Most people do not understand welding contact tips, especially if they are using a MIG gun set up. You need the right contact tip for your welding application. Next, you need to understand how to keep it working its best. This is just as important as anything else when it comes to creating a quality weld.
If you use a contact tip that is too large or that is too small, you will have problems, like overheating, micro-arcing, wire jamming, and friction. All these things are going to cause wire burnback.
How the Misuse of Contact Tips Impacts Welding Cost
The contact tip is the most frequently replaced part on a MIG gun. It is what guides the wire and transfers the current from the conductor tube to the filter wire and finally to the workplace. It is critical to the function of the welder, especially if you are using an automatic girth welder. Having an adjustable automatic girth welder with removable parts can also help you adapt your equipment for whatever kind of project you plan on pursuing. Make sure you’re using versatile gear to avoid misuse.
Since the contact tip is one of the most replaced items on an MIG gun, it is also one of the most expensive parts to repair over the course of the year. The contact tip takes around 10 to 15 minutes to change. If your welder is getting paid $30 an hour, changing the contact tip five times during the day means that your organization is losing $13,000 each year in labor. This does not include the cost of the contact tips.
Just being able to cut the amount of contact tip changes in half each day is going to save you around $7,500 a year in just one welding station. A lot of that cost could be reduced by using the contact tip material that is right for the welding parameters and the process that you are doing.
The Benefits of Using OEM Welding Contact Tips
In most cases, you want to use OEM welding contact tips. This offers the most assurance that you are going to get the best quality work. However, you may use retrofit contact tips if they come from a welding equipment manufacturer that has a reputation you can trust. If you find a quality welding equipment manufacturer, then buying a retrofit can be a cost saver. However, OEM is the best bet for getting the quality you want.
Finding and selecting the right contact tip for your welding application and understanding how to keep it performing at its best is key for a successful welding operation. It is just as critical as choosing all of the other parameters and components needed when producing a quality weld.