Weldreality.com home page on the world’s largest web site on MIG, Flux Cored, TIG and TIP TIG weld process controls & best weld practices.
This site provides the weld information and training materials that are necessary for any weld department to consistently attain the highest possible manual or robot MIG – TIG – Flux Cored or TIP TIG weld quality, always of course, at the lowest possible welding costs. The site was established in 1997 by Ed Craig and is updated yearly. Contact. E Craig at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please refresh each page as changes are frequent.
Revision Oct. 2017
The world’s most comprehensive & practical approach to Manual – Robot, Arc Weld Process Controls – Best Weld Practices.
TOO MANY GLOBAL MANAGERS LOOKING FOR THAT
- 2017. The MIG and Gas Shielded Flux Cored processes have for decades accounted for approx. 80 to 85% of the world’s daily welds produced, and GTAW and TIP TIG are the weld processes of choice when optimum weld quality is required especially with alloy welds. With the world’s four most important weld processes, It’s common to find the following in global weld shops;
- Experienced engineers, technicians and weld personnel that too frequently “Play Around” with two simple MIG or Flux Cored weld controls, yet these are two weld controls that have hardly changed in decades.
- TIG welders using incorrect tungsten size & type. Not being aware of optimum weld amp settings & using incorrect weld techniques.
- Weld shops that use the stick and TIG for code welds, and are not aware that for more than a decade the TIP TIG process has been available.
Note: It would take me only 15 minutes in any global weld shop to prove that on 99% of all steel and alloy steel weld applications, that the majority of the costly weld equipment products purchased provide no real value to the weld shops. The electronic weld equipment has certainly increased profits to both the weld equipment / consumable manufactures and distributors, and wait till you see the cost of the weld equip. repairs.
- Too many front office weld decision makers think it’s the norm to spend their days running around trying to quench weld shop fires, or they simply will sit by their computers, unaware of the benefits of the Weld Process Controls and Best Weld Practices. Expertise that could quickly enable their organizations achieve considerable weld cost savings.
- TIG welders who have been TIG welding steels and alum. for years, yet both they and the front office personnel don’t understand the benefits of Balanced Waves, Hz and pulsed controls when its provided on their equipment.
- Weld decision makers who do not know their real Weld Costs, and instead focus on the weld consumable costs which typically account for 15 to 20% of their weld costs. If decision makers are not aware of the optimum weld process requirements and weld deposition rate potentials for their common manual and automated welds, then controlling weld costs will not be possible.
Note: In the hundreds of companies that I visited in 13 countries, I never talked to a single Key weld decision maker who knew the real weld costs of the common daily welds they produced.
- Its a sad comment that in North America 2017, for those weld shops that TIG weld, yet the management, engineers and supervision is not aware of the TIP TIG process. This is a process that I introduced to N. America and Australia over a decade ago. The GTAW reality is, by using TIP TIG, one welder can produce the work of three traditional TIG welders, and at the same time dramatically improve the TIG weld quality and the weld / part metallurgical properties.
If you own an American truck, as you drive over those
pot holes, please give give consideration to your
questionable robot welded, frame & axle MIG welds.
WELD PROCESS OWNERSHIP – ACCOUNTABILITY – RESPONSIILITY?
WELD PROCESS CONTROLS & BEST WELD PRACTICE EXPERTISE IS RARELY GIVEN CONSIDERATION BY THE RESPONSIBLE MFG. MANAGERS, ENGINEERS, SUPERVISORS & QA PERSONS THAT SHOULD KNOW BETTER.
Throughout the global weld industry you will often hear corporate and plant managers complain about having to compete with much lower labor costs from other locations or countries. The irony is that the majority of these managers will not be aware of the weld process control – best practice expertise required of their plant managers, engineers, supervisors and technicians that are responsible for the welds.
In companies in which mfg. management – engineers lack the ability to control and optimize the results from their primary mfg. equipment, the reality is you have key decision makers who are not taking Ownership, Responsibility or Accountability for what goes on in their facilities. I believe this lack of front office ownership is one of the prime root causes in plants that daily spend their time in the Fireman Mode. This lack of application, process and equipment ownership is seen every day in the auto – truck and ship building industries..
IN 2014, 60 MILLION VEHICLES WERE RECALLED IN THE USA, A PRETTY STAGGERING FIGURE FOR A COUNTRY THAT PRIDES ITSELF ON IT’S ENGINEERING / MFG. EXPERTISE, A COUNTRY PRODUCES ON AVERAGE 14 TO 17 MILLION VEHICLES PER-YEAR.
2014: Most of the major auto / truck recall defects will typically be the result of a decision made by a designer, a manager, engineer, supervisor or technician. It’s anticipated that the latest vehicle recall costs for the auto industry, and the resulting long term law suites that will likely result could be some where between 10 to 20 billion dollars. The extraordinary loss of potential profit for the USA auto industry should be difficult to grasp in a manufacturing industry that is seen to be top heavy with university educated managers and engineers, an industry that has also in the last few decades spent billions of dollars implementing a variety of Quality Control Programs and mfg. Standards.
Photo below: Ed providing a two day Robot MIG Best Practices – Process Control Training program for robot technicians at a USA Magna plant. Magna is one the world’s largest auto / truck part suppliers.
2016: A lack of indepth weld process control knowlege, yet super confident in their abilty to work with that process, is today an attribute thats common with many robot weld technicians. This attribute was really evident with many of the young robot technicians that I met during my visits to different Magna plants
The Magna robot technicians had great confidence in their robot programming skills, however the majority of these Magna technicians, and for that matter the majority of global robot weld technicians, were simply not aware of the MIG Weld Process Controls and Best Weld Practice expertise that should be applied to consistently optimize the robot MIG weld quality and productivity.
WHEN ROBOT WELD TECHNICIANS LACK WELD PROCESS CONTROLS AND BEST WELD PRACTICE EXPERTISE, THE FAULT IS NOT THEIRS, THE PROCESS CONTROL EXPERTISE DEFICIENCY LIES WITH THE RESPONSIBLE MANAGERS, ENGINEERS AND SUPERVISORS.
 AN IMPORTANT ROLE OF WELD MFG. MANAGEMENT THAT CONSISTENTLY STRIVES FOR THE BEST POSSIBLE WELD QUALITY AT THE LOWEST WELD COSTS, IS TO FIRST RECOGNIZE THE PROCESS OPTIMIZATION REQUIREMENTS FOR THE PROCESSES, CONSUMABLES AND EQUIPMENT UTILIZED. AND THEN ENSURE THAT THE NECESSARY PROCESS CONTROL TRAINING RESOURCES PROVIDED.
THE EASY TO LEARN PROCESS CONTROL SELF TEACHING – TRAINING PROGRAMS ARE AVAILABLE THIS SITE.
Missing link for decades, lack of weld process control expertise.
A MESSAGE TO MAGNA AND OTHER COMPANIES THAT SUPPLY ROBOT WELDED PARTS…
The best thing that the engineering management at Magna did for their robot welds was to provide parts to be welded that actually met their design dimension tolerance requirements. This by the way was the first company I had ever seen in the auto – truck industry that had the engineering stamping / metal forming ability to provide decent part fit for their robot welds. When gage parts to be welded fit without serious weld gaps, optimum robot MIG welds are much easier to achieve. With good part FIT, it’s easy for those under qualified robot technicians to attain respectable weld quality / productivity with the common process data used in the plants. However the weld reality for most plants, is in most instances the robot technicians that are daily making the robot weld changes are;
[a] rarely attaining the best possible weld quality, as viewed by weld macros. rejects and rework.
[b] spending too much time on robot weld cell issues that should be instantly resolved,
© spending too much time in weld meetings that rarely provide optimum weld resolutions,
[d] having minimal influence on weld / robot weld issues that influence robot down time,
[e] are simply not aware of the weld speed or true weld production potential for each weld on the parts.
With these situations it’s rare for the Mfg. plants to attain minimum robot down times with the highest weld quality and the lowest robot weld costs. So the reality is most global robot weld techs become are “Play Around Technicians” and those responsible front office guys will simply add more manual welders to deal with the robot weld quality issues. As for the attaining the robot weld productivity, too often the managers will either order more robots or simply increase the weld shop overtime.
If you wish to use my highly effective robot MIG weld process control program to teach your self, or to train your employees Click Here.
WELD OWNERSHIP – ACCOUNTABILITY – RESPONSIILITY?
|IN THE GLOBAL AUTO – TRUCK INDUSTRY, MOST ROBOT WELD ISSUES DON’T START ON THE WELD SHOP FLOOR, THEY ALWAYS COMMENCE WITH THE LACK OF WELD PROCESS EXPERTISE BY THE RESPONSIBLE ENGINEERS AND MANAGERS IN THE FRONT OFFICES OR AT THE CORPORATE OFFICES:|
MANAGEMENT AND LACK OF WELD PROCESS OWNERSHIP:In the auto – truck industry, and in other large industries that have multi-plant weld/ mfg. facilities, you will frequently find both corporate and plant manufacturing managers that operate their business from in front of their office computers. Unfortunately from a welding perspective, few of the responsible managers will be Hands On individuals that fully comprehend the manual / robot weld process controls – best practice expertise that’s required for the personnel in their plants, and that’s the way it’s been for the 50 years that I have been in this business. The good news is process expertise and best practices will fit inside any brain that has an interest on the subject and for three decades I have strived to simpify these programs so if you can tell the time you can use my CLOCK method for process control.
THE CALIBRE OF THE WELD MANAGEMENT WILL OFTEN BE REVEALED IN THE PLANT’S JOB DESCRIPTIONS THAT THEY DO, OR DO NOT PRODUCE: The lack of process control – best practice expertise of managers, supervisors and engineers will often be evident by the common, lack of, or poor plant job descriptions for the employees that work with the processes. With the robot welds, the typical global job descriptions too often indicate that the managers do not comprehend the technical and Process Control and Best Practices expertise that is required by the plant engineers, robot technicians, supervisors and maintenance personnel. Also a reflection of management expertise is seen in the too common poor utilization of robots. It’s the norm in many auto – truck plants, for managers to order new robot weld cells, while from both a MIG & Resistance weld quality – productivity perspective, the robots in their plants have always been under utilized. For those who want to get past the fireman stage, you may want to visit the robot sections at this sites and visit my training resources.
|GREAT ABB ROBOT APPLICATION BELOW, BUT THE FIRE WORKS DISPLAY REVEALS THE TOO COMMON POOR ROBOT MIG WELD SETTINGS, EVIDENT BY THE EXCESS WELD SPATTER WINDOW.|
IT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO BE A GOOD ROBOT PROGRAMMER, IT DEFEATS THE PURCHASE OF A ROBOT UNLESS THE COMPANY HAS THE EXPERTISE REQUIRED TO OPTIMIZE THE PROCESS UTILIZED ON THE ROBOT..
A few reasons for the too common, poor ROBOT MIG weld results;
[a] The lack of management – engineer awareness of the real robot weld productivity potential for the welds and parts produced.
[b] The lack of management – engineering knowledge about the importance of the weld process controls and best weld practices that are necessary to consistently attain optimum weld quality.
© The unnecessary robot cell down time that occurs each shift. In many plants 30 – 60 minutes per-robot down time each shift is the norm.
[d] The too common poor engineering – mfg. practices that deliver robot welded parts that are not in accordance with the part design tolerances.
[e] Few designers understand the weld processes they recommend to weld their parts, and the frequent poor design of robot welded parts is all the evidence you will need on that subject.
[f] Poor fixture design that does not allow optimum gun positions are common and add to the robot issues.
[g] The selection of equipment in the cell that contains useless bells and whistles, or the lack of incorrect weld equipment and consumables.
[h] Poor robot cell maintenance and unqualified maintenance personnel making changes to so called qualified welds,
[i] Robot cell purchase orders that lack the appropriate weld automation demands that can ensure the daily robot weld production / quality goals are met .
BELOW: A FEW OF THE ROBOT WELD QUALITY PRODUCTIVITY BENEFITS THAT COMPANIES
E-Mail from R Good at Dana USA.
Jan 2007: Ed. I wanted to send update about that E-Town DANA plant that you visited a few years ago:,
As you know on your first visit to this plant, our robot MIG welding lines were producing less than 40 Ford F-150 truck frames per-hour and over 90% required extensive weld rework.
Thanks to your Robot Weld Process Control Best Practice Training program, and the weld process and consumable changes that you recommended and we implemented, the robot weld results from our employees today are staggering. Yesterday this plant hit very close to a record of 76 frames per hour. We daily now attain our average goal of one frame per-minute. We have had two recent weld audits, one audit found a total of two failures, and the 2nd weld audit was the first 100% pass weld audit in the history of our Ford F-150 line. We have now implemented your robot weld process recommendations in five of our USA plants.
Many thanks from Ryan Good, a very grateful DANA engineer and thanks from a grateful DANA Corporation.
Note DANA is a tier one supplier and world leader in the supply of drive line products such as axles, drive shafts, and transmissions and power technologies for light- and heavy-duty vehicles. DANA employs approximately 22,500 people in 26 countries and in 2010 had sales of $6.1 billion.
Johnson Controls Mexico:
When the new VW Beetle was introduced, the contract for the Beetle seat frames was given to Johnson Controls (JC) Mexico. For many months, JC was having problems with it’s new robot Beetle seat welds. These welds were being carried out in accordance with the robot weld requirements from VW Germany. The German MIG parameters were too low effecting both the weld quality and robot productivity. I was asked by JC to help resolve their many robot issues. In 3 days at the Mexican plants I completely changed the robot weld program and the weld transfer modes and parameters. I increased the daily robot shift weld production by 40% and eliminated the weld rework. As for the weld quality I attained. In 1999 – 2000, the USA Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, rated the car seats that I provided the data for, as the most durable of all in the small cars they had ever crash tested.
Viza makes auto – truck seats for Toyota, Renault, Citroen, BMW and others. The president of Viza requested that I come to Spain which I jumped at as it was certainly much more pleasant than going to Detroit. He wanted me to resolve his companies robot seat welds and establish my Best Weld Practices / Robot Process Controls for his companies new robot MIG weld lines. In two weeks I established highly success robot weld quality – productivity results. And then trained the Spanish employees with my robot MIG weld process control training program. A few years later I was requested to return by Viza for the start up of two more new plants, one in Spain and the other in Eastern Europe.
E-Mail. Ed as you know Tenneco has plants all over the world. We and especially Monroe Shocks which is one of our companies have been very enlightened by your ” Robot MIG Weld Process Control Training Resources.
Regards. Tom Plummer: Tenneco. USA. 2007.
Caterpillar and Elgin USA.
E-Mail: Hello Ed. In the past I purchased your manual MIG welding process contro – best practice training resource for Caterpillar plants and more recently I purchased your Robotic MIG process control training package for Elgin Sweeper Company here in Illinois. Em your programs worked wonderfully at Caterpillar. We were very successful after implementing your Best Weld Practices and Process Control Training. Thanks to your resources and equipment and consumable recommendations, our manual and robot MIG weld quality – productivity results are now outstanding. All the best EC. Joe Cukierski…Weld Manufacturing Engineer.
Elgin Sweeper Company.
From setting optimum welds for the worlds largest producer of power plant boilers or providing the robot welds for the small Caterpiller trucks below, its all the same to Ed. The botton line is when you have weld process control expertise you can on any application produce the highest possible weld quality at the lowest possible weld costs
|Ed established the original ABB robot MIG Process Control and Best Robot MIG Weld Practice data for the worlds largest trucks made by Caterpillar.|
If you want Bovine Fecal Matter you know who to call and its not Ghost Busters. The good thing about that weld salesman apart from buying lunch and supplying donuts, he often provides a crutch for the inexperienced weld decision makers at the plants.
He looks the part. but
you know what’s missing.
FOR GOD SAKE ITS YOUR WELD SHOP, TAKE CONTROL OF THE PROCESSES THAT CREATE YOUR PROFITS..
If you were to examine the resumes of the typical weld distributor reps or the reps from Lincoln, Miller, ESAB, Panasonic, Fanuac, Motoman or Cloos, you would likely find that in most instances, these individuals have never run a weld shop, yet these personnel will be ready to provide all types of weld / application advice, and these characters may become the most widely used process resource for the inexperiences weld shop managers, engineers and supervisors.
LOOKING FOR EXPERIENCED PRACTICAL ADVICE ON WELD EQUIPMENT AND CONSUMABLES. I HAVE AN EXTENSIVE EVALUATIONS OF WELD EQUIPMENT / CONSUMABLES AT THIS SITE AND ALSO THIS INFO IS PART OF MY PROCESS CONTROL – BEST PRACTICE TRAINING PROGRAMS:
WE ALL KNOW THIS.. MILLIONS OF DOLLARS ARE LOST DAILY IN WELD SHOPS ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY PUT THE WELDS ON, THEN GRIND THE WELD OFF. In the global weld shops, in which the front office personnel lack the process expertise to take full ownership, accountability and responsibility for the MIG / Flux Cored equipment and consumables utilized, you will find especially with the weld personnel that play around with the weld controls, that a critical tool required is called a GRINDER. In these weld shops, one job thing that the management and supervision will do well, is to ensure that their play around welders do not run out of the never ending grinding discs that are required..
If it takes anyone more than 5 minutes to work out the cost of any MIG – Flux Cored or TIG weld, they don’t have weld process control expertise.
WHILE MIG – FLUX CORED WELD PROCESS AND WELD COST CONFUSION IS THE NORM FOR THE MAJJORITY OF GLOBAL PLANTS, IT’S ALSO A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR INTERESTED MANAGEMENT TO START ON A PATH TO PROVIDING EXTENSIVE WELD COST REDUCTIONS AND INCREASED WELD PROFITS.
THE COMMON FOCUS ON WELD COSTS IS USUALLY IN THE WRONG PLACE.. In the majority of MIG – Flux Cored weld shops, the management “focus will usually be on the costs of the weld consumables utilized” consumables such as the weld wires, the gas mixes and of course those costly grinding wheels. In North America, the MIG – Flux Cored steel wires and gas mixes typically account for only 15 – 18% of the actual daily weld costs.
If front office personnel are not focussed on the weld knowledgable required for weld process optimization, it’s impossible for these personnel to fully control their weld costs, and therefore it’s impossible for their company to optimize the profits that are attainable from the weld shop.
What other tech industry do you know that when they cannot ANSWER A WELD PROCESS QUESTION OR PROVIDE A WELD RESOLUTION, THEY PICK UP THE PHONE AND ASK A SALESMAN?
YOU WANT WELD ADVICE? YOU COULD ASK A USED CAR SALES MAN, A SALESMAN WHO SELLS FURNITURE AT SEARS, OR A WELD SALESMAN, IN MOST INSTANCES IT REALLY MAKES LITTLE DIFFERENCE AS THE BOVINE FECAL MATTER IS SURE TO EVENTUALLY FLOW. THE ONE DIFFERENCE IT DOES MAKE, IS THERE WILL ALWAYS BE A STEEP PRICE PAID FOR A COMPANY THAT HAS WELD DECISION MAKERS THAT NEED THAT OUTSIDE CRUTCH.
IN A WELD SHOP IN WHICH A GOOD PORTION OF THE MANAGERS, ENGINEERS, SUPERVISORS AND TECHNICIANS
OFTEN HAVE TO RELY ON SALESMAN FOR PROCESS GUIDANCE, IT SHOULD BE NO SURPRISE TO FIND;
 THE WELD SHOP INNUNDATED WITH WELD PROCESS MYTHS – HYPE AND CONFUSION.
 A VARIETY OF POOR UNECESSARY WELD EQUIPMENT LOADED WITH USELESS BELLS AND WHISTLES.
 A WELD SHOP THATS FOREVER LOOKING FOR A MAGIC SOLUTION FROM ONE OF THE AVAILABLE
AND MOST OFTEN USELESS 40 MIG GAS MIXES.
 A WELD SHOP THAT ALWAYS HAS MORE WELD PROCEDURES THAN IT REQUIRES.
 A WELD SHOP IN WHICH THE TECHNICAL PEOPLE HAVE TO WORK EXCESS HOURS AS THEIR COMPANY IS ALWAYS IN THE FIRE MANS MODE AND THE TECS DONT HAVE THE EXPERTISE NECESSARY TO CREATE A CALM CONTROLLED ENVIROMENT.
 A WELD SHOP IN WHICH WELD REWORK / REJECTS ARE CONSIDERED A NORMAL PART OF PRODUCTION.
 A WELD SHOP THAT USES THE WRONG SIZE MIG WIRES, OR COSTLY CORED WIRES WHEN THE LOWER COST CORRECT SIZE MIG WIRES COULD HAVE BEEN MORE PRODUCTIVE.
WELD SHOPS SUCH AS THESE HAVE TO PRODUCE EXTENSIVE WELD COST REPERCUSSIONS. THEY ARE SHOPS THAT SHOULD ALWAYS LOOK OVER THEIR SHOULDER FOR WELD FAILURE LIABILTY CONSEQUENCES. THEY ARE WELD SHOPS IN WHICH THE MANAGEMENT / SUPERVISION NEED TO GET A GRIP. THE GOOD NEWS FOR THESE SHOPS IS THERE WILL ALSO BE GREAT POTENTIAL FOR WELD QUALITY IMPROVEMENTS AND WELD COST REDUCTIONS.
YOU CAN NEVER REPEAT THIS ENOUGH: Why would any weld shop mgr. engineer, supervisor, technician or QA person, that is hired in a position of weld responsibility, allow the weld personnel they work with to “play around” and not optimize the daily MIG – Flux Cored weld? . Especially when for the costs of a few dollars, they could provide them selves and their employees with the process control programs at this site.
PROCESS CONTROL EXPERTISE PROVIDES MORE THAN WELD QUALITY PRODUCTIVITY IMPROVEMENTS.
Perhaps you are a manager, engineer, supervisor, technician, or a weld person that believes your career weld prospects could improve with Weld Process Control – Best Weld Practice knowledge. Or perhaps you are a manufacturing engineer, supervisor, technician or god help us a manager that wants to optimize your companies manual or robot, MIG – FCA weld quality and productivity. If so please take a moment to review my MIG and – Flux Cord Weld Process Controls and Best Weld Practice resources.
The following is what you will find at this weldreality Home Page.
 MILLIONS OF DOLLARS WASTED DAILY: You may want to know the reasons the global weld industry annually wastes hundreds of millions of dollars on the purchase of useless, two and three part gas mixes, costly flux cored and metal cored wires, and costly MIG equipment that’s mostly loaded with useless, electronic bells and whistles.
 WHAT SKILLED WELDER SHORTAGE?: In the fifty years i have been in this business, I have trained > 5000 personnel in how to optimize MIG – flux cored welds. Myself or the trainers – engineers or other personnel that I trained, could take an individual who has never welded, and using my simplified weld process training resources in approx. 40 – 60 hrs, have them pass any MIG – Flux Cored, AWS – ASME – API or ABS code weld qualification requirement. With this in mind you cannot pick up an engineering magazine in the last decade, and find some inexperienced weld shop executive complaining about their concerns for finding skilled MIG or Flux Cored welders.
 WHEN MIG – FLUX CORED WELD COSTS ARE NOT FULLY UNDERSTOOD, HOW CAN A WELD SHOP PRODUCE THE LOWEST WELD COSTS AND MAXIMIZE IT’S DAILY WELD PROFITS?: If the weld decision makers are not optimizing their weld processes to attain the full weld quality – productivity potential, they simply cannot be in control of their daily weld costs. In the majority of global weld shops, you may not want to go looking for anyone in weld supervision or management that could in two minutes work out the real cost of their most common MIG or flux cored welds.
Note: My process training resources simplify how to figure out weld costs
|2016: For almost two decades, most of the global high tech industries and weld shops have been stuck in the welding dark ages..|
|2016: When will managers / engineers and QA personnel wake up to the fact that in the last two decades the important TIG process evolved into a far superior process called TIP TIG?|
THE LACK OF WELD PROCESS KNOWLEDGE – EXPERTISE DOES NOT JUST APPLY TO MIG AND FLUX CORED WELDS.
2016: The TIG (GTAW) process has always been considered the process of choice for code, high quality welds and especially with welds on costly alloy applications. The TIG process with deposition rates typically lower than 1.5 lb/hr is also painfully slow process. The slow TIG weld travel rates will often create excess weld heat something few alloys benefit from. The traditional manula TIG process is considered the most difficult process to learn especially with pipe welds. As a result of the high skills required TIG welders are often the highest paid welders with a process that each hour delivers poor weld deposition rates.
The traditioonal TIG weld quality and the part / weld metallurgy and productivity is dramatically improved with the much easier to use TIP TIG process. TIP TIG is a process invented in Austria. This is a process that I along with my business partner Tom, introduced to the USA, Canada and Australia many years ago.
TIP TIG dramatically reduces the skills required and is simple operate especially on all position pipe welds.
TIP TIG enables a 200 – 500 percent increase in hourly weld productivity, imagine the reduced labor costs.
TIP TIG provides higher energy, agitated weld pools that provide unique weld quality benefits.
TIP TIG with higher deposition and EN polarity, provides welds / parts with the lowest possible weld heat.
TIP TIG is not only a great manual process it provides numerous automated – roboit TIG benefits.
It’s again a sad reflection that in a high tech country like the USA, few managers or engineers in the defence, aerospace, energy, power, oil, nuclear companies who rely on the TIG process, will have heard about a weld process that soon will have been around for two decades.
|WELD INSPECTORS OFFER LITTLE VALUE TO THE WELD SHOP IF THEY LACK THE WELD PROCESS CONTROL – BEST WELD PRACTICE EXPERTISE THAT CAN HELP PREVENT WELD DEFECTS AND THE COSTLY WELD REWORK.|
Anyone with a few days training can judge the external quality of a weld and in a white coat walk around the shop providing criticism. Also the AWS will ensure that anyone with a little weld shop experience and more than a thousand plus dollars for its none profit vault in Miami can become an AWS weld inspector.
The question management needs to ask, apart from the crutch they provide, what benefit can be derived from these personnel in the weld shop?
WELD INSPECTORS… IN MOST GLOBAL PLANTS, A DAILY FUNCTION FOR WELD INSPECTORS IS TO SEE THAT THE WELDS ARE MADE TO CODES / SPECIFICATIONS IN WHICH THE CODE BODY TYPICALLY CLEARLY SPELLS OUT ON THE FRONT PAGE OF IT’S SPEC, THAT IT TAKES NO RESPONSIBILTY FOR THEIR WELD INFORMATION IN THE RECOMMENDATIONS PROVIDED. ANOTHER DAILY FUNCTION OF THE WELD INSPECTOR IS TO DO A VISUAL INSPECTION AND IDENTIFY UNNACEPTABLE WELD DEFECTS, WHICH THEY OFTEN DO AFTER THE PARTS WELDED ARE COMPLETE.
WELD INPECTION LOGIC: . A GOOD MANAGER WORTH A PINCH OF SALT WOULD ENSURE THEIR WELDERS WOULD NOT WALK AWAY FROM A PART THAT REVEALS ANY VISIBLE WELD DEFECTS.
WELD QA MANAGEMENT LOGIC: WHEN WELD INSPECTORS ARE A NECESSITY, IT WOULD BE LOGICAL FOR THE QA MANAGER TO PROVIDE THERE PERSONNEL AND THEMSELVES WITH SOMETHING OF REAL VALUE FOR THEIR ORGANIZATIONS ITS CALLED, WELD PROCESS CONTROL – BEST PRACTICE TRAINING.
NOT PROVIDED ELSEWHERE: MY PROCESS CONTROL SELF TEACHING / TRAINING PROGRAMS ARE NOT PROVIDED BY ANY CODE ORGANIZATIONS, BY ANY COMMUNITY COLLEGES OR EVEN BY THE GLOBAL UNIVERSITIES THAT TEACH WELD ENGINEERS.
COST EFFECTIVE INSPECTION: WITH A FEW HOURS, MY PROGRAMS WOULD GIVE THE INSPECTION PERSONNEL TO EXPERTISE NECESSARY TO HELP PREVENT WELD DEFECTS, WHICH HAS TO BE A MUCH MORE COST EFFECTIVE APPROACH THEN SIMPLY FINDING WELD DEFECTS.
WHY GET PISSED OF AT THE MESSENGER? AS FOR THOSE WELD INSPECTORS THAT SIMPLY LIKE TO CRITICIZE WELDS WITHOUT HAVING PROCESS SOLUTIONS, THOSE ARE WELD INSPECTORS WITHOUT AN INTEREST IN WELD PROCESS CONTROLS / WELD BEST PRACTICES WITH THE PROCESSES THAT THEY AND THEIR COMPANIES DERIVE A LIVING FROM.
FROM MY PERSPECTIVE, AS WE USED TO SAY IN MANCHESTER, UK, THEY ARE AS AS USELESS AS A FART IN THE WIND.
Check out all my Process Controls – Best Weld Practice Self Teaching / Training programs..
The salesman, always a valuable CRUTCH for
THE FIRST STEP TO CUTTING OUT THE COMMON BOVINE FECAL MATTER AND WELD PROCESS MYTHS THAT PREVAILS IN MANY WELD SHOPS, IS FOR SOMEONE IN THE FRONT OFFICE TO RECOGNIZE WHAT IS WELD REALITY AND WHAT WELD PROCESS CONTROLS AND BEST WELD PRACTICES ARE.
As in 1985, as it still is three decades later in 2016, the best possible, manual and robot “carbon or alloy steels” MIG welds, simply require a low cost, traditional CV MIG weld power source, a two part argon 2 – 20% CO2 gas mix, and the selection of the “correct” type and size of MIG wire. With the robot welds of course an important requirement was the power source has a control so it could communicated with the robot. and the individual responsible for the robot cell had robot programming training. Also and mostly overlooked, this individual was provided with MIG Weld Process Control & Best MIG Weld Practice Training”.
With robot welds, in the last two decades, robot manufactures have strived to improve both their weld soft ware and robot cell hard ware and also tried to improve the robot to power source communications. Now in 2016, in most robot cells, we have unnecessary, highly sophisticated, electronic MIG equipment with a built in interface. From my five decades of MIG weld equipment evaluation, in general, the majority of the electronics introduced into today’s most sophisticated pulsed MIG equipment have created NO STEELS OR ALLOY STEELS, WELD QUALITY – PRODUCTIVITY BENEFITS. However these electronics have created numerous headaches as discussed at this site in the MIG equipment, pulsed process and robot weld sections. See all weld programs..
ED AT A TIER ONE CAR SEAT MFG IN SPAIN. HE HAD TO WORK WITH THE USELESS ELECTRONIC BELLS AND WHISTLES ON THE MILLER MIG POWER SOURCE THAT WAS IN THE ROBOT CELLS. THIS POWER SOURCE AS IT HAD DONE FOR YEARS PROVIDED NO WELD BENEFITS ONLY WELD ISSUES FOR THE SPANISH CAR SEAT MFG AND OTHERS.
So that costly robot cell sits there with it’s electronic pulsed MIG power source which is typically loaded with useless, electronic bells and whistles. This of course pushes up the MIG weld equip prices, reduces the MIG equipment durability, adds to the MIG equip repair complexity, and brings another weld transfer mode to a shop that rarely has figured out how to optimize the other two weld transfer modes, short circuit and spray.
As a purchaser of robot weld equipment, reading this will do little to change things, I simply want you to be aware that you don’t have to buy into the electronic MIG equipment BS that proliferates. Also when managers do get sold on this type of equipment they then tend to purchase this costly and again unnecessary weld equipment for the manual welders in the shop. The weld reality is this. I could demonstrate in approx. 10 minutes that a CV MIG power which usually costs <$3000, can for steel and alloy steel welds, provide the same quality and often higher weld productivity that that attained from the electronic MIG units that costs three to five times as much.
WELD REPAIRS. A SUBJECT RARELY TALKED ABOUT, AND USUALLY ABUSED IN THE AUTO – TRUCK INDUSTRY.
One way to benefit from the my process control self teaching / training programs. Lets say you have a large number of robots and in each robot cell there was either an expensive Fronius, Miller or Lincoln Power Wave MIG unit. Lets also say you were using either an 0.045 – 0.052 or 0.062 (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.6 mm) MIG wire. It’s very common with auto part suppliers (big and small), that when they order robot cells to also order the same or similar MIG equipment and consumables for their weld repair stations. Frequently they will use the same size MIG weld wire in the repair station as used on the robot lines. We have potential here on the next robot order to lower the weld repair costs, and also improve the repair weld quality.
As most of you are aware, most auto part weld repairs are made in small weld areas with very short arc on times. Most MIG weld on weld repairs will require high energy welds. Using the smaller 0.035 (1mm) wire allows higher current density. This wire can be set for low / high end spray settings, or welding gaps, with high end short circuit settings. When set correctly the settings should not create weld spatter concerns. With the 0.035 wire, the best possible MIG power source is a low cost 250 amp CV MIG power source, (approve. $2000 – $3000, wire feed included). This power source, wire size combination will provide with the majority of weld applications superior weld results than that which can be attained with the much higher cost pulsed MIG units and the larger MIG wire diameters. Yes a little MIG process training is required (should be provided any way). The training typically takes a day, but the savings can be considerable, the weld repairs more meaningful and weld management is doing it’s job. Of course that process control – best weld practice training will also ensure the highest possible robot weld quality and productivity with the least amount of robot weld repairs and down time.
Note: In the 1990s, while I was the Robot Weld Manager for the North American ABB Robot Weld Div, Miller Electric senior executives informed ABB management that they wanted to stop selling their Delta Weld 450A power sources, they were complaining about their costs to build. The Delta Weld has been for decades and still is in 2016, the best available global MIG power source. For years we had in the ABB robot weld division been highly successful with hundreds of applications with this power source which for robots was sold with a separate electrical robot interface. The Miller executives wanted use to use their much inferior electronic Invision or Maxtron power sources, (cant remember at this time which one). The Miller Delta Weld units were very well built, easy to repair and from a weld performance perspective this equip provided the optimum slope, (volt – amp curve) for the majority of weld applications. While I was the ABB robot weld mgr, I let Miller know these units would always be my first choice for any manual or robot MIG application. I advised the ABB CEO to inform Miller that if we had to stop using their superior CV Miller Delta Weld equip for their unstable, erratic, poor performing electronic Invision or Maxtron power sources, then we would likely have to look to another MIG equipment manufacturer to supply us with MIG equipment.
In the 1990s, ABB was the prime source for robots to the world’s largest robot user, a tier one company called A.O.Smith. With over 1000 robots in it’s plants, this companies engineers (many attended my robot process control training program) and myself were well aware of what MIG power source was optimum for robot steel applications. The Miller Delta Weld with its optimum slope was the perfect MIG power source in the 1990s, and is still the best MIG power source available for manual and automated steel MIG welds in 2016.
THE WELD REALITY.. IN 2016, with the general lack of MIG process expertise and the lack of ability to judge the performance requirements of an optimum MIG power source, unfortunately most global robot MIG cells end up with inferior performing, over priced MIG power sources that typically will be full of useless electronic bells and whistles that offer have a poor slope and provide no weld benefits. This inferior weld equipment wil however shorten the equipment life and when issues occur with those useless electronics the result is confusion for the maintenance dept.
The selection of optimum Robot MIG weld data, (without playing around with the controls) is made simple with my Robot Best Weld Practices and Weld Process Control Training – Self Teaching / Training Programs.
MIG POWER SOURCE CONSIDERATIONS THAT POSSIBLY SOME MGR MAY BE INTERESTED IN.
I would guess with the gas shielded flux cored process, that the majority of consumables used in 2016 were developed and tested on traditional CV MIG equipment that has hardly changed in 60 years. This important process daily accounts for approx. 10 – 15 % of the global welds produced. What most people who make welding decisions are not aware of is when you use;
 Multi-Process MIG equipment,
 Pulsed MIG equipment for gas the shielded flux cored welds, you are using inferior equipment that does not provide the the same slope output as conventional CV units. Usually with these 3 types of weld equipment, typically for a given wire feed setting you will get less current than that attained with a good CV unit. This means the newer equipment could be contributing to less weld fusion, increased slag entrapment and increased porosity.
THE USA OR CHINA. WELD BS IS WELD BS....Chinese mfg.. companies seem to have a difficult time making Wallmart steel can openers or steel nails that don’t bend under a hammer blow. So when Chinese construction companies are asked to build any large scale projects involving extensive use of steels and welds, no one should be surprised if the responsible CHINESE ENGINEERS ON THE CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS EVER REPORT THE “REAL WORLD WELD QUALITY RESULTS”.
The sad, apathetic, engineering – weld issues that I saw with the cored process during the weld construction at the Bejing Olympic Stadium (below), happens every day on large construction projects and ship yards around the globe.
For those that may have wondered why the modern day buildings collapsed during the small earth quake at Northridge California, take a time out. click here, and find out how the management / engineering lack of self shielded flux cored weld process expertise combined with ignorant politicians and companies that do no take responsibilyu can create legal liability diversions, and as in this remarkable case, actually create new, ridiculous FEMA weld specifications..
Will the extremely poor quality cored welds that were made on the construction of the Beijing, Birds Nest, Olympic Stadium, mean that one day this unique designed steel structure will turn into a Spiders Web Trap for the stadium spectators?
GREAT STADIUM DESIGN, PATHETIC CHINESE CONSTRUCTION PRACTICES AND SOME OF THE WORLD’S WORSE WELDS..
Written by E Craig.
Aug. 2. 2008.
The five hundred million dollar, Beijing, Olympic stadium was built on top of an earth quake fault. The steel stadium is wrapped in a unique designed, high strength steel cocoon that weighs approx. 45,000 tons. While the world’s focus was on the artistic design of this stadium, my focus was on the sad weld engineering practices that were used to build it.
At the end of July, two weeks before the 91,000 seat stadium was ready to host the 2008 Olympics, I sat in front of my TV and watched a Discovery Channel program about the stadium construction. The steel Bird’s Nest design is without question a steel wonder to behold, however having a more than slight interest in welding fabrication you know where my focus was. While I watched the TV show that showed the construction, I did not like what I saw that was going on with the on site welders and their welds and I certainly knew that what the chief engineer at the site was saying about the welds, was simply a load of rubbish.
May. 2009. Beijing Update: Check out what’s happening to this Chinese stadium, nine months after Ed wrote his opinions on the poor welds and construction at the Birds Nest stadium.
I HAVE A QUESTION FOR MILLER – LINCOLN – ESAB AND PANASONIC MANAGEMENT, I WONT HOLD MY BREATH WAITING FOR A REPLY?
So the weld equipment mfg. promotes and sells useless electronic BELLS AND WHISTLES IN THEIR MIG EQUIPMENT. The weld equipment mfg. is aware (or is not aware) that their power source electronics offers no real world weld benefits, or that the power source electronics is negatively influencing the weld equipment durability and the end users MIG or FCA weld quality / productivity. These guys rarely if ever recall this MIG equipment, or notify the end user. Should the purchaser of the weld equipment sue the weld equipment mfg? JUST ASKING.
2015.. Major MIG equipment manufacturers like MILLER, ESAB, LINCOLN AND PANASONIC CONTINUE TO ATTAIN EXTENSIVE PROFITS FROM AN INDUSTRY IN WHICH MANY SEEM HAPPY TO PAY AN UNNECESSARY PREMIUM TO PURCHASE COSTLY, UNNECESSARY, ELECTRONIC PULSED MIG EQUIPMENT, WHICH FOR THE THREE DECADES THAT I HAVE EVALUATED IT, HAS TYPICALLY BEEN LOADED WITH USELESS, INEFFECTIVE, ELECTRONIC BELLS AND WHISTLES.
Note: I have also evaluated MIG gas mixes for decades, and have never seen a reason to justify the purchase of a three part gas mix for steels, low alloy steels or for stainless applications. See my MIG gas section.
Rather than wasting money on the costly $5K to $25K electronic MIG equipment, If instead, weld shops would spend approx. $300 and utilize my weld MIG & FLUX CORED WELD PROCESS CONTROL – BEST PRACTICES RESOURCES, these weld shops would then have the process controls keys necessary to attain the full potential from the much lower cost CV equipment and consistently attain optimum, manual and automated MIG and flux cored weld quality and productivity at the lowest labor costs.
It was my job as the Corporate Training & Weld Product Manager with companies such as Linde (Praxair), Airgas, AGA and Liquid Carbonic, to test MIG weld equipment and the MIG and flux cored weld consumables that were available in North America and from around the globe. Of my 50 years in this business, I did the product evaluation for approx. 30 years.
Today, as many of you are aware, in 2105, you can pay $3500 to $5000 for a traditional CV 350 – 450 Amp. MIG power source and wire feeder, or you can pay approx. $6000 to >$20K for Pulsed MIG equipment.
ALL IT TAKES IS APPROX. 10 MINUTES PLUS A WELD SHIELD AND OF COURSE MIG PROCESS CONTROL EXPERTISE, TO PROVE THE ABOVE WELD EQUIP FACT:
For weld shop management that has no wish to waste their potential profits in purchasing costly pulsed MIG equipment, or from unnecessary weld rework and poor weld productivity, the weld reality is this. Using my MIG – Flux Cored Process Control – Best Practices and Self Teaching – Training resources available here, there will be many cost benefits possible for the weld shop. For example, in contrast to the costly, pulsed MIG power equipment, when welding carbon steels, alloy steels and stainless weld applications with the much lower cost, easier to maintain, easier to operate, more durable, conventional, CV. MIG equipment , the weld shop could attain greater MIG and Flux Cored weld productivity with superior weld quality (superior fusion – less porosity) on all applications > 4 mm.
MIG WELD EQUIPMENT FACT:
Before your company wastes thousands of dollars on pulsed MIG equipment, remember if you wish to attain optimum MIG or Flux Cored weld quality – productivity on carbon steels & alloy steels, gauge to any thickness, simply requires CV. MIG equipment. This equip should in North America cost approx. $3500 to $5000 for ,350 to 450 Amp CV MIG power source. You may want to check out the MIG equipment part of this site to see the weld equipment that I recommend, and the weld equipment that makes me want to chew too many TUMS.
When employees lack MIG – Flux Cored, Weld Process Controls and Best Weld Practices expertise, weld shops will unfortunately, daily waste many $$$ on the following weld issues.
 MIG WELDS THAT ARE MADE DAILY WITH PROCESSES AND CONSUMABLES THAT HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR DECADES, SHOULD NOT REQUIRE WELD REWORK OR GRINDING.
 MIG WELD SPATTER COSTS GLOBAL WELD SHOPS BILLIONS OF DOLLARS ANNUALY TO REMOVE, YET WHEN WELD PERSONNEL HAVE WELD PROCESS EXPERTISE, SPATTER SHOULD BE MINIMUM.
 IN THE MAJORITY OF WELD SHOPS, BOTH THE MANUAL AND THE ROBOT WIRE FEED / WELD DEPOSITION RATES RELATIONSHIPS ARE RARELY UNDERSTOOD, AND THEREFORE WELD DEPOSITION RATE POTENTIAL IS RARELEY ACHIEVED.
WELD DEPOSITION RATES ACCOUNT TYPICALLY FOR APPROX. 80% OF WELD COSTS. WHEN WELDS ARE NOT AT THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE DEPOSITION RATES, MUCH HIGHER HOURLY WELD LABOR COSTS ARE BEING GENERATED. WITH MY TRAINING PROGRAM, THE MAJORITY OF WELD SHOPS WILL HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO REDUCE THE WELD LABOR COSTS IN THE 20 TO 70% RANGE.
 PAYING UNNECESSARY HIGH MIG WELD EQUIPMENT COSTS TYPICALLY BY PAYING FOR USELESS BELLS AND WHISTLES, IS NOW THE NORM THROUGHOUT THE GLOBAL WELD INDUSTRY.
 MANY COMPANIES WILL PURCHASE UNNECESSARY CARBON STEEL METAL CORED AND FLUX CORED WIRES, WHILE IN MANY INSTANCES, MUCH LOWER COST MIG WIRES WOULD DO THE SAME JOB.
 MANY COMPANIES WILL PURCHASE USELESS THREE PART GAS MIXES THAT CONTAIN OXYGEN WHICH BY THE WAY IS DETRIMENTAL TO MOST MIG WELDS. SAVINGS ARE ATTAINED BY USING LOWER COST, TWO COMPONENT ARGON – 10 TO 20% CO2, MIG GAS MIXES.
 MANY COMPANIES WILL PURCHASE ADDITIONAL ROBOTS WHEN THEY HAVE NEVER ATTAINED THE FULL WELD PRODUCTION OR QUALITY POTENTIAL OF THEIR EXISTING ROBOTS.
ALL OF THE ABOVE, ARE ADDRESSED WHEN THE WELD DECISION MAKERS HAVE THE WELD PROCESS CONTROL EXPERTISE THAT IS AVAILABLE IN MY TRAINING RESOURCES.
MIG Gas Mix Selection has for decades been surrounded by weld process / application confusion, process myths and typically by marketing induced Bovine Fecal Matter Sales Adjectives. Weld shops buy into the sales BS gas adjectives with their 40 plus gas mixes and this again over the decades has had tremendous weld cost and quality consequences for the global MIG weld industry.
Note: Four of the MIG gas mixes that I developed are now some of the most popular sold in North America and also I wasted 2 years of my life helping write the AWS MIG Gas Specifications.
It’s a weld reality, that the global weld industry could save hundreds of millions of dollars daily if many of the managers, supervisors and engineers that influence the daily weld decisions, learnt to to take “full ownership and responsibility” of the weld equipment, processes and the weld consumables that are typically essential to the success of their organization.
It’s a common sense statement, that in their role as a professional, that any weld decision maker should be capable of managing or supervising a weld shop without weld advice from a weld sales rep. And yet in many advertisements you will see for weld engineer or weld mgr. position, it’s often part of the add or job description requirement that the weld engineer establish good relationships with the weld “vendors” who typically have minimal weld / application experience and rarely will have ever run a weld department.
 Weld shops decision makers should be able to make rational weld shop decisions that are based on their process knowledge, and those decisions will have technical substance.
 To optimize MIG – flux cored weld quality, weld decision makers need to be aware of the real world, weld process controls and best weld practices necessary for both processes.
 To control weld costs, the weld decision makers should understand that for each common weld daily produced, their is an optimum wire diameter, that should be used with an optimum gas. With the MIG consumable there will be an optimum weld transfer mode suited to the application or specific weld. And that transfer mode will have an optimum wire feed / voltage and with automation weld travel speed. With this data it should takes less than five minutes to figure out the cost of any manual – robot MIG or FCA weld.
Note: The world’s most common MIG and flux cored weld is either a 3/16 or 1/4 (5 – 6mm) fillet weld, therefore, it’s logical to assume that with a glance at the wire feed control, each weld decision maker if asked, could within a few minutes figure out the cost of a foot, or a meter of one of these welds.
For the doubting Thomas, please note:
All It would takes is a few minutes, a weld shield and weld PROCESS CONTROL EXPERTISE to prove this:
Apart from the necessary, costly pulsed MIG equipment, and the useless three part gas mixes, many companies for the last decade have been sucked into purchasing ineffective and necessary Metal Cored and Flux Cored wires for steel and alloy steel welds which are made in the flat weld position. They will be told they are getting higher weld productivity with improved weld quality than that possible with the MIG process. These cored products will typically sell in the $2 to $6/lb range. I have evaluated and tested cored products for decades, and the weld reality is that irrespective of what the company who uses these wires has been told by their over friendly distributor or product rep, when welding on clean materials that are free of mill scale, the flat – horizontal position welds produced with the cored products, will rarely in contrast to MIG wires, (cost approx. $1/lb), offer when used correctly, any real weld quality or productivity benefits.
I believe that the continuing growth of the often not necessary costly Metal Cored & Flux Cored Wires, and also the use of the useless Three Part MIG Gas Mixes that are also utilized throughout the global weld industry, is strictly based on both weld sales influence and of course on the lack of weld shop management / engineering weld process control – best practice expertise.
For those of you that have never met me, you may have an interest in my back ground. For five decades, I optimized MIG and flux cored welds in more than 1000 plants in 13 countries. And for three decades, while working for some of the world’s largest producers of weld equipment – consumables, I was responsible for process control training and testing and evaluating global weld equipment and consumables. I helped write the AWS MIG gas specifications and advised the AWS committee on the flux cored specifications. Irrespective of the weld applications that I assisted companies with, I always achieved the highest possible weld quality – productivity, with no weld rework and no weld spatter issues. The MIG – FCA welds that I produced, were attainable with weld process expertise and the utilization of the lowest cost MIG welding equipment and MIG – FCA consumables.
Note: If a company wants to know how much weld salesmanship has had an influence at their weld shop floor, all any manager, engineer or supervisor has to do is think about all the MIG power sources and gas mixes that have likely tried in their facility during the last few years, and then take a look at MIG mixes in the cylinder storage racks. No matter what steels are MIG welded in 2015, any company that has used, or is using “three part gas mixes”, or has or is using straight CO2 or the common argon – 25% CO2 mix in their plants, is simply a company that suffers from MIG weld process expertise, a company that unfortunately has been influenced by MIG Gas Salesmanship.
FURTHER INFLUENCE OF WELD SALESMANSHIP:
In the global weld industry, it’s easy to find managers or supervisors that to resolve their daily weld issues. will seek a salesman who will pull out a glossy brochure and offer a marketing induced promise of weld improvements that rarely happens. In the case gas MIG mixes the supplier or gas mfg. wants that monthly gas / cylinder revenue and will therefore encourage the weld shop to utilize their so called unique MIG gas mix. This is one of the reasons that for four decades, we have had available in North America and Europe, as many MIG gas mixes as there are breakfast cereals available on the shelves of a super market.
The value of any weld inspector is in something most dont have, it’s called weld process control / best practice expertise. This expertise would help them prevent weld defects, rather than dimply finding them.
Please dont get pissed off at the messanger. How sad woulD a US weld shop be if it did not have persons who would vote for Donald Trump, persons without thick skin, persons without serious attitudes, persons without inflated egos, and persons with no sense of humor.
When weld shop customers do not have a clear understanding or are confused about the weld processes and the consumables that they use daily, it’s an easy task for those that produce and sell industrial MIG gas mixes, to ask for a premium price on what in reality is often a useless low cost commodity product.
ONE WAY FOR MAJOR MIG GAS PRODUCERS – SUPPLIERS TRY TO GET HIGHER PRICES FOR THEIR MIG GAS MIXES, IS PROVIDE SALES INFLUENCED BOGUS WELD CLAIMS ABOUT THEIR LATEST THREE OR FOUR PART MIG GAS MXES.
WHEN A COMPANY PROMOTES A THREE OR FOUR PART MIG GAS MIX, THEY ARE SUGGESTNG THAT THE THIRD OR FOURTH COMPONENT IN THEIR UNIQUE MIX IS GOING TO HAVE A WELD QUALITY – PRODUCTIVITY RESULT THAT WILL BE READILY MEASURABLE , & THERFORE JUSTIFY THE HIGHER GAS PURCHASE PRICE.
2015: I HAVE BEEN EVALUATING MIG GAS MIXES SINCE THE 1960s AND THE WELD REALITY IS THIS.
IN CONTRAST TO A RECOMMENDED TWO PART GAS MIX, WITH THE USE OF OPTIMUM MIG WIRE SIZE, CORRECT’ WELD PARAMETERS AND BEST WELD PRACTICES, THREE OR FOUR PART MIXES, WHEN USED FOR MIG WELDING STEELS – STAINLESS – ALLOY STEELS AND ALUMINUM, WILL PROVIDE NO MIG WELD QUALITY – PRODUCTIVITY OR SAFTEY BENEFITS.
Note: OVER 90% OF THE TWO PART MIXES THAT ARE AVAILABLE ARE SIMPLY NOT REQUIRED, AND THE POPUAR 75% ARGON – 25% CO2 MIX FOR STEELS OR THE HELIUM TRI-MIXES USED FOR STAINLESS, WOULD NEVER BE PURCHASED BY ANYONE WHO UNDERSTANDS THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE MIG PROCESS.. (see MIG gas section).
Global MIG gas misinformation and MIG gas selection confusion has been the norm for more than five decades. It’s a sad reflection of the weld industry that the majority of the MIG gas information found in too many weld shops is based on weld management, engineering, and supervision process ignorance, and of course, the gas info they do have has typically been provided by a weld gas salesman.
For any company that utilizes a three part MIG gas mix for carbon steels, alloy steels, stainless or aluminum applications, they may be embarrassed to find out they have been part of an industrial gas marketing con game. For a few years I was a primary contributor to the American Weld Society (AWS) committee that wrote the MIG Gas Specifications. Much of my time at these AWS specification meetings, went into trying to keep the extensive sales biased, incorrect. BS data that was presented on the three part mixes, out of that AWS specification. For decades it was a a sad fact, that many of those that contributed to the AWS Weld Specifications, were personnel that had a marketing or sales management or biased background.
In the last three decades, in my research roles at Airgas and AGA I developed four of the most practical, low cost, two component MIG gas mixes which are today sold throughout North America. If you want to stop wasting money on three part mixes, check out my low cost MIG gas mix recommendations. For MIG gas information without sales bias, visit the MIG Gas section at this site.
For five decades the most common sentence that I heard in weld shops was, “WHY CHANGE THE WAY WE HAVE ALWAYS DONE IT?.
You will never hear this in your weld shop…
OVER FIVE DECADES, I HAVE ASSISTED MORE THAN 1000 MANUAFCTURING PLANTS IN 13 COUNTRIES. IN 99% OF THOSE PLANTS, I COULD NOT FIND A MANAGER, ENGINEER, SUPERVISOR, OR WELDER THAT HAD THE NECESSARY MIG & FLUX CORED WELD PROCESS CONTROLS & BEST WELD PRACTICES EXPERTISE FOR EITHER MANUAL OR ROBOT WELD PROCESS QUALITY – PRODUCTIVITY OPTIMIZATION.
THOSE IN WELD – DECISION MAKING POSITIONS, WHO HAVE AN INTEREST IN “MIG – FLUX CORED WELD PROCESS CONTROLS – BEST PRACTICE EXPERTISE”, MAY WANT TO REVIEW THE FOLLOWING WELD TESTS, AND THEN CONSIDER THE WELD COST – QUALITY – LIABILITY RELEVANCE AND IMPORTANCE OF THESE QUESTIONS FOR THEIR OWN WELD DEPARTMENTS.
A REASONABLE QUESTION ABOUT THE GLOBAL WELD INDUSTRY WOULD BE... The weld industry is an old well established industry in which the majority of daily welds are made with two weld processes, MIG and Flux Cored. These two weld processes are little changed from the processes that welders were using many decades ago. So a reasonable question would be, why would someone want a management or supervision role in an industry that is governed by processes and consumables and yet lack the process and consumable expertise for process optimization?
The wide use of MIG welding started in the 1950’s. I started MIG welding tractors at Massey Feguson around 1961 at a factory in Manachester UK where the weld shop management / supervision knew little about MIG Weld Process Controls – Best Weld Practices. I suspect if I visted John Deere tractor plants in 2016, I would find that most of the managers / supervisors still know little about MIG process controls – best weld practices. The consequence of lack of process expertise is global in scope.
After my 50 plus years of being in the welding industry, Im’n running out of time, and I wonder what it will take to get this industry to realize that there is much more to MIG and Flux Cored welds than that provided by the “welder’s skills” .
OTHER INDUSTRIES HAVE HIGHER LEARNING STANDARDS: I have never met a machine shop supervisor who would allow one of his machinists to ‘play around’ with their lathe or milling machine controls. So why would any experienced weld decision maker allow their weld shop personnel to play around with the much more simple, two control MIG / Flux Cored weld processes, the answer to this issue is a simple one.
For decades many of those involved in weld management, engineering, supervision and weld education have simply not been aware of the benefits or the requirements of MIG – Flux Cored Weld Process Controls and Best Weld Practices
Dumb ROBOTS always need optimum process data.
Robot MIG Weld Process Controls Program.
SOME MANAGERS MAY ORDER MORE ROBOTS TO ATTAIN EXRA WELD PRODUCTION, WHILE THE REALITY OFTEN IS THAT THEIR EXISTING ROBOTS WILL HAVE NEVER ATTAINED THEIR DAILY MIG WELD QUALITY – PRODUCTIVITY POTENTIAL:
THE MAJORITY OF THE MIG WELDING ROBOTS THAT HAVE BEEN PURCHASED IN THE LAST THREE DECADES, RARELY, CONSISTENTLY ATTAIN THEIR WELD QUALITY AND WELD PRODUCTIVITY POTENTIAL.
It makes little sense, why any company that takes pride in it’s level of engineering, manufacturing and weld expertise, to spend thousands and maybe millions of dollars on robots and the related weld equipment and fixtures, and then let their managers, engineers and supervisors scratch their heads when weld quality – productivity issues occur, and continue daily to put up with poor weld quality, rejects, rework and let their workers “play around” with the robot weld data.
There is a simple low cost solution to the global lack of manual – robot Weld Process Control – Best Weld Practice expertise. During the last four decades, I developed the world’s most simple, self teaching / training MIG – Flux Cored weld process control – best practice programs. The programs utilize my unique, “Weld Control Clock Method” With the weld Clock Method, participants with or without MIG expertise, will within a few hours of training be able without taking notes to attain the MIG – Flux Cored Process Control – Best Weld Practice Expertise that’s necessary to instantly set optimum manual and robot MIG / Flux Cored weld data / practice for any weld applications.
ROBOT WELD PRODUCTVITY ISSUES. ROBOT WELD QUALITY CONCERNS. ROBOT WELD REJECTS. ROBOT WELD REWORK. ROBOT WELDS AND LIABILITY CONCERNS, AND LET’S NOT FORGET THE CAUSES FOR ROBOT DOWN TIME.
To attain optimum “robot” MIG weld quality and productivity or instantly deal with robot weld issues that effect down time, requires MIG Weld Process Control expertise. With the global average robot MIG weld production efficiency range at only 40 to 60% of it’s real potential. With the too frequent questionable weld quality and costly robot weld rework usually in the range of 20 to 100%, many manufacturing companies would with the expenditure of $300 on my self teaching and training process resources have a great opportunity for dramatic robot weld cost reductions and robot weld quality improvements.
For a few years, I was the North American Robot Weld Manager for ABB Robotics, at ABB I used my process programs to establish the world’s first, “Robot MIG weld Process Control Training Program”. For the last two decades, when employed as a Weld Process Control Consultant, I provided both manual and robot weld optimization and training to numerous companies in 13 different countries.
Before I optimize a companies’s robot weld quality or productivity, I would start out by providing my Seven Steps to Robot MIG Process Controls Training Program to all the weld decision makers at the plant. I would not provide this type of training program unless all the relevant management and engineers agreed to attend the program, getting these people to attend anything to do with welding was often like pulling teeth. The reason it was important that the front office personnel attend the training, was, lack of management and engineering weld process ownership has been and still is a major part of global weld problems. The bottom line is to establish and maintain the required Best MIG – flux cored Weld Practices in any plant, requires that all weld decision makers have process expertise and walk the same welding path.
Note: I developed my MIG and Flux Cored programs so that anyone (no weld expertise required) could present them.
MIG – FLUX CORED, MANUAL OR ROBOT WELD CONTROLS. Why not provide your employees with one of my easy to use weld Process Control – Best Practice training programs. Imagine after a few hours of viewing this unique resource, that all the participants will have the ability to instantly address their daily robot or manual MIG weld issues which impact the daily weld quality and productivity. Imagine, a weld department where no one “plays around with their weld parameters” . And imagine the plant management satisfaction when the weld shop daily achieves consistent, optimum weld quality / productivity without weld rework all at the lowest possible weld costs.
A management mystery in too many global weld shops, is the real world COSTS of the common MIG or Flux Cored welds that are made daily.
MIG AND FLUX CORED WELDS AND COSTS? A weld department cannot maximize it’s profits or control it’s MIG and Flux Cored weld costs, unless someone fully understand the primary weld processes utilized. One of the world’s most common welds is a MIG or flux cored 1/4, ( 6mm) fillet weld. Do you believe anyone in your front office or on the weld shop floor has the ability to look at the weld wire size, glance at the MIG wire feed control and then instantly provide the real weld costs associated with that fillet weld. Using my process control resources, this weld cost task would be so simple that the weld decision maker would not even require a pen or calculator.
When you ask a manager the cost of a MIG or flux cored weld, the majority of managers typically will want to talk about the cost of the weld gas mixes and the cost of the weld wires.
Many weld supervisors think they are on top of the weld production as long as they see that the welder’s shield is down and weld smoke and sparks are being generated. What the supervisors and management is often not aware is, the welder working hard can weld a vertical up flux cored 1/4 fillet at 6 lb/hr, or with process control expertise set the same fillet weld with the wire feed set to deliver 10 lb/hr. Or you could have a MIG welder working up a sweat to weld a common, horizontal 1/4 (6 mm) fillet at 6 lb/hr, and with the same sweat, using my MIG process control data they can make that fillet weld at 12 to 20 lb/hr.
The weld reality is few managers or supervisors understand the weld deposition rate potential of the weld process and consumables they use for the applications they daily weld. It’s a sad reflection of the industry that i love, that you will find that less than five percent of managers and supervisors will have the MIG – Flux Cored weld process control knowledge and expertise necessary to optimize their weld quality and control and understand their real weld costs. That’s the bad news. the good news is the solution is a simple one. My unique, low cost weld process control training resources enables the attainment of consistent, optimum MIG and flux cored weld quality and productivity for the majority of weld applications, and these resources simplify weld costs.
The often touted global shortage of MIG and Flux Cored welders, has always been a weld myth:
Pick up a weld magazine in any industrialized country, and you may read about how some manufacturing executive or plant manager is concerned about the so called shortage of qualified MIG – TIG or Flux Cored weld personnel?
Company [A] is required to increase it’s weld labor force for a contract that involved MIG welds on construction, food processing and farm equipment parts.
Company [B] A job shop looking for welders to weld chemical tanks and pipe welds with the flux cored and TIG process. The welders must pass an ASME Sect 1V. 5G. welder qualification test.
Company [C]. A ship yard has a large MIG or flux cored weld project coming up, and will need to hire many more welders. In the past when the welders have taken the welder qualification test, typically one to three out of every ten welders tested will pass the tests, and extensive costs are occurred in this frustrating task. Also few of those that pass the weld test will have the process expertise that’s necessary to produce welds with minimum defects and with maximum productivity.
Most managers and especially HR department management, are typically not aware that if they simply could find people without drug problems, people with a good work attitude, and then by providing my process control training programs, and hands on training recommendations, that it would take approx. 40 – 60 hours to train a “person who has never welded” to produce code quality welds for any application and any weld position.
Those going through my process training programs would have the capability to provide optimum MIG and Flux Cored welds that would meet any global weld code / specification requirements. Of course these same companies could also have the trainee weld personnel attend the usual local weld training establishment and after six months of costly, wasted effort, you would find that the new welders have a few skills and yet they typically will still “play around” with their MIG and flux cored weld controls.
THE TRADITIONAL TIG PROCESS REQUIRES THE HIGHEST WELDER SKILLS WITH MINIMAL PROCESS EXPERTISE. FOR SOME IT TAKES MANY YEARS TO MASTER THE SKILLS REQUIRED FOR CODE, ALL POSITION, PIPE WELDS. HOWEVER SINCE THE YEAR 2000, THERE HAS BEEN A SIMPLE SOLUTION TO THE GLOBAL TIG WELDER SKILLS SHORTAGE. THE SOLUTION IS CALLED TIP TIG.
WITH THE TIP TIG A PROCESS THAT I INTRODUCED IN BOTH NORTH AMERICA AND AUSTRALIA, YOU COULD TAKE SOMEONE WHO HAS NEVER TIG WELDED OR WELDED PIPE, AND WITH THE TIP TIG PROCESS IN APPROX. 10 DAYS, THAT PERSON SHOULD BE ABLE TO MEET ANY ALL POSITION, CODE, PIPE WELD TEST.
By the way, the TiP TiG manual or automated pipe welds will be better quality than any regular manual TIG welds, and better quality than any Hot / Cold Wire automated TIG welds. As a bonus the TIP TIG welds will be done 200 to 400% faster always with superior metallurgical properties. www.tiptigusa.com. Ask for Nick and tell him Ed Craig sent you..
If you want to increase the rate at which new hire weld personnel can pass any MIG – Flux Cored weld qualification test, it would make sense if the weld decision maker in charge would insist that before the welders waste the weld costs associated with weld testing and weld coupon evaluation, they sit those involved with the test down in a classroom and give them a few hours of my weld process controls, and best weld practice requirements .
It’s a good job for most weld shop managers, supervisors and engineers that
Ed’s easy to remember Weld Process Control
Weld Clock Method© is Copy Right Protected.
MANY WELD SHOPS HAVE CREATED GLASS WALLS...For those of you with sparse, or grey hair, you will have likely noted that in many weld shops there is a glass wall that divides the hands off management and engineers from the weld shop floor personnel. That dividing wall often results in the “them versus us syndrome”. In this costly and unhealthy manufacturing environment, it’s not uncommon to find the ships crew (the welders) have taken over the ship. In this too common mfg. environment. you end up with welders who do their own thing and develop unwarranted, inflated egos from the control they think they have in their poorly run weld shops. This old and very tired weld shop quagmire is ripe for the influence of a weld salesman, and ripe for weld quality – productivity issues with weld costs that are out of control.
MIG and flux cored weld process confusion, has for decades been a great door opener for that guy they call the
“WELD REP OR SALESMAN”.
Weld shop confusion will often lead to a costly crutch such as the introduction of new weld equipment saturated with useless electronic bells and whistles or unnecessary costly weld consumables. Lets face it, if that new pulsed MIG power source does not help the weld issues, the problem must be with the weld gas and the solution must be in that new three part gas mix. I have been in many weld shops in which the weld distributor salesman spends more time on the weld shop floor than the manufacturing manager.
Weld process confusion typically opens the door for someone to create DRAMATIC WELD COST SAVINGS:
The good news, it’s taken decades to create the cultural weld shop mess we too often see today, however with management driven change, there typically is great opportunity for most weld shops to attain dramatic weld quality improvements and cost savings.
LACK OF MIG – FLUX CORED WELD PROCESS CONTROL BEST PRACTICE EXPERTISE, FOR FIVE DECADES YOU WOULD FIND THIS IN THE WORLD’S LARGEST ENGINEERING COMPANIES OR THE SMALLEST WELD SHOPS:
In the majority of fortune 500 companies in which welding is an important process, you will find that too often there is management – engineering weld process ignorance and apathy.
Most of you who have spent 10 minutes at this web site will now be e aware of the extensive lack of weld management in the Auto – truck industry, and It may be a surprise to find that many major USA fortune 500 companies such as General Electric and Dow Chemical have numerous fabrication facilities which appear to be stuck in a 1960 – 1970 weld manufacturing time warp. These corporations typically rose to greatness as a result of research, innovation and strong management and engineering leadership. In the last decade, as I visited many of the 500 companies to assist them with their never ending weld issues, I frequently witnessed the growth of hands off managers – engineers, with minimal focus on engineering R & D. Also thanks to the management weld apathy i found that the manufacturing practices – processes and procedures I reviewed were typically established in the 1960 – 1970s. The reality was while the past practices built these corporations, too many managers and engineers are today ensuring often through fear of change or lack of balls, that their companies will remain entrenched in that welding past.
IF A WELD SHOP IS NOT HIGHLY EFFICIENT IN TERMS OF THE WELD QUALITY – PRODUCTIVITY IT DAILY PRODUCES, HOW CAN THAT SHOP UNDERSTAND OR EVER REACH IT’S REAL PROFIT POTENTIAL:
In the last 15 years, the North America, management and engineering weld process ignorance – apathy has been a large part of the discussion and scope of this site. Many people are not aware that an important consequence of the the lack of management focus on this important subject is this is one of the reasons the “USA no longer produces good paying factory weld jobs”.
LACK OF EFFECTIVE WELD MANAGEMENT HAS RESULTED IN THE TOO COMMON “WHY SHOULD WE CHANGE ATTITUDE”:
A fabricator I knew in 2010, received an opportunity to quote on a job for Dow Chemical, this is a company that I believe often gives the impression that when it comes to weld fabrication, it’s an “Engineering Dinosaur”. Dow wanted large, thick wall, stainless steel, storage tanks built. When the DOW welding specs were reviewed by the fabricator, he noted with dismay that DOW had requested the worst possible weld process for this large project. Dow wanted the fabricator to use the SMAW (stick) process to weld the 15 – 30 ft diameter tanks. The fabricator complained to Dow engineers and managers responsible, that the use of the SMAW process would dramatically increase both the weld production time, and the welding costs. He also told the engineer that with the SMAW process, the anticipated weld rework costs would be much higher than they need to be if alternative welding processes were utilized. The fabricator requested that DOW engineers enable them to uses the Gas Shielded Flux Cored weld process. The Flux Cored process would allow the fab shop to reduce the overall weld costs by at least 70%, provide higher weld quality and reduce the concerns for meeting the production deadlines.
The Dow engineers and the managers responsible for the project rejected the gas shielded flux cored selection recommendation. The reason give by the DOW management was an old tired one. Dow stated that the initial tanks which were first built in 1960s were welded with the SMAW process, and the engineers were therefore reluctant to change to the 30 + year flux cored weld process. One of the DOW engineers actually had the nerve to say in the weld meeting, “after all why should we change the way we have always done it” .
The DOW management sad attitude, and their apathetic engineering response, has had for this company, created decades of dramatic weld cost, quality, and schedule consequences. Those that call themselves engineers, and do not utilize the most cost effective weld processes for their applications, should do their company a favour, and change their profession. Perhaps these people would be better suited working at McDonald’s, as that’s one company who would appreciate “this the way we have always done it” speech.
GE – Exon – Siemans – ABB, I have seen the same apathetic management / engineering process apathy at most of the Fortune 500 engineering companies that I visited. The common denominator at the world’s largest companies were they consistently employed “hands off”, managers and engineers, personnel that were happy in front of their computers, and even happier behind the glass walls that separated them from the weld and fab shops.
When engineers and managers lack MIG – FCA weld process control expertise, they typically would want to retain the processes that were used for similar applications built in the past. These processes were typically SMAW – TIG. Lets face it, if management and engineers at any large corporation wanted to dramatically reduce their annual, global weld costs, these guys would attain a weld process control – best practice education, (requires 10 – 16 hrs of reading), and then roll up their sleeves and take ownership and responsibility for their large scale weld projects.
Extensive global weld cost consequences
from a common weld shop attitude.
|Weld quality & cost consequences from many sources:|
Lack of Management – Eng – Project Mgt, Supervision Weld Process Ownership.
Designers and Weld Process Apathy.
Weld Decision makers reliance on Sales Advice.
Technicians that decide they should stop learning after two years experience.
|If they ever applied NDT to all the welds on cars and trucks, they would find so many weld defects, that few vehicles would ever be allowed to leave the plant.|
An internal MIG weld evaluation would reveal that for every four robot MIG welds found on auto – truck parts industry, typically one to three of the welds would reveal unacceptable weld defects.
The weld reality of the the majority of robot MIG welds that join global cars and truck parts, is the average fillet weld size is approx. 4 – 5 mm, while the average gage part thickness welded is 1 to 3 mm. Thanks to the general lack of best weld practices and lack of MIG process control expertise in these industries, it’s frequently that the “over weld applied,” rather than the robot or manual MIG – FCA weld integrity is what is really holds together those expensive vehicles.
My robot Weld Process Control Training resources are easy to learn and simple to use. These resources will ensure the personnel in your organization always attain the full weld quality – productivity from the robots and MIG equipment selected. Click here for info.
2008. Above Photo: Ed had to use the ridiculous Miller remote control to set a Miller Axcess Pulsed MIG power source. This equipment was loaded with useless electronic bells and whistles. Viza the Spanish auto seat manufacturer had purchased this useless pulsed MIG equipment, based on the advise of a salesman. I found out at Viza, that this new Miller Axcess equipment had electronic problems that I had previously encountered with the same equipment in the USA a few years before. I previously reported this to the senior management at Miller in the USA. Miller management who likely would have been better qualified to run a donut shop ignored the pulsed MIG problems I presented to them on their USA MIG equipment, and decided to introduce this faulty equipment with the same electronic issues to their Spanish customers.
Check the MIG equipment selection and pulsed MIG section for more info on companies that have no issues making weld equipment, and when they know they have faulty weld equipment, they make no attempt to tell their customers.
Over the decades, I worked with numerous new pulsed MIG power sources that had extensive, electronic issues, and I would report many of the issue to the weld equipment mfg. Yet I cannot recall ever seeing a pulsed MIG weld power source recall from, MILLER – LINCOLN – HOBART – ESAB OR PANASONIC?
For many companies, the following
would be a first.
|We have many Weld QA managers, where are the qualified global weld process control managers?|
The global job web career sites, will in a few minutes let you know how unimportant that Weld Managers job is.
A visit to one of the world’s largest career web sites, monster.com and a quick key word search for a “QUALITY MANAGER” and you should typically find numerous jobs in the USA and around the globe. However if the key words, “WELD MANAGER” few jobs will be evident.
From my weld shop logic, it’s always been more important to “prevent weld defects rather than to find them,” and a weld shop manager, QA person, engineer, supervisor or technician that wants to justify his salary should know how to achieve this.
Note. The sad weld reality is most large weld – fab shops employ a QA manager. The inspectors that work for this mgr, unfortunately will be typically trained to find, rather than to prevent weld defects.We are all aware that Weld Process – Best Practices expertise should start with those weld and mechanical engineers, however as many of you are not aware, most of the major, global colleges and universities that provide weld education, do not provide their engineer students with the appropriate weld Process Controls – Best Practices education they need for the most common weld processes used in the industries they will serve.
Who is responsible for the robot cells?
It does not matter if the robot weld issues are being generated by the;
 The PARTS.
 The FIXTURES.
 The ROBOT TECHNICIANS.
 The PERSONNEL MAKING THE ROBOT WELD CHANGES.
 The ROBOT CELL OPERATORS.
ACCOUNTABILITY AND FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR ROBOT WELD QUALITY OR PRODUCTIVITY ISSUES SHOULD ALWAYS BE WITH THE ENGINEERS AND MANAGERS.
Few in the global manufacturing industry are aware that for almost two plus decades in manufacturing facilities, over 90% of MIG welding robots were set up by inexperienced robot companies and integrators. The robot MIG weld quality – productivity achieved after installation was further negatively influenced through management, engineering and supervision weld process ignorance, and through the plant’s inexperienced robot technicians.
Its a weld reality that the majority of global MIG welding robots are daily managed by technicians who are typically responsible for placing the weld data in the robot programs. The irony is that the vast majority of the robot technicians have never received MIG Weld Process Controls and Best Practices Training.
When you combine the common lack of robot weld process controls – best robot weld practice with;
[a] management that is typically not aware of the real robot weld quality – productivity and costs,
[b] equipment in the robot cell that is part of the problem, (Pulsed MIG weld equipment),
© equipment that is not in the cell that should have been part of the original robot purchase,
(robot TCP controls, torch cleaning station, or joint tracking etc),
[d] the too common, poor or lack of engineering and manufacturing standards that result in unacceptable “part dimensional tolerances” for the welded parts,
[e] the frequent poor weld fixture design that either impedes the robot movement or the optimum gun angles, or fixtures that do not provide consistent part placement,
[f] poor robot cell fixture maintenance.
[g] maintenance personnel allowed to make unqualified weld changes.
All of the above will influence the global poor robot weld quality and necessary weld costs that are found with the majority of robot MIG weld cells.
I would not waste energy asking any designer of an auto or truck MIG welded parts, if they understood the process they had requested to weld their parts.
From car seats to shocks, thin wall tubes are widely used with car and truck parts. The tubular parts are great for increased rigidity and strength, however these components also offer unique robot MIG weld – energy concerns.
It’s a shame that most of the university educated designers of the tubular parts will be completely unaware of the MIG weld requirements and the MIG weld concerns with tubular parts.
A good example of a tubular MIG weld problem will often occur with the “J” groove tube joint shown in the right photo. The J groove occurs when welding a round part to flat gage part. With this weld joint, increased weld mass is necessary to fill the groove, and the groove typically requires twice as much weld as necessary for the thickness welded.
The larger weld mass required in a J groove, dissipates some of the energy that would typically be applied to attain the required side wall weld fusion. Lack of MIG weld fusion is very common with these weld joints, as is excess weld heat from the over size weld.
From welding thin gauge parts to 5/16 (8 mm), single pass, horizontal, fillet welds, few weld shops have ever understood that both the MIG spray and pulsed process will too often deliver a poor ratio between the weld energy produced. the weld mass and the weld speed required.
Combine the frequent poor MIG weld fusion on J groove joints, with the short cycle weld times found with the too common, “short length”, auto and truck welds, and you often end up with rapid freeze, low energy welds that on the surface may look sound and robust. However as in the case of the weld macro above, you end up with a large weld on a 1.4 mm tube to brkt, and that weld reveals, lack of robot MIG weld fusion. Note with the above poor weld fusion, you still have evidence of excess weld heat from the large HAZ evident on the thinner tube. This defect is a common MIG weld issue which is easy to resolve with MIG weld process control expertise. It’s also something that one day hopefully designers of these parts will have a better awareness of.
Remember, J grooves welds typically require > 100 to 200% more weld necessary for the part thickness welded. Oversize MIG welds will take away from the weld fusion potential, slow down the robots weld speed, add to the excess heat in the welds HAZ, something that can weaken the HSLA parts.
If designers of robot MIG welded components do not purchase the robot process control – best weld practices program at this site, who will teach these personnel to understand the weld cost & weld quality consequences of their designs?
The most ridiculous weld specification I have ever seen, have been those from the major Japanese and the Big Three USA auto – truck manufactures. For example you may find in their weld specs. that some idiot in the corporate office has;
[a] Requested the use of the terrible Self Shielded Flux Cored Wires,
[b] Specified the weld porosity content on parts that have zinc coatings, or parts they know will be covered with stamping lubrication fluids.
© Specified ridiculous max and minimum weld fusion requirements on thin gage parts in which the weld fusion has to change as the part heat changes
Also on tube welds, it’s difficult with some robots to control the robot Tool Center Point and attain consistent robot high rotational weld speeds from the robot’s multi-axis movement, or from the fixture movement. The weld quality and consistency of the robot programming, the global lack of weld process control expertise, the common small weld lengths, the weld parameter influence from MIG wire stick variations, and the weld wire helix issues can all influence the weld positions (weld fusion) weld quality attained on small round welds.
Note: With tubular welds or cold rolled part welds, weld fusion – porosity issues is often influenced by lubricating oils from the manufacturing – forming process, or from the zinc protective coatings on the parts.
As mentioned small tubular welds are often over sized welds and these Reverse Polarity welds will rapidly build up weld heat in a small localized areas. On thin gage HSS tube steels, the excess weld heat in the HAZ has to be a concern especially when additional weld passes are delivered from weld rework which is typical with auto and truck robot applications. To retain some of the High Strength Steel (HSS) structural integrity in the weld’s heat affected zones, it’s critical in the robot welding of these high strength components, to ensure that correct weld sizes are applied and manual MIG weld rework is eliminate. Also what’s the sense of providing robot welds if they don’t consistently provide weld fusion over their total length.
The HSS, small tube robot weld applications, are one that management is advised to keep their inexperienced millwrights, electricians and other maintenance personnel away from. Robot welded parts don’t need inexperienced maintenance personnel “playing around” with the robot weld data making “unqualified weld changes. The weld solutions to all of these issues are addressed in my robot weld process control programs.
TUBE MIG WELDS CONCLUSION: It’s fine for designers and engineers to talk about the reduced weight benefits of their thin, high strength, steel or tubular parts, however if the weld process destroys those properties with unnecessary weld heat or creates welds with lack of weld fusion, or if the manufacturing engineers have lost dimensional control of the parts creating weld gaps, the robots will be producing welds with unacceptable quality. If this is the case, those lawyers involved in car and truck collisions should take note, and engineers could ask. What’s the real benefit of the high strength tubular welded components when the vehicles are involved in collisions?
All engineers and robot weld decision makers working with robot welded part should be aware of the fundamentals in my Best Weld Practices – Robot Weld Process Control Training Resource.
Robots, weld costs & poor robot weld production efficiency:
i have been in hundreds of plants in 13 countries that use many MIG robots, and in the majority of plants, it was typical to find that the plants on average were using three robots to do the work that two could do. The managers and engineers in these plants were never aware of this costly fact, as they also were not aware of how to produce robot welds that do not require weld rework.
For more than two decades in the auto – truck industry, the typical, robot weld down time per-8 hr/shift, has been a ridiculous 60 to 90 minutes, which according to Detroit auto industry sources, can result in an approx. cost of $2000 – $2500 per-hour. In my numerous visits to Detroit plants that were having robot issues, I found few managers or engineers understood the root cause of their robot weld quality – productivity and down time issues, and and even fewer wanted to get involved.
2013. The average global, Robot MIG weld production efficiency range, is only 40 to 65% and the average robot weld rework range is 20 to 100%.
The last thing a weld shop needs is to ask weld QA personnel who typically have no weld process control expertise, a question on weld process quality – productivity issues. QA personnel who are process control experienced are typically wasted in the majority of weld shops as the management and engineers direct them to react after the welds are complete.
For decades, too many global manufacturing companies have placed their weld quality labor resources and focus on “finding weld defects” rather than on providing their employees (including QA personnel) with highly cost effective weld process control training programs, that would “enable weld defect prevention”.
THE “GLOBAL QA – WELD QUALITY DEMISE”:
|There has never been a bigger demand for QA Managers and Weld Inspectors, yet the demand for Weld Managers, Supervisors and Technicians with Weld Best Practice Capability and Weld Process Control Expertise, has always been almost none existent.
| IS YOUR ORGANIZATION CLOSE TO MAKING A LARGE WELD AUTOMATION OR WELD EQUIPMENT INVESTMENT, AND YOU WOULD LIKE TO KNOW HOW TO ATTAIN OPTIMUM WELD QUALITY AND PRODUCTIVITY WITHOUT THE PURCHASE OF COSTLY, USELESS BELLS AND WHISTLES?
 Do you have weld design concerns or looking for design tips that
 ARE YOU SIMPLY LOOKING TO RESOLVE WELD PROBLEMS OR LOOKING FOR THE MOST COST EFFECTIVE EFFECTIVE WELD PROCESS DATA AND PROCEDURES?
 Perhaps you have a MIG / Flux Cored welder shortage at your locations and would like to provide the world’s most effective robot – manual MIG process control training programs. With a few hours process training your employees will exceed your expectations.
AT THIS SITE YOU WILL FIND THE WORLD’S MOST EFFECTIVE MIG AND FLUX CORED PROCESS CONTROL TRAINING RESOURCES.
Ed has resolved weld issues for hundreds of companies and many of the weld issues were resolved with a phone call or by E-mail .
Call Ed if you would like his customized training at his Asheville, North Carolina location. E-mail. email@example.com. Pho 828 337 2695
NEVER ENDING WELD MEETINGS ARE USUALLY A SIGN OF LACK OF WELD PROCESS CONTROL EXPERTISE;
WHEN WELD MANAGEMENT DOES NOT RECOGNIZES THE IMPORTANCE OF WELD PROCESS CONTROL AND BEST PRACTICES EXPERTISE, THEIR WELD QUALITY – PRODUCTIVITY ACCEPTANCE STANDARDS WILL BE LOW. THESE MANAGERS WILL KEEP HAVING UNPRODUCTIVE WELD ISSUE MEETINGS. IN THE MEETINGS THEY WILL KEEP ASKING THE SAME OLD IRRELEVANT QUESTIONS. WHEN EXPERTISE IS NECESSARY SOMEONE WILL INVITE THE LOCAL WELD SALES REP.
Manual or robot welds, it’s too often the
same old MIG weld process issues:
|Have you ever met a tool maker or any machinist that daily “plays around” with the settings on the equipment they use?|
Be a professional. Train your weld personnel so they also don’t have to “Ask a Lincoln Rep” how to MIG weld a part someone likely MIG welded 50 years ago.
I again have to repeat, when it comes to welding, what do weld shops want? managers or FIREMEN? Does your weld facility employ weld managers, weld supervisors or firemen?
In a weld manufacturing facility in which the MIG or flux cored weld quality and productivity are not optimized, it’s not uncommon to find engineers, supervisors, technicians and their management in a constant Fireman mode, These are the guys that daily run around trying to quench the weld production and weld quality fires.
 In the Fireman’s plant, you will often find ISO deeply embedded, KAIZEN is a second language, black belts are in abundance, while many of the common manufacturing processes such a paint, resistance welds and MIG welds are out of control.
 In the Fireman’s plant, you will find the management and engineers are incapable of establishing uniform Best Weld Practices and have no understanding of the requirements of robot or manual Weld Process Controls.
 In the Fireman’s plant, you will not find a single person who can tell you the real cost of the common welds they daily produce.
 In the Fireman’s plant, you will the managers and engineers have not taken ownership of the manufacturing processes that are responsible for their profits.
 In the Fireman’s plant you will you will find no job descriptions or if there are job descriptions they are poorly defined.
How can managers control their weld costs, if they don’t know the real costs of the common welds they daily produce?
How many weld decision makers have you ever met that can look at a simple 1/4 (6mm) fillet weld and the weld consumables utilized, and instantly know;
[a] the optimum consumables that should have been utilized,
[b] the optimum weld data that should be used,
© the weld deposition rates that should be attained,
[d] with robots, the weld speeds that could be attained for each weld.
Why does anyone bother with the costs and time associated with weld qualifications and weld procedures, if the daily weld results end up with “weld rework”?
Too many weld qualification tests and resulting weld procedures do not encompass best weld process practices or process controls. In north America, we loose over a billion dollars annual on weld rejects, unnecessary weld rework and poor weld productivity, and its a sad commentary that the majority of those welded parts will have had “pre qualified weld procedures”. While so much reliance is placed on welding skills the experienced weld decision maker is aware that welding skills are only a small part of the requirements to consistently attain optimum welds.
For five decades, as I walked through more than a thousand weld shops in 13 countries, I hoped that in at least one weld shop, that I would find a weld decision maker who;
[a] could make weld decisions without seeking the advice of a weld salesman,
[b] understood the importance of weld best practices – process controls.
© was aware of the real weld costs.
It was a wasted effort. With my roles as a Weld Training Manger and Weld Product Marketing Manager for companies such as Praxair, Airgas, AGA, and Liquid Carbonic, I have dealt with, and trained more than 1000 weld salesmen and I therefore believe that this experience allows me to have an opinion on global weld sales reps.
Thanks to five decades of global MIG weld industry reliance on sales advice, three of the largest growth and most profitable weld products sold in today for welding carbon and alloy steels are;
 Costly, unnecessary electronic pulsed MIG equipment.
 Costly, unnecessary metal and flux cored wires for flat – horizontal welds.
 Costly, and unnecessary three part MIG gas mixes.
If the above three products were no longer available to the global weld shops that weld mostly carbon steels, low alloy steels and stainless steels, there would be no impact on the weld industry’s weld quality and productivity.
As it was five decades ago and as it is today, the majority of weld decision makers need to get some scissors and cut the umbilical cord which too often is attached from them to a local weld sales rep:
I think its amusing that when MIG or flux cored weld advice is needed, many of the global weld shops which employ weld personnel who have been in the business for decades, will not think twice about asking a weld sales rep for advice.
What’s ironic about the above statement, is the majority of sales reps will have a background education or experience which is not relevant to the welding industry.
The sales reps with their frequent biased product advice will usually be eager to recommend another new, three or four part, gas mix, or offer their costly pulsed MIG power source with it’s useless, programmable magic wave forms, sensitive circuit boards and short life span. If you want evidence of the MIG weld process and equipment confusion, you would find it in the majority of global weld shops.
TAKE A LOOK AROUND THAT WELD SHOP:
 How many different MIG power sources, welding wires and gas mixes have been in the shop in the last five years?
 Figure out how many welders in the shop are daily playing around with their MIG weld controls.
 Ask yourself, why is their weld spatter on the parts?
 Ask yourself, why do the welds lack uniformity?
 Ask yourself, why are welds being rejected or require weld rework?
 Try and find someone that can tell you the real cost of the most common weld in the shop.
MAKE UNDERSTANDING MIG – FLUX CORED WELD COST A PRIORITY:
Few weld shops employ managers or supervisors that can in a few minutes work out the cost of a common 3/16 or 1/4 ( 5 – 6 mm) fillet weld. When asked about weld costs, the majority of global weld shop decision makers will want to discuss the cost of the MIG wires or the MIG weld gas mixes. Manual and automated weld deposition rate potential for the common MIG – FCA weld sizes is rarely given consideration or fully understood.
Note: If it takes you or anyone in your organization more than 5 minutes to work out the cost of any weld, that person lacks weld process control expertise. The solution to this striking weld cost issue is simple. Those interested, should spend a few hours with my low cost MIG – Flux Cored weld process control – best practice resources. A few hours to get complete control of any MIG or flux cored weld cost..
WHEN MANAGERS – SUPERVISORS LACK WELD PROCESS CONTROL – BEST PRACTICE EXPERTISE AND MIG – FCA WELDS NEED TO BE OPTIMIZED OR ISSUES RESOLVED. THE MANAGEMENT – SUPERVISION FOCUS IS OFTEN ON THE WELDERS, RATHER THAN ON THE REAL ROOT CAUSES.
|The highest optimum MIG – FCA weld quality and productivity can be made by dumb machines, when Best Weld Practices and Process Control expertise is applied.|
HOW IMPORTANT WOULD THE FOLLOWING FUNDAMENTAL WELD PROCESS CONTROL QUESTIONS BE TO AN ORGANIZATION THAT LIKES TO MAKE MONEY FROM IT’S WELDS?
Test your Weld Process Knowledge with these fundamental weld questions. If it takes you more than 15 minutes to provide the “correct answers” to the following weld questions, you are not in control of the world’s most common weld equipment and consumables.
 As MIG Spray Transfer is the most widely used weld transfer mode used for all steel welds on parts > 1/8 (>3mm) thick, it’s reasonable, that the MIG weld personnel would be aware of the answer to this question.
What is the MIG wire feed setting in inch/min (m/min) in which the common 0.045 (1.2mm) wire using argon – 20% CO2 goes into Spray Transfer?
 Most MIG weld personnel are not aware that a change in MIG gas mixes requires a change in weld parameters. The weld supervisor wants to try another new MIG gas mix.
What weld parameter changes would a weld decision maker advice the welders to adjust with a change of the shops’s MIG gas mix from argon – 20% CO2, to argon – 10% CO2?
 Utilizing the best weld transfer mode is the first step to weld optimization and a change in weld part thickness may enable a change in the weld transfer mode.
The welders in the shop usually weld thin gauge parts <3mm, with 0.035 (0.9mm) wire. Occasionally they have to weld thicker parts in the 1/8 - 1/2. (3 to 12 mm) range. Using an 0.035 (0.9mm) MIG wire, what wire feed setting in inch/min (m/min), will Short Circuit Transfer change into spray transfer when using argon - 20% CO2?  One of the most common MIG gas mixes utilized, causes many weld problems. Why is the common argon - 25% CO2 mix the worst possible MIG gas for companies who weld parts thicker than 1/8 (>3mm)?
 Why purchase robots if there is little expertise on the robot weld speed potential?
Your company is using a robot to weld a common 3/16 (5mm) carbon steel, horizontal fillet welds. An 0.045 (1.2 mm) wire and argon – 10% CO2 is used. To meet your weld production needs you need to attain a minimum weld travel speed of 40 ipm. Provide the
Wire Feed Speed____ inch/min. Required Amps ____ Volts___.
 Robot weld production is greatly influenced by robot down time.
The robot cells are on average going through three to six contact tips each day. The robot welds 1/4 (6mm) carbon steel, using an 0.045 MIG wire and argon – 10% CO2. The wire feed data is 280 inch/min (7 m/min) with 25 weld volts.
Why is this company having daily contact tip issues?
 Weld automation is rarely optimized if automated MIG or flux cored weld parameters are poorly understood.A mechanized weld carriage or a robot is used to weld a 1/4 (6mm), horizontal fillet weld with an 0.045 (1.2mm) E71T-1 flux cored wire and argon 20% CO2. Provide the flux cored;
Wire Feed Rate____Weld Travel Rate____Weld Voltage____.
 Can the weld shop profits be maximized in a weld shop that does not understand the real cost of a weld?
What is the MIG weld cost for a weld application which has a total of 6 feet of weld (1.5 meters) of 1/4 (6 mm) horizontal fillet welds on each part. The part is welded with the common 0.045 (1.2mm) MIG wire. This wire cost $1 /lb. The argon – CO2 gas mix cost is $40 per-cyl. The wire feed rate used is 420 inch/min with 30 volts. The welders have an overhead rate of $40 / hr. The MIG welders average arc on time is 30 minutes per-hr.
 Gas shielded flux cored wire will not be optimized unless the parameters are understood.
Welding 1/4 (6.4 mm) structural carbon steel parts with an 0.045 (1.2mm) E71T-1 flux cored wire. The weld position is vertical up. The gas mix is argon – 25% CO2. Without asking the sales rep, provide the optimum wire feed, amps and voltage for the welder.
 Fine tuning MIG or flux cored welds is an essential requirement for anyone responsible for the welds.
This company has an automated Bug O type weld unit that runs on a track, (or the application could be robot weld). The MIG Spray Transfer weld is oversize. Without touching the wire feed rate, you increase the weld travel rate by 20%. What will you have to do to the weld voltage and explain why?
 So many companies use this poor MIG gas mix.
The weld shop is using Helium Tri Mixes (90 He – 7.5 Argon – 2.5 CO2) for MIG welding thin gage <3 mm stainless. As the new weld shop decision maker you have to advice why this expensive MIG gas mix has been the wrong choice?  An important part of weld cost is the time spent cleaning those welds. The weld shop is using MIG Spray and Pulsed MIG and weld spatter is in abundance. The weld decision maker is about to demonstrate how to get rid of most of the weld spatter. What will he adjust adjust and why?  The weld shop welds thin gauge parts with short circuit (SC) and have extensive weld spatter. To get rid of the SC spatter, what parameters have to be adjusted and why? The same weld shop then welds using MIG spray transfer and also get spatter. As the weld decision, you have to explain why in contrast to the SC welds, you are about to make opposite weld parameter adjustments.  In the robot cell a glob of weld on the wire tip is causing poor arc starts and effecting the robot weld production. At the end of the robot welds there is a large melted glob on the end of the weld wire. The glob is causing robot arc start issues. Explain how the glob causes the problems and how you will get rid of the globs? Note: A reasonable question. Are the above weld process control questions relevant to the weld quality, productivity and costs in a weld shop, and just as important are the questions relevant to your weld career? If you had difficulty with the fundamental MIG and Flux Cored weld process questions, don't feel frustrated, after all, for more than six decades the weld industry and most weld educators have placed minimal focus on the subject of weld process controls. The solutions are available in the training section of this site. ED’s MIG Weld Process Controls & Best Practice Test.
A LACK OF UNDERSTANDING ON THE SUBJECT OF WELD PROCESS CONTROLS – BEST WELD PRACTICE EXPERTISE, IS THE MISSING LINK IN MANY GLOBAL WELD DEPARTMENTS.
Click HERE for the world’s most effective Weld Process Controsl & Best Weld Practice – Training / Self Teaching Programs for, MIG – Robot MIG – Flux Cored and Advanced TIG.
You may know a weld manager, engineer or supervisor like this.
This will be that manager, engineer, supervisor or technician that daily has their head buried in the sand. This is the weld decision maker who takes no ownership for the companies weld equipment and processes. This guy actually believes that MIG and flux cored welders need to “play around” with their weld controls and his companies daily weld quality and productivity depends on the temperament and artistic skill levels of each welder. This guy (most women would have more sense) will get most of his weld questions addressed by the local sales rep. This is that weld decision maker who believes that weld productivity is measured by how long the welder’s hood is down, and never has had a clue about the cost of the welds he is supposed to be responsible for. When you ask these weld decision makers about their weld costs, they typically want to discuss the cost of the weld wires and gas mixes.
 When you ask these weld decision makers about their weld issues, they will not think twice about calling the local weld sales rep for advice. They will have no problem spending unnecessary dollars on the latest (useless) three part gas mixes, or on costly pulsed MIG equipment that is typically loaded with ineffective electronic bells and whistles.
These are the weld decision makers who will daily accept inconsistent, manual, weld quality and unacceptable productivity as being the norm.
Or you may know a weld decision maker like this:
 These will be the weld decision makers who are tired with the daily, futile finger pointing, typically directed at those who are not responsible for the ever changing weld shop issues. These guys will also be fed up with the time wasting useless, too frequent weld meetings, in which BS is the norm, and practical, cost effective weld solutions are rare.
 These will be the individuals who are frustrated that their so called experienced weld personnel have to “play around” with the decades old, two control, MIG and Flux Cored weld processes.
 These will be the guys who no longer want to read weekly reports full of excuses for the inconsistent, robot or manual, MIG flux cored weld quality and productivity.
 These are the weld decision makers that know that optimum MIG – Flux Cored weld process performance comes from the plants that will have the ability to establish uniform Best Weld Practices and Weld Process Controls.
 These weld decision makers will know that to achieve optimum weld quality – productivity, their employees need more than weld skills, they need MIG – FCA weld process control training. Click here for my Weld Best Practice – Process Control Resources.
Note: You should not be in this industry if you don’t have an open mind, a sense of humor, and very very thick skin
I hope you are not upset with the messenger at this site and that you are focused on the message. I hope weldreality.com can be a catalyst for progressive, cost effective weld changes for your organization. I also hope that my information and opinions will encourage managers, engineers, technicians and supervisors towards Weld Process Ownership. The info at this site can dramatically reduce most of the common MIG / Flux Cored weld process issues, the too common weld myths, the process – consumable weld confusion, and the too frequent sales reliance that’s common for most global MIG weld shops.
EXON – HALIBURTON – GM – ROLLS ROYCE – IMPERIAL OIL – FORD – CHRYSLER HARLEY – DANA – MAGNA – TENNECO – VOLVO – TOYOTA – HONDA – IMPERIAL OIL – COMBUSTION ENGINEERING – GENERAL ELECTRIC – CATERPILLAR – JOHN DEERE – MERCEDES – DOW CHEMICAL – BABCOCK – ABB – GENERAL DYNAMICS – VW – TEXTRON – INGERSOLL RAND and ESSO are just a few companies that utilized Ed’s robot / manual process control services, expertise or training resources.
Em Craig provides weld process quality / productivity solutions for a reasonable fee. E-mail. firstname.lastname@example.org.
.Em’s Robot and Manual MIG and Flux Cored Weld Process Control Training power point presentation should be provided to all personnel involved in the weld process and involved in weld process decisions. This list starts with the management, engineers, supervisors, technicians and QA personnel and of course all the weld shop personnel.
When everyone in the weld department walks the same welding path and training is provided, Uniform Best Weld Practices and Weld Process Controls can be implemented and the following should result.
 All robot or manual pre-qualified weld procedures will provide data that deal with all the
real world parts and the weld variables that will influence the daily weld quality and productivity.
 Optimum, shop floor Weld Manufacturing and Weld Instructions will presented. The management will ensure that these instructions will be adhered to and always highly visible.
 All weld personnel will be aware of how to instantly set optimum MIG and flux cored weld data for any weld, any alloy, any wire, any weld issue. The change in the weld setting will be made without the weld personnel “playing around” with the weld parameters.
 Daily weld clean up and weld rework will become miniscule and unacceptable.
 Managers, supervisors or any weld decision maker will know the real cost of the common welds they daily produce.
 All weld decision maker will be aware of their weld production capability in terms of the weld deposition rate potential and the weld travel speeds per their common weld applications.
Tremendous improvements in MIG – TIG and Flux Cored weld quality and weld cost reductions, can be found in the majority of global weld shops.
The greatest potential for weld quality improvement and weld cost reduction is found in every weld shop that employs many welders or uses many robots.
 No one daily uses more MIG – Flux Cored weld wires than a ship yard or a facility building oil – gas platforms.
 No one daily produces more weld defects or has higher weld repair costs than these industries.
If a person wanted to find extensive lack of management, supervision and engineering “weld process ownership”, the first place they would visit would be the above facilities. The next place to visit would be an automotive or truck manufacturing plant. The good news for those are looking for career opportunities and advancement in these industries, to rise above the common weld management – engineering apathy and mediocrity all that person would have to do is get weld process control and best practice expertise, grow some balls and be ready to show how they could generate tremendous weld quality improvements and weld cost savings.
As a weld process control expert, you should have the ability to instantly master any manual or automated weld equipment – consumables utilized, and without playing around with the controls, attain both optimum weld performance and productivity with all welds.
As a weld process control expert you know it’s your responsibility to ensure the correct process control training is provided.
Imagine a weld shop in which all the weld personnel are aware of the root causes of the manual / robot MIG and flux cored weld problems, and these employees have the ability to provide instant, logical solutions to their weld issues, without playing around with the weld controls.
Imagine a weld shop in which all weld personnel understand the relationship between the wire type, weld gas, wire diameter, weld transfer mode, part thickness and the weld deposition rates and weld travel speeds required and the welders are also using the correct weld practices and techniques for the process and consumables utilized.
It’s always “rare pleasure” to watch the weld personnel I have trained over the years when they act in a professional manner and instantly set optimum manual or robot weld parameters for their application.
Ed’s MIG – Flux Cored Process Control Workshops:
|For both Ford and and their tier one supplier Dana, this was a rare opportunity for their unqualified managers, engineers and supervisors to witness consistent, optimum, robot MIG weld quality on the truck frame lines.|
For both Ford and and their tier one supplier Dana, this was a rare opportunity for their unqualified managers, engineers and supervisors to witness consistent, optimum, robot MIG weld quality on the truck frame lines.A decade ago, my Robot Process MIG Weld Control training program dramatically improved the weld quality and productivity on the Ford F-150 truck frames. The F-150 is the world’s biggest selling truck.
Jan 2007: Ed. I wanted to send update about the E-Town Dana plant that you visited a few years ago: As you know on your first visit to this plant, our robot lines were producing less than 40 truck frames (Ford F-150) per-hour and the majority of the MIG robot welded frames required extensive weld rework. Thanks to your MIG Weld Process Control Training and your consumable / parameter changes and recommendations, the results from our employees are today staggering. Yesterday this plant hit very close to a record of 76 frames per hour. We now daily attain our average goal of more than one frame per-minute. We had two recent weld audits. One weld audit had a total of two failures, and the 2nd weld audit was the first 100% pass weld audit in the history of the Ford F-150 line. Many thanks from a grateful Dana Corporation.
R. G. Dana. Weld Eng. Note from Ed: It makes me happy to hear a robot welding success story like this, especially at Dana, where initially there was extensive management and engineering process ignorance, and
process control apathy with great resistance to the robot weld changes I recommended. The Dana – Ford truck frame weld quality and productivity results were eventually attained through the weld process control and best practices training program I provided. This program is available in my Robot / Manual Weld Process Control Training programs located here.
With global MIG weld process confusion, it should be no
surprise that there is GLOBAL WELD GAS CONFUSION:
|There are approximately sixty MIG gas mixes available for MIG applications, which is ridiculous as no more than four MIG gas mixes should be required.
The common global MIG gas mix selection confusion is simply a reflection of the global weld industries lack of MIG weld process control expertise.
If you are looking for the best MIG gas mix.
Note I developed four low cost MIG gas mixes
that provide real world weld benefits.
|Note: Working in management with AGA, Airgas. Praxair and Liquid Carbonic. He developed and introduced four of the top selling MIG gas mixes used today In North America.
|MAY 2014;MANUFACTURING AND WELD PROCESS EXPERTISE WOULD LIKELY SERVE COMPANIES BETTER THAN COMPLIANCE WITH INNEFECTIVE, ISO QUALITY STANDARDS:|
A message to automotive management and engineers.
INSTEAD OF WASTING EXHORBANT COSTS AND VALUABLE MAN HOURS ON THOSE EUROPEAN GENERATED, BUREAUCRATIC AND OFTEN INNEFECTIVE, ISO QUALITY STANDARDS, MOST COMPANIES WOULD HAVE ACHIEVED SUPERIOR QUALITY RESULTS IF THE SENIOR MANAGEMENT HAD THE ABILITY TO HIRE ‘QUALIFIED, HANDS ON MANAGERS WHO BELIEVE IN ACCEPTING OWNERSHIP AND RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE EQUIPMENT – EMPLOYEES THAY MANAGE’. OF COURSE THESE INDIVIDUALS WOULD ALSO HAVE THE UNUSUAL EXPERIENCE AND EXPERTISE NECESSARY TO TRAIN THEIR EMPLOYEES AND IMPLEMENT BEST PRACTICES.
For over two decades I’ve been reporting on the manual – robot weld issues generated by the apathetic, hands off, we accept no ownership weld management and engineers in the auto – truck industry. Here we are in 2014, and GM, the world’s largest auto – truck company will loose billions of dollars on recalls of close to 14 million vehicles, (equivalent of a good years production). The irony is few consumers are aware that for every vehicle recalled there are numerous others that have factory induced defects that never get reported. While some may argue that cars today are complex and therefore we should expect many issues, my argument would be that sending a space craft to mars is complex yet engineers and managers seem to be able to handle that little project. Every product that goes into a car or truck is managed and engineered by university qualified individuals who’s job it is to see that the products they put into the vehicles conform to the design and manufacturing specifications.
To show that we don’t have this lack of management – engineering ownership and accountably disease in North America, we are all aware of the quality issues with Mercedes, and Toyota is a product that at this time carries lesser quality expectations than it did a decade ago. This last week in May, Nissan reports it will have to replace hundreds of its Nissan Leaf battery cars because of missing welds. The Nissan recall is because a key front structural component has not been completely welded. The missing welds would weaken the front and make it less able to protect the car’s occupants in a crash.
When those Big Three automotive corporate executives lined up in like sheared sheep to borrow billions from American taxpayers to save their companies, a logical individual who knows this industry could have asked. Why does the auto industry, which has one of the highest ratio of engineers to workers, annually create “billions of dollars” in rework, rejects, recalls, warranty and productivity issues? In these industries, millions of dollars are lost daily from robot MIG weld rejects, excessive weld rework and poor robot weld production efficiency. We are all aware of the important role the MIG process plays in building a car, yet for approx. three decades, we have seen that the majority of auto – truck plant managers and engineers seem to lack the ability to understand what they own and simply lack the ability to establish uniform Best MIG Weld Practices and apply logical cost effective MIG Weld Process Controls to their plant’s robot welds.
With automotive robot – manual MIG and resistance welds, it’s not just the too common, missing vehicle welds that should be a consumer concern, it’s the poor quality of many of the remaining welds that the customer never gets to see. The poor quality welds will for many generate serious consequences when that vehicle is involved in a collision.
Too many weld shops either have no weld job descriptions, or they provide poor job descriptions for anyone involved in the manual or robot welds. Weld quality and productivity issues will always be more numerous in weld shops in which confused managers, surround themselves with confused supervisors, who are surrounded by confused engineers, who have to be surrounded by confused employees. You can be sure these individuals will get no assistance from their none existing, or poor job descriptions: A well run weld shop starts out with all weld personnel having job descriptions that clearly identify their required expertise and their responsibility and accountability for the daily weld quality – productivity attained.
When the blind leads the blind, you know things may not be as smooth as they should be.
FOR DECADES, UNQUALIFIED AUTO / TRUCK PLANT MANAGERS ALLOWED UNQUALIFIED MAINTENANCE MILLWRIGHTS AND ELECTRICIANS AND OTHER UNQUALIFIED PLANT PERSONNEL TO DAILY ADJUST THE SO CALLED “PRE-QUALIFIED WELD PARAMETERS” ON THEIR ROBOT MIG WELDS.
Joe, every time I walk past the robot cells, some millwright or electrician from the maintenance department is playing around with the robot weld data. For heavens sake Joe, our experienced welders play around with their MIG controls. Do you seriously believe those guys in the maintenance department with there 150 – 200 amp Miller MIG machine, have the MIG weld process control expertise necessary to optimize robot MIG welds? By the way Joe, in case we ever get sued for faulty welds, perhaps you can tell me why are these unqualified guys are changing the so called, “pre-qualified weld data” without engineering approval and new weld qualification?
If you are relatively new to the auto – truck industry take note that few Global MIG welding robots are well managed. “The majority of the technicians and engineers who run robots in this industry are simply “operating” not optimizing the equipment and the process. Any engineering survey would find that less than 5% of the personnel that daily make adjustments to the robot MIG weld programs are in full control of the robots or the process.
I made the above statement in a weld report that I provided to the Ford (Detroit) Frame plant management in the 1990s. It was futile message at that time as the managers and engineers running the plant simply did not understand the concept of weld process ownership and they also lacked the interest and knowledge to grasp the root cause of their daily robot MIG weld issues.
|Below. Some of the work shop participants at one of Ed’s 2007 workshops. The workshop was “Seven Steps for Robot Weld Process Controls”. Location. Wolf Robotics. Fort Collins. Colorado.|
Wolf Robotics is one of the most experienced robot intergrators in North America, they used Ed’s Seven Step, Robot process control program so their employees would not have to play around wih the robot weld settings. For around $300 this program is yours.
GM – FORD – HARLEY – DANA – MAGNA – TENNECO – VOLVO – TOYOTA – HONDA – IMPERIAL OIL – COMBUSTION ENGINEERING – CATERPILLAR – JOHN DEERE – MERCEDES – DOW CHEMICAL – ESSO BABCOCK – ABB – GENERAL DYNAMICS – GENERAL ELECTRIC – VW – TEXTRON – INGERSOLL RAND –
The above, are just a few companies
that utilized my Weld training resources.