Seam tracking and motorized slide systems are ideal for applications that are repetitive in nature. In such applications as beam fabrication or tank and pressure vessel manufacturing, these systems provide a significant increase in quality and productivity, while reducing scrap / rework and freeing the operator to do other tasks in preparation for the next part to be welded.
Lincoln Electric’s Tactile Seam Tracking Systems and Motorized Slide Systems are designed for repetitive, high volume production welding applications. Structural beams, wind tower, pressure vessels, pipe mills, and railcars, to name only a few, all benefit from the addition of these systems by increasing productivity, quality and reducing the need for higher skilled welders.
Both systems were designed to position the torch over the seam. The Motorized Slide System requires the operator to manually position the torch using an intuitive joystick pendant, while the Seam Tracking System performs this automatically from start to finish, within .005” (0.127 mm) accuracy, from a tactile sensor that rides in the seam. Even though the Motorized Slide system is completely manual, the operator and production benefits from the ease of torch positioning and less operator fatigue.
With two Seam Tracking control models to choose from, i.e., a standard and an advanced, you can select the level of automation for your application. Both control model s provides precise torch positioning, but the advanced model can be configured to start and stop the welding cycle by controlling the welding power source, carriage / gantry / positioner, wire feeder, etc. to preform reliable, repeatable welds.
The cross slides assemblies used to hold and position the torch are the same for either the Motorized Slide or Seam Tracking system. These rugged cross slides come in three different weight carrying capacities and many different stroke lengths. Our 40 pound (18 kg) model cross slide, CS40, is designed to hold a torch and because of its small size is used in applications where physical constraints exist, e.g., inside pipe, between flanges on a structural beam, etc. This model is offered in 3” (7.62 cm) x 3” (7.62 cm) or 6” (15.2 cm) x 6” (15.2 cm) stroke lengths.
Our 250 pound (113 kg) cross slide, CS250, is our most popular model and is ideal for single arc GMAW, FCAW, GTAW and SAW applications. Its relatively small footprint compared to its weight capacity makes it the first choice when mounting on a column and boom, gantry or used with a welding lathe.
In multi-arc SAW applications or when customers what a little extra piece of mind, our 450 pound (204 kg) cross slide, CS450, is the easy choice. Capable of holding the weight 24” (61 cm) off of the faceplate allows for an extended reach outward and downward for difficult applications.
Both the 250 pound and 450 pound cross slides can be configured with different stroke lengths beyond our standard sizes of 5” (12.7 cm) x 5” (12.7 cm) or 10” (25.4 cm) x 10” (25.4 cm), up to 60” (152 cm) in stroke at 5” (12.7 cm) increments.
The working end of the Seam Tracking System is the Seam Sensor assembly. This electro-mechanical sensor tracks the seam using a tip that rides in the seam. When small changes in the location or alignment of the seam move the sensor’s tip, the system responds by moving the cross slides and torch to maintain the correct position over the seam, much like a needle follows the groove on a record. Selecting the appropriate tip for the Seam Sensor is simple, primarily involving matching a tip size to the seam type and the material thickness. If standard tips sizes we offer doesn’t work for your application, e.g., in Large Fillet welds or Multi-pass applications, custom tips can be fabricated to meet your needs.