Lincoln 350mp vs miller 350p?

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alumioforte
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Lincoln 350mp vs miller 350p?

#1

Post by alumioforte » Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:15 pm

Hello, anyone have any comments on comparing these 2

kmorin
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Re: Lincoln 350mp vs miller 350p?

#2

Post by kmorin » Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:55 pm

the two power supplies were not designed for any where near a comparison.

The Lincoln, according to my telephone conversations with some in the design and support staff for this power supply was not intended to be sold to a 'one man shop' or to small businesses for multi-phase welding use. This power supply was intended to be used by factories where welding engineers were present to make the tests and set the power supplies' many (MANY) different configurations ; while Miller's 350MP was intended for average skilled welders and is a good quality inverter based, digitally controlled MIG power supply.

Lincoln's 350MP is capable of being coupled to a robotic welding system and welding countless thousands of DIFFERENT MIG type beads for more variable applications than can be understood without engineering level/extremely detailed education in the MIG process.

Lincoln dealer's/distributors were not supposed to market his model to anyone who didn't attend a one week training at Lincolns' facilities.... !! I learned all this after buying one and finding the learning curve was fairly steep. When I purchased the Lincoln Power MIG 350MP, I had approximately 17,000 hours looking at an aluminum arc through a welding hood, and when I tried to treat the controls and adjustments on the basis of those hours.... things didn't work well.

When the factory found out I had one- they asked if I was enrolling in the training- 4.5K miles of travel, room board, and transport for a week, and the 7K ($) training.... ? Actually I declined their offer but had a nice discussion about Pulse on Pulse on 0.060" SS in a purge chamber done with a fully robotic welding cell!

So, when I called and learned the facts related above I realized that to learn the power supply wouldn't be as easy as I'd figured.

I have recently spent some time with the Miller 350MP and it is a consumer power supply that does have some interactive controls - where one arc control aspect is adjusted automatically by the power supply due to a change in another- that do take some learning to adapt to. however ..... the relation between the two power supplies is: There is no comparison really.

To further complicate my relation with my Lincoln 350MP, it had several factory defects and a couple background settings that were off! So my remarks are: The Lincoln is a fine power supply, but I don't need 1/1,000,000th of the control features' spectrum. The Miller is a good solid power supply too and is much easier to set quickly and use.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I weld aluminum almost exclusively with both power supplies, but I have done a bit of steel with the Lincoln and not the Miller. 99.8% of all my welding is aluminum, I am not remarking about the ferrous of SS welding with either power supply. My experience is limited to welding aluminum with both power supplies. (as noted I have welded steel with the Lincoln not the Miller)

MORE IMPORTANT: both of the systems were sold (the one's I've used) with MK Products Python push-pull MIG wire feeders. This gun needs very serious NON-Miller and NON-Lincoln parts to run properly in aluminum welding..... If these parts are NOT acquired through MK Products directly then both Miller's Python and Lincoln's Python version can experience very frustrating performance degradation.

The arc controls of the Lincoln are hundreds (millions) of times more complex. The Miller is more a point and shoot adjusted MIG system. The number of variables in the Lincoln is so much more complex than the Miller that they aren't even in the same ball park.

That said- by using the Lincoln presets you can get reasonable welds out of the box, if you're already experienced. The Miller however, is easier for the low hour welder to adjust as there are far fewer arc controls available.

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
kmorin

alumioforte
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Re: Lincoln 350mp vs miller 350p?

#3

Post by alumioforte » Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:25 pm

Thanks Kevin,

Thats good insight. We use the Miller 350P's in our shop, and our guys have become frustrated over recent times over the seeming changes in performance. For example you might be welding 1/8 on 1/8 fillet welds very happily and then suddently 10 minutes later its as if all the settings have changed.

A number of months ago we made enquiries to other guys who had 350P's and they also shared experiences that yes, the 350P can be temperamental. One setting seems to work good one minute, then a total change on the same materials and circumstances the next.

I've been dubious about buying any of the 350MP's. A friend of mine by the C300 which is even more complex, i dont think i want to go that route. I've tried the Fronius machines as well. They're cool, but i didnt see that much difference that would make me want to spend an extra 10K for the Fronius label. Have you used these much? Wooldridge has had good success with them.

What I would like to know, is what does Safeboats use? Seriously...their welds are the amazing. And its the same with their "Life Proof Boats" product- really nice, consistent welds. What i want to know is, is this the settings, or the training?

Anyone who doesnt build boats tends to use TIG for aluminum welding- obviously its easier to make an aesthetically pleasing weld. But i know it is possible with MIG. If i knew how to upload pictures to this forum I'd share some pics of a few different settings we did on the 350P and got some amazing results. Safeboats style. But what has been frustrating us, is its almost like the machine has a mood swing or electronics malfunction that requires a totally new setting for the same wire, same metal, same weld orientation!!

We love the 350P we just dont like the inconsistency. I'm minded to try at Lincoln 350MP, maybe even a C300.

Glad of any other comments. I feel like the art of aluminum MIG is still young and there will be improvements in the future. Whats your email Kevin? I'l send you some pics of the different results we've gotten messing with arc length, sharpness, etc. We wrote on each sample peice what our settings were.

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gandrfab
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Re: Lincoln 350mp vs miller 350p?

#4

Post by gandrfab » Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:59 am

The "art" of aluminum mig is in the hands of the welder. Once you make the tools to difficult for hands to operate the art is lost.
Bring in the engineers and it becomes designed and executed.

Robots can make a better painting then any human. Same with welding.

kmorin
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Re: Lincoln 350mp vs miller 350p?

#5

Post by kmorin » Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:12 am

somewhere here, I've detailed the contact tip issue, the liner and drive rolls issue and the gun drive rolls replacement kits for the Python guns. All these are performance issues and must be addressed with the MK Products Co. if you're using those guns?

If you have the Miller made torches? I'm not qualified due to lack of experience to even remark about issues- as I am in regard the MK Products guns. But, since Miller sold the MK gun (Python) with that power supply for years- (not sure of dates) I have personal experience with the issues I've described.

I would not confuse power supply variables from wire feed mechanisms' variables. BUTTTT.... as I mentioned there are interactive arc controls on these newer power supplies. So if there is drag in wire feed- resulting in long arcing.... then the voltage/amperage/wattage surge and tip burnback can happen easily.

Also, if you're moving along a bead with the correct WFS, wattage, gas coverage and travel speed for the weld you're putting down- any wire drag or slow down/speed up will result in an inconsistent bead- and the power supply's sensing circuitry is (now that it is digital) VERY sensitive to these arc (resistance) changes....so the speed of the aUToMatic power/wattage adjustments are faster than a welders' reactions.... so the power supply has applied what "is thought" to be a correction and the welder adds his.....? Well its a problem with wire feed consistency NOT the power supply.

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
kmorin

alumioforte
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Re: Lincoln 350mp vs miller 350p?

#6

Post by alumioforte » Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:36 pm

That is helpful Kevin. I'll keep in touch with you, Lincoln has agreed to bring some demo machines to our factory a week from this Monday. I'll do some side by side passes against the miller and see how we go.

Also gandrfab, I agree with what you say. Everyone's beads have their own unique touch. I want a happy medium with a reliable machine that allows the fabricator to just have a steady workable puddle that can be shaped as desired. Without 20,000 settings options.

I'll update you all on the Lincoln demo!

kmorin
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Re: Lincoln 350mp vs miller 350p?

#7

Post by kmorin » Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:14 pm

Just a last note: you may not be seeing "what's in front of you?"

Have a nice sales call with Lincoln.

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
Last edited by kmorin on Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: typos
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