ESAB Welding & Cutting Products has launched the RobustFeed AVS voltage-sensing feeder, which eliminates the need for a power supply/control cable between the power source and the feeder. The design simplifies cable management in portable applications, eliminating a cable that could potentially get damaged. Voltage-sensing feeder technology also enables the feeder to work with either constant current or constant voltage power sources for greater flexibility.
RobustFeed, which won the prestigious Red Dot Award for product design, improves durability, ergonomics and performance in harsh industrial applications such as the ship, boat, civil construction, offshore, railcar and heavy maintenance industries.
“RobustFeed AVS is the only feeder on the market that is truly weatherproof. You can leave this feeder in the rain or drag it through the dirt and it will continue to perform reliably,” said Arne Lagerkvist, global product manager, heavy industry welding equipment, ESAB. “Regardless of power source brand, using a RobustFeed AVS when you want a voltage-sensing style feeder improves uptime and productivity.”
RobustFeed, which has an IP44 protection rating, features a completely sealed wire feed compartment that protects the wire and internal components from water splashes in all directions. The seal also keeps out dirt, grinding dust and other particles than can damage feeder components or degrade the wire and contaminate the weld pool. The controls, as well as the power and gas cable connections, are also protected inside the housing. On the outside, the feeder uses a double-wall design that has special zones to provide abrasion and impact resistance, while a reliable strain relief removes cable stress.
“Storage slots for contact tips, wire inlet guides and drive rolls inside the RobustFeed AVS case ensure that operators always have consumables handy, eliminating a common source of downtime,” said Lagerkvist.
When carried by the middle handle, RobustFeed is designed to rest comfortably against the side of the operator’s body when walking longer distances. The RobustFeed has three crane certified handles and two additional lifting points for portability and maneuverability. Its front and rear handles make it easy to carry up a ladder, maneuver through confined spaces or pass the unit from one person to another. For greater mobility, the RobustFeed AVS has an optional wheel kit that mounts on either the bottom or side of the feeder. To keep digital meters oriented for easy viewing (e.g., horizontally), the control panel can be rotated 90 degrees with the removal of two screws.
With RobustFeed, operators use a single control knob and digital meter on the front panel to adjust wire feed speed at the feeder (but must set voltage at the power source). The RobustFeed AVS has two internal LEDs to illuminate the feeder in dark conditions, 2T (standard) or 4T (trigger lock) control, gas purge, wire jog, CC/CV mode switch and an optional internal gas flow meter protected by the rugged case.
The RobustFeed AVS accepts 8- and 12-inch diameter wire spools, measures 23.4 x 9.8 x 16.9 inches and weighs 40.5 pounds. It feeds solid wires as large as 5/64 inches, cored wires up to 3/32 inches and has a wire feed speed range of 32 to 984 inches per minute. It has a duty cycle rating of 100 percent at 350 amps. Where other portable feeders only have 2-wheel drive, the RobustFeed AVS uses a 4-wheel drive mechanism and encoder-controlled feeding, according to the manufacturer.