Miller Integrates Bernard® Q(TM)-Guns, Centerfire(TM) Consumables On Industrial Wire Feeder Products, MIG Systems


· Integrated system improves MIG welding performance and productivity
· Free "Gun Exchange" program guarantees satisfaction

APPLETON, Wis., February 2, 2006-Welding industry leader Miller Electric Mfg. Co. and MIG welding gun innovator Bernard® today jointly announced that Miller will integrate Bernard Q(TM)-Guns with Centerfire(TM) consumables on most of its industrial wire feeder products and bundled MIG welding systems. This strategic initiative brings Bernard products to all Miller customers, effective immediately. The Miller/Bernard combination will help them address welding and productivity issues that they have not been able to remedy with other MIG welding gun or consumables systems.

"We spent much of 2005 validating the technical merits of Bernard products," says Mike Weller, president of Miller Electric Mfg. Co. and ITW Channel Marketing Americas (see photo). "After extensive testing in our labs and with end-user accounts, we have concluded that Bernard is the best provider of MIG welding guns and consumables in the market today-period. They bring real benefits to end-users."

To improve productivity and reduce overall welding costs, Bernard Q-Guns with Centerfire consumables offer superior arc performance and gas coverage, longer consumable life (an average of at least three times longer) and an easy-to-change tip design (especially beneficial on aluminum and stainless applications).

Centerfire contact tips "drop-in" and lock in place without tools for quick changeovers (see Figure 2). The design provides better electrical conductivity to enhance arc performance and improve heat dissipation for longer tip life. The nozzle features a built-in spatter shield for smooth gas flow to reduce downtime and increase arc-on time.

Special adaptors enable Centerfire consumables to connect to competitors' MIG welding guns, allowing end-users to standardize on one set of consumables regardless of MIG welding gun brand and reducing costs related to ordering, stocking and tracking welding consumables.

Integrated Systems, Superior Performance
Miller's 22-A, 24-A and R-115 wire feeders will now incorporate the Bernard Q400 gun, as will the Delta-Fab(TM) and CP-302, Invision(TM) 354MP, XMT® 304 XMT® 350 MIGRunner(TM) systems. The Q400 gun with Centerfire consumables is a 400-amp, 100 percent duty cycle, air-cooled, 15-ft. MIG welding gun and replaces Miller's Roughneck® 4015 gun at no additional cost. Other Miller products will come standard with Bernard Q-Guns and Centerfire consumables in the future.

Miller's new 75 Series wire feeder will also feature the Bernard Q-Gun and Centerfire consumables. The integrated Miller/Bernard system features a new Accu-Mateä connection that secures the Bernard Q-Gun power pin assembly to the Precision Drive (PD) wire drive assembly (see Fig. 3). To achieve flawless wire feeding, the PD wire drive assembly uses patent-pending drive rolls and guides. On the 75 Series, continuous guides nestle into the drive rolls, maintaining support throughout the entire wire path. The design eliminates downtime and other costs associated with wire buckling, kinking and birdnesting, greatly increasing productivity. Visit MillerWelds.com/products/wire_feeders/s_d_75_series for additional details.

Satisfaction Guaranteed
To ensure customer satisfaction, Bernard announces its "Choose Your Weapon" Gun Exchange program as part of their integration with Miller. If the Q-Gun bundled with the Miller product does not fit the end-users' application, Bernard will exchange it for any other configurable, gas-cooled Bernard MIG welding gun for no additional cost. Program details are available at BernardWelds.com/miller.

"We are so confident about the performance of Bernard Q-Guns and Centerfire consumables that once end-users try them, we know they'll convert for life," says John Winek, general manager, Bernard. "If that means we need to swap out the original gun with a completely different gas-cooled MIG welding gun to ensure the gun matches the end-users' application, that's what we'll do."

To find configuration options for a replacement air-cooled MIG welding gun, end-users can use the CustomSelect Ordering System at BernardWelds.com or consult the user guide included in the wire feeder box. After choosing a MIG welding gun to meet their application needs, end-users should call Bernard's Customer Service department [800-946-2281 (U.S. only) or 708-946-2281 (outside the U.S.)] to exchange MIG welding guns.

Note that end-users should determine if the Bernard Q-Gun integrated with their feeder is right for their application before opening the gun package, and they need return the unopened original MIG welding gun package to Bernard using the pre-paid label and box provided with the replacement gun.

"The Bernard Gun Exchange program is an after-sale, courtesy-driven initiative that supports end-users in the most efficient manner possible," says Winek.

Miller president Weller adds that, "Since ITW acquired Bernard in April 2001, the Bernard Team has worked hard to implement the principles of quality, innovation, superior customer service and an 'easy-to-do-business-with' attitude-the same hallmarks of Miller. The results have been extraordinary. Based on customer surveys and our own strict performance metrics, we know that Bernard's product delivery and quality now lead the industry."

With headquarters in Appleton, Wis., Miller Electric Mfg. Co. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE: ITW), Glenview, Ill. Bernard Welding Equipment, located in Beecher, Ill. is a division of ITW. ITW is a diversified multinational manufacturer of highly engineered components, assemblies and systems.

Miller Electric is a leading worldwide manufacturer of Miller and Hobart brand arc welding equipment and related systems for metalworking, construction, maintenance and other applications. For more information or the name of the Miller distributor nearest you, visit Miller's Web site at MillerWelds.com., call 800-4-A-MILLER (800-426-4553), e-mail info@millerwelds.com, fax 877-327-8132, or write to Miller Electric Mfg. Co., P.O. Box 100, Lithonia, Ga., 30058.

Bernard manufactures premium gas metal arc welding guns, consumables, accessories and manual arc products. For over 50 years Bernard has been an innovator in heavy-duty MIG welding and a proven contributor to improved welding productivity. For more information, contact Bernard at (800) 946-2281; fax (708) 946-6726; visit BernardWelds.com, email info@bernardwelds.com or write to Bernard Customer Service, 449 West Corning Road Box 667, Beecher, IL 60401.

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