By Andrew Joseph, Farms.com
There’s nothing airy-fairy about the 20-year relationship between Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc. and VMAC.
The Lincoln Electric Air Vantage system is considered to be a critical piece of equipment for many operators working in tough terrain, providing the user with a triple-threat welder, generator and air compressor.
However, the Cleveland-headquartered Lincoln Electric is quick to point out that its Air Vantage system simply would not exist without VMAC, a mobile air manufacturer that provides compact yet powerful air compressor technology.
“Lincoln Electric and VMAC have successfully worked together for the past 20 years,” said Nicholas Winarski, Product Manager - Industrial Engine Drives for Lincoln Electric. “VMAC is our top choice air compressor manufacturer for our Air Vantage models due to their high-quality air compressors and dedicated engineering support.”
Headquartered in Nanaimo, British Columbia, VMAC is a designer, engineer and manufacturer of what many consider to be the only true North American air compressors. It has a well-earned reputation for both its air compressors and multi-power systems thanks to extraordinary build quality, durability and reliability—not to mention a VMAC Lifetime Warranty for the compressors.
Operators and fleet managers in mobile mechanic, tire service, utilities, mining, oil and gas, and construction industries rely on VMAC systems to work in the most challenging applications, climates, and environments, and it does not disappoint.
VMAC’s relationship with Lincoln Electric—an American multinational and a global manufacturer of welding products, arc welding equipment, welding consumables, plasma and oxy-fuel cutting equipment and robotic welding systems—began at a tradeshow in the summer of 1997.
That was when Lincoln Electric engineer Nino Silvestro discovered VMAC’s brand new UNDERHOOD air compressor—a compact and powerful rotary screw air compressor that is the foundation of many VMAC products to this day.
“Lincoln Electric was using a 4-cylinder, reciprocating, single-stage compressor that they were shoe-horning into a welding machine. Those compressors are the size of a small microwave oven, so it was a challenge, and that’s why their engineer was so excited about VMAC’s new technology,” said Jim Hogan, CEO of VMAC.
While VMAC continued to refine its UNDERHOOD technology, Lincoln Electric focused on projects of their own until the early 2000s, when two companies joined forces to develop an air compressor that would work seamlessly in Lincoln Electric machines.
“VMAC worked closely with Lincoln Electric to develop an air compressor system that integrated with their existing welder designs,” said Rick Duifhuis, OEM Division Manager at VMAC. “Our engineers spent the next couple of years designing, prototyping, testing, and refining the optimal air solution for Lincoln Electric. The result was a brand-new product line for Lincoln Electric called the Air Vantage.”
The Air Vantage 500 was launched in 2004, and included VMAC’s S700033 spline drive rotary screw air compressor—the only welder generator air compressor of its kind at the time.
A huge success, VMAC continued to work with Lincoln Electric to ensure the Air Vantage product line met the demands of the ever-changing market.
VMAC continued to redesign and adjust its air compressor for the Air Vantage product line over the course of their long relationship. Whenever a system required a modification, usually due to an engine change, VMAC and Lincoln Electric worked together to develop a solution.
“VMAC has developed five complete air compressor systems for Lincoln Electric over the past two decades,” said Duifhuis. “Our team is always willing to do what it takes to serve our partners and ensure they have the air power they need to succeed.”
Lincoln Electric currently sells two Air Vantage models: the Air Vantage 566X and the Air Vantage 566X Hydraulic. The Air Vantage 566X features VMAC’s S700162 air compressor, which is a high-idle belt-driven rotary screw air compressor that delivers 60 CFM @ 100 psi (1.7 m3/min @ 6.9 bar).
The Air Vantage 566X is powered by a turbocharged Deutz Tier 4 Final Compliant engine, features a 20 kW generator, and supports numerous welding processes, including stick, MIG, TIC, flux-cored and arc gouging.
The Air Vantage 566X Hydraulic variation includes an additional 10 gpm hydraulic pump, which VMAC designed and supplied the mount/drive kit for.
Both VMAC and Lincoln Electric are familiar with the mobile equipment industry and its demands for durable, high quality products. As such, VMAC’s products are built to withstand tough environmental conditions—and its work for Lincoln Electric was no exception.
“The Air Vantage 566X and Air Vantage 566X Hydraulic machines are used in some of the world’s most extreme climates. It is our pleasure to provide innovative air compressor technology that can meet our customers’ high expectations and withstand brutal conditions,” extolled Duifhuis.
“VMAC and Lincoln Electric have seen great success with our collaborations, which have resulted in several powerful systems. We are proud of our 20-year relationship and hope to continue to work with Lincoln Electric in the decades that follow,” Duifhuis added.
For more information on the two companies, visit: www.lincolnelectric.com and www.vmacair.com.