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I was a welder before I got into maintenance, so I might be able to help on this one. Here are things that I find to be problematic on wire-fed welding machines:
- clogged/dirty liner. Remove them once a month and soak them over night in a container of solvent then blow them out with compressed air in the morning and re-install. If the liners are particularly problematic then check the cleanliness of the wire; if it gets at all rusty it will cause major headaches with the flakes of rust coming off in the liner and clogging it. If this becomes a problem then a piece of scotchbrite pad clamped onto the wire before it hits the feed roller will help to remove the rust before it gets to the liner, but it's best to avoid rusty wire if at all possible.
- Weak/broken tension springs. The spring that tensions the wire spool can get weak over time. This causes big problems when running wire at a high speed.
- Some Miller wire feed units with two sets of drive rollers are just _too_ good at their job, and if the operator stubs the tip on startup the wire will weld to the tip and birdnest. It just won't 'slip' nicely. The solution if this becomes problematic is to remove one set of drive rollers. You only need both sets if you're pulling wire through conduit from a 55 gallon drum.
- When feeding tubular wire (metal-core, dual-shield or self-shielded) the old standard was knurled drive rollers. These often get adjusted too tightly by the operators which puts a corresponding knurl in the wire. This knurl will act like a saw to wear away at the liner and the tip. Use only U-groove drive rollers for tubular wire if you can help it. Note, that's U-groove, not V-groove, which are used for solid wire.
- Don't be afraid to run a size larger ID liner than the book says to. It can make life easier.
- Welding is all about heat, but you want the heat in the right place. If the connection at the ground clamp isn't clean and solid then the ground clamp will heat up and the welding will suffer. Make sure all of the connections are good.

That's all that's coming to mind at the moment. Make sure the wire and gas are a decent quality, blow the dust out of the machine on occasion, and you should be okay. If the operator is getting a crappy weld and he doesn't think it's his fault then check the ground first, then if that's good then try swapping the tank of gas. Sometimes you get a bad tank.
Originally posted by theothercarl:
No pm program in place. I'm looking for any repair info or a site to go to if I get stumped, about all I find is how to weld.

I got around to trying to find a site of info, and I didn't have any more luck than you did. The closest I got was this article:
but you have to register on the site to view the article. It was written by a Miller exec.

As for the other machines, which I didn't mention before, the best thing you can do is keep the shop air feed really, really dry for the plasma cutters to keep the consumables lasting as long as possible. I can't think of any 'common problems' with TIG machines or plasma cutters other than things getting broken from carelessness.

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