The origins of the Fusion range of welding machines
An interview with Graham Hill
Our Technical & Product development Manager, Graham Hill, who many of you will have spoken to and/or met, was the original designer of our Fusion range of welding machines so nobody knows more about their history, how they work and why they are so good, than he does.
Being new to the company myself, I sat down with Graham to find out more…………….
How did the idea of designing and producing a new welding machine come about?
In the late 1990’s, a group of colleagues and myself identified a gap in the market for high quality, technically advanced digital inverter welding machines and believed that we could design a product to fill this gap.
Our goal was to produce an extremely robust, very efficient and reliable product which could be used in all environments, give a 100% duty cycle at high ambient temperatures and generally outperform any other machine on the market at the time.
What revolutionary technology did you use to achieve this goal?
In order to ensure a very lightweight electronic design, and therefore end product, with exceptional reliability and repeatable performance, the decision to use planar technology for all the transformers was made.
What is planar technology?
Planar transformers are smaller, flatter, as the name would indicate, and lighter than traditional wire-wound transformers. The conventional windings are replaced by flat copper foil lead frames, or multilayer circuit boards, which are then mounted between thin, very lightweight ferrite cores.
Other than their size and weight what makes planar transformers better than conventional ones?
The construction of the planar transformers makes them electronically much more efficient and reliable and allows them to perform as a near perfect electronic component, massively out-performing conventional wound transformers. They maintain their reliability at high temperatures which enables the high duty cycles our machines achieve. They also simplify the manufacturing process.
What other factors contribute to the quality of the product?
To achieve a reliable and robust electronic design, interconnects within the machine are kept to a minimum, with only three circuit boards to complete the whole electronic package, which results in a very compact, easy to assemble and maintain product.
The machines are digitally controlled using a software driven processor and their clear LCD display gives the operator all the necessary information on the welding parameters.
And how did you ensure these electronics were sufficiently protected for use in all environments?
The distinctive looking machine case, which won a design award, is injection moulded from toughened nylon and incorporates the internal fittings to secure and protect all the electronics and heat sinks to form an exceptionally robust package with an IP23 rating. A wind tunnel through the machine effectively stops all dust and debris settling on the electronics.
We’ve talked about the history, what about the future?
We are constantly working to improve our products further and to extend the range with additional models. We are currently in the final stages of the development of several new products which we will be announcing over the next few months.