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olvocho

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I've finally saved up and am ready to purchase a Miller Tig welder. I've had my eye on the Miller Syncrowave 180 for some time, but now they've upgraded that machine to a Miller Syncrowave 200. However there is new machine, the Miller Dynasty 200 DX. It's smaller, weighs only 45 lbs, uses less power and also welds stainless and does all that the Syncrowave does and more. I weld mostly car restoration patch panels, using 19-20 gauge sheet metal and will eventually move into aluminum. The difference in pricing is about $1000. more for the Dynasty. The salesman at the welding shop said that the Dynasty is the direction the Miller machines are going; smaller, more compact and less shop power to run them. He even hinted that the Syncrowaves may be discontinued. I'm sure I'd be happy with a Syncrowave, but I'm wondering if the Dynasty is the way to go. Any advice? Has anyone used both machines to offer a comparison? Which machine should I purchase?

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raferguson

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One comment that my welding shop guys made to me is that the pricing is not really apples and apples. When you get a Synchrowave, you get a stick stinger, a TIG torch, ground cable, regulator, foot pedal, etc. You can buy an argon tank and some rod and get to work. They told me that the inverter style welders don't include all the same "accessories". But of course they are not accessories at all, but necessities. From the brochure, I could not tell exactly what was included, if anything, other than the welder.

In any event, make sure that you know exactly what is included with each welder; by the time you equip them similarly, the price differential may be larger than it appears at first glance.

I love my Synchrowave 180; I have an early model with no digital display, and only one knob and three switches, including the on-off switch. The newer ones cost more and have more features.

I find the inverter advantages to be unimportant to me. I don't weld in the field, and don't run my welder enough hours a week to make the power consumption important.

As far as long term trends, sure, everything is going solid state. In a way, it is surprising that the transformer welders are still around. I am not 100% sure why the inverter welders cost more, as I am sure that they use less metal. Transformers are pretty sturdy, so perhaps it takes a lot to make an inverter welder as sturdy and bulletproof as a transformer welder. Transformer welders are also likely to be fairly simple to make, very mature technology. Maybe the inverter welders are actually no more expensive to manufacture; they might command bigger profit margins due to more features.

Someone I know bought an inverter welder (I think it was a Lincoln), and was very fond of the "Pulse" mode, said that it made the welds look like perfect overlapping dimes. Note that the pulse mode requires the Dynasty 200 DX, which costs more than the 200 SD.

Realistically, you will be happy with either welder. You probably will not need to weld two beer cans together, or do anything especially difficult with it. Your real limitation will be your skill, not the machine. When I bought my synchrowave, they told me that I could weld two beer cans together with it, if I wanted. I have never tried the beer can trick, and find that the current control for TIG is usually set around 90 amps, at least for my work. I turn it up a little higher to weld 1/8 inch 6010 or 6013 stick. I don't think that I have ever turned the knob past 120 amps or so, no need.

For what it is worth, do not discount the stick welding capabilities, I use it frequently when I am making tools. You are not going to weld 1 inch bar with TIG, but you can with stick. I used my welder for months as a stick welder before I got around to buying an argon tank. TIG welders may not make the very best stick welders, due to lower open circuit voltage, but they work well enough. One time I stick welded off a motor-generator rig, and preferred it to my synchrowave. The inverter welders may be better stick welders than a transformer welder, due to their ability to generate a higher open circuit voltage when desired.

If money is no object, clearly the inverter is the way to go. But if money counts, you need to think if the extra money is going to buy you very much, in your application.

Richard

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jmcglynn

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I went through the same decision a year or two ago.

I'd been welding with an ancient airco TIG machine (identical to the miller 300ABP), and I've been doing a lot of welding on cast aluminum.

I went with the Dynasty machine in the end (300DX), no regrets.

Here is my two cents:

1. Get a water cooled torch unless you're only welding sheetmetal *and* only using the machine on occasion. The air cooled torch gets hot if you're running any power or time.

2. The Dynasty machine is a lot more efficient than a transformer-based machine. Welding our cast oil tanks I ran my old machine on 300 amps flat out to do the job, and it took a while to start the puddle. With the Dynasty I *never* go over 190 amps on the same job, and it puddles almost instantly. (note: this is on AC, welding aluminum

3. I have more control over the cleaning cycle and can change the freequency of the arc (to narrow or broaden the shape of the arc, and to control the penetration)

4. The arc seems a load more stable on DC, but my point of comparison was a dinosaur.

5. It's lighter and smaller

At the end of the day both the Syncrowave and the Dynasty are great machines, and you'll be able to do equally good work with either.

Joe
http://www.crimescenechoppers.com

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jamesgpeck

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I found some information in this article informative. I had not really understood the role of frequency in TIG welding of aluminum.

http://www.thefabricator.com/ArcWelding/ArcWelding_Article.cfm?ID=1833

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jamesgpeck

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I have not seen this cold metal transfer welding process myself. Have any others?

[fabricator link]"The vehicle-building craftsmen at Volkswagen at Mosel have
to juggle several tasks relating to quality, deadlines, and costs."

http://www.thefabricator.com/ArcWelding/ArcWelding_Article.cfm?ID=1320

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unklian

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Jim had access to a high frequency metal spraying machine,
that was good for filling and building up metal surfaces,without creating heat.

Definitely different than what VW is using.

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jjdwig

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We are using Fronius welders exclusively on our new robotic welding equipment. We bought several for manual welding. Most of them are "normal" MIG welding power sources, but they can also be used for TIG from the same machine. They are a little more expensive, but we have noticed that they are easier to train new welders with, have much less spatter and seem to hold a more stable arc.

We have one robot with Fronius CMT on it. The Cold Metal Transfer process actually cycles the wire in and out during the welding cycle. It lets the droplets go at a slightly cooler temp, and there is virtually no welding spatter. The drawback in a production situation is the limit of about 2mm maximum material thickness. You have to push the wire feed speeds up to the max to get any speed out of the process when using this on a robot. Since part of the time the wire is actually backing up slightly, you have to make up the filler wire volume by running a faster wire feed speed.

For body panels, or exhaust systems it would be ideal, as long as the deposition rates meet your process cycle times.

Now when you are looking at a manual operation you don't have to worry about the welding rate. You won't get the same penetration level with the CMT, but that is partially the point. It helps you avoid burn-through and spatter.

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jjdwig

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We are using Fronius welders exclusively on our new robotic welding equipment. We bought several for manual welding. Most of them are "normal" MIG welding power sources, but they can also be used for TIG from the same machine. They are a little more expensive, but we have noticed that they are easier to train new welders with, have much less spatter and seem to hold a more stable arc.

We have one robot with Fronius CMT on it. The Cold Metal Transfer process actually cycles the wire in and out during the welding cycle. It lets the droplets go at a slightly cooler temp, and there is virtually no welding spatter. The drawback in a production situation is the limit of about 2mm maximum material thickness. You have to push the wire feed speeds up to the max to get any speed out of the process when using this on a robot. Since part of the time the wire is actually backing up slightly, you have to make up the filler wire volume by running a faster wire feed speed.

For body panels, or exhaust systems it would be ideal, as long as the deposition rates meet your process cycle times.

Now when you are looking at a manual operation you don't have to worry about the welding rate. You won't get the same penetration level with the CMT, but that is partially the point. It helps you avoid burn-through and spatter.

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jjdwig

Posts: 4
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We are using Fronius welders exclusively on our new robotic welding equipment. We bought several for manual welding. Most of them are "normal" MIG welding power sources, but they can also be used for TIG from the same machine. They are a little more expensive, but we have noticed that they are easier to train new welders with, have much less spatter and seem to hold a more stable arc.

We have one robot with Fronius CMT on it. The Cold Metal Transfer process actually cycles the wire in and out during the welding cycle. It lets the droplets go at a slightly cooler temp, and there is virtually no welding spatter. The drawback in a production situation is the limit of about 2mm maximum material thickness. You have to push the wire feed speeds up to the max to get any speed out of the process when using this on a robot. Since part of the time the wire is actually backing up slightly, you have to make up the filler wire volume by running a faster wire feed speed.

For body panels, or exhaust systems it would be ideal, as long as the deposition rates meet your process cycle times.

Now when you are looking at a manual operation you don't have to worry about the welding rate. You won't get the same penetration level with the CMT, but that is partially the point. It helps you avoid burn-through and spatter.

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jamesgpeck

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Would you have a brand name or web link for the metal spray equipment?

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