Valerie Allen has been awarded an MBE

We are proud to announce that General Welding Supplies’ Commercial Director, Valerie Allen, has been awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours List.
Valerie is also vice chairman of Halton Chamber of Commerce, a Riverside College governor, Deputy Lieutenant for Cheshire and a magistrate.
She received the accolade for services to business and the community in Warrington and Halton
Her many endeavours include working with businesses and charities and in education to make sure the skills being taught are relevant for employment to create opportunities for young people, and she is particularly keen to encourage businesses to take on apprentices.

Energy bill is good news for Civil Engineering and Fabrication sectors.

The publication of the draft energy bill is good news for the civil engineering and fabrication industries according to General Welding Supplies MD Steve Allen.

The replacement of power stations reaching the end of their useful life with new low carbon nuclear and wind powered plants will generate jobs and growth as well as electricity.

Widnes based General Welding Supplies have the expertise and resources to full support welding operations from the planning stage through to final testing and commissioning.

Welding consultancy and training are just two of the services which give general welding the edge when it comes to selecting a welding supplier.

In addition to welding plant sales and hire, General Welding Supplies are a nationwide supplier of welding consumables and gasses with slick logistics ensuring fast deliver to site.

Civil engineering contractors have welcomed the publication of the Government’s draft energy bill, as paving the way for the necessary £110bn upgrade in UK power generating capacity.

It is recognised that key players will require further guarantees of a return on their investment in nuclear plants and it is likely that there will need to be changes to the planning processes for these strategically important projects, but the Government now seems focused on “keeping the lights on”.

General Welding Supplies, who take a pride in the professional service they deliver to clients, are already in a position to service an upturn in construction and fabrication.

GWS Awarded Supplier of the Year By Interserve

General Welding Supplies (NW) Ltd., have been awarded ‘Supplier of the Year’ by Interserve, at the ‘Best of the Best’ awards ceremony in Oxford on 22nd March 2012.

Interserve recognise suppliers that have made key contributions throughout the year.

GWS work with Interserve to provide total welding support and operate as a partner on projects from the enquiry stage through quotation, to implementation. This includes imparting expert technical advice and project support, in additon to assiting with technical challenges on welding related areas. GWS’s in-depth knowledge and operational experience in all aspects of welding, supported by the latest technology, is therefore passed on to Interserve through this partnership.

On receiving the Award, Valerie Allen, Commercial Manager, said “We are delighted to have been given this award for ‘Supplier of the Year’ by Interserve, which recognises the level of service and support we have given them over the year. We are very proud of our team at GWS, whose technical expertise and attention to detail have been acknowledged by this accolade. We will continue to give a firstclass service to Interserve and indeed all our clients”.

GWS joins the Bolton Business Board to raise funds for NSPCC

Formed in 2011, the Bolton Business Board is made up of key business leaders in Bolton and Bury, and raises money to support the ChildLine schools service in the Bolton and Bury area.

The Board raises funds through developing corporate adoptions, organising corporate events, and members also help to raise awareness of the NSPCC’s work in the region through their business networks.

Our Commercial Manager, Valerie Allen, is one of the founder Board Members on this Business Board.

In order to get the network off to a good start the Board have partnered with UKBA to put on a Dinner Show. UKBA have previously raised large amounts of money for the NHS Baby Unit, Help for Heroes and a range of other good causes. The event will be held at the Reebok Stadium on Saturday 7th April and will include a 4 course meal, range of entertainment, auction/raffle, special guests and white collar boxing. General Welding Supplies raised £1100 on the night from auction prizes they donated.

For further information go to the dedicated NSPCC page

GWS Make Awards Final – MS Society Awards 2011


A Cheshire welding supply company has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award for creating an excellent working environment for a member of staff affected by multiple sclerosis (MS).

General Welding Supplies (NW) Ltd. (GWS), based in Widnes, has this week been announced as a finalist in the ‘MS Employer of the Year’ category at this year’s MS Society Awards. They are one of just three organisations shortlisted for the coveted award and have been invited to attend the final in London on 27 September.

The award is sponsored by Bioness who provides solutions for dropped foot- a common symptom of MS.

The company was nominated by a member of staff who felt his employer ‘showed initiative and compassion in learning about the condition.’

GWS went the extra mile to ensure their employee was able to continue doing the valuable work they had done for so many years at the company, by ensuring they were comfortable and safe in their working environment. This included attending specialist appointments to gain more information on the condition, laying new carpets to avoid trip hazards, making necessary modifications to the workshop area and changing the company car to better suit the individual’s requirements.

The judges for the category were looking for an organisation that creates excellent working environments for staff and shows consistent consideration and awareness of the fluctuating condition of MS- something they strongly felt GWS does.

On making the final, Valerie Allen from GWS said: ‘When Bob told us he had developed MS, we were obviously very concerned and wanted to learn more about the condition to try and help him in his everyday working environment. Bob is a valuable member of staff and has been with us for over 20 years, he is a key member of our team. His work is very varied and we needed to assess all areas of his working environment to ensure his maximum safety and comfort. Other members of staff have also been very supportive and offered their help in many ways. We are delighted to have been shortlisted for this award and are keen to carry on supporting Bob in any way we can over the coming years.

The MS Society Awards were created to reward individuals and groups for their hard work in changing lives for people affected by MS.

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the MS Society, said:

“The MS Society Awards recognise and celebrate the shining stars of the MS community. We are delighted that General Welding Supplies Ltd. has reached the final for the MS Employer of the Year award and we look forward to welcoming them to our awards ceremony in September.”

The MS Society Awards final will take place at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, London on Tuesday 27 September 2011.

GWS Sponsor Dragons



Widnes Dragons F.C were formed in 2003, with two teams competing in the Halton and District League, the clubs philosophy was to let children of all abilities enjoy taking part in football.

In the 2011/12 season, the club has now grown to 17 teams and a Soccer School, with over 250 registered players with the age range of 4 year olds to Open Age.

The club has also enjoyed success on the pitch too, winning league and cup titles as well as Halton Club of the Year, by continuing to promote the right ethics they have also won Secretary of the Year and numerous Fair Play Awards. All this has helped them to create an image that has helped them become seen as an Official Supporter of the Marina Dalglish Cancer Appeal.

General Welding Supplies (North West) Ltd has been involved with the club for over 5 years and became an official sponsor in 2010, it is with sponsors such as them and others, that the club can continue to maintain and develop their growing status within the North West and beyond.

William Morley – Secretary

“Winning friends is our Goal!”


General Welding Supplies (NW) Ltd, (GWS) is extremely pleased to introduce the all new ceramic red grain flap disc from Rhodius. GWS and Rhodius are working together in the UK to provide superior grinding solutions to all industry sectors, the Rhodius brand name and their line of products is renowned for innovative, user friendly, and application based solutions, the new ceramic flap disc is a prime example of this.

With extra-long 23mm flaps, the new ceramic disc allows faster, more aggressive grinding. With a larger supporting surface, the JUMBO SPEED is more stable under grinding pressures giving increased stock removal, along with a more controlled, safer grinding condition.

The new design of the JUMBO SPEED gives a cooling efficiency which is unparalleled in the industry, this cooling effect is ideal in the processing and redressing of stainless steels where surface finish is a key factor. The red ceramic grain is also far more advantageous and extremely efficient when applying to hardened and tempered steels and titanium.

To order a catalogue and your free sample today, please do not hesitate to contact us on the details below, our samples in stock cover 115mm & 125mm and 40, 60 and 80 grit. Samples of other products available on request.


Magnatech LLC was founded in 1946 to serve the aerospace industries’ needs manufacturing components such as circular seals to aerospace standards. The seals were designed to withstand extreme temperature and pressure in the development of the then newly developed gas turbine engine. The company was very successful, and was purchased in 1964 by the current owners, the Emmerson family, and it has remained a family-owned business ever since. At the time of the acquisition, Magnatech was relocated to its current facilityadjacent to Bradley Airport in Hartford, Connecticut. This proved to be the ideal location to serve the region’s booming aerospace industry.

During the early development of nuclear power generation, Magnatech designed and manufactured specialized circular seals which are used to seal the reactor vessel.  This specialised tubular metal seal design required a GTAW (TIG) weld to be made to complete the component. This process required extremely skilled manual welders that at the time were in great demand and in short supply. This drove the development, in 1969, of the industry’s first autogenous (fusion) tube welder.  This innovative new machine allowed an employee with no welding expertise to carry out defect free, perfect, repeatable welds.

The success of the tube welding system gave Magnatech the impetus to move the orbital welding concept forward, designing a multipass pipe welding system, thus forming the basis of Magnatech’s new business focus.

As the pioneer and market leader in the orbital welding field, Magnatech and their team of highly experienced engineering staff constantly strive to be at the forefront of their profession. Their extensive in-house engineering and research capabilities allow Magnatech to continue to develop their forward thinking and innovative products.

The age of orbital welding was born…

In many environments the work piece cannot be rotated and the weld must be carried out in-situ. Unfortunately, as is with many skilled trades, the number of highly skilled welding professionals is in decline, increasing the demand for tools to increase the capabilities of lesser skilled welders. This especially applies to the more challenging tasks such as in-situ welding.  General Welding Supplies recognises the requirements of the UK market for access to high-quality orbital welding equipment.

GWS are very pleased to be working closely with Magnatech LLC as the exclusive UK distributor of their line of orbital welding equipment. The partnership between Magnatech & General Welding Supplies (NW) Ltd has been established to serve UK based industrial contractors in sectors such as; aerospace, semiconductor, and nuclear, with the world’s most compact and rugged line of orbital welding equipment.

orbital welding equipment.

General Welding Supplies has been supplying high-quality welding equipment into the UK industrial sector since 1982, giving us the in depth industry knowledge to support our clients in all respects on both site and fabrication facility based applications nationwide.

Magnatech Model T Weld Head

ORBITAL WELDING – A Brief Overview


The orbital welding process is considered a semi-automated tube or pipe welding process. Orbital welding typically adapts the GTAW (TIG) process, which can be utilised as either an autogenous (fusion) or wire fed process, although some GMAW (MIG) processes are also adapted for orbital welding, this is however, more commonly referred to as mechanized GMAW or MIG.The term ‘orbital welding’ stems from the way the arc is rotated in ‘orbit’ around the circumference of the tube or pipe keeping a constant arc, this is achieved using either a ‘closed chamber’ fusion type weld head, or ‘open’ type weld head.



‘Fusion’ Orbital Welding Process

The fusion process is typically used in industry sectors such as; dairy, semi-conductor and pharmaceutical where the wall thicknesses of the tube being used are ordinarily less than 3mm (usually referred to as OD tube). The material must be suitable to be joined without filler wire, for example austenitic stainless steel and titanium. The fusion process gives results, which are not only mechanically sound, but also visually impressive with a uniform bead thickness, surface finish and bead profile.

In order to carry out the fusion orbital welding process effectively, the severed tube ends, or fittings, must marry up perfectly together taking into account both concentricity and squareness of the end preparation. This end preparation is vital to the success and repeatability of the welding process.

The preparation of the tube is carried out with specialist machining equipment designed for this purpose. Tri Tool’s range of tube severing and squaring equipment is world renowned as the most reliable and rugged tooling available today.

‘Wire Fed’ Orbital Welding Process

Wire fed applications would commonly be used with tube or pipe of a heavier wall thickness, and where the material is not suited to the fusion process such as CrMo and Inconel. Mechanical properties written into acceptance criteria on these materials tend to be geared towards the strength and durability of the welded joint as appose to a visually acceptable finish. These mechanical properties are achieved by adding a suitable welding consumable to the weld pool altering the chemical composition of the weld joint accordingly.

When considering wire fed orbital welding it is important that the bevelling of the pipe ends is taken into account from the onset, as this is a pivotal factor in the success of the process. Most frequently a J bevel end prep would be used for orbital, multi-pass GTAW welding.

The J Bevel is a pipe end prep, which is comprised of a 20-25 degree bevel with a radius and a land extension, as pictured in example below.

The correct bevel geometry is imperative to the success of GTAW (TIG), wire fed, multi-pass orbital welding process, the land thickness, extension and radius must be repeatable to ensure that the same welding conditions are achieved during each welding operation as specified in qualified weld procedures. Tri Tool machining equipment is the market leader in the manufacture of J bevel machines and tooling, for further information please click on the below link.



GENERAL WELDING SUPPLIES (GWS) announces that it has introduced MAGNATECH LLC Orbital Welding Equipment into its comprehensive product portfolio to provide tube and pipe welding solutions to its customers.

Orbital Welding Equipment



Magnatech’s Pipeliner II model uses the Flux Core Arc Welding (FCAW) process with a proven capability of producing consistent welds meeting all pressure, process, and pipeline code standards.  A push-pull feeder ensures positive electrode delivery, while allowing the use of standard 15 kg spools.  The system is designed for pipe 168mm (6”) and larger.  Only one component is required to adapt the weld head to different pipe sizes.  Flexible straight track allows large diameter vessels to be welded and overlay clad.

The high deposition rate FCAW process is ideal for heavy wall, large diameter piping.  The Pipeliner achieves GTAW process quality at productivity of 5-10 times that of GTAW welding.


GWS has full demonstration and customer support capability for the Magnatech product line.



T:  +44 (0) 151 420 6900







XT10 Extended Slitting Disc by Rhodius

General Welding Supplies (GWS) introduced Rhodius Abrasives into their ever expanding, comprehensive portfolio of high quality products in order to offer safer, more reliable abrasive solutions to their clients. The Rhodius brand name has stood for quality, efficiency and precision for over 60 years, these properties set Rhodius apart from their competitors and make Rhodius & GWS a perfect partnership.


The new XT10 Slitting Disc is taken from Rhodius’ “TOPLINE” range of products, all of the products in this range are aimed at end users who demand use of the best products available and wish to achieve maximum performance and lifetime results. With 30% more lifetime than other leading brands of extra thin slitting discs the XT10 allows for shorter set-up and disc changing times therefore achieving greatly reduced costs per cut and a measurable increase in efficiency.


The typical applications would include severing of thin-walled tubes and profiles, steel sheets and flat iron bar. The XT10 is an inox product and can achieve top results on all of the following materials; stainless, hardened, high tensile and galvanised steels along with all other standard steel applications.


For further information on Rhodius products, or samples of the XT10 Extended, please contact Karl Rutter at GWS – or 0151 420 6900. You can also visit our website at