Doing an old-timer car’s bodywork is a challenging task for the welder, especially if the original design is modified at the same time. The work requires constant measuring and adjusting, and the welder must be able to control the distortion caused by the heat from the welding arc.
The badly rusted Fiat Vimo required a lot of welding, including a complete renewal of the floor plates. Also, many fasteners and flanges for electronics needed to be added to the car body. "We wanted to design all the work so that the laser-precut plates fit together exactly. Putting a lot of effort on design and planning makes welding the plates easier, and we can reach the best possible weld quality," says Tero Komulainen.
"However, welds made with traditional MIG equipment always need a lot of finishing, which takes time, so we usually have to hide the welds. That has been limiting our options – and thus our imagination, too."
Kemppi's MasterTig MLS 2300ACDC welding equipment came into the picture in the final stages of the Fiat Vimo project. Both Komulainen and Innanen say that bringing in the TIG technology has raised – and will further raise – their hobby to a new level and has eliminated the last limitations on work quality.
"The MasterTig produces finer welds than traditional MIG/MAG machines. Controlling the arc and pulse are much more precise, and temperature control is easier. With TIG, we can attach the precision-cut workpieces without filler material”, says Joonas Innanen, who won the bronze medal in Construction Metal Work at the international WorldSkills competition in 2013.
"With a precisely controlled arc and suitable amount of filler material, the weld will be considerably smoother than with, for example, MAG welding. It goes hand in hand with our goal to make the weld so neat that it no longer needs finishing and there would be no need to hide it. The welding of the aluminum parts of the engine and transmission also goes fine with the MasterTig."
"In the future, we are planning to use the welds as highlighted details," Komulainen adds. "The TIG technology gives us the best opportunity to engage ourselves in new and even more challenging projects.”