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Everything You Need to Know About Orbital Welding

orbital welding

​​While orbital welding isn't a new invention, it has significantly transformed efficiency and safety in various industries.

Before exploring its specifics and benefits, let's dive into the origins of orbital welding.

The Origins of Orbital Welding

The innovation of orbital welding can be traced back to Navy Veteran Roderick G. Rohrberg, who is recognized as the pioneer of this technology. After his military service, Rohrberg worked as an engineer at North American Aviation in California. There, he was part of the team responsible for developing the North American X-15, a hypersonic rocket-powered experimental aircraft for the U.S. Air Force and NASA. During this project, Rohrberg conceived the idea of orbital welding.

In a meeting addressing fuel and hydraulic fluid leaks around the X-15's 12,000-pound thrust rocket engine, test pilot Scott Crossfield sought solutions. Rohrberg proposed, “Why don’t we automatically weld it?” This suggestion led to the birth of orbital welding.

From 1960, Rohrberg dedicated the next 55 years to advancing tubular welding systems, securing 34 patents and earning numerous accolades. Although he passed away in 2013, his contributions continue to influence the field.

Understanding Orbital Welding

Orbital welding employs a tool that rotates 360 degrees around a stationary workpiece. This automation eliminates the manual aspect of traditional welding, reducing the potential for human error. Consequently, it enables faster, more precise, and consistent welds since the parameters can be pre-set and reused.


The adoption of orbital welding is growing due to its numerous benefits. It enhances productivity and efficiency through automation, ensuring consistent weld quality with high precision. This method requires less skill compared to manual welding, can be performed under various environmental conditions, and significantly improves welder safety.


Achieving high-quality and safe welds is often challenging with traditional methods due to limited visibility and restricted access, leading to potential defects. Orbital welding addresses these issues by automating the process, thus reducing risks.

This technology is particularly useful for welding tasks involving semiconductors, food and beverage components, and tubing. It's also beneficial when there are numerous welds to complete. Orbital welding is applicable in diverse industries such as aerospace, pharmaceuticals, and more, making it an excellent choice for streamlining welding operations.

At ARC Services, we honor Rohrberg’s legacy and proudly offer state-of-the-art solutions through orbital welding. If you’re interested in learning more about how our orbital welding services can benefit your operations, contact us today! We look forward to discussing our innovative approach with you.

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