Shipbuilding Industry

Orbital welding solutions for critical shipboard piping on commercial and naval vessels

Commercial and naval ships have extensive pipe work for numerous critical subsystems: from power to fuel and water. Pipe welding, whether for construction or maintenance, is often done in cramped conditions with minimal clearances. Magnatech's compact weld heads allow multipass pipe welding producing welds meeting any code standard.

Our pipe welding systems are in daily use in the rugged environment of a shipyard. Copper nickel pipe material, frequently used in ships, is difficult to weld manually, but readily welded by automated orbital systems. The nuclear power plants of U.S. Navy ships require critical welds in stainless, high nickel, and titanium materials. Orbital welding is extensively used by shipyards for new construction, and by naval bases for maintenance and modification.

  • Our compact orbital weld Heads are used in shipbuilding and maintenance worldwide.
  • Welding systems are designed for multipass pipe and tube welding.
  • Magnatech orbital welders use position-based programming, allowing up to five continuous passes – no need to stop after each pass.
  • Magnatech is the first to provide Autoprogram Generation for multipass pipe welding. Compact, lightweight power sources facilitate orbital pipe welding below deck.

Magnatech has proven pipe welding solutions for the shipbuilding industry. Learn more about these solutions and how they can benefit your shipbuilding efforts.


CuNi BUTT & Fillet Welds

Equipment Used




A major gulf-coast shipyard was awarded contracts to design and build an entirely new class of ship for the U.S. Navy: the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) designed for fast, shore-hugging operation. The first ships delivered resulted in an award for 10 additional ships in 2010-2015. The contracts required welding a significant number of 90%/10% CuNi butt and fillet welds on 2 - 6" (60 - 168 mm) pipes. The butt weld geometry in particular created problems for manual welding.


The contractor purchased 13 Pipemaster/D-Head systems after trials to convince fabrication staff that the compact system was both rugged enough and practical for use during shipboard construction: Magnatech assisted in development of weld procedures using a 75% He/25% Ar gas mix, meeting ABS Standards.

Barge Construction

Equipment Used




Bay Shipbuilding Company builds barges for transporting heavy fuel oil. The fuel oil is kept fluid by a cargo heating system which circulates hot fluid through thin-wall 2" carbon steel pipes located in the bottom of the hold. Tight radial clearances around the pipes make it difficult for manual welding.


The welding foreman researched the problem and purchased a Redhead system, which provides rapid and repetitive single-pass welding with filler wire in the cramped workspace.