I got to take a demo of the new Miller pipe pro 450 RFC today.
All I can say is WOW!!!!!!
I will be the first to say I'm not the greatest pipe welder around. I'm FAR from being able to manage repeatable code work to ASME standards.
My demo was run on a 6" sch. 40 with a std. bevel and a 1/8" root opening. running in the RMD Mode with 0.035" wire running the open root was almost FOOL PROOF! With no back purge and sloppy at best technique on my part the root was flawless inside and out. Now the inside of the root wasn't perfect but with a proper back purge you would almost have to WORK at screwing something up.
The weld pool just stuck where you put it PERIOD. you pointed the arc where you wanted the metal and it just put it there no questions asked. Fantastic penetration on the edges with a great internal weld profile. after running about 2" I have no doubt that you could have great results going strait from the root onto the cover passes.
after laying down the Root and getting it dialed after about an inch and a half of weld they switched the machine over to the pulsed MiG settings with the same shield gas and wire combo. when I first struck the ark and started running uphill I was keeping the weave to small and once I got comfortable after about 3/4" and move the wire out to the edges the fusion and the tie in were absolutely spectacular. Theirs just a very very slight difference running the mig in Pulsed mode than running 7018. you just hold the toes for a split second longer and come back over center a bit slower.
I don't know the exact parameters that the machine was set to as the miller rep was dialing it and had the programs saved on the little scandisks cards you would normally use in you digital camera.
As a DIE HARD BLEED RED Lincoln Electric man I bow to Millers new reign of the Code work pipe welding shop. Lincoln better step up quick and hard to even have a chance at keeping the least amount of the market for shop welded pipe.
The results on stainless were even better than with carbon steel. with the proper gas flow from the nozzle and a fairly still air in the booth you could get code quality X-ray welds in stainless with NO back purge at all. Just a slight sugaring that can be easily brushed off with a small stainless brush.
Normally I'm skeptical of new innovations when it comes to Fabrication and welding till I try them myself and run them for a while. In my honest opinion if your shop does $30,000 of pipe welding in a year this machine will pay for itself in a year and a half MAX.
On an average 6"Sch 80 bevel to bevel this machine could easily wipe 15-25 min off of the time taken to weld and finish prep the joint for X-ray.
Honestly after leaving this demo I went out and started calling different business contacts looking for some flange and pipe welding work to justify buying this machine.
And because I know someone is going to ask no the pulsed mig mode is completely different that the one on the XMT Mpa inverters. not even the slightest bit the same.
And a bit of a warning to Lincoln. DO whatever you have to do and get one of these machines and run the wee out of it. Try and possibly find a way to integrate a cobra feeder to the power unit and also run aluminum wire in pulse or pulse on pulse from the same source. but your going to need to do something! this will turn a novice welder into a code welder in a coupe hours.