Esab to supply plasma-cutting systems for military efforts in Iraq.

FLORENCE, S.C. - Esab Welding and Cutting Products was the successful bidder for a major request for quotation issued by the U.S. Department of Defense. The request was for a five-year contract to supply the agency with hand-held plasma-cutting systems.

During the past few years, the department has awarded Esab with several individual contracts for approximately 1,500 PCM-875 plasma-cutting systems.

The start of the Iraq war increased the United States' need for plasma-cutting machines. The Defense Department is using Esab's plasma cutters to cut ballistic steel that repairs and armors military vehicles, especially Humvees. Esab anticipates orders to begin shipping almost immediately.

"Esab and its employees are very proud to be serving our forces overseas," said Andy Blanchard, president and CEO of Esab North America. "We are honored that our manual plasma-cutting products are being used to help keep the brave men and women serving our country safe."