Weld Process Controls & Best Weld Practices.
If you weld with MIG, Flux Cored, TIG or TIP TIG, this site is about two important missing links found throughout the global weld industry.  Arc Weld Process Controls.  Best Weld Practices.
To attain this spatter free SC weld in 1980, did not require a costly electronic MIG power source, or a special three part MIG gas mix, it required weld process control expertise and best MIG weld practices.
The above slow motion video shows an 0.035 (1 mm) MIG wire set at the Short Circuit (SC) parameter sweet spot, (most attainable SC in a second). This weld used an argon 20% CO2 mix. If you are a MIG weld process control expert you could look at this video and you would know the wire feed speed, the volts and amps required to attain the sweet spot. You would also know the optimum low SC settings and the maximum SC settings and what gauge thickness they were applicable to. Then as a qualified weld decision maker, you could simply look at the gauge thickness to be welded and be instantly aware of the appropriate SC settings.
If a robot was being used for the MIG gauge welds, you would know by the SC wire feed setting selected what the weld deposition rate attained was and be able to then select the weld travel rate provided by that deposition. Or like too many in this industry,perhaps you would prefer to be in the dark and “play around” with the manual or robot weld parameters. Play around with a simple, two control weld process that accounts for more than 80% of the world’s welds, A process that has barely changed in almost 60 years.
An easy task for a welding robot is to replicate is human welder skills. What makes a robot an outstanding machine in attaining the highest weld quality and productivity, is the use of optimum process data and the best practices that are applicable to the robots capability.
2017: TESLA LACK OF EXPERTISE: Something that Elon Musk and his managers, engineers and supervisors at Tesla must have learnt the hard way in the last two years, is that while it’s easy to admire the production possibility of welding robots, however if you want to attain optimum, consistent production arc welds from a robot, you don’t place that weld process in the grips of a robot, (or manual welder) without first ensuring those humans responsible for the robot welds first understand the requirements for weld process controls and best weld practices. Much more on Tesla weld woes below.
Many weld decision makes reading the info at this site, will be of the opinion that the welds daily produced in their weld shops look OK, their rework is minimum and they don’t have to understand weld costs and have all the weld process control – best practice expertise they require. I would remind them that daily approximately 98% of the global arc welds produced are not subject to NDT requirement that evaluates what’s going on under the weld surface. And that in general the weld industry is one in which welder skills are placed on a pedestal, weld process expertise and best practices are subjects rarely discussed, and front office weld process ownership is almost none existent.
For those welds that are subject to internal NDT, more focus will be is placed on attaining the desired higher code weld quality, yet as we all are aware, with the highly qualified welders using so called qualified weld procedures, weld repairs or rejects will typically be generated, and the associated costs of those repairs will come right out of the weld shop profit potential.
With many arc welds, robust, good weld fusion
is about as rare as an honest politician.
The norm. marginal fusion or lack of fusion.
A point rarely considered or poorly understood in many weld shops, is the weld fusion attained with the majority of MIG, Flux Cored, TIG and SMA welds will often be either unacceptable or borderline. Also its not just welder skills that are the solution to this common weld issue, weld process control expertise and best weld practice of course also have a large influence.
Question. Why in contrast to low cost regular CV MIG equipment, would any weld shop waste money purchasing costly Pulsed MIG units for welding steels and alloy steel applications, when this equipment does not provide any weld quality or productivity improvement? The answers are in Eds_Process Training_materials.
WELD LIABILITY – REJECTS – REWORK.
Many lives lost, and over a billion dollars down the drain due to a weld failure, a weld failure which could have been avoided with a few hours of welder training which enabled the welder to optimize the arc process they utilized for the variables they had to deal with.
For many companies the liability and cost consequences from weld failures can be extensive, and if you want to know more on this subject, I would suggest you examine the Bad Weld Sections or just about any section of this site.
Attaining consistent, cost effective, manual or robot arc and resistance weld optimization is simply not possible without weld decision makers having Weld Process Controls & Best Weld Practice expertise. This is an expertise that is not provided in most global companies that utilize arc weld processes. It’s also not provided in the majority of global universities, colleges. trade schools and training departments that provide weld programs for engineers or weld personnel.
QUESTION. Why when you increase a Spray or Pulsed MIG weld speed, do you add to the weld spatter potential. The answers are in Eds_Process Training_materials.
From the Aerospace, to the Automotive industry, from Ship Yards to Defense or Construction equip. manufactures, in most weld shops, these two subjects will rarely be discussed and always usually poorly understood.
The Arc Weld Process Controls & Best Weld Practice Expertise available at this site with the MIG, flux cored, TIG and TIP TIG processes, provide more than dramatic potential for weld quality and productivity improvements for any weld shops, for those that are interested in a welding career, these subjects are also the keys that can enhances any weld career prospect.
For four plus decades, the majority of global companies that utilize arc welding processes have typically seen minimal weld quality – productivity improvements. The slow arc weld (MIG – Flux Cored – TIG) weld process and process control evolution for the weld industry has been related to the lack of weld management, engineering, supervision process controls and best weld expertise.
This general lack of expertise has influenced the common global MIG & Flux Cored “play around” with either the manual or robot weld settings and the often incorrect, self taught weld shop practices. The lack of expertise has also influenced many in weld management to lack the ability to recognize the differences between bells and whistles and real world weld equipment feature benefits, or since 2010 that the TIG process has actually dramatically evolved.
A weld reality: For more than five decades, the lack of front weld office process expertise has accounted for the prolific, global, lack of management, engineer and supervision Weld Process Ownership.
From Ship Yards to Automotive Plants. From the Oil Industry weld shops to Aerospace weld departments, it would take one of the few experienced weld process control engineers ten minutes to find either manual or robot arc weld process confusion, unacceptable weld quality and unnecessary rework and rejects. As for the daily weld productivity attained few weld decision makers have worked out the real weld production potential from either the manual or robot arc processes they daily utilize. Add to this, the general lack of front office apathy and understanding of weld costs (most managers are more concerned with the cost of a weld wire than the weld deposition rates being attained) and you can understand the “why change” and slow weld evolution with simple arc weld processes that have changed little in decades,
If you like many front office personnel are beginning to think you have now read too many words on the subject of welding, I will get to the point. The lack of global focus on Weld Process Controls and Best Welds Practices is easy to remedy with my process control – best practice Training_Materials available at this site. However, and please this is important. Be aware that implementing the weld process and best practice requirements is something that should be owned and driven by those paid to be responsible in the weld shops front office. For those who like me don’t have a life and like reading about this stuff and providing weld resolutions, grab a beer, pull up a chair, its going to take you many hours.
The resolutions for the manual or robot, lack of MIG – Flux Cored – TIG and TIP TIG weld process controls – best practice expertise are both simple and low costs. I simplified the training or self teaching programs and made them available for a low cost at this site. However one message I always preach is, for weld departments to reach their manual or robot arc weld quality – production potential, requires that all those involved, walk the same weld quality – production path, and that the changes required be owned and driven from those in the weld shop front office.
Lack of Management Process Expertise & Ownership will;
The global Missing Lnk. Management & supervision and their too common lack of weld process ownership.
A manager should also ask, “In a court of law, do you think it will be the welders that are held responsible for the screwed up welds”?
Producing Widgets or Welds. Management should OWN it. If welding is not your thing, please give some thought to this… Envision a mfg. facility that makes widgets. The prime mfg. process used in the assembly are dumb, simple machines like welding power sources and we will will the equipment Trump Boxes, (TB).
Like weld equip. the TB boxes have changed little since they were introduced five decades ago. The TB machines alsp operate with two simple controls, and usually only require three settings to attain optimum widget results. As with weld equipment the TB setting selection can comprise of a low – medium – high setting, and the selected settings will effect the low – medium – high speed of the related automated equipment. The sad reality is there is not one manager, engineer, supervisor or technician in this Widget plant that has figured out how to optimize or take ownership of the TB equipment. The management solution to their daily production and quality woes is to order more Trump Boxes, and to increase the budget for the ever expanding QA department. In the QA department, the inspectors are trained to find the widget defects that result from the poor TB settings. Unfortunately these inspectors like most weld inspectors don’t know how to optimize the TB equip. controls.
Arc weld equipment and the TB boxes have much in common and the above could be a description of how the majority of global weld shops and weld departments have been run for decades. I hope if are involved with welding decisions that you will see how ludicrous this manufacturing situation is.
From the manual arc welds found in the weld shops of the Aerospace, Defense, Medical, Power, Oil industry, and others, to the robot arc welds produced on your favorite car or truck, please take a moment at this site to consider where as an industry you are in 2018, and also what is required to make the changes that can improve your daily arc weld quality or productivity.
QUESTION. Why would any weld shop purchase three part MIG gas mixes for steels and alloy steel welds, when the provide no weld benefits and will actually decrease weld fusion and add to weld porosity potential. The answers are in Eds_process training_materials.
For many global weld shops, the daily weld issues will be;
- dealing with lack of weld quality uniformity and inconsistent weld & part quality,
- never attaining the manual or robot weld production potential that could be attained from the weld processes and consumables utilized,
- a lack of awareness of the real weld costs and how to minimize weld costs,
- unnecessary weld defects, rejects, rework, weld cleaning and grinding,
- the common lack of uniform practical weld equipment & weld consumables throughout the weld shop,
- the lack of front office ability to purchase practical, cost effective weld equipment without the common unnecessary costly bells whistles, products that are often recommended by a sales person,
- purchasing unnecessary three part MIG gas mixes or costly Metal Cored weld wires, again through the inability of the weld decision to provide weld solutions without weld sales advice,
Stir in the general lack of weld shop best practices and process control expertise and then add to this pot, the weld shop’s inability when weld issues occur to cut their umbilical cord to their weld suppliers.
Mix in the liability cost consequences of failed welds, and don’t forget the encroaching, lower weld labor costs from global competitors. Then ask yourself this. Can we improve what goes on in our weld shop?
From Defense to Auto Plants, from Ship Yards to Aerospace, In all industries in which welding is an important function, the most difficult thing to find is a manager or supervisor who has the required process control expertise necessary for weld process ownership.
Evidence about lack of Weld Ownership & Accountability: Over five decades, in providing weld process quality and productivity improvements, I visited over a 1000 companies, in 13 countries. On these visits from Aerospace plants to Automotive plants, I saw no evidence of front office expertise or interest in the subjects of weld process controls and best practices. Yest this expertise and process ownership is necessary for any facility that welds to consistently attain their daily weld quality – production potential.
What happened to Weld Shop Evolution? In 2018, you will find that the majority of global shops that produce “arc” welds are producing welding quality and productivity that is hardly better than most of the arc welds that were produced in the weld shops that I worked in 1962.
The Relationship of the Process Selected & Weld Defects Produced.
Weld defects often result or are influenced from the arc weld process, consumables, metals welded, poor procedures, and lack of process – best practice expertise, rather than the fault of the welder.
Common weld defects such as lack of fusion, porosity, undercut & slag could be added to those defects above. In many instances these defects will result solely from the weld process, consumables and data selected. And in-itself. that’s a reason more front office people should be aware of the weld processes and consumables used in their organization. Lets face it, when the weld shop is aware of the root cause of weld issues this has to go a long ways in helping prevent them.
When managers, engineers and supervisors are not aware of weld process controls – best weld practices expertise requirements, it’s not provided.
I suspect that when it comes to weld rejects, weld defects and rework, that the majority of weld shop front office weld decision makers will when manual and robot weld issues occur, point to their welders as the prime cause of the weld issues. The reality also will be that these decision makers will have neglected (most will not aware) to provide their welders with the Process Control – Best Weld Practice training that they have never had and its training that will for the weld shops have the biggest impact on weld quality – productivity.
For decades, there were FOUR Prime Arc welding processes. In 2018, the majority of global weld shops, when “all position” arc welds are required on steels and alloy steels, will typically consider four common arc weld processes. SMAW, Pulsed MIG, Flux Cored and TIG. These four important processes when used for steels and alloy steel applications, have seen few equipment / process changes that have in reality advanced weld quality – productivity. This includes Pulsed MIG welds. Most of the pulsed MIG steel and alloy steel welds made in at present could be produced just as effectively using much lower cost CV. MIG equipment, and the short circuit and spray transfer modes and weld process expertise.
SMAW arc welding process: For fifty years I have avoided the use of this inferior arc process, and would not consider SMAW as a logical choice for code quality weld applications. The logical choices would be flux cored or TIG. Their is always an exception for example ignorance, weld access, reach or an environment concerns.
Gas Shielded Flux Cored arc welding process: With gas shielded flux cored welds, any experienced weld decision maker would be aware that even with optimum skills and parameters utilized, there will be no guarantee with NDT, that the flux cored welds wont have serious common FCAW defects such as trapped slag, worm tracks or porosity.
Pulsed MIG arc welding process: When a high deposition process such as Pulsed MIG uses a back ground current, the pulsed weld energy in contrast to the spray mode is reduced. Using manual Pulsed MIG welds on steels and especially sluggish > 5/16 alloys such as stainless, it would be difficult to ensure that the MIG welds have consistent acceptable weld fusion.
TIG arc welding process: Regular TIG is the arc process with the most high weld quality expectations, and has been a prime choice for code quality and alloy welds. TIG also produces very low deposition rates (slow travel high heat) and requires the highest welder skills.
TIG skills differ from welder to welder and this influences the weld quality and uniformity attained. Most TIG welds require that the manual welder dip and withdraw their TIG wire length into the TIG arc plasma and weld pool. This unique arc weld practice again varies from welder to welder and again a practice that influences the weld quality uniformity and consistency attained. Also with many TIG applications and the very slow weld travel rates that often result, with TIG the weld shops see small defects influenced mostly by skills and practices and the shop may have concerns for high weld and part heat, something that few alloys will benefit from.
SINCE 2010 THE TIP TIG PROCESS.
In North America, around the year 2010, I went to Scotland to meet a freind called Darren Matherson, he introduced me to a relatively new process call TIP TIG. It took me only a 10 minute process evaluation to figure out this was now the worlds most important arc weld process, especially for those that had an interest in steels and alloy steels code quality welds.
After my return from Scotland to the USA, I needed a partner to provide the funding to bring this to the US. I found one, another friend Tom O’Malley, a Philadelphia weld distributor. Tom provided the financing and together we created TIP TIG USA and introduced TIP TIG to N. America and Australia.
TIP TIG easier to use and better quality than TIG. 100 to 400% decrease in TIG labor costs. Always the lowest possibe weld heat. When you have the best arc process and Ed’s process control – best practice expertise, you produce welds like this.
Untouched TIP TIG pipe weld made by Ed in 2010. You know that NDT will find no defects, and if you manage a weld shop. you know the value of that.
Since 2010, in North America, TIP TIG is arc weld Process #5.
In the last decade, we have seen dramatic TIG power source changes for the important AC. TIG process utilized for aluminum. However, in the last decade, the most important arc process change has been from the DCEN. TIG process to the DCEN TIP TIG process.
The TIP TIG process has few weld limitations and can be utilized as both a manual, semi-automated and automated TIG process. Numerous TIP TIG weld quality, productivity and cost benefits are listed below, and my TIP TIG Process Control Training Program has the most informative, comprehensive data ever produced on what makes TIP TIG unique from the regular TIG, Hot Wire TIG and Pulsed MIG processes.
As most weld shops are aware if many welds are required and the parts are > 3 mm TIG is rarely cost effective. This drives most weld shops that try to produce code quality, higher deposition welds to consider either the regular MIG, Pulsed MIG or Gas Shielded Flux Cored process. three weld processes that have their own Achilles-Heel weld issues. Also in many weld shops, the shops when welding specific welds such as large diameter or heavy wall pipe welds will be driven to the use of TIG for the roots, and then to be cost effective will select gas shielded flux cored or pulsed MIG for the fill passes.
Pulsed MIG – Regular TIG & Gas Shielded Flux Cored processes do not need welders to produce weld defects. These three weld processes will also contribute to weld defects. At this site and in my training programs you will , learn how these processes and not the welders are often are often the root cause for weld defects.
In contrast to the conventional arc processes, on applications > 1.6 mm to any thickness, TIP TIG has no cost or quality limitations. This is a process that provides the highest possible, all position weld quality and enables the least possible weld heat.
THE SOLUTION TO ALL CODE QUALITY STEELS & ALLOY STL. WELDS. PRODUCE THE HIGHEST WELD QUALITY WITH LOWEST WELD HEAT.
When you can utilize an easy to use process that always enables the highest possible weld quality with the lowest possible weld heat. And then produce the welds with moderate, cost effective weld deposition rates, there should be only one question for weld shops. WHY ARE WE NOT USING TIP TIG?
SINGLE PASS UNTOUCHED TIP TIG WELD.
TIP TIG, 5/16 fillet made by Ed 2011. Do your welds look like this? Note weld cleanliness, continuity & small weld HAZ .[/caption]
Below Alberta Tar Sands Oil Manifold. You know that holding the welded flange bolt hole dimensions while producing no weld rework from the X-Ray quality welds is not going to be an easy weld task.
The highest weld quality and lowest weld heat is required so there is only one process that meets that criteria.
When the above stainless manifold welds were changed from the regular TIG process to the TIP TIG process, the following weld benefits occurred.
- TIP TIG reduced the manifold weld costs by approx 75%.
- TIP TIG dramatically reduced the weld distortion.
- TIP TIG reduced welder skills and improves the weld quality capability.
- TIP TIG enables maximum control of the filler wire placement continuously into the arc’s plasma sweet spot.
- TIP TIG enabled smaller diameter weld wire to be used with higher weld amps providing increased weld wetting, (better fusion for sluggish stainless).
- TIP TIG agitated the weld puddle, which with the increased weld amps slows the weld solidification.Higher weld pool energy in an agitated weld pool provides for superior side wall fusion and welds with less porosity potential. Weld distortion and rework not an issue with TIP TIG.For those interested in the TIP TIG process and the opportunities this process can bring to your weld shop and future weld applications you may be interested in bidding on, please note the following facts;
- Stainless. Hastelloys. Nickels, Cu, Brass, Stellites, Duplex or Titanium all become easy to weld with a process that provides the best weld quality, the lowest weld heat and reduces TIG weld costs by 100 to 400%.
- TIP TIG is easy to learn. It take a day or two to learn and the supplier provides the training.
- If the TIG welders are qualified they are qualified for TIP TIG.
- TIP TIG can be used from the pipe root to the all position pipe fill passes.
- TIP TIG with increased TIG deposition rates is cost effective even on thick materials.
- TIP TIG requires only three weld settings for all welds.
- TIP TIG attains the lowest possible weld heat input derived from higher TIG weld speeds and DCEN heat distribution into the parts.
Please NOTE: You are all aware that every weldable alloy takes it’s metallurgical benefits from heat treatment. TIP TIG providing the lowest possible weld heat provides the smallest possible weld HAZ. Even alloys like Titanium can be welded without a trailing shield, (parts > 3 mm).
Please NOTE: TIP TIG also changes or eliminates the pre-heat, interpass or post-heat rules that for decades have been a requirement for many alloy welds.
- TIP TIG will readily reduce TIG weld costs from 100 to 400%.
- TIP TIG with less arc length sensitivity than TIG is readily automated. This is a great process on a low cost Bug-O or on a robot.
- TIP TIG with no spatter, minimal repairs and no gas mixes, should be one of the lowest costs weld processes utilized in a weld shop.
- TIP TIG with no spatter and the lowest weld oxidation potential enables the lowest weld cleaning costs.
- TIP TIG provides less weld fumes than any other arc process.
While many North American companies had their welding heads buried in the sand, the first customer to produce a major order from USA TIP TIG, was the largest Chinese Oil company CNOOC. This company needed the best possible manual and automated arc weld process for their Oil and Nat Gas Sub-Sea pipe welds.
NEW WELD PROCESSES ARE RARE EVENTS THAT REQUIRE WELD SHOP CHANGE & THAT CHANGE SHOULD BE A FRONT OFFICE MANAGEMENT DRIVEN FUNCTION:
It should be a logical role of a responsible weld manager, engineer and supervisor to drive weld process evolution that creates cost effective, weld changes. However to have the confidence to change from arc weld processes that have been established and utilized over many decades, the front office weld decision makers would first have to understand the weld scope, the weld benefits and also the weld limitations of the arc weld processes that they are supposed to own and manage.
In the 13 countries and 1000 plus companies that I provided arc weld process improvements, there was lots of evidence of workers who had used the process for many years but little evidence in either the weld departments or the front offices of weld decision makers that were aware of the process controls and best practices necessary to master the common arc weld process so they could consistently, daily attain optimum weld quality and productivity. (SMAW not part of this content),
A Common Weld Shop Missing Link: So a prime reason for the global slow weld shop evolution, is before allowing a weld process change, a manager or supervisor would first want to be aware of the existing process benefits / limitations, and then compare these with the new process presented feature benefits and limitations. The weld decision maker would then make sure they learnt the weld process – best practice expertise necessary to take the new process to its improved weld quality and productivity potential.
If you would like to know the reasons why the global weld industry has been slow to evolve, head over to the weld shop front office.
Note: Please while at this site, don’t expect the usual sales induced Bovine Fecal Matter about weld processes and consumables, and certainly don’t expect me to say that the solution to your weld shop issues will come from another magic three part MIG gas mix, a special Metal Cored wire or another so called unique MIG power source loaded with more costly, useless electronic bells and whistles.
Weld credibility is derived from weld process & application experience: As most are aware, in this industry the weld credibility and application experience of the the person providing weld advice has to be relevant. In this section, I provide a few of my weld application experiences over a five decade period. I also provide the weld resolutions to many global weld shop issues, along with my Arc Weld Process Controls – Best Weld Practice Training – and Self Teaching programs. The primary weld message at this site is a simple one that I will repeat many times:
“The root cause of most of the global manual and robot daily weld shop issues lies with the front office managers and supervisor’s lack of Weld Process Controls – Best Weld Practice expertise”. The result for most global plants that utilize arc welding processes, is that few managers, engineers and supervisors have the ability or willingness to take ownership of important processes that are a critical part of their daily manual or automated mfg. requirements.
In 2017, From Spy planes to Spacecraft, many defense & aerospace industry “arc” welds are daily made with inferior TIG and MIG processes, using outdated specifications, inadequate weld procedures & lack of front office and shop floor weld process controls & best practice expertise.
The global Aerospace and Defense Industry.
20th Century welds for 21st Century Products.
Thanks to inexperienced management, 21st Century planes and other defense products built in 2018 will still be using 20th Century arc weld processes, weld specifications & procedures.
Inadequate and outdated welding processes, weld specifications & weld procedures are the norm in the 2018 global Aerospace – Defense – Power – Oil, and other high tech industries. You will find that the majority of managers, supervisors or engineers responsible in these industries have allowed their shop floor weld technology, specifications and procedures to be stuck in the 1960s to 1980s time warp.
In high tech industries, you would in 2017 expect to find the highest weld engineering and weld manufacturing standards. You would also expect high tech companies to use a modern day weld process control – best practice approach, using “updated weld equipment (not bells and whistles equip.) weld specifications and procedures”. In 2017, the weld reality too often in the global high tech industry manufacturing facilities is that majority of these facilities will:
- Use of outdated weld processes, specifications & procedures.
- Lack of ability to train and implement best weld practices.
- Lack of shop floor and front office manual and robot weld process control expertise.
- Have their experienced weld personnel playing around with weld controls.
- Have a lack of leadership from management. engineers and supervisors on the subjects of weld quality, production potential and weld costs.
CODE QUALITY ALLOYS & STEEL WELDS:
I am well aware that daily in the Aerospace, Defense – Oil – Power – Medical – Automotive and Construction equipment manufacturing weld departments, that daily NDT is utilized to hopefully minimize the opportunity for weld defects. However as we are all aware code quality weld failures are common across all industries that utilize welds. This site has an extensive section of Bad Welds in all industries.
QUESTION. Why is the regular TIG and Hot Wire TIG process inferior to TIP TIG? The answers are in Eds_process training_materials.
In most global weld facilities,
QA departments are rarely cost effective.
While many personnel in the QA department or the front office, will put the blame for manual or robot weld issues on the weld shop floor personnel, anyone who welds knows that weld quality responsibility has to commence with the weld decisions made in both the front office and with the QA manger. Lets face it. in an industry that waste millions of dollars every day with QA personnel and practices that are developed to REVEAL weld defects after weld completion, maybe their are some logical mangers out their that would see the sense in providing their weld decision makers and weld inspection personnel with either the manual or robot weld process control – best practice training available here, so they would have the for the first time that remarkable unique cost effective ability to help prevent weld defects.
A common occurrence, qualified welders, qualified weld procedures and code quality arc weld failures: Each day in the weld industry, code quality welds will fail with dramatic consequences impacting life and costs. These welds would have initially been made in compliance with applicable Weld Specifications, with the guidance of Approved Weld Procedures, made by manual welders that were subject to Welder Qualification Tests, and will be tested by weld inspection personnel who typically have minimal WELD process control – best weld practice expertise.
QUESTION. Why would any weld shop purchase Metal Cored wires when all it takes with the much lower cost MIG wires is process controls and best weld practice expertise to duplicate the weld results. The answers are in Eds_process training_materials.
The worst welds will most often
be found in auto plants & ship yards.
Hundreds of ships each year break apart in “calm ocean waters’, and you can be sure the failures will be at the seam welds, or in their too often overheated weld heat affected zones.
A visit to the Bad Weld Sections and many other sections at this site provides data on some of the NDT approved code quality welds that failed in Nuclear Plants, Oil Pipe Lines Nuclear Submarines, Aircraft Carriers and Space Rockets. The bottom line is under the ineffective weld practices we use around the globe, code quality welds subject to the most rigid NDT evaluations will continue to fail, and the repercussions from the failures as its been for decades can be loss of life and , millions of dollars paid for repairs and legal consequences.If in 2017, manual Pulsed MIG, flux cored, regular TIG, or automated Hot or Cold Wire TIG processes are being used for code quality welds, especially on welds in the high tech industries, then those weld decision makers responsible for the welds, need to be aware that they are in many instances allowing inferior weld processes to be used, as they are not using the TIP TIG process.
TIP TIG is the evolution of TIG. It’s a process that in contrast to all arc processes will provide superior weld quality. TIP TIG also enables the lowest possible distortion, the best possible metallurgy results, the lowest possible weld fumes, and something you think that should motivate most mangers, apart from a dramatic reduction in the usual weld repair costs, TIP TIG will also reduce regular TIG labor costs by 100 to 400%.
2017. In the Aerospace, Defense, Medical and Oil Industry, it’s not difficult to find weld management stuck in a 1960’s weld time warp.
In 2017, to go with their use of inferior arc weld processes, the aerospace and defense industry will most often with arc welds, be using weld specifications & procedures that have changed little since the NASA 1977 Voyager program.
Am I being over critical, how else could you explain why many of the NASA – Boeing – SpaceX arc weld specifications will have changed little in three plus decades, and that in general these important industries ignore present day improved arc weld technology such as TIP TIG, a process that’s simple to use. A process that in contrast to TIG and Hot Wire TIG, dramatically improves both weld & part quality. A process that will reduce TIG weld costs in the range of 100 – 400%.
Aerospace, defense two prime concerns will always be Weld Quality and Costs. Yet in the case of “arc welding”, (not laser or EB) neither of these industries with their high caliber managers and engineers show an aptitude to lead other industries, and the bottom line this is a management / engineering weakness.
Question. Why does TIP TIG not require a gas trailing shield for most Titanium weld application on parts > 1/8, when regular TIG and Hot Wire TIG requires a gas trailing shield? The answers are in Eds_process training_materials.
Aerospace, a great industry, however in most plants there is a lack of awareness about process controls – best weld practice expertise.
A couple of my welds will now go where no man has ever gone.[/caption]
When NASA, SpaceX or Boeing spacecraft head out into deep space, their engineers in 2018 may want to consider why the regular TIG process was used for many of the arc welds they produced, and why TIG weld specifications and procedures were being used from a time period when the Beetles and Elvis were number one. Yes many welds are made with EB and laser note this site deals with arc welds.
Thanks to rare United Technology engineering management, I was privileged and proud for a short time to work on the Space station and Orion Spacecraft. (photo above). One day in the future, when I am six feet under, Orion will be off on it’s long journey to Mars. My time at United was very short (health concerns), however it was an extraordinary experience to be able work along side some of the world’s most creative engineering minds, but minds that need to be aware of the new arc weld quality possibilities available in the 21st Century.
Apart from the traditional TIG and EB applications that I worked with at United, one opportunity I had was to be able review their present day (2017) arc weld specifications and procedures that are are commonly used throughout the Aerospace industry.
From my personnel perspective on the one hand it was amazing to be part of a high tech, engineering environment, and in the other hand, find out that with the majority of the “arc” welds being made over the two or three decades, that the welds were often being made on the recommendations from NASA and Boeing Weld Specifications and Procedures, that have changed little since the 1970s.
Yes weld technology has been slow in its evolution, however no matter what the head stuck in the grinding dust management or engineers believe, the arc weld technology and weld process control – best practice expertise has evolved, otherwise like Rip Van Winkle, I have been asleep or dead for the last 50 years.
The bottom line the Aerospace and Defense industries should be leading not lagging in weld technology and the implementation of weld process controls and best practices. However in these industries, when code quality “arc” welds are required, they will come from the inferior manual TIG or automated Hot Wire TIG processes.
Yes I am aware that most of the weld specs and procedures used in both the Aerospace and Defense industry will will have seen some TIG Weld Specification and Weld Procedure revisions over the last four decades, however I believe that many of those revisions will usually have more to do with grammar changes and inspection criteria, than information that enables improved weld and part quality.
The weld reality for Aerospace – Defense plants in 2017, is if the regular TIG process or the Pulsed MIG process is being utilized, the weld / part quality and weld productivity potential that could be produced is not being produced.
Another apathy and irony on the subject of weld process ownership. Most of the arc weld quality control in the Aerospace and Defense industries will in 2017 not be left to engineers or managers, but left in the hands of self taught Fred and Joe in their weld booths.
It’s sad when the managers & engineers & supervisors in high tech companies leave weld & part optimization, costs, controls & evolution, to those on the weld shop floors.
NASA and Aerospace companies engineers and managers should embrace and encourage positive arc weld changes, updated weld specs & procedures, and new process control – best practice methods that can minimize weld defects and lower weld costs.
Don’t tell me these are the TIG welds, that they used regular TIG and those bloody, outdated, 1977 weld specifications and procedures.
Weld quality left in the hands of the welders, lawyers love this stuff. How often will critical Aerospace & Defense and Oil industry weld quality be left up to Fred or Joe or on the weld shop floor? Perhaps those that are supposed to be responsible in a high tech industry such as the Aerospace, will in 2018 get some balls and “Boldly Go Where Few Managers & Engineer Have Gone Before.” Perhaps then key weld decision makers could spend less hours on the never ending weld meetings that just go around in circles, or on the shop floor forever fighting the never ending weld shop fires.
All code weld shops should have an interest in the TIP TIG process, and an interest in the requirements of weld Process Controls and Best Weld Practices. Any weld decision maker can with a few hours with my self teaching – training process control resources, have the requirements necessary for arc process optimization. And surprise, they would then have the capability to take responsibility for their manual or robot weld process ownership. Maybe also then in 2018, they could bring their companies 20th Century weld methods to the weld potential capability of processes and process control expertise thats now available.
If you are a weld decision maker especially in an industry where quality has a meaning, consider “taking one small step in process ownership and watch how this can create one giant step for your companies weld quality and productivity”.
Lets face it,, who wants to be that company manager or engineer that’s held responsible when an important weld fails on a spacecraft heading out to Mars or the space stn?
Costly weld results from lack of experienced
weld management in the DEFENSE industry
The norm in most ship yards. Inexperienced weld process management and supervision. Always poor weld quality, excess weld rework, poor weld production & always excess over budget weld costs.
From building Submarines to Aircraft Carriers, in 2017 as it’s been for decades, extraordinary excessive MIG – Flux Cored and TIG weld costs, from weld rework, rejects and poor weld production. Fortune 500 companies don’t like to hear this but the millions of dollars wasted daily are not the fault of those on the weld shop floors. The weld issues are derived mostly from the lack of weld process expertise from those that sit in the front offices and are responsible for welds.
For more than three decades, Navy engineering decision makers along with their prime contractor ship yard managers & engineers and QA personnel have been responsible for the too common, excessive, never ending, poor arc weld quality, the over the top weld rework costs.m with of course, always pathetic low weld productivity.
In the last two decades with steels and alloy steel welds, TIG, MIG and flux cored weld technology made some important advances, while too many defense, aerospace & oil arc weld decisions stood still.
In general most of the head stuck in the sand, key weld decision in the Defense, Aerospace, Oil and Power industries have simply lacked the ability to take process ownership, put process controls and best weld practices. Most. (not all) of these personnel are nervous around weld equipment and lack the ability to recognize and approve new weld technology that has the ability to provide both quality and productivity improvements.
From poor process management to not using evolved technology, now that I’ve pissed off a lot of executives and managers in this industry, I will simply say, this, that anything I say on this web site would take me about 2 hrs prove.
Of course managers with egos will ignore what there real weld potential would be if they woke up, however being a pragmatist, I expect little response, and after doing this for five decades the clock keeps ticking, Why Change” and after all its only tax payers that pay most of the bills.
There is a simple weld process solution to all alloy steels and carbon steels, all position code quality welds In 2017, there is a key process solution for many arc weld issues. That process is TIP TIG. This process provides higher weld quality and is easier to use than regular TIG, Hot Wire TIG and Pulsed MIG. TIP TIG also enables lower weld heat than any other arc process. This simple easy to use, highest weld quality capability and lowest weld heat combination, enables with any metals the best possible consistent weld quality and best possible weld and part metallurgical properties.
You would assume it’s logical for weld decision makers in code weld shops to want to use the best possible weld process, and to also understand the relevance of weld process control and best practice expertise.
Many managers will make process decisions without process expertise.
Process Controls and Arc Weld Processes. Both the MIG and gas shielded flux cored weld processes have for decades accounted for approx. 80 to 85% of welds produced daily. The regular TIG and SMAW (stick) processes account for the weld balance. Part of the requirements of weld process control expertise is to understand the inherent, unique process & consumable issues that comes with each of the weld processes. Also be aware of their optimum weld parameter ranges, fine tune adjustments and their compatibility with the intended applications. Then you apply the best weld practices.
As most readers will be aware, when new weld technology comes along, its logical that the weld decision maker who purchases the new process, will first require weld process control – best practice expertise with their existing processes. Once a weld decision maker is aware of how to consistently attain the maximum weld quality – productivity potential from their own processes, then they a real measure of what the new process presented has to be able to attain and what real world weld benefits will be provided. Process control expertise is not part of a job description for a welder, it’s something a manager, engineer, supervisor or weld tech can easily learn. Therefore those responsible for the welds require this this expertise, they should own their processes, and be the driving force that’s necessary to implement process change.
Using regular TIG in 2018? You will be attaining inferior weld & part quality, greater weld distortion, require higher skills, & always creating much higher labor costs than TIP TIG which has been available in North America since 2010. You have not heard about TIP TIG, remember my comments on the weld industry “why change” and “slow weld evolution”.
Your company welds code quality stls & alloy stls, are your weld decision makers aware that the TIG process has evolved?
As every weld shop is aware, the regular TIG process produces very low weld deposition rates, typically less than 1.5 lbs /hr, and as a result create very slow weld travel rates, 1 to 6 inch/min is the norm. The slow travel rates can depending on the part thickness result in high weld & part heat, This heat can effect distortion, oxidation and the weld & part metallurgical properties.
Any manager in 2017, who would choose regular TIG for the following stainless manifold code quality welds, should be managing a donut shop.
In 2015, what process would you select to weld this stainless manifold? If you selected regular TIG or pulsed MIG, both would have been a poor choice.[/caption]
TIP TIG. Easy to use. No feeding a wire. No foot control. 200 to 400% more weld each hour than TIG. Higher weld quality than TIG, and lower weld heat & fumes than any other arc process,
I provided TIP TIG seminars and work shops, and our first two major TIP TIG orders were from WSI, Atlanta, a company that uses over a million pounds of Stainless and Inconel weld – clad wires each year for weld repairs in the Nuclear, Waste Management and Power industries. By the way in the past I was the weld manager at WSI and had produced for them a patented Pulsed MIG method for water wall cladding. The second company that sent engineers and managers to one of my seminars and then on our facility at Philadelphia Navy Yard, provided a nice million plus dollar order. This company was CNOOC, China’s largest producer of crude oil and Nat gas. What does it say for American companies and especially Oil, Defense and Aerospace companies, when the Chinese management recognized new important weld technology years before they do? (most in this industry eight years late still have not woke up to this important weld process).
Normally TIG was a difficult process to marry with robots, due to arc length sensitivity, low deposition rates and tungsten issues. Then along came a process called TIP TIG.
In 2017, the worlds most experienced arc weld robot builder, ABB decided that TIP TIG was the best TIG method for it’s robot TIG welds, and incorporated TIP TIG into their robot systems. 5 years earlier I introduced TIP TIG to ABB weld division, they like many were a little slow to catch on. By the way at one time I was also the ABB Robot Weld Mgr for N.America.
2018 and I am supposed to be retired, (never going to happen). I sold my ownership in TIP TIG USA a few years ago, and also with great pain, I am sorry to say Tom who was 20 years younger than me died unexpectedly.
TIP TIG USA is now located in NJ. This process continues to grow rapidly around the world and the weld reality is this. Since 2010, the traditional TIG process, and the automated HOT & Cold Wire TIG processes, and also the Pulsed MIG process should be considered both inferior and obsolete for the majority of the all position, code quality welds that were required. TIP TIG was invented and patented in Austria by S. Plasch who was assisted by his son U Plasch.
If most of the global pipe welds were made with TIP TIG, there would be much less weld rework requirements.
2017. Its not just manual welds where TIP TIG is the superior weld process if you have high quality automated weld applications the TIP TIG process should be considered. The following Subsea Valve welds and Clad welds are using outdated regular TIG & Hot Wire TIG, which produces inferior weld quality & weld production than that possible with the TIP TIG process.
If not using TIP TIG for code quality welds, you are behind the times.
Few plants that weld like CHANGE. Year in, year out, most welders will sit on the same seats in their lunch rooms. Frankly most people don’t like change. In weld shops surely it’s the role of the front office decision makers to drive change that can improve weld quality and help the companies bottom line.
To recognize the benefits of new weld technology, those front office plant personnel would first have to own and recognize both the positive and negative attributes of the primary processes they daily utilize. This expertise in the global weld industry is as rare as a Rembrandt painting.
IN ENGINEERING, WELD PROCESS OWNERSHIP IS
a requirement for weld optimization and evolution.
What do NASA, Exon. Lockheed Martin, Northrop, Raytheon, Westinghouse, GE, Boeing, SpaceX, Airbus, Fluor, Bechtel. Caterpillar, General Motors and most other high tech engineering companies have in common in 2018? Most large companies in which welding is an important function will be using outdated weld specifications & procedures, and few of the managers and engineers responsible for the weld departments in these organization will have ownership of their weld processes.
My Self Teaching & Training Programs…The prerequisite for front office and weld shop ownership, is that weld decision makers acquire the missing links, which are Weld Process Controls and Best Weld Practice Expertise. Once attaining this expertise, (takes about 15 hrs with my programs) weld decision makers would then ensure that their weld personnel are provided with the same programs. This will ensure weld departments will then have the expertise necessary consistently attain the highest possible manual or robot weld quality and productivity. My programs include.
Item ONE. The Manual MIG program.
Item TWO. The Gas Shielded Flux Cored program.
Item THREE. The Robot MIG Weld Process Controls – Best Practice program.
Item FOUR. “The Weld Management – Engineers Book to MIG and Flux Cored. With this book, you also get your choice of any of Weld Process Controls – Best Weld Practices training programs in items 1 – 2 – 3 – 5.
Item FIVE. Advanced AC-DC TIG, and the New TIP TIG Weld Process Controls & Best Weld Practices Training – Self Teaching Programs. This unique three part TIG program would benefit anyone who works with code quality welds.
Click here for all info on Em;s Weld Process Controls Training Materials.
WELD TEAM MEETINGS:
A low cost way to upgrade your manual or robot weld team: I provide a unique low cost service. Why not include me in your bi-weekly or monthly Weld Team Meetings. Instead of the usual meetings in which optimum robot or manual weld resolutions may not be instantly derived. I can in the conference call instantly provide the necessary weld quality and productivity resolutions. During the weld discussions, I could be the catalyst you require for weld change, and I will educate the team on the methods and best practices on how to prevent those manual or robot weld issues. The discussions will lead to maximizing weld quality and productivity while attaining the lowest weld costs. No contract required, you simply pay the low costs fees for when you utilize me. The fee also enables your weld shop personnel to call me anytime for weld resolutions. It’s this simple, if I don’t’ provide dramatic weld quality improvements and cost savings reductions, you simply don’t use my service. Call Em at 828 337 2695. firstname.lastname@example.org.
This photo represents four decades of the the Dow Chemical
engineering approach to many of their global weld applications.
Why change? With stick welds, who needs weld process control expertise? it’s just amps up or amps down.
Weld fabrications & the sad dinosaur managers at DOW Chemical:
I had just visited a mid-west processing plant in which Dow, one of the USA largest chemical companies had requested that their 3 inch (75mm) thick, 304 stainless vessel, that was approx. 8 feet (>2 m) in diameter, was to be welded only using 1/8 (3mm) diameter SMAW electrodes.
Over the years, with some of projects I worked on, I had seen the love affair from Dow engineers for the most simple and oldest arc weld process, SMAW (stick). Big or small jobs, SMAW was the common process choice, and it’s a choice that was often influenced by previous old applications that were often designed from 1950s to 1980s. The DOW engineers must have lacked confidence in their weld process expertise, and therefore having small balls they would utilize the weld process that was used on similar applications often before they were born. It’s sad that an engineering giant like DOW gave little thought to the present day weld process choices that they and their fabricator suppliers could have used on many of their world wide construction projects. In many instances the utilization of MIG – Flux Cored or TIP TIG, would have been the logical weld selection decision, and the weld quality and productivity improvements would have created hundreds of millions of dollars in savings. However the Rip Van engineers at DOW seem to be content to maintain the status quo of “this is the way we have always done it”.
So in 2017 for those weld industries or weld shops that still utilize or consider SMAW, TIG or even pulsed MIG for alloys, and all metals that require all position code quality welds, the bottom line is they are not only using out-dated weld process technology that is likely impacting their weld quality and costs, they will also likely be using out-dated weld specifications and weld procedures.
Someone should write a song for the weld
industry and call it, WHY CHANGE?
The weld industry Swan song. “WHY CHANGE”.
The Russians would argue, but as a commercial process TIG was invented by Northrop Aircraft in 1941. Almost eighty years later, and thanks mostly to management and engineering lack of weld process expertise and process ownership, TIG is still the primary arc weld process used at Northrop.
Question: Ed, I thought that part of the job descriptions of most engineers and managers would be to be responsible to embrace and drive new cost effective weld technology changes.
Answer: Well first Ed is now Em. The facts in 2017, are arc weld process controls and best arc weld practices are still not taught in most of the global universities and colleges that educate welding and mechanical engineers. So therefore its logical that this expertise is a missing link in industry, and so the safest thing in these circumstances for the majority of managers / engineers involved with welds, is do NOTHING.
Lets face it, Its much safer to simply maintain the “this is the way we have always done it” culture and status quo then drive process changes that will require justification, new procedures and training, functions by the that should be a normal function of any manufacturing manager, engineer and supervisor.
Robots and Auto – Truck Welds:
My unique Robot Weld Process Control Self Teach and Training program will only benefit those that have an interest and those that can read.
AUTOMOTIVE & ROBOT WELDS? The largest user of robot weld cells is the global auto and truck industry. In this industry, poor and inconsistent robot MIG and resistance weld quality and productivity is the daily norm. The reason for the lack of controls, is a simple one. Management, engineering, supervision and robot technician weld process control – best practice expertise is almost as rare to find as an honest politician.
Those managers, engineers and supervisors who believe in front office / engineering process ownership, will be glad to know that their robot MIG weld weld issues & the required weld process control resolutions, are discussed and provided extensively in this web site. (also see robot management – technician sections). But most important, the “required robot weld process training_materials & self teaching programs” are provided here for the cost of a good dinner for four.
AUTO PLANTS, MANY ENGINEERS, LITTLE PROCESS EXPERTISE. Lets face it, both car and truck global mfg. plants employ more engineers than most other industries that have weld manufacturing facilities. However the last place you would find manual & robot arc weld process control – best weld practice expertise, in an auto – truck plant is in their front office.
When engineers have a weld issue with their robot lines, their resolution is to get their phone and call their lower paid, often poorly trained robot technician. Or again use the phone and call their weld distributor salesman or robot integrator to help resolve their plant’s weld issues.
This fire works display below from the newly trained Detroit Big Three auto welders indicates not only poor training but also poor manual MIG weld repairs being applied on the poor quality auto & truck robot frame welds.
Question. Why does Pulsed MIG benefit aluminum welds and when should you consider switching to MIG Spray for Aluminum? The answers are in Eds_process training_materials.
Robots and Automotive:
Out of control manual MIG weld repairs on top of out of control robot MIG welds, so what else would you expect?
Over budget manual MIG repair welds on top
of poor robot MIG welds.
The norm plant’s MIG weld practices for many global auto – truck frame and other parts welds. Place poor manual MIG repair welds on top of poor robot MIG, welds. With present day multi-billion dollar recalls and liability concerns, lawyers should get exited with this simple mfg. reality.
Attaining optimum, uniform, consistent weld quality has little meaning in many front office weld department front offices if they have not FIGURED OUT HOW TO ACHIEVE THIS:team meetings will rarely provide optimum robot or manual weld resolutions when the front office and weld shop decision makers don’t have the weld process – best practice expertise that’s necessary.[/caption]
As many of you will be aware, two optimum quality robot welds in a row in an auto – truck plant, would be as rare as finding an honest politician. Each year in North America typically 15 to 20 billion dollars are lost to the Auto and Truck industry major mfg, companies as a result of product defects, which lets face it have to be primarily influenced by managers and engineers. Hundreds of millions of dollars are also lost each year with robot weld lines which typically are allowed to be run without arc and resistance robot weld process controls – best practice expertise.
The majority of cars & trucks Resistance & MIG welds do not
attain the weld quality – production potential that the
weld process and robots could deliver.
For decades, in the auto – truck industry, too many resistance have been out of control. The management solution. Ignore the numerous missed and poor quality welds, and compensate with more poor quality welds on the parts. This is management / engineering process inadequacy .
Robots are purchased primarily to optimize weld quality and reduce weld costs. However you may not want to ask a question on how to improve the robot weld quality or what are the real weld costs on the weld shop floors or front offices of most global car and truck plants. And for that matter, don’t ask questions on these two subjects in most mfg. plants that provide manual or robot MIG welds.
When front office weld decision makers lack weld process control and best practice expertise, their never ending weld shop issues become like an old entrenched tooth ache, and it’s not uncommon for the key weld decision makers to turn to who they think is the local weld expert, their weld distributor sales rep. The sales person is often an individual who has never worked in or run a weld shop.
A fact that is poorly understood in the welding industry is an indication of an individual’s arc weld process control – best practice expertise is evident when they can consistently attain the highest possible weld quality and production with a dumb machine such as a robot. However with three requirements,
- (1) Robot programming expertise readily taught by robot mfg. or robot integrator. Programmers should at least once a year continue program training to increase their control expertise.
- (2) Weld process controls covering the weld transfer modes provided by the equipment, this enables maximum weld quality and production potential from the weld equip. utilized in the robot cell.
- (3) Robot best weld practices. This is an understanding of how the weld power source can combine and optimize if specific robot weld practices are taught. Note: Robots provide higher weld speed potential, controlled movements and switching of weld data not capable by any manual welder. Using Eds_training_materials, the process and the robot can combine to attain both weld quality – production simply not attained by any manual welder or attained by robots without this process expertise.
An industry that lacks process
expertise, will often turn to a salesman or rep?
Which gas, wire, power source, process, weld mode, consumables and parameters should be used. How many more decades will pass before weld management gets a grip on their weld processes and cut it;s umbilical cord to the local weld salesman?
Over the decades, in the hundreds of weld shops I visited there was a common theme in which the supervisors and managers would place the blame for their weld shop weld issues on their welders. These weld decision makers simply would fail to recognize their own lack of weld process control – best practice expertise. These are the decision makers who had a crutch reliance on their local weld sales rep for weld process advice. The weld reality is as its always been, few of the global weld sales reps have extensive weld application experience, and even fewer have ever managed a weld shop.
This character has likely visited your weld shop.
All that’s missing with here is their should be a box of donuts in his hand.
You have likely been there and DONE THAT: It’s Monday morning, the local weld salesman who in most instances has never supervised or managed a weld shop, marches through the weld shop door with a box of donuts or a pizza and a big smile. After listening to the weld shop issues, the sales rep then presents information on his latest, costly, bells and whistles pulsed power source, and then lets you know about his latest magic three part MIG gas mix, or unique metal cored wire. One of these products is often presented as a solution to the weld department woes. Weld issues that in reality are generated by the front office and weld department’s lack of weld process control – best weld practice expertise.
On the subject of sales reps and weld process expertise, please keep in mind that I have educated and trained in North America, approx. 20000 weld sales personnel at Airgas, Praxair, AGA and Liquid Carbonic on this subject of process controls – best practices. My experiences in this industry led me to the conclusion, that perhaps no more than ten percent of the sale reps should be allowed to give advice inside a weld dept.
Question Can you name another high tech industry that for decades has relied extensively on inexperienced sales reps for their mfg. or process technical advice?
Question. What are the two prime weld root causes of black soot on alum welds? The answers are in Eds_process training_materials.
More on AUTO & TRUCK MFG.
This is an industry that for more than three decades has at least been consistent in their ability to produce poor robot arc and resistance weld quality and productivity:
Resistance or MIG, the lack
of process control is the global norm.
When it comes to both MIG and resistance welds, the global auto – truck industry is notorious for it’s hands off managers and engineers. Less than 10% of the auto industry weld decision makers are aware of how to consistently attain their robot MIG or spot weld quality – production potential, or even aware of the prime root causes of their plant’s daily, never ending weld issues.
MANAGERS FAIL when they don’t provide themselves and their employees with the weld process controls and best weld practice expertise that’s necessary to consistently attain optimum manual and robot weld quality & productivity.
As manual – robot arc welding and also robot resistance weld process controls – best weld practice expertise is easy to learn, and costs very little to purchase at this site. One might ask why are these programs not being implemented in all global facilities in which the MIG. Flux Cored, TIG and TIP TIG are important weld processes? The reason the expertise is either inadequate or missing is simple. If managers, engineers and supervisors don’t comprehend that the root causes of their daily weld problems is this lack of process expertise, then the key weld decision makers will not be aware that this is an expertise that both they and their shop floor employees require. By the way, weld process controls and best weld practices are not taught in most of the global colleges, universities or trade schools that provide weld education from the engineer to the welder levels. Anyway who needs this expertise when you can just let your weld personnel “play around” with their weld controls.
His bloody “play around” organ has to go.
For approx. six decades, the industries that utilize manual MIG & flux cored acquired a reputation as a PLAY AROUND with controls industry. So when the robots were introduced into weld departments, it’s only natural, that the robot technicians would also play around with robots arc and resistance weld controls and the managers would not blink.
The common plant mfg.managers solutions to robot weld quality or production issues, will be order more robots, add a shift, add manual welders to the end of the robot lines, ship the parts to a tier one or two supplier, or sweep the frustrating weld issues under the rug, and send the parts south to Mexico.
Three plus decades have passed, & few global robots will
daily attain their weld quality & production potential
When mfg. plants lack a process control – best practice expertise, you would think it’s a management responsibility to see this situation is rectified.
As in common with most global auto – truck mfg. plants, I believe the Tesla robot / manual steel and alum weld results simply indicates that their weld management, engineers and weld decision makers lack robot arc and resistance weld process control – best practice expertise.
Any mfg, facility should be viewed just like a ship. If the ship has issues the captain is first in line for blame. If things are not run well in the ship’s engine room, who do you think is responsible? In contrast when something is screwed up with the weld quality and productivity in a mfg. environment, both the plant and corporate mfg. management has the responsibility to take process ownership and provide the resolutions, and the prime resolution is to ensure those that weld understand weld process controls and best pracices.
The last place to look for weld process controls & best practice expertise would be in the offices of most global car – truck mfg. plants.
Before any company purchases weld robots, they should first ensure the front office, maintenance personnel and robot technicians have the required robot arc or resistance weld process control – best practice expertise. In most instances they will not have this expertise. so managers have a responsibility to provide it for them.
Process expertise starts with the robot PO. Through the robot purchase order, a qualified manager or engineer would ensure that the robot integrator selected proves that with the robot cell or line they provide, that they can actually meet a minimum of four hours of the maximum production requirements with the specified weld quality. This should be proven at the integrator’s facility before final robot delivery and before final robot cell payoff.
If you own a car or truck, as you drive over pot holes, please give give consideration to what is likely questionable robot MIG welded frames & axles.
ROBOTS and MANUAL MIG WELD REPAIRS. A subject rarely discussed or hidden in the auto – truck industry.. One way to benefit from the my process control self teaching or 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 many (should be unnecessary) weld repair stations.
Frequently in the manual MIG weld repair cells, they will use the same size MIG weld wire as used on the robot lines. This is a major mistake in the auto – truck industry. As most of you are aware, most auto – truck MIG weld repairs are made in small weld areas with short weld lengths and 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, and also used with high end short circuit settings for gage materials.
When set correctly the MIG weld repair settings should not create weld spatter concerns. With that 0.035 wire and a 10 to 20% CO2 mix, the best possible MIG power source you could provide the plant with is a low cost 250 amp CV MIG power source, (approx. $2000 – $3000, wire feed included). This MIG power source and recommended consumables will provide with the majority of steels and alloy steel 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 to attain these low cost benefits 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 would also ensure the highest possible robot weld quality and that should dramatically reduce the weld repairs.
TESLA, another sad example of lack of weld
manufacturing management expertise.
I am sure Mr. Musk of Tesla loves robots, however he has a lot to learn about robots that are attached to a process such as welding. When it comes to robot welds or manual welds, Tesla is having the same weld issues that the rest of the hands off managers and engineers in the auto – truck industry have had for decades.
A Report from the Automotive News reveals that Tesla is dealing with some major assembly-line robot weld problems that are slowing down production of it’s Model 3 sedan. TESLA produced only 260 Model 3s in the third quarter of 2017, (approx. the hourly production of some major car manufacturers). Tesla was supposed to ramp up to approx. 20 thousand a month by the end of the year. According to Automotive News’ Katie Burke, “based on details in a Wall Street Journal report and in a video of the production line posted on Twitter by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, experts say the electric vehicle maker appears to be struggling with battery supply and with WELDING the mostly steel vehicles.”
Continue from Em..Nov 2017: As Tesla experienced this year, there is a large difference in the robot weld challenges when you go from low volume robot resistance or arc weld production, to high production robot weld requirements. Tesla managers must surely be aware that they are not alone with weld issues, and few of the robots utilized in global auto – truck plants in 2017, will consistently achieve their daily arc or resistance robot weld quality or weld productivity potential.
When poor robot arc or spot weld quality and production occurs, there will often be much finger pointing from both the corporate and plant’s front office managers and engineers, to those on the shop floor as to the prime cause of the robot weld issues.
Tesla Calls, and what a bloody waste of time that was: In the spring of 2017, I got a call from some high brow Science or Engineering Manger at Tesla, California. This manager had received my resume for the plant’s weld engineer position. This individual wanted to know how I could assist their new Model Three Production plant with it’s robot welds issues.
Tesla Mfg. expertise. With this Tesla manager, a few minutes conversation revealed that he completely lacked any weld process expertise. As our discussion went on, I could quickly tell this TESLA manger had zero expertise on the subject of welding. He started to ask me questions that you would ask some weld novice at a high school or community college. I asked him, had he read my 8 page resume that spells out why for decades I have been a manual and robot weld process control – best practice expert. My resume also spells out that I had developed unique process control and best weld practice training programs and provided process improvements to more than 1000 plants in 13 countries.
Tesla and sad management: I then explained to this highly placed manager, (who from my perspective was definitely in the wrong job), that his upcoming extensive increase in either resistance or arc robot weld production (from hundreds of cars to thousands per-month) would without question lead to numerous robot weld quality – productivity issues and with Tesla’a lack of high production experiences the issues would be way beyond the auto industry norm.
If a company such as Tesla is not aware of how to control a weld process with low robot weld production volume, what can they expect as the WELD PRODUCTION RAMPS UP DRAMATICALLY .
Tesla dumb interview continues. I spoke with the Tesla interviewer for another 30 minutes providing info. on my numerous robot past achievements, and my qualifications such as being asked by the AWS to participate in writing the AWS. MIG Weld Specifications, (the weld specs used by the auto industry). The manager then replied, “well that’s all very impressive, but I have to ask you this question, “What is MIG”. After coming out of a state of shock. I replied that “If I don’t normally waste my time talking with an idiot,” and hun
Tesla, a comment on the welds viewed. Watching a one minute online video of the Tesla plant’s initial low volume, robot resistance welds, on the S-3 cars, the robots appear to be too few and performing at the low end of the robot weld speed potential. Also and this is important, the resistance welds look like they are at the initial design spec locations only. As Tesla ramps up the robot production, their engineers will soon learn that they will need to compensate for the inconsistent quality or missed spot welds attained. And the way TESLA will likely compensate will be with the placement of additional spot welds. To keep up with production, those extra robot spot welds will require faster robot weld speeds, or more robots, both usually add to the spot weld quality concerns.
Also in viewing the video, the spot weld settings appear to be too high, evident by the extensive expulsion. This is a bad sign as it points to the lack of process experience. Also lets face it, if you can’t get weld quality correct at the start of a low volume robot production run, then the quality will continue erode and be a major issue with increased production and the different shift personnel further screw up the weld settings.
Most auto companies are aware that for many of their robot resistance welds, they had better put two or three additional robot welds to compensate. This sad and poor management / engineering approach to welds, is typically a result of the plants management and engineers lack of ability to consistently control part dimensions, the part placement in the fixtures, or the changing robot TCP, any of which can change the weld locations.
Also when good resistance or arc robot weld settings are used, in those plant’s in which the mfg. management lack process control expertise and process ownership, usually the required best weld practices will not be in place. Good weld settings will then quickly erode and will be left to the inexperience robot technicians or whoever makes the weld setting changes,
TESLA, unique Truck designs, but what about robust weld mfg?
It’s one thing to build cars with a 50,000 mile warranty, & then build trucks that won’t rattle from bad welds within a million mile warranty.
Is Tesla capable of the consistent, uniform robust mfg required for trucks with extended mileage warranties? As both Fruehauf and Volvo are aware,
(I provided many robot resolutions for both these companies) with their costly tractor-trailers, product durability is likely more important than producing a $250,000 bells and whistles truck that provides a generous battery mileage range. In contrast to cars, when the major truck companies build trucks, apart from the power train many of the truck welded components may be part of a one million mile truck warranty. However even with this common high mileage truck warranty, unfortunately in 2017, too many of the robot welds required on global trucks are still extremely poor with inconsistent weld quality. Its a sad statement that after after decades of truck building experience, most truck manufactures still struggle in 2017 to control their daily robot welds, and by now you should know where the responsibility for this lies.
Tesla, Rattles and Recalls? To keep up with their production demands, Tesla will no doubt have some parts built in Asia and possibly one day Mexico. The bottom line is Tesla customers would expect that Tesla management would from day one drive quality standards that should be applied to all their vehicles, From my perceptive, if Tesla can’t control and figure out the simple steel and alum. arc or resistance weld quality requirements at it’s own CA plant this would not bode well for well for future consumer reports on Tesla vehicles.
Tesla could join the club. When the Tesla robot weld production issues become intolerable, Tesla like their competition will always have that North American mfg. option of shipping the parts and robot weld lines to Mexico or some other low labor cost country. At these offshore locations robot weld quality issues will be dealt with through manual low cost labor repairs, and at these locations, the QA departments are usually more forgiving, (Chrysler corporate management was highly qualified at this practice).
Will Aliens laugh at the quality of the welds on this car?
Dec. 2017: E Musk is supposed to place a Tesla Roadster atop of his Spacex Falcon Heavy Rocket. I wonder apart from this great marketing tool if he gives any consideration to the double weld quality standard found between his cars and his rockets?
TESLA Cars and Spacex. Welding a car or components on a space craft, to me its all the same, and I know because I’ve done both. You don’t put welds on components unless you are sure you have maximized the weld fusion and minimized the potential for other internal weld defects.
Some may see the irony in a company such as Tesla not being able to provide the low volume robot weld process controls & best weld practices requirements necessary for simple resistance, and I suspect MIG welds. While in the same time frame, the Tesla owner is also responsible for SpaceX, a company that should have a mandate to consistently produce the highest possible weld quality on any of it’s Space craft welded components.
I would also bet money on it that likely in 2017, SpaceX like most other Aerospace companies is not utilizing the best possible arc weld process, and I also suspect that SpaceX is using weld specifications and procedures that would feel at home in the 1980s.
I wonder if a few hundred years as the Falcon is traveling where no man or earth rocket has gone before, if some aliens will discover the antiquated Falcon Rocket and beam aboard. In the cargo hold the aliens will be shocked to find a 2017 car made by some Earth company called Tesla. The alien scientists who have never seen a car decide tear the vehicle apart to see how evolved the Earth’s engineers were in 2017. The scientists get the Tesla welds, and after having a good laugh at the poor weld quality, they come to the conclusion that the planet Earth’s engineering expertise and evolution is much lower than they imagined it would be.
By the way what does the introduction of new innovative products contribute to to the USA, if the workforce hired to build those products struggles to get respect, decent wages and benefits?
A 2017 note from me to Tesla management, not that any Tesla mgr is ever likely to visit a web site like this. Mr. Musk has many admirers and its easy to respect what he has achieved with Spacex. However Mr. Musk may be a leader in innovation but so far has shown he does not set a high bar in mfg. I don’t like what I hear about the Tesla plant claims about worker respect, gender and racism concerns. Also I don’t respect any company that wants to build its products on the backs of workers who are barely paid a living wage.
Mr Musk is well aware that it’s easy to put a state of the art concept vehicles on a pedestal, and like the great salesman or showman that he is to get investors and share holders exited enough to put down deposits on the car or truck of their dreams. By now he must be well aware that it’s another thing to successfully build those products within the production, quality and cost projections.
The auto – truck steel – alum welded products that Tesla is involved with continually will be influenced daily by numerous ongoing variables from press – die wear, part fit tolerances allowed, fixture and design issues, and lack of process control weld mfg. expertise. I believe (could be wrong) that the nuts and bolts requirements of auto – truck mfg. is not Elon’s first career choice. If Musk is frustrated when building a few hundred a month, imagine his frustration when they really have to ramp up the robot weld production.
Note: Tesla mfg. managements may want to be aware that if the US – European and Asian Auto – Truck mfg. giants had the necessary talent to be successful and cost effective with their daily manual – robot arc and resistance quality – production goals, they would not have pallets loaded with rejects and rework and also they would not require that their tier one and two part suppliers provide this function..
word to Musk at Tesla. Next time your company wants to hire a process expert, make sure the person your company designates to do the interview, has at least a little knowledge on the subjects being discussed.
More on Robots and Automotive:
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Call Em at 828 337 2695. email@example.com.
MAGNA is a top three global auto part supplier: Below, Ed before Em is providing Robot Best Practices – Process Control Training for USA robot personnel at a company called Magna, This Canadian company in 2016 was the 3rd largest global tier one auto – truck parts supplier. At the US MAGNA facility, Ed started the MIG robot process control training program in one of the manual welders cell. Robot technicians and weld decision makers have to first learn the process before they adjust the weld on the robots.
When you Tain robot techs in robot MIG process controls,
you start the training in the classroom then the manual MIG weld cell.
What a company MAGNA would be if its managers and engineers knew as much about weld process controls than they do about the Tool and Die industry.
Above. Ed teaching MAGNA robot techs on how to control robot MiG welds. Step 1. classroom on MIG Process Controls – Best Practices. Step 2. Hands On with the MIG Process. Step 3. Use lessons learnt & apply to the robot cell programs.
Over time, I was requested to evaluate and assist a few of the North American MAGNA facilities. In my visits, I came to the conclusion that the robot, MIG weld, process controls and best robot weld practices requirements were not well understood by the MAGNA plant management, engineers and robot technicians that were involved daily with the robot weld decisions. As its common in the auto industry, at the MAGNA plants It’s typically young robot technicians that daily keep the robots running. I found that the majority of the robot technicians that I met were comfortable with their programming skills, but hardly knew anything on the subject of MIG robot weld best practices and process controls.
The best thing that the engineering management at MAGNA provided for their robot MIG lines, was parts to be welded that actually met the design dimension requirements, this by the way was the first company I had ever seen in the auto – truck industry that had the metal stamping expertise and ability to provide good parts for welding.
When robot parts fit without serious MIG weld gaps, and weld fixtures are well designed, consistent robot MIG weld quality is easy to attain. The robot integrator will typically create the first set of mediocre robot weld parameters, and its not difficult for robot weld technicians to maintain the weld parameters and get half decent weld results. However once part placement issues, weld gaps or process issues occur, the robot cell weld resolutions will be through the robot weld data applied. If the technician does not have the MIG process control – best practice expertise necessary to deal with the issues, then the weld problems tend to increase, managers have more acid problems and loose more sleep, and optimum, consistent robot weld quality and production simply cannot be produced.
Optimizing Product ICONS is what I did, and still do.
Ed now Em was asked to optimize either the robot and manual weld quality and productivity on these and numerous other global product icons.
Solving weld issues at numerous facilities and different industries from Auto – Truck Plants, Nuclear Plants, Submarine and Ship Yards, Medical Equip or most recent assisting United Technology with their Space Station and NASA Mar’s Orion Space Ship part.
With my Robot or Manual MIG Weld Process Controls- Best Weld Practice programs, teach your self, or use to train your employees. Click here.
High spatter MIG welds make a good fire works display,
but is an indication of poor robot weld management.
Imagine the costs associated with producing these poor robot welds and the small price for process controls that lead to process optimization
So you know how to control robot MIG welds?
Two Fundamental Questions,
Question 1. The above robot 5/16 (8mm) fillet CV MIG welds, utilized an 0.052, (1.4mm) wire and a 90 Argon – 10 CO2 gas. With this information a weld process professional would be able to look at the photo and be aware of the approx CV amps, volts, wire feed and travel rate. And then in a few seconds determine what the weld issue in the photo indicates and what the weld solution is.
Question 2. The above robot has start weld problems and their is a blob of weld on the wire tip after each weld is completed. Why the issue and what is the resolution?
Test your MIG process knowlege. Craig’s MIG quiz
When management, engineers, supervisors and technicians lack weld process expertise, this may create the following;
- their weld facilities will rarely attain their optimum weld quality – productivity potential,
- their weld cost focus is on the consumables and not the welds,
- their weld facilities will frequently rely on weld vendors or other inexperienced. often biased reps for assistance with their weld issues. These are personnel that will rarely have worked or managed a weld shop,
- their weld facilities will constantly search for a new crutch for the resolution of their weld issues. The crutch may be the purchase of a new sophisticated costly pulsed power source that’s often loaded with useless electronic bells and whistles. Or the purchase of useless three – four part gas mixes and metal core wires,
- their weld facilities will have to add to their manpower or robots, or pay overtime costs to attain the required production and rework,
- their managers and supervisors will daily be in the FIREMAN mode, forever fighting but rarely resolving weld quality – productivity issues,
- their weld facilities will lack the ability to develop a qualified weld team that can quickly enable cost effective resolution consistently attain process optimization,
- their weld shop culture will fear process change and therefore will avoid or not embrace the effective process evolution and sound weld practices,
- their weld department will build up their QA dept personnel and budget, and place their mfg. weld quality focus on FINDING rather than PREVENTING weld defects. This has never been cost effective.NOTE: It’s logical if a company employs weld inspection personnel that experienced management would ensure that these individual y are provided with weld process – best practice training. Something by the way that 99% will not have.Click here for your MIG – TIG – TIP TIG or Flux Cored weld process optimization training or use as self teaching materials
Dana USA & the world’s best selling Ford F-150 Truck.
2007 E-Mail from R. Good. Weld Engineer Dana USA.
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 100% of the frames required extensive manual weld rework.
Ed thanks to your Robot Weld Process Control Best Practice Training program, and the weld process, consumable and practice changes that you recommended and we have now across the board 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. Ed we have now provided your robot training program and implemented your robot weld process recommendations in five of our USA plants.
Many thanks Ed…… RG Dana.
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. By the way for these changes I would have charged Dana less than $10K and I never got a thank you note from Dana or Ford senior management, both of which I am sure never even understood what I did for them.
My Beetle welds at Johnson Controls, Mexico:
When the new VW Beetle was introduced it was announced that this iconic vehicle was going to be built in Mexico for obvious reasons. The contract for the Beetle seat frames was given to Johnson Controls (JC) Mexico. After the new ABB MIG welding robots were installed at the JC Mexican plant, for many months, the JC Mexican and US engineers struggled and could not meet the VW destructive weld test requirements for any of the Beetle car seat welds they produced.
THE VW GERMAN MANAGERS SCREWED UP, The robot MIG welds at the Mexican facility were strictly being carried out in accordance with the robot weld specifications / procedure requirements that were from VW Germany. I was requested by JC USA to provide the robot weld resolutions for the seats. When arriving at the plant, I immediately figured the German robot MIG procedure parameters were too low, and this was effecting both the destructive test weld quality desired and also reducing the robot productivity potential.
In the 3 days I was at the facility I completely changed the robot weld program, the weld transfer modes, the consumables, parameters and practices. I eliminated all the weld rework and as a bonus I gave them an increase in the daily robot shift weld production by 40%.
Of course with the major weld changes I made, the Germans requested that I stop making the changes and urgently attend a meeting in which all German / Mexican responsible managers and engineers must attend. Of course I followed orders. At the meeting the VW executives went on for an hour about how important it was to for the Mexicans to produce their parts in accordance with their pre-approved specifications and procedures from Germany. They said that I must not make changes. Of course after dealing with Germans for decades, I had my big guns ready. (don’t talk show results). Before the meeting I had sectioned one of their prototype robot MIG welded car seats that were welded in Germany, the German seat weld macro’s revealed that over 60% of the small seat welds had extensive lack of fusion. I then showed the same macro welds from the changes that I had made on the Mexican produced seats, my changes revealed that the fusion defects were gone. I then told the VW mangers that I had also increased their robot shift weld production figures by 40%. I asked them should I change the robot data back to the German requirements, for some strange reason they went very quite. The German managers who would not have known a good weld if they found one on their dinner plate mumbled something about approving my changes. They quickly left the building with their tails between their legs. I think for my quality – productivity improvements and for their management BS, that I charged them around $6000.
MORE ON MY BEETLE SEAT WELD QUALITY. Around 1999 to 2000, the USA Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in it’s car crash tests rated the Beetle car seats (those using my robot weld data), as the most durable of all in the small car seats they had ever crash tested.
Viza car seats in the beautiful town of Vigo Spain:
In Spain and other parts of Europe, Ed improved robot car seat and other welds on BMW, VW, Jaguar, Toyota, Renault, Ford, GM.
Viza builds auto – truck seats for Toyota, Renault, Citroen, BMW and others. The president and owner of Viza requested that I come to Spain, I jumped at this request at as it was certainly much more pleasant than going to Detroit car facilities. The owner of Viza had started to invest heavily in new robot lines for his products and he requested that I resolve his companies robot seat weld quality – production issues and establish my Best Weld Practices / Robot Process Controls for his companies employees and new robot MIG weld lines.
Ed at a tier one car seat supplier in Spain. He had to work with the useless electronic bells and whistles on the Miller MIG power source in their robot cells. This MIG power source as common with many simply added complexity without real world robot weld quality or productivity benefits,
In the two weeks I was at the Spanish facility I established highly success robot weld quality – productivity results with all the robots. I then trained the Spanish employees with my robot MIG weld process control training program. This was considered such a sucess, a few years later I was requested to return by the Viza owner for the start up of two more of his new plants, one in Spain and the other in Eastern Europe. And boy those were great trips.
Tier One Tenneco – Monroe USA and Global.
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. eds_training_materials
Ed’s influence on Caterpillar Trucks & Elgin Sweepers.
When the world’s largest truck was first built, Ed was as the ABB Weld Manager, and was asked to establish the robot weld data.
E-Mail: Hello Ed now Emily I believe congrats on that big change and change is something you were never afraid of. I know you set the robot welds on the Caterpillar world’s largest truck and as you know In the past I purchased your Manual MIG weld process control – best practice training resource for the Caterpillar plants that I was assisting. To get you updated, I recently purchased your Robot MIG weld process control training package for Elgin Sweeper Company here in Illinois. Em your programs worked wonderfully at both Caterpillar and at Elgin. We were very successful after implementing your Robot 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 Em. Regards Joe Cukierski. Weld Mfg. Engineer. Elgin Sweeper Company.
In the USA, we did not just loose jobs to NAFTA and other lower wage countries, we also lost a tremendous amount of good paying USA manufacturing jobs as a result of ignorant, self centered, politicians, and to Fortune 500, manufacturing & process, management and engineering, ignorance and incompetence, as described at Chrysler below.
My experiences with the 20 plus million dollar,
Chrysler, Corporate, Management, Neon Weld Fiasco.
Chrysler and its pathetic approach to robot welds.
On my favorite subject of manufacturing management incompetence, in the nineteen nineties, in a period of less than 18 months, Chrysler corporate management lost 15 – 20 million dollars from a new, flux cored robot line. This line was located at the prime Mini Van stamping facility in Ohio.
The robot weld line at the Ohio facility was designed to weld the Neon cross-members. From the day it went into production, this line never made more than 50% of it’s daily robot weld production goals and it’s daily robot weld rework was 100%. The robot welds were made with Lincoln, Self Shielded, (SS), Flux Cored wires. Please note this is a weld wire that Chrysler made many of it’s tier suppliers use. It was a pathetic excuse of weld consumable choice made by the corporate Chrysler weld engineer.
The sad excuse for the SS weld consumable was influenced by Lincoln Electric. The frustrated, Chrysler stamping plant manager had requested Lincoln engineers provide help with the sad robot welds. Eventually the Chrysler plant manager gave up on the Lincoln engineers and his own corporate weld engineer, and requested my assistance. In less than 3 days of robot weld process evaluation on the large robot lines, I came up with a weld process solution to fix all the welding issues. The majority of the weld issues were a result of the Lincoln SS wires, and complete lack of weld control expertise by all the mangers and engineers involved.
When my resolutions were presented on the root causes to the senior Chrysler management, for self preservation reasons the Chrysler corporate weld engineer declined to admit that he had made at that time a 14 million plus dollar mistake in his selection of the world’s worst weld process and consumables. These are weld wires better suited for farm work.
I recommended to the Chrysler plant manager that to convince the Chrysler corporate engineers of the of the folly of the poor process selection, that we do the robot welds with MIG using the same poor fit Neon parts . The plant manager gave permission. I then produced the sample parts. I provided a 35% increase in the robot line weld productivity with no weld rework required. I had the parts weld and part strength tested by the largest weld testing agency in Detroit. They reported that the welds and parts met the design requirements and had no defects.
For that lack of ownership Chrysler engineer to accept my weld process changes would have been an indication that he was responsible for the multi-million dollar robot weld issues. He argued against my recommendations with his corporate peers, (this was the blind leading the blind) that changing to MIG process would be a mistake. And the plant was told to back to using the poor SS wires. A few and a few months with the Neon weld over costs now around 18 million dollars the over-paid Chrysler management team made a gutsy engineering decision. The Neon stampings and the new robot lines were to be loaded into trucks and shipped out of sight to a plant in Mexico.
The reason for the robot line shut down and loss of these USA mfg. jobs, was not a result of cheaper Mexican labor, the reason was the Chrysler management and engineers involved with the project;
[a] lacked the ability to design parts suited for robot MIG welds,
[b] lacked the ability to build parts to their own design dimension tolerances,
[c] lacked the ability to make rational weld process and consumable decisions,
[d] lacked the ability to establish effective robot weld best practices – process controls.
[e] lacked the ability to stand up to an inexperienced weld engineer who’s ego and lack of expertise was the root cause of the multi-million dollar issues.
I visited the Mexican plant a year later, the Mexicans were simply manually welding (same lousy SS process) over every robot weld on the Neon parts. The bottom line was bad welds on top of bad welds, but the welds were now out of site in that plant in Mexico. More on the Chrysler Story
Robot norm, “PLAY AROUND” with the weld data.
Hey boss, I just need an hour or two to “play around: with the weld controls.
As mentioned a million time, no other industry uses more arc welding robots than the global Auto – Truck industry. In my position one time as Weld Manger the largest North American Robot Mfg, I found the following robot MIG welding facts;.|
Management influenced robot Down Time issues.
Average global “real world” robot MIG weld down time is 40 to 70 minutes per-robot-per-shift. This down time data is often unknown or not correctly reported or documented by managers. The weld reality is, with weld process control expertise provided to the plant’s weld decision makers, the average robot down time per-shift should not be more than 15 minutes.
Management influenced robot Weld Rework issues.
Average global robot MIG weld rework per-shift is 25 to 75 %. The frequent management solution, hire extra manual welders to repair the robot weld issues. With weld process control expertise, it should not be more than 5%.
Management influenced robot Weld Rejects issues.
Average robot high volume weld rejects is 5 to 50% per-shift. Management solution, attain a contract with a local scrap dealer, hire more manual welders to respond or simply fudge the daily weld reports, With weld process control expertise high volume applications should nor produce more than 2% rejects.
Management influenced robot Weld Production Efficiency issues.
Average robot weld production efficiency per-shift. 40 to 60% of the real robot weld potential. The management solutions, provide more manual workers, provide overtime, or purchase more robots. Robot MIG production efficiency optimization cannot be maximized without robot weld process controls – best practice expertise.
With the robot MIG process, the robot technician should understand how to optimize four distinct MIG weld transfer modes and how to best utilize those weld modes as weld solutions to robot issues. Understanding the weld modes, the optimum weld consumables and weld / wire parameter, deposition and weld travel rate ranges, and then matching the best weld data and the unique practices that robots enable to the specific weld application or problem, is easy to learn. This is a logical expertise for both the robot technicians and and front office weld decision makers who believe in process ownership and when in weld team meetings have an opinion on the robot welds.
The irony is for something globally that is poorly understood is it only takes a few dollars and a few hours with my self teaching / training materials to learn that required WELD PROCESS CONTROLS & BEST WELD PRACTICE Expertise.
EXPERTISE THAT CAN CREATE EXTENSIVE WELD COST SAVINGS: The often dramatic robot or manual weld cost savings that I would generate at plants or weld shops would typically take no more than two to three days to implement. In this period, I would also establish the required weld process controls and the best weld practices that should be in use. Then I would provide one of my Training Programs.
THEY LIKED THE RESULTS BUT LACKED INTEREST IN THE RESOLUTIONS: What I thought always thought was ironic in many of the plants that I was requested to provide the weld improvements, was the responsible weld supervisors, managers, engineers or other front office weld decision makers would often show little interest in the weld resolutions that I was providing, However as I was aware that this was the norm for many weld shops and being a stubborn thick skinned bugger born in Manchester, UK, a city that hates bull shit, I would insist that I would not provide the weld process improvements and the process Training unless the front office decision makers and weld supervision took an interest, and attended the short process improvement training programs.
For weld process controls – best practices to be effective, all those involved with a plants weld decisions and have an interest in assuming process ownership, will eventually have to walk the same process expertise path as those on the weld shop floor.
From Car – Truck robot welds, or manual Aerospace / Defense product arc welds. With weld process control expertise, the industry should not be relevant as optimum weld quality is always the first goal and there is only one way to weld with the arc weld process selected.
MIG. FCAW or TIG, I would use the same process control
logic for welds in a Nuclear Plant, as I would in a Car Plant.
It may be 2018, but STICK or TIG with 1980 specs. and procedures seem to be the way to go.
NUCLEAR – OIL – AEROSPACE – POWER – DEFENSE INDUSTRIES, ALL BENEFIT FROM WELD PROCESS – CONTROLS EXPERTISE.
Over the years Ed now Em has been asked by the following industries to improve their manual, automated and robot weld quality and productivity. Nuclear, Aerospace, Defense, Oil, Nat Gas, Power, Sub Sea, Ships – Submarines, Frigates, Aircraft Carriers and those thousands of stainless Medical equip applications. Em also was asked to improve the GTAW weld quality on USA Fighter Jets Engine Cast Bodies and welds on the Space Stn and Mars Orion Space Ship.
WHAT A WASTE, MILLIONS OF DOLLARS LOST DAILY WHEN WELDERS PUT THE WELDS ON, THEN GRIND THE WELDS & SPATTER OFF.
Lack of management process expertise often means high
grinding wheel costs and unnecessary labor costs.
The auto industry loves fireworks displays which simply point to another MIG weld out of control.
IT’S PATHETIC HOW MANY RELY ON A GRINDER: In the global weld shops, in which the front office and supervisors lack process control expertise, you will find that a critical tool required is called a GRINDER. In these weld shops, one responsibility for the management, is to ensure that their play around welders do not run out of the never ending, costly, grinding discs that are required. You can be sure in these plants that no one is adding up the costs or accountable for weld rework and weld cleaning..
Unnecessary ship weld repair costs, & poor weld production
is the norm, so it’s easy in this industry to save
millions of dollars per-ship.
Duplex, Stainless, Nickel, Cu alloys, all easy to weld if you select TIP TIG.
I have been a Weld Manger in a US Ship Yard and advised on Submarine and Navy frigate weld issues in Europe, the US and Canada. The bottom line at all of the facilities that I visited, was I never found a manger or engineer that truly understood the concept of weld process controls, best weld practice requirements. Also in this industry its rare to find a key weld decision maker who has the ability for weld process ownership.
If you were interested in finding the world’s worst quality arc welds, produced always at the highest unnecessary weld costs, I would visit a yard that makes ocean going vessels.
THE GREAT WELD COST MYSTERY IN SHIP YARDS WITH THEIR SIMPLE TWO CONTROL ARC WELD PROCESSES. An Aircraft Carrier may cost 13 billion dollars, but it will be very difficult in the Navy ship yard to find managers or supervisors who could tell you the cost of a common 1/4 (6 mm) MIG or Flux Cored fillet weld. And you don’t want to ask a silly question such as “what is the the average daily flux cored weld deposition per-welder and what should it be for the yard’s welders?.
It’s clear that for it to run a ship correctly, the Captain must have ownership of his ship. However in a Navy or any Ship Yard, it would be a rare event to find any manager who has real ownership and accountability for the welders and weld processes utilized to build their ships.
How much for over budget weld rework and repair costs,
60 – 80 – 100 + million dollars, and where was the weld management?
At the NAVY YARD I reduced Ship Weld rework COSTS by 60%. In the ship yard that I manged, through implementing my flux cored process control – best practice training program, and by educating the German amd US management, engineers and supervisors who were stuck in a 1970s STICK weld Time Warp, I reduced the ship flux cored weld rework costs by sixty percent, and that represented millions of dollars in savings per-ship.
I know its easy to criticize the ship building industry, but the weld reality as I did at numerous locations, is it would take me less than two hours at most facilities that weld to prove that daily the facility does not even come close to their weld quality and productivity potential. And this potential is readily attained with the right training program.
Over the last three decades I created the required MIG – FCAW – TIG and TIP TIG weld process control – best practice training or self teaching resources. I then made the costs of those resources very low (< $300) at prices so that even the most tight fisted manager would only grumble a little about paying this exorbitant weld process control training costs. And to improve all code quality and alloy welds, I also bought the TIP TIG process to North America and Australia.
CLAD MIG WELDS.
Complex ASME Boiler Water Wall. alloy Clad weld applications typically benefit from high MIG deposition, that enable high travel rates, and low energy welds that will enable low weld dilution. In contrast to the MIG spray mode, this is a pulsed MIG benefit.
Clad MIG welds is one of few MIG application that can be optimized with dramatic cost savings when Pulsed MIG is used. When higher clad weld quality is required a weld shop should be considering TIP TIG. Both of these applications of course also benefits from MIG and TIP TIG weld process control – best practice expertise:
ASME quality clad MIG welds on Water Wall Boilers.
When Ed established his patented Pulsed MIG method for the above automated, Water Wall Clad welds, of course he produced single pass welds with complete dilution control and high deposition rates that generated major weld and boiler cost benefits.
As the Weld Manager at WSI (Aquilex) Atlanta, Ed established a Pulsed MIG Stainless and Inconel Clad Patent. WSI is the world’s largest cladding producer for Water Wall Boilers, they were at that time using more than a million pounds of weld wire annualy. Take a close look below at Ed’s untouched Pulsed MIG, vertical, water wall, clad welds attaining less than 7% weld dilution per-single weld pass.
Ed’s Pulsed MIG Patent. 16 lb/hr, Single pass
less than 7% dilution. Welds untouched.
Cladding Boiler Water Walls. Ed’s clad patent. The global power industry had never seen this uniform, consistent MIG quality with the cost savings.
The above clad welds would cover large water wall boiler areas typically from 1000 to 5000 sq/feet. To get the required single pass clad welds with more than 20% chrome content in a single weld pass, it was important that the clad weld must achieve less than 7% single pass weld dilution.
Read how in the nineteen nineties. Ed’s USA – Europe “Pulsed MIG Overlay Clad Weld Patent” improved global boiler, water wall, clad weld quality. The clad patent produced for WSI (Aquilex) Atlanta, reduced the global, boiler wall clad weld Inconel & Stainless consumable costs by a minimum of 25%. The superior, uniform weld quality with excellant weld pass tie -ins reduced weld defects and the higher weld speeds reduced clad weld shrinkage stresses helping increased boiler life longevity. I utilized a pulsed MIG program and then created a program suited to high deposition cladding
What is not necessary in most weld shops.
 Is complex, costly Pulsed MIG equipment for common steel and alloy steel welds.
 Three part MIG gas mixes, or any mixes that contain oxygen or helium.
 Metal cored weld wires, never seen a metal cored weld I cant produce with a lower cost MIG wire.
 Most of the common weld rework, weld rejects, weld clean up, or distortion concerns.
WELD COST SAVINGS CAN BE EXTRAORDINARY: Over the last four decades, in the numerous global plants that I provided weld resolutions for, I readily generated over 250 million dollars in arc weld quality – productivity improvements, and those are savings that usually continue for years.
DIVERSE APPLICATIONS BENEFIT FROM PROCESS – APPLICATIONS EXPERTISE. With robot arc welds, I was requested by companies such as GM, TOWER, DANA, MAGNA, TOYOTA, VW, HONDA, CHRYSLER, FORD, HARLEY, MERCEDES & numerous others to assist them with their robot weld quality – productivity issues. I have also managed Ship Yards advised on weld repairs on submarines, Aircraft Carriers, Navy Frigates, in Nuclear plants and welds on the future Mars spacecraft and the Space Stn. It did not matter what the code utilized, the arc process used or the weld application was, the first thing that I would focus on, well you know what.
WELD PSYCHOLOGY 101: Try this. Have a chat with your wife or girlfriend about welding and while chatting look closely at their eyes. Then chat with the front office mfg. management about the never ending weld department issues, and in the majority of instances you will note the same glazed look:
Every weld shop should ask this simple question.
Who has the weld Process Ownership?
Forget all that other ISO and lean mfg. BS, and in 2018 why not try a new mfg approach to weld optimization. Its called Management Weld Process Ownership & Accountability through weld process control expertise and best weld practices.
If you actually want to learn about MIG – Flux Core – TIG – Tip Tig weld process controls and best weld practices click here.
Big or small, high or low weld volume, a screwed up MIG weld COSTS MONEY. The photo below shows the robot MIG parameters are not close to optimum. It would take 5 minutes to fix this weld issues, but then you would have to have a little process expertise. This robot will continue to make poor quality welds till l someone in the front office wakes up to the expertise required by them and their shop floor employees.
Usual robot MIG fire works display, shows incorrect volts.
Weld voltage is an easiy parameter to understand and adjust. If the robot tech does not know how to set he correct weld voltage, why would that technician be allowed to set and adjust any welds in any costly robot cell?
A pathetic engineering statement for an important global industry.
“Too often a weld SALES REP” will have more process ownership and influence on a companies weld shop decisions, than the primary weld decision makers that run the weld shop.
A pathetic engineering practice in an important global industry.
Why are you guys still playing around with those weld controls?
You must have heard these remarks before, “I have been a skilled welder for more than 30 years, and if I don’t have to know a weld setting, I just “play around” with the weld controls.
A pathetic approach to engineering evolutions.
Why should we learn something new and change the way we do things? after all “this is the way we have always done It”.
In contrast to the industries which primarily use the MIG and Flux Cored process, there are the industries or weld shops that will daily strive to deliver the highest possible weld quality with every weld they produce. These weld shops will often turn to TIG (GTAW) and the SMAW (STICK) process. These two older weld processes have something in common in that they both use a Constant Current (CC) power source that has one single prime weld control. Amps Up – Amps Down.
If you wanted to write a book on management – engineering weld process control apathy and ignorance, after visiting the Auto – Truck plants and Ship Yards, then make a tour of Oil – Gas – Power industry facilities.
2018 The Oil – Gas – Power industry
still stuck in the 1960’s.
Many Oil – Chemical Ind. engineers will know how to inspect weld quality, but few will have the arc process controls – best weld practice expertise that’s required for their company to consistently attain the best possible weld quality with the lowest weld costs.
While the high tech industries demand high weld quality you will find in their front offices and pipe – vessel weld departments, the prevailing lack of MIG – Flux Cored and now TIP TIG weld process control and best practice expertise.
Yes all high tech industries will have weld QA departments that like most will focus on finding rather preventing weld defects. The majority of QA AWS weld inspection personnel will have the ability to evaluate the quality of the weld, while few will have the weld process controls – best weld practice expertise to ensure consistent, uniform weld optimization.
It’s sad when the managers & engineers in the high tech industries have to leave their weld optimization, weld productivity & eventual weld evolution to those on the weld shop floors.
Can you count the weld safety infractions?
If you are a process expert, have a go with
some of the MIG – FCAW questions below.
E Craig’s MIG Weld Process Controls Test.
E Craig’s Flux Cored Process Controls Test.
This site was established around 1998 and this is only the home page. If you take the time you will find many logical weld solutions and also the WELD PROCESS – BEST PRACTICE PROGRAMS that can enable front office and weld shop weld decision makers to take complete WELD OWNERSHIP.
The bottom line is this site provides the weld industry with the MIG – TIG – TIP TIG and Flux Cored process control resources required for process optimization, the lowest weld costs and to reduce their weld liability concerns. Lets face it, who wants to watch experienced weld personnel PLAYING AROUND with their weld equipment controls. Click here for your weld process optimization materials