Whether in mechanical engineering and plant construction or in steel, metal and portal construction, many users depend on mobile welding systems that deliver results with different types of electrodes – even in harsh operating conditions. This is also true in metalworking and forging and even in workshops. To address those needs, Fronius developed its TransPocket 180, the new generation of its single-phase stick (SMAW) welding system.
The new model replaces the TransPocket 1500, which has been available since 2001. The TransPocket 180 is also Fronius’ first single-phase electrode welding system with a welding current range of up to 180 amps.
The new welding system offers an impressive mix of simple operation and increased range of functions. It’s designed primarily for stick welding and can utilize electrodes up to 5/32 in. (4.0 mm) in diameter.
New, extended dynamic settings allow the user to precisely adapt the ignition to the electrode used. The HotStart function facilitates the ignition of cellulose and rutile electrodes, whereas SoftStart ensures a stable arc in the case of basic electrodes, which ignite at a low welding current.
This functionality is important to reduce spatter, long arcing and electrode sticking at the start of the weld. A soft start on cellulose electrodes can cause electrode sticking at the ignition, whereas a hot start on basic electrodes can cause a long arc at the ignition, resulting is excessive spatter.
Extended functions also enable TIG welding. With the new TIG MultiConnector – an optional remote-control connector – the user can control the welding current directly from the location where the welding system is being used. This means that the welding parameters can be changed directly on the welding torch, eliminating the need to go back to the power source to make simple adjustments.
Also, a TIG welding torch is available with an Up/Down function to adjust the welding current. In the case of the TransPocket 180, it’s between 10 and 220 amps. Two-step and four-step TIG welding is possible as is current pulsing.
For fast and easy joining of thin sheets without filler metal, the TAC tacking function is a valuable addition to the system. The TAC function is a high-frequency current pulsing that forces the weld puddle to oscillate, making it easier to tack parts without filler metal.
Regardless of the welding process, digital resonant intelligence a key innovation for users. The digital resonance inverter adapts the power source characteristic to the welding task by using high-voltage reserves to achieve a perfect weld. This enables excellent output characteristics and, due to the continuous availability of power reserves, ensures the most stable arc possible with reduced power consumption.
This results in outstanding ignition and weld properties that are evident in the welding process, primarily because the electrode ignition is optimized and spattering is minimized. The low short-circuit current of approximately 5 amps when in contact with the workpiece prevents the electrode from sticking. The current then increases to 35 amps to ensure that the arc doesn’t break off. The welding system then reaches the target current, which the user sets.
Another highlight of the new TransPocket is the automated power factor correction (PFC) technology, which adapts the current consumption of the power source to the sinusoidal mains voltage, thus improving the power factor. The mains current is used optimally and effectively and disturbances in the mains supply (reactive power) are minimized. The output power is additionally increased by equalizing the harmonics. This allows a higher welding current of up to 180 amps with the same mains fuse.
Furthermore, the PFC technology ensures higher stability in the event of voltage fluctuations. With a tolerance of -20 percent/+15 percent, the welding system is well-suited for generator-powered operation and supplies the maximum power even in the event of high fluctuations in the grid voltage.
In this case, it is protected against surges of up to 400 V. This is an important benefit if, for example, the system is mistakenly connected to a high-voltage current connection. Long mains leads with a length of 300 ft. or more can also easily be implemented. The user, therefore, has a greater operating radius and more flexibility when welding.
The combination of the digital resonant intelligence and the PFC technology makes the welding system energy-efficient. In comparison with the previous TransPocket model, the power consumption of the TransPocket 180 is up to 30 percent lower than that of comparable systems. Users, therefore, benefit from considerably lower power consumption and can achieve sustainable reductions in energy costs.
For reliable operation in harsh conditions, the welding power source has a sturdy and robust plastic housing. Thanks to the IP 23 protection class, the delicate electronics are safely shielded from dust and moisture, also aided by a permanent dust filter and improved cooling.
A special slat arrangement on the front of the housing and an optimized air duct prevents contamination in the welding system. The air flow is only conducted where cooling is required, such as to the transistors. The PC boards are, therefore, protected against dust and dirt.
Plastic feet prevent damage to the housing, which may occur when the housing is dragged across the floor. Ergonomic handles make it easy to carry, and power leads can be easily and conveniently wound up. Furthermore, the improved housing design ensures easy maintenance.
The user interface with seven-segment display ensures intuitive operation. The display, which is set into the welding system and positioned at an angle, is optimally protected against mechanical damage and is easy to read regardless of the lighting conditions.
Additionally, the user interface is designed to be simple and user friendly while still offering a variety of setting options: from calibrating the welding parameters to selecting special functions to reading the operating hours. An equally protected service interface makes it easy to evaluate system information and allows special characteristics to be updated.
The TransPocket 180 is also available in a multi-voltage version. The single-phase system can be flexible with mains voltages between 96 and 265 V. This is a major advantage especially for users who use grids in different countries, for example.
Thanks to its compact and hard-wearing structure, the welding system is also good for mobile use, such as on construction sites. For easy transportation, the TransPocket 180 weighs 19.2 lbs. The CE and S marks certify the safety of the system and ensure it’s suitable for use in environments where electrical hazards are present, such as in cramped or moist conditions.