We can't talk about the history of Mirabel Industrial Welding Equipment without first talking about PowCon and Arcon. Our timeline starts with the invention of the first inverter welder in 1974.
1974 - The first inverter welder was developed by two
Swedish inventors - Goran Hedberg and Curt Hansson.
They founded a company called AB Svetsia in Goteborg,
Sweden, and began manufacturing the PowCon 400.
1975 - In order to expand the business, Svetsia received
funding from the Swedish Board for Technical
Development (STU). Their funding required the
company to market their product exclusively through
the Swedish welding equipment manufacturer, ESAB.
1976 - The ESAB LHG400, manufactured by Svetsia, was displayed at the Schweissen und Schneiden welding trade show in Essen, Germany.
1979 - Svetsia was sold to Pacific Lumber (which had acquired
Thermal Dynamics in 1977). The welder was produced in Hanover,
New Hampshire as part of Thermal Dynamics' line, and was renamed
the PowPak 400.
1982 - PowCon Corporation was formed, and production was moved to a
new 50,000 square foot plant in Tempe, Arizona. Goran Hedberg was the
Operations Manager. After helping with the move to Arizona, Curt Hansson left the company.
1984 - Goran left the company to become a Professor of Robotics at
Arizona State University.
1985 - PowCon Corporation merged with Cyclomatic Industries, another
Pacific Lumber company. Production was moved to San Diego, California. Later that year, Maxxam Group took over Pacific Lumber, and sold off the welding companies. PowCon was purchased by the CEO and President of PowCon Corporation, and PowCon, Inc. was formed.
1993-1995 - Illinois Tool Works entered the welding market by acquiring Miller Electric in 1993, PowCon Inc. in 1994, and Hobart Bros. in 1995. Technology was traded between the companies - Hobart Bros. began manufacturing the circuit boards for PowCon, and PowCon manufactured the Spectrum Plus for Miller Electric.
1998 - Illinois Tool Works closed PowCon, Inc. Goran Hedberg purchased some of the manufacturing equipment from PowCon. Arc Products, in San Diego, California took over warranty support and repair parts sales.
1999 - Goran Hedberg partnered with another Swedish business owner,
Gunnar Ennerfelt, to found Arcon Welding in Salisbury, Maryland.
Goran researched the most common failures in PowCon equipment, and
improved the design to eliminate those failures. The new product was
named the Workhorse. Goran also developed the Ironhorse, a welding
power supply for subway and rail systems that gets its power directly from
the third rail or catenary line, eliminating the need for a generator.
2001 - Mike Bell joined Arcon Welding, and worked with Goran on several
development projects, including the Studhorse - a drawn arc stud welding
2003 - Goran retired from Arcon, and later moved back to Sweden.
Gunnar's wife, Maggie Porter, who had been in charge of Sales at Arcon
since 2000, took Goran's place as co-owner of Arcon. Goran continued to
offer Engineering support for years to come.
2010 - Gunnar's daughter, Katarina Ennerfelt, joined Arcon as President.
2012 - Arc Products was acquired by Lincoln Electric. The remaining PowCon
parts were sold to Arcon Welding.
2014 - Arcon Welding Services Training Center was founded to support the
need for certified welders in Maryland by providing welding training courses.
Arcon Welding changed its name to Arcon Welding Equipment.
2016 - Arcon Welding Equipment discontinued support for PowCon, and liquidated the remaining parts stock. Mike Bell acquired a small portion of the parts. Most of the parts were scrapped or disposed of.
2018 - Goran Hedberg passed away at the age of 78. In Goran's honor, Mike Bell founded Legacy Welder Repair, a company focused on supporting PowCon users by selling the few remaining PowCon parts and offering troubleshooting support, with plans to produce aftermarket repair parts when the existing stock runs out.
2019 - Gunnar Ennerfelt passed away at the age of 83.
MIRABEL INDUSTRIAL WELDING EQUIPMENT
2019 - Mirabel Industrial Welding Equipment was founded by Mike Bell.
2020 - Mirabel purchased the welder manufacturing operation from Arcon Welding Equipment, and took over warranty support. Arcon Welding Equipment became Arcon Training Center, and began preparations to provide safety training in support of the coming Offshore Wind projects.
2021 - Much more to come!