Custom Welding Solutions Using Orbital Processes


The practice of welding to join two pieces of metal can be traced to the Bronze Age with the evidence of welded gold boxes. Since then, welding has experienced a long series of innovations. Notable achievements include the discovery of the gas welding process in the nineteenth century and arc welding in the twentieth century. In recent years, welding has progressed through the rise of collaborative robots (cobots), the Internet of Things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI).   

Today, many industries employ orbital welding for custom welding solutions. With cutting-edge welding technology, AMI has helped manufacturers from a wide range of industries meet their unique welding challenges. Listed below are many of the industries where AMI provides welding process innovation and support. 

  • Heat engineering
  • Semiconductor
  • Shipbuilding
  • Food processing
  • Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology

Advanced automated welding equipment has allowed these industries to reduce costs while improving productivity and weld quality.

Orbital Welding Process

Orbital welding is an automated welding process in which the arc is rotated 360 degrees around a stationary workpiece with the help of a mechanical system. This is a standard process when welding large pipes, tubes, or vessels. It employs techniques such as gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), also known as tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding—a fusion welding process that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to create an electric arc between an electrode and the base metal. The ability to regulate heat input makes orbital welding suitable for working with a wide range of materials such as aluminum, steel (carbon steel, stainless steel), Inconel®, titanium, and many others.

Since its origin in 1960 to solve welding issues in the aerospace industry, many industries have adopted the orbital welding process to improve their welds.

Industrial Applications of the Orbital Welding Process

Aerospace Uniform and high-quality welding of components such as hydraulic lines, fuel lines, and brake lines
Nuclear Ability to operate in harsh environments and create strong, leakage-free welds
Pharmaceutical Clean, crack-free, and full-penetration welds that ensure the constant flow of uncontaminated water required for sanitary processing
Offshore Crack-free and leakage-free precise welds for corrosion resistance
Semiconductor Piping with smooth welds that add an optimal finish to prevent contaminant build-up in the joints

Why to Adopt an Orbital Welding Process

Manual welding is affected by human limitations, such as our inability to work effectively in awkward, cramped spaces. Performing manual welding in these scenarios often leads to lower-quality, inconsistent welds. By adopting an orbital welding process, the operator can remotely monitor the process while an automated weld head performs the weld. Manufacturers gain several advantages by implementing an orbital welding process:


Automated weld heads perform the pre-programmed task and rotate in the fixed and precise orbit without the need to pause or break the flow of weld. This ensures consistency in weld penetration and fusion. With operators closely monitoring the process, any inconsistency in welding parameters such as speed, feed rate, arc voltage, and current can be immediately identified and remedied.


Since the weld parameters are pre-programmed, an automated weld head can replicate this input to provide a consistent output in each run. This repeatability provides consistent quality when welding large quantities.


Unlike manual welding where the weld setup needs to be changed frequently, an automated orbital process does not require constant intervention. Once the weld head is set up, it can move on its track and perform the weld. This eases the welding process for operators while eliminating inconsistencies and delays.


Depending upon the thickness, diameter, and type of workpiece, unique welding parameters are required to achieve weld precision, consistency, and quality. Since an automated system allows operators to control the process parameters, operators can more easily adapt to each application’s requirements.

Automated Weld Head for Fusion Welding of Pipes and Tubes

The automated weld head is a crucial technology for improving the efficiency of the advanced automated orbital welding system. The weld head facilitates welding by holding and rotating the electrode and electric arc while maintaining the optimal current and temperature to perform precise welds. A standard fusion weld head can weld a tube with up to 4mm wall-thickness and sizes ranging from 1.6mm to 152.4mm. Standard pipe weld heads, which include the addition of filler wire, can also support large bore pipe welding. Custom-built weld heads can be designed for special application if required.

Ensuring the quality and integrity of orbital welding depends on the precise relationship between the tube and the weld head. In welding variously sized workpieces, an operator’s ability to configure and adapt the weld parameters can help deliver custom welding solutions. The adaptability of an orbital welding system introduces the following benefits:

  • The chances of joint variability are minimized since parameters such as weld current, arc voltage, wire feed rate, rotation speed, torch position, and pulse time can be controlled by an operator using a remote control unit.
  • A single-precision weld head can be configured for varying applications. For example, this could include inside diameter as well as outside diameter precision welding.
  • Advanced programmable technology with robust monitoring capabilities enables the process to adapt to unusual weld configurations.
  • With the use of a conversion kit, a weld head can assume alternate configurations.

Feature-rich welding machines and equipment have encouraged industries to implement orbital welding solutions for their complex and specialized welding needs without having to compromise on precision and quality. 

Custom Welding Solutions from AMI

Pipe welding solutions
Fusion welding solutions

Since 1976, Arc Machines, Inc. has provided custom welding solutions to its customers through a wide range of innovations. Our advanced high-precision weld heads offer flexibility and adaptability to meet your specific standards for the following applications: 

  • Pipe welding
  • Fusion welding
  • Narrow groove welding
  • Tube-to-tube sheet welding
  • Internal diameter cladding
  • Weld overlay cladding

The table below is a representation of our product recommendation for your pipe and fusion welding applications:

Product Recommendations For Custom Welding Solutions

Pipe Welding

Model 15 Weld Head

Model 34 Nuclear Waste Can Welders

Model 43 Inside Diameter Pipe Weld Head

Model 44

Model 52 Heavy Duty Precision Weld Head

Model 72 Valve Repair Weld Head

Model 73 Small Bore ID Pipe Weld Head

Model 79 Series Weld Head

Model 81 Small Pipe Weld Heads

Model 94 ID Spiral Cladding Pipe Weld Head

Fusion Welding

Model 4-500 Weld Head

Model 7-500 Weld Head

Model 8 Series Weld Head

Model 9 Series Weld Head

Model 9-675 / 750 Series Weld Head

Model 9CT Series Weld Head

Model 9E Weld Head

Regardless of your welding requirements, our advanced orbital welding equipment will help you realize your custom welding solutions.


Arc Machines, Inc. is an industry leader in producing high-quality and high-tech welding equipment. This includes advanced orbital welding machines and weld heads that facilitate your custom welding solutions. For inquiries regarding products, contact For service inquiries, contact Arc Machines welcomes the opportunity to discuss your specific needs. Contact us to arrange a meeting.