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 & TIG Weld Process Controls & Best Weld Practices. The site provides the MIG

- Flux Cored and TIG weld information required to attain the highest possible manual and robot weld quality, always at the lowest possible weld costs.

This web site was first established in 1997 by Ed Craig. Contact Ed. ecraig@weldreality.com

Home Page 2.

 

 

 





More on MIG - Flux Cored Weld Process Controls & Best Practices:




What you will find in this section.

Item: Lawyers may want to read this section to find out how inconsistent, poor MIG and Resistance weld quality affects vehicle crashes, offering great financial opportunities.

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

Item: The fear of weld process change is natural at those plants in which the management and engineers responsible, are not in control of the weld equipment and processes they own.

Item: In contrast to most fab shops, the ratio of engineers to shop floor workers is very high in the auto - truck industry. Yet in this vehicle industry weld best practices and the weld process controls necessary for automated weld quality - productivity optimization are typically rare or none exist ant.

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

Item: There are hazards and restrictions when building vehicles that are designed by 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 and their apathetic, inexperienced management helped drive them out of business.

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

Item: Why would this Volvo plant manager want to hire skilled welders to run his MIG welding robots, when skills have little to do with attaining optimum robot weld quality and productivity.

Item: Why did GM senior management waste nearly a million dollars when welding the Corvette?



 


WHEN AN INDUSTRY STRUGGLES FOR MORE THAN SIX DECADES WITH TWO SIMPLE CONTROLS ON IT'S PRIMARY PROCESS EQUIPMENT (MIG), IT' SHOULD BE NO SURPRISE THAT WELD PERSONNEL "PLAYING AROUND" WITH THEIR WELD CONTROLS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE:

THE BAD NEWS. For decades the weld industry has not focused on the required Weld Process Control Expertise and the Best Weld Practices required for the two most widely used weld processes, MIG - Flux Cored. With this in mind it's logical to assume that there will be large scale weld quality, weld cost consequences.

THE GOOD NEWS for the majority of global weld shops is, typically one does not have to look far to find a great opportunity to produce substantial weld quality improvements and enable dramatic weld cost savings.

Without MIG - FCA weld process control expertise, it's not an easy task to create major changes in an industry in which many of the managers, supervisors, engineers and technicians have for decades relied on weld 'salesman' for weld advice.

Without MIG - FCA weld process control expertise, it's not easy task to deal with the common, numerous global weld shop process myths, the often incorrect weld practices, and the extensive erroneous weld information that prevails in the many weld shops in which so called experienced weld personel are 'playing around" with two simple weld controls" .

In the above environments, it's not logical to believe that the weld shop floor personnel are going to be the ones to drive effective weld quality - productivity improvements. The necessary changes for both manual / robot MIG - FCA process optimization, which by the way with the right resources is easy to implement should of course be driven by those that are responsible for the weld shop personnel and responsible for the daily weld quality, productivity and costs.



2000 PLEASE NOTE: THIS WEB SITE ESTABLISHED BY ED CRAIG IN THE 1990s HAS ALWAYS FOCUSSED ON THE COMMON, GLOBAL, ROOT CAUSES OF MANUAL &ROBOT MIG AND FLUX CORED WELD ISSUES.

I BELIEVE THIS SITE CAN BE AN IMPORTANT CATALYST FOR THOSE WELD DECISION MAKERS THAT WANT TO IMPLEMENT THE PROCESS CHANGES REQUIRED IN MOST WELD SHOPS. ALSO PLEASE BE AWARE THAT MY 'CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM" IS NECESSARY IN AN INDUSTRY INWHICH FOR DECADES MAJOR CHANGES HAVE BEEN NECESSARY.

FOR WELD MANAGERS, ENGINEERS AND SUPERVISORS, THIS SITE CAN PROVIDE YOU WITH MANY PRACTICAL, COST EFFECTIVE WELD QUALITY - PRODUCTIVITY RESOLUTIONS, AND ALSO WITH THE PROCESS CONTROL - BEST PRACTICE TRAINING RESOURCES THAT WILL HELP YOU OR YOUR ORGANIZATION ATTAIN THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE MIG - FCA MANUAL - ROBOT WELD QUALITY, ALWAYS AT THE LOWEST POSSIBLE WELD COSTS...



 

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It may come as a shock for those plants weld mostly steel and alloy steel applications, and invested in costly, (poor duablity - expensive to repair), pulsed MIG equipment, to find out that for approx. three decades that Ive been evaluating this equip, that the PULSED MIG weld equipment electronic BELLS & WHISTLES have provided minimal weld quality and productivity benefits for most steel - alloy stl welds, however these electronic features have for decades enabled greatly increased prices and profits for both the MIG weld equipment manufacturers and distributors.

 

 


Thanks to the GLOBAL lack of MIG - FCA weld process control - best practice expertise, in the past three decades, the majority of weld shops have thrown money out of their windows on the purchase of unecessary, costly, gas mixes and cored consumables that are not required, and also on pulsed MIG weld equipment that for most steel / alloy steel applications has typically been loaded with useless, electronic bells and whistles.

 



I would like to know another industry that for decades has relied heavily on biased, unqualified sales influence to help resolve it's day to day technical, weld quality, productivity and weld cost issues...

For the last three decades, throughout the global MIG weld industry, millions of weld shops have paid 100 to 400% more than necessary to purchase a pulsed MIG power source. In the same shops they may also decide to waste more of their hard earned dollars by paying 2 - 60% more for useless three part gas mixes, or pay premium prices for unnecessary metal cored or flux cored wires. The solution to this unnecessary waste is simple. When the key weld decision makers in a weld shop have weld process control - best practice expertise, that expertise will be able to cut through the global weld equipment - consumables sales induced BS.

With weld process control expertise, the weld decision maker will have the important ability to provide the practical, cost effective requirements that are necessary to daily attain consistent, optimum
weld quality and productivity, and of course always at the lowest possible costs.

It's ironic, that in contrast to to the lower cost, traditional, CV MIG equipment, pulsed MIG equipment, multi-purpose MIG equipment, and MIG Inverters have for two decades typically provided inferior MIG and Flux Cored weld fusion profiles, higher weld porosity content and lower deposition rates for the majority of common carbon steels and alloy steels applications > 4 mm. The reason for these issues can are found at this web site and in the MIG equipment sections, and of course in my weld process controls, best practices training resources.

 



The fear of a weld process or weld consumable change is natural on most weld shop floors, and the fear will be exasperated when the relevant management, engineers, supervisors and technicians are not in full control of their weld equipment, processes and consumables.



The above infamous, common, weld shop refrain, should not happen with weld personnel who fully understand the processes they operate.




To resolve those common, daily weld shop
issues, will of course require "CHANGE".

It's not just "millions of welders daily playing around with MIG weld controls that is a primary concern for most weld shops, it's also the hands off, management and supervision, and their reliance on sales biased weld process advice that is a concern.

This web site has a primary, repeating theme which is, "weld process control and best weld practice ignorance and apathy has influenced and created a common global weld shop culture, and that culture rarely likes to change the way it welds. In this environment, there is in many global weld plants, great opportunities for both weld quality improvements and dramatic weld cost savings.





How's your Weld Ownership - Weld Accountablity - Weld Expertise?

Imagine presenting the following weld shop business plan to a bank manager.

 



Management and Weld Consumables:
Many weld shops in the 1980's were primarily utilizing the poor quality, poor productivity SMAW (stick) process instead of the more cost effective MIG and flux cored weld processes, and its a sad reflection that 30 years later in 2014, you can make that same statement. Also in 2014, many companies are using costly metal or flux cored wires instead of utilizing lower cost MIG wires.

Many weld fab shops, construction projects and companies that employ engineers that should know better such as the Chrysler Corporation, encourage the use of the obnoxious Self Shielded, (SS) Flux Cored weld wires. Apart from poisoning their employees with the carcinogenic, SS flux cored weld fumes, someone should point out to the ignorant management and engineers that allow the use of these flux cored wires, that when the SS process is used, it's almost impossible to consistently, enable optimum weld quality, or produce cost effective weld production on any weld application.


Management and Weld Equipment Bells and Whistles:
The majority of electronics in today's MIG equipment offer limited real world weld quality or productivity benefits when welding the common steel and alloy steels applications. However these MIG equipment electronics have on average increased weld equipment costs by 100 to 600%, reduced the equipment durability and longevity and increased weld equipment repair costs by at least 100 to 500%.

Management, MIG Gas Mixes and Weld Consumables:There are approx. 60 global MIG gas mixes available for MIG welding the common steels, stainless and aluminium applications, yet the weld world needs only 4 gas mixes for optimum MIG welds on every weld application. How many managers this year know what the best four MIG gas mixes are? (Info in my MIG gas mix section). Also how many managers, engineers and supervisors will while looking for a solution to their daily weld shop issues. with advice from their local weld sales rep, try a more costly flux cored weld consumable?

Management and their Bigger Weld Wire is Better nonsense: There are many weld process ignorant managers, especially in the auto - truck industry, that believes that the bigger the weld wire utilized, the greater the the weld deposition and the lower the weld costs. As the weld current required for the large weld wires is typically not suited to the welds and the part thickness, that bigger is better weld wire is simply another old worn out weld myth. Its a sad weld reality that the majority of global weld shops have for decades been using the wrong type, the wrong size of MIG and flux cored weld wires, which goes along with the fact that they are frequently using the wrong weld gas mix
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Equipment - Process Ownership - Accountability & Expertise.



In my 50 years in this weld business, I have
yet to meet two guys like these.


If most managers, engineers and supervisors ran a weld shop as if they had money invested in that shop, perhaps things would be different.





This company spent millions on robots and
fixtures and made these welds on Ford Truck frames.


With most global automotive and truck companies, millions each year will be spent on the robot cells and not one dollar spent on MIG weld process control training.

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D SMOKE
Weld sparks, weld smoke & weld management perception:

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Many auto - truck weld managemen thattwork in car/truck exhaust and frame plants are usually happy to see the welders with their shields down and the sparks flying over the parts, (above photos). The weld reality to anyone with weld process control expertise, is that the fire works display in these photos, is simply an indication of poor MIG weld quality and productivity. And its definately an indication that the management has not implemented weld process controls - best weld practices.

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WHEN MANAGEMENT REQUIRES A "WELD TEAM", IT'S TYPICALLY AN INDICATION OF lack of process expertise with the management.

Why tie up mfg. resources in team meetings? Why even would you apply a team to a MIG weld process problem that should be resolved with "one experienced individual", an individual who has received the appropriate weld Process Control - Best Weld Practices training?


The reasons most managers / engineers do not budget for weld process control - best practice training, is they are simply not aware of what it is, and therefore it's benefits, and that their weld personnel typically lack it.

For less than $400, management could provide weld process control - best practice training to all the individuals in their plants that influence the day to day weld decisions.





When the "WE DON'T KNOW WHAT WE ARE DOING ENGINEERING - PLANT MANAGEMENT" assembles the "WE DONT KNOW WHAT
HOW TO CONTROL THE PROCESS WELD TEAM", you know when you attend these meetings it's a good time to get caught up with your text messages, take nap, or reach for the anti-acid pills.

For decades in the auto - defence and ship building industries,
unqualified managers - engineers and supervisors have looked for the "Team Approach" to solve their never ending daily weld problems. The irony is the managers / engineers that create the teams will rarely understand the requirements of the MIG - Flux Cored weld process control expertise necessary for the team members to provide effective weld process controls and weld process optimisation and therfore enable process optimization.

If the mfg. management does not understand the MIG - FCA weld process controls - best practice requirements, the management cannot attain the necessary training for their employees. In these too common circumstances, how and why would the managers expect their employees to figure things out?

ANOTHER USELESS TEAM MEETING: When a weld team is required in a plant, it's simply an indication that the management in that plant has not staffed the plant with the qualified individuals it needs. As it's difficult to get personnel with process control expertise, the management needs to provide the employees with the process control - best practice training necessary to make the required weld decisions.




Without the correct level of MIG - FCA weld process control - best practice expertise, the weld team meetings are too often costly, frustrating, time consuming events in which there are many windy incorrect opinions, and usually little sustenance.

 

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TRAINING - TRAINING - TRAINING - TRAINING - TRAINING - TRAINING - TRAINING - - - -

Their are two ways to get my MIG and flux cored weld process control - best practice training. You can either order one of my programs, or request my CUSTOMIZED training. Info follows.

FOR MANAGERS OR ENGINEERS THAT ARE INTERESTED IN "CUSTOMIZED TRAINING" FOR THEIR WELD DECISION MAKERS OR TRAINERS, PLEASE GIVE CONSIDERATION TO THE UNIQUE PROGRAMS THAT I PROVIDE IN ASHEVILLE NORTH CAROLINA .



" HOW TO MANAGE A WELD SHOP & ENSURE MAXIMUM DAILY WELD QUALITY
AND PRODUCTION, ALWAYS AT THE LOWEST WELD COSTS".


Asheville Wikipedia Photo by Ken Thomas Rainy.


Blue Ridge, Asheville, North Carolina. Voted # 1 USA City, 2015..


MY CUSTOMIZED TRAINING:
The following customized MIG & flux cored, Weld Process Control & Best Weld Practice training program is suited for managers, engineers, supervisors, technicians and trainers. The training is provided in Asheville. NC.

In the competitive global weld - fab industry, increased profits will be achieved by those companies that employ, managers, supervisors, technicians and trainers that do not rely on weld sales advice, and have the Weld Process Controls and Best Weld Practice capability for weld process optimization.

Weld Process controls - Best Weld Practices is essential to consistently attain the required MIG - flux cored weld quality with the highest weld productivity always at the lowest possible weld costs.

PROCESS TRAINING & WELD COST REDUCTION OPPORTUNITIES:

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 weld departments when weld processes, weld consumables, weld transfer modes, weld deposition potential and weld costs are understood by the 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;

[] The weld decision maker will have the reasons and proof that your company does not need to purchase costly pulsed MIG equipment that's typically loaded with useless electronic bells and whistles.

[] The weld decision maker will no longer need to purchase three part gas mixes or a variety of different gas mixes.

[] The weld decision maker will not require the costly metal cored wires and will think twice about the flux cored wires purchased.

[] 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.


A COMPANY DOES NOT NEED A WELD TEAM TO MAKE WELD DECISIONS, WHEN ALL THE WELD DECISION MAKERS ARE "QUALIFIED" TO MAKE CORRECT WELD PROCESS DECISIONS.

My customized course last two days. The course location is in Asheville, North Carolina. With this program I provide what no training company or global educational facility provides. The participants become manual or robot weld process controls experts.

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


PROCESS CONTROL - BEST PRACTICE TRAINING AUTO - TRUCK INDUSTRY:
E-Mail. 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, our robot MIG welding lines were producing less than 40 Ford F-150 truck frames per-hour, and over 90% of the frames required extensive weld rework.

Thanks to your Robot Weld Process Controls - Best Practices Training program, and your process and consumable recommendations, the robot weld results from our employees are today staggering. Yesterday this plant hit very close to a record of 76 frames per hour. We daily attain our average goal of one frame per-minute. We had two recent weld audits. One weld audit had a total of two failures, and the 2nd weld audit was the first 100% pass weld audit in the history of the Ford F-150 line. We have now implemented your robot weld process recommendations in five of our USA plants.

Many thanks! Ryan Good.
A grateful engineer, and a grateful DANA Corporation.

Note The DANA corporation is a tier one supplier and a world leader in the supply of drive line products such as frames, axles, drive shafts, and transmissions for light- and heavy-duty vehicles. DANA employs approximately 22,500 people in 26 countries and in 2010 had sales of $6.1 billion.

WELD PROCESS CONTROL TRAINING FOR ANY WELD SHOP USING MIG - FCAW.
E-Mail. Dear Ed, I want to let you know that by using your MIG - FCA weld process control - best practice methods in one of our plants, we have now dramatically improved our weld quality - productivity and reduced our labor - filler metal costs by approx. 45%. We intend to utilize your training program in all our plants.
Lawrence Bower CWI/CWE.
Chief Welding Engineer.
NCI Group. Houston TX.

Ed's MIG Weld Process Controls & Best Practice Test.

How much do you know about MIG - FCAW Process Controls - Best Weld Practice. The bottom line is Universities, Colleges & Training Facilities, don't provide the weld industry with the process resources they need.


Ed's Flux Cored Weld Process Control & Best Weld Practice Test.

 



THE ENGINEERING MANAGER ADRESSES THE WELD TEAM... You may have been in a meeting like this. With too many days of the year sitting in front of his computer and with having too many lunches with the local weld distributor rep, the engineering manager has to open up another notch on his ever expanding black belt. Standing at the meet
ing podium, the manager reaches for his titanium coated laser pointer and is ready to present his latest Power Point presentation. This program is loaded with weld quality and production statistics, and most of the news is bad. At the meeting in which 8 people have attended, no effective weld resolutions are presented. The frustrated plant manager who is also at the meeting. This is that manager that lost all his hair in his early thirties and at the ripe old age of 48 he looks 58 and, he is having blood pressure and excess gas problems. The plant manager finally asks a question. Why in the last few months has his weld production efficiency declined by 25%, and why is the daily robot weld rework now close to 45%? and by the way just for your info, it's mid- March, and since January there has been 12 weld team meetings like this, and the robot weld quality and productivity has yet to be improved by this eight member weld team.

If you have attended meetings like the above, please take a moment to reflect on a statement from the following auditor's report (below). This statement is recorded from another useless team meeting that took place in 1956. In this meeting an auditor was discussing the death of a famous USA automotive giant company that was called the Packard Motor Company.







1956: A senior Auditor discusses with the sad Packard management and the plant's engineering team on the demise of the bankruptcy about to occur with the Packard Company:

"Gentlemen, If charts, graphs, never ending reports, procrastination, fruitless meetings, BS and lack of ownership and responsibility were the mark of a successful enterprise, this year Packard would have enjoyed record profits".


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Weld resolutions require weld process control expertise and resources My manual and robot weld process control training resources enable any weld decision maker including Quality Managers and Inspectors to quickly identify the root cause of their MIG and flux cored weld issues and provide practical process resolutions. A QA department is more effective when it knows how to prevent defects.

With less manual - robot weld issues, the weld decision maker could cut back on weld inspection costs, work less hours and weekends and employees could spend less time at those useless weld team meetings.

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Ed training Imperial Oil pipe welders (Cold Lake Alberta Canada) on MIG - FCA weld process controls - best practices for their natural gas pipes.



WITH WELD COST SAVINGS OF 10 TO 20 MILLION DOLLARS, YOU WOULD THINK IMPERIAL OIL SENIOR MANAGEMENT WOULD HAVE SENT ME A HALLMARK THANK YOU CARD:

When I met Brian, an engineer employed at Imperial Oil, it was refreshing to finally talk to an engineer who was determined to avoid weld sales advice, who wanted take ownership and responsibility for his weld domain. Although most of his corporate management were not likely aware of what Brian and I achieved, we ended up in the last decade saving Imperial Oil between 10 and 20 millions dollars annually.

The selection of MIG STT versus MIG Short Circuit for the Root and Pulsed MIG versus Gas Shielded Flux Cored for the pipe fill passes was creating extensive confusion and weld issues for Alberta pipe contractors. The Imperial Oil project engineer was savvy enough to actually want weld pipe weld process, quality - productivity answers without the influence of a weld sales rep. Also Imperial Oil wanted to wean the contractor's welders (most would rather stick weld) on their projects off the low productivity, poor quality, higher skill requirements SMAW (stick) process.

The Imperial Oil engineer asked if I would provide my MIG and Gas Shielded Flux Cored Training programs for the contractors weld trainers, engineers and supervisors who were responsible for the Imperial pipe and vessel applications. I developed a training course that required two days of welding pipes and one day in the classroom. The classroom segments were on the necessary process controls - best practices. According to Imperial Oil management this training would enables an annual savings of 1 to 2 million dollars.
I later then got these guys into automated MIG and flux cored pipe welding producing further cost savings. Now take these savings over the last decade plus and thats substantial change.

Note: Today in their quest for further pipe weld quality and cost improvements, Imperial Oil and any other oil - gas or power company should be embracing the manual - automated TIP TIG process (www.tiptigusa.com). My partner Tom and I bought the TiP TiG process to North America in 2010. TiP TiG produces superior weld quality than any manual or automated pipe welding process and is especially of value on alloy welds.


 


Weld Process Control and best practices expertise has no industry boundaries, from pipe shops, to ship yards, from builders of trains, to plants that make cars, trucks and planes.

Ed set the robots welds on the Corvette, the Harley Bike frames and Ford F150 truck frames. One thing all these plants had in common, was managers, engineers and supervisors who revealed little interst or had no understanding of weld process - controls and of weld equipment ownership.





E-Mail: Mr. Craig. Your web site was recommended by a friend., I really enjoyed going through it, you must be congratulated for making a rather dry subject like welding colorful, informative and interesting'. Wishing you all success and happiness. With warm regards.

T.A.Ramesh. Grafs Welding Institute and Consultancy Services. Mumbai, India.

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Despite the apathetic Volvo plant manager and his inexperienced weld engineer, the frustrated Volvo manufacturing team try to make quality products without success..

 

VOLVO MANAGEMENT: The following is about the consequence of an underqualified manager and weld engineer that were employed at a USA, Volvo truck plant:

D
uring February 2008. I was asked by a Volvo plant manger to review welded parts that had highly critical welds.The robot cell was producing parts with a 80 to 100% test failure rate, and the manual MIG weld rework time surpassed the robot weld production time. As with many manufacturing facilities, the manager and weld engineer at this plant put the blame for the issues on the shoulders of the shop floor workers.


After evaluating the robot weld issues, I could see the welding problems were poor weld data and inappropriate weld weld paractices both of which were established by the weld engineer. The good news was the weld issues could be quickly rectified within a shift if the manager would allowe me to make the appropriate weld changes in the robot cell. In the following discussions with the plant manager and engineer responsible for the robot weld cells I stated what needed to be done and the weld engineer got very defensive. This engineer then stressed to his manager that I should not be allowed to make weld process changes on his "so called qualified robot welded parts" How you can call rejected welds qualified is beyond my logic.

It's no surprise when you have poor weld quality that you also have poor weld productivity:


The Volvo robot welded parts had an approx. robot weld cycle time of 4.5 minutes and the typical robot production efficiency was so poor that the plant was only producing 60 parts per-eight hour shift. I explained to the plant manager, that in less than eight hours in the robot cell, by making effective process changes I could eliminate the robot weld rework and easily double the robot production up to a minimum of 120 parts per-shift.


Qualified management who believe in equipment - process ownership would
be able to define the root cause of manufacturing issues:
To robot weld the Volvo parts, the plant had good workers on the shop floor and the correct equipment in the robot cell. The robot problem at this plant was with two people, an apathetic unqualified plant manager who clung to his underqualified weld engineer.


The Volvo corporation paid a price for the quality of its management and engineer:

Now remember the Volvo plant manager had paid for me to come to the plant and fix the weld issues. However the engineer who created the robot weld issues would not allow my weld process changes which could have been achieved in the same day and the weld quality could have been verified in minutes. This Volvo plant manager had relied on the weld engineer for many years and therefore lacked the confidence to allow me to make the changes without his weld engineers permission. The sad fact here was due to ego and human frailty with the Volvo management and engineering, nothing was achieved.


I did not tell this manager that when his company was having major robot weld problems with the truck cabs at their West Virgina plant, I was allowes to do what the Volvo engineers could not do, (provide the robot weld resolutions. The lesson for Volvo here is clear. If Volvo believes it produces the highest quality trucks it must employ qualified managers that will take ownership of their domain and engineers who leave their egos in the parking lot.

Manual or robot weld results are either optimum or they are not. When so called qualified welds are rejected, changes are required. Instead of accepting that the robot data used was the problem, the management and engineer accountable, put the responsibility of the poor robot weld results on the shoulders of the shop floor workers.

Note: When a weld engineer cannot do their job thats one thing, when the weld quality and production is not what it should be, it's up to the management to drive effective change. Attaining optimum and consistent robot or manual weld quality and productivity should always start in the front office. I expect one day Volvo will figure which of their managers and engineers don't cut the mustard and either get rid of them. or possibly they will do what many North American manufacturers have done, close down the operation and ship the parts to China or Mexico where no one has to be accountable for the weld productivity costs and manual weld rework has no meaning.


The problems at this Volvo plant would not have happened if the plant's management, engineers, technicians and supervisors, took my eight hour, Robot Weld Best Practices - Process Control Training Program.

 

 

 

When your task is are to make a stupid, bind robot consistently produce perfect welds,
on imperfect parts, the imput data and best practices uttilized, should always be optimum.


Just a few more of the products that Ed set optimum robot welds.


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A note to the Managers and Engineers that are still reading.


Managers, for GOD'S SAKE, spend $300 bucks and get a robot or manual MIG - FCA weld process controll education. "After all, weld process knowledge will lead to increased production, better quality, lower weld costs, less stomach acid, shorter work hours, less frustrated meetings, increased annual bonus, more vacation time, and you may even find a little more time to spend with your family.

 


After reading Ed's books / resources on Best Weld Practices and Process Controls and finally training my employees, I can now get out of here at 5 pm, and this year I am taking the kids on a vacation.


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Did you know for the last three decades we have had pulsed MIG weld equipment BS, ignorance, lies and deceit. All as as result of an industry that relies Sales induced Bovine Fecal Matter. It's been one big sales induced fiasco:




If you wanted to write a book on poor robot welds and their possible liabity consequences, you would start your weld research at almost any car or truck plant.






2012: For the last two plus decades, the sad management acceptance and purchase of overpriced, erratic, inferior performing, electronic Pulsed MIG equipment used for carbon and alloy steels robot and manual welds, was simply an indication of the global management - engineering MIG weld process ignorance.

As the above BIG Three robot welded truck frame, leaves the plant with it's excessive amounts of lack of weld fusion and it's patched up with pathetic attempt at manual MIG weld repairs. Perhaps some manager would realize, there is a relationship between poor the poor manual MIG weld repairs and the poor robot MIG welds, and perhaps some manager may want to do something about this.


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

The
manufacturing manager and engineers daily walk through the truck frame weld shop. These guys are pleased to see their welders bent over the frames creating a golden cascade of weld spatter which gets imbedded in the frames being repaired. The cascading weld sparks are an indication of "excess weld spatter" generated by the manual frame weld repair crew. Their welds indicate that the two control, 50 year old MIG process used for the weld manual weld repairs, is like the robot welds, completely out of control. If you want to see more golden cascading sparks in the auto plants, take a walk past the robot resistance cells, you will see the same fire works display which also is an indication that the plant's spot welds are also out of control.


Note the minimal effects that the plant's highly educated Six Sigma engineers had on these robot welded Ford F150 truck frames. First they screw up the robot MIG welds, then they screw up the manual MIG weld repairs. Well at least the welds are being made in accordance with those highly effective ISO 9000 specifications.

How many more years do we have to wait before the engineers and managers can figure out how to bring process controls to a simple two control, fifty year old, MIG process?


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Without global exception, when you find one weak link with a primary manufacturing process, you are sure to find many more. When a company cannot control the welds, it's unlikely they will have optimum control also in the press or paint shop.

World class robot weld manufacturing quality and productivity does not require;

[a]
Unique Japanese manufacturing methods.

[b] Special electronic weld equipment.

[c] Advice from unqualified salesmen.


[d] Ever evolving European ISO standards,

[e] Old schho ties or six sigma black belts.


Optimum weld results will come in an organization from a logical manager or engineer that has an interest in their profession. They will ensure they educate themselves on weld process control knowledge, and on the weld equipment and consumables utilized, and if they are males, hopefully if their balls are large enough, they will for want to take full ownership and accountability for the processes that they daily manage.


Lack of weld process control expertise, it's an old problem.

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Some in management or the engineering depart might believe it's normal to place manual workers at the end of the robot lines to provide robot missed welds or weld repairs. Then there are people like me that would implement my Seven Steps to Robot Weld Process Controls so that manual weld personnel would not be necessary.

Other managers may think it's a normal function to provide manual welders to make up for their daily poor robot weld production, while the weld reality is attaining full daily robot weld production is an easy task with the use of my weld process controls and best robot weld practices.

Then in this unfortunate "we lack depth world" there will be managers - engineers that are simply not aware of what the real costs of the common welds they produce daily, and at the same time they wont be aware of what their real world daily robot weld production potential is with each robot weld cell. THE BOTTOM LINE is someone in management will each month be fudging the robot weld production figures and the good news is with a few hours of process education they could quickly achieve remarkable weld cost savings..



It's weld reality, that plant or manufacturing managers
,supervisors or engineers who lack the ability to control what they manage, will often not report the real robot and manual weld quality and productivity costs to their corporate peers.


2010: Fudging robot weld rework costs, not understanding real robot or manual weld productivity potential from their equipment and employees, being confused about the real costs of their common welds, providing thin excuses for the daily robot down time or poor / inconsistent weld productivity, and excluding weld repair reject costs and the real world manual weld repair costs have been for decades normal management reporting practices in auto and truck plants and other large plants that do extensive MIG - FCA welds.


It's impossible to build a vehicle without extensive MIG welds, yet anyone who has visited Ford GM, Chrysler or most auto - truck corporate headquarters, will be aware that the VPs and most of the engineers that they will meet in these ivory towers, would not likely know a good MIG weld if they tripped over one.

My issue is not with the weld expertise of seniors managers and engineers, it's with the common management and engineering process apathy, and the general lack of their interest in the prime equipment and processes that daily generate the companies profits which pay for the corporate country club memberships.


There is likely not one mfg. manager in a 100 that has the weld process control - best practice expertise necessary to rapidly work out the real world production efficiency potential of a MIG welding robot, or even the cost of a simple common 3/16 (4.8 mm) fillet weld. However many managers do understand how to justify the addition of three manual welders at the end of the robot line to repair the robot weld defects that should not be occurring. And they certainly will know how to spend 50K on another robot when they have not attained the full weld potential for the robots they already own.

It's amazing how many global robot MIG weld lines end up with manual welders at the end of the robot weld lines, and this is assumed at the management level to be a normal function.






ANYONE THAT WOULD WANT TO SEE LACK OF ROBOT WELD CONTROLS - BEST ROBOT WELD PRACTICES THAT HAVE DRAMATIC IMPACT ON DAILY WELD QUALITY AND PRODUCTION, SHOULD TAKE A VISIT TO A TRUCK OR CAR FRAME PLANT .

BELOW: These ridiculous (acceptable by Ford) robot MIG welds were made on the costly, hydro formed Ford Truck Frames. The welds were made around 2000.




Poor robot MIG welds made with the costly Lincoln Power Wave pulsed MIG equipment, and then patched with poor manual MIG weld repairs. Results that reveal a complete lack of effective weld management..

 



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Each year more and more lawyers are learning
about the global auto - truck weld issues.


In any vehicle crash, both the MIG, Flux Cored and resistance welds are not supposed to fail, it's the steel that's supposed to collapse, bend or tear. What the legal profession should show an interest in, is the fact that it's easy to find failed welds on cars and trucks after collisions are involved.


THINGS WOULD CHANGE PRETTY QUICK IN DETROIT, AND WITH GLOBAL TIER ONE SUPPLIERS, IF A FEW HARD NOSED LAWYERS GOT TO UNDERSTAND THE LACK OF WELD MANUFACTURING STANDARDS AND LACK OF WELD PROCESS CONTROLS AND BEST PRACTICES THAT IS PREVALENT IN MOST AUTO - TRUCK PLANTS.


ALL ANY LAWER WOULD HAVE TO DO IS EVALUTE A FEW VEHICLES THAT HAVE BEEN IN CRASHES AND FATALITIES OR INJURIES HAVE
OCCURED. THE EVALUATION WOULD OFTEN FIND POOR MIG, FLUX CORED AND SPOT WELDS WITH LACK OF WELD FUSION. MANY OF THE WELDS WOULD ALSO REVEAL UNNACEPTABLE WELD REWORK. THE LAWERS WOULD ALSO FIND THAT WELDS ARE MISSING AND MANY OF THE WELDS ARE UNDERSIZE OR FULL OF POSOSITY. THE BOTTOM LINE IS THE WELDS THAT TOO OFTEN FAIL, SHOULD TYPICALLY BE WELDS THAT SHOULD NOT HAVE FAILED.







As this site has mentioned several thousand times. In the auto - truck industry, you will find that many of the MIG and Flux Cored and Resistant welds have marginal or unacceptable weld fusion. When using robots the weld data provided, the process controls implemented and manufacturing practises utilized should be able to compensate not only for the process - consumables utilized, the process and practices must also compensate for the common part issues which with stamped parts can be extensive, and the fact that the welds are being made with blind - dumb inconsistent robots that often struggle with the required tolerances.


Another thing to get lawyers into a state of sexual bliss.
Every day at the majority of auto and truck plants, you will find unqualified workers making unqualified weld changes to so called qualified welds that were supposed to be in compliance with specific weld procedures that were of course supposed to comply with the structural design requirements for the specific vehicles welded.

It's likely that some reading the extensive pages at this site will be pissed off with my message, which I admit keeps repeating the management - engineering responsibility and role as the primary source of the weld issues. However as the problems I discuss have been going on for at least five decades that I have been in this industry, and lets face it. the next car crash you are in, may be the last time you get out of that car on your own two feet. Rather than be pissed off with the messenger why not focus on implementing a practical low cost solution.

The solutions to avoid manual - robot MIG and flux cored weld liability issues at most weld facilities are simple. All someone has to do is present my 7 Steps to Robot / Manual Weld Process Control Training Resources.
(No expertise required). To view the resources click here



SOLUTIONS FOR MANUFACTURING MANAGERS IN THE AUTO / TRUCK INDUSTRY:

"As the majority of your global plants never acquire their full daily robot MIG weld quality and productivity potentia, the management solutions are often simple ones. When they need more weld productivity they purchase more robots, or they add additional workers and possibly add another shift. If that does not work, they bring in the 40 foot containers and then ship the, parts, the robot lines and jobs to Mexico".


The above is from a report I provided to Chrysler Corporate Management in 1995.


M
anagers can quickly get to the root cause of their robot weld manufacturing issues by using the following;

[a] Read less books about leadership, ISO or the latest lean manufacturing methods, and read more books about the processes, consumables and equipment that is vital to your company.

[b] Focus less on the number of black belts and more on the individuals and team's real world process control expertise.

[c] Encourage your engineers to roll up their sleeves, take an interest in the weld processes and robot equipment. Most engineers should spend less time at their computers and spend at least 4 hours a day on the shop floor in the quest of weld issue prevention and weld optimization.

[d] Have the managers and engineers involved in welding decisions take ownership, responsibility, accountability for their weld equipment and the robots, and insist they stop relying on advice from salesmen.

[e] Stop accepting parts from press shops. If those shops cannot manufacture the parts in accordance with the designers dimensional specifications, then fire the press shop management..

GM executives announced in 2005 that they were concerned about their designers lacking the expertise ability to utilize important fundamental design tools. Its a pity GM management were also not concerned about their designers and mfg. managers & engineers weld process ignorance, and the influence of that ignorance on the daily cost, quality and productivity attained from the robots being utilized on their welded parts.

The auto - truck industry typically spends 3 to 6 billion dollars each year on warranty - recall work, and spends virtually nothing on robot weld process control training programs.

If the auto - truck senior management would have the savvy and take the time to recognize the millions of dollars that could be saved annually in a SINGLE plant that utilizes robot MIG weld cells, then multiply those savings from their other plants and tier suppliers, management would quickly figure out that Weld Process Control - Best Weld Practice are a hot topic, and once implemented, the bean counters will finally have a reason to smile.

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Since the 1990s, this web site has been reporting the consequences of lack of effective MIG - FCA weld management in the auto - truck and other industries that do welding. The following is typical even from those Japanese companies that make welded parts.

NISSAN: From USA Today. Mr. James-Healey.
2014; Nissan says it might have to replace recently-manufactured Leaf battery cars because of missing welds.
The costly recall is because a key front structural component might NOT HAVE BEEN COMPLETELY WELDED into place on cars made between Feb. 28 and March 12. The missing welds would weaken the front and make it less able to protect the car's occupants in a crash, Nissan told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Nissan and NHTSA say the missing welds not only cause the cars to violate federal occupant protection standards, they also mean the cars break the rules about preventing battery fluid spillage and electrical shock.

About mid-June, owners will be be notified to bring their cars to dealerships, where the cars will be inspected. If all the welds are in place, the cars are safe, Nissan says. But if not, there's no remedy and Nissan says it will replace the cars "free of charge."

Note from Ed; Usually when there are reported weld issues on automobiles or trucks its not just a single problem. Poor auto / truck weld management daily typically allows for numerous robot and manual repair weld issues that customers will rarely see. Even when the welds are in place due to the lack of process expertise is the majority of these welds would also usually provide questionable or poor quality.

 

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For manufacturing managers, weld engineers, designers, mechanical engineers, robot technicians, supervisors and weld personnel who want a better weld future, this is the book you need for robot / manual weld process controls




"A Management Engineers Guide to MIG and FCAW Weld Quality and Costs"

With 600 pages Ed's book is the most comprehensive, honest , practical book ever written on the subject of robot and manual MIG / flux cored weld process controls and costs. Get this book with Ed's Robot Process Control Training Video and you have taken a first step in weld process management.
Ed has written three MIG process control books and produced a robot process control training video, click here.
T
o contact Ed send an E-MAIL to ecraig@weldreality.com.




1980 OR 2015..WANT TO THROW $$$ OUT OF THE WINDOW? PURCHASE PULSED MIG FOR STL - ALLOY STLS.
In the last three decades, we have seen hundreds of
millions of dollars poured down the drain for unstable, ineffective, unnecessary pulsed MIG equipment that typically caused more weld problems than it resolved.

 


WHY WE PURCHASED OUR PULSED MIG EQUIPMENT...........

IT COST MORE THEREFORE IT MUST BE BETTER.

IT'S MORE ELECTRONICALLY SOPHISTICATED, THEREFORE IT MUST BE BETTER.

IT PROVIDES MORE WELD OPTIONS THEREFORE IT MUST BE BETTER.

IT HAS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE THEREFORE IT MUST BE BETTER.

MY WELD SALES REP TOLD ME IT'S THE SOLUTION TO MY MIG WELD PROBLEMS THEREFORE IT MUST BE BETTER.

One thing you can be sure of with the new PULSED MIG weld equipment, it's going to cost a weld shop 100 to 400% more than the CV MIG equip and process trained employees could attain.

Another thing you can be sure of, is thecostly pulsed MIG power source will be lucky if it gets past it's warranty date without a trip to the repair shop, and those repair costs will typically be thousands of dollars.

Few companies who use pulsed MIG equipment, take the time to figure why they purchased it and what the effects of the pulsed mode will on their manual or robot weld quality / productivity. I have written in my "Management - Engineers Guide to MIG Welds", book approx. 3000 words on why with most pulsed MIG welds, rather than weld benefits from the pulsed process, the weld shops will often be getting a negative influence on their welds. Process Control - Best Practice Education / Training enable anyone to understand both the positive and negative attributes of traditional and pulsed MIG weld transfer modes.


It would be beneficial to know info like this before RECOMMEN
DING THE PURCHASE OF COSTLY MIG EQUIP.

To attain what would
normally considered substantial robot weld speeds,
in the 40 - 70 inch/min range) when welding common, steel, auto / truck frames or other steel parts in the the moderate 2 - 4 mm thickness range. That 0.045 (1.2 mm) MIG wire feed rate would have to be greater than 420 ipm with a weld deposition of approx. > 11 lb/hr. The pulsed mode weld energy (influenced by the high frequency - high peak current generated at this high wire feed rate may be too hot for the robot welded gage parts especially if weld gaps are presented.


 

YOU ARE THE WELD DECISION MAKER, YOU NEED TO ORDER WELD EQUIPMENT, TWO CHOICES, YOU CALL YOUR LOCAL SALES REP, OR YOU CAN SAVE MANY DOLLARS & MAKE THE EQUIPMENT DECISION BASED ON SOUND WELD LOGIC.

With a
traditional, USA manufactured $3.000, CV. MIG power source I produced the superior SPRAY Transfer fillet weld which is shown in the above picture, (right side). This untouched spray weld was made at a wire feed rate of 450 ipm attaining approx. 12 lbs/hr. I then made the Pulsed MIG weld on the left, it was made at the same wire feed rate of 450 ipm. The weld consumables and techniques were identical and both welds had the voltage fine tuned to its best setting. This pulsed weld was made with a $12,000 Lincoln PoweWave pulsed MIG power source. The pulsed MIG irregular weld surface and toes shown left are an indication of agitated weld metal. This agitated weld appearance is a typical condition with pulsed MIG welds when wire feed rates are on the high side.

[] PLEASE REMEMBER: For those carbon and alloy steel welds, that Pulsed MIG weld equipment will often costly 100 to 200% more than CV equipment.

[] PLEASE REMEMBER. The pulsed MIG welds will often be erratic / unstable, and weld fusion issues will typically be more prevalent than spray.

[] PLEASE REMEMBER. Pulsed MIG equipment will often add more complexity to your process confused weld shop and to the weld application.

[] PLEASE REMEMBER: Every six months that pulsed MIG power source will likely undergo dramatic electronic changes, and the pulsed MIG equipment that your organization will use to qualify their weld procedures today, will likely have nothing in common with that new pulsed MIG power source your shop will purchase two years from now.

[] PLEASE REMEMBER: That pulsed equipment will often lack durability and unless your electrician is Albert Einstein this equipment is very difficult to repair so expect very high repair costs or purchase a spare.

Thanks to weld equipment salesmanship and weld shop management / engineering weld process apathy, without process justification, the pulsed MIG process has become the world's biggest selling MIG power source for robot / manual steel welds.





For the MIG spray and pulsed MIG weld tests in the above picture, I used the Lincoln PowerWave at a Magna Training facility in the USA. This pulsed MIG power source was one of the most popular power sources sold in the USA, and by the way still is in 2012. From my perspective, this Lincoln unit delivered poor pulsed MIG performance and was therefore a waste of money for Magna. The Lincoln pulsed power source was used with an was 0.045 wire. I set the wire feed at 450 ipm (12 - 13 lbs/hr) which is a the common wire feed MIG spray setting for the parts being welded. As careful examination of the above photo indicates. In the left picture, the pulsed MIG weld produced a less stable, more agitated weld (note the scalloped edges).

Note: That the pulsed MIG equipment was set with optimum pulsed weld parameters as recommended by Lincoln.

As I anticipated, the pulsed MIG weld from the Lincoln unit created instability in the weld transfer and the results were seen in the agitated welds that produced scalloped weld edges and sluggish, convex weld appearance. This small weld test I made, indicated a lack of ability of the Lincoln pulsed equipment to handle what would be considered a moderate wire feed rate from a lower cost MIG unit using spray transfer.
When the above spray and pulsed MIG welds were sectioned, the CV MIG equipment that cost 75% less, delivered the more consistent conventional spray transfer. The spray welds revealed far superior weld stability, with less porosity and superior weld penetration profiles.


Every day makes millions of inferior pulsed welds are made with pulsed equipment that typically costs $6000 to $13000. It would take me less than 30 minutes at any facility to demonstrate that a traditional CV, MIG power source from Lincoln, Miller or ESAB costing $3000 to $4000, could produce superior manual or robot weld quality and productivity.

If you want to see why the US auto industry has in the last decade wasted millions purchasing useless pulsed MIG equipment for their robot steel welds visit the pulsed MIG section at this site
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Management - Robots & Weld Reality.


AS IT'S A SIMPLE TASK TO ATTAIN FROM EITHER ROBOTS OR MANUAL WELDERS, ANY ORGANIZATION THAT HAS PROVIDED PROCESS CONTROL TRAINING, HAS THE RIGHT TO DAILY EXPECT THE HIGHEST WELD QUALITY - PRODUCTIVITY AT THE LOWEST POSSIBLE WELD COSTS .

A RARE EXPERIENCED CORPORATE VP OF ENGINEERING CONGRADULATES JOE, THEN FIRES A WELD REALITY SHOT:
Joe welcome
, congratulations on your new position as corporate VP of weld manufacturing. In our next meeting I hear you will be talking about establishing Global Robot Best Weld Practices and Robot Weld Process Controls. Well Joe, I want you to know that before we go down that bloody global path, be aware of the reality we have with the eight plants we have here in the Mid West and Canada. At these plants, most of our robots are welding similar steel parts, yet each plant takes a completely different approach with their robot weld practices. Lets face it Joe I have to inform you that our robot weld quality and productivity is all over the place. Also Joe, if these plants have employees with any robot process control expertise why is the daily robot average weld production efficiency at only fifty to sixty percent and our robot weld rework is typically
twenty to sixty percent? The bottom line Joe, before you go think global, figure out what it will take to fix the bloody plants here in N. America.

THIS CORPORATE VP, IS ASTUTE ENOUGH TO RECOGNIZE THE EXISTANCE OF THE "MFG. GLASS WALL".

Joe, on the same subject, we need to get rid of the glass wall that for too long has divided the shop floor employees from the managers and engineers at our plants. Joe, with those new robot lines in our Ohio plant, apart from the robot technicians and maintenance guys, I want the responsible engineers, managers and quality control people to also get the training. It would be a refreshing change to have all those involved with weld decisions to walk the same path and be able to understand the root cause of the daily robot weld quality - production issues and of course be aware of the resolutions. By the way on the subject of training, you might want to consider Ed Craig's programs that are available at weldreality.



THE CORPORATE VP WANTS TO KNOW WHO WHO
UNDERSTANDS THE REAL COST OF A MIG - FCA WELD?.
Joe as we spends millions annual on robots and producing welded parts, lets talk about how can we control our robot weld costs in this organization, when most of our responsible managers and engineers are simply not aware of the actual cost of the common welds they produce daily. I know many of our people that can tell me the cost of the weld wires or the gas mixes we use, however how many of them could walk up to a robot cell and quickly figure out the the real world costs of the common 4 or 6 mm fillet welds we produce daily. Joe, from both a technology and productivity perspective you need to see that across the board, we have the expertise necessary for weld process and equipment ownership. We have many weld teams when the reality is we should not need a weld team if the responsible weld individuals have received the correct training. When we creates a robot mfg. team, this is a team that encompasses all those responsible for the welded parts. a rep from the STAMPING - MFG - MAINTAINANCE - ROBOT TECH - OPERATOR - QUALITY departments.

JOE, THE SHAME IN THIS COMPANY IS IN THE LACK OF EFFORT BY OUR FRONT OFFICE WORKERS, QA PERSONNEL AND SUPERVISORS TO LEARN THE PROCESS CONTROL EXPERTISE NECESSARY:

Joe. as
this is a common global issue, I want you to be aware that there is no shame in our general lack of MIG - FCA weld process control - best practice engineering knowledge, however there is great shame when our plant managers, engineers, supervisors and technicians are made aware that if they have process control - best practice weakness, presented with the resources and don't do anything about it. I know longer want to see our key personnel getting weld advice from some sales-rep who has never run a weld shiop and likely has a degree in English, those days are over.




.

Finding a manager or supervisor that fully understands MIG - FCA
weld costs, is as rare as finding an HONEST Washington Politician.

 



DOES ANYONE GIVE A DAM ABOUT THE REAL CO$T OF THE WELDS PRODUCED?


In the last three decades, I have visited hundreds of plants in ten countries. In ninety nine percent of those plants, management had not figured out the real cost of the most common MIG welds produced in their plant. So figuring these guys could read, I wrote a book that deals extensively with weld cost simplification and weld cost controls.



If you are one of the lucky few in the USA that has good medical insurance, perhaps you should take the medical route to your MIG and flux cored weld shop problem:



Every day the weld industry produces more welds with lack of weld fusion than welds that are fully fused. Weld defects are rare when weld personnel use my MIG weld process control Training Resources



Have you visited the pulsed MIG Section?


2004 - 2005: MAGNA, a Canadian auto - truck parts supplier has hundreds of manufacturing plants and generates over 15 billion dollars annually. DANA, another supplier does close to 7 billion dollars annually in auto / truck part sales. Pulsed MIG was the dominate process with both of these companies and some technicians were not happy with the pulsed MIG robot results and they decided to bring a LITTLE ROBOT WELD PROCESS CONTROL EXPERTISE into their facilities. The Magna Mfg. management gave me a call and I provided my Robot Weld Best Practices and a Process Control training programs for their key technicians, engineers and management robot personnel.

Note: After reviewing the available North American training resources from Hobart and Lincoln, Magna and Dana Tower, AO Smith and the largest Robot Integrator in North America purchased my unique Robot Process Training Program.


E-mail. Nov 2004. Ed, I purchased your robot process control training materials a few months ago for my employees and we have revised all our robot tube welding parameters with great success. The welds quality and production on our automotive exhaust pipes & mufflers has been greatly improved.
Thanks and best regards, Dodge Juhan.




The MIG or Flux Cored Weld Process Control Test:


For those of you who believe you or your employees are in control of the robot / weld manufacturing equipment in your plants, you may want to try my simple MIG weld process control test. If you get many of the questions right, you are wasting your time at this web site. If like the majority that take the test, you get most of the MIG process control questions wrong, ask yourself these two important questions.


[a] How important do you believe is the utilization of logical MIG weld practices and process control data to a robot that is required to produce the highest possible weld quality and productivity?


[b] How important is understanding logical weld process control data
to your career and to the success and profits of your organization?
Click here for Ed's MIG Weld Process Control Quiz.


2007: THE MINNEAPOLIS BRIDGE FAILURE AND THE PATHETIC INFRASTRUCTURE IN THE USA..


Today in the USA, and thanks to our pathetic politics, a decade from now those that drive across steel bridges should before they cross, think about the welds and the rusting SUPPORT structures: During rush hour traffic, t
he entire span of a Minneapolis interstate steel bridge broke into sections and collapsed, sending vehicles, concrete and twisted metal crashing more than sixty feet into the Mississippi River. During 1990, engineers had evaluated the bridge and expressed their concerns about excess corrosion on the structural supports, and a few years ago it was reported that stress and weld cracks were evident with the possibility of possible fatigue / fracture failure.

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The rusting infrastructure of "a once great nation" is leaving in it's dust, a sad and costly legacy for many generations to come.

2007: Today it was the Minneapolis bridge, tomorrow it will be a power station or other large steel structure. In the next decade we will see the consequences for political and engineering ignorance and apathy. In a nation that should lead the way in engineering and infrastructure, we again find no responsibility, no accountability and no ownership.

 


It's a sad fact that companies that suffer daily from the weld
process ignorance from guys that designed their welded parts?

.

FOR DECADES, POOR WELD DESIGN HAS BEEN A COMMON ROOT CAUSE OF ROBOT WELD ISSUES:

Under qualified manufacturing management will always have a difficult time eliminating weld issues, especially when many of the root causes of the robot weld issues are generated in the DESIGN OFFICE.

It's not just weldments, my brother is a highly qualified tool and die maker in Oakville. Ont. Canada. He tells me that few designers of progressive stamped parts understand the complexities of the dies they design and the suitability of their part design on the performance and longevity of the progr
essive dies.


The designer provides the design of his companies new welded widgets. The parts will be made out of 0.8 to 1.2 mm carbon steels, (gage parts with great MIG weld burn through potential for the robots). To add to the weld problems on the thin parts the designer uses fillet and butt welds instead of the easier to weld lap welds, Also lets make it more difficult by having the parts galvanized before the welds are made.

Of course if the designer had any interest in the MIG weld process utilized, (designers interested in the processes that manufacturer their parts are a rare commodity) they would have made the parts a little thicker and used more lap or plug welds than butt or fillet welds making the weld application more compatible with the MIG weld process.

Also if the designer desired optimum weld quality, he, (I don't say she, because women designers tend to have more common sense than the men) would have required the parts be coated after welding.

On thin gage applications, you may not want to ask a designer what is the best size plug weld for thin gage, or why a fillet weld rather than a lap weld on that gage application is a concern. It’s sad in the auto and truck industry to see a designer of a welded part walk past the robot welding lines and not even glance at the parts they designed. Especially when his parts are typically overflowing from the weld reject bins. These are the parts that also create extensive robot down time. It would be reasonable to ask why designer do not get an education or read a book on the subject of MIG Weld Best Practices Process Controls. The answer is simple, these guys and the managers they report to simply don't have a clue...

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It's unlikely that in North America you could find one designer out of a hundred who could answer the following fundamental MIG weld process questions.

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Many of you will be aware of the prevailing manufacturing management double standard in which un-welded parts are often built to the design dimensional tolerances, (or close), while the stamped parts presented to the robot welding lines look like they have been made by high school kids and the parts will too often create weld gaps in the 2 to 4 mm range.

Designers and weld engineering ignorance and apathy especially in the auto - truck industry will be notable from the moment the design is finished. Most weld part designers show a lack of interest in the weld processes to be utilized on their parts, and few designers will get involved with the weld quality and productivity issues generated in the robot weld cells or on the weld shop floors.

The following questions should not be an issue with any engineer who calls himself a designer.

[1] Designer Question. Without robot weld joint sensing or weld joint tracking, the robot weld tolerances for a common ¼ (6mm), horizontal fillet weld should be? .

[2] Designer Question. What's the minimum optimum gage thickness for a MIG weld made with the common 0.035 (1mm) wire and for the 0.045 (1.2 mm) MIG wires?

[3] Designer Question. Designers, with or without joint sensing or tracking, the robot weld gap tolerances for butt welds on common 1.6mm (1/16) gage steel parts should be?

Design Fact: How many designers are aware that a 3/16 (4.8mm) fillet weld made with a robot could be be made 200 to 300% faster than a 1/4 (6.4mm) fillet weld, Therefore when possible they should be stipulating longer length 3/16 fillet weld lengths rather than the larger 1/4 fillet welds?

[4] Designer Question. With MIG welding and an 035 (1 mm) wire, you have great potential for weld burn through potential on what gage thickness and what is the reason why?

[5] Designer Question. How many designers are aware of the weld fusion and weld and strength issues generated with small, robot weld lengths that are less than 2 inch, < 24 mm in length.

[6] Designer Question. Which is the best weld joint on an 0.035 (1 mm) hydro formed steel joint. A lap weld, a fillet weld or a butt weld, and provide the reason why?

[7] Designer Question. Whats the acceptable MIG gap tolerance for a weld on 16 gage galvanealed part?.

[8] Designer Question. What is the optimum "plug weld "width" on 3 mm steel parts. Why?

[9] Designer Question: What will the difference be in weld quality with a galvanealed part in contrast to a galvanized part?

[10] Designer Question: Why be concerned when the weld shop is using pulsed MIG on your steel parts that are thicker than 6 mm. And why would you never allow the self shielded flux cored process to be used on your parts?

 

I could ask a 100 weld process questions that would be pertinent to any designer of welded parts, however with the designer weld process control apathy it's typically a wasted effort. The above questions are just a few of the numerous questions that I address in my books and in my self teaching robot process control - best practice training programs, and in the custom training that i provide in Asheville NC. Hopefully the next generation of corporate manufacturing management, designers and engineers will take it up their weld mfg. an extra notch, step take a hands on interest and ownership in the important manufacturing processes that build their products and create profits for their organization.

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In your organization, who takes Ownership - Accountability and Responsibility for the daily weld issues? And if they knew what they were doing, why are there so many weld issues?

 

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Will the "Corporate Weld Manager"take responsibility for the robot weld issues?

This man is responsible for welding in his corporation and yet many of these managers could not set a MIG weld power source without playing around with the controls or getting advice from a weld salesman.


The corporate manager typically spends six hours a day in front of his computer and the rest of his time pushing paper around or in meetings which never seem to result in anything of practical weld significance. When the corporate weld engineer is asked by the tier one supplier what weld consumable should be used on his thin galvanized parts, this corporate weld engineer may call on a weld consumable manufacturer or distributor for advice, and of course the consumable manufacturer thinking about the sales profits will recommend something exclusive like a terrible self shielded flux cored wire, a useless pulsed MIG power source or a ridiculous market driven three part gas mix.



Will the "Project Manager" take responsibility for the robot weld issues?

This is the individual who may recommend the robots and weld equipment utilized. He may also manage the robot MIG weld line as it's being built. This is the manager who' weld knowledge is typically attained from welding vendors. This is the manager that's part of the team that specifies an oversize 0.052 (1.4 mm) MIG wire to weld the thin 2 to 4 mm, galvanealed steel parts, a decision that will cause numerous weld issues. This man will ensure you end up with the ridiculous, costly pulsed wave form MIG equipment and three part gas mixes for those steel welds. This is the man who too often will have more weld process responsibility than weld process knowledge.



Will the "Plant Manufacturing or Engineering Manager" take responsibility for the robot weld issues?

This six sigma manager is proud of his ever expanding black belt and will typically have spent at least two decades in the auto industry, which means he likes to suffer. His contribution to the plant is to manage robots that daily achieve 40 - 60 percent weld production efficiency with twenty to seventy percent weld rework. This is the manager who provides apathetic parts to the robot cells and the parts have weld gaps that average 2 to 4 mm. This is the individual that keeps adding bodies to a weld team that rarely gets to the root cause of the weld production and quality issues. This is the man who does not get the simple fact that his robot issues are a result of his lack of process expertise and his inability to own the equipment and processes vital to his organization.



Will the "Plant Maintenance Manager" take responsibility for the robot weld issues?

In the automotive industry, manufacturing and plant management who simply don't know better will often make the maintenance manager and his crew responsible for the"MIG welding issues" that occur with the robot cells.

Maintenance millwrights and electricians "playing around" with MIG welds in robot cells, talk about the blind leading the blind. What manager with an ounce of common sense would decided that these guys have a clue about robot MIG weld best practice and process controls.


The maintenance manger is the one man that typically feels the most pain as he looks at the robot weld rework filling the pallets and watches as his robots daily suffer unnecessary down time due to the numerous weld issues that never quite seem to get fully resolved.
I have great respect for most maintenance managers, most are hands on individuals that strive to understand the processes they own and lets face it, this is what all manufacturing engineers should aspire to be.


Wll the "Quality Manager" take responsibility for the robot weld issues?
This is the smartly dressed dude that will be sure to wear a tie at a weld meeting. This is the guy that often wraps himself in that European, impotent manufacturing standard called ISO. This is the dude who likes to quote neutral and often ineffective AWS specifications, or even worse, FEMA weld specifications, while his squad of inspectors reject welds for minor superficial issues yet ignores the fact that a great portion of his companies's welds will have poor weld fusion. To often the QA manager's contribution to resolving his plants weld issues is to find and "document the rejected welds. One day this guy may grow a set of balls and figure out that he would be more beneficial to his organization's bottom line if he learnt how to prevent rather than find weld issues"


If you work in a technical industry and have to rely on sales expertise to solve your weld issues, would you consider yourself a professional?. If Mark Twain (left) was having a drink with a Lincoln sale's rep named Joe. Mark who might have just opened a weld shop, would likely say to Joe. "When you talk to an individual like me, please only present WELD FACTS, then later when you visit my competition at that weld shop down the road, it would please me if you would pile on that bovine fecal matter that you keep trying to feed me".

Do those that are paid to daily make process decisions understand the scope, accountability and responsibility of their profession? Too many of these process individuals are exhausted every day from trying to quench their manual / robot / press / paint shop production and quality fires? Do those responsible for welding robots know if the robot weld reject bins are "half full or half empty"? Will these individuals one day come to grip with the "management root causes" of their plant's daily production and quality issues?


We have a great robot weld management section at this site. If you know managers that spend too much time trying to put out weld fires why not gently guide them to it or too the resources that will resolve their weld issues


E-mail GALVANIZED weld Question:
Ed, is there any weld solution to manual or robot MIG welding galvanized steels?

Answer: As soon as you place a weld on a galvanized coated part, the resulting weld will always be poor quality and the weld can also contain MICRO CRACKS from the zinc metallurgical reactions in the weld metal and in the base metal fusion zones. Also keep in mind the excess weld porosity that forms from the zinc reactions may weaken the weld and destroy the protective galvanized (also galvanealed) surface. If auto / truck industry designers and engineers were really concerned about weld integrity and about corrosion protection for their vehicle customers, they would coat and protect the parts AFTER WELDING.

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Has the North American manufacturing industry completely turned it's back on the common sense manufacturing principles that Deming provided Japanese manufactures over 60 years ago? I was bought up in a Council house in Manchester. England and was forced to leave school at age 15. I have very little in common with a well educated man like Mr. Demming, however I believe if we both sat down at the same table, one thing we would have in common, is a similar amount of "Common Sense".

Ref Global Weld Issues. My Demming like weld statements would be ;

[] Robot weld quality and productivity responsibility starts in the plant manager's office. Once the managers, engineers and supervisors responsible, are aware of and can provide the required expertise for the employees to implement weld process controls and best weld practices, the weld quality and productivity is then the responsibility of all those that influence the welds.

[] Robot Weld process controls and manufacturing best practices should come from the producer of the welded parts,
not from the custom, not from the robot integrator and not from a salesman.


[] Process optimization is derived from weld management and supervision, that recognizes the fundamental "weld process control - best practices expertise" expertise necessary for all it's employees. With this in mind , the management needs to clearly define the engineers, technicians, supervisors and workers responsibility and accountability in their job descriptions.

[] Managers, engineers, supervisors and technicians, if you cannot fully describe the parameters and methods necessary to optimize and control your robot weld process, stop wasting time with unqualified weld opinions, eliminate those useless weld meetings, and either educate your self on the subject weld process controls, or find a subject you are qualified to discuss.

[] Managers if you feel you need a team to resolve a weld process issue, take note that the process control education training for your employees is incomplete.



If Darwin was alive today and he did an evaluation of different industries, he would have a hard time finding any evolution in the weld industry. There is no other global technical industry that has spent decades immersed in fundamental process confusion, and no other industry that has the same resistance to change.

The following would be a typical Charles Darwin statement;

"If the evolution of mankind was measured against the technical evolution that has taken place in the welding industry, we would all still be swinging in the trees".

This site "does not represent any company or corporation's views. This site is simply an outlet for myself and others who visit this site to express their opinions" on welding as we see it. This site will always attempt to provide honest, cost effective, practical welding advice without the influence of product biased, weld salesmanship. If you don't like what you are reading there are plenty of reality shows on TV..


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If you cannot control the MIG - FCA weld quality and productivity, you cannot control the weld costs. If you don't fully understand weld costs, you simply cannot control the MIG - FCA weld quality and productivity:

 


Weld Automation & "Weld Process and Cost Relationship"

If you a manager or engineer that is concerned about the "Robot or Automated Weld Cost Controls" in your organization, you should first have the ability to answer the following simple Weld Cost Questions?

This company is robot welding a small, high strength carbon steel part. The part is made up of components that are 4 to 6 mm thick. The weld gas used is argon - 10% CO2 and the weld wire is the common 0.045 (1.2 mm)
E70S-6 wire. The weld transfer mode utilized is the traditional MIG
Spray mode. The weld parameters selected.

[] 0.045 wire feed set at 380 ipm.
[] 260 amps,
[] 26 volts.


[] The robot welded part has 10 welds.
[] The average fillet weld size is 3/16. ( 5 mm).
[] The welds are 2 inch (5 cm) in length.

Note: The 3/16 fillet is the most common size fillet weld made on auto / truck parts

Question 1: What approx. weld travel rate would you set the robot and how long do you think it will take the robot to weld one part.

Question 2: How much MIG weld metal will be used per-part.

Question 3: With the following data what is the average weld cost of this part?

Labour $40 /hr.
Gas costs $1 per hr.
Wire costs $1 per pound.


If it takes you more than 5 minutes to answer these three fundamental MIG weld process questions, you are not in control of your weld costs or the weld process. To simplify weld costs let me suggest you take a look at my resources that simplifies this subject. Click.





When an unqualified purchasing manager at a Tier One plant gets involved with weld cost decisions, there has to be dramatic weld cost repercussions.

AT THIS TIER COMPANY, I FOUND FAULT WITH THE PURCHASING MANAGER, HOWEVER THE FRONT OFFICE MANAGEMENT DID NOT WANT TO HEAR IT:

This tier one purchasing manager got a bonus the previous Xmas by insisting that the new robot line utilized an 0.052 (1.4 mm) MIG wire instead of the correct MIG 0.045 (1.2mm) wire which cost a few pennies a pound more. The robot line used a lot of MIG wire and the purchasing manager saved his company over $40,000 a year in reduced MIG wire costs. Unfortunately this manager and the other managers and engineers were not aware that the use of the oversized MIG wire did not enable the required weld transfer mode or weld current compatible with the parts. This wire size oversight caused his company extensive weld rework and loss of robot weld productivity that added up to more than one million dollars each year.



Weld Process Costs:


IT'S DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND THE MIND SET - LOGIC OF A MANAGER WHO DECIDES TO PURCHASE COMPLEX, COSTLY WELD PROCESSES SUCH AS HYBRID LASER UNIT, WHEN THEIR ORGANIZATION HAS LIKELY NEVER ATTAINED CONTROL OF THEIR SIMPLE, TWO PARAMETERS, FIFTY YEAR OLD MIG PROCESS.



GM MANAGEMENT THOUGHT IT WAS ADVANTAGEOUS TO USE THE LATEST LASER WELD TECHNOLOGY, WHEN THE REALITY WAS GM AND ITS SUPPIERS TYPICALLY COULD NOT CONTROL THE MUCH MORE SIMPLE AND LESS COSTLY, 60 YR OLD MIG WELD TECHNOLOGY USED IN IT'S ROBOT CELLS AND MANUAL WELD REPAIR STATIONS.

While at a major Detroit Robot Integrator, I watched their engineers struggle to set a new laser that would robot weld the GM Corvette body. The complex, robot laser weld cell and fixture must have cost close to a million dollars. As I examined the laser in action I noted it spent more down DOWN TIME than uptime. I also noticed both the the robot and the robot operator was making a mess of the Corvette body welds. While looking at this complex costly application, it took me 10 minutes to figure out that I could MIG weld this application and attain both superior weld productivity and quality with total robot and weld cell costs that would have been 25% of the costs. Of course no one wanted to hear this advice, as someone would have been accountable at GM and the integrator for the > $750,000.00 waste and the future quality - productivity cost consequences.


As I write this, some GM, Ford or Chrysler engineering executive or possibly an electrical or mechanical engineer who is not qualified but likes to discuss weld issues, may be giving consideration to the purchase of a costly, complex, Twin Wire MIG process, or possibly spending a million dollars on what they think is a unique, Laser / MIG hybrid weld process for their companies next thin steel, stainless or aluminium application.

The weld reality is these individuals will likely have never managed to bring weld best practices - process controls to their organization with the two, simple control 50 year old MIG process. As for that new weld weld application that they are trying to make more complex and more costly, the bottom line is with a little process knowledge their automated weld production and quality requirements could likely be attained for a minuscule amount of their projected high tech weld costs.

As there typically are no Best Weld Practices and limited Weld Process Controls used in most plants in the auto - truck industry, you can understand why the executives in this industry who typically require a crutch will on the advice of a salesman often look to the complex, and costly laser, twin wire or Hybrid MIG for solutions


If you can't get the weld quality - productivity results you want from your MIG robots or manual welders, and you are thinking about investing in a costly, more complex, difficult to maintain dual MIG wire unit or a Hybrid Laser - MIG, you may want to give me a call to address much lower cost alternatives. Contact Ed. ecraig@weldreality.com

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THE WELD DISEASE CALLED GLOBULAR TRANSFER:

THANKS TO MANAGERS - ENGINEERS WHO HAVE NEVER BEEN INOCULATED, COMPANIES SUCH AS HARLEY, FORD, CHRYSLER, TOYOTA, HONDA AND GM, AND MOST OTHER COMPAINES THAT ROBOT - MANUAL MIG WELD PARTS ON AUTOS / TRUCKS HAVE THIS DISEASE. IT'S A "MIG WELD PROCESS IGNORANCE SCOURGE" CALLED GLOBULAR TRANSFER". YOU MAY WANT TO SEE IF THIS DISEASE IS PREVALENT AT YOUR PLANT?.

The common use of the erratic, excess spatter producing globular MIG weld transfer mode is in most instances a result of weld process control ignorance. The prime reasons for globular MIG weld transfer is selection of incorrect weld wire size, (wire too big causes glob parameters to be used), or the selection of an incorrect MIG gas mix and inappropriate weld parameters. As at Harley Davidson where I informed their management that the globular transfer their welders were using on the bike frame welds, was not a welder issue, it was a weld engineering / weld management issue.

In a world of product liability concerns, globular weld transfer is very common on auto / truck steel carbon steel frames and similar steel components 1.5 to 5 mm thick.

The globular transfer not only produces EXCESS, DIFFICULT TO REMOVE WELD SPATTER, the globular transfer also produces large erratic weld droplets that will on parts > 3 mm, often result in "COLD WELDS" that will have extensive lack of weld fusion", a common weld defects that occurred as indicated on this robot MIG welded Ford F150 Truck Frame welds.

Around the year 2000, the
robot MIG globular weld transfer shown on the right occurred on the world's best selling truck frames, producing a product produced for a company who's engineers / managers should hang their heads in shame for their acceptance of this crap.

The robot frame welds you see here were common on all the frames produced at this time period. These pathetic robot frame welds were simply a result of the process ignorant, automotive management and engineers. On this robot application the managers / engineers had selected a MIG wire that was too large for the robot frame weld application thickness. When a weld wire is too large it can cause weld parameters to be used that are in the glob range. This easy to fix robot weld process control issue, likely cost the frame mfg. million dollars annually in both weld rework and lost production.


Globular weld transfer as indicated on the face of these contact tips. These tips were taken from the robot weld cell welding the above Ford frames. Globular transfer is a prime cause of not only weld quality issues but also a prime cause of ROBOT DOWN TIME. The typical, combined robot down time in most auto - truck plants is 45 to 60 minutes per/robot for each 8 hr shift. The solution to avoiding globular transfer and contact tip issues is simple. Either invest a whopping $300 in an easy to learn process control - best weld practice training program, or do what most auto - truck part manufactures do, get the purchasing mgr. to order more robots

IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR MANUFACTURING PLANTS THAT HAVE SELECTED THE INCORRECT MIG WELD WIRE SIZE, THE WRONG WELD DATA AND WELD TRANSFER MODES, SIMPLY TAKE A TRIP TO DETROIT:

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THESE POOR ROBOT MIG WELDS WERE MADE BY ONE OF THE MOST COSTLY MIG POWER SOURCES, THE >$12,000 LINCOLN MIG POWER WAVE SOURCE.

When you add the globular MIG weld transfer to the weld issues generated by many of the engineers and technicians who lack robot weld process expertise, then combine the too common manufacturing management indifference to establishing "Best Weld Practices" and "Robot Weld Process Controls" that > $11,0000 pulsed power source your company just purchased will end up making robot welds like these. There is a use for globular transfer and a weld decision maker should know when and how to use it, and also how to avoid it. Visit Ed's weld best practices and process control resources.


A GOOD INDICATION OF A PLANT THAT HAS NO WELD MANAGEMENT
IS WHEN SELF SHIELDED FLUX CORED WIRES ARE BEING USED.


You know there is no weld management or qualified engineers in any plant or facility if the Self Shielded (SS) flux cored wires are utilized. These flux cored wires have been recommended for more than a decade by the Chrysler Corporate weld engineer, a man who should have been flipping burgers rather that providing weld advise. Click here for the rest of the sad Chrysler weld story. Or visit the flux cored sections.



AUTO - TRUCK COMPANIES AND THEIR SUPPLIERS WHO USED THE WORLDS WORST WELD PROCESS, SELF SHIELDED FLUX CORED, OBVIOUSLY HAVE APATHETIC IGNORANT MANAGEMENT - ENGINEERS WHO TAKE NO RESPONSIBILTY - ACCOUNTABOLITY FOR THE SAFETY OF THEIR EMPLOYEES, AND FOR THE WELD QUALITY AND PRODUCTIVITY OF THE WELDS THEY DAILY PRODUCED.




2015: While
greed, politicians and poor trade agreements have played a key role in the closing of over 70K factories and millions of lost good paying American jobs, you also can't discount in the last three decades the influence of poor, inexperienced manufacturing management - engineers on lost jobs.

While this site critizes and hopefully educates the few weld personnel that have an interest, I have limited expectations that the majority of the managers / engineers who are so busy daily putting out the weld shop fires that in reality they started, will have time to visit this site..


A note to the few mangers that will take
the time to check out a web site like this.


If you care about your children and retaining some of the good paying jobs in North America.

If you care about the the health of yourself and your fellow workers.

If you care about the quality of the welds you daily produce and attaining optimum weld productivity from those costly robots.

If you have an aversion to manufacturing risk and liability consequences, you would learn weld process control expertise and you
definitely would always object to the use of "Self Shielded Flux Cored Wires" on any steel parts that require optimum quality welds.

Note: For more than a decade, the Chrysler corporate weld engineer continued to insist on the use of the Self Shielded flux cored consumables for his companies coated steel parts.




Visit here for more self shielded wire info.

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How Pulsed MIG and Poor weld management, helped
shut down a major USA wheel manufacturer.




Read about one of the world's largest wheel manufacturers that used pulsed MIG, and how the management failed to make consistent optimum quality welds on the wheels they produced. Their lack of process control and best practices was a prime reason this company struggled to make a profit.

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Find out why the Canadian Navy Frigates have serious weld fusion
issues and too many questionable welds
click here.


There used to be an American Dream.

However from Vietnam to Iraq, whats new?



"At least when this shit in the middle east is over, when i get back home, I will be able to get a good paying mfg. job with medical benefits for life".


Do you think the American mfg. dream is still alive?, or will Joe more likely end up in Wallmart or making coffee at Starbucks earning $9/hr.






Click here for new "Bad Weld Program" and view all the weld programs in this site:

 

 


Something thats rare around the globe.
ATTAINING REAL WORLD ROBOT WELD PRODUCTION POTENTIAL.

In 2006 and after almost two decades of use, the robot weld efficiency average at the majority of global manufacture's of steel robot welded parts is a low 40 and typical high of 70%. Every auto - truck plant that I visited, in less than eight hours I was typically able to provide a minimum increase in the robot weld production by > 25% and attain over 95% of parts without weld rework.

While many companies get caught up in the latest ISO requirements or highly overated Japanese driven Lean Manufacturing fads, few companies, (especially in Japan) have provided their employees with the weld process control expertise necessary to provide effective robot weld solutions to attain minimum weld rework and optimum robot weld productivity.

For those managers that have an interest, the minimum robot MIG weld efficiency potential for an organization should be 97%. For those managers stuck in the 40 to 70% robot efficiency production range, your robot efficiency production goal will never be attained till your company addresses the available level of weld process expertise.

There are three robot weld production targets that can frequently be found in plants that use robots.

[1] DAY.1.The weld production potential the company believes it should have been making from the first day the robot went into production. Often this is a conservative production number such as 60% which was established by the inexperienced integrators who do not employ a process control specialist. As soon as the inexperienced plant personell start playing around with the weld data, this weld production number typically declines with each passing week.

[2] SIX MONTHS. After six months the daily robot weld production accepted by the company has typically settled at 40 to to 70% of the projected potential.

[3] POTENTIAL. The > 97% robot weld production potential the company could make if the management and engineers understood the process control requirements
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I have provided weld process improvements for more than 1000 manufacturing companies in 13 countries. I have given work shops to more than 10,000 weld decision makers. In evaluating the robot efficiency potential (REP) at suppliers of auto / truck parts, in two decades I found only three companies, Mercedes, Dana and Magna that in 2012 have in many of their plants the capability to attain a consistent daily robot efficiency of more than eighty percent.





And the most cost affective MIG power source is?


Irrespective of the fact that pulsed MIG equipment enables MIG equipment manufacturers and their distributors to achieve much greater profits from their over priced, sophisticated, unstable, electronic pulsed equipment, the most cost effective MIG equipment ever developed for welding steels, is a traditional US manufactured, two control, 350- 450 amp, CV MIG and wire feed package.

This CV power source and wire feed will sell in the US for $2000 to $4000. With a robot interface a standard CV MIG power source should sell for approx. $6000. For those of you that spent $8,000 to $13,000 for your MIG equipment welding steel parts, all I can say is "you could have done so much more with that money".

THIS BLUE MIG POWER SOURCE PRODUCED THE VOLT AMP CURVE THAT SET THE STANDARD:

The traditional 350 - 450 amp CV MIG Delta Weld equipment that's manuactured in North America by Miller, is not only the best global CV weld equipment available, it's made by your fellow country men, and let's face it, today we have few Americans making anything.


Global trade is a great tool for reducing product prices, however it's completely illogical that the US
welding industry, (an industry that is eroded daily by countries that can provide much ower weld labor costs), is today falling over itself to purchase expensive, poor performing Aisian, European and American pulsed MIG weld equipment, MIG weld equipment which can cost up to 300 to 400% more than traditional CV USA built MIG equipment.

Any pulsed MIG equipment purchased today in 2012 for welding steels, will in contrast to regular USA manufactured CV MIG weld equipment;

[a] will always be less durable,
[b] will typically provide welds that are less stable,
[c] will typically be more complex to operate,
[d] will usually be making welds with lower weld deposition rates,
[e] will likely be producing inferior weld penetration on parts > 4 mm,
[f] will usally provide minimal practical weld benefits for the majority of the world's carbon steel, manual or robot applications.

For those that have wasted money on pulsed MIG for steel welds and there are many of you, I can understand why you don't want to hear this message. However what is real is real and as for proof, it would take me less than 60 minutes welding at any global facility to prove that the lower cost. more durable CV MIG equipment (with process expertise) will provide your organization with the MIG - FCA weld quality and productivity you desire.

For the last decade, this single sentence defined the majority of the Global MIG Weld Industry and especially European weld shops;.

"Its a weld shop, give them bells and whistles and watch them buy it"

Extensive MIG weld equipment data is available in this section.

Before you waste thousands of dollars on pulsed MIG equipment, you may want to contact me at ecraig@weldreality.com
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Thanks to the lack of global MIG weld process control knowledge, many manufacturing companies who purchased MIG welding robots have created "semiautomatic" robot welding lines in which few robots get through a shift without weld issues and excess human intervention. A report from Ed Craig to Ford Motor, Detroit. 1989.

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If you believe that to make good robot welds you need sophisticated electronic MIG equipment that provides ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, FUZZY WOOZZY TECHNOLOGY, ADAPTIVE DIP PULSED, WAVEFORMS BY THE MILLIONS, FTT, CDM TECHNOLOGY, WELDS PROGRAMMABLE WITH A PALM PILOT OR LAP TOP then you have been brainwashed by a weld equipment manufacturer or a sales rep.


The year is 2003: The electronic pulsed MIG equipment we find today for welding steels, may have been developed by Japanese or American electronic engineers who had more expertise in designing CD players, than with the development of optimum MIG welding equipment. E.Craig



If you want to know why that new Miller Auto Axcess or Lincoln Power Wave or F355i pulsed power source attached to that robot will give you problems on some high speed steel welds on steel parts, visit the MIG equipment and pulsed sections, then visit a unique perspective on welding auto cradles and high speed robot welds.


2007: IF YOU HAVE TO PURCHASE A PULSED POWER SOURCE FOR NONE ALUMINUM APPLICATIONS, THE BEST AND MOST COST AFFECTIVE UNIT THAT I HAVE TESTED IS AVAILABLE FROM OTC. CHECK OUT THE MIG EQUIPMENT SECTION.

As for that costly high tech Lincoln, Miller, Panasonic, ESAB MIG equipment used for your steel welds, believe what you like from these companies, but please remember this. I can readily demonstrate in a few minutes at your facility that these often unstable, over priced pulsed units will not provide superior weld quality or weld production in contrast to a traditional, more durable, CV MIG power source / interface unit that could cost 100 to 500% less.



J
oe you are supposed to be the production manufacturing manager. In the last five years you have implemented three different lean manufacturing methods from Japan. You increased the QA department annual budget by half a million dollars, and so far we have spent over $200.000 on that bloody useless ISO package. Yet with all these costly changes, the plant's robots now spend more time with the maintenance personnel than they do making parts. The robots are producing 50 percent less than we had anticipated and the annual weld rework, rejects and loss of productivity costs is now close to two million dollars. Joe that fat hiring bonus we paid you was for a reason. Get real and deal with this plant's weld process issues.




If you can tell the time, you will be able to instantly set MIG equipment for any manual or robot weld:
Over thirty years ago, while frustrated with the global lack of MIG weld process expertise, I started to develop a unique, simple weld process control method I call the "Weld Clock Method"


My MIG and flux cored best practices - process control training Clock Method, (I have written three books on the subject) provides the ability for any weld decision maker, (without taking notes) to instantly set optimum MIG and flux cored weld parameters for any automated or manual steel / stainless application.

As a weld process control specialist, with 50 yrs of hands on weld process control expertise, and also three books on the subject, Im'n afraid my weld message will be a stark contrast to the information you will hear from your local weld sales man. or a rep from company like Lincoln, Miller and Panasonic. All I ask is you keep an open mind and if you are interested in attaining optimum MIG / FCA weld quality - productivity always at the lowest costs I highly recommend you consider learning my weld process controls and best weld practice programs.


Doc this paitent is a MIG welder. His boss has asked us to cut out his "play around" weld organ before he contaminates the new robots.






REMEMBER EXPERTISE IS READILY MEASURED: The next time you have a weld team meeting, open up a box of donuts and bring up the subject of weld "process expertise" Then present the weld team with my fundamental MIG weld process control quiz and Flux Cored weld quiz. At the quiz completion, ask the weld team members how important they believe weld process control knowledge is in attaining optimum robot, automated or manual welds.


Before you purchase your next MIG power source you may want to visit the MIG equipment evaluation section. Before you implement a robot weld process control program you may want to visit the robot management section.


Joe I believe that when MIG welding steels, the greatest benefit attained from most of the high priced, electronic pulsed MIG equipment you have bought into this plant, is the increased profits shared by the weld equipment manufactures and distributors.

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As many weld shops in this industry are going in the wrong direction, you will find extensive "constructive criticism" on this site, much of it directed at;

[a] Excessive weld equipment / consumable salesmanship and poor weld process sales advice that for decades has influenced the global weld market and made the welding a trade an industry that lacks engineering credibility.

[b] A global common lack of MIG weld process control awareness from the majority of supervisors, engineers and managers involved with this process.

[c] A universal weld shop culture in which skills are more important than process expertise and many shops are immersed in numerous bad weld practices and weld process myths.

[d] Educational facilities in North America, Europe and Japan that provide weld engineering courses and yet don't teach their student weld engineers how to control the world's most popular welding processes.




Why would this Volvo Plant Manager want to waste what he called SKILLED WELDERS to run his obots?:

Many years ago, at the Volvo construction equipment manufacturing facility in Asheville. North Carolina, the plant manager ran a local news paper add looking for "skilled welders" to run his MIG welding robots. I phoned the manager, introduced myself and asked why would his company want to pay a premium for skilled welders, when the robots he had purchased provided the "weld skills". The plant manager went quite for a minute and then invited me to visit his plant.


During my visit to the Volvo plant, I noted the robot welds looked excellent, but as I walked by the robot cells, I could tell from the "low intensity of the robot arc sounds" utilized for the large welds that the weld parameters being utilized were less than they should have been for the thick steel construction equipment parts.

During my meeting with the plant manager and his robot supervisor, I told these guys about the benefits of my robot weld process control resources. These two guys told me that as far as they were concerned, all was well with their robot welds. I then informed these two gentlemen that the arc sounds from my perspective told me their should be lack of weld fusion concerns. I watched the manager and engineer's surprised reaction to this comment. The manager then showed me a note he had just received a week earlier from the Volvo engineer's in Sweden. The Swedish engineers noted their concerns for lack of weld fusion found in the welds they had tested on the equipment from the Asheville plant.


The fact that the management was looking for skilled welders to run robots and the plant supervison in charge of the robot welds was allowing welds with marginal or lack of fusion was two indications on why these gentlemen should have invested a whopping $400 on my robot best practices - process control training resource.

The optimisation of robot welds will not come from skilled welders who typically have no robot weld process control expertise and optimum weld quality and productivity will not come from managers, engineers and supervisors who also lack the same process expertise.


That weld process control expertise is available on a CD and will cost your organization for approx. $300. Click here
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When Ed is working with a robot, or teaching a child how to weld a 1000 psi, natuaral gas pipe, once his best weld practices and process controls are applied to the application, the weld issues will be few.



1990s. Ed teaching Jesse, (age 11) how to MIG weld the 5G root and fill passes.




In many auto plants its not hard to find
workers who like to hunt on the weekends.

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Detroit management, if your workers need more time for hunting on the weekends, use these weld resources
and for god's sake get control of your robot welds.




From Weld Shops to Washington,
BS runs around in one big circle.



Today In America, a vote for a politician is less relevant than the dollars provided to that politician by a lobbyist.
It's Xmas 2008: In a time when self serving politicians receive their Christmas bonus checks from their lobbyist friends, many will be focused on attaining vote getting pork projects for their states, and few will be thinking about the the fragile infrastructures that binds the USA.

Note: For those interested, in 2008, the American Society of Civil Engineers estimated the costs of fixing the over 70,000 USA bridges rated as structurally deficient will be approx. $188 billion. The total costs for rebuilding all the components necessary for our infrastructure will be in excess of two trillion dollars.


2008: One thing lobbyist have always done well, is reduce regulations. Thanks to the politicians and their lobbyist, and the resulting removal and lack of regulations, we the USA taxpayers enable central bank to provide banks and credit card companies money at almost zero percent interest. These financial institutions then turn around, and thanks to no relevant consumer protectiion regulations, they charge the same taxpayers interest rates that today are beyond what the mafia used to charge.

2008: In America we typically get our electricity from thirty to sixty year old, antiquated power stations who's eroded pipes and boilers strain daily at their maximum capacity. While these plants operate at full capaicty, the majority of the pipes and boilers in the plants have serious wear and errosion issues.

2008: Today as we dig deeper for the coal that pollutes the world we dig for an unnecessary resource that shortens the life span of those who dig for it, while for decades we have ignored the lower cost, abundant, cleaner natural gas.

2008: Today in America we have an abundance of both gas and oil, yet we continue to make Saudi Arabia rich. Remember Saudi Arabia? thats the country that provided 19 terrorists to bring down the twin towers.

2008: Next time you stop for gas, give some thought to the fact that your gasoline has just been delivered from an antiquated refineriy that can barely keep up with the deman
d. The refineries like the power plants are made with steels and alloy components that are often held together with band aid repairs.



2008: Today in America while the majority of our lawyer / politicians have no concern for social issues, their interests are instead focussed on the size of their bank accounts and the ways they can avoid taxes


2008: In America, again thanks to lack of protective regulations, during the last decade we lost more than 10,000 manufacturing plants. Today when new jobs are introduced, they are too frequently at pay rates that keep people one step away from welfare. When employees pick up those sad pay checks, too often they will come from corporations that hide their profits in offshore accounts. The top executives in these organizations will employ the best accountants who ensure they and their corporation will pay less taxes then their lowest paid workers. For those that are glad to have that low paying job without benefits, keep in mind your corporation's philosphy will not be for the longevity of that employment or for the quality of your life.


2008: In a time when over 30% of all tax dollars go to support the Pentagon and it's few prime contractors,
we have politicians who will not think twice about using vague scare tactics as they scheme to create and uncover more small (we never win) wars, and vague underwear and shoe terrorists plots that add more dollars to that Pentagon and security budgets.

2008: In this wonderful, rich, obese country, annualy we will see over one million deaths from heart related issues and another half a million will die of cancer. In a country that rarely discusses the quality of life, this year over 30 thousand will die from guns and for those that give a dam, we will have over 50 million without health care. For those brain washed American that are proud of their health care system, the longevity of life is so poor in the USA that we are rated just barely above most S. American third world countries.

Note: I have had cancer for a decade. For three deades I have contributed to Americ's growth by improving weld quality and productivity in over a 1000 plants. How did America repay me. With my prolonged existing condition, like 50 million others I could not get health care and for a decade lived in fear of loosing my home and the small savings I accumulated. There is something wrong when at a time when the USA is paying 100% more per-individual for health care costs than any other country, yet from a health care quality perpective, the USA is placed #14 in countries that provide health care systems.


2008: To put things into perspective, we are proud of the riches generated in this country yet we struggle to provide decent education for our children and provide everyone with health care, things that are taken for granted in most wealty industrial nations. The anticipated costs to build sufficient nuclear and power plants for every state, replace the ifrastructue to utilize more nat gas, replace those broken down refineries, build new bridges and other infrastructure would be approx. two trillion dollars, or about fifty percent of the approx. costs that were incurred in the Iraq - Afganistan wars.

You might ask, "what the hell has this to do with welding, the answer is nothing, its my site I need to vent and nobody else listens to me. So lets get back to the real world and forget about screwed up politicians and talk about their cousins, the screwed up weld manufacturing management.

Ed Craig. 08/2008.

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What you will find in home page section 4.


Item: Their are MIG and flux cored weld issues in the plant and the management are looking to blame someone.

Item: The most costly pulsed MIG Lincoln power source versus the least costly CV Lincoln MIG power source.

Item: The Miller Maxtron and Miller Invision weld problems helped put this wheel manufacturer out of business.

Item: After introducing their new pulsed MIG equipment, most MIG weld equipment manufacturers continuously made changes to their equipment without notifying their customers about the electronic problems and changes made.

Item: Japan the land of the worst MIG equipment and auto - truck weld specifications that belong in Disney Land.

Item: Why purchase a costly pulsed MIG power source for gage metals, when the lower cost CV power source with short circuit is often superior.


Item: Why purchase a costly pulsed MIG power source for welding steels
> 1/16, when the lower cost CV equipment with spray transfer will provide superior weld fusion, less porosity and improved arc stability.

Item: What should a manager or HR manager expect when hiring a robot MIG weld programmer.


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
Click here.:

HOW IMPERIAL OIL SAVED MILLIONS FROM IMPROVED PIPE WELD QUALITY AND PRODUCTIVITY. Click here.

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



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