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Miller comes to mind when we think of world class welding equipment. This isn’t surprising, considering this manufacturer has been in the industry for more than 90 years (1). With its long history in manufacturing welders, it has become one of the trusted dealers that everyone in the metal fabrication industry knows. Most, if not all, of the units made by Miller Electric come with advanced features.
Miller Electric: Overview
Miller Electric is a Wisconsin-based manufacturer that makes arc welders and plasma cutters. Its rich history began from a humble one-man company to what it is today — a world leader in arc welding and cutting equipment.
It started when Niels Miller designed a small arc welder in 1929. This arc welding was essentially a stick welder that could be used on electrical supplies. This small machine was a breath of fresh air for people used to the previously available DC units. It’s surprising to know that the first Miller welder was made from scrap material in his basement.
Miller Electric made innovations that became important parts of the history of welding. For instance, in 1935, Al Mulder, its sole engineer at that time, invented the first high-frequency stabilised AC industrial welder. Construction companies and factories saw practical applications of this machine. In 1971, the Millermatic was developed. The Millermatic fused the power source and wire feed into a single unit, an innovation that allowed MIG welding to be more practicable to enthusiasts and DIYers.
A major turning point in the brand’s history happened in 1993, when the death of the company heir was followed by Illinois Tool Works buying Miller Electric. ITW is a multi-national company with several subsidiaries. Hobart, Paslode, and Foster Refrigerator are some of the brands under it. What ITW and Miller Electric share is a common business philosophy, so allowing itself to be part of the corporation wasn’t a struggle, especially considering ITW was one of the most admired corporations at that time. What ITW did was bring Miller the resources it needed to reinforce its global base and seal the brand’s reputation as a world leader in the industry it belongs to.
Miller Spectrum 375 Plasma Cutter
Miller Electric’s Vision
Miller achieved the status of a world leader in the welding industry by creating things that matter. We’re talking about state-of-the-art solutions and products that work and meet standards for safety. It doesn’t matter whether you’re buying a Miller welder, plasma cutter, wire feeders, or gas equipment. You’re going to get a unit or tool with remarkable performance and build quality. The manufacturing philosophy is making machines and tools that are reliable, responsive, and robust.
Miller’s mission involves continuous improvement of its business. To achieve that, it organised its brand into discrete product-focused units. This way, the brand is able to produce high-quality products that meet their industrial standards. So buyers can expect a Miller welder to be one of most reliable and durable welders in its class. The same is true with its other products, like plasma cutters and even the consumables.
We’re talking about a manufacturer that values its consumer base. Aside from the fact that delivery of bought units is on time, the after-sale support is also remarkable. But Miller Electric values not only its consumers but also its community as a whole. You’ve probably heard of Miller people “bleeding blue” with dedication. It may sound a bit mawkish, but it’s true. There’s a community of Miller users that work together for community improvement.
How Miller Electric Compares
Miller welders are often pitted against their brothers from Hobart. These are two names you often hear in metal fabrication discussions. The first thing you’ll notice is the price difference. Hobart is really the option for people looking for a cheaper alternative to Miller. Hobart appeals more to beginners, hobbyists, and DIY welders. That’s great for basically 9 out of 10 welders out there.
On the other hand, an older debate has been raging much longer. Which between Lincoln and Miller makes better welders? These brands have been around for so many decades that they have avid customer bases. Nonetheless, Miller is known for making better MIG and TIG welders. That makes sense because Miller was a pioneer in MIG and TIG welding and has spent decades developing MIG and TIG welders.
On the other hand, Lincoln is much older than Miller and has been always known for its stick welders. Then again, these differences seem to be minor, if not negligible. You will definitely see both Miller and Lincoln welders in fabrication shops. Both offer very good customer support, but some people have said Lincoln’s customer services to be inferior, if not unreliable.
Miller Electric remains a powerful brand, a name known in all corners of the metal fabrication industry. That fact will stay true for a while. Despite changes in leadership and business dynamics, the brand stays true to its vision. Hence, we still get robust machines from one of the giant names in the industry.