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ESAB Launches First Portable Wire Feeder With  IP44 Protection Class Rating For Extreme Durability

November 11, 2019

Annapolis Junction, Md. – ESAB Welding & Cutting Products will launch its Robust Feed Pro portable wire feed system at FABTECH 2019, November 11-14, in ESAB booth B17087 at McCormick Place in Chicago. The Robust Feed Pro is the first product in its category with an IP44 protection class rating, which means it is protected against water splashes from all directions, as well as solid objects larger than 1 mm. Booth visitors will be able to test the Robust Feed Pro using Dual Shield® flux cored wire and the Warrior® 500i power source.

Visitors will also be able to MIG weld aluminum with the Robust Feed U6 and Aristo® 500ix power source, the industry’s most rugged, operator-friendly system for enhanced MIG welding. The Robust Feed U6 offers pre-programmed synergic lines, customizable synergic lines and QSet™ (sMIG). ESAB will also display the Robust Feed Pulse model, which adds pre-programmed synergic lines for pulsed MIG welding with aluminum, steel and stainless wires. Designed for mobility and performance in harsh industrial environments, the Aristo® 500ix, Robust Feed U6 and Robust Feed Pulse will be launched in Q1 2020.

Leave it in the Rain

The completely-sealed Robust Feed Pro has a double-wall design with special impact zones made from a more flexible material to absorb more impact energy. All controls, power and gas connections are protected inside the case with a dedicated service cover providing access to the electronics.

“The Robust Feed Pro is the only feeder on the market that you can leave outside in a heavy rain,” says Jay Coubrough, Director of Product Marketing – Equipment, ESAB. “A heat kit inside the units wards off condensation and keeps the wire dry, while a cooling fan manages heat in operating conditions up to 130 oF without the need for cooling vents.”

The primary power cable secures to the rear of the unit with a twist lock connection that eliminates stress on the positive and negative power terminals (dinse connections) and gas connections inside the case.

“You can drop this feeder and drag it through the mud by the power cable and nothing happens. There is no strain or risk from shearing off a cable or hose connection,” says Coubrough.

The Robust Feed Pro’s extreme durability, portability and performance are particularly suitable for industrial fabrication operations such as marine and offshore, steel erection, structural steel fabrication, hard surfacing and cladding, repair and maintenance, pressure vessels and pipeline. At outputs of 550, 500 and 400 amps, the Robust Feed Pro has a duty cycle rating of 50, 60 and 100 percent, respectively.

Powerful Drive System

The Robust Feed Pro accepts wire spools up to 12 in., measures 23.4 x 9.8 x 16.9 in. and weighs 37 lbs. A new precision wire drive system delivers the performance required for wires as small as .030 in. solid wire and as large as 5/64 in. solid wire and 3/32 in. cored wire. Total wire feed speed range is 32 to 984 inches per minute.

“Our design improves accuracy at lower speeds, has the power to feed larger cored wires and the high speeds necessary for smaller diameter hard wires,” says Coubrough. “The Robust Feed Pro is truly an all-purpose unit.”

The front of the feeder has crisp, bright, large LED displays that are visible in strong sunlight, as well as backlit symbols that makes the unit easy to operate in dimly lit conditions. The front has control knobs for voltage and wire feed speed buttons for wire jog and gas purge. The inside of the unit contains controls for 2T or 4T operation, wire inch, crafter fill and a flow meter for setting accurate shielding gas flow rates.

The Robust Feed Pro also incorporates a switch to optimize arc termination for solid or cored wires. In the solid wire position, the switch activates Short Circuit Termination (SCT) technology, which sharpens the end of the solid MIG wire at the termination of a weld. By eliminating the ball that typically forms on the end of the wire, the feeder optimizes the wire condition to promote a positive arc start. SCT technology also eliminates the need for the operator to clip the wire. In an operation with numerous weld stops and starts, the time savings will quickly add up. To improve arc starts when using Flux-Cored or Metal-Cored wires, the cored wire setting enables burnback control.

Ergonomic Portability

The Robust Feed Pro has three comfortable handles — all are crane certified — and two additional lifting points for best-in-class portability and maneuverability. The top handle provides a way to lift the unit in its center of gravity, with or without a spool inside. The handle is ideally shaped without ribs on the side for additional comfort when lifting or moving. Handles on the front and back make it easier to move through manholes and smaller spaces with the unit.

“This is the only feeder on the market with clearly-marked crane-rated handles, an important feature for offshore and shipyard applications where they often lift objects into position,” says Coubrough.

For greater mobility, the Robust Feed Pro has an optional wheel kit that mounts on either the bottom or side of the feeder. To keep digital voltage and amperage meters oriented for easy viewing (e.g., horizontally), the control panel can be rotated 90 degrees with the removal of two screws.

“Putting the wheel kit on the side of the feeder creates a low, flat profile that’s more stable,” says Coubrough. “In applications such as trailer manufacturing, the operator can easily move the feeder under low objects. In any setting, its low center of gravity enables pulling the feeder past obstacles and across uneven floors without risk of it tipping over.”

ESAB Welding & Cutting Products is a recognized leader in the welding and cutting industry. From time-honored processes in welding and cutting to revolutionary technologies in welding and cutting automation, ESAB’s filler metals, equipment, and accessories bring solutions to customers around the globe. For more information, call 1-800-ESAB123.

ESAB’s new Robust Feed Pro is the only portable wire feeder with an IP44 protection class rating. It boasts crane-rated handles, a unique optional wheel kit and a design so rugged users can literally drag it through the mud.

ESAB’s new Robust Feed Pro is the only portable wire feeder with an IP44 protection class rating. It boasts crane-rated handles, a unique optional wheel kit and a design so rugged users can literally drag it through the mud.

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