In 2003, a major North American heavy equipment manufacturer came to Wirco with a simple request, “How can we make our gas fired radiant tubes last longer”. For them, any heat treat furnace shutdowns were extremely expensive and they noticed many times the shutdowns were the result of weld failure of their cast and fabricated radiant tubes. At the time of this request the manufacturer was purchasing tubes from five different vendors and experiencing vastly different weld quality.
Wirco team members knew the way to improve the return bend to leg weld on gas fired radiant tubes was to offer a repeatable and consistent weld of higher quality than any of the current tube suppliers. With this goal in mind Wirco partnered with a world class welding equipment manufacturer to develop a robotic system capable of welding the majority of radiant tube designs currently in use. This robotic welding equipment combined with a proprietary machined weld bevel profile revolutionized Wirco’s tube assembly process.
Fast forward to today and Wirco is still the preferred supplier to the customer who started us on the journey to improve our radiant tube weld quality. Our customer did experience increased tube life and with that success wrote the robotic orbital TIG welding process into their radiant tube purchasing requirements. Well over 500 North American manufacturers use Wirco robotic orbital TIG welded radiant tubes in their heat treatment and gas fired furnaces. With this success Wirco now has a staff of trained and certified welders utilizing an array of modern robotic welding equipment to assemble not just radiant tubes but furnace rolls, furnace fans, and element protection cans.
Chris Dankert, Vice President of Sales