Making a repair on a piece of equipment with sensitive electronics.
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  1. #1
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    Sep 2019
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    10

    Making a repair on a piece of equipment with sensitive electronics.

    When it comes to welding on equipment with a lot of intricate electronics what are some good and safe practices? Primarily for tig welding.



    Normally the equipment that I work on I am able to take the part off that needs to be repaired, but I now have a few parts that need some attention where taking them off for a repair will mean some major down time that can't be afforded. This machine has a lot of sensitive electronic components. What are some appropriate measures to take

  2. #2
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    Mar 2011
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    Western Washington
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    Re: Making a repair on a piece of equipment with sensitive electronics.

    While I haven't done tig work I have repaired a lot of electronics and their associated housings... And I've fried a few things due to little slip ups first rule: Keep your ground close to the work and make sure it is a good ground. Second rule: if your welder is line powered make sure any power lines to the device are decoupled. Most everything else is pretty much common sense.

  3. #3
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    Nov 2012
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    North Carolina / Maine
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    74

    Re: Making a repair on a piece of equipment with sensitive electronics.

    Oxy-Acetylene is really nice for that--if you can stand the extra heat that the process gives off. But if you can TIG weld the thing in place, then O/A may very well work and there's no chance of electrical damage to the components.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2006
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    Outside of Raleigh, NC
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    882

    Re: Making a repair on a piece of equipment with sensitive electronics.

    I always disconnect the equipment batteries so that the computers lack power, and ground on the same piece that I’m welding. It is very important to ground in a manner that the current does not go thru any axle bearings.

    I’ve also been known to disconnect and remove any electronic brain boxes.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Nashville, TN
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    3,421

    Re: Making a repair on a piece of equipment with sensitive electronics.

    Heat sinks. And lift arc. Excellent grounding as close to weld as possible. With no electronics between you torch and ground.
    Last edited by tapwelder; 11-02-2019 at 09:41 PM.

  6. #6
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    Re: Making a repair on a piece of equipment with sensitive electronics.

    Quote Originally Posted by scsmith42 View Post
    I always disconnect the equipment batteries so that the computers lack power, and ground on the same piece that I’m welding. It is very important to ground in a manner that the current does not go thru any axle bearings.

    I’ve also been known to disconnect and remove any electronic brain boxes.
    Yes, and I've also seen dump frames that had been welded on and left some nasty burns which turned into scoring on hydraulic cylinders!!! from welding current traveling through the cylinders rod and arcing between the gland and also the piston.... It's a quick way to kill bearings and cylinders... or any other moving part that gets welding current flowing through it

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
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    1,969

    Re: Making a repair on a piece of equipment with sensitive electronics.

    When you weld, you introduce voltage into the metal...………...it's there, no matter where your welder work lead is...…...it's floating around.

    If it encounters an equipment ground, it will flow to "earth", and ya just ruined (maybe) and expensive controller. STRAY VOLTAGE.

    To guarantee safety, ya gotta completely isolate any electronics...…….just disconnecting the pos on the power supply doesn't cut it.

  8. #8
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    May 2014
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    Central Wa. state
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    2,680

    Re: Making a repair on a piece of equipment with sensitive electronics.

    Quote Originally Posted by ronsii View Post
    Yes, and I've also seen dump frames that had been welded on and left some nasty burns which turned into scoring on hydraulic cylinders!!! from welding current traveling through the cylinders rod and arcing between the gland and also the piston.... It's a quick way to kill bearings and cylinders... or any other moving part that gets welding current flowing through it
    Or worse, had a 10 ton RO boom truck and one of the idiots left his ground clamp on the truck and welded through the boom and cable. The extension cylinder rods took the worst of it. That was a spendy repair. Worked another job with a 55 ton Grove RT. The welders kept setting their stingers on the outriggers while the pipe (load) was grounded. They got so offended when I kept yelling at them and kicking the stingers in the dirt.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    10

    Re: Making a repair on a piece of equipment with sensitive electronics.

    With the piece of equipment I am working on I don't have the luxury of disconnecting every board. This particular machine is quite large, it has hundreds of circuit boards throughout itself, along with various PLC's and PC's. So disconnecting every board is not a option.....


    If I need to make a repair on a piece of this machine will I be OK with hooking the ground right next to my weld?

    My options for welders are Tig with HF, or a Lincoln Tombstone with stainless rod. I prefer tig, but if the HF will be the problem I can arc.

  10. #10
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    Nov 2005
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    Nashville, TN
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    Re: Making a repair on a piece of equipment with sensitive electronics.

    You cannot turn off the HF? Is the tombstone DC? Can you tig with that?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    2,764

    Re: Making a repair on a piece of equipment with sensitive electronics.

    Quote Originally Posted by rolibr View Post
    disconnecting every board is not a option.....
    If I need to make a repair on a piece of this machine will I be OK with hooking the ground right next to my weld?
    .
    look man, there aint noone here that can say yes. you know that. what you need to do , is go see one of them fortune tellers, that got a crystal ball. they can tell you more than we can

  12. #12
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    Jan 2004
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    Northern Cal., Shasta County
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    9,312

    Re: Making a repair on a piece of equipment with sensitive electronics.

    Unless the part to be welded is on the outer most portion of this piece of equipment, just the routing of the cables could be problematic on something loaded up with PLC and/or PC controls. Look at the particles lined up along your welding leads laying on a concrete floor, then ask yourself if you want one or both leads laying on, across or between some digital components.
    "The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life." -Theodore Roosevelt

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    625

    Re: Making a repair on a piece of equipment with sensitive electronics.

    If you have to do it, you have to do it. Separation distance to electric wires is your friend, and cross all wires at a 90 degree angle. Use scratch start tig rather than hi freq. Metal window screen around the weld area should help, tie to the equipment ground.

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