Welding Processes Made Simple.
Welcome to most authoritative global web site on MIG, Flux Cored, TIG and TIP TIG weld process controls and best weld practices. This site simplifies the weld data and the weld process controls, and best weld practice requirement. The site also provides the self teaching and training resources that are necessary for a weld department to consistently attain the highest possible, manual and robot, weld quality, always of course at the lowest possible weld costs. The site was established around 1998 by Ed Craig. Please refresh the page if you are a frequent visitor. You can contact E Craig at email@example.com.
MIG, Flux Cored, TIG & TIP TIG, Weld Process Controls & Best Weld Practices
The manager may ask the right question,
but will rarely be aware of the right solution.
TOO MANY GLOBAL MANAGERS SEARCH FOR A
- 2017. The MIG and Gas Shielded Flux Cored processes have for decades accounted for approx. 80 to 85% of the world’s daily welds produced, and GTAW and TIP TIG are the weld processes of choice when optimum weld quality is required especially with alloy welds. With the world’s four most important weld processes, It’s common to find the following in global weld shops;
- Experienced engineers, technicians and weld personnel that too frequently “Play Around” with two simple MIG or Flux Cored weld controls, yet these are two weld controls that have hardly changed in decades.
- TIG welders using incorrect tungsten size & type. Not being aware of optimum weld amp settings & using incorrect weld techniques.
- Weld shops that use the stick and TIG for code welds, and are not aware that for more than a decade the TIP TIG process has been available.
Note: It would take me only 15 minutes in any global weld shop to prove that on 99% of all steel and alloy steel weld applications, that the majority of the costly weld equipment products purchased provide no real value to the weld shops. The electronic weld equipment has certainly increased profits to both the weld equipment / consumable manufactures and distributors, and wait till you see the cost of the weld equip. repairs.
- Too many front office weld decision makers think it’s the norm to spend their days running around trying to quench weld shop fires, or they simply will sit by their computers, unaware of the benefits of the Weld Process Controls and Best Weld Practices. Expertise that could quickly enable their organizations achieve considerable weld cost savings.
- TIG welders who have been TIG welding steels and alum. for years, yet both they and the front office personnel don’t understand the benefits of Balanced Waves, Hz and pulsed controls when its provided on their equipment.
- Weld decision makers who do not know their real Weld Costs, and instead focus on the weld consumable costs which typically account for 15 to 20% of their weld costs. If decision makers are not aware of the optimum weld process requirements and weld deposition rate potentials for their common manual and automated welds, then controlling weld costs will not be possible.
Note: In the hundreds of companies that I visited in 13 countries, I never talked to a single key front office weld decision maker who knew the real weld costs of the common daily welds they produced.
- Its a sad comment that in North America 2017, for those weld shops that TIG weld, yet the management, engineers and supervision is not aware of the TIP TIG process. This is a process that I introduced to N. America and Australia over a decade ago. The GTAW reality is, by using TIP TIG, one welder can produce the work of three traditional TIG welders, and at the same time dramatically improve the TIG weld quality and the weld / part metallurgical properties.
If you own an American car or truck, as you drive over
pot holes, please give give consideration to your
questionable robot MIG welded frame & axles.
Now that would be a novelty,
PROCESS OWNERSHIP – RESPONSIBILITY?
Throughout the global weld industry you will often hear corporate and plant managers complain about having to compete with much lower labor costs from other locations or countries. The irony is that the majority of these executives will not be aware of the weld process control – best practice expertise that’s lacking within their organization.
IN 2014, 60 MILLION VEHICLES WERE RECALLED IN THE USA, A PRETTY STAGGERING FIGURE FOR A COUNTRY THAT PRIDES ITSELF ON IT’S ENGINEERING / MFG. EXPERTISE, A COUNTRY THAT PRODUCES ON AVERAGE 14 TO 17 MILLION VEHICLES PER-YEAR.
Most of the major auto / truck recall defects will typically be the result of a poor decision made by a designer, manager, engineer. It’s anticipated that the latest vehicle recall costs for the auto industry, and the resulting long term law suites that will likely result could be some where between 10 to 20 billion dollars. The extraordinary loss of potential profit for the USA auto industry should be difficult to grasp in a manufacturing industry that is seen to be top heavy with university educated managers and engineers, an industry that has also in the last few decades spent billions of dollars implementing a variety of Quality Control Programs and mfg. Standards.
Photo below: Ed providing a two day Robot MIG Best Practices – Process Control Training program for robot technicians at a USA Magna plant. Magna is one the world’s largest auto / truck part suppliers. More than a decade has passed, and in 2017 decade most Magna mfg. managers, engineers and supervisors would not be aware that their robot technicians lack robot weld process control – best practice expertise. Click Here.
2017: A lack of in depth weld process control knowledge, yet super confident in their ability to work with that process, is today an attribute that’s common with many young robot weld technicians.
Its easy to train young people who were suckled on a lap top to program a robots movements and become a robot technician. however the reality is that the majority of of global robot arc weld technicians are simply not aware of the required robot MIG Weld Process Controls and Best Weld Practice expertise that should be daily applied in their robot cells.
WHEN TECHNICIANS LACK A REQUIRED MFG. EXPERTISE, THAT DEFICIENCY LIES WITH THE RESPONSIBLE MANAGERS.
How do you define robot process optimization?
MESSAGE TO COMPANIES THAT SUPPLY ROBOT WELDED PARTS.
The best thing that the engineering management at Magna did for their robot welds was to provide parts to be welded that actually met their design dimension tolerance requirements. This by the way was one of the first companies that I had ever seen in the auto – truck industry that had the engineering stamping / metal forming ability to provide decent part fit for their robot welds.
When gauge parts to be welded do not have dimensional and fit issues, and the parts are optimum robot MIG welds, then those parts should have few weld issues. With good part FIT, it’s easy for under qualified robot technicians to attain respectable robot weld quality / productivity with the common process data used in the plants. However the weld reality for most plants, is in most instances the robot technicians that are daily making the robot weld changes are;
- rarely attaining the best possible consistent weld quality, as viewed by weld macros. rejects and rework.
- spending too much time on robot weld cell down time issues, problems that should be instantly resolved,
- spending too much time in weld meetings. If there is not a process expert at the table, then you know what BS to expect,
- are simply not aware of the weld speed or true weld production potential for the welds and parts.
With the above situations, it’s rare for the Mfg. plants to attain minimum robot down times and attaining the highest possible weld quality – productivity. So the reality is most (not all) global robot weld techs have like many others in the weld industry, have become “Play Around” technicians. And what is the response from the front office, these guys, (women have more sense) will simply add more manual welders to deal with the robot weld rework – reject issues. As for daily attaining the required robot weld productivity, when that plan goes out of the door, the managers solution will be either order more robots or simply increase the weld shop overtime.
Now that I have finished with the management – supervision – engineer criticism, If you are not to pissed off and wish to use my highly effective Seven Step Robot MIG Weld Process Control – Best Practice program to teach your self, or to train your employees Click Here.
WELD OWNERSHIP – ACCOUNTABILITY – RESPONSIBILITY?
This manager would be a rare find.
MANAGEMENT & LACK OF WELD PROCESS OWNERSHIP.
In the auto – truck industry, and in other large industries that have “multi-plant” weld / mfg. facilities, you will frequently find both corporate and plant manufacturing managers that operate their business from their office computers and I-Phones. Unfortunately from a weld perspective, few of the responsible corporate and plant managers will comprehend the manual / robot weld process controls – best practice expertise that’s required for the responsible personnel in their plants. This is the way it’s been for the 50 years that I have been in this business.
The good news for management, engineers and supervisors is that the weld process expertise and best practices required will fit inside most brains, especially those brains that have an interest on the subject. You may also be interested to note that for three decades, I have driven myself to simplify these programs. The bottom line is, if you can tell the time, you can use my CLOCK method to learn the requirements for MIG and flux cored weld process controls.
THE CALIBER OF WELD MANAGEMENT IS OFTEN REVEALED IN THE PLANT’S JOB DESCRIPTIONS. The lack of process control – best practice expertise of managers, supervisors and engineers will often be evident by the common, lack of, or poor plant job descriptions for the employees that work with the arc welding processes.
With the robot welds, the typical global job descriptions too often indicate that the managers do not comprehend the Robot Weld Process Control and Best Practices expertise that is required by their plant engineers, robot technicians, supervisors and maintenance personnel. Also a reflection of management expertise is seen in the too common poor utilization of robots. It’s the norm in many auto – truck plants, for managers to order new robot weld cells, while from both a MIG & Resistance weld quality – productivity perspective, the robots in their plants have always been under utilized.
Great ABB robot MIG weld application below. However the fire works display reveals the too common poor robot robot MIG weld settings, evident by the lack of control of the arcs and the excess weld spatter.
IT DEFEATS THE PURCHASE OF AN ARC WELDING ROBOT TO ALLOW SOMEONE TO OPERATE THAT ROBOT AND THAT PERSON LACKS WELD PROCESS CONTROL – BEST WELD PRACTICE EXPERTISE.
A few reasons for poor ROBOT MIG weld results;
- The lack of management – engineer awareness of the real robot weld productivity potential for the welds and parts produced.
- The lack of management – engineering knowledge about the importance of the weld process controls and best weld practices that are necessary to consistently attain optimum weld quality.
- The unnecessary robot cell down time that occurs each shift. In many plants 30 to 60 minutes per-robot each shift is the norm.
- The too common poor engineering – mfg. practices that deliver robot welded parts that are not in accordance with the part design tolerances.
- Few designers understand the weld processes they recommend to weld their parts, and the frequent poor design of robot welded parts is all the evidence you will need on that subject.
- Poor fixture design that does not allow optimum gun positions are common and add to the robot issues.
- The selection of equipment in the cell that contains useless bells and whistles, or the lack of incorrect weld equipment and consumables.
- Poor robot cell maintenance and unqualified maintenance personnel making changes to so called qualified welds.
- Robot cell purchase orders that lack the appropriate weld automation demands that can ensure the daily robot weld production / quality goals are met .
BELOW: A FEW OF THE ROBOT WELD QUALITY PRODUCTIVITY BENEFITS THAT COMPANIES
E-Mail from R Good at Dana USA.
Jan 2007: Ed. I wanted to send update about that E-Town DANA plant that you visited a few years ago:,
As you know on your first visit to this plant, our robot MIG welding lines were producing less than 40 Ford F-150 truck frames per-hour and over 90% required extensive weld rework.
Thanks to your Robot Weld Process Control Best Practice Training program, and the weld process and consumable changes that you recommended and we implemented, the robot weld results from our employees today are staggering. Yesterday this plant hit very close to a record of 76 frames per hour. We daily now attain our average goal of one frame per-minute. We have had two recent weld audits, one audit found a total of two failures, and the 2nd weld audit was the first 100% pass weld audit in the history of our Ford F-150 line. We have now implemented your robot weld process recommendations in five of our USA plants.
Many thanks from Ryan Good, a very grateful DANA engineer and thanks from a grateful DANA Corporation.
Note DANA is a tier one supplier and world leader in the supply of drive line products such as axles, drive shafts, and transmissions and power technologies for light- and heavy-duty vehicles. DANA employs approximately 22,500 people in 26 countries and in 2010 had sales of $6.1 billion.
Johnson Controls Mexico:
When the new VW Beetle was introduced, the contract for the Beetle seat frames was given to Johnson Controls (JC) Mexico. For many months, JC was having problems with it’s new robot Beetle seat welds. These welds were being carried out in accordance with the robot weld requirements from VW Germany. The German MIG parameters were too low effecting both the weld quality and robot productivity. I was asked by JC to help resolve their many robot issues. In 3 days at the Mexican plants I completely changed the robot weld program and the weld transfer modes and parameters. I increased the daily robot shift weld production by 40% and eliminated the weld rework. As for the weld quality I attained. In 1999 – 2000, the USA Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, rated the car seats that I provided the data for, as the most durable of all in the small cars they had ever crash tested.
Viza makes auto – truck seats for Toyota, Renault, Citroen, BMW and others. The president of Viza requested that I come to Spain which I jumped at as it was certainly much more pleasant than going to Detroit. He wanted me to resolve his companies robot seat welds and establish my Best Weld Practices / Robot Process Controls for his companies new robot MIG weld lines. In two weeks I established highly success robot weld quality – productivity results. And then trained the Spanish employees with my robot MIG weld process control training program. A few years later I was requested to return by Viza for the start up of two more new plants, one in Spain and the other in Eastern Europe.
E-Mail. Ed as you know Tenneco has plants all over the world. We and especially Monroe Shocks which is one of our companies have been very enlightened by your ” Robot MIG Weld Process Control Training Resources.
Regards. Tom Plummer: Tenneco. USA. 2007.
Caterpillar and Elgin USA.
E-Mail: Hello Ed. In the past I purchased your manual MIG welding process control – best practice training resource for Caterpillar plants and more recently I purchased your Robotic MIG process control training package for Elgin Sweeper Company here in Illinois. Em your programs worked wonderfully at Caterpillar. We were very successful after implementing your Best Weld Practices and Process Control Training. Thanks to your resources and equipment and consumable recommendations, our manual and robot MIG weld quality – productivity results are now outstanding. All the best EC. Joe Cukierski…Weld Manufacturing Engineer.
Elgin Sweeper Company.
From setting optimum welds for the worlds largest producer of power plant boilers or providing the robot welds for the small Caterpiller trucks below, its all the same to Ed. The botton line is when you have weld process control expertise you can on any application produce the highest possible weld quality at the lowest possible weld costs
|Ed established the original ABB robot MIG Process Control and Best Robot MIG Weld Practice data for the worlds largest trucks made by Caterpillar.|
If you want Bovine Fecal Matter you know who to call and its not Ghost Busters. The good thing about that weld salesman apart from buying lunch and supplying donuts, he often provides a crutch for the inexperienced weld decision makers at the plants.
He looks the part. but
you know what’s missing.
FOR GOD SAKE ITS YOUR WELD SHOP, TAKE CONTROL OF THE PROCESSES THAT CREATE YOUR PROFITS.
If you were to examine the resumes of the typical weld distributor reps or the reps from Lincoln, Miller, ESAB, Panasonic, Fanuac, Motoman or Cloos, you would likely find that in most instances, these individuals have never run a weld shop, yet these personnel will be ready to provide all types of weld / application advice, and these characters may become the most widely used process resource for the inexperiences weld shop managers, engineers and supervisors.
LOOKING FOR EXPERIENCED PRACTICAL ADVICE ON WELD EQUIPMENT AND CONSUMABLES. I HAVE AN EXTENSIVE EVALUATIONS OF WELD EQUIPMENT / CONSUMABLES AT THIS SITE AND ALSO THIS INFO IS PART OF MY PROCESS CONTROL – BEST PRACTICE TRAINING PROGRAMS:
WE ALL KNOW THIS.. MILLIONS OF DOLLARS ARE LOST DAILY IN WELD SHOPS ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY PUT THE WELDS ON, THEN GRIND THE WELD OFF. In the global weld shops, in which the front office personnel lack the process expertise to take full ownership, accountability and responsibility for the MIG / Flux Cored equipment and consumables utilized, you will find especially with the weld personnel that play around with the weld controls, that a critical tool required is called a GRINDER. In these weld shops, one job thing that the management and supervision will do well, is to ensure that their play around welders do not run out of the never ending grinding discs that are required..
If it takes anyone more than 5 minutes to work out the cost of any MIG – Flux Cored or TIG weld, they don’t have weld process control expertise.
WHILE MIG – FLUX CORED WELD PROCESS AND WELD COST CONFUSION IS THE NORM FOR THE MAJJORITY OF GLOBAL PLANTS, IT’S ALSO A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR INTERESTED MANAGEMENT TO START ON A PATH TO PROVIDING EXTENSIVE WELD COST REDUCTIONS AND INCREASED WELD PROFITS.
THE COMMON FOCUS ON WELD COSTS IS USUALLY IN THE WRONG PLACE.. In the majority of MIG – Flux Cored weld shops, the management “focus will usually be on the costs of the weld consumables utilized” consumables such as the weld wires, the gas mixes and of course those costly grinding wheels. In North America, the MIG – Flux Cored steel wires and gas mixes typically account for only 15 – 18% of the actual daily weld costs.
If front office personnel are not focussed on the weld knowledgable required for weld process optimization, it’s impossible for these personnel to fully control their weld costs, and therefore it’s impossible for their company to optimize the profits that are attainable from the weld shop.
What other tech industry do you know that when they cannot ANSWER A WELD PROCESS QUESTION OR PROVIDE A WELD RESOLUTION, THEY PICK UP THE PHONE AND ASK A SALESMAN?
YOU WANT WELD ADVICE? YOU COULD ASK A USED CAR SALES MAN, A SALESMAN WHO SELLS FURNITURE AT SEARS, OR A WELD SALESMAN, IN MOST INSTANCES IT REALLY MAKES LITTLE DIFFERENCE AS THE BOVINE FECAL MATTER IS SURE TO EVENTUALLY FLOW. THE ONE DIFFERENCE IT DOES MAKE, IS THERE WILL ALWAYS BE A STEEP PRICE PAID FOR A COMPANY THAT HAS WELD DECISION MAKERS THAT NEED THAT OUTSIDE CRUTCH.
IN A WELD SHOP IN WHICH A GOOD PORTION OF THE MANAGERS, ENGINEERS, SUPERVISORS AND TECHNICIANS
OFTEN HAVE TO RELY ON SALESMAN FOR PROCESS GUIDANCE, IT SHOULD BE NO SURPRISE TO FIND;
 THE WELD SHOP INNUNDATED WITH WELD PROCESS MYTHS – HYPE AND CONFUSION.
 A VARIETY OF POOR UNECESSARY WELD EQUIPMENT LOADED WITH USELESS BELLS AND WHISTLES.
 A WELD SHOP THATS FOREVER LOOKING FOR A MAGIC SOLUTION FROM ONE OF THE AVAILABLE
AND MOST OFTEN USELESS 40 MIG GAS MIXES.
 A WELD SHOP THAT ALWAYS HAS MORE WELD PROCEDURES THAN IT REQUIRES.
 A WELD SHOP IN WHICH THE TECHNICAL PEOPLE HAVE TO WORK EXCESS HOURS AS THEIR COMPANY IS ALWAYS IN THE FIRE MANS MODE AND THE TECS DONT HAVE THE EXPERTISE NECESSARY TO CREATE A CALM CONTROLLED ENVIROMENT.
 A WELD SHOP IN WHICH WELD REWORK / REJECTS ARE CONSIDERED A NORMAL PART OF PRODUCTION.
 A WELD SHOP THAT USES THE WRONG SIZE MIG WIRES, OR COSTLY CORED WIRES WHEN THE LOWER COST CORRECT SIZE MIG WIRES COULD HAVE BEEN MORE PRODUCTIVE.
WELD SHOPS SUCH AS THESE HAVE TO PRODUCE EXTENSIVE WELD COST REPERCUSSIONS. THEY ARE SHOPS THAT SHOULD ALWAYS LOOK OVER THEIR SHOULDER FOR WELD FAILURE LIABILTY CONSEQUENCES. THEY ARE WELD SHOPS IN WHICH THE MANAGEMENT / SUPERVISION NEED TO GET A GRIP. THE GOOD NEWS FOR THESE SHOPS IS THERE WILL ALSO BE GREAT POTENTIAL FOR WELD QUALITY IMPROVEMENTS AND WELD COST REDUCTIONS.
YOU CAN NEVER REPEAT THIS ENOUGH: Why would any weld shop mgr. engineer, supervisor, technician or QA person, that is hired in a position of weld responsibility, allow the weld personnel they work with to “play around” and not optimize the daily MIG – Flux Cored weld? . Especially when for the costs of a few dollars, they could provide them selves and their employees with the process control programs at this site.
PROCESS CONTROL EXPERTISE PROVIDES MORE THAN WELD QUALITY PRODUCTIVITY IMPROVEMENTS.
Perhaps you are a manager, engineer, supervisor, technician, or a weld person that believes your career weld prospects could improve with Weld Process Control – Best Weld Practice knowledge. Or perhaps you are a manufacturing engineer, supervisor, technician or god help us a manager that wants to optimize your companies manual or robot, MIG – FCA weld quality and productivity. If so please take a moment to review my MIG and – Flux Cord Weld Process Controls and Best Weld Practice resources.
The following is what you will find at this weldreality Home Page.
 MILLIONS OF DOLLARS WASTED DAILY: You may want to know the reasons the global weld industry annually wastes hundreds of millions of dollars on the purchase of useless, two and three part gas mixes, costly flux cored and metal cored wires, and costly MIG equipment that’s mostly loaded with useless, electronic bells and whistles.
 WHAT SKILLED WELDER SHORTAGE?: In the fifty years i have been in this business, I have trained > 5000 personnel in how to optimize MIG – flux cored welds. Myself or the trainers – engineers or other personnel that I trained, could take an individual who has never welded, and using my simplified weld process training resources in approx. 40 – 60 hrs, have them pass any MIG – Flux Cored, AWS – ASME – API or ABS code weld qualification requirement. With this in mind you cannot pick up an engineering magazine in the last decade, and find some inexperienced weld shop executive complaining about their concerns for finding skilled MIG or Flux Cored welders.
 WHEN MIG – FLUX CORED WELD COSTS ARE NOT FULLY UNDERSTOOD, HOW CAN A WELD SHOP PRODUCE THE LOWEST WELD COSTS AND MAXIMIZE IT’S DAILY WELD PROFITS?: If the weld decision makers are not optimizing their weld processes to attain the full weld quality – productivity potential, they simply cannot be in control of their daily weld costs. In the majority of global weld shops, you may not want to go looking for anyone in weld supervision or management that could in two minutes work out the real cost of their most common MIG or flux cored welds.
Note: My process training resources simplify how to figure out weld costs
|2016: For almost two decades, most of the global high tech industries and weld shops have been stuck in the welding dark ages..|
|2016: When will managers / engineers and QA personnel wake up to the fact that in the last two decades the important TIG process evolved into a far superior process called TIP TIG?|
THE LACK OF WELD PROCESS KNOWLEDGE – EXPERTISE DOES NOT JUST APPLY TO MIG AND FLUX CORED WELDS.
2016: The TIG (GTAW) process has always been considered the process of choice for code, high quality welds and especially with welds on costly alloy applications. The TIG process with deposition rates typically lower than 1.5 lb/hr is also painfully slow process. The slow TIG weld travel rates will often create excess weld heat something few alloys benefit from. The traditional manula TIG process is considered the most difficult process to learn especially with pipe welds. As a result of the high skills required TIG welders are often the highest paid welders with a process that each hour delivers poor weld deposition rates.
The traditioonal TIG weld quality and the part / weld metallurgy and productivity is dramatically improved with the much easier to use TIP TIG process. TIP TIG is a process invented in Austria. This is a process that I along with my business partner Tom, introduced to the USA, Canada and Australia many years ago.
TIP TIG dramatically reduces the skills required and is simple operate especially on all position pipe welds.
TIP TIG enables a 200 – 500 percent increase in hourly weld productivity, imagine the reduced labor costs.
TIP TIG provides higher energy, agitated weld pools that provide unique weld quality benefits.
TIP TIG with higher deposition and EN polarity, provides welds / parts with the lowest possible weld heat.
TIP TIG is not only a great manual process it provides numerous automated – roboit TIG benefits.
It’s again a sad reflection that in a high tech country like the USA, few managers or engineers in the defence, aerospace, energy, power, oil, nuclear companies who rely on the TIG process, will have heard about a weld process that soon will have been around for two decades.
|WELD INSPECTORS OFFER LITTLE VALUE TO THE WELD SHOP IF THEY LACK THE WELD PROCESS CONTROL – BEST WELD PRACTICE EXPERTISE THAT CAN HELP PREVENT WELD DEFECTS AND THE COSTLY WELD REWORK.|
Anyone with a few days training can judge the external quality of a weld and in a white coat walk around the shop providing criticism. Also the AWS will ensure that anyone with a little weld shop experience and more than a thousand plus dollars for its none profit vault in Miami can become an AWS weld inspector.
The question management needs to ask, apart from the crutch they provide, what benefit can be derived from these personnel in the weld shop?
WELD INSPECTORS… IN MOST GLOBAL PLANTS, A DAILY FUNCTION FOR WELD INSPECTORS IS TO SEE THAT THE WELDS ARE MADE TO CODES / SPECIFICATIONS IN WHICH THE CODE BODY TYPICALLY CLEARLY SPELLS OUT ON THE FRONT PAGE OF IT’S SPEC, THAT IT TAKES NO RESPONSIBILTY FOR THEIR WELD INFORMATION IN THE RECOMMENDATIONS PROVIDED. ANOTHER DAILY FUNCTION OF THE WELD INSPECTOR IS TO DO A VISUAL INSPECTION AND IDENTIFY UNNACEPTABLE WELD DEFECTS, WHICH THEY OFTEN DO AFTER THE PARTS WELDED ARE COMPLETE.
WELD INPECTION LOGIC: . A GOOD MANAGER WORTH A PINCH OF SALT WOULD ENSURE THEIR WELDERS WOULD NOT WALK AWAY FROM A PART THAT REVEALS ANY VISIBLE WELD DEFECTS.
WELD QA MANAGEMENT LOGIC: WHEN WELD INSPECTORS ARE A NECESSITY, IT WOULD BE LOGICAL FOR THE QA MANAGER TO PROVIDE THERE PERSONNEL AND THEMSELVES WITH SOMETHING OF REAL VALUE FOR THEIR ORGANIZATIONS ITS CALLED, WELD PROCESS CONTROL – BEST PRACTICE TRAINING.
NOT PROVIDED ELSEWHERE: MY PROCESS CONTROL SELF TEACHING / TRAINING PROGRAMS ARE NOT PROVIDED BY ANY CODE ORGANIZATIONS, BY ANY COMMUNITY COLLEGES OR EVEN BY THE GLOBAL UNIVERSITIES THAT TEACH WELD ENGINEERS.
COST EFFECTIVE INSPECTION: WITH A FEW HOURS, MY PROGRAMS WOULD GIVE THE INSPECTION PERSONNEL TO EXPERTISE NECESSARY TO HELP PREVENT WELD DEFECTS, WHICH HAS TO BE A MUCH MORE COST EFFECTIVE APPROACH THEN SIMPLY FINDING WELD DEFECTS.
WHY GET PISSED OF AT THE MESSENGER? AS FOR THOSE WELD INSPECTORS THAT SIMPLY LIKE TO CRITICIZE WELDS WITHOUT HAVING PROCESS SOLUTIONS, THOSE ARE WELD INSPECTORS WITHOUT AN INTEREST IN WELD PROCESS CONTROLS / WELD BEST PRACTICES WITH THE PROCESSES THAT THEY AND THEIR COMPANIES DERIVE A LIVING FROM.
FROM MY PERSPECTIVE, AS WE USED TO SAY IN MANCHESTER, UK, THEY ARE AS AS USELESS AS A FART IN THE WIND.
Check out all my Process Controls – Best Weld Practice Self Teaching / Training programs..
The salesman, always a valuable CRUTCH for
THE FIRST STEP TO CUTTING OUT THE COMMON BOVINE FECAL MATTER AND WELD PROCESS MYTHS THAT PREVAILS IN MANY WELD SHOPS, IS FOR SOMEONE IN THE FRONT OFFICE TO RECOGNIZE WHAT IS WELD REALITY AND WHAT WELD PROCESS CONTROLS AND BEST WELD PRACTICES ARE.
As in 1985, as it still is three decades later in 2016, the best possible, manual and robot “carbon or alloy steels” MIG welds, simply require a low cost, traditional CV MIG weld power source, a two part argon 2 – 20% CO2 gas mix, and the selection of the “correct” type and size of MIG wire. With the robot welds of course an important requirement was the power source has a control so it could communicated with the robot. and the individual responsible for the robot cell had robot programming training. Also and mostly overlooked, this individual was provided with MIG Weld Process Control & Best MIG Weld Practice Training”.
With robot welds, in the last two decades, robot manufactures have strived to improve both their weld soft ware and robot cell hard ware and also tried to improve the robot to power source communications. Now in 2016, in most robot cells, we have unnecessary, highly sophisticated, electronic MIG equipment with a built in interface. From my five decades of MIG weld equipment evaluation, in general, the majority of the electronics introduced into today’s most sophisticated pulsed MIG equipment have created NO STEELS OR ALLOY STEELS, WELD QUALITY – PRODUCTIVITY BENEFITS. However these electronics have created numerous headaches as discussed at this site in the MIG equipment, pulsed process and robot weld sections. See all weld programs..
ED AT A TIER ONE CAR SEAT MFG IN SPAIN. HE HAD TO WORK WITH THE USELESS ELECTRONIC BELLS AND WHISTLES ON THE MILLER MIG POWER SOURCE THAT WAS IN THE ROBOT CELLS. THIS POWER SOURCE AS IT HAD DONE FOR YEARS PROVIDED NO WELD BENEFITS ONLY WELD ISSUES FOR THE SPANISH CAR SEAT MFG AND OTHERS.
So that costly robot cell sits there with it’s electronic pulsed MIG power source which is typically loaded with useless, electronic bells and whistles. This of course pushes up the MIG weld equip prices, reduces the MIG equipment durability, adds to the MIG equip repair complexity, and brings another weld transfer mode to a shop that rarely has figured out how to optimize the other two weld transfer modes, short circuit and spray.
As a purchaser of robot weld equipment, reading this will do little to change things, I simply want you to be aware that you don’t have to buy into the electronic MIG equipment BS that proliferates. Also when managers do get sold on this type of equipment they then tend to purchase this costly and again unnecessary weld equipment for the manual welders in the shop. The weld reality is this. I could demonstrate in approx. 10 minutes that a CV MIG power which usually costs <$3000, can for steel and alloy steel welds, provide the same quality and often higher weld productivity that that attained from the electronic MIG units that costs three to five times as much.
WELD REPAIRS. A SUBJECT RARELY TALKED ABOUT, AND USUALLY ABUSED IN THE AUTO – TRUCK INDUSTRY.
One way to benefit from the my process control self teaching / training programs. Lets say you have a large number of robots and in each robot cell there was either an expensive Fronius, Miller or Lincoln Power Wave MIG unit. Lets also say you were using either an 0.045 – 0.052 or 0.062 (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.6 mm) MIG wire. It’s very common with auto part suppliers (big and small), that when they order robot cells to also order the same or similar MIG equipment and consumables for their weld repair stations. Frequently they will use the same size MIG weld wire in the repair station as used on the robot lines. We have potential here on the next robot order to lower the weld repair costs, and also improve the repair weld quality.
As most of you are aware, most auto part weld repairs are made in small weld areas with very short arc on times. Most MIG weld on weld repairs will require high energy welds. Using the smaller 0.035 (1mm) wire allows higher current density. This wire can be set for low / high end spray settings, or welding gaps, with high end short circuit settings. When set correctly the settings should not create weld spatter concerns. With the 0.035 wire, the best possible MIG power source is a low cost 250 amp CV MIG power source, (approve. $2000 – $3000, wire feed included). This power source, wire size combination will provide with the majority of weld applications superior weld results than that which can be attained with the much higher cost pulsed MIG units and the larger MIG wire diameters. Yes a little MIG process training is required (should be provided any way). The training typically takes a day, but the savings can be considerable, the weld repairs more meaningful and weld management is doing it’s job. Of course that process control – best weld practice training will also ensure the highest possible robot weld quality and productivity with the least amount of robot weld repairs and down time.
Note: In the 1990s, while I was the Robot Weld Manager for the North American ABB Robot Weld Div, Miller Electric senior executives informed ABB management that they wanted to stop selling their Delta Weld 450A power sources, they were complaining about their costs to build. The Delta Weld has been for decades and still is in 2016, the best available global MIG power source. For years we had in the ABB robot weld division been highly successful with hundreds of applications with this power source which for robots was sold with a separate electrical robot interface. The Miller executives wanted use to use their much inferior electronic Invision or Maxtron power sources, (cant remember at this time which one). The Miller Delta Weld units were very well built, easy to repair and from a weld performance perspective this equip provided the optimum slope, (volt – amp curve) for the majority of weld applications. While I was the ABB robot weld mgr, I let Miller know these units would always be my first choice for any manual or robot MIG application. I advised the ABB CEO to inform Miller that if we had to stop using their superior CV Miller Delta Weld equip for their unstable, erratic, poor performing electronic Invision or Maxtron power sources, then we would likely have to look to another MIG equipment manufacturer to supply us with MIG equipment.
In the 1990s, ABB was the prime source for robots to the world’s largest robot user, a tier one company called A.O.Smith. With over 1000 robots in it’s plants, this companies engineers (many attended my robot process control training program) and myself were well aware of what MIG power source was optimum for robot steel applications. The Miller Delta Weld with its optimum slope was the perfect MIG power source in the 1990s, and is still the best MIG power source available for manual and automated steel MIG welds in 2016.
THE WELD REALITY.. IN 2016, with the general lack of MIG process expertise and the lack of ability to judge the performance requirements of an optimum MIG power source, unfortunately most global robot MIG cells end up with inferior performing, over priced MIG power sources that typically will be full of useless electronic bells and whistles that offer have a poor slope and provide no weld benefits. This inferior weld equipment wil however shorten the equipment life and when issues occur with those useless electronics the result is confusion for the maintenance dept.
The selection of optimum Robot MIG weld data, (without playing around with the controls) is made simple with my Robot Best Weld Practices and Weld Process Control Training – Self Teaching / Training Programs.
MIG POWER SOURCE CONSIDERATIONS THAT POSSIBLY SOME MGR MAY BE INTERESTED IN.
I would guess with the gas shielded flux cored process, that the majority of consumables used in 2016 were developed and tested on traditional CV MIG equipment that has hardly changed in 60 years. This important process daily accounts for approx. 10 – 15 % of the global welds produced. What most people who make welding decisions are not aware of is when you use;
 Multi-Process MIG equipment,
 Pulsed MIG equipment for gas the shielded flux cored welds, you are using inferior equipment that does not provide the the same slope output as conventional CV units. Usually with these 3 types of weld equipment, typically for a given wire feed setting you will get less current than that attained with a good CV unit. This means the newer equipment could be contributing to less weld fusion, increased slag entrapment and increased porosity.
THE USA OR CHINA. WELD BS IS WELD BS....Chinese mfg.. companies seem to have a difficult time making Wallmart steel can openers or steel nails that don’t bend under a hammer blow. So when Chinese construction companies are asked to build any large scale projects involving extensive use of steels and welds, no one should be surprised if the responsible CHINESE ENGINEERS ON THE CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS EVER REPORT THE “REAL WORLD WELD QUALITY RESULTS”.
The sad, apathetic, engineering – weld issues that I saw with the cored process during the weld construction at the Bejing Olympic Stadium (below), happens every day on large construction projects and ship yards around the globe.
For those that may have wondered why the modern day buildings collapsed during the small earth quake at Northridge California, take a time out. click here, and find out how the management / engineering lack of self shielded flux cored weld process expertise combined with ignorant politicians and companies that do no take responsibilyu can create legal liability diversions, and as in this remarkable case, actually create new, ridiculous FEMA weld specifications..
Will the extremely poor quality cored welds that were made on the construction of the Beijing, Birds Nest, Olympic Stadium, mean that one day this unique designed steel structure will turn into a Spiders Web Trap for the stadium spectators?
GREAT STADIUM DESIGN, PATHETIC CHINESE CONSTRUCTION PRACTICES AND SOME OF THE WORLD’S WORSE WELDS..
Written by E Craig.
Aug. 2. 2008.
The five hundred million dollar, Beijing, Olympic stadium was built on top of an earth quake fault. The steel stadium is wrapped in a unique designed, high strength steel cocoon that weighs approx. 45,000 tons. While the world’s focus was on the artistic design of this stadium, my focus was on the sad weld engineering practices that were used to build it.
At the end of July, two weeks before the 91,000 seat stadium was ready to host the 2008 Olympics, I sat in front of my TV and watched a Discovery Channel program about the stadium construction. The steel Bird’s Nest design is without question a steel wonder to behold, however having a more than slight interest in welding fabrication you know where my focus was. While I watched the TV show that showed the construction, I did not like what I saw that was going on with the on site welders and their welds and I certainly knew that what the chief engineer at the site was saying about the welds, was simply a load of rubbish.
May. 2009. Beijing Update: Check out what’s happening to this Chinese stadium, nine months after Ed wrote his opinions on the poor welds and construction at the Birds Nest stadium.
I HAVE A QUESTION FOR MILLER – LINCOLN – ESAB AND PANASONIC MANAGEMENT, I WONT HOLD MY BREATH WAITING FOR A REPLY?
So the weld equipment mfg. promotes and sells useless electronic BELLS AND WHISTLES IN THEIR MIG EQUIPMENT. The weld equipment mfg. is aware (or is not aware) that their power source electronics offers no real world weld benefits, or that the power source electronics is negatively influencing the weld equipment durability and the end users MIG or FCA weld quality / productivity. These guys rarely if ever recall this MIG equipment, or notify the end user. Should the purchaser of the weld equipment sue the weld equipment mfg? JUST ASKING.
2015.. Major MIG equipment manufacturers like MILLER, ESAB, LINCOLN AND PANASONIC CONTINUE TO ATTAIN EXTENSIVE PROFITS FROM AN INDUSTRY IN WHICH MANY SEEM HAPPY TO PAY AN UNNECESSARY PREMIUM TO PURCHASE COSTLY, UNNECESSARY, ELECTRONIC PULSED MIG EQUIPMENT, WHICH FOR THE THREE DECADES THAT I HAVE EVALUATED IT, HAS TYPICALLY BEEN LOADED WITH USELESS, INEFFECTIVE, ELECTRONIC BELLS AND WHISTLES.
Note: I have also evaluated MIG gas mixes for decades, and have never seen a reason to justify the purchase of a three part gas mix for steels, low alloy steels or for stainless applications. See my MIG gas section.
Rather than wasting money on the costly $5K to $25K electronic MIG equipment, If instead, weld shops would spend approx. $300 and utilize my weld MIG & FLUX CORED WELD PROCESS CONTROL – BEST PRACTICES RESOURCES, these weld shops would then have the process controls keys necessary to attain the full potential from the much lower cost CV equipment and consistently attain optimum, manual and automated MIG and flux cored weld quality and productivity at the lowest labor costs.
It was my job as the Corporate Training & Weld Product Manager with companies such as Linde (Praxair), Airgas, AGA and Liquid Carbonic, to test MIG weld equipment and the MIG and flux cored weld consumables that were available in North America and from around the globe. Of my 50 years in this business, I did the product evaluation for approx. 30 years.
Today, as many of you are aware, in 2105, you can pay $3500 to $5000 for a traditional CV 350 – 450 Amp. MIG power source and wire feeder, or you can pay approx. $6000 to >$20K for Pulsed MIG equipment.
ALL IT TAKES IS APPROX. 10 MINUTES PLUS A WELD SHIELD AND OF COURSE MIG PROCESS CONTROL EXPERTISE, TO PROVE THE ABOVE WELD EQUIP FACT:
For weld shop management that has no wish to waste their potential profits in purchasing costly pulsed MIG equipment, or from unnecessary weld rework and poor weld productivity, the weld reality is this. Using my MIG – Flux Cored Process Control – Best Practices and Self Teaching – Training resources available here, there will be many cost benefits possible for the weld shop. For example, in contrast to the costly, pulsed MIG power equipment, when welding carbon steels, alloy steels and stainless weld applications with the much lower cost, easier to maintain, easier to operate, more durable, conventional, CV. MIG equipment , the weld shop could attain greater MIG and Flux Cored weld productivity with superior weld quality (superior fusion – less porosity) on all applications > 4 mm.
MIG WELD EQUIPMENT FACT:
Before your company wastes thousands of dollars on pulsed MIG equipment, remember if you wish to attain optimum MIG or Flux Cored weld quality – productivity on carbon steels & alloy steels, gauge to any thickness, simply requires CV. MIG equipment. This equip should in North America cost approx. $3500 to $5000 for ,350 to 450 Amp CV MIG power source. You may want to check out the MIG equipment part of this site to see the weld equipment that I recommend, and the weld equipment that makes me want to chew too many TUMS.
When employees lack MIG – Flux Cored, Weld Process Controls and Best Weld Practices expertise, weld shops will unfortunately, daily waste many $$$ on the following weld issues.
 MIG WELDS THAT ARE MADE DAILY WITH PROCESSES AND CONSUMABLES THAT HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR DECADES, SHOULD NOT REQUIRE WELD REWORK OR GRINDING.
 MIG WELD SPATTER COSTS GLOBAL WELD SHOPS BILLIONS OF DOLLARS ANNUALY TO REMOVE, YET WHEN WELD PERSONNEL HAVE WELD PROCESS EXPERTISE, SPATTER SHOULD BE MINIMUM.
 IN THE MAJORITY OF WELD SHOPS, BOTH THE MANUAL AND THE ROBOT WIRE FEED / WELD DEPOSITION RATES RELATIONSHIPS ARE RARELY UNDERSTOOD, AND THEREFORE WELD DEPOSITION RATE POTENTIAL IS RARELEY ACHIEVED.
WELD DEPOSITION RATES ACCOUNT TYPICALLY FOR APPROX. 80% OF WELD COSTS. WHEN WELDS ARE NOT AT THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE DEPOSITION RATES, MUCH HIGHER HOURLY WELD LABOR COSTS ARE BEING GENERATED. WITH MY TRAINING PROGRAM, THE MAJORITY OF WELD SHOPS WILL HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO REDUCE THE WELD LABOR COSTS IN THE 20 TO 70% RANGE.
 PAYING UNNECESSARY HIGH MIG WELD EQUIPMENT COSTS TYPICALLY BY PAYING FOR USELESS BELLS AND WHISTLES, IS NOW THE NORM THROUGHOUT THE GLOBAL WELD INDUSTRY.
 MANY COMPANIES WILL PURCHASE UNNECESSARY CARBON STEEL METAL CORED AND FLUX CORED WIRES, WHILE IN MANY INSTANCES, MUCH LOWER COST MIG WIRES WOULD DO THE SAME JOB.
 MANY COMPANIES WILL PURCHASE USELESS THREE PART GAS MIXES THAT CONTAIN OXYGEN WHICH BY THE WAY IS DETRIMENTAL TO MOST MIG WELDS. SAVINGS ARE ATTAINED BY USING LOWER COST, TWO COMPONENT ARGON – 10 TO 20% CO2, MIG GAS MIXES.
 MANY COMPANIES WILL PURCHASE ADDITIONAL ROBOTS WHEN THEY HAVE NEVER ATTAINED THE FULL WELD PRODUCTION OR QUALITY POTENTIAL OF THEIR EXISTING ROBOTS.
ALL OF THE ABOVE, ARE ADDRESSED WHEN THE WELD DECISION MAKERS HAVE THE WELD PROCESS CONTROL EXPERTISE THAT IS AVAILABLE IN MY TRAINING RESOURCES.
MIG Gas Mix Selection has for decades been surrounded by weld process / application confusion, process myths and typically by marketing induced Bovine Fecal Matter Sales Adjectives. Weld shops buy into the sales BS gas adjectives with their 40 plus gas mixes and this again over the decades has had tremendous weld cost and quality consequences for the global MIG weld industry.
Note: Four of the MIG gas mixes that I developed are now some of the most popular sold in North America and also I wasted 2 years of my life helping write the AWS MIG Gas Specifications.
It’s a weld reality, that the global weld industry could save hundreds of millions of dollars daily if many of the managers, supervisors and engineers that influence the daily weld decisions, learnt to to take “full ownership and responsibility” of the weld equipment, processes and the weld consumables that are typically essential to the success of their organization.
It’s a common sense statement, that in their role as a professional, that any weld decision maker should be capable of managing or supervising a weld shop without weld advice from a weld sales rep. And yet in many advertisements you will see for weld engineer or weld mgr. position, it’s often part of the add or job description requirement that the weld engineer establish good relationships with the weld “vendors” who typically have minimal weld / application experience and rarely will have ever run a weld department.
 Weld shops decision makers should be able to make rational weld shop decisions that are based on their process knowledge, and those decisions will have technical substance.
 To optimize MIG – flux cored weld quality, weld decision makers need to be aware of the real world, weld process controls and best weld practices necessary for both processes.
 To control weld costs, the weld decision makers should understand that for each common weld daily produced, their is an optimum wire diameter, that should be used with an optimum gas. With the MIG consumable there will be an optimum weld transfer mode suited to the application or specific weld. And that transfer mode will have an optimum wire feed / voltage and with automation weld travel speed. With this data it should takes less than five minutes to figure out the cost of any manual – robot MIG or FCA weld.
Note: The world’s most common MIG and flux cored weld is either a 3/16 or 1/4 (5 – 6mm) fillet weld, therefore, it’s logical to assume that with a glance at the wire feed control, each weld decision maker if asked, could within a few minutes figure out the cost of a foot, or a meter of one of these welds.
For the doubting Thomas, please note:
All It would takes is a few minutes, a weld shield and weld PROCESS CONTROL EXPERTISE to prove this:
Apart from the necessary, costly pulsed MIG equipment, and the useless three part gas mixes, many companies for the last decade have been sucked into purchasing ineffective and necessary Metal Cored and Flux Cored wires for steel and alloy steel welds which are made in the flat weld position. They will be told they are getting higher weld productivity with improved weld quality than that possible with the MIG process. These cored products will typically sell in the $2 to $6/lb range. I have evaluated and tested cored products for decades, and the weld reality is that irrespective of what the company who uses these wires has been told by their over friendly distributor or product rep, when welding on clean materials that are free of mill scale, the flat – horizontal position welds produced with the cored products, will rarely in contrast to MIG wires, (cost approx. $1/lb), offer when used correctly, any real weld quality or productivity benefits.
I believe that the continuing growth of the often not necessary costly Metal Cored & Flux Cored Wires, and also the use of the useless Three Part MIG Gas Mixes that are also utilized throughout the global weld industry, is strictly based on both weld sales influence and of course on the lack of weld shop management / engineering weld process control – best practice expertise.
For those of you that have never met me, you may have an interest in my back ground. For five decades, I optimized MIG and flux cored welds in more than 1000 plants in 13 countries. And for three decades, while working for some of the world’s largest producers of weld equipment – consumables, I was responsible for process control training and testing and evaluating global weld equipment and consumables. I helped write the AWS MIG gas specifications and advised the AWS committee on the flux cored specifications. Irrespective of the weld applications that I assisted companies with, I always achieved the highest possible weld quality – productivity, with no weld rework and no weld spatter issues. The MIG – FCA welds that I produced, were attainable with weld process expertise and the utilization of the lowest cost MIG welding equipment and MIG – FCA consumables.
Note: If a company wants to know how much weld salesmanship has had an influence at their weld shop floor, all any manager, engineer or supervisor has to do is think about all the MIG power sources and gas mixes that have likely tried in their facility during the last few years, and then take a look at MIG mixes in the cylinder storage racks. No matter what steels are MIG welded in 2015, any company that has used, or is using “three part gas mixes”, or has or is using straight CO2 or the common argon – 25% CO2 mix in their plants, is simply a company that suffers from MIG weld process expertise, a company that unfortunately has been influenced by MIG Gas Salesmanship.
FURTHER INFLUENCE OF WELD SALESMANSHIP:
In the global weld industry, it’s easy to find managers or supervisors that to resolve their daily weld issues. will seek a salesman who will pull out a glossy brochure and offer a marketing induced promise of weld improvements that rarely happens. In the case gas MIG mixes the supplier or gas mfg. wants that monthly gas / cylinder revenue and will therefore encourage the weld shop to utilize their so called unique MIG gas mix. This is one of the reasons that for four decades, we have had available in North America and Europe, as many MIG gas mixes as there are breakfast cereals available on the shelves of a super market.
The value of any weld inspector is in something most dont have, it’s called weld process control / best practice expertise. This expertise would help them prevent weld defects, rather than dimply finding them.
Please dont get pissed off at the messanger. How sad woulD a US weld shop be if it did not have persons who would vote for Donald Trump, persons without thick skin, persons without serious attitudes, persons without inflated egos, and persons with no sense of humor.
When weld shop customers do not have a clear understanding or are confused about the weld processes and the consumables that they use daily, it’s an easy task for those that produce and sell industrial MIG gas mixes, to ask for a premium price on what in reality is often a useless low cost commodity product.
ONE WAY FOR MAJOR MIG GAS PRODUCERS – SUPPLIERS TRY TO GET HIGHER PRICES FOR THEIR MIG GAS MIXES, IS PROVIDE SALES INFLUENCED BOGUS WELD CLAIMS ABOUT THEIR LATEST THREE OR FOUR PART MIG GAS MXES.
WHEN A COMPANY PROMOTES A THREE OR FOUR PART MIG GAS MIX, THEY ARE SUGGESTNG THAT THE THIRD OR FOURTH COMPONENT IN THEIR UNIQUE MIX IS GOING TO HAVE A WELD QUALITY – PRODUCTIVITY RESULT THAT WILL BE READILY MEASURABLE , & THERFORE JUSTIFY THE HIGHER GAS PURCHASE PRICE.
2015: I HAVE BEEN EVALUATING MIG GAS MIXES SINCE THE 1960s AND THE WELD REALITY IS THIS.
IN CONTRAST TO A RECOMMENDED TWO PART GAS MIX, WITH THE USE OF OPTIMUM MIG WIRE SIZE, CORRECT’ WELD PARAMETERS AND BEST WELD PRACTICES, THREE OR FOUR PART MIXES, WHEN USED FOR MIG WELDING STEELS – STAINLESS – ALLOY STEELS AND ALUMINUM, WILL PROVIDE NO MIG WELD QUALITY – PRODUCTIVITY OR SAFTEY BENEFITS.
Note: OVER 90% OF THE TWO PART MIXES THAT ARE AVAILABLE ARE SIMPLY NOT REQUIRED, AND THE POPUAR 75% ARGON – 25% CO2 MIX FOR STEELS OR THE HELIUM TRI-MIXES USED FOR STAINLESS, WOULD NEVER BE PURCHASED BY ANYONE WHO UNDERSTANDS THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE MIG PROCESS.. (see MIG gas section).
Global MIG gas misinformation and MIG gas selection confusion has been the norm for more than five decades. It’s a sad reflection of the weld industry that the majority of the MIG gas information found in too many weld shops is based on weld management, engineering, and supervision process ignorance, and of course, the gas info they do have has typically been provided by a weld gas salesman.
For any company that utilizes a three part MIG gas mix for carbon steels, alloy steels, stainless or aluminum applications, they may be embarrassed to find out they have been part of an industrial gas marketing con game. For a few years I was a primary contributor to the American Weld Society (AWS) committee that wrote the MIG Gas Specifications. Much of my time at these AWS specification meetings, went into trying to keep the extensive sales biased, incorrect. BS data that was presented on the three part mixes, out of that AWS specification. For decades it was a a sad fact, that many of those that contributed to the AWS Weld Specifications, were personnel that had a marketing or sales management or biased background.
In the last three decades, in my research roles at Airgas and AGA I developed four of the most practical, low cost, two component MIG gas mixes which are today sold throughout North America. If you want to stop wasting money on three part mixes, check out my low cost MIG gas mix recommendations. For MIG gas information without sales bias, visit the MIG Gas section at this site.
For five decades the most common sentence that I heard in weld shops was, “WHY CHANGE THE WAY WE HAVE ALWAYS DONE IT?.
You will never hear this in your weld shop…
OVER FIVE DECADES, I HAVE ASSISTED MORE THAN 1000 MANUAFCTURING PLANTS IN 13 COUNTRIES. IN 99% OF THOSE PLANTS, I COULD NOT FIND A MANAGER, ENGINEER, SUPERVISOR, OR WELDER THAT HAD THE NECESSARY MIG & FLUX CORED WELD PROCESS CONTROLS & BEST WELD PRACTICES EXPERTISE FOR EITHER MANUAL OR ROBOT WELD PROCESS QUALITY – PRODUCTIVITY OPTIMIZATION.
THOSE IN WELD – DECISION MAKING POSITIONS, WHO HAVE AN INTEREST IN “MIG – FLUX CORED WELD PROCESS CONTROLS – BEST PRACTICE EXPERTISE”, MAY WANT TO REVIEW THE FOLLOWING WELD TESTS, AND THEN CONSIDER THE WELD COST – QUALITY – LIABILITY RELEVANCE AND IMPORTANCE OF THESE QUESTIONS FOR THEIR OWN WELD DEPARTMENTS.
A REASONABLE QUESTION ABOUT THE GLOBAL WELD INDUSTRY WOULD BE... The weld industry is an old well established industry in which the majority of daily welds are made with two weld processes, MIG and Flux Cored. These two weld processes are little changed from the processes that welders were using many decades ago. So a reasonable question would be, why would someone want a management or supervision role in an industry that is governed by processes and consumables and yet lack the process and consumable expertise for process optimization?
The wide use of MIG welding started in the 1950’s. I started MIG welding tractors at Massey Feguson around 1961 at a factory in Manachester UK where the weld shop management / supervision knew little about MIG Weld Process Controls – Best Weld Practices. I suspect if I visted John Deere tractor plants in 2016, I would find that most of the managers / supervisors still know little about MIG process controls – best weld practices. The consequence of lack of process expertise is global in scope.
After my 50 plus years of being in the welding industry, Im’n running out of time, and I wonder what it will take to get this industry to realize that there is much more to MIG and Flux Cored welds than that provided by the “welder’s skills” .
OTHER INDUSTRIES HAVE HIGHER LEARNING STANDARDS: I have never met a machine shop supervisor who would allow one of his machinists to ‘play around’ with their lathe or milling machine controls. So why would any experienced weld decision maker allow their weld shop personnel to play around with the much more simple, two control MIG / Flux Cored weld processes, the answer to this issue is a simple one.
For decades many of those involved in weld management, engineering, supervision and weld education have simply not been aware of the benefits or the requirements of MIG – Flux Cored Weld Process Controls and Best Weld Practices
Dumb ROBOTS always need optimum process data.
Robot MIG Weld Process Controls Program.
SOME MANAGERS MAY ORDER MORE ROBOTS TO ATTAIN EXRA WELD PRODUCTION, WHILE THE REALITY OFTEN IS THAT THEIR EXISTING ROBOTS WILL HAVE NEVER ATTAINED THEIR DAILY MIG WELD QUALITY – PRODUCTIVITY POTENTIAL:
THE MAJORITY OF THE MIG WELDING ROBOTS THAT HAVE BEEN PURCHASED IN THE LAST THREE DECADES, RARELY, CONSISTENTLY ATTAIN THEIR WELD QUALITY AND WELD PRODUCTIVITY POTENTIAL.
It makes little sense, why any company that takes pride in it’s level of engineering, manufacturing and weld expertise, to spend thousands and maybe millions of dollars on robots and the related weld equipment and fixtures, and then let their managers, engineers and supervisors scratch their heads when weld quality – productivity issues occur, and continue daily to put up with poor weld quality, rejects, rework and let their workers “play around” with the robot weld data.
There is a simple low cost solution to the global lack of manual – robot Weld Process Control – Best Weld Practice expertise. During the last four decades, I developed the world’s most simple, self teaching / training MIG – Flux Cored weld process control – best practice programs. The programs utilize my unique, “Weld Control Clock Method” With the weld Clock Method, participants with or without MIG expertise, will within a few hours of training be able without taking notes to attain the MIG – Flux Cored Process Control – Best Weld Practice Expertise that’s necessary to instantly set optimum manual and robot MIG / Flux Cored weld data / practice for any weld applications.
ROBOT WELD PRODUCTVITY ISSUES. ROBOT WELD QUALITY CONCERNS. ROBOT WELD REJECTS. ROBOT WELD REWORK. ROBOT WELDS AND LIABILITY CONCERNS, AND LET’S NOT FORGET THE CAUSES FOR ROBOT DOWN TIME.
To attain optimum “robot” MIG weld quality and productivity or instantly deal with robot weld issues that effect down time, requires MIG Weld Process Control expertise. With the global average robot MIG weld production efficiency range at only 40 to 60% of it’s real potential. With the too frequent questionable weld quality and costly robot weld rework usually in the range of 20 to 100%, many manufacturing companies would with the expenditure of $300 on my self teaching and training process resources have a great opportunity for dramatic robot weld cost reductions and robot weld quality improvements.
For a few years, I was the North American Robot Weld Manager for ABB Robotics, at ABB I used my process programs to establish the world’s first, “Robot MIG weld Process Control Training Program”. For the last two decades, when employed as a Weld Process Control Consultant, I provided both manual and robot weld optimization and training to numerous companies in 13 different countries.
Before I optimize a companies’s robot weld quality or productivity, I would start out by providing my Seven Steps to Robot MIG Process Controls Training Program to all the weld decision makers at the plant. I would not provide this type of training program unless all the relevant management and engineers agreed to attend the program, getting these people to attend anything to do with welding was often like pulling teeth. The reason it was important that the front office personnel attend the training, was, lack of management and engineering weld process ownership has been and still is a major part of global weld problems. The bottom line is to establish and maintain the required Best MIG – flux cored Weld Practices in any plant, requires that all weld decision makers have process expertise and walk the same welding path.
Note: I developed my MIG and Flux Cored programs so that anyone (no weld expertise required) could present them.
MIG – FLUX CORED, MANUAL OR ROBOT WELD CONTROLS. Why not provide your employees with one of my easy to use weld Process Control – Best Practice training programs. Imagine after a few hours of viewing this unique resource, that all the participants will have the ability to instantly address their daily robot or manual MIG weld issues which impact the daily weld quality and productivity. Imagine, a weld department where no one “plays around with their weld parameters” . And imagine the plant management satisfaction when the weld shop daily achieves consistent, optimum weld quality / productivity without weld rework all at the lowest possible weld costs.
A management mystery in too many global weld shops, is the real world COSTS of the common MIG or Flux Cored welds that are made daily.
MIG AND FLUX CORED WELDS AND COSTS? A weld department cannot maximize it’s profits or control it’s MIG and Flux Cored weld costs, unless someone fully understand the primary weld processes utilized. One of the world’s most common welds is a MIG or flux cored 1/4, ( 6mm) fillet weld. Do you believe anyone in your front office or on the weld shop floor has the ability to look at the weld wire size, glance at the MIG wire feed control and then instantly provide the real weld costs associated with that fillet weld. Using my process control resources, this weld cost task would be so simple that the weld decision maker would not even require a pen or calculator.
When you ask a manager the cost of a MIG or flux cored weld, the majority of managers typically will want to talk about the cost of the weld gas mixes and the cost of the weld wires.
Many weld supervisors think they are on top of the weld production as long as they see that the welder’s shield is down and weld smoke and sparks are being generated. What the supervisors and management is often not aware is, the welder working hard can weld a vertical up flux cored 1/4 fillet at 6 lb/hr, or with process control expertise set the same fillet weld with the wire feed set to deliver 10 lb/hr. Or you could have a MIG welder working up a sweat to weld a common, horizontal 1/4 (6 mm) fillet at 6 lb/hr, and with the same sweat, using my MIG process control data they can make that fillet weld at 12 to 20 lb/hr.
The weld reality is few managers or supervisors understand the weld deposition rate potential of the weld process and consumables they use for the applications they daily weld. It’s a sad reflection of the industry that i love, that you will find that less than five percent of managers and supervisors will have the MIG – Flux Cored weld process control knowledge and expertise necessary to optimize their weld quality and control and understand their real weld costs. That’s the bad news. the good news is the solution is a simple one. My unique, low cost weld process control training resources enables the attainment of consistent, optimum MIG and flux cored weld quality and productivity for the majority of weld applications, and these resources simplify weld costs.
The often touted global shortage of MIG and Flux Cored welders, has always been a weld myth:
Pick up a weld magazine in any industrialized country, and you may read about how some manufacturing executive or plant manager is concerned about the so called shortage of qualified MIG – TIG or Flux Cored weld personnel?
Company [A] is required to increase it’s weld labor force for a contract that involved MIG welds on construction, food processing and farm equipment parts.
Company [B] A job shop looking for welders to weld chemical tanks and pipe welds with the flux cored and TIG process. The welders must pass an ASME Sect 1V. 5G. welder qualification test.
Company [C]. A ship yard has a large MIG or flux cored weld project coming up, and will need to hire many more welders. In the past when the welders have taken the welder qualification test, typically one to three out of every ten welders tested will pass the tests, and extensive costs are occurred in this frustrating task. Also few of those that pass the weld test will have the process expertise that’s necessary to produce welds with minimum defects and with maximum productivity.
Most managers and especially HR department management, are typically not aware that if they simply could find people without drug problems, people with a good work attitude, and then by providing my process control training programs, and hands on training recommendations, that it would take approx. 40 – 60 hours to train a “person who has never welded” to produce code quality welds for any application and any weld position.
Those going through my process training programs would have the capability to provide optimum MIG and Flux Cored welds that would meet any global weld code / specification requirements. Of course these same companies could also have the trainee weld personnel attend the usual local weld training establishment and after six months of costly, wasted effort, you would find that the new welders have a few skills and yet they typically will still “play around” with their MIG and flux cored weld controls.
THE TRADITIONAL TIG PROCESS REQUIRES THE HIGHEST WELDER SKILLS WITH MINIMAL PROCESS EXPERTISE. FOR SOME IT TAKES MANY YEARS TO MASTER THE SKILLS REQUIRED FOR CODE, ALL POSITION, PIPE WELDS. HOWEVER SINCE THE YEAR 2000, THERE HAS BEEN A SIMPLE SOLUTION TO THE GLOBAL TIG WELDER SKILLS SHORTAGE. THE SOLUTION IS CALLED TIP TIG.
WITH THE TIP TIG A PROCESS THAT I INTRODUCED IN BOTH NORTH AMERICA AND AUSTRALIA, YOU COULD TAKE SOMEONE WHO HAS NEVER TIG WELDED OR WELDED PIPE, AND WITH THE TIP TIG PROCESS IN APPROX. 10 DAYS, THAT PERSON SHOULD BE ABLE TO MEET ANY ALL POSITION, CODE, PIPE WELD TEST.
By the way, the TiP TiG manual or automated pipe welds will be better quality than any regular manual TIG welds, and better quality than any Hot / Cold Wire automated TIG welds. As a bonus the TIP TIG welds will be done 200 to 400% faster always with superior metallurgical properties. www.tiptigusa.com. Ask for Nick and tell him Ed Craig sent you..
If you want to increase the rate at which new hire weld personnel can pass any MIG – Flux Cored weld qualification test, it would make sense if the weld decision maker in charge would insist that before the welders waste the weld costs associated with weld testing and weld coupon evaluation, they sit those involved with the test down in a classroom and give them a few hours of my weld process controls, and best weld practice requirements .
It’s a good job for most weld shop managers, supervisors and engineers that
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