Founded in 1995, the Slovenian company ADK d.o.o. is one of the most successful companies operating in the country’s steel industry today. Operating with four locations offering a total production area of 45,000 m², ADK primarily makes machinery and devices made of high-strength steel that are designed for the heavy lifting of loads as well as plants intended for raw material extraction and the construction industry. Production includes mobile and tracked cranes as well as mining excavators for one the world’s leading companies in the industry – from components to the finished product including final assembly. The company processes 3,000 tonnes of steel every month. The machine builder relies on a wide range of vertical manufacture to maintain the independence and flexibility they need for their business. The steel processing company is capable of handling in-house such varied processes as cutting and bending steel plates, mechanical processing, non-destructive testing as well as painting and assembly.
One of the core aspects of ADK’s business is – without a doubt – the application of welding technology. The company employs approximately 160 welders at their Hoče location alone. All welding jobs must satisfy the requirements set out in DIN EN ISO 5817, the standard of reference for the quality assessment of weld seams. To satisfy the rigorous requirements of this standard, ADK used to be required to perform additional grinding and grouting operations. The activities were not only dreaded by all employees, but they also cost a great deal of time and money. In an effort to lower the cost of production, ADK started looking for a new and fast welding process that would help them eliminate the need for preparatory work and rework. Another requirement the welding process was supposed to fulfil was deep penetration combined with superior weld quality.
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The SpeedPulse XT process specially devised by Lorch delivered exceptional results during the welding trials. What finally sealed the deal for the experts at ADK were the X-ray and ultrasound tests carried out after the trials. This welding process marries the speed benefits of the spray arc with the advantages of the pulsed arc. The qualities of a good pulsed arc are well known: virtually spatter-free, optimum weld pool control, controlled metal transfer and next to no need for reworking.
However, what is the key ingredient that lets you achieve a higher speed compared to a standard pulse process? Until now, one pulse has always been one droplet. However, the process specialists at Lorch found a way to enlarge this droplet, thus allowing for a controlled, nearly constantly flowing metal transfer onto the workpiece. The leading droplet, which is pulsed, is always followed by a second droplet, resulting in a controlled metal transfer that resembles a spray arc. This gain of material clearly shows its effect: a significant boost in speed compared to a standard pulse. Always producing the type of superb quality traditionally associated with pulse welding and affording the operator significantly improved handling.
However, welding speed was not the only factor that won over the decision-makers at ADK: they were equally impressed with the weld quality. So much so that ADK is now utilizing 42 welding machines of Lorch’s S-SpeedPulse-XT series.
(Text: Ing. Norbert Novotny)
“The seam appearance produced during our last welding trial with a new welding wire was yet another testimony to the outstanding capabilities of the SpeedPulseXT. The results were spectacular. Firm and deep penetration with no pores – even on base material of lower quality. The machine also lived up to its promise of easy handling in day-to-day use. The Lorch operating concept has enabled our welders to produce a perfect weld that will stand up to any test in much less time and with significantly greater ease.”
DI (FH) Zoran Vidovic, Head Welding Supervisor at ADK