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Arc welding (also called manual electrode welding) is a fusion welding method and is used to weld workpieces made of metal. An electric arc is generated by a power source during this welding process. This creates extreme heat which melts the metal at the connection points.

TRUMPF offers complete and safe welding cells with CE certification for arc welding, specifically for MIG welding and MAG welding, tested by the German Technical Inspection Agency (TÜV). Not only can they be operated and programmed intuitively, but are also much more productive compared to manual welding processes. The machine operator can start straight away thanks to extensive technology tables (with welding parameters for many applications such as material, sheet thickness and type of weld seam).

How does the arc welding procedure work?

Technical basis of arc welding (MIG/MAG welding)

During arc welding, the high temperature required for welding is generated by an electric current: to do so, voltage is applied to the workpiece and the welding wire (electrode), creating an arc between these two poles. This creates a melt along the join connection of the workpiece. During MIG/MAG welding, the welding wire is continuously fed into the process and continuously melts. A shielding gas is also used to prevent oxygen getting to the weld seam. These arc welding procedures are therefore also called gas-shielded-metal-arc welding procedures.

The difference between MIG and MAG welding is the type of gases used in the procedure: inert gases such as argon or helium are used as shielding gases during MIG welding (metal inert gas welding). During MAG welding (metal active gas welding), an active gas such as CO2 or O2 is added. Stainless steel and aluminum are generally welded with MIG welding, mild steel is usually welded with MAG welding.

What are the advantages of welding with an electric arc (MIG/MAG welding)?

MIG and MAG welding offer advantages for manufacturing companies compared to alternative procedures such as plasma arc welding, TIG welding, laser welding or electron beam welding.

Higher component tolerances

Gaps in the weld seam can be bridged with additional material. This means that component tolerances can be much higher than with laser welding, for example.

Large sheet thicknesses

It is possible to weld thick sheets with sheet thicknesses of up to 30 mm when the weld seam is prepared accordingly. 

High strength

Additional material, for example as design throat thickness in a fillet seam, provides the stability.

Familiar procedure

Arc welding is a very common procedure with many standards and guidelines already available as a support.

Examples of applications for automated arc welding

TruArc Weld 1000, console application


Console made of mild steel, 25 mm plate on 8 mm curved sheet metal with five weld seams. Even for just one piece, automated welding of this component is 21% faster (including programming) than manual welding.

TruArc Weld 1000, application of the transport securing device

Transport securing device

Transport securing device made of 6 mm mild steel. Thanks to this component, you can save 63% with automated welding compared to manual welding, starting from a lot size of 8.

TruArc Weld 1000, junction box made of 3 mm chromium nickel-steel

Junction box

Junction box made of 3 mm chromium nickel-steel. The CMT welding process from Fronius applies very little heat to the component. Thanks to its consistent surface shingling, the weld seam satisfies high visual demands.

TruArc Weld 1000, stainless steel corner joint

Stainless steel corner joint

This sample part shows welded stainless steel as a corner joint with a thickness of 1 mm.

TruArc Weld 1000, mild steel T-joint

Mild steel T-joint

This sample part shows welded mild steel as a T-joint with a thickness of 8 mm.

In practice: arc welding live and in action

Welding innovative tube designs

The video shows the TruArc Weld 1000 joining a complex tube design made of mild steel (MAG).

Welding a large component

Even voluminous components can be easily welded in the welding cell.

CMT welding

In combination with the technology package CMT welding, the TruArc Weld 1000 provides high process reliability and fewer weld spatters when processing thin materials.

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Christoph Turner
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