Aluminum Pneumatic Tubing for Welding Cells

Pneumatic technology resides a bit outside my area of expertise. However, every time I run across something from Festo my curiosity is aroused. I have seen some of the most fascinating demonstrations during my visits. This news involves using aluminum tubing in welding cells for spatter resistance.

Festo announces that its PM aluminum pneumatic tubing offers a weld-spatter resistant solution in welding cells that by every consideration outperforms both laminated and steel pneumatic tubing. Festo PM tubing is ideal for new welding cells as well as for cost-and-time efficient retrofit solutions for existing systems.

PM aluminum tubing can be located closer to the welding process than laminated tubing, creating a more efficient pneumatic setup without the worry of burn through. There are no clearance issues with PM tubing as it has a nominal outside diameter, unlike some laminated options. PM tubing is designed for standard pneumatic push connectors right out of the box, while laminated tubing typically needs specialized tools and/or oversized connectors that require technicians to strip away the lamination in order to use standard connectors. Once formed, PM tubing holds its shape and stays in place without the need for additional clips and tie downs.

In comparison with steel tubing, the Festo aluminum solution is significantly less costly. Steel requires specialized tools to bend the tubing, but PM tubing is easily formed by hand to fit the contours of the welding system. 

Sodecia is an early adopter of PM tubing 

Sodecia is a global Tier 1 supplier of structural components to the automotive industry. Based in London, Ontario, Canada, Sodecia GTAC designs, builds, and provides training for its production cells, with MIG welding cells forming a core competency. Sodecia constantly researches product solutions that provide improved efficiencies. 

“Festo’s PM aluminum tubing is an example of this constant improvement,” said Robert Remillard, Sodecia GTAC Engineering Manager. “We’ve found Festo’s PM tubing to be the best possible solution for our cells, maintaining all the benefits of conventional tubing with the added advantages of flame resistance and significant cost and time reduction.”

Remillard went on to reiterate the reasons PM pneumatic tubing improved upon past solutions:

• Inherently resistant to high temperatures

• Less bulky 

• No specialized tooling and connectors required

• Profiled by hand

• Inserted or removed from connectors multiple times without degradation of a tight, leak-free seal 

• Retains its shape for quick reinstall

• No need for multiple anchor points.

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