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ESAB - looking forward to bright future

ESAB Group : 13 October, 2004  (Technical Article)
Few manufacturing companies beleive they are able to view their short and medium term business prospects with the same level of optimism as ESAB.
Few manufacturing companies beleive they are able to view their short and medium term business prospects with the same level of optimism as ESAB. Seeing itself as the only truly global supplier of welding and cutting solutions - represented by over 6000 employees in 80 countries worldwide - the company feels it is uniquely equipped to benefit from regional economic growth.

ESAB has successfully tapped into emerging markets in China, Russia, the Middle East and South East Asia while riding out tough trading conditions in traditional markets.

In line with the founder's ambitions, ESAB has developed a presence wherever there is a need for welded metal fabrication. Manufacturing plants in 24 countries supply an unrivalled range of capability via technically advanced equipment and consumables, supported by an unequalled reservoir of applications expertise. Company-wide commitment to continuous improvement of both technology and service is aimed at maintaining this momentum.

This is evidenced by the rate of new product introductions during 2003 and 2004.
By modularising the standard equipment range it has proved possible to develop economies of scale and combine class leading performance with highly competitive cost right through the range.

At entry level, the Caddy series offers compact quality solutions for portable welding and cutting whilst at the top end, availability of SuperPulse on AristoMIG machines makes distortion free welding of thinner materials - hitherto a highly skilled operation - relatively straightforward.

Elsewhere, innovative technology has become available in the form of Laser Hybrid welding for deep penetration of narrow seams.

Likewise, Friction Stir Welding for 'cold' welding of aluminium is continuing to make great strides, particularly in aerospace and marine fabrication. For plasma cutting, the new ESAB Eagle incorporates a high level of automated set-up and control, and operates at speeds up to 35 metres per minute.

On the consumables side there has been a similar level of activity. New mechanised plasma cutting consumables have been introduced, whilst development of the Endless Marathon Pac brings new meaning to continuous production capability.

New matt-finished stainless steel wires combine improved feedability with a high level of arc stability whilst OK AristoRod copper free wires offer excellent gliding properties, low feeding forces, optimal current transfer, reduced contact tip wear and improved corrosion resistance.

These developments have been brought to market within the context of ESAB's commitment to Sustainable Development. Since 1997 the company has had a global environmental management system in place aimed at reducing energy and water use, greenhouse gas emission and waste. By 2005 the target is to have ISO 14001 certifiable environmental impact management systems for every ESAB factory. Recycling considerations, once applied mainly to packaging, now apply equally to hardware design whilst the concept of life-cycle support has long superseded planned obsolescence.

ESAB has now restructured its operations in the United States, Asia and Europe.
This restructuring has taken place in order to build more resource for R and D and serving customers. With ESAB's truly global presence and worldwide brand recognition, this restructuring is placing the company in a unique position to take advantage of growth in emerging markets. It is also helping to develop opportunities for new niche areas in mature markets.
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