When I think about some of the great innovations in the welding industry, one of the most important was the introduction of the inverter welding machine and the digital interface. You can fine tune the machine for particular welding applications; you can control the amps and the up and down slope. It’s like setting up a race car—it’s infinitely adjustable.
You can also record and repeat the set up for consistency, especially important for any kind of production welding.
Another benefit is that the inverter machines are much lighter than their predecessors. A basic TIG welder like mine weighs only about 50 lbs. I keep it on a nice cart complete with wheels, water cooler, and tank so I can easily roll it around the shop.
From what I recall, the Powcon machines (manufactured in San Diego) were the first on the market. They were the developed to solve a problem for the US Navy: a portable welding machine to do maintenance and repair on board ship. They were called “suitcase welders” and weighed in at about 70 lbs with handles on top.
Accessories for your Welding Machine
My welding machine is a Miller Synchrowave, with Arc-Zone.com’s CoolKit(tm) — everything you need to to hook up a water cooled TIG Torch and Weld Like A Pro(tm)…. But if you’re already set up with a water cooler, be sure to check out comprehensive line of CK Worldwide TIG Torches, and Weldcraft TIG Torches (in stock and ready to ship!) and all kinds of accessories for your welding machine: amperage controls, tungsten electrodes, nozzles, cables, connectors, and more!
What welding industry innovation are you most thankful for?