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MIG Gun Myth Busting

MIG Gun Myth Busting

MIG Gun Myth Busting: Separating Fact from Fiction

The MIG gun and consumables you use can have a significant impact on weld quality, productivity and operator downtime.

Below are five of the most common myths surrounding MIG guns and consumables and the truths that can help you improve productivity, reduce costs and increase operator efficiency.

Myth #1 - MIG guns are all the same, so price should be the deciding factor when purchasing a new gun.

The quality, performance and value of a MIG Gun vary substantially. Investing in a good MIG Gun is well worth it, and can provide better ease of use, better quality welds, increased lifespan, reduced downtime and a better bottom line. Quality MIG guns can also reduce operator fatigue,  burnbacks, birdnests and erratic feeding.

The same goes with consumables. Investing in good ones can mean fewer and faster tip changeovers, reducing both consumables costs and operator downtime.

Sometimes spending a little more initially can mean significant savings in the long run.

When buying a MIG Gun you should think long term and consider the below:

  • Downtime for servicing
  • Costs to replace parts
  • Service life of the gun
  • Quality and lifespan of components
  • Ease of component change over

Myth #2 - Consumables aren’t very important to weld quality and performance.

Welding consumables, including nozzles, diffusers and contact tips can have a big impact on weld quality and productivity. When it comes to design and material quality, consumables can differ considerably, so selecting quality consumables is essential.

Generally high quality consumables have more features which allow them to:

  • Improve weld quality
  • Reduce the frequency of contact tip burnbacks
  • Reduce downtime
  • Extend the tip life
  • Provide better ease of use

Myth #3 - Preventative gun and consumables maintenance is a waste of valuable time that could be better spent in production.

Spending a few minutes, a day to inspect and maintain your MIG Gun and consumables is time well spent. Identifying potential problems early can avoid higher costs and time in the future.

Connections between the wirefeeder, cable, gun, neck and consumables should be checked on a daily basis to ensure they are tight and undamaged. Loose or damaged fittings can create resistive heat build up, poor weld quality and shortened tip life.

Consumables should be checked daily too. Checking the inside bore of the contact tip is important to ensure it’s not excessively worn down and that the shielding gas flow is not obstructed by spatter in the nozzle.

Routine inspection and maintenance should take up no more than 10 to 15 minutes per day and are well worth it.

Myth #4 - It’s always better to be on the safe side and overmatch the gun amperage to the application.

Purchasing a 400 Amp MIG Gun when your application is 375 Amps can be a mistake.

The problem with overmatching the gun to the application is that most operators only weld for 30 to 50 percent of the time, and rarely, if ever, exceed its duty cycle in an application requiring 375 amps, which means that they can easily get by with a 300 Amp gun.

A 400 Amp gun could certainly handle the demands of the application, but it is also heavier and bulkier, leading to earlier operator fatigue and reducing productivity.

When looking at a MIG Gun it’s worth checking the duty cycle rating to make sure the gun is able to handle your application.

Tip: Purchase a gun that is as small and light as possible and that still meets the amperage requirements of the application. This can improve productivity and reduce operator fatigue.

Myth #5 - The MIG gun liner does not have a significant impact on welding performance.

True -  Properly functioning MIG gun liners, do not have a significant impact on welding performance, however it’s when the liner is not functioning properly that the difference between a high and a low quality liner becomes clear.

The liner provides unobstructed passage for the welding wire to travel from the feeder, though the cable and gun into the consumables, yet when problems arise it can contribute to weld defects and lost time.

High quality liners provide a more consistent inside diameter for the wire to travel through which:

  • Reduces friction and extends its life
  • Improves weld quality
  • Reduces birdnests
  • Prevents erratic wirefeeding
  • Reduces liner clogging

...all which lead to less downtime and better productivity overall.

View our full range of Bernard MIG Guns and Consumables

For more information, contact our customer support team on 1300 300 884.

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