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Welding
Wednesday | 03 September, 2014 | 10:07 am

Massive upgrade

Written by By Emily Vasquez

Marlin Steel Wire boosts production with a three-dimensional specialty welder

September 2014 - Marlin Steel Wire Products, which makes custom engineered storage and material handling products, announced a major equipment upgrade to its Baltimore facility, including the addition of a medium frequency welder—one of only
five in the world, according to President Drew Greenblatt. 

Marlin Steel Wire has produced custom metal products such as washing baskets, rack and S-hooks since 1968, providing them to MM-0904-webex-welding-image1various industries from aerospace and automotive to pharmaceutical and appliance manufacturing.The specialty welder is a massive addition for Marlin Steel Wire, made possible by a $500,000 state-backed loan guarantee through the Maryland Industrial
Development Financing Authority. “It is one of our biggest investments and it’s so efficient because it enables our team to be very productive,” Greenblatt tells MM.

The upgrade also represents a technological leap as it is the only welder of its kind in the United States. Greenblatt says the machine will produce parts three times faster than Marlin’s previous welding equipment. 

The welder can weld in an area that is 48 by 120 inches, or 72 inches longer than the previous machine, allowing operators to process much larger parts. “In the old days, we would be constrained to 48 by 48 inches, now we can [weld] a 40-square-foot piece of material. In the past, we could only do 16 square feet of material,” explains Greenblatt. 

In addition to advancing the size range, the welder produces the typical flat parts but it also welds upward, adding curves or rounds without additional material handling. “Most [machines] weld on an X and Y plane but we can now go around bends or curves or around objects,” he says. 

This feature is achievable with a unique four-head welding component. “Most welders only have one head but ours has four. One head is the Z-axis, called the pincer welder, a second is a rotating head that swivels 359 degrees, so it can do round, circular or curved welding.” By adding these processes, the steel parts remain intact from start to finish and operators are able to avoid distortion or deformation that can be occur due to constant handling.

Improved power capacity and productivity is possible because of 250,000 watts of power that surge through the welding tip for 0.002 of a second. “The weld blister that normally occurs in a weld operation is nonexistent here because the weld is happening 30 times faster,” Greenblatt explains. 

MM-0904-webex-welding-image2-2

To accommodate the expected increase in production, Marlin Steel Wire hired two trained welders from Magna Baltimore Technical Training Center, a school whose curriculum equips students with skills that match Marlin Steel’s needs. The wire products mill also underwent an expansion to a converted warehouse adjacent to the training center.

Marlin Steel Wire also offers in-house training, which Greenblatt feels is essential for a rapidly growing company. It helps engender safe working practices. “We’ve gone over 2,000 days without injury,” states Greenblatt.  

The medium frequency welder will provide higher quality parts while advancing U.S. manufacturing prowess. “An American manufacturing renaissance is occurring. Conventional wisdom says that we have to build in China but people are rethinking that and the pendulum is coming back.” MM

 

 

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