Tier 4-Final standards will hit 25- to 74-horsepower off-road diesel engines beginning in 2013. This size class powers most engine-driven welders. The need to incorporate new aftertreatment methods will certainly affect product designs, meaning that the size and shape of the products are going to change to house the new, added components.
As engine suppliers pass on their costs for new engines and welding OEMs invest in redesigning their equipment to accommodate the new EPA-compliant diesels, OEMs, including Lincoln Electric, anticipate price increases of up to 50 percent.
The EPA has built some flexibility provisions into the final rule aimed at helping manufacturers, including welding equipment manufacturers, to meet the requirements. Still, it’s all but inevitable that end-users will pay more for the re-designed equipment in 2013.
User don’t need to replace existing 25-to-74-horsepower welders with the new compliant models immediately, since the new rules pertain only to new engines manufactured after Jan. 1, 2013. Equipment turnover can still occur as part of your regularly scheduled fleet maintenance and upgrade plan.
Lincoln Electric is increasing its manufacturing capacity to accommodate anticipated increased diesel engine welder orders in 2012. However, based on the anticipated 2013 price increases, if you do need to obtain new equipment this year, it is recommended that you order early to avoid the possibility of longer delivery times later in the year. And, if possible, it is recommended that you move capital expenditures from 2013 into 2012 for the same reason.
New environmental regulations will reshape how higher-horsepower, diesel engine-driven welders are designed, manufactured and sold in the United States and Canada. The year 2013 will be the beginning of a new era for these products. With a little bit of education and good planning now, you have the opportunity make a smooth transition into 2013 and beyond.
Source: Eric Snyder, senior product manager, engine-driven welders, The Lincoln Electric Company