials when using the forceArc MIG/MAG welding process patented by EWM. This is, for example, because there is no included angle, or a much smaller one, to be dealt with during weld preparation compared with stand­­ard processes.

In mobile crane construction, for in­­stance, wire and gas consumption was reduced by 40 per cent and manufacturing time by 50 per cent as a result of structurally adapting the welding point. In conjunction with reduced-energy joining processes, the high efficiency of the inverter technology also reduces primary energy consumption: during 100 hours of welding time, it saves at least 400 kWh of electricity. With a total cost saving of 56 per cent, EWM is thus helping to significantly cut the customer’s production costs while simul­­­taneously reducing CO2 emissions.
Just like forceArc, the welding processes coldArc and pipeSolution also help to mini­­mise the costs for preliminary and finishing work. Moreover, the EWM proc­esses are virtually spatter-free, so resource con­­sumption and the need for grinding work are also greatly reduced. EWM techno­­l­­ogy also leads the field in lowering the pollutant emissions of welding fumes. With the heat-reduced coldArc arc, emis­­sions are up to 75 per cent lower than with a standard short arc, and using forceArc leads to a reduction in harmful emissions by up to 60 per cent compared with a standard spray arc.

Environmental technology companies rely on innovative welding. Every metalworking company is interested in making potential savings like these. And when these companies operate in the field of environmental technology and sustain­­able management, efficiency and sustain­­ability have an even higher priority. Every opportunity to save resources counts, starting with the construction of manufacturing facilities. Voith Industrial Serv­­ices, for instance, is relying on EWM technology in the construction of the highly efficient Block 9 of the Groß­­kraftwerk Mannheim (GKM) power plant. Here, a welding process – pipeSolution – is now being used that was not initially provided for in the regulations. Those in charge were quickly won over by the economical process and put it into action in conjunction with the most versatile power source on the market – the alpha Q from EWM.

The high quality and noticeably more effi­­cient possibilities for pipe welding meant TÜV Hesse was able to issue it with a certificate and its approval. Voith now welds three to four times faster using this technology and also saves several hundred kilogrammes of filler wire. Sustainability is thus guaranteed in the construction of this very modern power plant, where cogeneration allows the production of power and district heating to be particularly kind to the environment and the climate.

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Bollegraaf, a manufacturer of ma­­chines and equipment for materials recy­­cling, also swears by the forceArc innovative welding process. The Dutch company can attest to the fact that this joining process complies with every requirement in its philosophy of sustainable produc­­tion. A lot less power, consider­­ably less filler wire, very low effort for finishing work and a throughput time for a recycling machine that is a day and a half shorter – all proof of higher efficiency and increased environmental benefits. EWM technology has already resulted in cost savings of some ten per cent. By making structural adjust­­ments, Bollegraaf even aims to achieve an in­­­crease in economic effi­­ciency of minimum 25 per cent.

blueEvolution also means consistent development. Successes like these con­­firm to EWM that the combination of economic efficiency and eco-friendly tech­­niques is not only possible, but is the premise for future sustainability. This is also linked to seeing blueEvolution as both an incentive and an obligation to consistently develop new technologies that are even more efficient. Around ten per cent of EWM’s annual turnover is invested in research and development.

This also includes EWM’s joint involvement with other companies in projects supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, such as Green Carbody, ENERWELD and the Effizienz­­fabrik innovation platform. Responsi­­bility for the environment therefore be­­comes a crucial competitive factor – both for a manufacturer of innovative welding technology and for its customers.

Further information can be found at
www.ewm-group.com.

szczesny_2596-KopieThe author is a managing partner at EWM Hightec Welding GmbH. She has worked there as a qualified business manager since 1984. Susanne Szczesny-Oßing is also active in institutions and associations, including as a member of the Koblenz Chamber of In­­dustry and Com­­merce general assembly, a member of the Rhineland-Palatinate tech­­nology advisory board and as vice-president of the DVS – German Welding Society.