ARC Specialties was founded in 1983 by Dan Allford to provide welding services and weld automation to industry. One of the first projects was a control system for a hot tap welding system for use on radioactive pipe. This foreshadowed the future of the company. For the next 29 years, ARC Specialties would specialize in unusual projects. In 1990, ARC Specialties went from a part time job in Dan’s garage to a full time endeavor.
Since then, ARC Specialties has grown to a 60+ person company occupying a campus with over 75,000 sq ft. These buildings house all the components for a vertically integrated manufacturing solution provider: research, design, manufacturing, assembly and testing at a single location. ARC has invested heavily in buildings and equipment. To build our equipment requires equipment ranging from metal microscopes to milling machines with 40 feet of machining capacity. Having this array of equipment and talent in one location gives ARC complete control of a project from concept to final testing. ARC Specialties has built machines for companies in 21 countries and a variety of industries. The staff includes project managers, mechanical and electrical designers as well as welders, electricians and assembly technicians. This team does what it takes to take a project from concept to reality.
A typical project for ARC Specialties begins when a customer goes to the company with a manufacturing problem. Working with the customer, the staff will propose a solution. In some cases, ARC needs to prototype the system before a complete proposal is possible. In the ARC research facility, a full testing and technical setup allows the technology services staff to work with tools from stereo lithography welding systems to racecar camshaft welds. Frequently, this ability to develop a process before a full-blown manufacturing system is built will allow ARC to improve the final machine and shorten the delivery time.
ARC Specialties builds on three basic platforms, programmable logic controllers (PLC), machine tool controller (CNC) and 6 axis robots. The ARC6 robotic welding robot is one of the last remaining robots designed and build in the USA. No one technology solves all manufacturing problems. Generally ARC will choose a PLC if given a process problem. PLCs are fast and reliable—when the motion requirements exceed that of a PLC, ARC selects a CNC controller. When ARC is presented with a problem that requires 6 axes of motion, the company will use an articulated arm.