Firefly Orbital Welding
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The Clever way to weld!

Firefly Overview

The Firefly, commonly referred to as a ‘welding bug’ or ‘weld head’, is a semi-automatic welding machine designed and manufactured in the UK by IPWL.

The Firefly’s unique features give you a clever welding machine that will work with you in the most challenging environments.

The Firefly is designed to meet the most rigorous standards and is particularly suited to applications requiring a high level of weld repeatability.

The main purpose of the Firefly system is to improve the productivity of the welder by continually producing a consistent weld result.

We believe this gives our customers a competitive edge in today’s ever demanding economic climate.

Firefly Weld Head

adjustable torch cable holder
lifting handles
lifting handles
adjustable umbilical positioner
band attachment latch
torch quick release mechanism
torch holder tensioner
Tuffnel torch holder block
lifting weight 10kg
CE Mark
Built in the UK

A semi-automatic welding machine designed and manufactured in the UK by IPWL.

Adaptable System

An adaptable system for welding, cutting and bevelling, full of clever features to make your life easier.

Automated Welding

A clever welding machine that fulfils your automated welding requirements

Firefly Features & Benefits

  • Firefly incorporates leading digital technology for precise control of key welding parameters.
  • Firefly has multiple pass welding capability for workpieces in all gravity positions.
  • Firefly has sector control. This feature enables the customisation of specific sectors to give the maximum flexibility and repeatability to weld parameters.
  • Firefly has an automatic torch height adjustment feature as standard (with suitable inverters).
  • Firefly’s robust design features cope with the most demanding applications and terrain.
  • Firefly systems are calibrated to enable all weld procedures to perform exactly the same when using multiple Firefly machines.
  • Firefly has a root pass capability without the need for copper or ceramic backing shoes.
  • Firefly’s compact size means it can work in confined areas.
  • Firefly has both hard wire and flux core welding capability due to the high torque motor installed, effective feed of all types of weld wire is possible.
  • Firefly is compatible with suitable inverters from all manufacturers.
  • All this combines to give you a clever welding machine that fulfils your automated welding requirements.
Firefly Welding


Firefly includes an integrated arc welding data logger and monitoring unit.

The unit offers a built in solution – a seamless integration with minimal start up times and no external cabling.

Mounted to the front of the Firefly control box, the eight-inch touch screen unit will monitor variables such as arc voltage, arc current, wire feed speed, travel speed, arc time and traverse speed.

Data is captured digitally, direct from the weld power source.


The purpose of the unit is to aid the decision making process by providing users with information about the actual weld.

  • Real time weld monitoring – the unit measures the defined variables to enable the comparison of those variables to upper and lower limits within the weld procedure, then communicates the results of this comparison.
  • Weld data acquisition – the unit measures, displays and stores the defined variables to evaluate specific arc characteristics.
  • Production data – the unit provides various layers of productivity related information.

The value of the unit comes when the output is compared to the pre-set tolerances for the workpiece.

Armed with real time information, the user can quickly identify potential process variances and take appropriate remedial action to ensure the weld procedure is followed.

Firefly Control Box

lifting handle
power cable connector
on/off switch
lifting weight 17kg
power indicator light
protective screen
data logger display screen
lockable cabinet
operator's remote buttons
operator's remote display screen with screen protector
emergency stop button
Firefly Weld report screenshot

Using the Data Logger

Firefly's data logger is already fully integrated; there is no additional setting up time.

The operator enters basic data about the weld – such as user ID, weld number, welder position – then it’s good to go.

Just press ‘arc-on’ and the unit starts to record the weld data.

Keeping up with information demands

Weld records are a significant part of the huge amount of documentation required to achieve weld validation.

Firefly's data logger will allow the actual weld data to be exported directly to a computer for compilation of weld records for the job – there is no need to re-enter data manually from reams of printed material.

If printed documentation is required for QA purposes, data can be printed from automatically generated PDF reports.

Operator's Remote

Firefly is a semi-automated machine – the welder must use their skill to make final adjustments to the weld by operating the remote once the weld is underway.

With constant use throughout a welding shift, Firefly’s operator’s remote is designed for ease of handling and operation. Much attention has been given to the size, weight and physical robustness of the unit. Similar attention has been given to the positioning and colour of the positive click buttons. The remote incorporates leading digital technology to enhance response times.

A hi-visibility display screen enables ease of parameter identification and quality buttons offer long life and reliability.

The remote is connected to Firefly’s control box and controls functions such as travel speed, travel direction and oscillation.

Each Firefly remote is inter-changeable with all Firefly control boxes.

After extensive field testing, the ease of use design features and physical robustness of the remote will suit most users. However, other options are available.

Firefly Operator's RemoteFirefly Operator's Remote


Firefly uses a ruggedized laptop computer as a programming pendant to enable welding parameter set-up in a familiar windows environment – 50 parameter memories come as standard. Each Firefly HMI is compatible with all Firefly control boxes, so only one HMI is required per worksite.

The Firefly HMI has a ‘team viewer’ remote assist capability. This feature enables on-line diagnostics to be carried out by technicians. Firefly’s HMI allows the user to download actual weld programming data to a USB memory stick for further processing in an Excel spreadsheet format.

HMI programming laptop


Firefly is a ‘bug and band’ system – the bug or weld head runs on a travel guide band (sometimes called a track or ring) which is mounted to the workpiece.

With set-up times a key factor for most welding projects, much attention has been given to aid this important process. The Firefly weld head has a simple band clamping latch mechanism to enable fast and effective clamping of the weld head to the band. Positioning the weld head on the workpiece is straightforward by using a ‘free wheel’ setting before final locking of the weld head into the chosen position.

Removing Firefly from the band is equally simple with a latch release mechanism. Mounting the guide band to the workpiece is aided by a simple attach and release mechanism on the guide band. Firefly can operate on various band designs – orbital on an external track or orbital on an internal track. Firefly also has a linear capability; where it can operate on a flat track, both vertical and horizontal.

For applications where the workpiece is neither round or linear, but oval or curved instead, a specially modified Firefly is possible. Firefly has a bi-directional capability on all band configurations – there is no need for separate left and right hand machines.

Firefly Specifications

Minimum Weld Diameter 6 inches (150mm)
Maximum Weld Diameter Unlimited
Maximum Wall Thickness Unlimited
Maximum Oscillation Width 3.6 inches (92mm) independently adjustable in 0.0001 inch (0.01mm) increments
Dwell Time 0-8 independently adjustable in 0.01s increments
Travel Speed 0-270 inches (0-6858mm) per minute
Wire Capacity 0.8 – 2.0mm
Machine Weight 10kg Wire off board model
  14kg Wire on board model (without 5kg spool)
Machine Dimensions Length 30cm
  Width 17cm
  Height 27cm to 33cm