Here’s a common situation for many welders: You’re using a welder/generator, but your worksite isn’t accessible with such a large machine. Maybe you’re welding in a tight spot or on top of a boom lift. Not a problem, you’ve got plenty of long cables. So, you get all set up and ready to weld, pull the trigger and realize, “Shoot, my settings are wrong.” Now you’ve got to track all the way back to your welder/generator, try new settings and repeat the process until you've got it right.

If you’ve ever used a welder/generator or any welding setup where you’re some distance from the controls, you know how frustrating this can be. In fact, Miller predicts that a single welder using a distanced setup wastes about 250 hours per year. Even with auto-set features, welding is a science of tweaking your settings to get the best performance. But when faced with a long walk, you wouldn’t believe how many welders just decide to stick with less-than-ideal parameters and push through some subpar welds.

A common solution is having one person at the weld site instruct another person over a radio on how to adjust the parameters. This works alright if you’ve got someone just sitting around, but is ultimately a huge waste of time for one person. As a better solution, Miller introduced ArcReach, a system that allows you to access your settings remotely. It’s quite literally the TV remote equivalent of welding (though more difficult to lose under the couch).

How does it work?

The overall principle is pretty straight forward. Depending on the process and machine you’re using, it’ll either be an ArcReach feeder case or remote. Not every machine can use ArcReach, so if you’re looking to use this functionality, make sure you get a machine with ArcReach technology.

With some processes (generally MIG), you’ll use an ArcReach feeder case instead of a remote. These look like the launch code briefcase that the president had during the cold war (and is made from even better material). The case works similar to the remote, but also houses all the wire feeder functionality and settings. The feeder cases generally come with a weld gun as well.

Not every welder needs ArcReach, but if you’re having to walk back and forth between your power source and your weld site, it’s a complete no-brainer. Not only will you save time and headache, you also know how walking around worksites has a number of associated hazards. Every time you go for a stroll to adjust your amps, you’re adding unnecessary risk, especially if you’re working on an elevated platform like scaffolding. ArcReach helps skip the unnecessary walks through a dangerous workzone, making things safer and smarter. For more on how ArcReach works, check out the videos below. For the best price and customer service, make sure you buy all your ArcReach equipment from Welding Supplies from IOC.