Chicago Welding Show

I was at the American Welding Society's trade show at McCormick place today. Even though I am a hobbyist, I thought it was fantastic. There was lots to see--Lincoln's new 185, Miller's little Maxstars, numerous functioning robots, fume extractors, tools, etc. The robot were especially interesting. Unlike other shows, these were actually moving (although not actually welding for obvious reasons). All the major brands were there--Lincoln, Miller, Thermal Dynamics, ESAB, Panasonic, Hypertherm, and numerous others. All the exhibits had something nifty, but none beat Tregaskiss (sp?) which had two scantily clad models.

The show runs through Thursday and is free. If you go, keep in mind that parking is $14. Bring your own food or expect to pay $7 for a slice of undercooked pizza.

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Did you get a chance to see the welder competition? I am interested in how the format went in terms of amount of time and range of skills. It is just a simple horizontal fillet? I notice Tregaskiss was in the backgound for many years until they has someone do a good marketing job for them. I guess "whatever it takes to get the job done". Randy


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Randy Zimmerman

I think a good word from Ernie is worth a whole lot more than two scantily clad models. At the moment, I guess they have both, but anyone can hire scantily clad models - it doesn't make the product any better.

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Yes but as a veteran of many a trade show. Scantily clad models make for a very popular booth.

The correct term for them is "booth babe".

Las Vegas and Orlando both have very impressive groups (herds?, flocks?) of them for rent.

On a more serious note...

There are very few MIG gun makers left. Tregaskiss is an independant company, yet they are still selling guns to Miller. This is funny since Miller's parent company, ITW, already owns 3 companies that make MIG guns; OXO, Bernard and Weld Nozzle Inc.

There are some small companies like Profax, who mostly make OEM parts for everybody else's equipment, but they are hardly a serious impact on the market.

The only other "big boys" are Tweco, owned by Thermadyne, and Binzel, in Austria.

Tregaskiss has made a huge impact in the robotic MIG gun market with their new water cooled guns.

I do love their 400 amp Toughguns, but their smaller guns, as used by Miller for most of their sub 250 amp machines, are quite crappy.

I have always liked OXO guns, but they have been really neglected by ITW. They do supply some larger guns to Miller, but they have no marketing at all. I am kind of amazed that they are still in business. If you are trying to figure out who OXO is, they used to make all the MIG guns for Hobart, until the ITW buyout 10 years ago. My Betamig 250 came with an OXO gun, as did my Handler 120.

Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler

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