Orbital welding is a specialized area of welding whereby the arc is rotated mechanically through 360° (180 degrees in double up welding) around a static workpiece, an object such as a pipe, in a continuous process. The process was developed to addresses the issue of operator error in gas tungsten arc welding processes (GTAW). In orbital welding, computer-controlled process runs with little intervention from the operator. The process is used specifically for high quality repeatable welding.
The orbital welding process was invented by Chief of Research, V.H. Pavlecka, and engineer Russ Meredith of Northrup Aircraft Inc. over 50 years ago to address the issue of operator error in GTAW