Orbital welding is a process in which a welding head rotates around the item that needs to be welded. (In other words, it "orbits" the item.) The welding head holds the welding rod, creating a smooth weld between two parts. The process is compter-controlled and can be a lot safer for the humans working with these machines.
The Operator Is Positioned Away From the Welding Itself
In orbital welding, the welder is not actually holding the welding rod and torch. Instead, all the welding work is done in and by the machine. While the welder does need to be nearby to monitor the welding, they aren't right up by the flame and heat. That removes almost all risk of injury from the welding process. The welder will still need to be careful when passing by the machine or handling items that were just welded—and the welder will still need eye protection—but that's still much better in terms of risk than when the welder is right up by the flame and heat.
The Process Can Handle Large Batches of Welding
Put experienced human welders on a large welding project, and even those great welders can become tired. Welds done later in the workday may still be within tolerance, but the exhaustion does raise the risk of injury and ruined work. With the automated process, a large number of items can be welded without that risk. Operators at the machine can change shifts as usual with no need for someone to stay late because they are the only ones with a certain type of welding knowledge, for example.
The Welding Movement Is Stable and Not Prone to In-Process Human Error
Humans have to program the welding machine, so orbital welding isn't fully free of human error. But because the welding head is automatic and controlled by the programmable power supply, once the instructions have been programmed, and assuming the welding head connection is stable, the welding motion will be stable and should not deviate if the machine works correctly. The welding head, assuming nothing breaks, will make smooth circles around the item that needs welding, and the welding material will be applied steadily. This is a lot safer in terms of getting the welding done without mistakes.
Orbital welding may not be appropriate for all welding jobs, but it can be used for many types that would be more dangerous when done manually. If you have to weld pipes or other round items, having an orbital welding setup will save you a lot of trouble.
For more information about orbital welding equipment, contact a local company.