MIG Short Circuit Weld Best Practice and Weld Process Controls for thin parts, gaps and root welds MIG Spray Transfer Weld Process Controls for welds on parts thicker than 3mm Pulsed MIG Weld Process Controls MIG Equipment - Consumables Evaluation MIG Gas Mix. Information without salesmanship Robot MIG Technician Tips Robot MIG Management Tips MIG weld Duplex - Alum - Stain and all Alloys Flux Core Pipe and Plate Weld Process Controls Flux Cored Weld Problems. Pipe Lines, Ship Yards, Tanks, Pressure Vessels and Construction Projects Self Shielded Flux Cored Weld Issues TIG - GTAW Weld Tips TIG - GTAW Weld Tips Oxy - Fuel Cutting Data Bad Weld Sections, General Industry Bad Weld Section, Auto & Truck Industry
All Weld Programs Ed's Process Control Training Resources Who is Ed Craig?
Advanced TIP TIG Welding

At www.tiptigusa.com, you will find a weld process that always produces superior weld quality than TIG, and is 100 to 500% faster.

Welcome to the world's largest web site on MIG , Flux Cored and TIG. Weld Process Controls & Best Weld Practices. To get to the root cause of MIG & Flux Cored weld issues, requires Weld Process Controls & Best Weld Practice expertise, & lots of weld reality. The site provides the MIG - Flux Cored and TIG weld information and data required to attain the highest possible manual and robot weld quality, always at the lowest possible weld costs.

This web provides the personnel views of Ed Craig. The site was established in 1997. Contact ecraig@weldreality.com

 

Weld Reality Home Page 2.
Page one is Here.



THERE SHOULD BE LESS CONCERNS FOR MIG & FLUX CORED WELD PRODUCTIVITY, QUALITY, REWORK, REJECTS, RECALLS AND LIABILITY ISSUES, WHEN THE PROCESS CONTROLS & BEST PRACTICES AVAILABLE AT THIS WEB SITE ARE IMPLEMENTED.






Please refresh this page as updates are frequent:

View all weld programs at weldreality.com

 

 

 


ALL COMPLEX WELD APPLICATIONS ARE SIMPLIFIED WITH WELD PROCESS CONTROL EXPERTISE:

Read how in the nineteen nineties. Ed's USA - Europe "Pulsed MIG Overlay Clad Weld Patent" which he developed for WSI (Aquilex) Atlanta, dramatically improved global boiler, water wall, clad weld quality. The new weld cladding dramatically reduced the global, boiler wall clad weld (inconel - stainless) costs, and increased the boiler life longevity, click here.


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AN INDICATION OF MIG WELD PROCESS CONTROL EXPERTISE WILL BE EVIDENT WITH WELDS THAT HAVE ATTAINED BOTH THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE WELD QUALITY WITH THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE WELD DEPOSITION RATES:

Ed's untouched Boiler Water Wall Clad Welds:

Take a close look at my 's untouched pulsed MIG, vertical position,
inconel, single pass, water wall, clad welds. The clad welds would many times cover large water wall boiler areas > 2000 sq/feet, and the single layer welds would always when tested indicate less than 7% dilution. This single pass, low dilution weld would acheive > 20% chrome. The " untouched", spatter free, single MIG torch weld deposition rate, was approx. 15 - 16 lb/hr.


REMEMBER INCREASING WELD DEPOSITION RATES INFLUENCES THE ATTAINABLE WELD SPEEDS. INCREASING WELD SPEEDS IS USUALLY THE MOST LOGICAL METHOD TO REDUCE WELD HEAT AND DILUTION. THE MAJORITY OF ALL WELD APPLICATIONS, ESPECIALLY ALLOY WELDS, TYPICALLY BENEFIT FROM ATTAINING THE LOWEST POSSIBLE WELD HEAT.




THE GENERAL MANAGEMENT CONFUSION ABOUT "WELDER SKILLS" AND WELD PROCESS CONTROL EXPERTISE: When I am explaining to management or engineers why their personnel need Weld Process Control Training, a common response is, our guys dont need that as "most of the welders are highly skilled" and some have been welding for two decades. They say this while they daily watch them play around with their weld controls..

Most managers, engineers and supervisors are simply not aware that manual welder skills has little influence on attaining consistent, optimum, manual and robot weld quality and productivity. You do not want to ask those exp manual welders to provide you with the weld data that a robot requires to make a common weld.

Optimum manual - robot welds are established through the primary weld decision maker's Best Weld Practices & Weld Process Controls Expertise. This is the expertise that I have taught for decades. This is the expertise that as of 2014, is still not taught in any global University or College that teaches Weld - Mechanical Engineers and Technicians. It's an expertise that since the nineteen nineties has been available at this web site.
Ed's Best Weld Practices - Weld Process Control Resources.

The following are a few of the companies that I generated dramatic weld cost reductions through manual / robot weld process optimization.

 



Ed optimized the above and many more robot - manual MIG applications.

 

A FEW OF ED'S APPLICATIONS: Harley - GM - Corvette - Volvo - Ford / Chrysler - Subaru - Volkswagen - Mercedes - Honda - GE - ABB-Westinghouse - Babcock - Textron - General Dynamics - Imperial Oil - Combustion Engineering - Hydro Aluminum - Hayes Lemmerz - Fruehauf Trailers - Case - Club Car - Genie - Sky Track - Manatowic - John Deere - Caterpillar - Johnson Controls - Monroe.

With the common weld processes such as MIG, Flux Cored and SMAW, and the ever increasing, extraordinary amount of costly poor weld quality that is produced daily, the potential for catastrophic
failures and product liability issues dramatically increases each year.



2013: In the industries that utilize the MIG and flux cored weld processes, hundreds of millions of dollars are daily spent on unnecessary NDT costs, weld rejects weld rework and poor weld productivity.

If anyone in the weld industry has doubts about why anyone in this business should be concerned about the overall, poor, global MIG - flux cored weld quality and productivity, they first may want to take trip to my "Bad Weld" section, and then also take a few moments to read about about the extremely poor self shielded (SS) flux welds that were responsible for many of the buildings and bridges that toppled during the last major earth quake in California. Most of the California structures
were designed to stand erect during seismic loads, and these easily collapsed due to the use of unsuitable Lincoln, Self Shielded flux cored wires, in combination with poor weld practices and inexperienced designers, construction supervisors, engineers, project managers and welders, personnel who were and likely still are not qualified to make sound weld process decisions.

From auto - truck plants to refinery pipe welds, it's never difficult to find evidence of lack of best practices and process controls.

The year was 1984. I was asked to consult for one of the largest oil refineries in Houston. At the refinery, a new section was about to be added. The pipe project required over a thousand pipe welds. At the refinery, there was great resistance from both the engineers and project management to using the cost effective, all weld position, Gas Shielded, Flux Cored wires. In contrast, the this is the way we have always done it engineers, wanted to stay in their comfort zone and use the traditional SMAW (stick) process for the pipe fill pass welds. The engineers were not concerned that the use of the gas shielded flux cored process, would have created for their company superior weld quality with weld cost savings of approx. two million dollars for the project
.


I don't suppose you ever heard the above
statement from weld personnel in your fab shop.


IN THE CODE QUALITY WELD INDUSTRY THAT TYPICALLY WELDS PIPES AND PRESSURE VESSELS, YOU WILL HEAR MANY MIG AND FLUX CORED WELD OPINIONS, YET FEW OF THE OPINIONS ARE BASED ON WELD REALITY:


1984. In a weld report I presented to managers at one of Houston's largest refineries, I wrote the following:
"On the subject of weld process quality and productivity optimization for your new installation. During the weld meetings I attended with your contractors, project managers and engineers, I hope you are aware that the managers and engineers that were the most vocal against the utilization of the highly cost effective Gas Shielded Flux Cored process, were the least qualified in the meeting to have any opinion on any weld process
".




M
anagement and Liabilty Consequences from
Lack of Weld Process Expertise and Ownership.


 

It's unfortunate that on the majority of major global weld applications, that few of the responsible managers and engineers have the weld process control knowlege to daily ensure optimimum weld quality at the lowest weld costs.

Every executive in an industry that daily deals with critical weld applications, should ask the following fundamental question. Do the managers, engineers and weld decision makers in our company, daily hold themselves fully accountable for the quality of our products manufactured and do they also fully understand the equipment and processes utilized?

 

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2015: THE COST CONSEQUENCES FROM INEXPERIENCED DECISION MAKERS..

During the last thirty years, those weld managers, engineers and supervisors who lacked MIG and flux cored weld process expertise, unfortunately drove up their companies weld costs and ensured that their code quality, vessel and pipe applications and their weld shop was stuck in a 1950 - 1960's TIG and SMAW process time warp.

 




2007: You would be astonished to find that in the next decade, many global chemical plants, refineries and, power plants will be constructed using SMAW (stick) and the regular TIG process as the primary weld processes. The prime weld procedures utilized to build these billion dollar projects today and in the last three decades were likely in most cases based on the Stick and TIG weld procedures that were first established between 1950 - 1975. How many of the engineers at these projects gave consideration to flux cored and how many engineers knew how to optimize the flux cored process,

2007: I wonder how long it will be before code quality weld projects wake up to the fact that for a few years now their is a much more cost effective, easier to use pipe weld process that will attain superior manual and auto pipe welds than TIG - MIG or FCAW. This is a process that my partner and I bought to America, its called TIP TIG. (www.tiptigusa.com).



2007: DOW CHEMICAL AND LACK OF WELD ENGINEERING EXPERTISE:

I had just visited a plant in which Dow, one of the USA largest chemical companies had requested that a 3 inch (75mm) thick, 304 stainless nozzle, approx. 8 feet (> 2 m) in diameter, was to be welded with 1/8 (3.2 mm) diameter STICK electrodes. Over the years I had seen this many times with large DOW weld applicaIions. It was my impression that the corporate management at Dow were simply not aware that for decades, many of their engineers and project managers have on construction projects and applications dramatically increased the Corporations weld labour costs and jeopardized the application's weld quality. With most applications the Dow managers / engineers would insist on the utilization of SMAW (stick) or GTAW. These engineers were either not comfortable with, or had ignored the MIG - Flux Cored and TiP TiG process.

IT'S UNDERSTANDABLE, (BUT NOT ACCEPTABLE) THAT W
HEN ENGINEERS AND MANAGERS LACK WELD PROCESS CONTROL - BEST PRACTICE EXPERTISE, THAT THEY WILL LIKELY WANT THEIR WELD APPLICATIONS WELDED THE SAME WAY THEY WERE ORIGIONALLY WELDED IN THE 1960S.

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THESE WOMEN QUICKLY REVEALED A FEW
FACTS ABOUT WELDER SKILLS:




How important to any weld shop is
Weld Process Control & Best Practice Expertise?






THE UNNECESSARY GLOBAL MANAGEMENT CONCERN, FOR THE LACK OF SKILLED WELD PERSONNEL:

PICK UP A WELD MAGAZINE OR READ THE BUISNESS SECTION AND BEFORE LONG YOU WILL RAED ABOUT SOME IVORY TOWER EXECUTIVE COMPLAINING ABOUT THE SHORTAGE OF MIG - FLUX CORED OR TIG SKILLED WELDERS..

THE WELD REALITY IS THIS: ANY COMPANY WHO DECIDES TO EMPLOY AN OPEN MINDED, DRUG FREE, ENTHUSIASTIC INDIVIDUAL WITH "ZERO WELD BACKGROUND",
COULD USING MY EASY TO USE WELD PROCESS CONTROL - BEST PRACTICES TRAINING RESOURCES ACHIEVE THE FOLLOWING.

WITH SOMEONE WHO HAS NEVER WELDED, IT WOULD TAKE 5 TO 8 DAYS TO TEACH AND TRAIN ANYONE WHO HAS A STEADY HAND TO MEET ANY CODE PIPE OR STRUCTURAL WELD QUALITY REQUIREMENTS WITH EITHER THE MIG - FCAW OR TIP TIG PROCESS.. View Ed's MIG - FCAW Best Weld Practices - Process Control Resources.


WELDERS, PLEASE DON'T GET UPSET WITH ME ABOUT THE ABOVE STATEMENT. LET'S FACE IT, IF YOU ARE A TRUE WELD PROFESSIONAL YOU WOULD BE AN INDIVIDUAL THAT COULD "WITHOUT PLAYING AROUND WITH THE WELD CONTROLS" OPTIMIZE ANY OF THE COMMON MANUAL OR AUTOMATED WELD PROCESSES ON ANY, ALL POSITION, CODE OR NONE CODE WELD APPLICATIONS. WHEN YOU CAN DO THIS, YOU ARE A WELD PROFESSIONAL. IF YOU CAN'T DO THIS, YOU ARE SIMPLY A WELDING OPERATOR..

MY RESOURCES SIMPLIFY YOUR PROCESS CONTROL AND BEST PRACTICE REQUIREMENTS


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Below, Ed is providing MIG Best Practices - Process Control Training for robot personnel at a USA company called Magna which is one of the world's largest auto - truck parts suppliers.

 



Ed training some of Magna's robot & manual weld personnel.


THE YOUNG, MAGNA ROBOT TECHNICIANS ED MET HAD GREAT CONFIDENCE IN THEIR ROBOT PROGRAMMING ABILITY, BUT THEIR MANAGEMENT HAD NOT PROVIDED THE TECHNICIANS WITH WELD PROCESS CONTROL AND BEST PRACTICE EXPERTISE.

I was requested to assist many Magna facilities, and in my visits came to the conclusion that the robot, MIG weld, process controls and best robot weld practices requirements was not well understood by the both their corporate or plant management that were involved in the robot weld decisions. As for the engineers and technicians that daily kept the robots working, the majority of the guys I met, knew plenty about robot programing but hardly knew anything on the subject of MIG weld best practices and MIG weld process controls.

The best thing that the engineering management at Magna did for their robot MIG lines, was provide 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 forming ability to provide good parts for welding. When parts fit without serious weld gaps, robot welds become easier to achieve and robot technicians tend to get better weld results.


If you wish to use my highly effective robot MIG weld process control program to teach your self, or to train your employees CLICK HERE.


 


On the left above, Ed is training American ship yard welders on how to reduce flux cored weld defects and optimize the flux cored and MIG welds without "playing around" with their weld controls. In the middle, Ed shows Jesse, (age 11) that with less than 30 minutes of effective training, that it's a simple task to produce a code quality pipe root weld. By the way, thewelds were made on a 16 inch, Natural gas pipe supplied by Imperial Oil. On the right. Ed training highly experienced Imperial Oil, SMAW pipe workers how to use and optimize their MIG and flux cored welds for their field and shop pipe welds.




WITH ALL COMPANY WELD ISSUES: I FIRST LOOK TO THE MANAGEMENT, ENGINEERS AND SUPERVISORS AS THE ROOT CAUSE:



With the MIG and flux cored weld processes, it's not uncommon to find the following missing links in most global weld shops that utilize these two important weld processes:

[1]
Lack of qualified weld supervision, engineers and management.

[2] Lack of management - engineering weld Process - Equipment Ownership.

[3] Lack of the establishment of weld uniformity and Best Weld Shop Practices.

[4] Lack of the establishment of effective Process Control Training programs that lead to the implementation of highly effective Weld Best Practices and Process Controls.


[5] Lack of management, engineering and supervision understanding of the real costs of the most common welds produced.

[6] Lack of, or poor weld job descriptions for all those involved in the weld shop decisions.

Perhaps it's time for the captains and engineers of the weld industry to roll up their sleeves, rise up from their computers and step into the weld shop for more than five minutes at a time. While in the shop, take a look around and ask this simple question. "What makes this weld shop better than a good weld shop that was around in in the 1960s - 1970s"?



Wow I now sell weld gas mixes, this is better than
my last sales job at that the used car lot.


Here are the for real MIG Gas Facts.

There are many managers, engineers and supervisors that might want to take note: "weld process & weld equipment ownership", does not start with the workers on the weld shop floor".


In th



There are many managers, engineers and supervisors that might want to take note: "weld process optimization & weld equipment ownership", does not start with the workers on the weld shop floor".



In the 1980's, Ed was asked by inexperienced General Motors management to visit one of their plants to provide weld quality and productivity improvements. This was one of those plants in which the plant managers, engineers and supervisors spent their days in endless useless meetings trying to put out the weld shop fires. In this plant the managers and engineers lacked the ability to make weld decisions that had a positive impact for the weld production in the plant. It should be no surprise in this situation to find that the vast majority of weld decisions were left to the weld personell on the shop floor, thats the guys that daily "played around" with their MIG controls.


The following paragraph is from a weld report that I provided to GM.

For those managers that like to leave weld issue resolutions to the weld personnel on the weld shop floor, take note. As any weld manager or engineer should be aware, the welds on cars and trucks have tremendous weld quality, liability and productivity cost consequences. Therfore an important logical responsibility for the managers and engineers involved with the manual or robot weld process is to take "OWNERSHIP of the equipment and processes" that can impact those welds.


The weld industry has evolved much more slowly than most other technical industries and as most are aware, few feel comfortable when major welding changes are desired. An important role for enlightened managers, engineers and supervisors is to be the catalyst to drive weld change that can improve either the weld quality or productivity.

ps: I know in the above GM plant that my weld report and views had no impact with the senior managers and engineers, which was no surprise to me, after all if these personnel were going to change, the whole GM corporate engineering and management culture would also have to change.

 



.

FEW WELD MANAGERS AND SUPERVISORS GIVE CONSIDERATION TO WELD PROCESS CONTROLS AND BEST WELD PRACTICES.

It's common in global, large weld departments shops, to find managers who feel good about their newly qualified Six Sigma engineers - technicians, or that they are especially satisfied with their recent implementation of the latest Lean Manufacturing craze from a weld process confused nation such as Japan. And of course, lets not forget all the time and money that these same managers may have put into their efforts to get and maintain that popular, and mostly useless ISO Approval, which has rules and regulations established by some of the most Bureaucratic organizations in Europe.

Logical weld managers - engineers and supervisors should never stray away from a simple fact. To consistently attain optimum weld quality at the lowest weld costs has never required Black Belts, Whit Shirts and Ties or Lean Mfg, and its never required costly ISO standards. Consistent optimum weld quality and productivity will be derived if the one person who daily makes the weld decisions has the necessary Weld Process Control
and
Best Weld Practice expertise.



IT COULD BE 1985, OR IT COULD BE 2015. FOR MOST GLOBAL WELD SHOPS, MIG - FCAW PROCESS CONFUSION, PROCESS MYTHS AND PROCESS BS IS STILL THE SAME.

During 2014, many weld shop managers will decide to purchase that overpriced pulsed MIG equipment for their carbon steel and alloy steel welds. I wonder how many of these managers will be aware of the primary pulsed MIG equipment weld issues and it's Achilles Heel which have not changed for almost three decades.


If you are one of those rare indiviuals that does not like to throw money out of the weld shop window, w
hen you have a moment, visit the Pulsed MIG Welding Section at this site. In the Pulsed MIG section, you will find a lot of interesting weld information about the extensive global sales BS that for decades has surrounded the pulsed MIG process and it's equipment.

For those interested in providing cost effective, optimum quality MIG and Flux Cored welds, it's important that any weld decision maker;

[1] has the ability to sort out the weld salesmanship influence from the weld process reality,

[2] has attained weld process control and best practice knowledge from
"qualified, unbiased" sources,

[3] has the ability and desire to take process - equipment ownership,

[4] has the weld process control ability to train and implemnt cost effective Best Weld Practices.



 


Visit the most comprehensive weld process control -- best practice training data available on the regular MIG, Pulsed MIG, Flux Cored processes.

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..


You would think that with construction projects and buildings designed to withstand the frequent California earth quakes, that an engineer should have certain weld quality expectations for the structural steel welds made on the majority of those buildings. Check out my California, Self Shielded flux cored weld farce article, and the resulting costly weld disaster for CA taxpayers.

The Northridge Earthquake Lincoln - FEMA weld Fiasco



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2007: EVERY DAY THAT CITY HALL - STATE & FED GOVERMENT - ARCHITECTS - DESIGNERS - MECHANICAL ENGINEERS - WELD ENGINEERS, PROJECT MANAGERS AND ENGINEERING MANAGERS ALLOW THE USE OF THE "SELF SHIELDED FLUX CORED WIRES" TO BE USED ON THEIR PROJECTS, IS A DAY IN WHICH BLISSFULL ENGINEERING IGNORANCE AND STUPIDITY HAS TAKEN OVER FROM WELD AND MECHANICAL ENGINEERING SANITY.


2014. THE SELF SHIELDED FLUX CORED WIRES USED IN 2014, ARE AND ALWAYS HAVE BEEN SINCE THEIR INTRODUCTION, THE WORST POSSIBLE WELD CONSUMABLES TO BE USED ON ANY PROJECTS IN WHICH WELD AND PART QUALITY ARE IMPORTANT.


The selection of Self Shielded (SS) flux core wires is common around the globe when constructing steel structures, yet the weld reality is these weld consumables should never seriously be considered for any code quality welds. Engineers and managers who are often too busy to read my Welding Books, or read the Flux Cored sections of this site, will however have the time to get weld process advice from a sales rep or from the companies who make the SS weld consumables. And if a person does not mind BS the best process to start with in the weld industry is the SS process.

The wide use of the SS wires is again another example of lack of weld process expertise and a lack of management / engineering weld process ownership. For more info on why you don't use these wires, read below.

The North Ridge SELF SHIELDED FLUX CORED weld farce, would have made a good Tom Crusie movie:

READ ABOUT THE LINCOLN SELF SHIELDED FLUX CORED WELD WIRES AND THE UNUSUAL LINCOLN FEEMA RELATIONSHIP. THEN FIND OUT HOW THESE WIRES INFLUENCED THE STRUCTURAL WELDING DISASTER AND REPAIR FIASCO THAT OCCURED DURING AND AFTER THIS CALIFORNIA EARTH QUAKE?


If you are a weld manager or engineer and you accept your responsibility to ensure that the weld decision makers in your organization understand what is process - equipment - consumables BS, and what is real. I would recommend that you consider providing your weld work force with one of my process control training programs, necessary to optimize the process / consumables utilized.

The weld industry daily pays a hugh price for weld process, weld equipment and weld consumable ignorance;

[a] the weld shop daily weld scrap will be expensive,
[b] the weld shop daily weld rework will be costly,
[c] the weld shop daily weld productivity will rarely be at it's potential,
[d] the weld shop weekly weld team meetings will be time wasting, frustrating and fruitless,
[e] the weld shop employee moral will be low,
[f] the companies weld failures and liability consequences could be dramatic.

.


"PLAY AROUND"
ARE THE TWO MOST COMMON WORDS USED IN GLOBAL WELD SHOPS, AND THEY SHOULD BE A GOOD INDICATION THAT SOMETHING IS SERIOUSLY WRONG:

The MIG process is the world's most widely utilized weld process and a process which is more than 60 years old. With this old, and simple weld process, it's not reasonable to watch any weld personnel play around with either their MIG & flux cored weld controls. When people play around with a process that process is rarely optimized. Any decent engineer, manager, supervisor or technician that is involved with MIG or FCAW should ask, "when is this nonsense going to end"?





When the Big Three and their Tier One managers and engineers, don't understand Robot MIG Best Weld Practices and lack the ability to set Robot Weld Process controls,
it should be no surprise they end up producing truck frames MIG welds like this.

.


An ironic point: A Big Three USA auto - truck company had to get these truck frames, robot welded by an international Tier one supplier. Lets face a simple reality, one prime reason the Big Three companies typically get someone else build their major welded parts, is the managers and engineers at the big three companies typically lacked the robot and MIG weld process control knowledge necessary to manage the required robot MIG welding lines at their own plants. As the above Tier One, frame robot MIG welds indicate, this Tier One supplier also employed managers and engineers that lacked the same expertise as their Big Three customer.





For those that want to know what management and engineers in the automotive and in the oil industry have in common, click here.






To optimize both robot MIG welds quality & productivity.
I created a a Seven Step Process Control Program.

 




N
O MATTER WHAT THE INDUSTRY IS, AS LONG AS THEY ARE USING MIG AND FLUX CORED, YOU WON'T HAVE TO LOOK FAR TO FIND MANAGEMENT, ENGINEERING AND SUPERVISION INDUCED WELD QUALITY - COST ISSUES.




Question: What do the majority of ship yards and auto - truck plants and construction equipment manufacturers have in common?

Answer: They too frequently employ "hands off managers and engineers that don't believe or undersatnd weld process controls and weld ownership. These personnel therefore will typically lack the ability to implement Best Weld Practices and Weld Process Controls.

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Click here to visit all the weld information at this Site.

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In over 90% of robot MIG weld applications,
the real robot weld efficiency is rarely attained.


1987 to 201 WILL THIS NONESENSE EVER END?: In the majority of global manufacturing facilities, both manual and Robot MIG weld best practices and process controls are rare. For most of the plants that use MIG welding robots, the robot weld efficiency, robot weld costs and real robot weld production potential is poorly understood by both the plant's managers and engineers.

In the hundreds of global manufacturing plants that I visited in thirteen countries, I found that the daily robot weld efficiency was typically less than 60%. Robot weld speeds, robot downtime and robot weld rework are three of the essential parts that influence robot weld efficiency. I first wrote these comments in 1987 in a weld report I provided to one of the big three Detroit companies, it's a sad reflection of our industry and today 2014, little has changed.

WHILE COMPANIES PURCHASE COSTLY ROBOTS TO INCREASE WELD PRODUCTION: It's a weld reality that few managers or engineers involved with the purchase of MIG welding robots,

[a] will understand how to maximize the robot weld efficiency,
[b] will understand the real cost of a simple 3/16 (5 mm) fillet weld, which is a common weld found in auto - truck plants .


USUALLY IF A WELD PROCESS IS NOT OPTIMIZED TO MEET IT'S FULL WELD QUALITY - PRODUCTIVITY POTENTIAL, YOU WOULD THINK THAT WOULD BE A MESSAGE TO THE MANAGERS AND SUPERVISORS THAT ARE AWAKE, THAT IT'S TIME FOR CHANGE:

In North America, thanks to poor manufacturing practices preached by confused manufacturing executives in Detroit, the auto and truck industry has over three decades developed armies of white collar "hands off managers and engineers". Perhaps the annual billions of dollars spent in the auto / truck industry on warranty claims, recall costs and rework has something to do with the management - engineering philosophy and practices utilized.

WHEN THOSE DIFFICULT TO FIND HUMAN RESOURCES ARE UTILIZED FOR FINDING RATHER THAN PREVENTING WELD DEFECTS, THIS SHOULD TELL AN ORGANIZATION THAT THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE MANAGEMENTS - ENGINEERS QA WELD PRACTICES:

In most weld fabrication organizations, the primary function of the QA department, process engineers and inspectors is to document the "results of the finished welds". An important question that could be asked of any manufacturing or QA manager.

[a] Is it more cost effective if the technical, people resources in this plant are focussed on preventing rather than finding weld defects.


.



Every engineering, QA or plant manger involved in welding should ask the following fundamental question....

"WHY DO WE HAVE OUR COSTLY, QA DEPARTMENT RESOURCES FOCUSSED ON FINDING WELD DEFECTS, RATHER THAN EMPLOYING PERSONNEL THAT HAVE THE EXPERTISE TO PREVENT THOSE WELD DEFECTS?


To overcome their manual or robot weld issues, many global fabrication shops will often focus on trying to reap benefits from their costly, bureaucratic, typically ineffective European, ISO Manufacturing Standards, or they may be implementing another lean manufacturing fad from Japan. Mnay in the weld buisness are not aware that while there is much to be admired in Japanese mfg practices, major corporations such as Toyota and Honda had for decades produced the world's worst, auto - truck, robot MIG welds. To add to the global weld industries sad state and process confusion, the majority of major companies that had employed QA managers, will not be aware that they have typically employed a manager that daily places his costly QA resources on "finding" weld defects rather than on "preventing" weld defects.

AS I HAVE BEEN SAYING FOR FOR AT LEAST THREE DECADES, THERE IS GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR DRAMATIC WELD COST SAVINGS THROUGHOUT THE GLOBAL WELD INDUSTRY. HOWEVER TO GENERATE THOSE SAVINGS, WELD SHOPS NEED MANAGEMENT THAT UNDERSTAND THE PROCESS CONTROL AND BEST PRACTICES REQUIREMENTS FOR CHANGE:

To resolve either your manual and robot MIG - Flux Cored weld production and quality issues, you would attain the info you need from anyone of my process control books or from my training resources.
Ed's Books - Training Resources.



.

I hope my personnel views and this web site provides a clear message which I know i have repeated at least 1000 times. I am also aware that the consistent message may be uncomfortable for many managers and engineers that have to daily deal with the common global MIG, flux cored and TIG weld issues that have changed little in five decades. However, when something important in an industry does not change for at least five decades, to create that change you know someone will have to keep repeating what the problems and solutions are. This web site has over a 1000 pages of of common weld issues, and more importantly extensive weld solutions. I am well aware that the information at this web site will be lost on weld personnel that rely on sales personnel for weld advice, or on individuals that simply view welding as a source of a pay check. For the few that do visit this site with the intentions of attaining the highest possible weld quality and productivity at the lowest possible weld costs. I strongly recommend you take a look at my process control best practices resources.

WHEN THE MANAGEMENT, SUPERVISION AND ENGINEERS LACK THE PROCESS CONTROL EXPERTISE, THE PLANTS TYPICALLY END UP WITH "OVERWORKED, UNDERTRAINED AND UNDERPAID ROBOT TECHNICIANS":

The too common, leave it to the people on the shop floor manufacturing management, and the too common lack of weld process control - best practice engineering mentality, has resulted in a global robot weld industry in which in many plants you will frequently find over worked, under trained robot technicians. These technicians frequently have to take too much ownership and responsibility for their plant's daily robot weld quality and productivity issues, These poor guys will often feel isolated from the front office managers and engineers.







If you are in the weld industry, you might want to ignore weld advice and
recommendations from the leading
Japanese auto & truck companies.

 





In dealing with Japanese auto - truck companies such as Honda and Toyota, I often found that as these plants had not employed a weld process control expert they typically relied on an inexperienced weld team or weld advice from Japan, and that advice in many instances was either pathetic or laughable. This was true 20 years ago and true today in 2014.

I found that the managers and engineers responsible in the Japanese plants for the robot MIG welds knew little about MIG Weld Process Controls or Best Weld Practices. However I did find one suptle difference between the North American and Japanese approach to weld mfg. In general I found that the Japanese management appeared to have a little more of an interest in the "ownership of the equipment and processes" that they at deemed important to their organizations.

WHEN A COMPANY FIGURES IT NEEDS A "WELD TEAM" TO DEAL WITH IT'S WELD ISSUES, THIS SIMPLY MEANS THAT COMPANY HAS NOT HIRED A WELD EXPERT.





STEEL MIG FUNDAMENTALS, START WITH UNDERSTANDING THE COSTS OF A COMMON WELD:
The most common two MIG welds found in most global auto - truck robot cells are 3 or 5 mm fillet and butt welds. From the hundreds of plants I visited, I came to the conclusion that it would be extremely difficult to find a manager, supervisor or engineer that in less than 5 minutes could tell me the real cost of their most common robot or manual MIG welds.

It would not appear logical for any company to purchase costly robots to improve their MIG weld quality and productivity, when the managers and engineers responsible for those robots typically lack the weld process - best practices knowledge to control the robots or to understand the fundamental costs of the welds produced..

AN INDUSTRY THAT CREATES AN ENVIROMENT THAT REQUIRES OVERWORKED ROBOT TECHNICIANS: Visit any major auto - truck welded parts supplier on a weekend, and you will likely find a robot technician who has already that week worked sixty plus hours. While the management and most of the engineers enjoy a game of golf on the weekend, the usually over worked, underpaid technician will often without overtime pay typically struggle to provide robot weld process solutions to the management and engineering induced robot weld problems.
A major reason why the technician struggles with the robot weld resolutions is that technician has never received Robot Process Control - Best Practices training.

Over the decades, I worked in many auto - truck plants on the weekends and it was a rare event to
see a manager, engineer or a corporate type hanging around those robot weld cell on Saturday or Sunday afternoon. This again for me, was simply an indication to me of the lack of management - engineering process - equipment ownership.


JAPAN VERSUS NORTH AMERICA AND A SLIGHT DIFFERERENCE WITH WELD MANAGEMENT FOCUS:
When it comes to joining two pieces of carbon steel in auto - truck part plants, the typical North American manufacturing manager will frequently be a "fire fighter", forever chasing the weld production fires, yet never finding out the root cause of why those weld fires started. In contrast, the Japanese trained managers typically shows a little more interest in finding the root cause of their process or equipment issues. In most instances the Japanese manager will lack the expertise necessary to find out the optimum weld solution, however the fact that the underqualified manager is prepared to spend some time on the weld shop floor, (even on weekends) and has some interest in the equipment - process ownership, will usually have beneficial results and it certainly helps with the weld shop moral.


2000: Why the most naive, and inexperienced nation in the world of welding has always been Japan.

For decades after the second world war, Japan only used straight CO2 for MIG welding as they had limited acess to argon. If you have welded with straight CO2, you will know the erratic, globular weld mess it produces. The Japanese tried to compensate for the CO2 with building some of the worse electronic MIG equipment that was ever produced. Even in 2014 I still grimace when I see a Panasonic MIG power source.


Anyone who has had to work with Japanese welding robots and MIG equipment would be aware that during the last two decades, the Japanese had an undaunted belief in their Japanese built, costly, MIG equipment that was typically loaded with useless, ineffective electronic bells and whistles. It was amazing to me that when the Japanese built car and truck manufacturing plants in North America, they would typically demand that only Japanese robots, Japanese MIG equipment and Japanese MIG weld wires should be used, (talk about bringing poor quality coal to Newcastle). The Japanese management who knew less about welding than the American management, believed that only their rising sun, robots, weld equipment and consumables could join two pieces of carbon steel together in North America.

2000: If the Japanese managers in North American facilities truly understood welding and evaluated the Japanese products frequently forced on them, they would find that in most instances the Japanese weld / robot equipment and weld process performance was inferior to alternative products made outside Japan. Experienced Japanese weld managers would also be aware that during the last two decades, a prime root cause of their auto / truck robot welding issues was Japanese built, poor performing MIG welding equipment. To
read more on Japanese robots and their pulsed MIG welding equipment issues, visit my MIG - Pulsed MIG and Robot sections of this site.

Note: In 2011, it's true that finally the electronics in Japanese built MIG equipment are now making decent welds, the point is with MIG process control expertise, the CV MIG weld equipment developed in the USA in the 1960s could produce the same weld quality and productivity, and this CV equipment has always been much less costly and far more durable.




Ed Set the robot welds on the above Genie equipment and was Weld manager in the ship yard shown. Ed also established optimum robot welds on the Club Car golf cart he used in to get around the Aker shipyard. As the Aker (short term) ship yard weld manager, Ed also trained the Aker weld personnel to attain flux cored process optimization. The flux cored improvements on the oil tankers saved Aker over 5 million dollars annually on reduced ship weld rework.



Many North American manufactures went down this road. As the managers and engineers lacked the ability to make simple, ROBOT welded parts, the company executives ended up sending the parts to be welded to either Mexico or China.


[]
As few robots attain their full production and quality potential, many auto - truck plants purchase more robots than they need and dramatically over spend on the weld equipment and fixtures.

[]
Thanks to apathetic engineering management, most auto - truck plants don't produce robot welded parts in accordance with the part design dimension tolerances

[] Thanks to a general lack of understanding of optimum MIG weld best practices, the majority of auto - truck plants don't build MIG weld fixtures that will enhance the the robot weld quality and production potential

[] Unnecessary robot down time and weld rework and questionable weld quality concerns are too often influenced from inexperienced management and engineers who do not understand the requirements of weld process ownership.

[] The reason training programs are rarely effective, is the auto - truck plant management typically don't understand the Best Robot Weld Practices and Robot Weld Process Control training programs which should be provided to their employees.

[] The majority of auto - truck plants management and engineers would struggle to work out the real costs of their most common welds.

When you have the above situations, you will have managers / engineers that may make the decisions to shut down the USA or Canadian, robot MIG weld lines and sweep the weld manufacturing quality or productivity problems under a large Mexican rug. As the North American plant workers say adios amigo to their jobs, those robot welded parts will then be shipped off to Mexico.




While the big three companies had no shortage of highly educated, highly paid engineers, one could ask how effective that engineering education was, when the guys had to deal with robot MIG weld issues.

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.

IN MOST OF THE BIG THREE AND TIER ONE PLANTS THAT I HAVE VISITED, THE MOST DIFFICULT THING TO FIND WAS A MANAGER OR ENGINEER WHO UNDERSTOOD THEIR ROLE, RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE REQUIREMENTS NECESSARY TO CONSISTENTLY ATTAIN OPTIMUM ROBOT MIG WELDS AT THE LOWEST POSSIBLE WELD COSTS.



Billions of dollars are lost each year from manufacturing companies that employ "inexperienced car and truck mfg management". During the last decade, the big three and their Japanese and European competitors have lost billions of dollars each year in unnecessary product warranty, unnecessary recalls, unnecessary rework, and from poor weld productivity. How many managers or engineers in the auto - truck industry start their day by looking in a mirror and feeling a twinge of guilt about their inability to improve their plant's daily weld quality and productivity? How many of these guys are even aware of their lack of process ownership or the real cost of the welds they daily produce?

Designers also add to the daily weld issues. It's a sad fact that the majority of designers of auto - truck parts, will typically show minimal interest or have any expertise with the common weld processes used to join their parts. It's not uncommon to find designers in car plants who daily on there way to their office will walk past reject pallets or weld rework bins filled with their parts, yet these guys would not stop and take a minute to find out if their design had any influence on the required weld rework. Without question, designers could ensure less robot weld quality - productivity issues if they understood the compatibility of the automated weld process and consumables used on their components. All designers of welded components have a responsibility to understand the common weld processes used to weld their parts. While these guys don't have to know how to weld, I would recommend that they read my Management and Engineers Guide to MIG book. I also believe my advice here is a wasted effort on my part. After all, the majority of designers and their profession have shown no interest in MIG welding for decades.

Those car - truck "shop floor workers" that want to retain the good paying jobs in the USA, also have a weld process control responsibility.

What about the workers: How many times will a worker in a car or truck plant, without a side glance, daily walk past those over flowing weld reject - rework bins on there way to their lunch rooms. On the lunch room tables the workers may find an old "People or Playboy" magazine, (its a rare event to find a weld magazine). Also in the lunch room, on the notice board there may be a report that shows the daily, poor robot weld quality and productivity, or perhaps there will be a glossy brochure on the companies annual warranty and recall costs. How many of these workers that make a good living wage, will reflect on their lack of expertise and their influence or role on the plant's daily weld quality - productivity. To retain jobs in North America shop floor workers need to have a greater voice and input into the quality and productivity of the components they derive a living from. The first thing shop floor workers should demand, is the process control, best practice expertise training that they lack. As management is not aware of what they need someone on the shop floor may have to spaek up and point out that the robot issues have nothing to do with the robots, the issues are people and the people include the management, engineers and workers.

Confused HR Personnel will frequently request that the newly hired weld engineer should have robot, press and paint shop experience. This too common multi task request in a job description for someone to solve robot welding issues, is a reflection of the ignorance and lack of understanding of both management and HR personnel for the expertise necessary for someone to control and to optimize a major process. HR departments take note, there are no multi process experts in North America and it's likely there never will be, and until your industry insists that engineers roll up their sleeves, if you want results hire a technician who at least has hands on experience and pay him the same wage you would pay that engineer.




Poor Job descriptions and WELD CAREERS:

The following is a typical Want Add for an Auto - Truck plant position:


Wanted. We are looking for a weld engineer or technician with robot, MIG / Resistance and Laser weld experience. You must also have Paint shop and Press shop expertise, (if you also have electrical expertise this is a plus)
The remuneration depending on your expertise will be $50 - 65K per year. Note, we are sorry that this is the same pay rate we provided two decades ago. We provide one whole weeks paid holiday after two years. Also as you will be the plant expert with these processes. our management will expect you to work 60 - 80 hrs a week including most weekends. Please note, as a privileged, salary employee you will not receive overtime pay, however you will have use of the executive washrooms.

You can laugth at the above, however it's not far from reality. When the ignorant, HR managers who are typically influenced by the ignorant plant and manufacturing managers, place a multi-process expert job description, someone with their feet firmly planted, needs to sit these sad creatures down and explain. The reality is in manufacturing we have never had no multi-process control experts. I have taken 50 years to learn about MIG process controls and continue to learn. You can spend a lifetime with any one of the important processes used in the auto plants. To attain process optimizations at the lowest costs requires process control specialization and this specialization on paint, press shops or welding should take two to four decades to master. The learning curve for manaul and robot weling is dramatically reduced, if the weld process control resources available at this site are provided.



.



THIS IS WHAT MAKES A USA
DREAM WELD TEAM.

LACK OF MANAGEMENT ROBOT WELD PROCESS OWNERSHIP AND THE INFAMOUS ROBOT WELD TEAM? Of course, if management ensured that they and everyone involved with the welding robots and the welded parts was given the correct training so they were qualified to do there job, then a robot weld team would not be necessary. Inexperienced manufacturing management and the engineers responsible for high volume, welded parts will typically have a long list of issues that are generated in each robot weld cell. For those companies that can't seem to achieve consistent, optimum robot weld quality and productivity, the management will typically take a "team approach" to try and address the robot weld quality or productivity issues, which if you think about it, is also a good way for the management to water down and spread around their robot / process ownership and responsibility. In these common, global robot weld manufacturing circumstances, it typically takes a diverse team to try and address some of the issues that impact both the robot weld quality and productivity.

The robot weld team may require the manufacturing manager who typically lacks the ability to make the parts in accordance with the welded part design dimensional specifications. The production manager will of course be necessary on the team, as his daily production is all over the place. Lets not forget the maintenance manager, this guy will be needed for those poorly designed fixtures and the poorly maintained robot cells. Of course, the QA manager will head up the team, as he will need to pontificate about the inconsisten and poor weld quality, you all know this QA guy who knows how to find weld defects but dies have a clue on how to prevent them. If the management can spare the over worked, underpaid, head robot technician, he will of course be on the team, his role will be to bore the team with all the diverse issues that occur in each robot cell. And last but not least, the team should have at least one of the robot operators who will give his slant on why the robot operators daily struggle to meet the robot weld quality and production goals.

One could ask this simple question, If that weld team was to be fully effective, would it help if the team members understood the "fundamental requirements" of Robot Best Weld Practice and Robot Weld Process
Controls, so they could all walk the same logical path to the necessary corrective weld solutions.

.

Review Ed's Management & Engineers Guide to
MIG book and process control training resources.



What is the purpose of that
engineer or manager?


FROM THAT HANDS OFF, CELL PHONE ENGINEER WHO OFTEN PROVIDES LITTLE VALUE TO HIS COMPANY:
In Ford - GM and Chrysler plants, when the welding robots are creating weld problems, the majority of hands off engineers when notified will often be found at their computer. To resolve the robot weld issue, they typically will reach for a cell phone to call the lesser paid, lesser educated technician.

TO ANY INDUSTRY THAT HAS TO RELY ON TECHNICAL AND WELD ADVICE FROM A SALESMEN: When these engineers and managers need advice about the fifty year old MIG process problems in their shop, with no shame they will pick up a phone and ask a weld salesman who may have a degree in English or Music for a resolution to the weld issues.






.




THE GLOBAL LACK OF WELD MANAGEMENT RECOGNITION
for Weld Process Controls - Best Weld Practices expertise".



For decades, the global MIG welding industry focused on "welder skills" rather than on welder process control expertise. This is the prime reason you will find in the majority of weld shops, both manual and robot MIG weld personnel "playing around" with their 60 year old, hardly changed, MIG weld controls.



A lack of global weld logic.

HOW ABOUT GOING ON A "WELD MANUFACTURING OFFENCE"?

Joe, as the manager of this plant, I want to see you go on the "Weld Manufacturing Process Offense", which by the way has to be better than forever living with the costly weld results from your daily, "Hands Off Management Defence".

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SEPT. 2006: I WAS ASKED TO RECTIFY A ROBOT, MIG WELD POROSITY PROBLEM. THE WELD ISSUE WAS ON STEEL PARTS FOR A JAPANESE TIER ONE SUPPLIER. THIS SUPPLIER MADE PARTS FOR BOTH SUBARU AND TOYOTA.

The multi-robot cells were used to MIG weld galvanealed steel suspension parts. The robots welded on average 600 parts per day. The final weld assembly cycle time for each part was approx. three minutes forty seconds, with a weld repair rate of approx. 20%
.

Of course there was no time to make changes to te robot cells during the week, so I was asked to make the changes on the weekend. As I made the many weld changes to the robot, I was amazed to find that the Japanese company president, and for gods sake, his "chief operating officer" stayed with me in the robot cells on both the Saturday and Sunday. I guess the operating officer wanted to find out what he was getting for my small fee of twelve hundred buck a day.

The confused Japanese robots were from Motorman and the weld power sources utilized were produced by Panasonic. From my past experiences this was a poor Japanese equipment combination. The none pulsed, five year old Panasonic power sources were erratic, they were also not calibrated, and they produced poor MIG arc weld characteristics. Unfortunately I had to work with the poor tools supplied, so in a ten hour period that involved new robot programming moves and extensive weld process improvements, I was able to get rid of the weld problems that were causing the weld rework. For my small fee, I also gave the plant an unexpected bonus by lowering the robot weld cycle time from three minutes forty secs, to one minute forty seconds

The dramatic cost reductions and weld quality and productivity gains bought a big smile to both the company president and chief operating officer who assured me that my apathetic $2500 check, (they saved over $300,000 annually or 3 million for the contract) would be in the mail within a week. In the past decades, I have provided similar dramatic weld quality - productivity improvement to many of the tier one suppliers, however while at the plants, I rarely saw any interest from the plant management or engineers for my robot and manual weld resolutions.

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In the USA, we did not just loose jobs to NAFTA and the numerous lower wages countries, we also lost a tremendous amount of good paying USA manufacturing jobs due to ignorant, self centered, greedy politicians, and Fortune 500, manufacturing, management and engineering, ignorance and incompetence.




The 20 million plus dollars Chrysler Management fiasco.





Talking about manufacturing management icompetance, in the nineteen nineties, in a period of less than 18 months, Chrysler corporate and plant management lost over 14 million dollars from a new welding robot line. This line was located at it's prime Mini van stamping facility in Ohio.
The robot weld line was designed to weld 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 the daily robot weld rework was 100%. The robot welds were made with Lincoln, Self Shielded, (SS), Flux Cored wires.

The frustrated, Chrysler stamping plant manager had requested Lincoln engineers provide help with these welds. Eventually the manager gave up on the Lincoln engineers and requested my assistance. In less than 3 days of process evaluation, I came up with a weld process solution to fix all the welding issues, most of which by the way were caused by the poor choice of the the Lincoln SS wires.

The Lincoln SS wires were chosen by the Chrysler corporate welding engineer. For self preservation reasons the Chrysler corporate weld engineer declined to admit that he had made a mistake when he selected the world's worst weld process and consusmables that were better suited to welding chicken coups than welding costly car parts.

I recommended to the plant manager that to convince that process ignorant Corporate engineer of the folly of his process selection, that we do the robot welds with MIG. The plant manager gave permission. I then produced the sample parts providing a dramatic increase in the robot line weld productivity, and with no weld rework required. I had the parts weld and part strength tested by the largest testing agency in Detroit. They reported that the welds and parts met the design requirements and had no defects.

For the Chrysler engineer to accept my process changes would have been an indication that he was responsible for the multi-million dollar robot weld issues. He argued with his corporate peers, (the blind leading the blind) that changing to MIG would be a mistake. They went back to using SS wire and a few months later the the higly paid Chrysler management team made a gutsy engineering decision. The Neon stampings and the new robots were loaded into trucks and shipped out of sight south to Mexico.

The reason for the robot line shut down and loss of USA jobs, was not the 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 welds,
[b] lacked the ability to build parts to their own design 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 the weld engineer who's ego and lack of expertise was the root cause of the multi-million dollar issues.

The manufacturing Industry should take a lesson from this costly "hands off engineering event". More on the multi-million dollar Chrysler Story:




INSTEAD OF WHINING ABOUT LOW WAGES IN CHINA: Joe, I want you to get this point across to everyone in this company. In this organization, it's a primary role of management to ensure that our work force has the necessary resources and expertise to always be one step ahead of any global manufacturing competitor
.



Unfortunately in this company we
still need to redefine what those resources need to be.




2008: Sometimes in manufacturing, it pays to take a look at past practices and see if we can learn from those that came before us. I remember making MIG welds on Massey Ferguson tractors in the nineteen sixties. The welds we made were in general superior quality with higher deposition rates than those typically made in 2014 at companies like Caterpillar and Deere.

2014: Looking back of course should also apply to the politics that daily govern our life. For example. While Congress has wasted the last six years disagreeing with the President on every subject he brings up, they do however have time to carry out interviews with over paid base ball players about their steroid use. Useless politicians, like useless managemers always has serious consequences. Today the interest on the US debt is measured in the trillions, the infrastructure that was a key factor for America's wealth is today turning to rust, the economy erodes daily, and thanks to those right wing Washington idiots and their tea part clowns, our global respect has never been so low.

2014: In many ways America today reminds me of the Roman empire during the early years of it's decline.
The Roman Senators (mostly lawyers) became rich from the payola paid to them by senate lobbyists. The self centered Roman Senators were simply not interested in maintaining the Roman empire or managing the annual fiscal requirements. In the time of slow Roman erosion, the Senators plan was a simple one. Keep the public focus off the economy and keep the focus on entertaining the citizens at the Coliseum. Today in America, politicians don't have a coliseum, (they do have the the NFL and NBL), instead they place there lies and fear campaigns based on deceit and public ignorance. The job description of many Washington politicians seems to be directed at keeping American minds of it' s environmental issues, it's crumbling infrastructure, the erosion of jobs and the middle class, high unemployment, too many violent crimes and of course the numerous health care and education issues.



While we should not live in the welding past, with processes that have hardly changed in decades, engineers and managers can learn from the past experiences, and implement the weld processs and manufacturing changes neceassry for at least a little weld optimization, with hopefully some manufacturing evolution.

 

 

 


"2010... Boys if you know anything about the second World War, it's ironic fact that with our high USA unemployment, you are today standing on a great new American ship made with steels and parts supplied from Japan, China, Russia and Germany.

"Now with one voice let's all sing God Bless America".



What happened to
the
Weld Management
.

Imagine this in your weld shop:


[] Imagine daily weld shop management and engineering decisions that are made without the aid of weld sales advice.

[] Imagine management and engineers reading a book or taking a course on MIG Weld Process Control or
Best Weld Practices and actually taking an active roll in weld process ownership.

[] Imagine management and engineers who could look at any MIG wire feed control, the weld wire and the weld size and instantly tell you the cost of a weld.

[] Imagine management and engineers that are responsible for robots and these individuals truly understand the "people process control training requirements" necessary to attain optimum, consistent manual or robot MIG weld quality / productivity.

[] Imagine manufacturing plants that own robots that daily can achieve > 98% production efficiency potential and never attain more than 2% weld rework.

To meet the above requirements you may wish to check out my weld process control educational and training resources, after all weld process knowledge is the logical step to the establishment of Best Weld Practices and Weld Process Controls.



"MANAGEMENT & WELD ACCOUNTABILITY"


"Those bad welds, must be your fault".

.I GOT UPSET WHEN THE MANAGER SAID," ED THOSE GUYS ON THE SHOP FLOOR SCREWED UP AGAIN"?

During the last four decades, in thirteen different countries, as I visited hundreds of manufacturing plants, I frequently heard complaints from manufacturing - plant managers and engineers about the weld problems generated by
"those people on the shop floor". The message from this web site is consistent and will remain a fundamental one. If global weld management really wanted to know who was responsible for the root cause of their numerous, daily, manual and robot MIG and flux cored weld quality - and productivity issues, all they would have to do is look in the nearest mirror.

Global weld and mfg. management should be more like a ship's captain?

The majority of qualified ship's captains are supposed to be well acquainted with both the technical and "hands on" requirements of both running or repairing a ship. Every captain is aware that to have respect from the

hard working crew, the captain must show that they have full ownership, responsibility and accountability for the daily operations, the ship's equipment, the performance of the ship and of course for any repairs made on the ship.

In contrast to the ship's captain, we find that the majority of global major manufacturers of welded components, will hire managers and engineers who have the misguided believe that weld and related equipment ownership, and the responsibility for daily weld production and quality should be controlled by the less educated. lower paid individuals on the shop floor.





Many companies are not aware that if their employees had the required Weld Process Control Expertise, one robot would often do what many companies will purchase two robots to do.

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With common global robot MIG weld production efficiency typically in the 40% to 70% range and the average daily robot weld rework in the 20 to 100% range, thanks to the common lack of robot weld process controls and best robot weld practices, many mfg. plants are using 1.5 to 2 robots to do the work that could readily be achieved by one robot.

 

 

.

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Ed developed the world's most effective MIG and Flux Cored, Manual - Robot, Weld Best Practices and Weld Process Control Training - Self Teaching Resources.


How sad a weld shop would be without thick skin and a sense of humor.




If asked for his opinion on MIG Spray Transfer versus pulsed MIG to weld carbon steels> > 5 mm), an unusualy bright fellow named Albert, a man who knew a lot about physics and the structure of the universe and other important stuff that did not pay his bills, might have made the following statement.

Albert's Theory on Regular MIG versus Pulsed welding.

"Ed at your request, I studied the available regular MIG Constant Voltage Spray mode in contrast to
the newer Pulsed MIG mode. It appears to me that with the coalescence and dynamics that are required to form a weld and to create consistent weld fusion in steel joints >5 mm), that the nearly constant weld joules attainable from the lower cost, Constant Voltage MIG equipment that provides the traditional Spray transfer mode, should of course always be superior to the Pulsed MIG. My answer is derived from the simple logic that that the alternating peak and much lower back ground current is necessary to form a pulsed MIG weld drop. Therefore from my humble perspective if a weld shop needs to attain consistent weld transfer with superior weld penetration on steels and alloy steel welds on parts > 5 mm, the weld shop should avoid the pulsed mode and use the older, Constant Voltage, MIG spray weld technology. You know Ed, the more I examine the weld processes, the more I regret wasting my time at school on math and physics and all that time I spent on dealing with that theory of relativity and
black hole bull shit.


.
A sad attempt at a welding joke by Ed.



In many plants, when it comes to optimizing robot MIG welds,
M
ANGEMENT HAS RAISED THE WHITE FLAG



It's unfortunate in the many plants in which management and engineers shy away from the important processes that are important to their profits, that it's the shop workers that daily suffer the manual and robot weld consequences: In these plants the blue collar guys;


[a] rarely receive parts to be welded that have dimensions in accordance with the design and manufacturing tolerances,

[b] rarely will be provided with the optimum size and type of the weld consumables selected,

[c] rarely will be provided with optimum weld process and weld procedures,

[d] rarely will be guided by management - engineered driven best weld practices - process controls,

[e] rarely will be aware of the weld costs or real world weld production efficiency potential of their manual welders or robots,

[f] rarely will receive the required robot or manual "weld best practices - process control" training necessary to optimize the equipment, the process and the quality.


Yet these long suffering, mismanaged shop floor personnel will daily be held accountable for the plant's weld quality and productivity issues.


MANAGEMENT WHO LACK THE ABILITY TO CHANGE AND EVOLVE A "PLAY AROUND" INDUSTRY.

Would a professional foot ball coach let the players play around in the middle of the field during a game? Would a machine shop manager smile as as he watched his
machinist play round with their machine controls. Yet few weld shop or mfg. managers seem concerned while their weld personnel "play around" with their weld equipment controls..


This will rarely happen. A message from a frustrated corporate manager to his manufacturing manager:

"Joe, after watching your robot personnel play around with those weld controls, and reviewing the extensive robot weld productivity and quality issues in this plant, I can only come to one conclusion, it's time for us to change our approach to the robots and automated weld manufacturing.

Lets face it Joe, the people on the shop floor "are not the root cause of our robot weld issues". The bottom line for this company is our managers and engineers have to recognize that they have the full responsibility and accountability for the daily weld quality and productivity produced in the plants. Joe this organization needs t
o understand weld process controls and how to establish best robot / manual welding practices. Joe our managers and engineers should have or attain the ability to recognize the weld process expertise thats both necessary for themselves and for our shop floor employees that are making the day to day weld decisions.



Where does the BUCK STOP IN YOUR PLANT?




IT'S A SAD FACT, THAT FOR AT LEAST THE LAST TWO DECADES IN THE WELDING INDUSTRY, ONE THING THAT WAS DIFFICULT TO FIND, WAS BOTH MANAGERS & ENGINEERS WHO WOULD ACCEPT FULL OWNERSHIP AND RESONSIBILITY FOR THE WELD EQUIPMENT - PROCESSES AND CONSUMABLES UTILIZED IN THEIR WELD SHOPS:

It could be a generation thing, or just the way the industry is evolving, but have you noticed how difficult it is to find either a plant manager or federal politician who will take ownership and full responsibility for their daily actions and who actually knows where the buck should stop.


Since the first welds were made in a manufacturing environment, it's always been logical that the responsible managers and engineers should understand the primary weld and related equipment they have managed or purchased, and they should have the ability to recognize the common root causes of the daily weld issues that impact their weld quality - productivity. It's also logical that all the responsible engineers have the ability to provide the shop floor employees with the necessary weld process control and best practices training resources.

.

How common do you think this is
in the global MIG weld industry?




Come on you Chicklets Miglets, we have to
follow him, after all, he is a weld "salesman".


MORE ON THE WELD MANAGEMENT & THE - ENGINEERING DISEASE I CALL, "SALES RELIANCE":

For over five decades, in the majority of global weld shops that utilize the MIG and Flux Cored weld process, you would often find an umbilical cord attached from the weld shop supervisor, the manufacturing manager or engineer to some "weld sales person".

As a former training manager for three of the world's largest weld product suppliers, I have trained over a 1000 weld sales personnel. I would estimate that less than ten percent of the sales reps I worked with had the correct qualifications to provide weld process and application advice to any weld shop. If you are a supplier and have employed a qualified individual, hold on to that rare person. The irony in our industry however is that the majority in the global weld industry when dealing with weld issues will look for advice from a sales industry in which approx. 90% of the sales persons are not qualified to give that advice.

Many of those managers, who in the morning will fight their weld production - quality fires, will then in the afternoon take refuge in their offices while they oversee often unecessary meetings. After the meetings the rest of the day will be spent searching for any new crutch that they can direct at the latest weld shop issues.

The management crutch is often an expensive one. The crutch may mean the purchase and trial of unnecessary three part. MIG gas mixes or costly, ineffective, metal cored or flux cored wires. Of course the largest weld cost waste will typically be when the management orders those costly electronic Inverters or pulsed MIG weld equipment, both of which are typically loaded with useless bells and whistles.

While many managers in large companies do not think twice about the purchase of those $12,000 pulsed MIG power sources for their steel weld applications, few of these managers have considered the cost effective feature benefits of providing low cost weld process control training to a work force that for decades has "played with the MIG weld controls".


THE BOTTOM LINE: With the right weld process control training, in a few hours, any worker would have the ability to be able to take a low cost, $2000 - $3000, traditional, CV "none pulsed" MIG power source, combined with a simple two component gas mix and a low cost MIG wire, and make the low cost MIG equipment perform as well as a $12,000 power source.

 



PLANTS ALWAYS PAY A PRICE FOR SLOW WELD PROCESS EVOLUTION:





In America, many mfg. plants involved with welding closed because the production was moved to Mexico or China, or perhaps the reason the plant closed was due to managers and engineers simply lacked the ability to daily consistently produce the highest possible weld quality at the lowest possible weld costs?



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How about our organization? Do you know where the buck stops when it relates to those weld issues. Does the buck forage on your weld shop floor, or would you find him looking confused in your front office?



GLOBAL TRAINING PROGRAMS AND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS WASTED: While the major automotive plants typically spend over a 120 million dollars annually on training, yet in many plants such as Ford, GM and Chrysler, (plus tier suppliers), the typical MIG welder or robot weld technician does not know how to set and optimize a simple two control conventional MIG power source and wire feed. For example while i was at one prime Ford frame plant, with the engineers looking over their shoulders, the manual MIG repair welders welding on truck frames with the contact tip bore three times the size it was supposed to be. The oversized bores lower the weld current and created arc instability resulting in welds that could not be defined as welds. A good contact tip would have cost about 90 cents. A good contact tip and a welder who had received affective process training may have maintained the structural integrity of the truck frame.

All auto - truck corporate management need to take a closer look at the quality and effectiveness of it's welder and robot technician training programs. The evaluation would reveal that the weld programs typically lack best practices - process controls. It's also interesting that with the big three, the managers, supervisors and engineers who are supposed to be responsible for the welded components will rarely be participants in the programs. if I was an ivory tower big three executive, i would take more than a passing moment to reflect on the relationship between the quality and effectiveness of the training programs provided,the lack of management and engineering process ownership and the liability consequence, the warranty costs, the product recall costs, the weld rework costs, poor productivity costs and unnecessary capital investment costs from an organization that lacks the ability to implement best weld practices and process controls.





How much bang does your company
get from from it's training dollars?



A MANAGER , ENGINEER OR SUPERVISORS SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO MANAGE WELD EQUIPMENT OR ANY WELD PROCESS WITHOUT THE ABILITY TO RECOGNIZE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR CONSISTENT WELD PROCESS OPTIMIZATION:




MANAGEMENT WHO ARE NOT AWARE OF EITHER THE ROBOT OR WELD PROCESS CONTROL TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS WILL RARELY GIVE CONSISDERATION TO THOSE THEY SEND TO TRAINING PROGRAMS: Every time new robots are ordered, the plant management will typically select personnel to send them to a "robot programming school" When I was the USA. Robot Weld Training Manager with ABB Robotics, it was notable that when I presented the Robot Weld Process Control and Best Practice Training programs, the Big Three plant management would often send employees that could barely read. Training for programing a robot is one thing, what about the training required to implement weld process controls and best weld practices. In the last two decades, few manufacturing or plant mangers involved in arc welding robots, gave consideration about sending personnel for robot "weld process control and best weld practices training".




If you think weld process control expertise is not important,
why not try this MIG Weld Process Control Test:

If you have an interest in establishing effective best practices and process controls, you may wish to provide your robot employees with this fundamental MIG and Robot Weld Process Control weld test. At the test completion ask yourself, is this the type of process control data our employees require to attain consistent, optimum manual / robot weld quality and productivity?

Ed spent more than 25 years developing the unique but very simple "Weld Clock Process Control" method. This is world's most effective MIG / flux cored weld process control training program. To ask Ed about this unique yet simple training program, contact Ed at
E-mail. ecraig@weldreality.com




"WELD SAFETY NEWS FLASH"

 

Important Safety Weld Concerns for 2007.

Click here for the following weld safety issues.

[a] OSHA held hearings on it's proposal to reduce the PEL for hexavalent chromium from 52 micrograms per cubic meter to "1" microgram per cubic meter as an 8 hour time weighted average. See the latest ruling from OSHA.

Is it MIG, flux cored or SMAW that create the most stainless fumes concern?

[b] Welding on special stainless steels causes occupational asthma.

[c] Manganese welding fume law suit and issues with other alloys and weld fumes.

[d] Radioactivity and tungsten TIG electrodes.

[e] Galvanized Fumes?

[f] Carpal tunnel and MIG guns.



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WHEN YOU HAVE HANDS OFF WELD MANAGEMENT, YOU TYPICALLY END UP WITH AN ORGANIZATION IN WHICH THE COMPLETELY UNQUALIFIED, PURCHASING MANAGER BECOMES INVOLVED IN THE WELD EQUIPMENT AND WELD CONSUMABLE DECISIONS:



Note: For those purchasing managers looking for low cost welding shields,
we ship our disposable $2 weld helmets direct from China





After spending thousands on repairs of his Chrysler Minivan, this guy picked up a more reliable vehicle.







What you will find in weldreality home page section 3.

Item: Lawyers may want to read this section to find out how poor weld quality and vehicle crashes can offer great financial opportunities.

Item: Why this Volvo truck part weld quality and productivity could not be achieved with this under qualified manager and engineer?

Item: The fear of process change is natural on the weld shop floor, especially when the management and engineers are not in control of the equipment and processes they own.

Item: Many plant or manufacturing managers will often not report the real robot weld quality and productivity costs to their corporate peers.

Item: The ratio of engineers to shop floor workers is very high in the auto - truck industry, yet the best weld practices and weld process controls necessary for automated weld quality - productivity optimization are typically none exist ant.

Item: The hazards of building vehicles designed by design engineers who would not
know a good weld if it was four inches from their nose.

Item: Why Americans should give consideration the the welds before they drive
across that next steel bridge.

Item: The world's largest auto - truck wheel manufacturer produced poor and inconsistent quality mechanized welds. This apathetic management helped drive them out of business.

Item: Do those that are paid to daily make manufacturing process decisions understand the scope, accountability and responsibility of their profession?

Item: Why would the Volvo plant manager want to hire skilled welders to run his MIG welding robots?

Item:
Why did GM management
waste > $750,000 on welding the Corvette?

Continue to MIG Home Page 3

Or perhaps you are interested in seeing how easy it is to save millions of dollars with large weld fabrication projects take a look at the following;

HOW AKER KAVERNER SHIP YARD SAVED MILLIONS FROM WELD QUALITY - PRODUCTIVITY IMPROVEMENTS:

HOW IMPERIAL OIL SAVED MILLIONS FROM INCREASED PIPE WELD PRODUCTIVITY. Click here.

Please don't leave this site without checking all the MIG- Flux Cored - TIG best practices and process control information.


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