News Releases 2018Meiden becomes first Japanese maker to sell IGBT-mounted power supply system for high-frequency welding equipment

Meidensha Corporation (Meiden) has started selling a power supply system for high-frequency welding equipment, which features an insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT), a type of semiconductor element with a high current capacity. This is the first time a Japanese manufacturer has adopted an IGBT format for a power supply system for high-frequency welding equipment, according to a Meiden study.

Since the 1950s, Meiden has made products related to high-frequency welding equipment, which were used for the production lines of various pipes, such as those for pipelines and auto parts. The latest product was developed by capitalizing on Meiden’s know-how on IGBT nurtured during the manufacture of power converters, such as those in solar power generation and energy storage systems.

What is the IGBT-mounted power system for high-frequency welding equipment?

This is a power supply system, which utilizes the principle of induction heating, for high-frequency welding equipment. Induction heating is the process of heating by converting electrical energy into thermal energy though electromagnetic induction. Conventional power supply systems using a metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET) are being produced in significantly fewer numbers than IGBT ones, making it difficult to secure them as backups. This situation led to a surge in demand for IGBT-mounted power supply systems, which have now become the mainstream.

Main merits of IGBT-mounted power system for high-frequency welding equipment

1. Higher reliability with lower failure rates
This product slashed the number of components by 67 percent from the conventional MOSFET power supply system, helping lower the failure rates.

2. Easy maintenance
This product reduced the parts that must be replaced periodically by 83 percent, helping lighten cumbersome part replacement work. Parts in the system are designed to have a life expectancy of 15 years.

3. Shortened time for failure recovery
This product reduced the number of areas that can be detached for changing units from 25 to 16, making it easier to replace units. Furthermore, failure recovery guidance that appears on the touch panel display will enable a swift recovery in the event of a system failure.

Future strategy

Meiden is expecting high demand for renewing high-frequency welding equipment and related products that it sold to domestic companies. There also are prime opportunities overseas, mainly in emerging economies, for marketing the new product as automakers build vehicle production factories. Another encouraging sign is increased demand for renewing electric-resistance welded tubes for pipelines in the global market. Meiden plans to develop the overseas market for the product in collaboration with machinery makers handling welding lines.

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