03- 16 -19: Welcome my name is Emily Craig, it used to be Ed, but with some surgery and pills I got that long term little error fixed. As you traverse this MIG, Flux Cored, Advanced TIG and TIP TIG web site, you will see a common repeating themes of slow weld shop evolution that’s mostly influenced by lack of effective, global management and engineering weld process ownership. From the aerospace to the defense industry, from shipbuilding to the power industry, from automotive to the oil industry, for more than three decades, the common lack off effective front office and shop floor weld process controls and best weld practice expertise, has been evident in the common poor arc weld production, rejects and rework. For the global weld industry, it’s well past the time for change, and as for creating and implementing progressive weld changes in the weld shop, well that brings up another issue.
When weld process control and best weld practice expertise is lacking, weld process apathy sets in, rework and rejects and poor productivity become the norm, And from SpaceX to Exon or Ford to GE, the following attitude can become the norm.
2019: IN THE LAST THREE DECADES, WE HAVE HAD DRAMATIC ADVANCES IN ENGINEERING AND ESPECIALLY WITH JOINING METALS. IF YOUR WELD SHOP IS ARE NOT USING WELD PROCESS CONTROL AND BEST WELD PRACTICE EXPERTISE FOR ARC WELD QUALITY – PRODUCTIVITY OPTIMIZATION AND NOT USING TIP TIG FOR CODE QUALITY WELDS YOU ARE STUCK IN THE 20th CENTURY AND THROWING MONEY OUT OF THE WELD SHOP WINDOW.
WHAT HAPPENED TO WELD SHOP EVOLUTION? As I look back from the 1960’s when I started at age 16 MIG and flux cored welding tractors at Massey Ferguson in England, and compare the weld shop today in 2019, and I think about the 1000 plus weld shops in 13 countries that I was asked to resolve weld issues, and the weld reality for me has been that in most instances, it would be difficult to differentiate a typical 1960’s weld shop from the majority of the 2019 global weld shops.
One could ask what happened over the last 60 years to weld shop progress and the weld industry evolution? Perhaps you will recognize some of the following, and please remember the MIG and flux cored process that are dominate at this site, account for approx. 90% of the global welds produced daily.
 In 1960’s, MIG welders “played around” with MIG weld controls and rarely used best MIG weld practices, (prevalent today).
 In 1960’s, welders rarely understood optimum flux cored weld settings or the best all position weld practices, (prevalent today).
 In 1960’s, few weld decision makers could quickly work out the cost of a common MIG or flux cored weld, (prevalent today).
 In 1960’s. front office, weld management rarely understood either the weld quality or productivity potential of MIG and flux cored, (prevalent today).
 In the 1960’s, few weld shops understood the relationship of the arc weld processes utilized and the weld defects generated, (irrespective of the welders skills).
 In 1960’s, weld shop decision makers usually relied on a weld salesman for weld advice, even tho the salesman had usually never worked in a weld shop, (prevalent today).
 In 1960’s, weld shops were confused about MIG gas mix selection and many bought into the sales game that involved three part MIG gas mixes, (prevalent today).
 In 1960’s, the worst MIG and flux cored welds were often found in industries as diverse as shipyards and auto. plants, (nothing has changed).
 In 1960’s, weld shops and front office personnel did not understand the importance of their employees having weld process controls and best weld practice expertise, (still prevalent today).
 In 1960’s, weld inspectors spent their days revealing weld defects without the knowledge to help prevent them, (nothing changed).
 In 2019, global community Colleges and Universities that teach welders and engineers are too often using weld courses similar to those developed in 1960’s. I don’t know of any global weld education facility that teaches their students weld process controls – best weld practice expertise.
Of course weld shop improvements and weld & fabrication evolution should start in the weld shop’s front office with the managers, engineers and supervisors leading the weld quality and productivity enhancement changes, however thanks to the general global lack “arc weld process controls & best weld practice expertise” and the too frequent reliance by the weld decision makers on weld salesman for weld advice, weld progress with many of those that use the world’s most common weld processes such MIG, DC TIG and Flux cored has been painfully slow. Extensive evidence of lack of weld process ownership is presented at this site, in my training materials and books, and its also readily found in global industries as diverse as Aerospace, Automotive, Defense, Construction Equip, Oil, Power and Shipbuilding.
MORE ON THE SLOW OR POOR WELD SHOP EVOLUTION: Few are aware that in 2019, if a company welds Stainless, Stellite, Duplex, Hastelloys, Titanium, Invar, Nickel alloys, Brass, High Strength Low Alloy Steels or High Carbon Steels, and they utilize DC TIG, Pulsed MIG on parts over 1/16 (>1.6mm) thick, that in most of their weld applications, for more than a decade, they have been welding with inferior, outdated arc weld processes. See TIP TIG weld below and extensive info on this important process at my TIP TIG section, link at top of page.
Single pass, untouched TIP TIG weld.
2019: It does not matter with TIP TIG, manual or automated welds. the welds will usually look the same. Examine closely the above “untouched” TIP TIG weld. Note the weld quality consistency and also the lack of weld surface oxidation, no brush cleaning used and also note the small weld HAZ that enables superior weld & part properties and the lowest weld distortion potential. Ten years ago, your weld shop could have been producing stainless, high strength steels or alloy steel manual or automated welds that look like this?
THE LACK OF KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE DC TIG EVOLUTION, PLUS THE COMMON LACK MIG & FLUX CORED CORED WELD PROCESS CONTROL & BEST WELD PRACTICE EXPERTISE, IS NOT AN ISSUE IN ONE INDUSTRY, IT’S AN ISSUE IN ALL THE INDUSTRIES THAT PROVIDE MIG, FLUX CORED AND DC TIG WELDS.
Any global weld shop would be wasting it’s time trying to duplicate this single pass, TIP TIG untouched 5/6 (8 mm) fillet.
2019: TIP TIG IS AN ARC WELD PROCESS THAT DELIVERS WHAT MOST WELD SHOPS CAN’T DELIVER: I made the above TIP TIG fillet around 2008. Anyone that understands arc welds would look at my above TIP TIG fillet weld and note the unusual weld color that reveals very low oxidation that’s derived from low localized weld heat (rapid weld heat dispersion). Also note the small weld heat affected zones that also reveals the low localized weld heat. Someone might also note the evident surface weld fluidity and straight edges of the fillet weld toe tie-ins that suggest a weld made the weld fluidity it needs for optimum fusion. So with TIP TIG, we have what I call, an “oxymoron arc weld process” a unique weld process that delivers both high weld fluidity & low weld and part heat. These unique arc weld & part energy attributes simply cannot be attained with pulsed MIG, Flux Cored or DC TIG. TIP TIG is so different than any other arc weld process , that it can even weld many titanium applications without using a gas trailing shield. video in my TIP TIG section. By the way, this last statement is one that you would think that anyone who welds alloys would get exited about. (the weld reality is the engineering apathy is sad and the silence is deafening).
IF A COMPANY WISHES THE BEST POSSIBLE METALLURGICAL, MECHANICAL & CORROSION PROPERTIES, AND THE LOWEST POSSIBLE WELD & PART STRESSES AND DISTORTION, WITH THE BEST POSSIBLE WELD FUSION & LOWEST WELD POROSITY POTENTIAL, AND THE EASIEST TO USE ALL POSITION PROCESS, THEN THAT COMPANY SHOULD CONSIDER TIP TIG. Click on TIP TIG link at top of page.
When arc weld process control expertise is lacking, many weld decision makers will look for a “sales influenced weld solution”.
In the frequent “play around” with weld controls industry, an industry that often searches for an electronic power source bells and whistles crutch, or the latest magic three part gas mix to solve it’s weld quality – productivity issues, the common lack of arc weld process controls – best weld practice expertise plays a major role in the hundreds of millions of dollars that each day result from unnecessary weld rejects, rework and grinding. And lets also not forget the majority of the automotive / truck industry that daily fails to consistently attain the highest possible weld quality and productivity potential from both their manual or robot welds.
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT: As someone who over too many decades provided manual and robot weld process improvements and implemented best weld practices in over 1000 companies in 13 countries, I know a thing or two about who has the primary influence on the daily welds being produced in weld shops. And the weld reality in the majority of companies that I visited was that the front office and weld shop floor process ownership was none-existent. You will find this lack of process ownership message theme repeats numerous times throughout this site. Its a message that I have been preaching and writing about for decades, and yes, I do wonder in this highly competitive industry, when the majority of global “weld decision makers” will wake up to the low cost, weld process controls – best weld practice methods that would enable their companies to consistently attain the highest possible arc weld quality and productivity, always of course at the lowest possible weld costs.
I MADE SETTING OPTIMUM WELD PARAMETERS EASY TO LEARN & REMEMBER. While front office personnel watch their MIG welders play around with the 50 year old, two control MIG process, it may surprise them to hear that MIG welding has never been a grey technology. From my perspective there are specific rules and optimum practices that apply to the process, the weld transfer modes, the consumables and the applications.
Please note: No matter what a persons weld expertise or background is, my Arc Weld Process Controls and Best Weld Practice Self Teaching / Training Programs have been simplified and condensed, however it takes approx. 12 – 15 hours to learn. Surely instead of listening to another weld salesman, or spending time putting out weld shop fires and sitting in those long winded weld team meetings in which too frequently there will be incorrect weld process opinions and solutions provided for the daily weld process issues. It has to be logical that from the front office to the weld shop floor, that all the companies weld decision makers are provided with the manual or robot arc weld process controls and best weld practice expertise, ensuring they all walk the same path to weld process optimization. This will have an immediate positive impact on any companies weld quality and productivity.
I FIRST WROTE THIS ON MY WEB SITE IN 1999. A NOTE ON THE WELD TEAM: Many weld teams are typically comprised of a number of unqualified individuals who sit around a table and too often provide incorrect weld process opinions and solutions for their never ending manual and robot MIG and flux cored weld problems. The fact that plant has not employed one individual capable of of solving the plants manual or robot weld issues is an indication that the plant management & engineers lack, and have failed to recognize a weld process control expertise that would be of great value to all employees that have an opinion on weld process optimization.
For the price of a good executive dinner for four. Em’s Manual or Robot, MIG, Flux Cored, Advanced DCEN TIG and also TIP TIG, Weld Process Controls & Best Weld Practice, Training or Self Teaching Materials. Yes it takes a few hours, but this is your missing link to weld process optimization.
Note: An effective weld team would be comprised of the key weld decision maker, (based on their weld process control expertise), an engineering manager, a maintenance and production manager, these are experts that should take ownership for the welds, fixtures,design or part issues .
WELD DECISION MAKERS MAY WANT TO REVIEW THE FOLLOWING: If weld decision makers wanted to enhance their companies weld quality and productivity, rather than listening to a weld salesman or watching their welders or technicians play around with their MIG or flux cored weld controls, they could ask the following.
 Why the general lack of front office comprehension on what weld process controls and best weld practices could achieve for the weld shop?
 Why the general lack of front office, management, engineering and supervision weld process ownership?
 Why the general front office reliance on weld sales advice for the weld shop issues?
 Why the general front office acceptance that its OK for their weld personnel to “play around” with their MIG and flux cored weld controls”?
 Why is the QA/QC department and personnel focus on finding rather than on preventing the occurrence of weld defects?
 Why the acceptance of large expenditures on grinding consumables & grinding labor costs to attain the weld quality desired?
 Why the general front office lack of ability to work out MIG and flux cored costs of the common welds daily produced in the weld shop?
 Why for decades has there been a general lack of weld equipment standardization in weld departments?
 Why the purchase of costly pulsed MIG equipment for steel welds, equipment that’s often loaded with useless electronic bells and whistles?
 Why the purchase of useless three part gas mixes and the confusion over two part gas mixes ?
 Why are companies welder training programs often inadequate?
 Why do most community colleges that train welders and and universities that train engineers provides graduates that have to “play around with MIG and Flux Cored weld controls? (Weld process controls – best weld practice education is rare at most education facilities).
 Why do few front office weld decision makers have the ability to attain the full MIG – Flux Cored productivity potential from either their manual welders or from their robots.
For those interested in my self teaching or training resources that can enable anyone to fully understand the manual or robot weld process controls and best weld practices for MIG, Flux Cored, Advanced AC/DC TIG and TIP TIG, they are here.
When you have a moment also check out this sites “all program page” where you will find a wealth of practical weld programs that deal with the weld issues in most weld shops and also provide the resolutions for most manual and ROBOT MIG and Flux Cored arc welds that have been occurring for decades.
Below, I quickly taught my friends 11 year old nephew on how to set the optimum MIG weld data for the Esso Nat Gas pipe root below. Once he had learnt without playing around with the weld controls how to set the optimum root settings, I quickly taught him the best MIG pipe weld practices, then all it took was a steady hand. (easier than many video games). Please note that welder skills and length of experience are one thing, process expertise, optimum settings and best practices are often the weld shop missing links and the important keys to consistently producing the best possible MIG or flux cored weld quality and productivity.
From welding cars or pipes, when the welder does not have MIG or Flux cored Weld Process Controls and best weld practice expertise, they will play around with the weld controls and may use practices that will enhance the opportunity for weld defects.
Many weld personnel are not aware that welder skills are only a small part of being a weld professional. Both welders and anyone that makes weld decisions should have a comprehensive understanding of the weld processes and consumables utilized and the necessary weld process controls and best weld practice expertise for process optimization, now that’s when you have a real weld professional.
Robot MIG welding high volume, thin gauge or thicker steel parts in auto. or truck plants, or providing manual MIG and flux cored welds on bevel plates or pipes in a shipyard, and at the other end of the spectrum, welding parts that will go on a spaceship, few global weld departments are daily achieving consistent, optimum, manual or automated arc weld quality & productivity, and even fewer are producing their welds at the lowest weld costs, it was this way in 1960’s and its still this way in 2017 when I was providing weld process and design advice on parts for the Orion spaceship that will one day end up on the Moon and Mars.
IN THE GLOBAL AUTOMOTIVE, TRUCK OR CONSTRUCTION EQUIP. PLANTS, ITS NOT THE UNDER-TRAINED ROBOT TECHNICIANS OR MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL THAT ARE AT FAULT FOR THE ROBOT DOWN TIME AND THE POOR ROBOT WELD QUALITY AND PRODUCTIVITY. THE REASON IS THEY TYPICALLY LACK SOMETHING THAT THEIR MANAGERS ARE NOT AWARE THEY ARE LACKING. ROBOT MIG WELD PROCESS CONTROLS & BEST WELD PRACTICE EXPERTISE
In most of the auto. – truck plants that I was requested to resolve their robot weld issues, in my role as weld Manager for ABB Robots North America, and later in my role as a weld process improvement consultant, when assisting companies such as VW, Toyota, GM, Ford or Chrysler and most North American Tier One suppliers, apart from evaluating and training the plant’s robot technicians, I used to also evaluate the plant management & engineers response to their robot weld issues. In general no matter what auto plant I visited in 13 countries, the production and plant management simply wanted me to provide a quick robot cell fix and typically the front office personnel showed little interest in either the cause of robot weld issues or in the resolutions.
It used to amuse me that while working in the auto plants, when I heard an alarm go off, this usually indicated the robot weld line had stopped due to a robot line weld issue. The common reaction from most of the engineers and supervisors who were on the floor at the time, would be to reach into their pockets, pull out a cell phone and request help from the under-trained robot technicians or from maintenance personnel. From my perspective, this was often ironic as the robot technicians and maintenance personnel like the engineers and supervisors usually had never been provided with robot weld process controls – best weld practice training.
IF OFFICE PERSONNEL, ENGINEERS & SUPERVISORS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE WELDS, ARE NOT AWARE WHAT PROCESS CONTROL – BEST PRACTICE EXPERTISE IS, THEN THEIR TECHNICIANS & WELD PERSONNEL ARE NOT LIKELY TO HAVE IT OR REQUEST IT.
In my world, weld process ownership starts with the responsible weld managers, engineers and supervisors, their expertise should enable them to be able recognize that from the never ending manual or robot weld issues, and from the too often lack of effective actions that are derived from their engineers, supervisors and technicians, that their organization lacks either manual or weld process control expertise, and that they have the responsibility to provide it.
Common in most global weld departments, “I need some time to play around” with those MIG and flux cored weld controls. To a proactive, logical mfg. management, this should be an indication of what?
2019: For more than 20 years, this web site has been the only global site that provides weld decision makers with the requirements for Weld Process Ownership. If you are looking for Self Teaching or Training Weld Process Controls – Best Weld Practice resources to consistently attain optimum weld quality and productivity with any Manual or Robot MIG, TIG, Flux Cored or TIP TIG weld application, click below.
I condensed it, I simplified it so its easy to memorize it, and you can get it here. My manual & ROBOT MIG – Flux Cored – Advanced AC/DC TIG and the Unique TIP TIG Weld Process Controls & Best Weld Practice, Training and Self Teaching Materials.
2019: Pulse on Pulse, Magic AI Pulse and why not BS Pulse, in the last three decades, while the cost of traditional CV MIG equipment was driven down as a result of more countries making the MIG equipment, most global weld equipment manufacturers or weld distributor reps have been aggressive in their promotion of the much more costly, electronic, pulsed MIG Inverter units.
When selling the Inverter pulsed MIG units for steels and alloy steel welds, the weld distributor rep may state that the justification for his companies pulsed MIG Inverter technology is the weld power source “can reduce weld spatter”. In the video below I was attaining optimum, spatter free, MIG Short Circuit (SC) welds approx. 40 year ago. The 40 year old short circuit weld weld produced below was made with a traditional low cost CV MIG unit and optimum SC parameters. CV MIG units such as this ,typically in 2019 would cost approx. two to three thousand dollars, about 30 to 50% the cost of the Inverter pulsed MIG units.
A WELD REALITY FROM SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN EVALUATING MIG EQUIPMENT SINCE THE 1960’s. Some of you may remember before the introduction of portable phones and laptops, that I invented the Pocket Welder around 1988. In 2019, I have been evaluating pulsed MIG equipment from around the world for more than three decades. In contrast to CV MIG units the more costly Inverter MIG units when purchased in 2019 for gauge to thick steels and alloy steels welds will usually offer a variety of useless, costly electronic bells and whistles options. These pulsed options usually add to the weld shop process confusion. The pulsed mode on steels also provides less weld fusion potential on parts > 5 mm. Inverter pulsed MIG power sources have a much shorter weld equipment life than a CV unit, and typically require much higher weld equipment repair costs. There are numerous examples of pulsed weld and equipment in this web site and in my books and training resources.
Spatter free CV MIG welds for short circuit gauge, or for spray transfer thick steels steels have been available since the nineteen sixties. Its unfortunate that the majority of weld shop decision makers on the weld shop floor or in the front office were rarely aware of the optimum short circuit or spray weld settings and the best weld practices. This is part of weld process controls expertise.
The above video shows the optimum Short Circuit (SC) transfer sweet spot using an 0.035 (1 mm) steel wire and a low cost, 1978 CV. MIG power source. Note as the SC wire feed, amps and volt parameters selected were optimum, the lack of weld spatter. Thin or thick metals, Short Circuit or Spray, the MIG weld reality has for decades been, that there was no need for anyone to purchase a sophisticated electronic MIG power source when welding steels and alloy steels, and this still applies today in 2019. Now MIG aluminum, yest there is justification for those electronics.
The MIG Short Circuit sweet spot is when using a specific MIG wire diameter, the most attainable short circuits are attained in a second. For example the 0.035 (1 mm) wire feed set at approx. 210 ipm (10 o’clock) results typically around 140 amps with 17 volts and these parameters create the SC sweet spot that results in the rapid, consistent, constant crackle sound welders are familiar with, (they often get there after playing around with the weld controls).
Manual MIG Question: If you are a weld decision maker please provide the Short Circuit, 0.045 (1.2 mm) steel wire feed rate, amps and volts that are necessary to attain the SC sweet spot condition using an argon – 20 to 25 CO2 mix. And with this MIG setting and a 30 minute per-hour arc on time, how much of the MIG weld wire would the weld shop need for a 10 hour shift?
Manual MIG Question: This is a question you could ask the experienced MIG welders in your shop. What is the minimum current and wire feed rates to attain Spray transfer with 0.035. (1 mm) and 0.045 (1.2 mm) steel MIG wire?
Robot MIG Question: Inconsistent robot MIG weld arc starts are common in robot cells welding steel parts, and the cause of the weld start issues is often the formation of a glob on the wire tip and each welds completion. What MIG weld weld parameters will ensure this issue will never occur.
Note: As a result of lack of front office and engineering robot MIG weld process control expertise in the auto. & truck industry, the average robot down time (loss of production) in a shift is approx. one hour. A frequent common management solution to the robot down time and to robot weld rework, purchase more robots and put more manual workers on the robot lines.
MOST GLOBAL COMPANIES THAT WELD, HAVE FOR DECADES PLACED THEIR FOCUS ON THE WELDERS SKILLS AND NOT ON THEIR WELD PROCESS CONTROLS AND BEST WELD PRACTICE EXPERTISE.
As you traverse the MIG, Flux Cored and TIG info at this site, which by the way could take many months, please remember that for approx. six to seven decades, the majority of global weld shops have been accustomed to watching their experienced skilled weld personnel “play around” with the two simple controls on their MIG equipment. These are the same weld shops that employ managers, engineers and supervisors that often rely on weld advice from a weld sales person who has likely never run or even worked a weld shop. The same weld decision makers who often believe that the solutions to their daily manual or automated MIG and flux cored weld issues will come with the purchase of another new electronic MIG power source, a new special three part MIG gas mix, or perhaps from a new (not necessary) costly metal cored wire.
ONE COULD ASK THE WELD SHOP MANAGEMENT, WHY DID YOU PURCHASE A NEW MULTI-CONTROL, INVERTER PULSED MIG POWER SOURCE FOR YOUR STEELS AND ALLOY STEEL MIG WELDS, WHEN FOR THE LAST FEW DECADES, YOUR WELDERS PLAYED AROUND WITH THE SIMPLE TO OPERATE, TWO WELD CONTROLS, ON THEIR TRADITIONAL CV MIG EQUIPMENT?
If a weld shop is thinking about purchasing the latest Inverter Pulsed MIG unit for steels or alloy steel welds, or perhaps considering the purchase of an Advanced electronic AC/DC TIG weld power source, the process resources at this site not only focus on the weld process controls and the best weld practice expertise that enables weld personnel to fully control the arc weld equipment, the info also enables weld decision makers to cut through the sales hype that continues to surround MIG – TIG weld equipment.
THIS SITE IS NOT AGAINST NEW WELD EQUIPMENT TECHNOLOGY, AND AS I DON’T SELL WELD EQUIPMENT I DON’T CARE WHAT A COMPANY SPENDS ON IT’S WELD EQUIPMENT. THIS SITE IS ABOUT GETTING THE BS OUT OF THE WELD INDUSTRY AND PROVIDING PRACTICAL, COST EFFECTIVE WELD ADVICE THAT CAN ENABLE ANY WELD SHOP TO ATTAIN THE BEST POSSIBLE WELD QUALITY & PRODUCTIVITY, ALWAYS OF COURSE AT THE LOWEST WELD COSTS.
2019: Yes after 70 years, DCEN TIG did evolve, perhaps you missed the evolution when it occurred 10 years ago.
SLOW WELD SHOP EVOLUTION IN 2019 INDICATES WHAT? In most of the global weld shops that weld code quality parts, during the last decade, you would have found manual welders that when welding on alloy steel parts > 1/4, (>6.4 mm), were likely using one of the following;
[a] the outdated Gas Shielded Flux Cored process, (a process that creates slag – porosity – worm-tracks and weld fusion issues).
[b] the outdated DCEN TIG process, (a process that requires the highest welder skills, slowest weld speeds and high weld heat).
[c] the outdated Pulsed MIG process that when used on steels and alloy steels > 5 mm thick, can contribute to lack of weld fusion and porosity.
I would like to welcome the weld shops that use the above weld processes to to the 21st Century, and introduce them to a unique weld process that I bought to N. America and Australia in 2009 , its called TIP TIG and in a 30 minute demo I could show any weld shop the following.
In contrast to DCEN TIG, Pulsed MIG, & Gas Shielded Flux Cored process, TIP TIG will always provide the following;
 TIP TIG always enables the highest possible weld quality.
 TIP TIG always enables the best possible metallurgy results.
 TIP TIG always provides the best possible mechanical properties.
 TIP TIG always will provide the best possible corrosion properties.
 TIP TIG always will enable the lowest weld distortion potential.
 TIP TIG enables least cracking potential & highest impact properties.
 TIP TIG produces the least oxidation potential, does not even require a gas trailing shield on many titanium welds.
 TIP TIG from a welder skills perspective, is the easiest process for any all position welds.
 TIP TIG enables extensive reductions in VEE groove angles, providing dramtic reductions in weld consumables and weld labor costs.
 TIP TIG always produces the least weld fumes.
 TIP TIG should enable no grinding.
 TIP TIG should always enable the lowest weld rework potential.
 TIP TIG on any metal enables the best weld fusion capability with the lowest weld porosity.
 TIP TIG eliminates the need for multi-processes as its the best process for any pipe root and fill and its a process easily automated.
This web site and also the TIP TIG weld process controls – best weld practice Self-teaching / Training resources, provides more information on how TIP TIG is far superior than the MIG, Pulsed MIG, Gas Shielded Flux Cored and Advanced DCEN TIG process.
IN MFG. FACILITIES, ITS LOGICAL THAT THOSE MAKING WELD DECISIONS ALL WALK THE SAME TO PROCESS OPTIMIZATION:
A well run weld shop first requires that front office weld decision makers & their welders, understand the requirements of weld process ownership. Weld Process Ownership by both the front office and weld shop would enable all the weld decision makers to walk the same path to the daily requirements that are necessary for MIG, flux cored and TIP TIG weld quality & weld productivity optimization.
PULSED MIG & WELD PROCESS AWARENESS ISSUES IN 2018: : The pulsed MIG weld process has been available for more than three decades, and there is no doubt that an Inverter pulsed MIG power source can provide many weld benefits for specific aluminum weld applications <1/4, (alum. requires less weld energy than steels and alloy applications). However, over the three decades in which I evaluated the pulsed MIG process on hundreds of manual and robot applications, with most of the USA, Japanese and European pulsed MIG equipment I would find numerous electronic issues, weld transfer stability issues and weld energy issues that would influence the weld quality and productivity on steels and alloy steels.
2019: In my 600 page. “Management and Engineers guide to MIG” book that I wrote approx. two decades ago, in one section I wrote close to a 100 pages on how in contrast to regular CV MIG and Spray transfer, Pulsed MIG will on many steels and alloy steel weld applications > 5 mm, negatively impact the weld quality and productivity. The irony is that the pulsed MIG issue information that I provided then, is still relevant today. The book and my other weld process controls – best weld practice self teach / training resources are found in the following link.
WELD ISSUES ISSUES CAUSED BY THE PULSED MIG WELD EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURERS. Over the 30 plus years of the erratic Pulsed MIG power source evolution, most of the global major MIG equipment manufacturers such as Miller, Lincoln, ESAB and Panasonic had major electronic issues with their pulsed MIG equipment. The electronic issues in the pulsed MIG equipment would negatively affect the pulsed weld transfer stability and weld-ability. Also the Pulsed MIG mode with it’s low back ground weld current requirement, and depending on the wire feed rate, often excess peak current requirement, would influence either consistency the weld fusion, the weld deposition rate potential for the application, the weld transfer stability and frequently the weld end crater fill capability. The pulsed MIG units from thirty years ago and still in 2019 are usually loaded with many useless electronic bells and whistles that not only influence the equipment costs, they add to the process confusion , create weld procedure longevity concerns, influence the pulsed MIG equipment life, and create costly MG weld equipment repairs. Note: The average Pulsed MIG equipment repair costs are frequently greater than the purchase cost of a new CV MIG power source.
Its never taken much technology to continuously melt a wire, after all two car batteries can make a MIG weld,
For decades, most of the pulsed MIG equipment purchased for steel or alloy steel welds, was not as a result of superior MIG equipment weld performance, but was as a result of the general, global front office and weld shop lack of process controls – best weld practice expertise. This again is the prime reason for most weld shop front office’s reliance on weld sales advice.
2019: It was the electronics in the pulsed MIG Inverter power source that enabled improved communication, (rarely improved steel weld transfer characteristics) between the power source with robots. So the often inferior MIG Inverter equipment in robot cells welding steels quickly became the standard with robot sales, especially in the automotive industry, which by the way is an industry that in general has rarely employed mangers, engineers and technicians that understood, and even today after almost 4 decades of MIG robot cells, understand the robot MIG weld process controls – best weld practice requirements necessary to attain the best possible robot weld quality and productivity, with the least possible robot down time.
YOUR COMPANY BOUGHT THE PULSED MIG EQUIPMENT, SO THE POWER SOURCE PROBLEMS IT DEVELOPED ARE NOW YOURS: It’s sad to report that over the decades that I dealt with numerous pulsed MIG weld equipment and weld process issues in numerous companies throughout 13 countries, that as far as I am aware, none of the major pulsed MIG power source manufactures ever recalled or informed their global weld customers that had purchased their pulsed MIG equipment, of the electronic induced problems that were occurring with their pulsed equipment. For decades, the weld equipment manufacturers must have been aware of some of the pulsed MIG weld transfer issues with steel welds, as they were forever changing the power sources model names or continuously changing the the power source E PROMS and circuit boards.
2019 PULSED MIG AND WELD REALITY: When welding > 3/16 steels and alloy steels, after a 30 year period of pulsed equipment evolution, today’s $6,000 to $15,000 pulsed MIG units can not deliver a superior weld than that delivered from the much lower cost, CV MIG equipment that’s using Spray Transfer. It’s a sad commentary that in 2019, few of the global weld shops that utilize MIG equipment, will be aware of the pulsed weld fusion & weld porosity issues that are influenced by the pulsed transfer.
So thanks to the poor pulsed MIG weld equipment performance and often unstable pulsed weld transfer characteristics, for more than three decades I made a good living fixing manual and robot pulsed MIG steel weld issues at hundreds of companies in 13 countries. Often my weld solution was to switch the pulsed MIG mode off and establish a CV MIG Short Circuit or Spray weld instead. Many of my pulsed MIG equip. experiences are printed in both the pulsed MIG and robot sections of this site. However I would at this time especially thank the senior executives at Lincoln, Miller, ESAB, Motoman and Panasonic for providing their poor performing pulsed MIG equipment, as let’s face it, their pulsed equipment and pulsed weld screw ups, provided a good living for my family.
What does the MIG equip. mfg. do as a solution to their poor performing, pulsed power source, sometimes they change the model name and then add more useless, electronic bells and whistles?
By the way, as I spent more than three decades at many Fortune 500 companies, fixing hundreds of manual and robot MIG weld issues that were usually influenced by the poor performing pulsed MIG equipment from the major U.S, Japanese and European MIG equipment mfgs. You would at least think that Lincoln, Miller, ESAB, Panasonic and Motoman executives could at least include me in their Xmas card list, and send me a bottle of wine to thank me for solving the weld problems that were being caused by the equipment they built.
Pulsed MIG Question: So while we are aware that pulsed MIG is an effective arc weld process for aluminum, could you provide two reasons why not to use pulsed MIG on 5356 aluminum parts thicker than 1/4, (6 mm). This info. is part of weld process control expertise, and the type of info obtained in my training programs.
Surely if you are a weld decision maker, it would be beneficial to know with steels, alloy steels and especially with aluminum welds, when to switch from Pulsed MIG to regular MIG Spray, or for example why you would use TIP TIG instead of pulsed MIG, flux cored or DCEN TIG. They should post the following in the offices and meeting rooms at any facility that utilizes the manual or robot MIG or flux cored weld process.
“Those in this organization that have an opinion on the MIG, Flux Cored weld process, and lack the weld process controls & best weld practice expertise that’s necessary to consistently enable the highest weld quality, lowest weld defects and lowest weld costs for this organization, would be wise especially in the weld team meetings, to keep their mouths shut”.
The irony about this process control expertise is that it doesn’t matter what a person’s career background is, to get the required weld process control – best weld practice expertise, would take about 20 to 30 hours using one of my easy to learn programs.
You can have the most innovative car or truck designs, and purchase the most costly robot weld automation equipment to weld the parts, but as most automotive management found out the hard way, if companies don’t ensure that their workers and front office personnel responsible for the welds have robot MIG or resistance weld process control – best weld practice expertise, those front office employees become firemen, forever chasing weld shop fires but lacking the ability to quench them. As for the robot weld technicians, well they simply become “play around” with the weld controls experts.
Something all managers and engineers should be concerned about, without weld process controls and best weld practices few of the costly robots purchased will consistently attain their full weld quality and productivity potential.
Tesla and most other auto, truck manufacturers provide state of the art factories with dumb robots waiting for humans to deliver something few robot technicians have, “robot weld process controls – best weld practice expertise”.
MORE ON TESLA & THE AUTO INDUSTRY: In 2017 and Elon Musk the owner of TESLA, that guy that owns Spacex, was unfortunately here on the planet Earth, paying a steep price for his and his manager and engineers, robot weld process controls – best robot weld practice lack of expertise.
2017: Something Elon would likely not have been aware of when he thought he was hiring the cream of the crop managers from the auto industry for his California Tesla electric car mfg. facility. Was that for decades, throughout the global auto-truck industry, MIG weld, paint plus resistance welds “process controls – best practice expertise” has been in short supply.
For almost three decades, throughout the global auto industry, robot MIG weld process control expertise has been almost none existent with the robot weld technicians and their supervisors and managers that are responsible for the plants auto – truck welds.
The following is what is what Mr. Musk wrote in May 2018 after hiring what he thought were the industry’s leading automotive manufacturing experts. “I have been disappointed to discover how many contractor companies are interwoven throughout Tesla. Often, it is like a Russian nesting doll of contractor, subcontractor, sub-subcontractor, etc. before you finally find someone doing actual work. This means a lot of middle-managers are adding costs but not doing anything obviously useful.
From Em: If Elon had spent a ten minute visit to this 20 year old web site, he would have forewarned you about the general, global auto / truck middle & upper management, lack of process control expertise and ownership. For those of you that are confused about experience versus process expertise. I don’t know how many times I heard this in manufacturing facilities, “but Ed, our experienced welders have been MIG welding for 20 plus years”. Please note, a welders skills and length of welding experience has nothing to do with the required manual or robot weld process controls and best weld practice expertise.
Robot Weld Process Question: I hand the weld decision maker a thin, 0.035 (1 mm) galvanealed steel auto parts. For this robot project I want the weld decision maker to select the best wire size, best wire type, the best two part gas mix, the most suited weld transfer mode, the wire feed rate, the voltage, the weld travel rate, and the best positions to weld the part. If that weld decision maker has to look at a piece of paper or or does not know the answers, they lack weld process control expertise with a two control 60 year old process.
Few welding robots attain their full weld quality and productivity potential, so the solution for many managers is to add manual labor to the robot lines or purchase more robots. As just about every other global mfg. manager and engineer responsible for MIG and Resistance welding robots found out the hard way. You can spend millions of dollars on sophisticated robot weld lines, expensive weld fixtures and top of the line weld equipment in the robot cells, however if the companies front office and shop floor weld decision makers lack robot weld process control – best weld practice expertise, a costly price is paid.
NOTE: AS A MANAGER OF A WELD DEPARTMENT, YOU SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST BE ABLE TO RECOGNIZE THE EXPERTISE WHICH IS LACKING IN THE WELD SHOP, THEN YOU CAN TAKE THE STEPS NECESSARY FOR THE SOLUTION:
It’s the responsibility of management, engineers and supervisors who are supposed to own their mfg. processes, to recognize that weld skills have nothing to do with weld process controls or best weld practices. And to be able to figure out the root causes of why their weld shop personnel play around with weld controls and lack the ability to consistently optimize a simple two control process such as MIG and flux cored. Remember MIG and flux cored account for approx. 85% of the welds produced daily, two processes that have changed little in many decades. It’s also the responsibility of weld management interested in attaining code quality welds to encourage “change” especially when a unique weld technology such as TIP TIG is introduced.
Heard frequently in most global weld shops:
FOR DECADES THE DAILY WELD SHOP MIG AND FLUX CORED WELD ISSUES HAVE REMAINED CONSTANT? If you walked into a weld shop in 1978, and then walked into that shop in 2018 you would be amazed at the familiarity and sameness. For the five decades that I provided weld process solutions for approx. 1000 weld shops in 13 countries, in the majority of these weld shops I witnessed the “play around”with the weld controls weld shop mentality, and heard the “why change the way we have always done it” sad weld shop lament. I also witnessed the front office weld shop’s reliance on weld distributor sales reps for MIG and flux cored weld process advice. From the 20 to the 21st Century, the weld reality for the majority of the global weld industry is little has been done by weld shop managers, engineers and supervisors to evolve and attain the weld process controls – best weld practice expertise that’s necessary for any weld department to consistently produce the highest weld quality at the lowest weld costs.
IF EFFECTIVE CHANGES ARE NOT HAPPENING IN THE WELD SHOP THE ROOT CAUSE IS? In any mfg. environment, it’s always time to implement cost effective changes that can improve quality and drive down costs. A major problem in the weld industry is if those are that are responsible for weld shop changes are not aware of the weld process controls and best practice expertise that’s necessary to drive the changes, then the weld shop evolution will be slow, and the front office independence on weld sales reps will be high.
NO MATTER WHAT THE INDUSTRY, from the USA to Japan, or from Germany to the UK, in the majority of weld departments, you would find that the daily, costly manual or robot MIG or flux cored weld rework, weld rejects, and poor weld productivity and the resulting weld liability concerns were not necessary. As will be repeated many times at this site, “most weld shop issues are not welder generated issues”, they are simply a result of lack of “weld management, engineering & supervision, weld process control expertise”.
IN TOO MANY COMPANIES MIG AND FLUX CORED WELD COSTS, BECOME WIRE AND GAS COSTS: It’s been a fact for decades, that front office “weld cost” discussions are rare and usually when the discussion does comes up the front office will often bring up the weld wires and weld gas costs. To control MIG and flux cored weld costs one has to be aware of the wire feed rate potential for the weld application and convert that to weld deposition rate. I simplified this info in my process control self teaching / training resources.
WHAT THE HECK DO THEY TEACH DESIGNERS AT THE GLOBAL UNIVERSITIES THAT PROVIDE THEM WITH ENGINEERING DEGREES? Designers typically lack MIG and flux cored weld process control expertise, and even tho they may state on the part’s blue prints “use MIG” these two words may be the limit of their arc weld process knowledge.
It’s a fact that since the common use of steel MIG welds in mfg. facilities since the 1950’s, that due to their too common arc weld process ignorance, the designers of both manual and especially robot welded parts in industries as diverse as the automotive and shipbuilding, (and most other industries), that millions of dollars are wasted daily, due to the never ending arc weld issues that .
Of course it’s logical that designers should be taught and understand the weld process limitations or benefits for the process that they recommend to be used to weld the parts that they design. It’s also logical that designers would want to be aware of how to enhance their part design to improve either the robot or manual weld-ability, the weld quality or the weld productivity.
So the weld reality is, that its more than likely that the person who designs the parts welded in many weld shops will understand the function and capability of their design, but not likely understand the MIG, Flux Cored, TIG, (and when they wake up, eventually TIP TIG) inherent weld process issues, the process limits, the process benefits and capability. The weld reality is that designers are educated people, and even tho the universities that they attended, may on the subject of welds have failed them, they should be savvy enough to be able to recognize that their lack of weld process – best weld practice expertise, can influence on their parts, the weld quality productivity and costs. And therefore they have a responsibility to gain that expertise which coincidentally is provided here.
Designers, improve the design of your welded parts with spending a few hours with one of the following programs. Manual and Robot Weld Process Controls & Best Weld Practice, Training / Self Teaching materials for MIG – Flux Cored – Advanced AC/DC TIG and the TIP TIG process,
More on the decades of global sales influence on weld shops.
It’s not uncommon in global welds shops to find that the local weld distributor salesman who may have a degree in Fine Arts, History or English, is a person who has never worked in, or never managed a weld shop. Yet this sales rep may have more influence on the shop weld quality and productivity produced, than the supervisors, engineers and managers who are supposed to be running the weld department. With the global influence of weld salesmanship on weld shops, it’s a rare event in a weld department to find weld equipment or weld consumable standardization, and even rarer to find that the best performing and most cost effective weld equipment and consumables had been purchased. With my corporate Training or Weld Equip. Product Manager roles at companies such as Airgas, AGA, Praxair and Liquid Carbonic, I trained over 2000 weld salesmen in the USA and Canada. I believe approx. 5% were suited to the role of visiting a weld shop and providing practical and cost effective weld advice.
SO WHAT ARE MIG OR FLUX CORED WELD PROCESS CONTROLS? Many managers, engineers and supervisors responsible for the welders will typically focus on their welder’s skills or years of experience, and will often be not aware as to what the term “Arc Weld Process Controls” This is a subject that has nothing to do with that old worn out weld department requirement that thinks process controls means calibrating the MIG equipment once a year”, or hiring another weld inspector who can point out weld defects, but lacks the process expertise to prevent them. Lets face it, irrespective of the industry, QA departments responsible for welds would have to be far more cost effective for their companies if they changed their approach in dealing with welds.
This weld has poor fusion, undercut, & excess porosity.
I wrote this in 1999. Are most of the weld QA/QC personnel cost effective for the companies they serve? The following are typical functions for the personnel that are daily involved with weld inspection:
 Ensure the welds are in conformance with the weld procedures:
Too often both the weld qualification and weld procedures utilized are not compatible with the actual welds which are influenced by variables not considered in the weld qualification. The procedures or the weld processes will also often not be optimum, the weld parameter ranges provided often too limited or too broad or poorly understood, and the required best weld practices not documented or practiced.
 Perform weld inspections on the companies and contractors finished parts:
What’s the sense of focusing QC and NDT resources on the costly, finished components. Why not ensure that the weld inspection personnel are provided with something most don’t have. Provide them with the weld process controls – best weld practice expertise that would enable them to assist welders in in minimizing the formation of weld defects.
 Hoe effective are those weld meetings?
These weld meetings “often result in many people sitting around a table, providing opinions on the weld subject, while the reality is most will lack the required weld process control expertise necessary to ensure that the best possible weld quality and productivity will be produced on the project.
 Control the weld wire storage:
Make sure especially with those Chinese, Eastern Europe or South American made MIG – flux cored weld wires, (who knows how they control the quality in the mfg. of their consumables) are stored in heated containers. It’s a sad reality that once the MIG or flux cored wire reels leave the heated storage containers, that they will rarely be tagged with the date put in service, and then the weld wires will then often be left in a working environment in which humidity or moisture can have a negative effects on the wires and welds produced.
 Oversee hiring of new welders & the required welder qualification tests:
On most large weld projects, its a rare occurrence if more than 20% of welders tested pass the welder qualification tests. Few companies provide the process means when testing welders, so that they can actually pass the required MIG or flux cored welder qualification plate or pipe tests. As the “play around” with weld controls welders are not likely to know the optimum MIG or flux cored weld parameters or best weld practices for the plate or pipe welder qualification tests. I would recommend that for any welder qualification tests, that before the weld personnel are allowed to take the often costly tests, it would be cost effective if the QC personnel involved first provide the welders with a one to two hour workshop that simplifies the optimum weld settings and weld practices required for the qualification and for the projects. This is what my weld process control resources do. When I was asked to train and qualify a large group of new welders, it did not matter if it was an ABS – AWS – API or ASME welder qualification test, with my hands on and classroom one day training program, I used to always achieve approx. 90% first time pass rates.
IT’S THIS SIMPLE: I believe that global QA/QC weld personnel would be far more cost effective for their companies, if they learnt the MIG – Flux Cored, Advanced GTAW & hopefully one day TIP TIG weld process controls and best weld practices to help in reducing weld re-work.
QA/QC personnel would benefit their companies bottom line and improve their career prospects by having the ability to optimize the weld processes that they daily critique. A few hours with my Manual and Robot, MIG – Flux Cored – Advanced AC/DC TIG and TIP TIG, Weld Process Controls – Best Weld Practice Training / Self Teaching materials is all they need.
Weld Process Controls – Best Weld Practice expertise means that the open minded weld decision maker who does not have to rely on a weld salesman for advice, will have the ability to look at any weld application, and instantly be aware of the optimum weld equip. and consumables, and when applicable, the best arc process and weld transfer modes. Of course they would also be aware of the optimum weld parameters, (without playing around), and the best manual or robot Welding Practices that are required for the parts welded.
ON THE SUBJECT OF WELD PROCESS OWNERSHIP AND PROCESS CONTROLS, ONE COULD ASK, “WHY DON’T MORE GLOBAL MANAGERS, ENGINEERS, SUPERVISORS AND TECHNICIANS STEP UP TO THE PLATE”?
Unfortunately manual and robot weld process controls and best weld practices have never been provided in most of the global EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES that provide weld and engineering programs. The irony is this is an expertise that can be quickly learnt, and so enable any individual, irrespective of their background, to provide the missing links required for weld optimization with any robot or manual, MIG, TIG, flux cored or TIP TIG welds.
So if your company utilizes MIG – Flux Cored – TIG or the new TIP TIG process, and someone in the organization can invest a few dollars and approx. 20 hours of their time with my Weld Process Controls – Best Practices, Self Teaching / Training Resources, they will have the ability to rapidly enable dramatic weld quality improvements, extensive weld cost reductions and reduce weld liability concerns. These resources will also dramatically enhance their weld career potential.
Supervisors and technicians, do you want to take the next step in your weld career? My Manual and Robot, MIG – Flux Cored – Advanced AC/DC TIG and TIP TIG, Weld Process Controls & Best Weld Practice Training / Self Teaching Materials will get you where you want to go.
A lack of manual Flux Cored and MIG weld process controls – best weld practices is common in most global shipyards. And the weld reality is the greatest potential for weld quality improvements and weld cost reductions is found in most shipyards.
2018: Part of an Article from B Peniston. Deputy Editor Defense One,
“The US Navy can’t build our future planned fleet unless it slashes it’s build and repair costs”.
Without major changes, the U.S. industrial base can not attain the 355-ship fleet goal required by national strategy. “For the Navy and the Marine Corps, if we can’t solve and fundamentally drive some of the costs out of these ships over the long term, both in construction and in repair, we’re not going to be able to achieve the National Defense Strategy,” said James “Hondo” Geurts, Assistant Navy Secretary for research, development and acquisition.
Geurts spoke at a Defense One Tech Summit, Washington D.C. “It’s not intuitive that at a tech conference, we’d be talking about shipbuilding,” he said. “But quite frankly, there are so many technologies that could fundamentally shift the cost curves and the affordability curves in shipbuilding, those that can make the connection first will have great market opportunities.
Article Continued… When you see what’s happening to fabrication – weld – engineering costs here in North America , please remember that it was only a few years ago that the USA had the world’s most capable and cost effective shipyards. Today in North America when we look at our general lack of industry – Navy management / engineering process ownership, we need to go way beyond labor costs as the root cause of our mfg, / job demise. Perhaps we also should spend a little more effort to examine our engineering and fabrication expertise and capability. You would think that engineering – fabrication capability would be important to a country which has an economy that for decades has been held together by taxpayer defense projects.
The weld reality is most ship build yards would go out of business if complete
WELD FUSION WAS A REQUIREMENT FOR ALL THE SHIP WELDS.
Gas Shielded Flux cored is the prime manual arc weld process utilized with most of the welds that fail in the shipyards and cause issues for the ships at sea. Few ship yard front office and weld department decision makers are aware of the many inherent weld quality issues generated by flux cored, and are not aware of the weld process controls and best weld practices that will reduce the potential for those weld defects.
For decades, the majority of Merchant and Navy built vessels have been built without MIG and flux cored weld process controls & best weld practice training that’s necessary for welders to fully optimize the weld process quality – productivity potential, and also for supervisors and managers to assume process ownership. If shipyard engineering management would wake up to the changes they could drive, they would recognize that they are in a position to enable dramatic weld quality and weld productivity improvements and possibly save millions of dollars in weld rework.
BACK TO MY WELD REALITY. For a short period I was the weld manager at the AKER Philadelphia Naval shipyard below, I decided to bring AKER them into the the twenty first century and provided their 300 welders with my flux cored weld process control training. The results were dramatic, read below.
My first issues at the Aker shipyard was with the stubborn, “why change” unqualified, German, ship yard weld management.
I was hired by Aker executives so that they could actually make some profit on the tankers and container ships they were building in the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. Aker had budgeted well under a million dollars per ship for weld rework. With the container ships and tankers , typically NDE is applied to look for internal weld defects on about 10% of the ships critical welds. The day I started at Aker, the flux cored weld rework costs were out of control, close to 9 million dollars per-ship. The yard was run by German management and their ideas about the flux cored and MIG weld process had nothing to do with weld reality and belonged in a stick welding museum.
SOMETHING MISSING IN TOO MANY GLOBAL SHIP YARDS IS MANAGEMENT / ENGINEERING WELD PROCESS OWNERSHIP. When I interviewed for the job as the yard Weld Manager, I was informed of the weld rework issues, and I informed the yard’s management that I would only accept the job, if I was given 100% management responsibility for welding, I needed to attain process ownership if I was going to influence the bottom line weld costs in the yard.
I IMPLEMENTED MY FLUX CORED WELD PROCESS CONTROL – BEST WELD PRACTICE TRAINING PROGRAM.
Keep in mind the 300 welders were supposed to be qualified and most of the welders had also received ineffective flux cored training in the yard’s weld school.
I trained around 15 to 20 weld personnel per-session. Keeping in mind the man hour costs associated with training 300 people I kept the program to 8 hour sessions, 4 hours of classroom on flux cored weld process controls – best practices, and then I provided 4 hours hands on welding, having the welders apply what was taught in the classroom. Within a month the training of the 300 welders was complete. Within three months, on the weld joints subject to X-Ray, (easy to measure weld data results) the yard reduced the approx. weld repair costs per ship by 65%. So for those that like cost reduction numbers, that’s a weld repair cost reduction from 9 million dollars to less than 3 million dollars per-ship. And if the program was carried on, supported by progressive shipyard management, within a year, I am sure that the weld rework would have been reduced to less than one million. The weld rework cost reductions by the way was measured by the yard QA Management.
Note : Unlike costly Navy frigates that can cost 700 million to a billion dollars plus per-ship the Aker built tankers and container ships typically would cost approx. 120 to 175 million dollars per-ship, so as you can imagine 9 – 10 million dollars over budget for weld rework on container ships and tankers is not pocket change. As Naval vessel shipbuilding yards building frigates and aircraft carriers are used to weld repairs that could be over a 100 million dollars, think about the weld cost reduction potential from a short process control training program that would reduce the flux cored or MIG weld defects in the 60 to 70% range.
One welders before and after 8 hours of Ed’s Flux Cored Weld Process controls Training.
One days training and the same welder did both these untouched Vert Up Flux Cored welds.
From building Oil Platforms to Merchant ships, from building Submarines, to Frigates or Air Craft Carriers, there is always tremendous weld cost savings potential, that is if the responsible management, engineers and supervisors would recognize the importance of weld process ownership, weld process controls and weld process best practices.
So for those still with me, I hope you now have some evidence of the importance of manual and robot MIG – Flux Cored – Advanced AC/DC TIG and TIP TIG, Weld Process Controls & Best Weld Practice, Training / Self Teaching Materials.
TRAINING AND FOCUS ON WELDER WELDER SKILLS: In most shipyard and oil platform welder training facilities, for decades, weld process controls and best practices has had no meaning and the training focus was often placed on the welder skills. Ironically the skills often taught are inappropriate weld practices. Its common in these training programs, that when training flux cored or MIG welders, that the welders are taught to use incorrect SMAW (stick weld) practices.
No matter what the industry you will find unnecessary weld quality issues,
unnecessary weld rejects and rework and always weld liability concerns
Many lives lost, and over a billion dollars down the drain due to a weld failure on an oil platform, weld issues that could have been avoided if the management and engineers responsible for the rig construction understood the concepts and benefits of weld process ownership…
A COMMON WELDERS DEMISE, LACK OF CONFIDENCE IN ADJUSTING WELD PARAMETERS: In most shipyards, NG and Offshore oil rig construction facilities, you will often find the welders, irrespective of the weld joint, part thickness and the weld position, will be using a single wire feed and voltage setting for either their flux cored or MIG welds. MIG and Gas Shielded Flux Cored account for approx. 85 – 90 % of the global welds produced daily. Yet if I I visited any global Shipyard, NG or offshore Oil Rig construction facility, and asked the following two common weld process questions, the first thing I would expect would be the same glazed look I used to get from my wife when I talked to her about welds.
 MIG Process Question: Using MIG, a conventional 350 – 450 amp CV MIG power source, an 0.045 (1.2 mm) wire with an argon 20% CO2 mix, and welding a 1/4 (6.4 mm) fillet in the flat position. The weld is made between a 3/16 (4.8 mm) carbon steel plate to a 1/2 (12 mm) steel plate. Provide the Wire Feed, the Voltage and how much weld wire would be required each hour if the welders’ hourly arc on time is 20 minutes.
 Flux Cored Process Question: Using the same conventional 350 – 450 amp CV MIG power source, but with an 0.045 (1.2 mm) E71T-1 flux cored wire, welding the same steel parts and position in above question, again with an argon 20% CO2 mix, provide the wire feed, the voltage and figure out how much weld wire would be required each hour if the welders’ hourly arc on time is 20 minutes.
When I preach weld process ownership to weld shop managers and supervisors, what I hear at most weld shops is, “but Ed (now Em), we have highly SKILLED MIG and flux cored welders here and some have worked for us over 20 years. My reply would be, skills have little to do with process control expertise. For example, would you prefer in your machine shop to hire a person to operate a lathe that had a few months experience but has been taught all the correct lathe settings and practices that are necessary to operate the lathe for machining any parts. Or would you want someone who has worked for a year or two with lathes but never received any formal machine shop lath training.
WHY A DOUBLE STANDARD FROM THE MACHINE SHOP TO THE WELD SHOP? No company would expect it’s machine shop workers to “play around” with the controls on their equipment, so why would the same company allow weld personnel to “play around” with MIG equipment that for many decades has had two simple weld controls?
As Weld Process Controls – Best Practice expertise is easy to learn with my unique process self teaching / training programs that simplify the subject, the individual irrespective of weld background that takes this program would then have the expertise to look at any metal and part thickness to be welded, and would instantly be aware of the appropriate MIG, Pulsed MIG, TIP TIG or flux cored wire size required, the optimum weld parameters and the best weld practices to be used. If MIG was used, the decision maker would then select the appropriate MIG weld transfer mode, Short Circuit, Pulsed or Spray, the most logical two part gas to mix use, (based on weld energy required). If automation or robots were being used, the weld decision maker would also know the weld travel rate required for the desired weld size provided, and also be aware of the best robot MIG weld practices to minimize robot weld issues and maximize the robot weld speeds.
All most welders and anyone who makes weld decisions requires is a few hours with the correct process control training program. And all anyone needs to present the program is the ability to read the power point program. Get get started with one of the following process controls – best practice self teaching or training programs.  Manual & Robot MIG.  Gas Shielded Flux Cored.  Advanced AC/DC TIG.  TIP TIG.
Pulsed MIG Process Question: We are ready to purchase a Pulsed MIG power source, in 2018, what would your choice be?
Answer: I have been testing Pulsed MIG equipment for more than 30 year, and I believe that the best value for a pulsed MIG unit in 2018 is the MIG OTC unit shown left and below. A good weld manager, engineer or supervisor would know why this unit stands out, (pulsed weld transfer performance and stability). And if that person was really good weld process control expert they would be able to walk up to this unit, or any pulsed MIG unit and instantly set the following four welds.
 An all position open root pass for a 1/2 wall, 8 inch diameter steel pipe.
 A 5/16. 5356 aluminum fillet weld.
 A 14 gauge 316 stainless lap weld.
 An Inconel or stainless clad weld producing high deposition with low weld dilution on 1/4 steel.
If your employees cannot handle the above common MIG weld tasks without “playing around” with the MIG weld controls, then what’s the sense in buying the best pulsed equipment? Surely It would make more sense to first invest in yourself and your employees by purchasing for a few dollars one of my manual or robot MIG weld process control programs. Have you been too my Pulsed MIG equipment & robot sections to find out what happened with the companies that purchased pulsed MIG units and lacked process control expertise?
The OTC is one of the rare reasonably priced pulsed MIG units that actually provide practical electronic features that can provide real world pulsed MIG weld benefits, especially with gage to 3/16 aluminum welds. In contrast, many of pulsed Inverter MIG power sources purchased for steel welds, will provide useless electronic bells and whistles and their prime attribute will have been to decrease the weld equipment durability and increase the weld equipment price.
IN AUTO & TRUCK PLANTS WHERE EXCESS ROBOT DOWN TIME AND ROBOT WELD REWORK IS THE NORM, THE MANAGEMENT TYPICALLY WILL NOT BE AWARE THAT IT’S TAKING 1.5 TO 2 ROBOTS TO ATTAIN WHAT ONE ROBOT COULD DO IF THE ROBOTS WAS SET WITH OPTIMUM WELD DATA.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW?
- Want to know what the world’s best pulsed MIG power source is for robot or manual applications?
- Would you like to be aware of the best weld consumables size and types for most MIG and flux cored welds?
- Would you like to provide better solutions than using flux cored, TIG and SMAW for all position pipe welds?
-  Short Circuit is now less important for most gauge welds. Would you like to know the best possible pulsed and SC settings for any manual or robot gauge welds?
-  As with all MIG weld transfer modes, the pulsed mode has it’s limits, would you like to know with steels and aluminum welds when to switch to another weld transfer mode and provide the optimum data?
-  Do you want the ability to walk up to any manual or robot pulsed MIG power source and and instantly set the optimum weld data for any steels, alloy steels or aluminum applications?
-  Would you like the ability to provide a simple training method for any manual / robot MIG welds with any weld transfer modes?
-  Would you like to know where to use Pulse and where you will get yourself into trouble using pulsed, especially with aluminum and steel and alloy steel welds?
-  Robots create many weld issues that affect down time, quality and productivity, would you like the process – best practice data that eliminates most robot weld cell issues?
-  Would you like the ability to take any MIG, or Flux cored wire on any metal and have the process expertise necessary to instantly optimize both the weld quality and production?
-  Would you like the MIG and flux cored expertise to prevent and minimize weld defects, enable the lowest weld rejects and weld rework and provide the highest weld productivity potential?
Many weld decision makers reading the info at this site, will be of the opinion that the welds daily produced in their welding shops look OK. They know that their welders work hard because the sparks are flying and the grinding never ends. As the welds look OK and their weld NDT is not demanding. life goes on. These are the same managers that typically don’t put much thought into their real weld quality or weld productivity potential, and its rare if they have ever figured their real weld costs.
On the subject of producing quality welds, it’s worth mentioning that approx. 98% of the global arc welds produced daily are not subject to the NDT requirements that evaluate what’s goes on under the weld’s surface. If the internal weld quality was evaluated, there would be extensive cost consequences and many global front office heads would roll.
All weld decision makers should of course in a highly competitive global industry be fully aware of requirements for weld cost controls, and of the solutions necessary to optimize their daily weld productivity, produce minimum weld rejects, rework and minimize weld part liability concerns. In an industry which welder skills are placed on a pedestal, you will find that weld process control expertise and best weld practices are subjects rarely discussed, and if considered they will be poorly understood.
For those welds that are subject to internal NDT, more weld shop focus is of course placed on attaining the desired higher code weld quality. Yet as most in this industry are aware, using qualified welders, and qualified weld procedures, weld repairs or rejects will still typically be generated, and the associated costs of those rejects or repairs will come right out of the weld shop’s profit potential.
It’s a good job that most MIG and flux cored welds on parts > 3 mm are not subject to a Macros or X-Rays, as finding consistent optimum weld fusion, would be as rare as finding an honest politician.
POOR WELD FUSION IS THE NORM WITH MANY MIG WELDS ON PARTS > 3/16.
A point rarely considered or poorly understood in many weld shops, is that the weld fusion attained with the majority of MIG, Flux Cored, and SMA welds will often be either borderline or unacceptable. Also, too many front office personnel believe, that it’s the welder skills or lack of weld experience that are the prime root causes of most of the weld defects produced.
Irrespective of the welders skills or how optimum the welders parameters are, certain weld processes such as MIG, Pulsed MIG, Flux Cored or TIG will create weld defects simply as a result of the inherent process weld issues. For example you know with flux cored you are going to get trapped slag, and with pulsed MIG on certain parts poor weld fusion.
A Manual MIG Weld Process Question: The company is using pulsed MIG on it’s stainless welds on 1/4 to 1/2 parts. These welds used to be made with CV. MIG Spray Transfer. Using the same 0.045 MIG wire diameter and similar wire feed settings as used with Spray, they found they were having weld fusion concerns. Explain why?
Irrespective of what the salesman will tell many. No Pulsed MIG power source will be as simple to operate as a regular CV MIG unit
Managers or weld shop owners when considering the purchase of costly Pulsed MIG units for welding mostly steels & alloy steel applications, please remember when looking at the electronic options on the front of that new pulsed MIG power source, that it’s likely you are going to bring this pulsed weld equipment into a weld shop in which for many years the manual welders had not figured out how to optimize the two weld controls that have been on MIG equipment for more than 60 years.
Surely in any weld shop that’s ready to purchase new MIG weld equipment, that it would be far more cost effective to first provide all weld decision makers with weld process control – best practice training so first and foremost the full weld equipment potential can be obtained from lower cost CV MIG equip. Once the weld personnel understand CV and Pulsed weld process control expertise, the welders will then also be able to fully utilize and get the maximum potential out of the new pulsed MIG equipment.
Fully understanding the optimization of all MIG weld transfer modes enables a real weld process evaluation between standard CV equipment and pulsed MIG equipment. This logic also applies when testing traditional TIG equipment with advanced TIG which will have many new electronic process features, and lets not forget TIP TIG which makes traditional TIG welds redundant for most TIG applications.
WELD REALITY: Thirty plus years since the introduction of pulsed MIG equip. when welding steels and most alloy steels, pulsed MIG equipment provides limited weld quality or productivity improvements. Of course you won’t hear this statement from most weld equipment sales reps.
2018: Please remember Process Controls – Best Practice expertise is not an expertise that is provided at the majority of global universities, colleges, trade schools and training departments that provide weld programs for engineers and weld personnel.
AN IMPORTANT STEP FOR EFFECTIVE WELD MANAGEMENT IS TO BE AWARE OF WHAT’S MISSING IN BOTH THE FRONT OFFICE AND ON THE WELD SHOP FLOOR.
ENHANCE WELD CAREER PROSPECTS: Process controls can enhance any weld career. For those that are interested in their weld career, process controls is an important expertise for personnel to provide the ability to attain the best possible weld quality and productivity, benefits that will enhance any weld career prospect.
Robot MIG Weld Question: The robot technician is told to see if they can increase the MIG Spray or Pulsed robot weld speeds. The technician increased the weld speeds by approx. 20% and a change in the weld size, (wire feed rate) was not necessary. However to then fine tune the weld parameters, the technician will either have to increase or decrease the weld volts. Explain which he will have to do and why.
THE TOO COMMON WELD SHOP CRUTCH. Many of the items purchased for a weld shop, such as the sales influenced three part MIG gas mixes, the unnecessary metal cored wires, unnecessary grinding discs due to the lack of ability to control weld spatter, or the electronic MIG or TIG weld equipment often loaded with useless bells and whistles. These are all a signs of the weld shop crutch, a crutch required by companies that employ weld decision makers that lack arc weld control expertise.
Robot MIG Process Question: Using an 0.035 (0.9 mm) MIG wire, and argon – 20% CO2 gas mix, the robot technician has to set robot parameters to weld common, 0.080, (2 mm) gauge carbon steel parts. The pulsed part of the MIG equipment in the robot cell does not work well, (arc instability) so regular CV MIG settings are selected for the lap welds. What MIG weld transfer mode is best suited. What wire feed setting, (or amps), and what Volts and weld travel speed would be set?
More on the Consequences of Lack of Management Weld Process Ownership;
- influence management, engineer and supervision reliance on sales advice to resolve many of their weld shop issues,
- influence the weld personnel “playing around” with the weld controls,
- influence the “why change” stuck in the past, common weld shop culture,
- influence the lack of ability to consistently attain the full manual or robot weld quality & productivity potential from one or two control, well established arc weld processes,
- influence the lack of uniform & practical, cost effective weld equipment & consumables, this should be evident in all weld shops,
- influence the ability to recognize superior cost effective ways to weld, this opens the door for extensive weld cost reduction potential,
So for those weld shops that dislike change, there are consequences for Slow Weld Evolution:
There are many companies that have decades of weld process and weld application experience, however there are few global weld departments and weld shops that will consistently be able to ;
- Ensure the highest possible weld quality.
- Ensure the best possible after weld part metallurgy.
- Ensure the highest possible weld productivity.
- Ensure the lowest possible weld cost are attained.
- Ensure the lowest possible part distortion.
- Ensure the lowest weld cleaning is required,
- Ensure the least possible grinding and weld fumes are attained.
Manual Process Question: Manual MIG was the process selected for the steel parts that were 1/8 to 3/16 (3 to 5 mm) thick. On these parts, the start point of spray transfer can be used. The welder is using an 0.045 (1.2 mm) wire. The welder has had no process control training so they have to be told the spray transfer start wire feed and voltage. The manager who is also lacking in process expertise is wondering how does he work out much MIG wire would have to be ordered for the parts.
THIS WOULD BE A RARE EVENT IN ANY INDUSTRY.
More evidence about lack of Weld Ownership & Accountability: Over five decades, of being requested to provide weld process quality and productivity improvements in over a 1000 companies, in 13 countries. On my weld shop visits I went from Aerospace plants to Automotive plants, from Shipyards to Defense Contractors. I saw little evidence of front office or weld shop floor weld process control expertise
A Three part MIG Gas Mix & Metal Cored Wire Reality: Why would any weld shop purchase three part MIG gas mixes or metal cored wires for steels and alloy steel welds, when in contrast to two part gas mixes and solid MIG wires , they provide no cost or quality benefits.
The answers to most arc weld process questions will be found in my Weld Process Control Self Teaching – Training Materials.
Common daily issues found in many global weld shops;
- dealing with lack of poor weld quality and lack of daily , uniform weld results,
- inconsistent part fit,
- poor surface preparation,
- not attaining the manual or robot weld production potential,
- excess weld robot down time,
- a lack of awareness of the real manual or robot weld costs, and how to minimize MIG and flux cored weld costs,
- unnecessary weld defects, weld rejects and weld rework,
- unnecessary weld cleaning and grinding, and lack of awareness on how to reduce the issues,
- the lack of uniform practical weld equipment & weld consumables throughout the weld shop,
- lack of front office ability to purchase the most practical, cost effective weld equipment,
- the weld shop’s reliance on a weld sales person for weld decisions,
Stir in the general lack of weld shop best practices and process control expertise and then add to this pot, the liability cost consequences of failed welds, and don’t forget the encroaching, lower weld labor costs from global competitors. Then ask yourself this. Can we improve what goes on in our weld shop?
Apart from weld process control expertise, there is also the relationship of the weld process utilized and the weld defects produced.
Common weld defects such as lack of weld fusion, porosity, undercut & slag could be added to those defects above. Its always important to note especially with MIG and flux cored welds, that many weld defects will result solely from the weld process, consumables and data selected. And in-itself. that’s a reason more front office people should be aware of the weld processes and consumables used in their organization.
I suspect that when it comes to weld rejects, weld defects and rework, that the majority of weld shop front office weld decision makers will when manual and robot weld issues occur, point to their welders as the prime cause of the weld issues. The reality also will be that the weld decision makers will have neglected (most will not aware) to provide their welders with the Process Control – Best Weld Practice training that they have never had and its training that will for the weld shops have the biggest impact on weld quality – productivity.
Let’s face it, if the weld shop management is aware of the root cause of weld issues, this would have to go a long way in helping prevent them. When managers, engineers & supervisors are not aware of the requirements of weld process controls & best weld practices, it’s not going to be provided.
Manual MIG Process Question from Mike.
Em. I am trying, to optimize the parameters (yes I play around with the controls) to produce optimum MIG weld lap joints on 14 GA to 3/16 stainless. I have been nothing but aggravated. Please put my information on the website about the Miller Invision I purchased, its basically a useless power source and I wish I had my 11 grand back. Anyway thanks for what you do.
Answer: Mike I hear you frustration the welds could easily be made with an 0.035 stainless wire and my Argon 2% Co2 mix, using the start point of Spray with the arc focus on the thicker part. For the low Spray weld, approx. WF 430 – 450 ipm with 25 – 26 Volts and move fast with a 20 to 25 degree push angle and a 5/8 WSO. This would also be a good pulsed weld with 0.045 wire that is if you have a decent pulsed MIG power source. Regards Em.
So since the 1950s, there has been four prime arc weld processes. In 2018, the majority of global weld shops, when “all position” arc welds are required on steels and alloy steels, will typically consider four common arc weld processes. SMAW, Pulsed MIG, Flux Cored and TIG. These four important processes when used for steels and alloy steel applications, have seen few equipment / process changes that have in reality advanced weld quality – productivity. This includes Pulsed MIG welds. Most of the pulsed MIG steel and alloy steel welds made in at present could be produced just as effectively using much lower cost CV. MIG equipment, and the short circuit and spray transfer modes and weld process expertise.
STICK – SMAW: For fifty years I have avoided the use of this arc process, and would not consider SMAW as a logical choice for most code quality weld applications. The logical choices would be gas shielded flux cored or TIG / TIP TIG. Their is always an exception for using this process such as weld access, weld reach, part condition or environment concerns.
Gas Shielded Flux Cored. With gas shielded flux cored welds, any experienced weld decision maker would be aware that even with optimum skills and parameters utilized, there will be no guarantee with NDT, that the flux cored welds wont have serious common FCAW defects such as trapped slag, worm tracks or porosity.
Pulsed MIG: When a high deposition process such as Pulsed MIG uses a back ground current, the pulsed weld energy in contrast to the spray mode is reduced. Using manual Pulsed MIG welds on steels and especially sluggish > 5/16 alloys such as stainless, it would be difficult to ensure that the MIG welds have consistent acceptable weld fusion.
GTAW (TIG): Regular TIG is the arc process with the most high weld quality expectations, and has been a prime choice for code quality and alloy welds. TIG also produces the lowest weld deposition rates (slow travel that results in high heat) and requires the highest welder skills. TIG equipment has evolved with electronics, ,however the weld benefits from the Advanced TIG power sources are with aluminum weld applications
TIG skills differ from welder to welder and this can influence the weld quality and uniformity attained. Most TIG welds require that the manual welder dip and withdraw their TIG wire length into the TIG arc plasma and weld pool. This unique arc weld practice again varies from welder to welder and again is a manual weld practice that influences the weld quality uniformity and consistency attained. Also with many TIG applications and the very slow weld travel rates that often result, with TIG the weld shops see small defects influenced mostly by skills and practices and the shop may have concerns for high weld and part heat, something that few alloys will benefit from.
Since 2010, the most important change with arc welding processes has been the introduction TIP TIG process.
In North America, around the year 2010, I went to Scotland to meet a friend called Darren Matherson, he introduced me to a relatively new process call TIP TIG. It took me only a 10 minute process evaluation to figure out this was now the world’s most important arc weld process, especially for those that had an interest in steels and alloy steels code quality welds.
After my return from Scotland to the USA, I needed a partner to provide the funding to bring TIP TIG to the US. I found one, a friend, Tom O’Malley, a Philadelphia weld distributor. Tom provided the financing and together we created TIP TIG USA and then introduced TIP TIG to both N. America and Australia.
TIP TIG HAS BEEN THE WORLD’S MOST IMPORTANT WELD PROCESS FOR MORE THAN A DECADE,
BUT YOU WILL FIND FEW IN HIGH TECH WELD SHOPS THAT EVEN KNOW WHAT IT IS.
TIP TIG is easier to use and attains better weld quality than TIG. TIP TIG enables 100 to 400% decrease in TIG labor costs. TIP TIG always provides the lowest possible weld heat for the lowest weld distortion and best metallurgical properties. When you have the best arc process and use my process control – best practice resources you produce welds like this for 25% of the cost of a TIG weld.
Don’t try to duplicate this weld quality or the low costs generated by TIP TIG in your weld in your shop.