• The World’s Largest Web Site on MIG, Flux Cored, TIG and TIP TIG Weld Process Controls & Best Weld Practices

Weld Process Made Simple.

Welcome to most authoritative global web site on MIG, Flux Cored, TIG and TIP TIG weld process controls and best weld practices.

This site simplifies  the weld data, the weld process controls, and best weld practice requirements. The site also provides the self teaching and training resources that are necessary for any weld department to consistently attain the highest possible, manual and robot arc weld quality, always of course at the lowest possible weld costs. The site was established around 1998 by Ed Craig. Please refresh the page if you are a frequent visitor you can contact E Craig at  ecraig@weldreality.com.

MIG, Flux Cored, TIG & TIP TIG, Weld Process Expertise.

Weld Process Controls &  Best Weld Practices.

Its time to get the bull out of the welding business

If you weld with MIG, Flux Cored, TIG or TIP TIG, this site is about two important missing links found throughout the global weld industry. [1] Arc Weld Process Controls. [2] Best Weld Practices.

Welding

 To attain this spatter free SC weld in 1980, did not require a costly electronic MIG power source, or a special three part MIG gas mix, it required weld process control expertise and best MIG weld practices.

The above slow motion video shows an 0.035 (1 mm) MIG wire set at the Short Circuit (SC) parameter sweet spot, (most attainable SC in a second). This weld used an argon 20% CO2 mix. If you are a MIG weld process control expert you could look at this video and you would know the wire feed speed, the volts and amps required to attain the sweet spot. You would also know the optimum low SC settings and the maximum SC settings and what gauge thickness they were applicable to. Then as a qualified weld decision maker, you could simply look at the gauge thickness to be welded and be instantly aware of the appropriate SC settings.

If a robot was being used for the MIG gauge welds, you would know by the SC wire feed setting selected what the weld deposition rate attained was and be able to then select the weld travel rate provided by that deposition. Or like too many in this industry,perhaps you would prefer to be in the dark and “play around” with the manual or robot weld parameters. Play around  with a simple, two control weld process that accounts for more than 80% of the world’s welds, A process that has barely changed in almost 60 years.

An easy task for a welding robot is to replicate is human welder skills. What makes a robot an outstanding machine in attaining the highest weld quality and productivity,  is the use of optimum process data and the best practices that are applicable to the robots capability. 

2017: TESLA LACK OF EXPERTISE: Something that Elon Musk and his managers, engineers and supervisors at Tesla must have learnt the hard way in the last two years, is that while it’s easy to admire the production possibility of welding robots, however if you want to attain optimum, consistent production arc welds from a robot, you don’t place that weld process in the grips of a robot, (or manual welder) without first ensuring those humans responsible for the robot welds first understand the requirements for  weld process controls and best weld practices. Much more on Tesla weld woes below.

Many weld decision makes reading the info at this site, will be of the opinion that the welds daily produced in their weld shops look OK, their rework is minimum  and they don’t have to understand weld costs and have all the weld process control – best practice expertise they require.  I would remind them that daily approximately 98% of the global arc welds produced are not subject to NDT requirement that evaluates what’s going on under the weld surface. And that in general the weld industry is one in which welder skills are placed on a pedestal, weld process expertise and best practices are subjects rarely discussed, and front office weld process ownership is almost none existent.

For those welds that are subject to internal NDT, more focus will be is placed on attaining the desired higher code weld quality, yet as we all are aware, with the highly qualified welders using so called qualified weld procedures, weld repairs or rejects will typically be generated, and the associated costs of those repairs will come right out of the weld shop profit potential.

With many arc welds, robust, good weld fusion
is about as rare as an honest  politician.

The  norm. marginal fusion or lack of fusion.

A point rarely considered or poorly understood in many weld shops, is the weld fusion attained with the majority of MIG, Flux Cored, TIG and SMA welds will often be either unacceptable or borderline. Also its not just welder skills that are the solution to this common weld issue, weld process control expertise and best weld practice of course also have a large influence.

Question. Why in contrast to low cost regular CV MIG equipment, would any weld shop waste money purchasing costly Pulsed MIG units for welding steels and alloy steel applications, when this equipment does not provide any weld quality or productivity improvement?  The answers are in Eds_Process Training_materials.  


WELD LIABILITY – REJECTS – REWORK.

      Many lives lost, and over a billion dollars down the drain due to a weld failure,  a weld failure which could have been avoided with a few hours of welder training which enabled the welder to optimize the arc process they utilized for the variables they had to deal with. 

For many companies the liability and cost consequences from weld failures can be extensive, and if you want to know more on this subject, I would  suggest you examine the Bad Weld Sections or just about any section of this site.

Attaining consistent, cost effective, manual or robot arc and resistance weld optimization is  simply not possible without weld decision makers having Weld Process Controls & Best Weld Practice expertise. This is an expertise that is not provided in most global companies that utilize arc weld processes. It’s also not provided  in the majority of global universities, colleges. trade schools and training departments that provide weld programs for engineers or weld personnel.

QUESTION. Why when you increase a Spray or Pulsed MIG weld speed,  do you add to the weld spatter potential. The answers are in  Eds_Process Training_materials.  

Best weld practices and weld process contols

From the Aerospace, to the Automotive industry, from Ship Yards to Defense or Construction equip. manufactures, in most weld shops, these two subjects will rarely be discussed and always usually poorly understood.


The Arc Weld Process Controls & Best Weld Practice Expertise  available at this site with the MIG, flux cored, TIG and TIP TIG processes, provide more than dramatic potential for weld quality and productivity improvements for any weld shops, for those that are interested in a welding career, these subjects are also the keys that can enhances any weld career prospect.

For four plus decades, the majority of global companies that utilize arc welding processes have typically seen minimal weld quality – productivity improvements. The slow arc weld (MIG – Flux Cored – TIG) weld process and process control evolution for the weld industry has been related to the lack of weld management, engineering, supervision process controls and best weld expertise.

This general lack of expertise has influenced the common global MIG & Flux Cored “play around” with either the manual or robot weld settings and the often incorrect, self taught weld shop practices. The lack of expertise has also influenced many in weld management to lack the ability to recognize the differences between bells and whistles and real world weld equipment feature benefits,  or since 2010 that the TIG process has actually dramatically evolved.

A weld reality: For more than five decades, the lack of front weld office process expertise has accounted for the prolific, global,  lack of management, engineer and supervision Weld Process Ownership.

From Ship Yards to Automotive Plants. From the Oil Industry weld shops to Aerospace weld departments, it would take one of the few  experienced weld process control engineers ten minutes to find either manual or robot arc weld process confusion, unacceptable weld quality and unnecessary rework and rejects. As for the daily weld productivity attained few weld decision makers have worked out the real weld production potential from either the manual or robot arc processes they daily utilize. Add to this, the  general lack of front office apathy and understanding of weld costs (most managers are more concerned with the cost of a weld wire than the weld deposition rates being attained) and you can understand the “why change” and slow weld evolution with simple arc weld processes that have changed little in decades,

If you like many front office personnel are beginning to think you have now read too many words on the subject of welding, I will get to the point. The lack of global focus on Weld Process Controls and Best Welds Practices is easy to remedy with my process control – best practice   Training_Materials available at this site. However, and please this is important. Be aware that implementing the weld process and best practice requirements is something that should be owned and driven by those paid to be responsible in the weld shops front office. For those who like me don’t have a life and like reading about this stuff and providing weld resolutions, grab a beer, pull up a chair,  its going to take you many hours.

The resolutions for the manual or robot, lack of MIG – Flux Cored – TIG  and TIP TIG weld process controls – best practice expertise are both simple and low costs. I simplified the training or self teaching programs and made them available for a low cost at this site. However one message I always preach is, for weld departments to reach their manual or robot arc weld quality – production potential, requires that all those involved, walk the same weld quality – production path, and that the changes required be owned and driven from those in the  weld shop front office.

Lack of Management Process Expertise & Ownership will;

  • influence management, engineer and supervision reliance on sales advice to resolve many of their weld shop issues,
  • influence the weld personnel  “playing around” with the weld controls,
  • influence the “why change” stuck in the past, common weld shop culture,
  • influence the lack of ability to consistently attain the full manual or robot weld quality & productivity potential from one or two control, well established arc weld processes,
  • influence the lack of uniform &  practical, cost effective weld equipment & consumables, this should be evident in all weld shops,
  • influence the ability to recognize superior cost effective ways to weld, this opens the door for extensive weld cost reduction potential,
  • influence a lack of in-depth understanding of weld costs. Usually a manger is more concerned about the price of a weld wire than the weld deposition rates and quality attained.


    The consequences of global slow weld evolution: 

    There are many companies that have decades of weld process and weld application experience, however there are few global weld departments and weld shops that will consistently;

  • Ensure the highest possible weld quality.
  • Ensure the best possible after weld part metallurgy.
  • Ensure the highest possible weld productivity.
  • Ensure the lowest possible weld cost are attained.
  • Ensure the lowest possible part distortion.
  • Ensure the lowest weld cleaning is required,
  • Ensure the least possible grinding and weld fumes are attained.
.

 The global Missing Lnk. Management & supervision and their too common lack of weld process ownership.


A manager should also ask, “In a court of law, do you think it will be the welders that are held responsible for the screwed up welds”?

Producing Widgets or Welds. Management should OWN it. If welding is not your thing, please give some thought to this… Envision a mfg. facility that makes widgets. The prime mfg. process used in the assembly are dumb, simple machines like welding power sources and we will will the equipment Trump Boxes, (TB).

Like weld equip. the TB boxes have changed little since they were introduced five decades ago. The TB machines alsp operate with two simple controls, and usually only require three settings to attain optimum widget results. As with weld equipment the TB setting selection can comprise of a low – medium – high setting, and the selected settings will effect the low – medium –  high speed of  the related automated equipment. The sad reality is there is not one manager, engineer, supervisor or technician in this Widget plant that has figured out how to optimize or take ownership of the TB equipment. The management solution to their daily production and quality woes is to order more Trump Boxes, and to increase the budget for the ever expanding QA department. In the QA department, the inspectors are trained to find the widget defects that result from the poor TB settings. Unfortunately these inspectors like most weld inspectors don’t know how to optimize the TB equip. controls.

Arc weld equipment and the TB boxes have much in common  and the above could be a description of how the majority of global weld shops and weld departments have been run for decades. I hope if are involved with welding decisions that you will see how ludicrous this manufacturing situation is.

From the manual arc welds found in the weld shops of the Aerospace, Defense, Medical, Power, Oil  industry, and others, to the robot arc welds produced on your favorite car or truck, please take a moment at this site to consider where as an industry you are in 2018, and also what is required to make the changes that can improve your daily arc weld quality or  productivity.

QUESTION. Why would any weld shop purchase three part MIG gas mixes for steels and alloy steel welds, when the provide no weld benefits and will actually decrease weld fusion and add to weld porosity potential. The answers are in  Eds_process training_materials.  

For many global weld shops, the daily weld issues will be;

  • dealing with lack of weld quality uniformity and inconsistent weld & part quality,
  • never attaining the manual or robot weld production potential that could be attained from the weld processes and consumables utilized,
  • a lack of awareness of the real weld costs and how to minimize weld costs,
  • unnecessary weld defects, rejects, rework, weld cleaning and grinding,
  • the common lack of uniform practical weld equipment & weld consumables throughout the weld shop,
  • the lack of front office ability to purchase practical, cost effective weld equipment without the common unnecessary costly bells whistles, products that are often recommended by a sales person,
  • purchasing unnecessary three part MIG gas mixes or costly Metal Cored weld wires, again through the inability of the weld decision to provide weld solutions without weld sales advice,
    Stir in the general lack of weld shop best practices and process control expertise and then add to this pot, the weld shop’s inability when weld issues occur  to cut their umbilical cord to their weld suppliers.
    Mix in  the liability cost consequences of failed welds, and don’t forget the encroaching, lower weld labor costs from global competitors. Then ask yourself this.    Can we improve what goes on in our weld shop? 

From Defense to Auto Plants, from Ship Yards to Aerospace, In all industries in which welding is an important function, the most difficult thing to find is a manager or supervisor who has the required process control expertise necessary for weld process ownership.


Evidence about lack of Weld Ownership & Accountability:
  Over five decades, in providing weld process quality and productivity improvements,  I visited over a 1000  companies, in 13 countries.  On these visits from Aerospace plants to Automotive plants, I saw no evidence of front office expertise or interest in the subjects of weld process controls and best practices. Yest this expertise and process ownership is necessary for any facility that welds to consistently attain their daily weld quality – production potential.


What happened to Weld Shop Evolution? 
In 2018, you will find that the majority of global shops that produce “arc” welds are producing welding quality and productivity that is hardly  better than most of the arc welds that were produced in the weld shops that  I worked in 1962.


The Relationship of the Process Selected & Weld Defects Produced.


Weld defects often result or are influenced from the arc weld process, consumables, metals welded, poor procedures,  and lack of process – best practice expertise, rather than the fault of the welder.


Common weld defects such as lack of fusion, porosity, undercut & slag could be added to those defects above. In many instances these defects will result solely from the weld process, consumables and data selected. And in-itself. that’s a reason more front office people should be aware of the weld processes and consumables used in their organization. Lets face it, when the weld shop is aware of the root cause of weld issues this has to go a long ways in helping prevent them. 

When managers, engineers and supervisors are not aware of weld process controls – best weld practices expertise requirements, it’s not provided.

I suspect that when it comes to weld rejects, weld defects and rework, that the majority of weld shop front office weld decision makers will when manual and robot weld issues occur, point to their welders as the prime cause of the weld issues.  The reality also will be that these decision makers will have neglected (most will not aware) to provide their welders with the Process Control – Best Weld Practice training that they have never had and its training that will for the weld shops have the biggest impact on weld quality – productivity.

For decades, there were FOUR Prime Arc welding processes. In 2018, the majority of global weld shops, when “all position” arc welds are required on  steels and alloy steels, will typically consider four common arc weld processes.  SMAW,  Pulsed MIG, Flux Cored and TIG. These four important  processes when used for steels and alloy steel applications, have seen few equipment / process changes that have in reality advanced weld quality – productivity. This includes Pulsed MIG welds. Most of the pulsed MIG steel  and alloy steel welds made in at present could be produced just as effectively using much lower cost CV. MIG equipment,  and the short circuit and spray transfer modes and weld process expertise.

SMAW arc welding process: For fifty years I have avoided the use of this inferior arc process, and would not consider SMAW as a logical choice for code quality weld applications.  The logical choices would be flux cored or TIG. Their is always an exception for example ignorance, weld  access, reach or an environment concerns.

Gas Shielded Flux Cored arc welding process: With gas shielded flux cored welds, any experienced weld decision maker would be aware that even with optimum skills and parameters utilized, there will be no guarantee with NDT, that the flux cored welds wont have serious common FCAW defects such as trapped slag, worm tracks or porosity.

Pulsed MIG arc welding process:
  When a high deposition process such as Pulsed MIG uses a back ground current, the pulsed weld energy in contrast to the spray mode is reduced. Using manual Pulsed MIG welds on steels and especially  sluggish > 5/16 alloys such as stainless, it would be difficult to ensure that the MIG welds have consistent acceptable weld fusion.

TIG arc welding process:
Regular TIG  is the arc process with the most high weld quality expectations, and has been a prime choice for code quality and alloy welds.  TIG also produces very low deposition rates (slow travel high heat) and requires the highest welder skills.

TIG skills differ from welder to welder and this influences the weld quality and uniformity attained.  Most TIG welds require that the manual welder dip and withdraw their TIG wire length into the TIG arc plasma and weld pool. This unique arc weld practice again varies from welder to welder and again a practice that influences the weld quality uniformity and consistency attained. Also with many TIG applications and the very slow weld travel rates that often result, with TIG the weld shops see small defects influenced mostly by skills and practices and the shop may have concerns for high weld and part heat, something that few alloys will benefit from.

SINCE 2010 THE TIP TIG PROCESS.

In North America, around the year 2010, I went to Scotland to meet a freind called Darren Matherson, he introduced me to a relatively new process call TIP TIG. It took me only a 10 minute process evaluation to figure out this was now the worlds most important arc weld process, especially  for those that had an interest in steels and alloy steels code quality welds.

After my return from Scotland to the USA,  I needed a partner to provide the funding to bring this to the US. I found one, another friend Tom O’Malley, a Philadelphia weld distributor. Tom provided the financing and together we created TIP TIG USA and introduced TIP TIG to N. America and Australia.

TIP TIG easier to use and better quality than TIG. 100 to 400% decrease in TIG labor costs. Always the lowest possibe weld heat. When you have the best arc process and Ed’s process control – best practice  expertise, you produce welds like this.

Untouched TIP TIG pipe weld made by Ed in 2010. You know that NDT will find no defects, and if you manage a weld shop. you know the value of that.

Since 2010, in North America, TIP TIG  is  arc weld Process #5. 

In the last decade, we have seen dramatic TIG power source changes for the important AC. TIG process utilized for aluminum. However, in the last decade, the most important arc process change has been from the DCEN. TIG process to the DCEN TIP TIG process.

The TIP TIG process has few weld limitations and can be utilized as both a manual, semi-automated and automated TIG process.  Numerous TIP TIG weld quality, productivity and cost benefits are listed  below, and my TIP TIG Process Control Training Program has the most informative, comprehensive data ever produced on what makes TIP TIG unique from the regular TIG, Hot Wire TIG and Pulsed MIG processes.

As most weld shops are aware if many welds are required and the parts are > 3 mm TIG is rarely cost effective. This drives most weld shops that try to produce code quality, higher deposition welds to consider either the regular MIG, Pulsed MIG or Gas Shielded Flux Cored process. three weld  processes that have their own Achilles-Heel weld issues. Also in many weld shops, the shops when welding specific welds such as large diameter or heavy wall pipe welds will be driven to the use of TIG for the roots, and then  to be cost effective will select gas shielded flux cored  or pulsed MIG for the fill passes.

Pulsed MIG – Regular TIG & Gas Shielded Flux Cored processes do not need welders to produce weld defects. These three weld processes will also contribute to weld defects. At this site and in my training programs you will , learn how these processes and not the welders are often are often the root cause for weld defects.

In contrast to the conventional arc processes, on applications > 1.6 mm to any thickness, TIP TIG has no cost or quality limitations. This is  a process that provides the highest possible, all position weld quality and enables the least possible weld heat.

THE SOLUTION TO ALL CODE QUALITY STEELS  &  ALLOY STL. WELDS. PRODUCE THE HIGHEST WELD QUALITY WITH LOWEST WELD HEAT.


When you can utilize an easy to use process that always enables the highest possible weld quality with the lowest possible weld heat. And then produce the welds with moderate, cost effective weld deposition rates, there should be only one question for weld shops.  WHY ARE WE NOT USING TIP TIG?


SINGLE PASS UNTOUCHED TIP TIG WELD.

TIP TIG, 5/16 fillet made by Ed 2011. Do your welds look like this?  Note weld cleanliness, continuity & small  weld HAZ .[/caption]

Below Alberta Tar Sands Oil Manifold. You know that holding the welded flange bolt hole dimensions while producing no weld rework from the X-Ray quality welds is not going to be an easy weld task.

The highest weld quality and lowest weld heat is required so there is only one process that meets that criteria.

When the above stainless manifold welds were changed from the regular TIG process to the TIP TIG process, the following weld benefits occurred.

  • TIP TIG reduced the manifold weld costs by approx 75%.
  • TIP TIG dramatically reduced the weld distortion.
  • TIP TIG reduced welder skills and improves the weld quality capability.
  • TIP TIG enables maximum control of the filler wire placement continuously into the arc’s  plasma sweet spot.
  • TIP TIG enabled smaller diameter weld wire to be used with higher weld amps providing increased weld wetting, (better fusion for sluggish stainless).
  • TIP TIG agitated  the weld puddle, which with the increased weld amps slows the weld solidification.Higher weld pool energy in an agitated weld pool provides for superior side wall fusion and welds with less porosity potential. Weld distortion and rework not an issue with TIP TIG.For those interested in the TIP TIG process and the opportunities this process can bring to your weld shop and future weld applications you may be interested in bidding on, please note the following facts;
  • Stainless. Hastelloys. Nickels, Cu, Brass, Stellites, Duplex or Titanium all become easy to weld with a process that provides the best weld quality, the lowest weld heat and reduces TIG weld costs by 100 to 400%.
  • TIP TIG is easy to learn. It take a day or two to learn and the supplier provides the training.
  • If the TIG welders are qualified they are qualified for TIP TIG.
  • TIP TIG can be used from the pipe root to the all position pipe fill passes.
  • TIP TIG with increased TIG deposition rates is cost effective even on thick materials.
  • TIP TIG requires only three weld settings for all welds.
  • TIP TIG attains the lowest possible weld heat input derived from higher TIG weld speeds and DCEN heat distribution into the parts.

Please NOTE: You are all aware that every weldable alloy takes it’s metallurgical benefits from heat treatment. TIP TIG providing the lowest possible weld heat provides the smallest possible weld HAZ. Even alloys like Titanium can be welded without a trailing shield, (parts > 3 mm).

Please NOTE: TIP TIG also changes or eliminates the pre-heat, interpass or post-heat rules that for decades have been a requirement for many alloy welds.

  • TIP TIG will readily reduce TIG weld costs from 100 to 400%.
  • TIP TIG with less arc length sensitivity than TIG is readily automated. This is a great process on a low cost  Bug-O or on a robot.
  • TIP TIG with no spatter, minimal repairs and no gas mixes, should be one of the lowest costs weld processes utilized in a weld shop.
  • TIP TIG with no spatter and the lowest weld oxidation potential enables the lowest weld cleaning costs.
  • TIP TIG provides less weld fumes than any other arc process.

While many North American companies had their welding heads buried in the sand, the first customer to produce a major order from USA TIP TIG, was the largest Chinese Oil company CNOOC. This company needed the best possible manual and automated arc weld process for their Oil and Nat Gas Sub-Sea pipe welds.

NEW WELD PROCESSES ARE RARE EVENTS THAT REQUIRE WELD SHOP CHANGE & THAT CHANGE SHOULD BE A FRONT OFFICE MANAGEMENT DRIVEN FUNCTION:

It should be a logical role of a responsible weld manager, engineer and supervisor to drive weld process evolution that creates cost effective, weld changes. However to have the confidence to change from arc weld processes that have been established and utilized over many decades, the front office weld decision makers would first have to understand the weld scope, the weld benefits and also the weld limitations of the arc weld processes that they are supposed to own and manage.

In the 13 countries and 1000 plus companies that I provided arc weld process improvements, there was lots of evidence of workers who had used the process for many years but little evidence in either the weld departments or the front offices of weld decision makers that were aware of the process controls and best practices necessary to master the common arc weld process so they could  consistently, daily  attain optimum weld quality and  productivity. (SMAW not part of this content),

A Common Weld Shop Missing Link: So a prime reason for the global slow weld shop evolution, is before allowing a weld process change, a manager or supervisor would first want to be aware of the existing process benefits / limitations, and then compare these with the new process presented feature benefits and limitations. The weld decision maker would then make sure they learnt the weld process – best practice expertise necessary to take the new process to its improved weld quality and productivity potential.

If you would like to know the reasons why the  global weld industry has been slow to evolve, head over to the weld shop front office.

Note: Please while at this site, don’t expect the usual sales induced Bovine Fecal Matter about weld processes and consumables, and certainly don’t expect me to say that the solution to your weld shop issues will come from another magic three part MIG gas mix, a special Metal Cored wire or another so called unique MIG power source loaded with more costly, useless electronic bells and whistles.

Weld credibility is derived from weld process & application experience:  As most are aware, in this industry the weld credibility and application experience of the the person providing weld advice has to be  relevant. In this section, I provide a few of my weld application experiences over a five decade period. I also provide the weld resolutions to many global weld shop issues, along with my Arc Weld Process Controls – Best Weld Practice Training – and Self Teaching programs. The primary weld message at this site is a simple one that I will repeat many times:

“The root cause of most of the  global manual and robot daily weld shop issues lies with the front office managers and supervisor’s lack of Weld Process Controls – Best Weld Practice expertise”. The result for most global plants that utilize arc welding processes, is that  few managers, engineers and supervisors have the ability or willingness to take ownership of  important processes that are a critical part of their daily manual or automated mfg. requirements.

In 2017, From Spy planes to Spacecraft, many defense & aerospace industry “arc” welds are daily made with inferior TIG and MIG processes, using outdated specifications, inadequate weld procedures  &  lack of front office and shop floor weld  process controls & best practice expertise.

The global Aerospace and Defense Industry.
20th Century welds for 21st Century Products.

Thanks to inexperienced management, 21st Century planes and other defense products built in 2018 will still be using 20th Century arc weld processes, weld specifications & procedures.


Inadequate and outdated welding processes, weld specifications & weld procedures are the norm in the 2018 global Aerospace – Defense – Power – Oil, and other high tech industries. You will find that the majority of managers, supervisors or engineers responsible in these industries have allowed their shop floor weld technology, specifications and procedures to be stuck in the  1960s to 1980s time warp.

In high tech industries, you would in 2017 expect to find the highest weld engineering and weld manufacturing standards. You would also expect high tech companies to use a modern day weld process control – best practice approach, using  “updated weld equipment (not bells  and whistles equip.) weld specifications and  procedures”. In 2017, the weld reality too often in the global high tech industry manufacturing facilities is that  majority of these facilities will:

  • Use of outdated weld processes, specifications & procedures.
  • Lack of ability to train and implement best weld practices.
  • Lack of shop floor and front office manual and robot weld process control expertise.
  • Have their experienced weld personnel playing around with weld controls.
  • Have a lack of leadership from management. engineers and supervisors on the subjects of weld quality, production potential and weld costs.

CODE  QUALITY ALLOYS & STEEL WELDS: 

I am well aware that daily in the Aerospace, Defense – Oil – Power – Medical – Automotive and Construction equipment manufacturing weld departments, that daily NDT is utilized to hopefully minimize the opportunity for weld defects. However as we are all aware code quality weld failures are common across all industries that utilize welds. This site has an extensive section of Bad Welds in all industries.

QUESTION. Why is the regular TIG and Hot Wire TIG process inferior to TIP TIG?  The answers are in  Eds_process training_materials.  

In most global weld facilities,
QA departments are rarely cost effective.

While many personnel in the QA department or the front office, will put the blame for manual or robot weld issues on the weld shop floor personnel, anyone who welds knows that weld quality responsibility has to commence with the weld decisions made in both the front office and with the QA manger. Lets face it. in an industry that waste millions of dollars every day with QA personnel and practices that are developed to REVEAL weld defects after weld completion, maybe their are some logical mangers out their that would see the sense in providing their weld decision makers and weld  inspection personnel with either the manual or robot weld process control – best practice training available here, so they would have the for the first time that remarkable unique cost effective ability to help prevent weld defects.

A common occurrence, qualified welders, qualified weld procedures and code quality arc weld failures:  Each day in the weld industry, code quality welds will fail with dramatic consequences impacting life and costs. These welds would have initially been made in compliance with applicable Weld Specifications, with the guidance of Approved Weld Procedures, made by manual welders that were subject to Welder Qualification Tests,  and will be  tested by weld inspection personnel who typically have minimal WELD process control – best weld practice  expertise.


QUESTION.
Why would any weld shop purchase Metal Cored wires when all it takes with the much lower cost MIG wires is process controls and best weld practice expertise to duplicate the weld results. The answers are in  Eds_process training_materials.  


The worst welds will most often
be found in auto plants & ship yards.

Hundreds of ships each year break apart in “calm ocean waters’, and you can be sure the failures will be at the seam welds, or in their too often overheated weld heat affected zones.

A  visit to the Bad Weld Sections and many other sections at this site provides data on some of the NDT approved code quality welds that failed in Nuclear Plants, Oil Pipe Lines Nuclear Submarines, Aircraft Carriers  and Space Rockets. The bottom line is under the ineffective weld practices we use around the globe, code quality welds subject to the most rigid NDT evaluations will continue to fail, and the repercussions from the failures as its been for decades can  be loss of life and , millions of dollars paid for repairs and legal consequences.If in 2017, manual Pulsed MIG, flux cored, regular TIG, or automated Hot or Cold Wire TIG processes are being used for code quality welds, especially  on welds in the high tech industries, then those weld decision makers responsible for the welds, need to be aware that they are in many instances allowing inferior weld processes to be used, as they are not using the TIP TIG process.

TIP TIG is the evolution of TIG. It’s a process that in contrast to all arc processes will provide superior weld quality. TIP TIG also enables the lowest possible distortion,  the best possible metallurgy results, the lowest possible weld fumes, and something you think that should motivate most mangers, apart from a dramatic reduction in the usual weld repair costs, TIP TIG will also reduce regular  TIG labor costs by 100 to 400%.


2017.  In the Aerospace, Defense, Medical and Oil Industry, it’s not difficult to find weld management stuck in a 1960’s weld time warp.

In 2017, to go with their use of inferior arc weld processes, the aerospace and defense industry will most often with arc welds,  be using weld specifications & procedures that have changed little since the NASA 1977 Voyager program.

Am I being over critical, how else could you explain why many of the  NASA – Boeing – SpaceX arc weld specifications will have changed little in three plus decades, and that in general these important industries ignore present day improved arc weld technology such as TIP TIG, a process that’s simple to use. A  process that in contrast to TIG and Hot Wire TIG, dramatically improves both weld & part quality. A process that will reduce TIG weld costs in the range of 100 – 400%.

Aerospace, defense two prime concerns will always be Weld Quality and Costs. Yet in the case of “arc welding”, (not laser or EB) neither of these industries with their high caliber managers and engineers show an aptitude to lead other industries, and the bottom line this is a management / engineering weakness.


Question.
Why does TIP TIG not require a gas trailing shield for most Titanium weld application on parts > 1/8, when regular TIG and Hot Wire TIG requires a gas trailing shield?  The answers are in  Eds_process training_materials.  

Aerospace, a great industry, however in most plants there is a lack of awareness about process controls – best weld practice expertise.

A couple of my welds will now go where no man has ever gone.[/caption]

When NASA,  SpaceX or Boeing spacecraft head out into deep space, their engineers in 2018 may want to consider why the regular TIG process was used for many of the arc welds they produced, and why TIG weld specifications  and procedures were being used from a time period when the Beetles and Elvis were number one. Yes many welds are made with EB and laser note this site deals with arc welds.

Thanks to rare  United Technology engineering management, I was privileged and proud for a short time to work on the Space station and Orion Spacecraft. (photo above). One day in the future, when I am six feet under, Orion will be off on it’s long journey to Mars. My  time at United was very short (health concerns), however it was an extraordinary experience to be able work along side some of the world’s most creative engineering minds, but minds that need to be aware of the new arc weld quality possibilities  available in the 21st Century.

Apart from the traditional TIG and EB applications that I worked with at United, one opportunity I had  was to be able review their present day (2017) arc weld specifications and procedures that are are commonly used throughout the Aerospace industry.

From my personnel perspective on the one hand it was  amazing to be part of a high tech, engineering environment, and in the other hand, find out that with the majority of the “arc” welds being made over the two or three decades, that the welds were often being made on the recommendations from NASA and Boeing Weld Specifications and Procedures, that  have changed little since the 1970s.


Yes weld technology has been slow in its evolution, however no matter what the head stuck in the grinding dust management or engineers believe, the arc weld technology and weld process control – best practice expertise has evolved, otherwise like Rip Van Winkle, I have been asleep or dead for the last 50 years.

The bottom line the Aerospace and Defense industries should be leading not lagging in weld technology and the implementation of weld process controls and best practices. However in these industries, when code quality “arc” welds are required, they will come from the inferior manual TIG or automated  Hot Wire TIG processes.

Yes I am aware that most of the weld specs and procedures used in both the Aerospace and  Defense industry will will have seen some TIG Weld Specification and Weld Procedure revisions over the last four decades, however  I believe that many of those revisions will usually have more to do with grammar changes and inspection criteria, than information that enables improved weld and part quality.

The weld reality for Aerospace – Defense plants in 2017,  is if the regular TIG process or the Pulsed MIG process is being utilized, the weld / part quality and weld productivity potential that could be produced is not being produced.

Another apathy and irony on the subject of weld process ownership. Most of the arc weld quality control in the Aerospace and Defense industries will in 2017 not be left to engineers or  managers, but  left in the hands of self taught Fred and Joe in their weld booths.

It’s sad when the managers & engineers & supervisors  in high tech companies leave weld & part optimization, costs, controls  & evolution, to those on the weld shop floors.

NASA and Aerospace companies engineers and managers should embrace and encourage positive arc weld changes, updated weld specs & procedures, and new process control – best practice methods that can minimize weld defects and lower weld costs.

Don’t tell me these are the TIG welds, that they used regular TIG and those bloody, outdated, 1977 weld specifications and procedures.


Weld quality  left in the hands of the welders, lawyers love this stuff.
How often will critical Aerospace & Defense and Oil industry weld quality be left up to Fred or Joe or on the weld shop floor?  Perhaps those that are supposed to be responsible in a high tech industry such as the Aerospace, will in 2018 get
some balls and “Boldly Go Where Few Managers & Engineer Have Gone Before.”   Perhaps then key weld decision makers could spend less hours on the never ending weld meetings that just go around in circles, or on the shop floor forever fighting the never ending weld shop fires.

All code weld shops should have an interest in the TIP TIG  process,  and an interest in the requirements of weld Process Controls and Best Weld Practices. Any weld decision maker can with a few hours with my self teaching – training process control resources, have the requirements necessary for arc process optimization. And surprise, they would then have the capability to take responsibility for their manual or robot weld process ownership. Maybe also then in 2018, they could bring their companies 20th Century weld methods to the weld potential capability of processes and process control expertise thats now available.

If you are a weld decision maker especially in an industry where quality has a meaning, consider “taking one small step in process ownership and watch how this can create one giant step for your companies weld quality and productivity”.

Lets face it,, who wants to  be that company manager or engineer that’s held responsible when an important  weld fails on a spacecraft  heading out to Mars or the space stn?


Costly weld results from lack of experienced
weld management in the DEFENSE industry

The norm in most ship yards. Inexperienced weld process management and supervision. Always poor weld quality, excess weld rework, poor weld production & always excess over budget weld costs.

From building Submarines to Aircraft Carriers, in  2017 as it’s been for decades, extraordinary excessive MIG – Flux Cored and TIG weld costs, from weld rework, rejects and poor weld production. Fortune 500 companies don’t like to hear this but the millions of dollars wasted daily are not the fault of those on the weld shop floors. The weld issues are derived mostly from the lack of weld process expertise from those that sit in the front offices and are responsible for welds.

For more than three decades, Navy engineering decision makers along with their prime contractor ship yard managers & engineers and QA personnel  have been responsible for the too common, excessive, never ending, poor arc weld quality, the over the top weld rework costs.m with of course, always  pathetic low weld productivity.

In the last two decades with steels and alloy steel welds, TIG, MIG and flux cored  weld technology made some important advances, while too many defense, aerospace & oil arc weld decisions stood still.

In general most of the head stuck in the sand, key weld decision in the Defense, Aerospace, Oil and Power industries have simply lacked the ability to take process ownership, put process controls and best weld practices. Most. (not all)  of these personnel are nervous around weld equipment and lack the ability to recognize and approve new weld technology that has the ability to provide both quality and productivity improvements.
From poor process management to not using evolved technology, now that I’ve pissed off a lot of executives and managers in this industry, I will simply say, this, that anything I say on this web site would take me about 2 hrs prove.
Of course managers with egos will ignore what there real weld potential would be if they woke up, however being a pragmatist,  I expect little response, and after doing this for five decades the clock keeps ticking, Why Change”  and after all its only tax payers that pay most of the bills.

There is a simple weld process solution to all alloy steels and carbon steels, all position code quality welds In 2017,  there is a key process solution for many arc weld issues. That process is TIP TIG. This process provides higher weld quality and is easier to use than regular TIG, Hot Wire TIG and Pulsed MIG. TIP TIG also enables lower weld heat than any other arc process. This simple easy to use, highest weld quality capability and lowest weld heat combination, enables with any metals the best possible consistent weld quality and best possible weld and part metallurgical properties.

You  would assume it’s logical for weld decision makers in code weld shops to want to use the best possible weld process, and to also understand the relevance of weld process control and best practice expertise.

Many managers will make process decisions without process expertise.


Process Controls and Arc Weld Processes.
Both the MIG and gas shielded flux cored weld processes have for decades accounted for approx. 80 to 85% of welds produced daily. The regular TIG and SMAW (stick) processes account for the weld balance. Part of the requirements of weld process control expertise is to understand the inherent, unique process & consumable issues that comes with  each of the weld processes. Also be aware of their optimum weld parameter ranges, fine tune adjustments  and their  compatibility with the intended applications. Then you apply the best weld practices.

As most readers will be aware, when new weld technology comes along, its logical that  the weld decision maker who purchases the new process,  will first require weld process control – best practice expertise with their existing processes. Once a weld decision maker is aware of how to consistently attain the maximum weld quality – productivity potential from their own processes, then they a real  measure of what the new process presented has to be able to attain and what real world weld benefits will be provided. Process control expertise is not part of a job description for a welder, it’s something a manager, engineer, supervisor or weld tech can easily learn. Therefore those responsible for the welds require this this expertise, they should  own their processes,  and be the driving force that’s necessary to implement process change.

Using regular TIG in 2018? You will be attaining inferior weld & part quality, greater weld distortion, require higher skills, & always creating much higher labor costs than TIP TIG which has been available in North America since 2010. You have not heard about TIP TIG, remember my comments on the weld industry “why change” and “slow weld evolution”.

Your company welds code quality stls  & alloy stls, are your weld decision makers aware that the  TIG process has evolved?

As every weld shop is aware, the regular TIG process produces very low weld deposition rates, typically less  than 1.5 lbs /hr, and as a result create very slow weld travel rates,  1 to 6 inch/min is the norm. The slow travel rates can depending on the part thickness result in high weld & part heat, This heat can effect distortion, oxidation and the weld & part metallurgical properties.

Any manager in 2017, who would choose regular TIG for the following stainless manifold code quality welds, should be managing a donut shop.

In 2015, what process would you select to weld this stainless manifold? If you selected regular TIG or pulsed MIG, both would have been a poor choice.[/caption]

TIP TIG. Easy to use. No feeding a wire. No foot control. 200 to 400% more weld each hour than TIG. Higher weld quality than TIG, and lower weld heat & fumes than any other arc process,

I provided TIP TIG seminars and work shops, and our first two major TIP TIG orders were from WSI, Atlanta,  a company that uses over a million pounds of Stainless and Inconel weld – clad wires each year for weld repairs in the Nuclear, Waste Management and Power industries. By the way in the past I was the weld manager at WSI and had produced for them a patented Pulsed MIG method for  water wall cladding. The second company that sent engineers and managers to one of  my seminars and then on our facility at Philadelphia Navy Yard, provided a nice million plus dollar order. This company was CNOOC, China’s largest producer of crude oil and Nat gas. What does it say for American companies and especially Oil, Defense and Aerospace companies, when the Chinese management recognized new important weld technology years before they do? (most in this industry eight years late still have not woke up to this important weld process).

Normally TIG was a difficult process to marry with robots, due to arc length sensitivity, low deposition rates and tungsten issues. Then along came a process called TIP TIG.

In 2017, the worlds most experienced arc weld robot builder, ABB decided that TIP TIG was the best TIG method for it’s robot TIG welds, and incorporated TIP TIG into their robot systems. 5 years earlier I introduced TIP TIG to ABB weld division, they like many were a little slow to catch on. By the way at one time I was also the ABB Robot Weld Mgr for N.America.

2018 and I am supposed to be retired, (never going to happen). I sold my ownership in TIP TIG USA a few years ago, and also with great pain, I am sorry to say Tom who was 20 years younger than me died unexpectedly.

TIP TIG USA is now located in NJ. This process continues to grow rapidly around the world and the weld reality is this. Since 2010, the traditional TIG process, and the automated HOT & Cold Wire TIG processes, and also the Pulsed MIG process should be considered both inferior and obsolete for the majority of the all position, code quality welds that were required. TIP TIG was invented and patented in Austria by S. Plasch who was assisted by his son U Plasch.

If most of the global pipe welds were made with TIP TIG, there would be much less weld rework requirements.

2017. Its not just manual welds where TIP TIG is the superior weld process if you have high quality automated weld applications the TIP TIG process should be considered. The following Subsea Valve welds and Clad welds are using outdated regular TIG & Hot Wire TIG, which produces  inferior weld quality & weld production than that possible with the TIP TIG process.

The TiP TiG arc welding process

If not using TIP TIG for code quality welds, you are behind the times.


Few plants that weld like CHANGE
.  Year in, year out, most  welders will sit on the  same seats in their lunch rooms. Frankly most people don’t like change.  In weld shops surely it’s the role of the front office decision makers  to drive change that can improve weld quality and help the companies  bottom line.

To recognize the benefits of new weld technology, those front office plant personnel would first have to own and recognize both the positive and negative attributes of the primary processes they daily utilize. This expertise in the global weld industry is as rare as a Rembrandt painting.

IN ENGINEERING, WELD PROCESS OWNERSHIP IS
a requirement for weld optimization and evolution.

What do NASA, Exon. Lockheed Martin, Northrop, Raytheon, Westinghouse,  GE, Boeing, SpaceX, Airbus, Fluor, Bechtel. Caterpillar, General Motors and most other high tech engineering companies have in common in 2018?  Most large companies in which welding is an important function will be using outdated weld specifications &  procedures, and few of the managers and engineers responsible for the weld departments in these organization will have ownership of their weld processes.


My Self Teaching & Training Programs…
The prerequisite for front office and weld shop ownership, is that weld decision makers acquire  the missing links, which are Weld Process Controls and Best Weld Practice Expertise. Once attaining this expertise, (takes about 15 hrs with my programs) weld decision makers  would then ensure that their weld personnel are provided with the same programs. This will ensure weld departments  will then have the expertise necessary consistently attain the highest possible manual or robot weld quality and productivity. My  programs include.

Item ONE. The Manual MIG program.

Item TWO. The Gas Shielded Flux Cored program.

Item THREE. The Robot MIG Weld Process Controls – Best Practice program.

Item FOUR. “The Weld Management – Engineers Book to MIG and Flux Cored. With this  book, you also get your choice of any of  Weld Process Controls – Best Weld Practices training programs in items  1 – 2 – 3 – 5.

Item FIVE. Advanced AC-DC TIG, and the New TIP TIG  Weld Process Controls & Best Weld Practices Training – Self Teaching Programs. This unique three part TIG  program would benefit anyone who works with code quality welds.

Click here for all info on Em;s   Weld Process Controls Training Materials.

WELD TEAM MEETINGS:


A low cost way to upgrade your manual or robot weld team:  I provide a unique low cost service. Why not include me in your bi-weekly or monthly Weld Team Meetings. Instead of the usual meetings in which optimum robot or manual weld  resolutions may not be instantly derived. I can in the conference call instantly provide the necessary weld quality  and productivity resolutions. During the weld discussions, I could be the catalyst you require for weld change, and I will educate the team on the methods and best practices on  how to prevent those manual or robot weld issues. The discussions will lead to maximizing weld quality and productivity while attaining the lowest weld costs. No contract required, you simply pay the low costs fees for when you utilize me.  The fee also enables your weld shop personnel to call me anytime  for weld resolutions. It’s this simple, if I don’t’ provide dramatic weld quality improvements and cost savings reductions,  you simply don’t use my service.   Call Em at 828 337 2695.  emilycraig67@gmail.com.


This photo represents four decades of the the Dow Chemical
engineering approach to many of their global weld applications.

Why change? With stick welds, who needs weld process control expertise? it’s just amps up or amps down.


Weld fabrications & the sad dinosaur managers at DOW Chemical:

I had just visited a mid-west processing plant in which Dow, one of the USA largest chemical companies had requested that their 3 inch (75mm) thick, 304 stainless vessel, that was approx. 8 feet (>2 m) in diameter, was to be welded only  using 1/8 (3mm) diameter SMAW electrodes.

Over the years, with some of projects I worked on, I had seen the love affair from Dow engineers for the most simple and oldest arc weld process, SMAW (stick). Big or small jobs, SMAW was the common process choice,  and it’s a choice that was often influenced by previous old applications that were often designed from 1950s to 1980s. The DOW engineers must have lacked confidence in their weld process expertise, and therefore having small balls they would utilize the weld process that was used on similar applications often before they were born. It’s sad that an engineering giant like DOW gave little thought to the present day weld process choices that they and their fabricator suppliers could have used on many of their world wide construction projects. In many instances the utilization of  MIG – Flux Cored or TIP TIG, would have been the logical weld selection decision, and the weld quality and productivity improvements would have created hundreds of millions of dollars in savings. However the Rip Van engineers at DOW seem to be content to maintain the status quo of  “this is the way we have always done it”.

So in 2017 for those weld industries or weld shops that still utilize or consider  SMAW,  TIG or even pulsed MIG for alloys, and all metals that require all position code quality welds, the bottom line is  they are not only using out-dated weld process technology that is likely impacting their weld quality and costs, they will also likely be using out-dated weld specifications and weld procedures.

Someone should write a song for the weld
industry and call it, WHY CHANGE?

The weld industry Swan song. “WHY CHANGE”.

The Russians would argue, but as a commercial process TIG was invented by Northrop Aircraft in 1941. Almost eighty years later, and  thanks mostly to management and engineering lack of weld process expertise and process ownership, TIG is still the  primary arc weld process used at Northrop.

Question: Ed, I thought that part of the job descriptions of most engineers and managers would be to be responsible to embrace and drive new cost effective weld technology changes.

Answer: Well first Ed is now Em. The facts in 2017,  are arc weld process controls and best arc weld practices are still not taught in most of the global universities and colleges that educate welding and mechanical engineers. So therefore its logical that this expertise is a missing link in industry, and so the safest thing in these circumstances for the majority of managers / engineers involved with welds, is do NOTHING.

Lets face it, Its much safer to simply maintain the “this is the way we have always done it”  culture and status quo then drive  process changes that will require justification, new procedures and training,  functions  by the that should be a normal function of any manufacturing manager, engineer and supervisor.


Robots and Auto – Truck Welds:

My unique Robot Weld Process Control Self Teach and Training program will only benefit those that have an interest and those that can read.


AUTOMOTIVE & ROBOT WELDS?
  The largest user of robot weld cells is the global auto and truck industry. In this industry, poor and inconsistent robot MIG and resistance weld quality and productivity is the daily norm. The reason for the lack of controls, is a simple one. Management, engineering, supervision and robot technician weld process control – best practice expertise is almost as rare to find as an honest politician.

Those managers, engineers and supervisors who believe in front office / engineering process ownership, will be glad to know that their robot MIG weld weld issues & the required weld process control resolutions, are discussed and provided extensively in this web site. (also see robot management – technician sections). But most important, the “required robot weld process training_materials & self teaching programs”  are provided here for the cost of a good dinner for four.        

AUTO PLANTS, MANY ENGINEERS, LITTLE PROCESS EXPERTISE.  Lets face it,  both car and truck global mfg. plants employ more engineers than most other industries that have weld manufacturing facilities. However the last place you would find  manual & robot arc weld process control – best weld practice expertise, in an auto – truck plant is in their front office.

When engineers  have a weld issue with their robot lines, their resolution is to get their phone and call their lower paid, often poorly trained robot technician. Or again use the phone and call their weld distributor salesman  or robot integrator to help resolve their  plant’s weld issues.

This  fire works display below  from the newly trained Detroit Big Three auto welders indicates not only poor training but also  poor manual MIG weld repairs being applied  on  the poor quality auto & truck  robot frame welds.

Question. Why  does  Pulsed MIG benefit aluminum welds  and  when should you consider switching to MIG Spray for Aluminum?  The answers are in  Eds_process training_materials.  


Robots and Automotive:

Out of control manual MIG weld repairs on top of out of control robot MIG welds, so what else would you expect?

Over budget manual MIG repair welds on top
of poor robot MIG welds.

The norm plant’s MIG weld practices for many global auto – truck frame and other parts welds.  Place poor manual MIG repair welds on top of poor robot MIG, welds. With present day multi-billion dollar recalls and liability concerns, lawyers should get exited with this simple mfg. reality.


Attaining optimum, uniform, consistent weld quality has little meaning in many front office weld department front offices if they have not  FIGURED OUT HOW TO ACHIEVE THIS:team meetings will rarely provide optimum robot or manual weld resolutions when the front office and weld shop decision makers don’t have the weld process – best practice expertise that’s necessary.[/caption]

As many of you will be aware, two optimum quality robot welds in a row in an auto – truck plant, would be as rare as finding an honest politician. Each year in North America typically 15 to 20 billion dollars are lost to the Auto and Truck industry major mfg, companies as a result of product defects, which lets face it have to be primarily influenced by  managers and engineers. Hundreds of millions of dollars are also lost each year with robot weld lines which typically are allowed to be run without arc and resistance robot weld process controls – best practice expertise.

The majority of cars & trucks Resistance & MIG welds do not
attain the weld quality – production potential that the
weld process and robots could deliver.
Robot welders


For decades, in the auto – truck industry, too many resistance have been out of control. The management solution. Ignore the numerous missed and poor quality welds, and compensate with more poor quality welds on the parts. This is management / engineering process inadequacy  .

Robots are purchased primarily to optimize weld quality and reduce weld costs. However you may not want to ask a question on how to improve the robot weld quality or what are the real weld costs on the weld shop floors or front offices of  most global car and truck plants. And for that matter, don’t ask questions on these two subjects in most mfg. plants that provide manual or robot MIG welds.

When front office weld decision makers lack weld process control and best practice expertise, their never ending weld shop issues become like an old entrenched tooth ache, and it’s not uncommon for the key weld decision makers to turn to who they think is the local weld expert, their weld distributor sales rep. The sales person is often an individual who has never worked in or run a weld shop.

A fact that is poorly understood in the welding industry is an indication of an individual’s arc weld process control – best practice expertise is evident when they can consistently attain the highest possible weld quality and production with a dumb machine such as a robot. However with three requirements,

  • (1) Robot programming expertise readily taught by robot mfg. or robot integrator. Programmers should at least once a year continue program training to increase their control expertise.
  • (2) Weld process controls covering the weld transfer modes provided by the equipment, this enables maximum weld quality and production potential from the weld equip. utilized in the robot cell.
  • (3) Robot best weld practices. This is an understanding of how the weld power source can combine and optimize if specific robot weld practices are taught. Note: Robots provide higher weld speed potential, controlled movements and switching of weld data not capable by any manual welder. Using Eds_training_materials, the process and the robot can combine to attain both weld quality – production simply not attained by  any manual welder or attained by robots without this process expertise.

An industry that lacks process
expertise, will often turn to a salesman or rep?

Inexperienced sales reps may not give accurate welding technical advice

Which gas, wire, power source, process, weld mode, consumables and parameters should be used. How many more decades will pass before weld management gets a grip on their weld processes and cut it;s umbilical cord to the local weld salesman?

Over the decades, in the hundreds of weld shops I visited there was a common theme in which the supervisors and managers would place the blame for their weld shop weld issues on their welders. These weld decision makers simply would fail to recognize their own lack of weld process control – best practice expertise. These are the decision makers who had a  crutch reliance on their local weld sales rep for weld process advice. The weld reality is as its always been, few of the global weld sales reps have extensive weld application experience, and even fewer have ever  managed a weld shop.

This character has likely visited your weld shop.

Salesmen do not have the answers for welding problems

All that’s missing with here is their should be a box of donuts in his hand.


You have likely been there and DONE THAT: 
It’s Monday morning, the local weld salesman who in most instances has never supervised or managed a weld shop, marches through the weld shop door with a box of donuts or a pizza and a big smile. After  listening to the weld shop issues, the sales rep then presents information on his  latest, costly, bells and whistles pulsed power source, and then lets you know about his latest magic three part MIG gas mix,  or unique metal cored wire. One of these products is often presented as a  solution to the  weld department woes. Weld issues that in reality are generated by the front office and weld department’s lack of  weld process  control – best weld practice expertise.

On the subject of sales reps and weld process expertise, please keep in mind that I have educated and trained in North America, approx. 20000 weld sales personnel at Airgas, Praxair,  AGA and Liquid Carbonic on this subject of process controls – best practices. My experiences in this industry led me to the conclusion, that perhaps no more than ten percent of the sale reps should be allowed to give advice inside a weld dept.

Question Can you name another high tech industry that for decades has relied extensively on inexperienced sales reps for their mfg. or process technical advice?

Question. What are  the two prime weld root causes of black soot on alum welds?  The answers are in  Eds_process training_materials.  

More on AUTO & TRUCK MFG.

This is an industry that for more than three decades has at least been consistent in their ability to produce poor robot arc and resistance weld quality and productivity:

Resistance or MIG, the lack
of process control is the global norm. 

When it comes to both MIG and resistance welds, the global auto – truck industry is notorious for it’s hands off managers and engineers. Less than 10% of the auto industry weld decision makers are aware of how to consistently attain their robot MIG or spot weld quality – production potential, or even aware of the prime root causes of their plant’s daily, never ending weld issues.

MANAGERS FAIL when they don’t provide themselves and their employees with the  weld process controls and best weld practice expertise that’s necessary to consistently attain optimum manual and robot weld quality & productivity.

As manual – robot arc welding  and also robot resistance weld process controls – best weld practice expertise is easy to learn, and costs very little to purchase at this site. One might ask why are these programs not being implemented in all global facilities in which the MIG. Flux Cored, TIG and TIP TIG are important weld processes? The reason the expertise is either inadequate or missing is simple. If managers, engineers and supervisors don’t comprehend that the root causes of their daily weld problems is this lack of process expertise,  then the key weld decision makers will not be aware that this is an expertise that both they and their shop floor employees require. By the way, weld process controls  and best weld practices are not taught in most of the global colleges, universities or trade schools that provide weld education from the engineer to the welder levels. Anyway who needs this expertise when you can just let your weld personnel “play around” with their weld controls.

His  bloody “play around” organ has to go.

For approx. six decades, the industries that utilize manual MIG & flux cored  acquired a reputation as a PLAY AROUND with controls industry. So when the robots were introduced into weld departments, it’s only natural,  that the robot technicians would also play around with robots arc and resistance weld controls and the managers would not blink.

The common plant mfg.managers solutions to robot weld quality or production issues, will be  order more robots, add a shift, add manual welders to the end of the robot lines,  ship the parts to a tier one or two supplier,  or sweep the frustrating weld issues under the rug, and send the parts south to Mexico.

Three plus decades have passed, & few global robots will
daily attain their weld quality & production potential

When mfg. plants lack a process control – best practice expertise, you would think it’s a management responsibility to see this situation is rectified.

As in common with most  global auto – truck mfg. plants, I believe the Tesla robot / manual steel and alum weld results simply indicates that their weld management, engineers and weld decision makers lack robot arc and resistance weld process control – best practice expertise.

Any mfg, facility should be viewed just like a ship.  If the ship has issues the captain is first in line for blame. If things are not run well in the ship’s engine room, who do you think is responsible? In contrast when something is screwed up with the weld quality and productivity in a mfg. environment, both the plant and corporate mfg. management has the responsibility to take process ownership and provide the resolutions, and the prime resolution is to ensure those that weld understand weld process controls and best pracices.

The last place to look for weld process controls & best practice expertise would be in the offices of most global car – truck mfg. plants.

Before any company  purchases weld robots, they should  first ensure the front office, maintenance personnel and robot technicians have the required robot arc or resistance weld process control – best practice expertise. In most instances they will not have this expertise. so managers have a responsibility to provide it  for them.

Process expertise starts with the robot PO. Through the robot purchase order, a qualified manager or engineer would ensure that the robot integrator selected proves that with the robot cell or line they provide, that they can actually meet a minimum of four hours of the maximum production requirements with the specified weld quality. This  should be proven at the integrator’s  facility before final robot delivery and before final robot cell payoff.

questionable robot MIG welded frame & axles in American cars and trucks

If you own a car or truck, as you drive over pot holes, please give give consideration to what is likely  questionable robot MIG welded frames & axles.

ROBOTS and MANUAL MIG WELD REPAIRS. A subject rarely discussed or  hidden in the auto – truck industry.. One way to benefit from the my process control self teaching or  training programs. Lets say you have a large number of robots and in each robot cell there was either an expensive Fronius, Miller or Lincoln Power Wave MIG unit. Lets also say you were using either an 0.045 – 0.052 or 0.062 (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.6 mm) MIG wire. It’s very common with auto part suppliers (big and small), that when they order robot cells to also order the same or similar MIG equipment and consumables for their many (should be unnecessary) weld repair stations.

Frequently in the manual MIG weld repair cells,  they will use the same size MIG weld wire as used on the robot lines. This is a major mistake in the auto – truck industry. As most of you are aware, most auto – truck MIG weld repairs are made in small weld areas with short weld lengths and short arc on times. Most MIG weld on weld repairs will require high energy welds. Using the smaller 0.035 (1mm) wire allows higher current density. This wire can be set for low / high end spray settings, or welding gaps, and also used with high end short circuit settings for gage materials.

When set correctly the MIG weld repair settings should not create weld spatter concerns. With that 0.035 wire and a 10 to 20% CO2 mix, the best possible MIG power source you could provide the plant with is a low cost 250 amp CV MIG power source, (approx. $2000 – $3000, wire feed included). This MIG power source and recommended consumables will provide with the majority of steels and alloy steel weld applications superior weld results than that which can be attained with the much higher cost pulsed MIG units and the larger MIG wire diameters. Yes to attain these low cost benefits a little MIG process training is required (should be provided any way). The training typically takes a day, but the savings can be considerable, the weld repairs more meaningful and weld management is doing it’s job. Of course that process control – best weld practice training would  also ensure the highest possible robot weld quality and that should dramatically reduce the weld repairs.


TESLA, another sad example of lack of weld

manufacturing management expertise.

 I am sure Mr. Musk of Tesla loves robots, however he has a lot to learn about robots that are attached to a process such as welding. When it comes to robot welds or manual welds, Tesla is having the same weld issues that the rest of the hands off managers and engineers in the auto – truck industry have had for decades.


A Report from the Automotive News reveals that Tesla is dealing with some major assembly-line robot weld problems
that are slowing down production of it’s Model 3 sedan. TESLA produced only 260 Model 3s in the third quarter of 2017,  (approx. the hourly production of some major car manufacturers). Tesla was supposed to ramp up to approx. 20 thousand a month by the end of the year. According to Automotive News’ Katie Burke, “based on details in a Wall Street Journal report and in a video of the production line posted on Twitter by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, experts say the electric vehicle maker appears to be struggling with battery supply and with WELDING the mostly steel vehicles.”

Continue from Em..Nov 2017: As Tesla experienced this year, there is a large difference in the robot  weld challenges when you go from  low volume robot resistance or arc weld production, to high production robot weld requirements. Tesla managers must surely be aware that they are not alone with weld issues, and few of the  robots utilized in global auto – truck plants in 2017, will consistently achieve their daily arc or resistance robot weld quality or weld  productivity potential.

When poor robot arc or spot weld quality and production occurs, there will often be much finger pointing from both the corporate and plant’s  front office managers and engineers, to those on the shop floor as to the prime cause of  the robot weld issues.

Tesla Calls,  and what a bloody waste of time that was:  In the spring of 2017, I got a call from some high brow Science or Engineering Manger at Tesla, California. This manager had received my resume for the plant’s weld engineer position. This individual  wanted to know how I could assist their new Model Three Production plant with it’s robot welds issues.

Tesla Mfg. expertise. With this Tesla manager, a few minutes conversation revealed that he completely lacked any weld process expertise. As our discussion went on, I could quickly tell this TESLA manger had zero  expertise on the subject of welding. He started to ask me questions that you would ask some weld novice at a high school or community college. I asked him, had he read my 8 page resume that spells out why for decades I have been a manual and robot weld process control – best practice expert. My resume also spells out that I had developed unique process control and best weld practice training programs and provided process improvements to more than 1000 plants in 13 countries.

Tesla and sad management:  I then explained to this highly placed manager, (who from my perspective was definitely in the wrong job), that his upcoming extensive increase in either resistance or arc robot weld production (from hundreds of cars to thousands per-month) would without question lead to numerous robot weld quality – productivity issues and with Tesla’a lack of high production experiences the issues would be way beyond the auto industry norm.

If a company such as Tesla is not aware of  how to control a weld process with low robot weld production volume, what can they expect as the WELD PRODUCTION RAMPS UP DRAMATICALLY .

Tesla dumb interview continues. I spoke with the Tesla interviewer for another 30 minutes providing info. on my numerous robot past achievements, and my qualifications such as being asked by the  AWS to participate in writing the AWS.  MIG Weld Specifications, (the weld specs used by the auto industry).  The manager then replied, “well that’s all very impressive, but I have to ask you this question, “What is MIG”.  After coming out of a state of shock.  I replied that “If I don’t normally waste my time talking with an idiot,”  and  hun


Tesla, a comment on the welds viewed.
Watching a one minute online video of the Tesla plant’s initial low volume,  robot resistance welds, on the S-3 cars, the robots appear to be too few and performing at the low end of the  robot weld speed potential. Also and this is important, the resistance welds look like they are at the initial design spec locations only. As Tesla ramps up the robot production, their engineers will soon learn that they will need to compensate for the inconsistent quality or missed spot welds attained. And the way TESLA will likely compensate will be with the placement of additional spot welds. To keep up with production, those extra robot spot welds will require faster robot weld speeds, or more robots, both usually add to the spot weld quality concerns.

Also in viewing the video, the spot weld settings appear to be too  high, evident by the extensive expulsion. This is a bad sign as it points to the lack of process experience. Also lets face it, if you can’t get weld quality correct at the start of a low volume robot production run, then the quality will continue erode and be a major issue with increased production and the different shift personnel further screw up the weld settings.

Most auto companies are aware that for many of their robot resistance welds, they had better put two or three additional robot welds to compensate. This sad and poor management / engineering approach to welds, is typically a result of the plants management and engineers  lack of  ability to consistently control part dimensions, the part placement in the fixtures, or the changing robot TCP, any of which can change the weld locations.

Also when good resistance or arc robot weld settings are used, in those plant’s in which the mfg. management lack process control expertise and process ownership, usually the required best weld practices will not be in place. Good weld settings will then quickly erode and will be left to the inexperience robot technicians or whoever makes the weld setting changes,

TESLA, unique Truck designs, but what about robust weld mfg?

It’s one thing to build cars with a 50,000 mile warranty, & then build trucks that won’t rattle from bad welds within a million mile warranty.

Is Tesla capable of the consistent, uniform robust mfg required for trucks with extended mileage warranties?  As both Fruehauf and Volvo are aware,
(I provided many robot resolutions for both these companies) with their costly tractor-trailers, product durability is likely more important than producing a $250,000 bells and whistles truck that provides a  generous battery mileage range.  In contrast to cars, when the major truck companies  build trucks,  apart from the power train many of the truck welded components may be part of a one million mile truck warranty.  However even with this common high mileage truck warranty, unfortunately in 2017, too many of the robot welds required on global trucks are still extremely poor with inconsistent weld quality. Its a sad statement that after after decades of truck building experience, most truck manufactures still struggle in 2017 to control their daily robot welds, and by now you should know where the responsibility for this lies.

Tesla, Rattles and Recalls?  To keep up with their production demands, Tesla will no doubt have some parts built in Asia and possibly one day Mexico. The bottom line is Tesla customers would  expect that Tesla management would from day one drive quality standards that should be applied to all their vehicles, From my perceptive, if Tesla can’t control and figure out the simple steel and alum. arc or resistance weld quality requirements at it’s own CA plant this would not bode well for  well for future consumer reports on Tesla vehicles.

Tesla could join the club. When the Tesla robot weld  production issues become intolerable, Tesla like their competition will always have that North American mfg. option of shipping the parts and robot weld lines to Mexico or some other low labor cost country. At these offshore locations robot weld quality issues will be  dealt with through manual low cost labor repairs, and at these locations, the QA departments are usually more forgiving, (Chrysler corporate management was highly  qualified at this practice).

Will Aliens laugh at the quality of the welds on this car?

Dec. 2017: E Musk is supposed to place a Tesla Roadster atop of his Spacex Falcon Heavy Rocket. I wonder apart from this great marketing tool if he gives any consideration to the double weld quality standard found between his cars and his rockets?


TESLA Cars and Spacex
.
  Welding a car or components on a space craft, to me its all the same, and I know because I’ve done both. You don’t put welds on components unless you are sure you have maximized the weld fusion and minimized the potential for other internal weld defects.

Some may see the  irony in a company such as Tesla not being able to provide  the low volume robot weld process controls & best weld practices requirements necessary for simple resistance, and I suspect MIG welds. While  in the same time frame, the Tesla owner is also responsible for SpaceX, a company that should have a mandate to consistently produce the highest possible  weld quality on any of it’s Space craft welded components.

I would also bet money on it that likely in 2017, SpaceX like most other Aerospace companies is not utilizing the best possible arc weld process, and I also suspect that SpaceX is using weld specifications and procedures that would feel at home in the 1980s.

I wonder if  a few hundred years as the Falcon is traveling where no man or earth rocket has gone before, if some aliens will discover the antiquated Falcon Rocket and beam aboard. In the cargo hold the aliens will be shocked to find a 2017 car made by some Earth company called Tesla. The alien scientists who have never seen a car decide  tear the vehicle apart to see how evolved the Earth’s engineers were in 2017. The scientists get the Tesla welds, and after  having a good laugh at the poor weld quality,  they come to the conclusion  that the planet Earth’s engineering  expertise and evolution is much  lower than they imagined it would  be.


By the way what does the introduction of new innovative products contribute to to the USA, if the workforce hired to build those products struggles to get respect, decent wages and benefits?

A 2017 note from me to Tesla management, not that any Tesla mgr is ever likely to visit a web site like this. Mr. Musk has many admirers  and its easy to respect what he has achieved with Spacex. However Mr. Musk may be a leader in innovation but so far has shown he does not set a high bar in mfg. I don’t like what I hear about the Tesla plant claims about worker respect, gender and racism concerns. Also I don’t respect any company that wants to build its  products on the backs of workers who are barely paid a living wage.

Mr Musk is well aware that it’s easy to put a state of the art concept vehicles on a pedestal, and like the great salesman or showman that he is to  get investors and share holders exited enough to put down deposits on the car or truck of their dreams.  By now he must be well aware that it’s another thing to successfully build those products within the production, quality and cost projections.

The auto – truck steel – alum welded products that Tesla is involved with continually will be influenced daily by numerous ongoing variables from press – die wear, part fit tolerances allowed, fixture and design issues, and lack of process control weld mfg. expertise.  I believe (could be wrong) that the nuts and bolts requirements of auto – truck mfg. is not Elon’s first career choice. If  Musk is frustrated  when building a few hundred a month, imagine his  frustration when they really have to  ramp up the robot weld production.

Note: Tesla mfg. managements may want to be aware that if the US – European and Asian Auto – Truck  mfg. giants had the necessary talent to be successful and cost effective  with their daily manual – robot arc and resistance quality – production goals, they would not have pallets loaded with rejects and rework and also they would not require that their tier one and two part suppliers provide this function..

word to Musk at Tesla. Next time your company wants to hire a process expert, make sure the person your company designates to do the interview, has at least a little knowledge on the subjects being discussed.

More on Robots and Automotive:


UPGRADE YOUR MANUAL OR ROBOT WELD TEAM:

I provide a unique low cost service. Why not include me in your bi-weekly weld TEAM MEETINGS. Instead of the usual meetings in which optimum robot or manual weld  resolutions may not be derived. I can in  conference calls  instantly  provide the weld quality / productivity resolutions, and at the same time educate and train those in the weld discussions on how to prevent weld issues and maximize weld productivity. For the low costs fees for two meeting sessions minimum per-month.
Call Em at 828 337 2695.  emilycraig67@gmail.com.


MAGNA is a top three global auto part supplier:
Below, Ed before Em is providing Robot Best Practices – Process Control Training for USA robot personnel at a company called Magna, This Canadian company in 2016 was  the 3rd largest global  tier one auto – truck parts supplier. At the US MAGNA facility, Ed  started the MIG robot process control training program in one of the manual welders cell. Robot technicians and weld decision makers have to first learn the process before they adjust the weld on the robots.

When you Tain robot techs in robot MIG process controls,
you start the training in the classroom then the manual MIG weld cell.

What a company MAGNA would be if its managers and engineers knew as much about weld process controls than they do about the Tool and Die industry.

Above.  Ed teaching MAGNA robot techs on how to control robot MiG welds. Step 1. classroom on MIG Process Controls – Best Practices. Step 2. Hands On with  the MIG Process. Step 3. Use lessons learnt & apply to the robot cell programs.

Over time,  I was requested to evaluate and assist a few of the North American MAGNA facilities. In my visits, I came to the conclusion that the robot, MIG weld, process controls and best robot weld practices requirements were not well understood by the MAGNA plant management, engineers and robot technicians that were involved daily with the robot weld decisions. As its common in the auto industry, at the MAGNA  plants It’s typically young robot technicians that daily keep the robots running. I found that the majority of the robot technicians that I met were comfortable with their programming skills, but hardly knew anything on the subject of MIG robot weld best practices and process controls. 

The best thing that the engineering management at MAGNA provided for their robot MIG lines, was parts to be welded that actually met the design dimension requirements, this by the way was the first company I had ever seen in the auto – truck industry that had the metal stamping expertise and ability to provide good parts for welding.

When robot parts fit without serious MIG weld gaps, and weld fixtures are well designed, consistent robot MIG weld quality is easy to attain. The robot integrator will typically create the first set of mediocre robot weld parameters, and its not difficult for robot weld  technicians to maintain the weld parameters and get half decent weld results. However once part placement issues, weld gaps or process issues occur, the robot cell weld resolutions will be through the robot weld data applied. If the technician does not have the MIG process control – best practice expertise necessary to deal with the issues, then the weld problems tend to increase, managers have more acid problems and loose more sleep,  and optimum, consistent  robot weld quality and production simply cannot be produced.

Optimizing  Product  ICONS is what I did, and still do.

Ed now Em was asked to optimize either the robot and manual weld quality and productivity on these and numerous other global product icons.

Solving weld issues at numerous facilities and different industries from Auto – Truck Plants, Nuclear Plants, Submarine and Ship Yards, Medical Equip or most recent assisting United Technology with their Space Station and NASA Mar’s Orion Space Ship part.

With my Robot or Manual MIG Weld Process Controls- Best Weld Practice programs, teach your self, or use to train your employees.   Click here.


High spatter MIG welds make a good fire works display,
but is an indication of poor robot weld management.

Imagine the costs associated with producing these poor robot welds and the small price for process controls that lead to process optimization


So you know how to control robot MIG welds?
Two Fundamental Questions,

Question 1. The above robot 5/16 (8mm) fillet CV MIG welds, utilized an 0.052, (1.4mm) wire and a 90 Argon – 10 CO2 gas. With this information a weld process professional would be able to look at the photo and be aware of the approx CV amps, volts, wire feed and travel rate. And then in a few seconds determine what the weld issue in the photo indicates and what the weld solution is.

Question 2. The above robot has start weld problems and their is a blob of weld on the wire tip after each weld is completed.  Why the issue and what is the resolution?

Test your MIG process knowlege. Craig’s MIG quiz

When management, engineers, supervisors and technicians lack weld process expertise, this may create the following;

  • their weld facilities will rarely attain their optimum weld quality – productivity potential,
  • their weld cost focus is on the consumables and not the welds,
  • their weld facilities will frequently rely on weld vendors or other  inexperienced. often biased reps for assistance with their weld issues. These are personnel that will rarely have worked or managed a weld shop,
  •  their weld facilities will constantly search for  a new crutch for the resolution of their weld issues. The crutch may be the purchase of a new sophisticated costly pulsed power source that’s often loaded with useless electronic bells and whistles. Or the purchase of useless three – four part gas mixes and metal core wires,
  • their weld facilities will have to add to their manpower or robots, or pay overtime costs to attain the required production and rework,
  • their managers and supervisors will  daily  be in the FIREMAN mode, forever fighting but rarely resolving weld quality – productivity  issues,
  • their weld facilities will lack the ability to develop a qualified weld  team that can quickly enable cost effective resolution consistently attain process optimization,
  • their  weld shop culture will fear process change and therefore will avoid or not embrace the effective process evolution and sound weld practices,
  •  their weld department will build up their QA dept personnel and budget, and place their  mfg. weld quality focus on FINDING rather than PREVENTING weld defects. This has never  been cost effective.NOTE: It’s logical if a company  employs weld inspection personnel that experienced management would  ensure that these individual y are provided with weld process – best practice training. Something by the way that 99% will not have.Click here for your MIG – TIG – TIP TIG or Flux Cored  weld process optimization training or use as self teaching materials

Dana USA & the world’s best selling  Ford F-150 Truck.

2007 E-Mail from R. Good. Weld Engineer Dana USA.
Ed. I wanted to send update about that E-Town DANA plant that you visited a few years ago. As you know on your first visit to this plant, our robot MIG welding lines were producing less than 40 Ford F-150 truck frames per-hour, and over 100% of the frames required extensive manual weld rework.

Ed thanks to your Robot Weld Process Control Best Practice Training program, and the weld process, consumable and practice changes that you recommended and we have now across the board implemented, the robot weld results from our employees today are staggering. Yesterday this plant hit very close to a record of 76 frames per hour. We daily now attain our average goal of one frame per-minute. We have had two recent weld audits, one audit found a total of two failures, and the 2nd weld audit was the first 100% pass weld audit in the history of our Ford F-150 line. Ed we have now provided your robot training program and implemented your robot weld process recommendations in five of our USA plants.
Many thanks Ed…… RG Dana.

Note: Dana is a tier one supplier and world leader in the supply of drive line products such as axles, drive shafts, and transmissions and power technologies for light- and heavy-duty vehicles. DANA employs approximately 22,500 people in 26 countries and in 2010 had sales of $6.1 billion. By the way for these changes I would have charged Dana less than $10K and I never got a thank you note from Dana or Ford senior management,  both of which I am sure never even understood what I did for them.

My Beetle welds at Johnson Controls,  Mexico:


When the new VW Beetle was introduced  it was announced that this iconic vehicle was going to be built in Mexico for obvious reasons. The contract for the Beetle seat frames was given to Johnson Controls (JC) Mexico. After the new ABB MIG welding robots were installed at the JC Mexican plant, for many months, the JC Mexican and US engineers struggled and could not meet the VW destructive weld test requirements for any of the Beetle car seat welds they produced.

THE  VW GERMAN MANAGERS SCREWED UP,  The robot MIG welds at the Mexican facility were strictly being carried out in accordance with the robot weld specifications / procedure requirements that were from VW Germany. I was requested by JC USA to provide the robot weld resolutions for the seats.  When arriving at the  plant, I immediately figured the German robot  MIG  procedure parameters were too low, and this was effecting both the destructive test  weld quality desired and also reducing the robot productivity potential.

In the 3 days I was at the facility I  completely changed the robot weld program,  the weld transfer modes, the consumables, parameters and practices. I eliminated all the weld rework and as a bonus I gave them an  increase in  the daily robot shift weld production by 40%.

Of course with the major weld changes I made,  the Germans requested that I stop making the changes and urgently attend a meeting in which all German / Mexican responsible managers and engineers must attend. Of course I followed orders. At the meeting the VW executives went on for an hour about how important it was to for the Mexicans to produce their parts in accordance with their pre-approved specifications and procedures from Germany. They said that I must not make changes. Of course after dealing with Germans for decades,  I had my big guns ready. (don’t talk show results).  Before the meeting I had sectioned one of their prototype robot MIG welded car seats that were welded  in Germany,  the German seat weld macro’s revealed  that over 60% of the small seat welds had extensive lack of fusion. I then showed the same macro welds from the changes that I had made on the Mexican produced seats, my changes revealed that the fusion defects were gone. I then told the VW mangers that I had also increased their robot shift weld production figures by 40%.  I asked them should I change the robot data back to the German requirements, for some strange reason they went very quite. The German managers who would not have known a good weld if they found one on their dinner plate  mumbled something about approving my changes. They quickly left the building with their tails between their legs. I think for my quality – productivity improvements and for  their management  BS, that I charged  them around $6000.

MORE ON MY BEETLE SEAT WELD QUALITY. Around 1999 to 2000, the USA Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in it’s car crash tests rated the Beetle car seats (those using my robot weld data), as the most durable of all in the small car seats they had ever crash tested.

Viza car seats in the beautiful town of Vigo  Spain:

In Spain and other parts of Europe,  Ed improved robot car seat and other welds on BMW, VW, Jaguar, Toyota, Renault, Ford, GM.

Viza builds  auto – truck seats for  Toyota, Renault, Citroen, BMW and others. The president and owner of Viza requested that I come to Spain, I jumped at this request at as it was certainly much more pleasant than going to  Detroit car facilities. The owner of Viza  had started to invest heavily in new robot lines  for his products and he requested that I resolve his companies robot seat weld quality – production issues and establish my Best Weld Practices / Robot Process Controls for his companies  employees and new robot MIG weld lines.

Ed at a tier one car seat supplier in Spain. He had to work with the useless electronic bells and whistles on the Miller MIG power source in their robot cells. This MIG power source as common with many simply added complexity without real world robot weld quality or productivity benefits,

In the two weeks I was at the Spanish facility I  established highly success robot weld quality – productivity results with all the robots. I then trained the Spanish employees with my robot MIG weld process control training program. This was considered such a sucess, a few years later I was requested to return by the Viza owner for the start up of two more of his new plants, one in Spain and the other in Eastern Europe. And boy those were great trips.

Tier One Tenneco – Monroe USA and Global.

E-Mail. Ed as you know Tenneco has plants all over the world. We and especially Monroe Shocks which is one of our companies have been very enlightened by your ” Robot MIG Weld Process Control Training Resources. Regards. Tom Plummer: Tenneco. USA. 2007.  eds_training_materials

Ed’s influence on Caterpillar Trucks & Elgin Sweepers.

When the world’s largest truck was first built, Ed was as the  ABB Weld Manager, and was asked to  establish the robot weld data.

E-Mail: Hello Ed now Emily I believe congrats on that big change and change is something you were never afraid of.  I know you set the robot welds on the Caterpillar world’s largest truck and as you know In the past I purchased your Manual MIG weld process control – best practice training resource for the Caterpillar plants that I was assisting. To get you updated,  I recently  purchased your Robot MIG weld process control training package for Elgin Sweeper Company here in Illinois. Em your programs worked wonderfully at both Caterpillar and at Elgin. We were very successful after implementing your Robot Best Weld Practices and Process Control Training. Thanks to your resources and equipment and consumable recommendations, our manual and robot MIG weld quality – productivity results are now outstanding. All the best Em. Regards  Joe Cukierski. Weld Mfg. Engineer. Elgin Sweeper Company.

In the USA, we did not just loose jobs to NAFTA and other lower wage countries, we also lost a tremendous amount of good paying USA manufacturing jobs as a result of ignorant, self centered, politicians, and to  Fortune 500, manufacturing & process, management and engineering, ignorance and incompetence, as described at Chrysler  below.


My experiences with the 20 plus million dollar,
Chrysler, Corporate, Management, Neon Weld Fiasco.

Chrysler and its pathetic approach to robot welds.

On my favorite  subject of manufacturing management incompetence, in the nineteen nineties, in a period of less than 18 months, Chrysler corporate management lost  15  – 20 million dollars from a new, flux cored robot line. This line was located at the prime Mini Van stamping facility in Ohio.

The robot weld line at the Ohio facility was designed to weld the Neon cross-members. From the day it went into production, this line never made more than 50% of it’s daily robot weld production goals and it’s  daily robot weld rework was 100%. The robot welds were made with Lincoln, Self Shielded, (SS), Flux Cored wires.  Please note this is a weld wire that Chrysler made many of it’s tier suppliers use. It was a pathetic excuse of weld consumable choice made by the corporate Chrysler weld engineer.

The sad excuse for the SS weld consumable was influenced by Lincoln Electric. The frustrated, Chrysler stamping plant manager had requested Lincoln engineers provide help with the sad robot welds. Eventually the Chrysler plant manager gave up on the Lincoln engineers and his own corporate weld engineer, and requested my assistance. In less than 3 days of robot weld process evaluation on the large robot lines, I came up with a weld process solution to fix all the welding issues. The majority of the weld issues were a result of the Lincoln SS wires,  and complete lack of weld control expertise by all the mangers and engineers involved.

When my resolutions were presented on the root causes to the senior Chrysler management, for self preservation reasons the Chrysler corporate weld engineer declined to admit that he had made at that time a  14 million plus dollar mistake in his selection of the world’s worst weld process and consumables. These are weld wires better suited for farm work.

I recommended to the Chrysler plant manager that to convince the Chrysler corporate engineers of the of the folly of the  poor  process selection, that we do the robot welds with MIG using the same poor fit Neon parts . The plant manager gave permission. I then produced the sample parts. I  provided a 35%  increase in the robot line weld productivity with no weld rework required. I had the parts weld and part strength tested by the largest weld testing agency in Detroit. They reported that the welds and parts met the design requirements and had no defects.

For that lack of ownership Chrysler engineer to accept my weld process changes would have been an indication that he was responsible for the multi-million dollar robot weld issues. He argued against my recommendations with his corporate peers, (this was the blind leading the blind) that changing to MIG process would be a mistake. And the plant was told to back to using the poor SS wires. A few  and a few months with the Neon weld over costs now around 18 million dollars the over-paid Chrysler management team made a gutsy engineering decision. The Neon stampings and the new robot lines  were to be  loaded into trucks and shipped out of sight to a plant in Mexico.

The reason for the robot line shut down and loss of these USA mfg. jobs, was not a result of  cheaper Mexican labor, the reason was the Chrysler management and engineers involved with the project;

[a] lacked the ability to design parts suited for robot MIG  welds,
[b] lacked the ability to build parts to their own design dimension tolerances,
[c] lacked the ability to make rational weld process and consumable decisions,
[d] lacked the ability to establish effective robot weld best practices – process controls.
[e] lacked the ability to stand up to an inexperienced  weld engineer who’s ego and lack of expertise was the root cause of the multi-million dollar issues.
I visited the Mexican plant a year later, the Mexicans were simply manually welding (same lousy SS process)   over every robot weld on the Neon parts. The bottom line  was bad welds on top of bad welds, but the welds were now out of site in that plant  in Mexico. More on the Chrysler Story

Robot norm, “PLAY AROUND” with the weld data.

Hey boss, I  just need an hour or two to “play around: with the weld controls.

As mentioned a million time, no other industry uses more arc welding robots than the global Auto – Truck industry. In my position one time as Weld Manger the largest North American  Robot Mfg, I found the following robot MIG welding facts;.|

Management influenced robot Down Time issues.

Average global “real world” robot MIG weld down time is 40 to 70 minutes per-robot-per-shift. This down time data is often unknown or  not correctly reported or documented by managers. The weld reality is, with weld process control expertise provided to the plant’s weld decision makers, the average robot down time per-shift  should not be more than 15 minutes.

Management influenced robot Weld Rework issues.

Average global robot MIG weld rework per-shift is 25 to 75 %.  The frequent  management solution, hire extra manual welders to repair the robot weld issues.  With weld process control expertise, it should not be more than 5%.

Management influenced robot Weld Rejects issues.

Average robot high volume  weld rejects is 5 to 50% per-shift. Management solution, attain a contract with a local scrap dealer,  hire more manual welders to respond or simply fudge the daily weld reports, With weld process control expertise high volume applications should nor produce more than 2% rejects.

Management influenced robot  Weld Production Efficiency issues.

Average robot weld production efficiency per-shift. 40 to 60% of the real robot weld potential. The management solutions, provide more manual workers, provide overtime, or purchase more robots. Robot MIG production efficiency optimization cannot be maximized without robot weld process controls – best practice expertise.

With the robot MIG process, the robot technician should understand how to optimize four distinct MIG weld transfer modes and how to best utilize those weld modes as weld solutions to robot issues. Understanding the weld modes, the optimum weld consumables and weld / wire parameter,  deposition and weld travel rate ranges, and then matching the best  weld data and the unique practices that robots enable to the specific weld application or problem, is easy to learn. This is a logical expertise for both the robot technicians and and front office weld decision makers who believe in process ownership and when in weld team meetings have an opinion on the robot welds.

The irony  is for something globally that is poorly understood is  it only takes a few dollars and a few hours with my  self teaching / training materials to learn that required WELD  PROCESS CONTROLS & BEST WELD PRACTICE Expertise.


EXPERTISE THAT CAN CREATE EXTENSIVE WELD COST SAVINGS:
The often dramatic robot or manual weld cost savings that I would generate at plants or weld shops would typically take no more than two to three days to implement. In this period, I would also establish the required weld  process controls and the best weld practices that should be in use. Then I would provide one of my  Training Programs. 

THEY LIKED THE RESULTS BUT LACKED INTEREST IN THE RESOLUTIONS: What I thought always thought was ironic in many of the plants that I was requested to provide the weld improvements, was the responsible weld supervisors, managers, engineers or other front office weld decision makers would often show little interest in the weld resolutions that I was providing,  However as I was aware that this was the norm for many weld shops and being a stubborn thick skinned bugger born in Manchester, UK, a city that hates bull shit, I would insist that I would not provide the weld process improvements and the process Training unless the front office decision makers and weld supervision took an interest, and attended the short process improvement training programs.

For weld process controls – best practices to be effective, all those  involved with a plants weld decisions and have an interest in assuming process ownership, will eventually have to walk the same process expertise path as those on the weld shop floor.

From Car – Truck robot welds, or manual Aerospace / Defense product arc welds.  With weld process control expertise, the industry should not be relevant as optimum weld quality is always the first goal and there is only one way to weld with the arc weld process selected.

MIG. FCAW or TIG, I would use the same process control
logic for welds in a Nuclear Plant, as I would in a Car Plant.

It may be 2018, but  STICK or TIG with 1980 specs. and procedures seem to be the way to go.

.

NUCLEAR – OIL – AEROSPACE – POWER – DEFENSE  INDUSTRIES, ALL BENEFIT FROM WELD PROCESS – CONTROLS EXPERTISE.

Over the years Ed now Em has been asked by the following industries to improve their manual,  automated and robot weld quality and productivity. Nuclear, Aerospace, Defense, Oil, Nat Gas, Power, Sub Sea, Ships – Submarines, Frigates, Aircraft Carriers and those thousands of stainless Medical equip applications. Em also was asked to improve the GTAW weld quality on USA Fighter Jets Engine Cast Bodies and welds on the Space Stn and Mars Orion Space Ship.

WHAT A WASTE, MILLIONS OF DOLLARS LOST DAILY  WHEN WELDERS  PUT THE WELDS ON, THEN GRIND THE WELDS & SPATTER OFF.

Lack of management process expertise often means high
grinding wheel costs and unnecessary labor costs.

The auto industry loves fireworks displays which simply point to another MIG weld out of control.


IT’S PATHETIC HOW MANY RELY ON A GRINDER:
In the global weld shops, in which the front office and supervisors lack process control expertise, you will find that a critical tool required is called a GRINDER. In these weld shops, one responsibility for the management, is to ensure that their play around welders do not run out of the never ending, costly, grinding discs that are required. You can be sure in these plants that no one is adding up the costs or accountable for weld rework and weld cleaning..

Unnecessary ship weld repair costs, & poor weld production
is the norm, so it’s easy in this industry to save
millions  of dollars per-ship.

Duplex, Stainless, Nickel, Cu alloys, all easy to weld if you select TIP TIG.

I have been a Weld Manger in a US Ship Yard and advised on Submarine and Navy frigate weld issues in Europe, the US and Canada. The bottom line at all of the facilities that I visited, was I never found a manger or engineer that truly understood the concept of weld process controls, best weld practice requirements. Also in this industry its rare to find a key weld decision maker who has the ability for weld process ownership.

If you were interested in finding the world’s worst quality arc welds, produced always at the highest unnecessary weld costs, I would visit a yard that makes ocean going vessels.

THE GREAT WELD COST MYSTERY IN SHIP YARDS WITH THEIR SIMPLE TWO CONTROL ARC WELD PROCESSES. An Aircraft Carrier may cost 13 billion dollars, but it will be very difficult in the Navy ship yard to find managers or supervisors who could tell you the cost of a common 1/4 (6 mm)  MIG or Flux Cored fillet weld. And you don’t want to ask a silly question such as “what is the the average daily flux cored weld deposition per-welder and what should it be for the yard’s welders?.

It’s clear that for it to run a ship correctly, the Captain must have ownership of his ship. However in a Navy or any Ship Yard, it would be a rare event to find any manager who has real ownership and accountability for the welders and weld processes utilized to build their ships.

Aircraft carrier - the places that typically have the highest ratio of engineers to welders will often be the places where you will often find the highest weld repair costsHow much for over budget weld rework and repair costs,
60 – 80 – 100 + million dollars, and  where was the weld management?


At the NAVY YARD I reduced Ship Weld rework COSTS by 60%. 
In the ship yard that I manged, through implementing my flux cored process control – best practice training program, and by educating the German amd US management, engineers and supervisors who were stuck in a 1970s STICK weld Time Warp, I reduced the ship flux cored weld rework costs by sixty percent,  and that represented millions of dollars in savings per-ship.

I know its easy to criticize the ship building industry,  but the weld reality as I did at numerous locations, is it would take me less than two hours at most facilities that weld to prove that daily the facility does not even come close to their weld quality and productivity potential. And this potential is readily attained with the right training program.

Over the last three decades I created the required MIG – FCAW – TIG and TIP TIG weld process control – best practice training or self teaching resources. I then made the costs of those resources very  low (< $300) at prices  so that even the most tight fisted manager would only grumble a little about paying this exorbitant weld process control training costs. And to improve all code quality and alloy welds, I also bought the TIP TIG process to North America and Australia.


CLAD MIG WELDS.

Complex ASME  Boiler Water Wall. alloy Clad weld applications typically benefit from high MIG deposition, that enable high travel rates, and low energy welds that will enable low weld dilution. In contrast to the MIG spray mode, this is a pulsed MIG benefit.

Clad MIG welds is one of few MIG application that can be optimized with dramatic cost savings when Pulsed MIG is used. When higher clad weld quality is required a weld shop should be considering TIP TIG. Both of these applications of course also benefits from MIG and TIP TIG weld process control  – best practice expertise:

ASME quality clad MIG welds on Water Wall Boilers.

When Ed established his patented Pulsed MIG method for the above automated, Water Wall Clad welds, of course he produced single pass welds with complete dilution control and high deposition rates that generated major weld and boiler cost benefits.

As the Weld Manager at WSI (Aquilex) Atlanta,  Ed  established a Pulsed MIG  Stainless and Inconel Clad Patent. WSI is the world’s largest cladding producer for Water Wall Boilers, they were at that time using more than a million pounds of weld wire annualy.  Take a close look below at Ed’s untouched Pulsed MIG, vertical, water wall, clad welds attaining less than 7% weld dilution per-single weld pass.

Ed’s Pulsed MIG Patent. 16 lb/hr, Single pass
less than 7% dilution. Welds untouched.

 Cladding Boiler Water Walls. Ed’s clad patent. The global power industry had never seen this uniform, consistent MIG quality with the cost savings.

The above  clad welds would cover large water wall boiler areas typically from 1000 to 5000 sq/feet. To get the required single pass clad  welds with more than 20% chrome content in a single weld pass, it was important that the clad weld  must achieve less than 7% single pass weld dilution.

Read how in the nineteen nineties. Ed’s USA – Europe “Pulsed MIG Overlay Clad Weld Patent” improved global boiler, water wall, clad weld quality. The clad patent produced for WSI (Aquilex) Atlanta, reduced the global, boiler wall clad weld Inconel & Stainless consumable costs by  a minimum of 25%. The superior, uniform weld quality with excellant weld pass tie -ins reduced weld defects and the higher weld speeds reduced clad weld shrinkage stresses helping increased boiler life longevity. I utilized a pulsed MIG program and then created a program suited to high deposition cladding


What is not necessary in most weld shops.

[] Is complex, costly Pulsed MIG equipment for common steel and alloy steel welds.
[] Three part MIG gas mixes, or any mixes that contain oxygen or helium.
[] Metal cored weld wires, never seen a metal cored weld I cant produce with a lower cost MIG wire.
[] Most of the common weld rework,  weld rejects, weld clean up, or distortion concerns.

WELD COST SAVINGS CAN BE EXTRAORDINARY: Over the last four decades,  in the numerous global plants that I provided weld resolutions for, I readily generated over 250 million dollars in arc weld quality – productivity improvements, and those are savings that usually continue for years.

DIVERSE APPLICATIONS BENEFIT FROM PROCESS – APPLICATIONS EXPERTISE. With robot arc welds, I was requested by companies such as GM, TOWER, DANA, MAGNA, TOYOTA, VW, HONDA, CHRYSLER, FORD, HARLEY, MERCEDES & numerous others to assist them with their robot weld quality – productivity issues. I have also managed Ship Yards advised on weld repairs on submarines, Aircraft Carriers, Navy Frigates, in Nuclear plants  and welds on the future  Mars spacecraft and the Space Stn.  It did not matter what the code utilized, the arc process used or the weld application was, the first thing that I would focus on, well you know what.

WELD PSYCHOLOGY 101: Try this. Have a chat with your wife or girlfriend about welding and while chatting look closely at their eyes. Then chat with the front office mfg. management about the never ending weld department issues,  and in the majority of instances you will note the same glazed look:

Every weld shop should ask this simple question.
Who has the weld Process Ownership?

Administration and management need to take responsibility for weld quality, too.Forget all that other ISO and lean mfg. BS, and in 2018 why not try a new mfg approach to weld optimization. Its called Management Weld Process Ownership & Accountability through weld process control expertise and best weld practices.

If you actually want to learn about MIG – Flux Core – TIG – Tip Tig weld process controls and best weld practices click here.


Big or small, high or low weld volume, a
 screwed up MIG weld COSTS MONEY.  The photo below shows the robot MIG parameters are not close to optimum. It would take 5 minutes to fix this weld issues, but then you would have to have a little process expertise.  This robot will continue to make poor quality welds till l someone in the front office wakes up to the expertise required by them and their shop floor employees.

Usual robot MIG fire works display, shows incorrect volts.

The robot MIG parameters are not optimumWeld voltage is an  easiy parameter to understand and adjust. If the robot tech does not  know how to set he correct weld voltage, why would that technician be allowed to set and adjust any welds in any costly robot cell?

A pathetic engineering statement for an important global industry.

“Too often a weld SALES REP” will have more process ownership and  influence on a companies weld shop decisions, than the primary weld decision makers that run the weld shop.

A pathetic engineering practice in an important global industry.

Why are you guys still playing around with those weld controls?
You must have heard these remarks before, “I have been a skilled welder for more than 30 years, and if I don’t have to know a weld setting, I  just “play around” with the weld controls.

A pathetic approach to engineering evolutions.

Why should we learn something new and change the way we do things? after all “this is the way we have always done It”.

In contrast to the industries which primarily use the MIG and Flux Cored process, there are the industries or weld shops that will daily strive to deliver the highest possible weld quality with every weld they produce. These weld shops will often turn to TIG (GTAW) and the SMAW (STICK) process. These two older weld processes have something in common in that they both use a Constant Current (CC) power source that has one single prime weld control. Amps Up – Amps Down.

If you wanted to write a book on management – engineering weld process control apathy and ignorance, after visiting the Auto – Truck plants and Ship Yards, then make a tour of  Oil – Gas – Power industry facilities.


2018 The Oil – Gas – Power industry
still stuck in the 1960’s.

Many Oil – Chemical Ind. engineers will know how to inspect weld quality,  but few will have the arc process controls – best weld practice expertise that’s required for their company to consistently attain the best possible weld quality with the lowest weld costs.

 While the high tech industries demand high weld quality you will find in their front offices and pipe – vessel weld departments, the prevailing lack of MIG – Flux Cored and now TIP TIG weld process control and best practice expertise.

Yes all high tech industries will have weld QA departments that like most will focus on finding rather preventing weld defects. The majority of  QA AWS weld inspection personnel will have the ability to evaluate the quality of the weld, while few will have the weld process controls – best weld practice expertise to ensure consistent, uniform weld optimization.

It’s sad when the managers & engineers in the high tech industries have to leave their weld optimization, weld productivity & eventual weld evolution to those on the weld shop floors.

                                     Can you count the weld safety infractions?

If you are a process expert, have a go with
some of the MIG – FCAW  questions below.

E Craig’s MIG Weld Process Controls Test.

E Craig’s Flux Cored Process Controls Test.

This site was established around 1998 and this is only the home page. If you take the time you will find many logical weld solutions and also the WELD PROCESS – BEST PRACTICE PROGRAMS that can enable front office and weld shop weld decision makers to take complete WELD OWNERSHIP.

The bottom line is this site provides the weld industry with the MIG – TIG – TIP TIG and Flux Cored process control resources required for process optimization, the lowest weld costs and to reduce their weld liability concerns. Lets face it, who wants to watch experienced weld personnel PLAYING AROUND with their weld equipment controls. Click here for your weld process optimization materials

With Ed the weld application did not matter.

Ed repairing Textron (Florida mfg.) Stingray Tanks in Thailand

Ed managing Textron Stingray Armoured Tank weld repairs in Thailand.

Textron Marine and Land Systems management, engineers and supervisors did not do their  job, and extensive weld repairs were required. Textron corporate management requested I go to Thailand and manage the necessary MIG and flux cored weld repairs on their 270K Tensile, Stingray,  Armoured Tanks.
I spent many months in Thailand managing the numerous tank repairs and also training the Thai Army,  (soldiers that had never MIG or flux cored welded) on how to do provide optimum MIG and Flux Cored weld repairs on the highly crack sensitive steels.

At the Thai army facility, after ten days of my MIG and flux cored  weld process control – best practice training program, the  Thai solders produced MIG and flux cored weld quality that was superior to that achieved by the welders  (who lacked and still lack process control training) at the Florida facility that built the Tanks.

From the manual Stingray Tank welds to optimizing the robot Frame welds on the world’s largest selling Ford F-150 trucks. From establishing the robot welds on Harley and Indian bikes, or resolving weld issues on Spacecraft  or Air Craft Carriers, for me  the application was not that relevant,  it was always about the process control and best weld practice requirements necessary to control the weld pool and then passing that expertise in a simple manner to the different plants.  My training – self-teaching Resources, are now in use by more than 3000 companies in 27 countries.

One of my MIG - Flux Cored Weld Process work shops in Cleveland Ohio

 Providing hands on for weld shop personnel or as above providing weld seminars in different countries, they would come from around the globe to learn to take ownership of their welds.

Photo above: Ed providing a MIG / Flux Cored Weld Process Control work shop in Cleveland Ohio. Sixty weld decision makers attended this workshop. They came from companies located as far away as China, Brazil and Australia,. These seminar participants (mostly weld shop owners and ,managers came to learn the process ownership requirements and the extensive weld quality, costs benefits that they could attain from MIG – Flux Cored – GTAW  and TIP TIG Weld Process Controls – Best Weld Practices.


Global Weld Education, a C+

Universities  & Community Colleges that provide weld programs typically don’t have educators who are experienced with manual – robot  MIG – Flux Cored Weld Process Controls – Best Weld Practices.

It’s an ironic point, that the students who take welding courses will take programs that last months or a year or two, and weld engineers will typically take a 4 year program, and yet when these weld professionals  graduate and go for a job, they will end up “playing around” with their MIG and flux cored weld controls

There are very few global Community Colleges, Trade Schools. Universities and other trade training facilities that have ever provided a MIG or Flux Cored, Weld Process Controls – Best Weld Practice education, and in 2017, I doubt there are few global educational facilities anywhere that are providing an effective robot weld process control – best practice program.

NOTE: It should typically take between 7 and 10 days to teach someone who has never MIG or Flux Cored welded, the weld process expertise, best weld practices and the required welder skills that are necessary to pass  any code, all position, welder qualification test.  I have provided this training many times and my training resources will show you how.  My first time welder qualification PASS RATE has been > 95%.

TOO MANY GLOBAL MANAGERS SEARCH FOR A
CRUTCH THAT THEY BELIEVE COULD BE THE MAGIC RESOLUTION FOR THEIR  DAILY WELD SHOP ISSUES?

GLOBAL MANAGERS SEARCH FOR A CRUTCH THAT THEY BELIEVE COULD BE THE MAGIC RESOLUTION FOR THEIR  DAILY WELD SHOP ISSUES

These guys will try anything that the salesman recommends.

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 provides no real value to the weld shops. The electronic MIG weld equipment has certainly  increased profits to both the weld equipment / consumable manufactures and distributors, and wait till you see the cost of the short lived electronic weld equip. repairs.

Its not just the MIG process, welders who have been TIG welding steels and aluminum. for years, yet too many of them and their front office personnel don’t understand the benefits of  Balanced Waves, Hz and Pulsed controls when its provided on their  equipment. Even fewer know about TIP TIG the decade old logical evolution of GTAW.


THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE THE MANAGER OR SUPERVISOR YET  

THEIR  JOB DESCRIPTION COULD BE  “WELD SHOP FIREMAN”.

weld and QA dept. managers and supervisors become firemen

When weld process control – best practice expertise is lacking in a weld department, you will often find that the weld and QA dept. managers, engineers and supervisors become firemen, always trying to quench the weld shop flames but never knowing how to put out the weld shop fires.


If they don’t know about process expertise in the front office,
why should it exist on the weld shop floor?

If the management does not know Weld Process Controls and Best Weld Practices exists for the MIG,  Flux Cored and GTAW process, they and their weld personnel will not be aware of the weld quality, productivity and costs benefits that could be attained. This is the common status for most global weld shops, and when you add robots into this manual weld shop environment you know that robot weld quality or productivity issues are bound to occur.

Should front office personnel have
weld process ownership and accountability?

Process ownership and responsibility need to be clear

Throughout the global weld industry, you will often hear corporate and plant managers complain about having to compete with much lower weld labor costs from other locations or countries. The irony is that the majority of these executives will not be aware of the weld process control & best weld practice expertise that’s lacking within their organization. An expertise that would dramatically reduce their manual or robot weld costs.

Its not just the too common poor weld management, in 2014, 60 million vehicles were recalled in the USA, a pretty staggering figure of engineering ineptitude in a country that prides itself on it’s engineering and mfg. expertise.

Most of the major auto & truck recall defects will typically be the result of a poor decision made by a designer, manager or engineer. It’s anticipated that the latest vehicle recall costs for the auto industry, and the resulting long term law suites that will likely result could be some where between 10 to 20 billion dollars. The resulting 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 Manufacturing Standards.


How does your company
define robot weld process optimization?

If front office weld decision makers are not aware how to attain the maximum quality, productivity potential, then the robots will daily under perform. One for solution for these managers will be to purchase more robots and create more weld issues. 


At your facility, who is

responsible for  
process optimization?

Weld ownership and accountability

This manager would be a rare find.

The too common corporate & plant
management weld process apathy.

In the auto – truck industry, and in other large industries that have “multi-plant” weld / mfg. facilities, you will frequently find both corporate and plant manufacturing managers that operate their business from their office computers and I-Phones. Unfortunately from a weld perspective, few of the responsible corporate and plant managers will comprehend the manual and robot weld process controls – best practice expertise that’s required for the responsible personnel in their plants. This is the way it’s been for the 50 years that I have been in this business.

The good news for management, engineers and supervisors that have an interest, is that the arc weld process and best weld practice expertise required is simple to learn. For three decades, I have driven myself to simplify the process control training programs making it super easy to learn the weld optimization requirements for either the manual or robot,  MIG, flux cored, TIG and TIP TIG weld processes.

POOR JOB DESCRIPTIONS
in any plant would point to what?

The caliber and qualifications  of weld management will often be revealed in the plant’s job descriptions that they 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 daily work with the manual or robot arc welding processes.

Another out of control robot MIG weld,
what a sad waste of time and money.

 An enlightening thought for managers and supervisors. Figure out the human weld process expertise requirements, and then you will be able optimize the robot weld results.


Robot weld technicians wanted:
 Mangers will often request that to run their MIG welding robots, they will need to hire another robot technician. And informs the HR manager that apart from robot programming expertise, which typically can be learnt over a 5 – 10  day period at the robot mfg, facility, the robot technician must also show a back ground as an experienced “skilled welder” and it would be good if they had an  AWS certificate. The reality is none of these requirements will provide the arc weld process control – best weld practice expertise required for robot arc weld quality – productivity optimization.

A few reasons for poor and inconsistent
robot MIG weld results;

  • The lack of management – engineer awareness of the real robot weld productivity potential for the welds and parts produced.
  • The lack of management – engineering knowledge about the manpower requirements and the importance of the weld process controls and best weld practice expertise.
  • Lacking the ability  to reduce the common robot cell down time that occurs each shift. In many plants 30 to 60 minutes per-robot each shift is the norm.
  • The too common poor engineering – mfg. practices that deliver robot welded parts that are not in accordance with the part design tolerances.
  •  Few designers understand the weld processes they recommend to weld their parts, and the frequent poor design of robot welded parts is all the evidence you will need on that subject.
  • Poor fixture design from job shops that don’t understand either the robots or the weld process requirements.
  • The selection of robot / weld equipment in the cell that contains useless bells and whistles, or the lack of utilization of the best possible weld equipment and consumables.
  • Poor robot cell maintenance.
  • Unqualified maintenance personnel and others daily making poor weld changes to so called qualified welds.
  • Robot cell purchase orders that lack the appropriate weld automation demands that can ensure the daily robot weld production / quality goals are met .
MIG, FLUX CORED, TIG OR TIP TIG. Manual or Robot Weld
Process  Controls & Best  Weld Practices TRAINING
in Asheville NC. or maybe at your facility.

Ed knows all about change, at age 68 he changed to a she in 2013. By the way to teach how get minimize weld spatter,  she first creates the spatter  then shows the weld personnel how to eliminate it.


Want to teach your self or train others?


The following are ways to get my Manual – Robot Weld Process Controls & Best Weld Practice Training and Self Teaching Programs.

[1] You can order one of my easy to learn, simple to teach weld process control  programs & have your personnel provide the training.

[2] You can request that I provide a customized a manual or robot training and weld optimization program at your location, (weather permitting). I can be the catalyst for change for your company and in a week turn around any weld department, optimize any applications and provide any organization with the weld expertise and training programs that they require. Call a salesman, or call Em.. 828 337 2695.

[3] Also if you wish, you can use my expertise by making me a phone in member involved in your weld discussions or weld team meetings. Call Em.. 828 337 2695.

One Popular Seminar I provide.

” How to manage a weld shop to daily ensure maximum Robot or Manual MIG, Flux Cored, TIG or TIP TIG weld quality and productivity is attained, always of course at the lowest possible weld costs” 

MY TRAINING PROGRAM BENEFITS.:

  • Extensive weld cost savings will be found in any weld department in which manual weld personnel and robot technicians no longer have to play around with their MIG and flux cored weld controls.
  • Extensive weld cost savings are generated in any weld department when weld processes, weld consumables, weld transfer modes, weld deposition potential and weld costs are understood by those that operate the weld equip. and front office weld decision makers.
  • Extensive weld cost savings will be generated when the manual / robot weld quality is consistently optimized, weld rejects and rework are reduced, and the prevention of weld defects is understood.
  • Extensive MIG weld equipment and consumables cost reductions are enabled in weld departments in which the weld decision makers no longer rely on weld sales reps for weld advice. These cost benefits will be many.
  • Extensive savings are generated when a  company does not need to purchase costly pulsed MIG equipment that’s typically loaded with useless electronic bells and whistles. Or purchase useless three part gas mixes or costly metal cored wires variety of different gas mixes.
  • The weld decision maker will dramatically reduce weld fumes and weld grinding enabling a cleaner safer environment and also reduce the requirements for grinding wheels & discs.

For more info. Emily Craig. 828 337 2695. E-Mail ecraig@weldreality.com.

If you feel your weld personnel are where they need to be with process expertise, buy them a pizza one lunch time and give them one of the following weld quiz.

Ed’s MIG Weld Process Controls & Best Practice Quiz.

Ed’s Flux Cored Weld Process Control & Best Weld Practice Test

A Moment on WELD COSTS.

 Weld cost formulas are often made to be complex. The reality is if it takes anyone more than 5 minutes to work out the cost of any of their MIG, Flux Cored or TIG welds, they simply lack weld process control expertise.

 

Global weld shops will rarely gives a thought to the subject of MIG, flux cored or TIG weld COSTS, and the front office weld cost focus will often be on the costs of the weld consumables daily utilized, consumables such as the MIG or flux cored weld wires, gas mixes, or grinding wheels.

In the majority of weld shops, the management and supervision focus will rarely be on weld deposition rate goals, a subject that requires process expertise, a subject that is one of the prime factors in controlling weld costs.

While lack of arc weld cost focus is the norm for the global weld industry, it’s also something that if addressed can enable an opportunity for management and supervision, to create a new path in providing extensive weld cost reductions & increased weld profits. 

WELD COSTS FACT: In North America in 2018, the typical arc weld consumable cost accounts for only approx. 15 to 18% of the actual daily weld costs, the other factors that control weld costs are overhead and labor costs. As weld shop decision makers usually can not control their companies overhead, their focus should be on how much weld per-hour can the welder deposit.

If front office personnel are not aware of their typical weld deposition rates for the common welds produced 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 could be attainable from the weld shop.

  • SIMPLE MIG WELD COST RELATED QUESTION: In a typical manufacturing environment in which MIG welders are employed welding materials 1/8 to 1 inch, how much approx. weld will they deposit in a 8 hour shift?
  • SIMPLE FLUX CORED WELD COST RELATED QUESTION: In a typical ship yard that produces Navy Frigates, how much approx. flux cored weld should the average welder deposit in a 8 hour shift?
  • SIMPLE TIG WELD COST RELATED QUESTION: In a typical manufacturing environment in which the prime welders are TIG welders, how much approx. weld will  they be depositing in a 8 hour shift.
    Withe my process control programs questions like this are simple.
If weld & fabrication management would wake up,the value of that AWS weld inspector could be dramatically increased.

 Every company should be aware of the negative effects on profits generated by weld rework and part rejects. So what is the value of an AWS – CWI weld inspector, if they are only capable of revealing and documenting weld defects rather than having the weld process control expertise, (takes a few hours to learn) so that they can actually be aware of the weld process and best weld practices that could help prevent those costly weld defects.

I trained all the personnel in the weld shops I was involved with to be weld processes – best practice experts. The shop weld decision makers and welders could then provide welds that reduced the potential for the formation of  costly weld defects and rework. Also I trained the welders to maximize their weld deposition rates how to be their own visual weld inspectors so the welds they were responsible for would not require surface weld rework.


MIG WELD POWER SOURCE LOGIC.

The Delta Weld, perhaps the best MIG Power Source ever made.

Note: In the 1990’s, while I was the Weld Manager for the North American ABB Robot Weld Div, Miller Electric senior executives informed ABB management that they wanted to stop selling their popular Delta Weld 450A CV. MIG power units. By the way, my previous discussions with the Miller executives led me to believe while their company made excellent weld equipment these guys knew little about MIG weld characteristics and wire feed relationships. There complaint was on the their costs required  to build this unit.

Please note: I got to talk to the major Power Source mfg. big wigs,  as at one time I was either the USA or Canadian weld equipment and consumables Marketing Manager or Training mgr. at  Airgas,  AGA,  Praxair, and Liquid Carbonic. At these companies part of my role was to test weld equip and consumables from manufacturers around the world. Those that have an interest in this subject will find much to read in my MIG equip. and consumables section.

The WORLD’S  BEST MIG POWER SOURCE:  The Miller Delta Weld has been for decades and still is in 2018, the best available global MIG power source.  I evaluated MIG weld equipment from 20 countries, and for decades when I visited different companies that were having MIG weld problems, I would too frequently discover that the MIG equipment was a part of the root cause of the manual or robot issues. Often if it was possible I  would ask the local Miller rep to make a Delta Weld available for my work shops. With the Delta Weld I would then show the weld shop what a combination of MIG weld  process expertise and an optimum MIG power source and consumables could produce.

Back to ABB Robots and the Delta Weld. The ABB Robot Arc Weld division had been highly successful with thousands of robot arc cells and the Delta Weld power source. The Delta Weld had the ideal slope output for all steels and alloy steel, MIG and flux cored weld applications. The unit was also well priced and very durable. If power source repairs were required, you did not need to be an electronic engineer to repair the unit.  As the Delta Weld  was not primarily an electronic MIG power source, the Delta Weld was sold with a separate electrical robot interface, which also also easy to repair. With the separate interface, it was easy to identify when there was  a power source or interface problem.

ABB Robot USA was a very large customer for Miller. The Miller executives informed myself and ABB that they wished we would convert to their much inferior electronic Inverters such as the Miller  Invision or Maxtron MIG power sources. These two units as well as MIG Inverters from Motoman, Lincoln, Esab and Panasonic were responsible for numerous, costly manual and robot weld issues at weld companies who’s management were in reality rarely aware that their new costly MIG  Inverters were one of  root causes of their daily weld shop issues. Remember these are the same managers who would typically  blame their welders or the robots for all the the weld shop problems.

I advised the ABB CEO to inform Miller that if we had to stop using their CV Miller Delta Weld equip for their unstable, erratic, poor performing Invision or Maxtron units, then we at ABB would likely have to look to another MIG equipment manufacturer to supply with our robot MIG cells. Miller management ignored our input and ignored the information that I had compiled on their Inverter issues. It’s interesting to note that over three decade, of me finding and reporting hundreds of weld equipment design issues,  that  I never heard of one major weld equip. mfg. MIG power source  recall for there poor  performing electronic weld equipment, I guess they figured out that very few of their customers could figure out that the weld equip was causing weld issues.

Need more info on this subject, visit my Pulsed MIG equipment and robot sections at this site and take note of the numerous weld issues generated from most of the prime manufacturers  of pulsed MIG equipment in this time period.

At one time this company was the world’s best robot arc welding tier one  auto – truck parts parts supplier:  In the 1990’s, while ABB was one of the world’s prime source for robot arc welding cells to the auto – truck and other industries, their was a tier one company called A.O.Smith. With over 1200 ABB robots in their plants, this companies managers, engineers and myself were well aware of the relevance of MIG weld process controls and best weld practice expertise for their robot weld technicians, (this was and still is in 2018 a unique management attribute).  I was requested by A.O.Smith management to provide process expertise and my robot process program for  their robot personnel.

The A.O. Smith senior weld engineer and myself were also aware of what MIG power source had the optimum MIG arc characteristics for their robot steel applications. The Delta Weld was the perfect MIG power source.  In 2018 more than 20 years after this company was sold,  no other Tier One company has come near to the robot weld quality – production achievements attained at A.O.Smith. And while it may be considered old fashioned, in  a 30 minute demo in 2018, I could show why the the Delta Weld is still the world’s best  MIG power source available for manual and automated steel and alloy steel  MIG welds.

It can be this simple to produce
optimum MIG welds.

In the 1990s, my robot weld process controls and best practices was used to make these 3/8, (10 mm) single pass, “untouched” robot fillet welds using a regular CV MIG unit and consumables. No power source bells and whistles. No magic three part gas mixes. No costly Cored Wires.


Optimum Gas Shielded Flux Cored welds & MIG power source considerations.  The majority of gas shielded flux cored weld consumables used in 2018, were developed decades ago and their weld ability was tested on traditional CV MIG equipment that has an ideal slope (volt amp curve), a slope that has stood the test of time for approx. 60 years.

Gas Shielded Flux Cored is an important process that daily accounts for approx. 10 to 15 % of the global welds produced. What many people who make flux cored weld decisions were not aware of when in the last thee decades they selected for their gas shielded flux cored and MIG welds was the following Inverter weld equipment;

[1] Inverter Multi-Process MIG power source.
[2] Inverter MIG power source.
[3] Inverter MIG and  Pulsed mode power source.
Note.. These 3 typically cost more than CV units, are much less durable and much more expensive to repair.

Also and most important, the MIG  Inverter weld power sources typically will provide a steeper MIG slope output than the conventional CV units. Usually with Inverters you will in contrast to traditional CV equipment, at a  given wire feed setting provide less weld current. This means the new Inverter MIG equipment that you just purchased could when welding with Flux Cored or MIG wires, be contributing to less weld fusion, restricting weld deposition and weld speed potential, and the reduced weld energy enables increased slag entrapment and increased porosity potential. Then add the negative Inverter attributes to the arc characteristics generated with the pulsed MIG mode where 50% of the arc on time is at a low back ground current, and hopefully at this stage you are aware that the most important attribute in the MIG weld is the arc energy generated, and that this seems to be the last thing that today’s MIG power source designers seem to give any consideration to.

I have also evaluated MIG gas mixes for decades and i was a key committee , member in writing the AWS MIG Gas Specifications, and the gas weld reality is this. I have never seen a reason to justify the purchase of a three part gas mix for any steels, low alloy steels or for stainless applications. For the worlds most effective MIG gas mixes, you may want to visit my MIG gas section and of course all the weld info you need is in my process control programs.

Note. Four of the two component MIG gas mixes that I developed at Airgas and AGA are now some of the most popular MIG gas mixes sold in North America.

If a company believes it needs a three part MIG gas mix, the front office has been talking to a Salesman.

There are more than 40 gas mixes available for weld shops and as you learn in my training programs there is no more than three required.

It was my job as the Corporate Weld Training & Weld Product or Marketing Manager with USA and Canadian companies such as Praxair,  Airgas, AGA and Liquid Carbonic, to test MIG weld equipment and the MIG and flux cored weld consumables that were available from companies around the globe. Of my 50 years in the welding business, I did  weld equipment and consumable 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 $20,000 for sophisticated Pulsed MIG equipment.

Sophisticated Pulsed MIG units are logical for gauge aluminum and clad welds, otherwise their actual weld benefits are very limited with more negative weld attributes than positive. Of course if you were to ask a weld salesman they will have a different story.

Most weld salesmen would not know a good MIG weld power source if it hit them in their rear end.

In the global weld industry, the bovine fecal matter that daily flows has a lot in common with what is heard in a used car lot.

There is no doubt that as you become more experienced with weld process controls and best weld practice expertise, you will have a greater understanding of how much BS prevails in this global  weld process confused industry. 

For weld shop management that have no wish to waste their potential profits in purchasing the often useless 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, you will find many cost benefits possible for the weld shop.

The greater the amount of electronic bells and whistles, the greater the price they can charge to run current through a weld wire. This has always been an industry in which  Bovine Fecal Matter has more influence than technical data.[/caption]

MIG WELD EQUIPMENT FACT: Before your company wastes thousands of dollars on that new 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. , Purchase 350 to 450 Amp  CV. MIG equipment. This equip should in North America cost approx. $3500 to $5000.

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  will makes you  want to chew more TUMS. 

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 or alloy steels are MIG welded in 2015, any company that has used, or is using “three part gas mixes”, or has or is using mixes with oxygen, 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.


Great design, poor quality and pathetic welds.

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?

Will the poor weld quality on the construction of the Beijing, Birds Nest, Olympic Stadium, mean that one day this unique Birds Nest design will turn into a Spiders Web Trap for  stadium spectators?

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.





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 mfg. welds are made with two weld processes, MIG and Flux Cored. These two weld processes are little changed from the processes that myself and 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. Around 1962 I started MIG welding tractors at Massey Ferguson at a factory in Manchester, UK. where the weld shop management and supervision knew a little about the relatively new MIG Weld Process. I suspect if I visited a John Deere tractor plant in 2018, I would find that most of the managers / supervisors responsible for the welds also know little about MIG process controls – best weld practices.

After my 50 plus years of being in the weld industry, I am running out of time, and yes I do wonder what it will take to get this industry to wake up realize that there is much more to arc welds than that provided by the “welder’s skills.”

Other industries usually 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. Want to test your process expertise?

Ed’s Flux Cored Process Controls Test.

Reminder dumb robots always need
optimum weld process data.

Robot MIG Weld Process Controls Program.

It makes little sense, why any company that takes pride in it’s level of engineering, manufacturing and weld expertise, to spend thousands and sometimes millions of dollars on robot cells or lines and the related weld equipment and fixtures, and then would want to let inexperienced managers, engineers and supervisors scratch their heads and rear ends when robot weld quality – productivity issues occur.

Sad lack of manual weld process expertise.

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 the sparks are being generated. What the weld decision makers are often not aware is, that welder working hard can weld a vertical up flux cored 1/4 fillet at 4 – 6 lb/hr, or with a little process control expertise, set the same fillet weld with the wire feed set to deliver 8 -10 lb/hr. Or there could be 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 (without spatter) in the range of 12 to 15 lb/hr.

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, there is a solution and its a simple one.

My unique, low cost, self teaching or 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.

Reminder, there is a simple low cost solution to the global lack of manual – robot Weld Process Control – Best Weld Practice expertise. Over three decades, I developed the world’s most simple, self teaching / training MIG – Flux Cored weld process control – best practice programs for both manual and robot welds.

With my simple weld Clock Method, the self teaching or training program enables persons with or without MIG – FCAW – TIG and TIP TIG  expertise, within a few hours to have the ability and expertise without taking notes to attain the best possible arc weld quality and productivity.

With Process Expertise
the solution is simple.

The regular touted global shortage of MIG and Flux Cored welders, has always been ridiculous and simply points to the lack of weld shop expertise.

Pick up a weld magazine in any industrialized country, and you may read about how some mfg. executive or plant manager is concerned about the 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 mfg. MIG welds on construction, food processing or farm equipment parts. The welder must pass an AWS weld test.

Company [B] is a job shop looking for welders to weld chemical tanks and pipe welds using the flux cored and TIG process. The welders must pass an ASME Sect 1V. 5G. welder qualification test.

Company [C] is a ship yard has a large MIG or flux cored weld project coming up. They need to hire many more welders. In the past when the welders have taken this companies welder qualification test, typically one or two out of every ten welders tested will pass the welder qualification tests.

Welder qualification costs are expensive and most of those that pass the welder test will lack the weld process control – best weld practice expertise that’s necessary to consistently produce optimum 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, (difficult)  people with a good work attitude, and then by providing my process control training programs, and hands on training recommendations, with these individuals,  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.

WHY MY TRAINING IS DIFFERENT.. Those going through my arc process training programs would have the capability to set and fine tune optimum weld parameters, and using my best weld practices and techniques would quickly have the requirements to meet any global weld code / specification requirements.

Of course these same companies could also have the trainees or weld personnel attend the usual local weld training establishment and after six months of costly, wasted effort, they would find that the new welders have a few skills, (often not optimum) and also the weld personnel would  typically  still “play around” with their arc weld controls.

TEACH THEM TO PASS THE TEST…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 welder testing and weld coupon evaluation, they first 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 .


As you examine this photo please be aware that if you had purchased my flux cored process control program, you would instantly be aware of the root cause, and also you would have applied the process controls that would have prevented this problem.


A SAD GLOBAL WELD REALITY…If NDT was applied to all global MIG and Flux Cored welds, approx. 60 to 80 % of the welds would have internal weld defects that are not considered acceptable to any weld code requirements.

I suppose most weld shop managers and supervisors are relieved that the majority of their welds will not require “internal weld evaluation” However from a safety and product liability perspective they should always have concerns. Also as no additional weld costs are required for the best weld quality and productivity, you would think weld shops would be passionate about attaining the best  possible weld results

CODE WELDS?  Code welds that has fail or have costly weld defects, will be welds that were supposed to be made with  pre-qualified welders and procedures and so called skilled welders.

With most code weld defects the the management / supervision focus is often on the skills of the person who made the welds. when often the root cause that its the lack of process training provided, or the poor, inadequate weld procedures or the weld process and consumables provided that are the root cause of the defects.

This North American ship’s weld joint was considered acceptable, by engineers.

WELD VARIABLES: Management and welders response to variables is an important management and welder’s function. I  always find it interesting in the weld shops I visited, to watch both the managements and  welders response to the numerous variables that daily affect the weld quality and productivity. For example a visit to most ship yards and watch the management sitting in their heated office while the welders in open winter environment are requested to put NDT quality welds gas shielded flux cored welds on parts that are often poorly prepared, have excess gaps and the weld process is open to the elements. Not only do the poor welds preps dramatically add to weld defects, the increased weld gaps on the high strength steels means more weld passes, more weld heat, larger weld Heat Affected Zones resulting in reduction in the ships weld joints yield strength. The extra weld passes also typically dramatically add to the  weld costs and  increase the weld repair potential.

Then go to a plant where they make auto – trucks and golf parts and watch the management and engineers yawn as you discuss the consequences of weld gaps on robot thin gauge MIG welds.

Ships or golf carts, poor weld management is poor management.

Ed was the weld manager at this ship yard and he used to drive around on a golf cart in which he had also optimized the robot welds.

WELDERS RESPONSE TO VARIABLES..Apart from the welders “playing around” with their MIG or Flux Cored weld controls, how would the weld personnel in your shop, respond to the following?;

[] welds with too small or excess root gaps,
[] welds with joint misalignment,
[] welds with poor weld edge preparation,
[] welds with poor weld joint access,
[] difficult out of position welds,
[] welds on unacceptable surface conditions,
[] welds with undercut,
[] welds with crater problems,
[] welds that are causing distortion,
[] welds that are creating cracks, lack of fusion, porosity or spatter,
[] and lets not forget, the influence of welds that are made in changing environmental conditions.

A WELD REALITY: One Canadian ship yard that i visited that built Navy Frigates, allowed its welders to use one set of parameters on their MIG equipment to make any MIG or flux cored welds. This was madness.

Weld power sources allow parameter adjustments. Few weld shops have ever provided their weld personnel with the process control – best practice training necessary to correctly respond with wire feed / voltages changes to the weld variables that daily effect the weld quality or productivity.

If you are a weld shop decision maker and you want to create cost effective changes in the weld shop, you have these two simple options;

[1] Get advice from another weld salesman.

[2] Or use the unique manual / robot MIG and flux cored weld process control training resources. available at this site.

The following is in the HOME PAGE Section 2.

[] View the best inconel, stainless, pulsed MIG “clad” welds that have ever been made in North America.

[] Find out why companies should not be using Self Shielded flux cored wires, when they want to attain quality welds and good mechanical properties.

[] If you have any sense you don’t make MIG welds like most Japanese auto manufacturing companies.

[] Find out the requirements for an effective robot weld team.

[] This North American car parts plant was unusual. I found two managers that showed an interested in the requirements necessary for optimum robot weld quality – productivity.

[] Find out why the Chrysler corporate management lost over 20 million dollars from bad welds on one easy to weld part.

[] Why the big three wastes millions of dollars each year for welder training.

[] How an oil company figured out how to wean its supplier pipe shops of stick welding.

Home Page. Section. 2.

Please don’t leave this site without checking Ed’s MIG- Flux Cored
best weld practices and weld process controls resources.