November 11, 2019

ESAB Welding & Cutting Products has launched its Pipeweld Orbiter mechanized welding system and a complete line of Pipeweld consumables at FABTECH 2019. Designed for welding pipeline tie-ins and special sections such as road and river crossings, Pipeweld Orbiter can lower cost-per-joint by 40 percent and complete projects 50 percent faster. A crew of four manual welders and six pairs using Pipeweld Orbiters can average 60 to 65 joints per day on 48-in. diameter, ¾-in. wall pipe. Demonstrations of the system will take place in ESAB booth B17087 at Chicago’s McCormick Place, Nov. 11 – 14.

“Pipeweld Orbiter combines the productivity benefits of mechanized welding with the high deposition rates and familiarity of flux cored welding,” says Gordon Eadie, Global Pipeline Segment Manager, ESAB. “We’ve proven this system and Pipeweld filler metal in European applications for several years and are now launching them in North America.”

Eadie explains that after completing the root and hot pass with Pipeweld cellulosic electrodes, Pipeweld Orbiter automates the fill and cap passes using Pipeweld flux cored electrodes. Another procedure is to use Pipeweld DH (downhill) low-hydrogen electrodes for the first fill pass, then Pipeweld Orbiter for the remaining passes. The mechanized solution completes joints faster because uphill flux cored welding offers deposition rates up to 9 lbs. per hour. It also increases consistency, reducing reject rates compared to using all SMAW or solid wire, narrow gap procedures.


Pipeweld Orbiter consists of a lightweight bug and a fast-fit band that clamps on pipe with diameters greater than 8 in. The bug contains the controls, wire spool holder, wire feed mechanism, torch, bug drive mechanism and cables and hoses, all connected as one unit. The same bug works on both sides of the pipe. It works with any CV power source that provides sufficient output for the wire selected, including ESAB Aristo® Mig and Warrior® power sources. A hardwired pendant control enables the operator to observe the weld puddle and make on-the-fly adjustments, such as to travel speed, oscillation width or contact tip-to-work distance.

Pipeweld Orbiter eliminates the computers, long training periods, quality issues and high rental costs associated with solid wire, narrow gap welding systems. With simple controls and the familiar vertical up flux cored process, contractors can train operators in one day or less, then deploy them for immediate productivity. Further, contractors retain their assets at the end of the job, providing a superior ROI compared to rental systems.

Pipeweld Filler Metals

Along with Pipeweld Orbiter, ESAB has launched a complete line of Pipeweld filler metal with formulations that have been specifically tailored for X52 to X100 grade pipe. They include cellulosic electrodes, low-hydrogen vertical up and vertical down electrodes, solid wires and gas-shielded flux cored wires.

“The ESAB series of Pipeweld products was designed by pipeline welders, for pipeline welders,” says Eadie. “They deliver excellent mechanical properties and outstanding operator appeal. We also use field-friendly vacuum-sealed packaging on our low-hydrogen electrodes that guarantees the electrodes will remain dry until the package is opened.” This includes the Pipeweld flux cored wires used with the Pipeweld Orbiter and low-hydrogen stick electrodes.
Pipeweld Orbiter
Designed for welding tie-ins and special pipeline sections, the Pipeweld Orbiter can lower cost-per-joint by 40 percent and complete projects 50 percent faster.