In the mid-1960s IBM's Industrial Products Division offered electronics industry customers a low-cost, lightweight device to perform fast and flawless welds previously handled by expensive, cumbersome methods. The IBM PW 200 Percussive Welder incorporated the unique ability to ram materials together in electronic circuit wiring applications with a controlled velocity and in an automatic synchronization with the weld arc.
The PW 200 could produce more welds in less space; create welds stronger than the tensile strength of the wire joined; join dissimilar metals; eliminate most of the problems of surface contaminants; reduce heat-transfer and the possibility of damage to heat-sensitive components; and create welds that were resistant to vibration, shock, temperature and time.
The gun itself weighed one pound and featured a pistol-grip handle made of high-impact Fiberite. Together the gun and its case (which measured 3 ½ inches by 6 ¾ inches by one foot), weighed eight pounds, which made it ideal for use in remote or limited work areas. It required no meter reading, had a single control and operated from standard commercial power outlets.
The PW 200 permitted a higher packaging density of welds in micro-miniaturization work -- such as electronic equipment terminal welding, cable assembly work and numerous missile applications -- and produced grids as small as 0.050 inches by 0.0150 inches.