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

03 – 16 -19: Welcome my name is Emily Craig, it used to be Ed, but with some surgery and pills I got that little error fixed. As you traverse this MIG – Flux Cored Advanced TIG and TIP TIG site, you will see a common repeating themes of  lack of weld shop evolution that’s influenced by lack of effective global weld management, engineering 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 lack off  effective front office and shop floor weld process control and best weld practice expertise, has been evident in the common poor weld production and daily arc weld rework and rejects. For the global weld industry, it’s well past the time for change, and as for creating progressive weld changes in the  weld shop, well that brings up another issue.

When a company lacks weld process controls expertise, process apathy sets in and the following becomes the norm. 

2019:  WHAT HAPPENED TO WELD SHOP EVOLUTION?  As I look back from the early 1960’s when I started to MIG weld tractors at Massey Ferguson, and 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 is 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 more than 85% 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 weld practices, (prevalent today).
[] In 1960’s, few weld decision makers could quickly work out the cost of a 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 1960’s, weld shop decision makers would usually rely on a weld salesman for weld advice, even tho the salesman had rarely 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 shipyards and auto. plants, (nothing changed). 
[] In 1960’s, weld shops 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 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 quality and productivity enhancement changes, however thanks to the general 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 MIG, DCEN 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 DCEN TIG, Pulsed MIG or  Laser  on parts over 1/16 thick, that in most of their weld applications, for more than a decade, they have been welding with an inferior, outdated arc weld process. See TIP TIG below and also the TIP TIG blog.


Single pass TIP TIG weld.

2019: It does not matter with TIP TIG, manual or automated. the welds  will usually look the same. Examine this “untouched”  TIP TIG weld. Note the weld quality consistency and also the lack of  weld surface oxidation,  no brush cleaning used. Also note the small  weld HAZ that enables superior weld &part properties and 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?


A weld shop would  be wasting it’s time trying to duplicate this single pass, TIP TIG untouched 5/6 (8 mm) fillet. 


2019: 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 usually derived from  low weld heat or rapid weld heat dispersion, and also note the small weld heat affected zones that also suggests low weld heat or rapid heat dispersion.  Someone might  also note  the evident surface weld fluidity and straight edge the fillet toe tie-ins that suggest a weld made with high weld heat. So we have what I call, an Oxymoron arc weld process that delivers both high weld heat & low part heat, these weld & part attributes  cannot be attained with MIG, Flux Cored or DCEN TIG. TIP TIG is so unique it can even weld many titanium applications without using a gas trailing shield.


2019: MANY OF THE GLOBAL  WELD RESEARCH FACILITIES ARE STUCK IN A 1980’s TIME WARP?  I introduced TIP TIG 10 years ago to North America, and  also to Australia, and  as I sit on my couch with little to do but examine whats happening in the global weld industry, especially  in the the high tech Aerospace, Defense Oil and Power industries, I wonder why  global companies  and organizations such as NASA, Los Alamos Nat Lab, Oak Ridge,  Boeing, SpaceX, Edison, Westinghouse, General Dynamics, Northrup,  Navsea,  Cornell,  Colorado School of Mines and Purdue, and for that matter just about  every weld shop that deals with code quality and alloy welds,  are still unaware of or not attaining the unique weld benefits from of the ten year old TIP TIG process.

Weld decision makers too often  looking for a sales influenced  weld solutions.

With many managers, engineers  and supervisors, this would be the definition of weld process ownership.

In the frequent “play around” with weld controls industry, an industry that often searches for an electronic power source  crutch or the latest magic three part gas mi to solve it’s weld quality issues, the  common lack of  arc weld process controls – best weld practice expertise daily plays a major role in the hundreds of millions of dollars that result daily from unnecessary weld rejects, rework and grinding. And lets also not forget those companies that daily fail to consistently  attain  the highest possible  weld production potential from their  manual or robot welds.

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.

Please note: No matter what a persons  weld expertise or background is, my Weld Process Controls and Best Weld Practice programs have been simplified and condensed so that they take less than 15 hours to learn,  and surely, instead of listening to a salesman, or spending time in the weld team meetings  in which  too frequently there will be  incorrect  opinions on the weld resolutions required for the weld process issues. Surely its logical to provide all the companies weld decision makers with the weld  process controls and best weld practice expertise, this will have an immediate positive impact on any companies weld quality and productivity.

MIG welding has never been a  grey technology, and from my perspective there are specific rules that apply to the process, the weld transfer modes, the consumables  and  the applications. And the last thing a mfg.  plant needs is a weld team meeting in which typically a number of  unqualified individuals sit around a table and provide  different weld process opinions and solutions for the MIG and flux cored weld problems. The fact that no one individual is available to solve the plants manual or robot weld issues is an indication that the plant lacks an expertise which frankly should be provided by the management to all those that are involved with weld decisions. 



Note: An effective weld team would be comprised of the key weld decision maker, (based on their weld process control expertise),  the engineering manager, the maintenance and production manager, experts that will take ownership for the weld, fixtures,design or part  issues . 

For the price of a good executive dinner for four, Em’s Manual or Robot, MIG,  Flux Cored, Advanced DCEN TIG and TIP TIG, Weld Process Controls & Best Weld Practice, Training or Self Teaching Materials, yes it takes a few hours, but it gets the results you need.


2019: From my books, my workshops, my process control training materials and this web site, for the last 30 years my message has been constant. A major missing link found throughout much of the global weld industry, is the  “lack of weld process control – best practice  expertise that’s necessary for front office, engineering and supervision  to attain weld process ownership”.

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. 

[1] Why  the general lack of front office comprehension on what weld process controls and best weld practices could achieve for the weld shop?
[2] Why the general lack of front office, management, engineering and supervision weld process ownership?
[3] Why the general front office reliance on weld sales advice for the weld shop issues?
[4] Why the general front office acceptance that its OK for their weld personnel to  “play around” with their MIG and flux cored weld controls”?
[5] Why is the QA/QC department and personnel focus on finding rather than on preventing the occurrence of weld defects?
[6] Why the acceptance of  large expenditures on grinding consumables & grinding labor costs to attain the weld quality desired?
[7] 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?
[8] Why for decades has there been a general lack of weld equipment standardization in weld departments?
[9] Why the purchase of costly pulsed MIG equipment for steel welds, equipment that’s often loaded with useless electronic bells and whistles? 
[10] Why the
purchase of useless three part gas mixes and the confusion over two part gas mixes ?
[11] Why are companies welder training programs often inadequate?
[12] 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).
[13] 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.

For the price of a good dinner for four, Em’s Manual or Robot, MIG,  Flux Cored, Advanced DCEN TIG and TIP TIG, Weld Process Controls & Best Weld Practice, Training or Self Teaching Materials.

When you have a moment also check out this sites 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. 

THE HIGH TECH AEROSPACE INDUSTRY, AND IT’S  TOO FREQUENT OUTDATED APPROACH TO ARC WELD QUALITY & PRODUCTIVITY: Its a sad commentary in 2019, that  during the active space race to the Moon again and also to Mars, that for more than a decade,  the majority of global aerospace companies including NASA,  SpaceX and Boeing  have been  using outdated manual arc weld practices and outdated, worn out weld specifications and procedures. (It would take me 15 minutes with any aerospace engineering manager to prove this).

Please be aware that in the weld  industry, management and supervision when evaluating MIG – FCA weld personnel will often focus on the welder’‘s skills and length of experience, few will question the welders, technicians, engineers or supervisors weld process control and best 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.


In my world, 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 will need some time to “play around” with those MIG and flux cored weld controls”. To a proactive  mfg. management, this  should be an indication of  what? 

How can robot  MIG weld cells attain their weld quality or productivity potential from  “play around” with weld controls robot technicians, and from responsible managers, engineers and supervisors that lack the unique robot weld process control expertise necessary for weld process ownership.  

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.

Only a used car salesman would provide more bovine fecal matter.

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.


Those with MIG weld process control expertise would be aware with any MIG transfer mode and wire diameter, the weld parameters required to attain the Short Circuit, Spray Transfer or Pulsed mode “sweet spot” .  It has to be  far more cost effective for any weld shop for its employees to know optimum MIG or flux cored  weld settings and best weld practices, than it is to waste money on MIG equip. electronic bells and whistles not needed in the weld shop. This is part of process ownership.

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.

As you traverse 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 focused on MIG and flux cored   “welder skills”, and the weld decision makers in the weld shops are 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 will 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 costly metal cored wire.

ONE COULD ASK THE WELD SHOP, WHY PURCHASE  MULTI-CONTROL  PULSED EQUIPMENT WHEN SIMPLE TO OPERATE, TWO WELD CONTROLS, CV MIG  EQUIPMENT HAS RARELY BEEN FULLY UNDERSTOOD: Why would any weld shop consider the purchase of new, costly, electronic MIG Inverter equipment loaded with many bells and whistles, if for years, their experienced MIG weld personnel “played around” with the traditional CV MIG equipment that has always operated with two  simple weld controls? 

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.


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.

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. 

Manual and Robot MIG – Flux Cored – Advanced AC/DC TIG  and the Unique TIP TIG Weld Process Controls & Best Weld Practice, Training and Self Teaching Materials.

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 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?

Talk about useless power source bells and whistles, this is Ed in Spain in the robot cells fixing Miller Axcess pulsed MIG power source weld issues, (issues caused by the power source). He is  adjusting the robot MIG parameters using the ridiculous Miller hand held palm PDA control that for the Tier 1 auto. client added nothing to the weld quality – productivity capability.

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.

Manual and Robot MIG – Flux Cored – Advanced AC/DC TIG and the TIP TIG Weld Process Controls & Best Weld Practice, Training and Self Teaching Materials.

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”. 

Programming a MIG welding robot is one expertise that can be learnt in a few weeks,  but something that most Tier One managers, engineers, supervisors and especially their young robot technicians neglect,  is that to attain consistent robot weld optimization requires robot CV MIG and Pulsed MIG weld process controls and best weld practice expertise. It took me 30 plus years to nail it, and my self-teaching weld process control programs will take anyone  approx. 15 – 20 hours.

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 ignorance.

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, paint plus MIG and Resistance welds “process controls – best practice expertise” has been in short supply, and in particular, 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 welds.

Musk was not aware that what he  needed most was what most managers and engineers in the auto – truck industry lacked.

The following  is what is what the naive 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: For gods sake Elon, a ten minute visit to this 20 year old web site 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.


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:

2019: Most of the weld training programs provided in North America are based on the SMAW  (Stick) 1960 weld practices. Most of the weld edge prep dimensions and heat treatment requirements used for steel welds in 2019 are also more suited to stick welds.

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.

What other tech. industry relies on sales advice to control it’s important mfg. processes? 


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?  Most of the 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  AWS  weld inspector who can point out weld defects, but lacks the process expertise to prevent them. Irrespective of the industry, QA departments responsible for welds would 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.

This is going to cost my company thousands for the weld repairs.  I wish I knew more about the weld process requirements for  weld defect prevention.

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 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 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 QA/QC and NDT resources on the costly,  finished components. Why not ensure the QA/QC  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 in  minimizing the  formation of weld defects.

[] Perform weld quality oversight at  the subcontractors:
It’s ironic that most Fortune 500 companies are not aware that in the majority of their own company’s manufacturing departments or weld departments, that their own  weld quality – productivity could be vastly improved, and that their own  managers, engineers and supervisors will  typically lack weld process controls and best weld practice expertise. So when the Fortune 500  QA/QC personnel are sent to their subcontractors,  it would be a rare event if these personnel  recognize the weld process issues that are occurring, and an even more rare event if  QA/QC personnel would have  the ability to provide  the contractors with the required weld weld process controls and best weld practice training that would ensure the best possible weld quality – productivity results.

[] Attend site weld meetings:
These weld meetings “yawn” 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. Well at least they look important.

[] Coordinate the NDE inspections:
As every shipyard is aware, with MIG and flux cored welds, the more the weld department uses NDE  to reveal  lack of weld fusion and slag defects, the greater the evidence they will have with the lack of weld process controls – best weld practice that prevails throughout the yard and in the yard’s front office.

[] Control the weld wire storage:
Make sure especially with those Chinese 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 so they could then train their companies and contractor personnel to reduce their weld re-work, rather than simply just going through the day criticizing what’s been done and  identifying weld defects on finished products.

QA/QC personnel would benefit their companies bottom line and improve their career prospects by being able to optimize the processes that they daily critique if they spent 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.

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.


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.

YOU WANT TO SEE THE WORST CASE OF MANUAL LACK OF WELD PROCESS CONTROLS, VISIT ANY GLOBAL SHIPYARD:  Most global shipbuilding yards, especially those working on Navy contracts such as Aircraft Carriers, Frigates and Submarines, have for decades had major concerns about  their  excessive, over budget weld repair costs,  yet most of the managers, engineers  and supervisors responsible for the mostly flux cored and MIG welds  have never understood the value and the importance of  weld  Process  Controls – Best Weld Practice Expertise and  its influence on  minimizing weld defects, and in optimizing weld productivity. 

As it cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of taxpayers dollars every year for unnecessary shipbuilding weld repairs, perhaps the Navy and their key ship building  contractors could show a little interest on the requirements to drive down weld costs.

The greatest lack of manual Flux Cored and MIG weld process controls – best weld practices is found in most global shipyards. The greatest potential for weld quality improvements and weld cost reductions will be found in most  shipyards. 

For almost every ship built for the USA, British and Canadian  Navy, thanks to inadequate weld management, many over budget, tens of millions of taxpayers dollars will be spent on “weld repairs”. Those repairs are in reality a consequence of managers, engineers and supervisors that typically know little about weld process controls and best weld practices. These two subjects  are not provided in any global  shipyard weld training department, where usually the training focus is on welder skills, and too often the skills and also weld practices when taught, will  have more to do with SMAW (stick welding) than with the MIG or Flux Cored processes

One defense contractor  who’s management should take note about the benefits of weld process expertise and ownership, is Northrop Grumman (NG) Ship Systems, located in  Miss.  For example NG built the San Antonio ship for the Navy at a cost of $1.2 billion, which was reported as approx. a mere $400 million taxpayers dollars over budget. This ship failed to complete a series of sea trials, then faced another $36 plus million dollars in repairs. The San Antonio has been plagued by both mechanical and structural problems since the Navy took ownership two years later than planned.

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 

Every year hundreds of ships sink often in calm weather with with no logical reasons. Its been my  opinion for more than three decades, that many of the ships that sink do so as a result of structural  failures that often are influenced  by poor quality flux cored welds, (could be improved with process expertise) and also from poor fit practices that result in oversize (wider) than design) bevel joints that create the need for more welds than planned,  resulting in enlarged weld Heat Affected Zones that weaken the ships hull. 

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 t
he weld manager at the AKER Philadelphia Naval shipyard below, I decided to bring 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 MOST 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. 

SOMETHING COMMON IN MOST SHIPYARDS, UNQUALIFIED MANAGEMENT & SUPERVISORS MAKING WELD DECISIONS. When I arrived at the yard I had not taken into account something that I was  already aware of, that Germans especially engineers typically don’t like to give up control, especially to someone born in England. The Aker German yard manger had made himself  also responsible  for welding, this was a man who  had spent his apprenticeship around stick welding, and  knew little  about either the flux cored or the MIG process.

The yard manager simply would not give up control of the weld team meetings, which with all the yard’s weld issues were frequent. I told him several times after the meetings, that he needed to go and do what he was paid to do, and let me do what was  part of my employment agreement. The more this man talked at the meetings about welding, the more I realized how little he knew. I started to attend less of the useless meetings and put together a plan and to create change that would bring dramatic weld rework reduction.

Keep in mind  the 300 welders were supposed to be qualified and many of  the welders had also received ineffective flux cored training in the yard’s weld school.

Below. Ed in background blue sweater, and assisted by Tom his friend, right also  in blue sweater. Training the Aker  300 shipyard welders with Ed’s 8 hr program on how to set  optimum flux cored  weld parameters to deal with the many weld variables that daily affected  their welds and also the best flux cored weld practices required for the all position, ceramic backed ship plate welds.


I trained around 15 to 20 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 the inspection personnel  who like the yard management by the way showed little interest or participation on a program that  improved the yard’s weld quality.  As for me, well that German Manger would not give up control of the weld department,  and showed little interest in the unique process training that was being provided, so I did what every good Brit would do and gave him the “V” for victory sign and moved on to a company with management  that appreciated what I do. 

Note : Unlike costly Navy frigates that can cost 700 million to a billion dollars 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 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 training program that  rapidly  reduces the flux cored or MIG weld defects in the 60 to 70% range. If managers were and engineers were aware of these 20 year old programs. , YAWN. O well, it’s only taxpayers dollars.

Before and after 8 hours of Ed’s Flux Cored Weld Process controls Training

The same welder did both these untouched Vert Up Flux Cored welds.

The vertical up welds on left, and eight hours later on the right were made by same welder.  This and the other Aker welder  got something that most ship yards do not provide their welders with, Flux Cored or MIG Weld Process Controls and Best Weld Practice training. Its easy to see how the weld on left would show internal excess weld slag & porosity and lack of weld fusion. Defects that daily cost the global ship building weld industry millions of dollars.

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 awake, 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.

Apart from the too common inadequate ship yard weld management, the ship building, costly, weld issues are also

INAPPROPRIATE 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  most  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…

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.

[1] 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.

[2] 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 FOR SO CALLED SKILLED WORKERS?  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.  [1]  Manual & Robot  MIG. [2] Gas Shielded Flux Cored. [3] Advanced  AC/DC TIG.  [4] 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. 

[1] An all position open root pass for a 1/2 wall, 8 inch diameter steel pipe.
[2] A 5/16. 5356 aluminum fillet weld.
[3] A 14 gauge 316 stainless lap weld.
[4] 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.


The most sophisticated weld equipment, or ISO – Poke – Yoke or Joke,  or any other weld mfg. approach won’t help a company with it’s daily manual or robot  MIG weld quality or productivity, when the companies robot technicians  lack Weld Process Controls & Best Practice Expertise. 

My  Manual & Robot  MIG – Flux Cored – Advanced TIG &  TIP TIG  Weld Process Control Training Materials.

Check out all the other programs available at


  • [] 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.


With  MIG and E71T-1 Flux Cored welds, marginal or lack of fillet weld  fusion is the norm.

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 

Sales hype would have the weld shop believe that their new more costly Pulsed MIG equipment will be more simple to operate than a regular CV MIG power source that has two  simple weld  controls, and  cost approx. 50% less..

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.


Best weld practices and weld process contols

In most weld shops found in diverse industries such as Aerospace, Auto Plants, Shipyards or Defense and  Construction Equipment manufactures, you will  find as  I have been saying for at least forty years, that the above two subjects are  rarely discussed or  are poorly understood. In these facilities you will also too often view outdated weld Specifications and mediocre weld procedures that  have  changed little in 30 plus years.


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.



Lets not forget when dealing with weld liability issues,  in a court of law, it won’t  be our welders that are held responsible for our screwed up welds

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 Defence 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 a
relationship of the process utilized and  the weld defects produced.

Rather than simply the fault of the welder, weld defects will often  be influenced from the arc weld process, consumables selected, the metals welded, the use poor weld procedures,  and  always from the welder’s lack of process – best practice expertise, 

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 playing around) 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.

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.


In my 50 plus years in this industry, TIP TIG has been the only new process introduced that provides the potential to increase on steels and alloy steels weld quality potential with reduced weld  costs.

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 the quality or the low costs of this TIP TIG weld in your shop.

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

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

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

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

WORLDS BEST PROCESS TO WELD SUBMARINES: Sept 2018.. While the US and UK Navy and their contractors are stuck in a welding time warp, ASC Pty Ltd formerly the Australian Submarine Corporation utilizes the TIP TIG and gets astounding weld results on it’s Submarine Hull weld tests. 

TIP TIG, is the evolution of TIG, a process invented in Austria by Plasch. TIP TIG was brought to Australia in 2010 by Ed Craig (weldreality) and his business partner Tom  O’Malley, both formly TIP TIG USA Owners .

2018. Collins Sub… Australian Government company accepts TIP TIG as the arc weld process of choice for Submarine Hull build / repairs. So when is the USA and UK Navy and their defence contractors going to wake up to this 10 year old process technology that’s superior to any other arc process.

ASC has successfully passed explosive weld tests for an advanced new welding technique for Submarine hull high strength steel in a development that opens the way to more efficient and reliable welds for Australian submarines.

The  approved TIP-TIG welding method is a more consistent and improved welding process and is expected to lead to dramatic increased efficiencies for submarine sustainment while retaining a safe environment for submarine crews.

To gain Commonwealth approval, ASC-welded test specimens of the hull steel had to pass repeated explosive bulge tests at a facility in Victoria. The weld tests involved a one square metre specimen of Collins Class hull steel, made up of two sections that had been welded together by TIP TIG. The weld test specimen was repeatedly blown up until the “bulge” in the steel produced a thinning of the hull. 

The test specimen was repeatedly blown up until the “bulge” in the steel produced a thinning of the hull of a certain specified per cent. The tests were conducted with the specimens held at a temperature significantly below zero degrees, simulating the most demanding under-sea conditions. Careful examination of the TIP TIG weld showed that cracks did not grow or break through, successfully passing the test. 

ASC Chief Executive Officer Stuart Whiley said the successful explosive tests demonstrate ASC’s continued expertise in submarine hull fabrication and welding capability. “Proving this advanced application of TIP-TIG welding for the high tensile, low carbon steel used in the Collins Class submarine pressure hulls means we will achieve even higher quality and reliability in our future work on Australia’s fleet of Collins Class submarines,” Whiley said. “

The new TIP TIG process will be introduced for the re-welding of HMAS Waller’s hull in its current full cycle docking in Osborne, SA. The news follows the recent announcement that ASC is the first Australian defence company to receive the international corporate certification for excellence in procurement by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS).

 “This achievement will guide our future work in procurement — a critical role as Australia’s largest locally owned defense prime contractor, supporting the Government’s Naval Shipbuilding Plan.”  ASC built and maintains the Collins Class submarine fleet, employing more than 1,200 submarine personnel in SA and WA. 


On the subject of arc weld processes and weld defects, its very difficult to generate weld defects with the TIP TIG process as it provides  the highest arc arc energy with the lowest weld heat input, however in contrast Pulsed MIG – Regular TIG & the Gas Shielded Flux Cored processes do not need welders to produce weld defects. These weld processes will also contribute to weld defects. At this site and in my training programs you will learn how these processes,  plus lack of process expertise & lack of best weld practice training  are often the prime root causes for weld defects.

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


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

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


The highest weld quality and lowest weld heat is required so there is only one process that meets that criteria, its called TIP TIG.

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

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

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

There was a reason I  introduced TIP TIG to North America and Australia and this video indicates that reason. How long do you figure it would take to teach someone this and how else will you get the following weld benefits?

No wire feed. No foot Control. No weld Fumes. No weld spatter. No weld cleaning required. No weld fusion or porosity concerns.  Highest possible mechanical and corrosion properties. Lowest possible weld heat produced all done at typically 25 – 30% the costs of most TIG welds.

There will be many process questions at this site that should emphasize your need for the arc weld process control – best weld practice, self teaching / training programs.

When considering a new process these will be some of the questions.

  • Why does TIP TIG provide more weld energy yet less weld heat than TIG?
  • Why does TIP TIG ensure improved fusion and less porosity than TIG?
  • Why is TIP TIG an easy process to use with all position welds?
  • Why is TIP TIG much better suited to weld automation than TIG?
  • Why does TIP TIG allow 100 – 400% more weld each hour than TIG?
  • How does TIP TIG provide superior mechanical – corrosion properties than any other arc process.
  • Why will  TIP TIG produce far superior weld quality than any pulsed MIG weld.
  • There are only three TIP TIG weld settings for all welds will your weld personnel know  what they are?
  • Do advanced AC/DC electronic weld controls benefit TIP TIG?
  • There are unique weld practices required with TIP TIG will your weld personnel have them or will they play around with the TIP TIG controls.
  • TIP TIG arcs will need fine tuning, will your welders know how.
  • TIP TIG will often allow reductions in vee preps, why”
  • TIP will allow reductions in pre-heat or post heat treatments or the elimination for interpass weld requirements, why?
  • You can purchase a TIP TIG unit and get the training from TIP TIG, but that training wont have the information and depth thats provided in Ed’s TIP TIG training program.

Please NOTE: TIP TIG with producing the lowest possible weld heat also changes or eliminates the Pre-Heat, Inter-pass or Post-Heat weld rules, that for decades have been a requirement for many high strength steels and alloy welds.

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

With TIP TIG, you don’t need two weld process one for root and one for fill to be cost effective on pipe welds. You use one process, two settings one for the root and one for all fill. No feeding wire, no foot control, you simply let the ceramic nozzle walk the Vee Groove. By the way. why not reduce the Vee  to the 40 – 50 degree range, So apart from no weld rework, providing 100 to 300% more production each hour,  you will also reduce the amount of weld metal typically by 30 to 60%.

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

The introduction of a new weld process is an extremely rare event that requires dramatic weld shop CHANGE. And that change needs to be a management driven function.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks to inexperienced management, aerospace  and defense products built in 2018 will typically  be using 20th Century arc weld processes, weld specifications & procedures.

I could ask almost any engineering manager at SpaceX – Boeing – NASA – GE or Rolls Royce what they want with their arc welds? They should respond “the highest weld quality at the lowest weld heat”. I would then ask them “why they are not using TIP TIG as this delivers what they need with dramatic weld cost reductions and  I would get that front office  blank gaze look.

If you TIG weld don’t bother to try and duplicate this weld, you cant.

Examine the TIP TIG weld speed of above fillet, note the weld continuity and uniformity, the lack of oxidation and very small HAZ on parts that would normally be subject to high TIG weld heat.

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

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

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


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

TIG Process Question. Why is the regular manual TIG (GTAW) and the automated  Hot Wire TIG process inferior to the TIP TIG process?

The answers to all process questions are in  Eds process training materials.  

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

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

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

Manual Process Question:  Its a reasonable question to ask why any weld shop would purchase costly Metal Cored wires for their steels and alloy steel welds, when to produce the same weld quality and productivity, all it would take with the much lower cost MIG wires is someone in the shop to have MIG weld process controls and best weld practice expertise.

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

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

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

TIP TIG is the evolution of TIG. It’s a process that in contrast to all arc processes will provide superior weld quality. TIP TIG also enables the lowest possible distortion,  the best possible metallurgy results, the lowest possible weld fumes, and something you think that should motivate most mangers, apart from a dramatic reduction in the usual weld repair costs, TIP TIG will also reduce regular  TIG labor costs by100 to 400%.

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

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

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

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

Process Question. In contrast to TIG and Hot Wire TIG, why does TIP TIG not requi. re a gas trailing shield for most Titanium weld application on parts > 1/8?
All answers are in  Eds process training materials.  

You would think high tech industries would use the best available weld processes.

A couple of my welds will now go where no man has ever gone, however I could do nothing about the antiquated  NASA and Boeing weld specifications utilized. 

When NASA,  SpaceX or Boeing spacecraft head out into deep space, their engineers in 2018 may want to consider why the regular TIG process was used for many of the arc welds they produced, and also why TIG weld specifications  and procedures were being used from a time period when the Beetles and Elvis were number one. Yes many welds are made with EB and lasers, and the irony is often theses processes were not necessary.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t tell me that they used regular TIG instead of TIP TIG.

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

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

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

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

Costly weld results not from welders but  from lack of experienced weld management.

The norm in most shipyards. Inexperienced weld process management and supervision. Always poor weld quality, excess weld rework, poor weld production & always excess over budget weld costs. And using outdated weld processes and procedures

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

For more than three decades, Navy engineering decision makers along with their prime contractor shipyard managers & engineers have been responsible for the too common, poor weld productivity and excessive, never ending,  weld rework.

In general most of the head stuck in the sand, key weld decision in the Defense, Aerospace, Oil and Power industries have simply lacked the expertise  to take weld process ownership, apply  process controls and best weld practices. Most. (not all)  of these personnel are nervous around MIG and TIG weld equipment and lack the ability to recognize and approve new weld technology that has the ability to provide both quality and productivity improvements.

Now that I’ve pissed off a lot of executives and managers in the global weld  industry, I will simply say, this, that anything I say on this web site would take me about 1 – 2 hours  prove. Being a pragmatist  I expect little response from an industry in which “why change the way we have always done it ” and “give me some time to play around with the weld controls ”  are two sentences you will hear in most global weld shops.

2018: Something that the majority of  engineers and managers in the  Aerospace, Defense and Energy industries are  not aware of. For more than a decade  there has been  a simple easy to use, cost effective,  weld process solution to all the typical weld issues generated with carbon and all alloy steels, all position, code quality welds. That solution is a unique process called TIP TIG.

TIP TIG is a  process that provides the highest possible arc  weld quality and is easier to use than regular TIG,  Hot – Cold Wire TIG,  and the pulsed MIG process. TIP TIG also enables lower weld heat than any other arc process, and attaining the highest possible weld quality with the lowest possible arc weld heat, is a combination  that  enables with any metals the best possible consistent weld quality and best possible weld and part metallurgical properties.

2018: Weld technology evolves and those using regular TIG are now more than  10 years behind the times. Why is your company not using TIP TIG?

TIP TIG better quality than TIG. 200 to 400% less labor costs than TIG. Superior metallurgical properties than TIG. Easier to use than TIG. Lower weld distortion and lowest possible weld fumes, so why would any weld shop that employs a few TIG welders, use TIG?


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

Few  QA managers and inspection personnel understand the processes they daily critique. 

Manual Process Question:  Which of the following is considered an optimum short circuit weld volt range for either an 0.035 or 0.045 (1 – 1.2 mm) wire? Also what single volt setting with either wire would be considered a sweet start SC volt?[a]12 – 18 volts. [b]17 – 24 volts. [c]13 – 18 volts. [d]16 – 20 volts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The best way to sell a new process is through weld articles and seminars. I provided  many TIP TIG work shops around Philadelphia, and our first two major TIP TIG orders were from WSI, Atlanta. WSI is a company that uses over a million pounds of Stainless and Inconel weld wires each year for cladding boiler walls and doing  weld repairs in the Nuclear, Waste Management and Power industries. By the way in the past I was also the weld manager at WSI and had produced for them a patented Pulsed MIG method for  water wall cladding.  That pattented weld is shown in the pulsed MIG cladding section.

The second company that sent engineers and managers to one of  my TIP TIG seminars,  and then on our Philadelphia Navy Yard weld facility, provided a nice million plus dollar order. This company was CNOOC, China’s largest producer of crude oil and Nat gas. What does it say for American companies and especially Oil, Defense and Aerospace companies, when the Chinese management recognized new important weld technology years before they do? (most in this industry ten  years late still have not woke up to this important weld process).

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

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

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

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

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

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

The TiP TiG arc welding process

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


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

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


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

MIG, Flux Cored, TIG or TIP TIG, manual or robot weld
Process  Controls & Best Weld Practices, Self Teaching &Training Resources.

Ed knows all about change, at age 68 in 2013, he changed to what he should always have been, “Emily”. By the way to teach manual welders or robot technicians how minimize weld spatter,  I would first create the spatter  then show the weld personnel the controls  to eliminate it.

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

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

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

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

One Popular Seminar I provide.

“How to manage a weld shop and daily ensure optimum Robot or Manual MIG, Flux Cored, TIG or TIP TIG weld quality and productivity” 

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

Item ONE. The Manual MIG program.

Item TWO. The Gas Shielded Flux Cored program.

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

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

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


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

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

For more info. Emily Craig. 828 337 2695. E-Mail

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

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

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


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

This photo represents many fortune 500 companies
engineering approach to their global weld applications.

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

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

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

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

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

The global weld industry Swan song. “WHY CHANGE” the way we PLAY AROUND  with arc welding parameters .


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

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

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

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


Robots and Auto – Truck Welds:

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

Robot process question:  
You are asked to provide robot weld data for 1/8 (3 mm) steel parts. The fillet joints will have to be welded vertical down.  Most of the parts have a 0.040 to 0.060 weld gaps. Conventional CV. MIG power source is utilized. What would be the best wire diameter to use with the Ar –  20% CO2 gas. Now provide the wire feed setting, volts and .
weld travel rate,

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

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

Robot Weld Process QUESTION:
With the robot welds, the robot operator is changing the contact tip quite often during the shifts, and the daily weld production was influenced by the robot down time due to MIG wire burn backs to the contact tips. The wire burn backs occurred  during the weld starts. The weld and weld start data with Argon – 20% CO2 and an 0.045 (1.2 mm) wire. Wire feed 420 ipm –  30 volts. What changes should the robot technician have to make to the weld start data to reduce the amount of contact tip changes and to eliminate the wire burn backs?

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

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

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

 Why  does  Pulsed MIG benefit aluminum welds but provides more issues than resolutions for steel welds. Also when should you consider switching from pulsed MIG to Spray for aluminum?  The answers and much more are in Em’s weld process control training materials.  

Robots and Automotive:

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


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

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

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

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

Most  cars & truck robot welds do not attain the weld quality or production potential that could be delivered.

Robot welders

Daily in the auto industry you will find numerous situations in which the resistance spot welds are out of control. The management solution. Ignore the numerous missed and poor quality welds, and compensate with adding more poor quality welds on the parts. This is simply another indications of management & engineering process inadequacy.


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

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

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

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

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

Inexperienced sales reps may not give accurate welding technical advice

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


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

This character has likely visited your weld shop.

Salesmen do not have the answers for welding problems

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

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

Five Basic MIG Gas questions:

 [1] What is MIG gas dissociation and how does it benefit a MIG weld?

[2] Which of these MIG gases will provide “dissociation properties” in the arc plasma?  Oxygen, argon, helium, hydrogen, carbon dioxide.

[3] Which gas mix provides higher weld oxidation potential, argon – 2% Oxygen or argon 10% CO2?

[4] Why are three part MIG gas mixes simply a marketing con job?

[5] What is the CO2 limit for a spray weld with argon CO2, and why?

More on the subject of sales reps and  the subject of weld process expertise. Please keep in mind that as a training manager I have educated and trained in North America, approx. 2000 weld sales personnel at companies such as Airgas,  Praxair, AGA and Liquid Carbonic. My experiences in this industry led me to the conclusion, that perhaps  5 to ten percent of the sale reps should be allowed to give  process advice to a weld shop.

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

What are  the two prime weld causes of black soot on aluminum MIG welds?  The answers are in  my_process control training materials.  

More on Auto & Truck Robot Welds and mfg.

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

Robot resistance or MIG welds, the lack of process control
is the global weld shop norm. 

Millions of dollars are lost daily thanks to poor MIG weld results that result from lack of arc process expertise and ownership from Auto – Truck management.


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

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

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

His  bloody “play around” organ has to go.


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

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

PROCESS Question:  
The 3/16 stainless robot application can be welded using a low spray transfer setting with an E316. 0.045 MIG wire. The robot tech wants to know what the wire feed rate and weld voltage required is.  Also the robot has an arc on time that averages 20 minutes each hour. Let the mfg manager know how much weld wire is required, for a 10 hour shift.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Tesla, another sad example of lack of weld 
management process control expertise.


As Tesla and many other global companies have found out with grave cost repercussions; “When those at the top don’t know what those at the bottom need for either robot or manual weld process optimization, there will rarely be weld process optimization and usually extensive weld cost repercussions.


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

Click here to visit the robot weld management – technician section, to find out why Tesla management and engineers  failed to understand how to control robot welds


More on Robots and Automotive Welds:


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

High spatter MIG welds make a great fire works display,
but are another indication of poor robot weld management.

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

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

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

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

Test your MIG process knowlege. Craig’s MIG quiz

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

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


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


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

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

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

VW Beetle Welds Mexico:

In a crash, one of the most critical structural components in car or truck are the seats.
 When the new VW Beetle was introduced, it was announced that this iconic vehicle was going to be built in Mexico for obvious cost reasons. The contract for the Beetle seat frames was given to a US tier one supplier who built a plant in Mexico.

After the new ABB MIG weld robots were installed at the seat mfg. plant, for many months, the tier supplier, VW and ABB engineers could not produce robot MIG welds that met the VW Beetle car seat weld destructive test requirements.

The VW managers & engineers responsible, provided lots of attitude but did not have a clue about how to attain the robot MIG weld quality.

The robot MIG welds at the Mexican facility were strictly being carried out in accordance with the robot weld specifications & weld procedures, both of which were developed and issued by VW Germany. I was requested by the tier supplier to consult and provide the robot weld resolutions for the seats.  It took me less than a day to figure out that the German VW. robot MIG weld procedure parameters provided were too low and this was the root cause effecting the weld quality desired, (fusion issues).

Process controls at work: In the 3 days that  I was at the Mexican facility, I  completely changed the the VW.  Beetle seat robot MIG weld program. I changed the weld transfer mode, the wire size and gas mix. I provided new parameters for each weld on the seats and  established optimum robot weld practices. The welds were tested and I met the destructive test requirements for all the welds. I eliminated all the weld rework. And as a bonus, I provided a 40% increase in the daily robot shift weld production.

Many German engineers have a reputation for attitude and pomposity and often think in terms of engineering, that they know best. Of course when the German VW Mexico corporate managers and engineers  heard about my changes they were annoyed and  I was immediately requested to stop working with the robots. I was requested to urgently attend a meeting in which all German and Mexican  managers and engineers responsible for the Beetle seats must attend. Of course, I followed orders.

At Beetle seat management  meeting, the VW executives preached to me for an hour about how important it was to for the Mexicans to produce VW parts in accordance with their pre-approved German weld specifications and procedures and they said that I should  not have made any weld changes.

Now please note I was born in England in 1946,  and therefore for decades I was used to dealing with Germans, so at the seat meeting I had my big guns ready.  I learnt a long time ago when dealing with managers and engineers who know little about welding that you don’t talk, you have to show results.

A message for those that struggle trying to make changes in weld departments. When dealing with managers and engineers who fear change or have an attitude, don’t talk in meetings, show results.

Let weld  macros and the weld production numbers speak.
 Before the the VW meeting, I had attained and sectioned in all the welds one of the VW seat prototypes that was robot MIG welded in Germany. The German seat weld macro’s revealed that over 70% of the small seat welds had extensive lack of fusion.  In the meeting I revealed the German weld results and then I followed up with another set of weld macros from the robot weld changes that I had made. My weld macros revealed that with my weld changes the weld fusion defects were gone. Also no weld rework was required, and  then I told the VW mangers that I had also increased their robot shift weld production requirements figures by 40%.  I then finished my presentation by asking the VW senior managers, would they like me to change the robot data back to their  German requirements, for some strange reason the room went very quite. The German managers responded by mumbling something about they must approve my weld changes, and they quickly left the building with their tails between their legs.

I think for my robot quality – productivity improvements and for  putting up with their unqualified management BS, that I charged the plantsa minuscule $6000 which they took months to pay.

MORE ON THE BEETLE SEAT WELD QUALITY. Around 1999 or perhaps it was  2000, the USA Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in it’s car crash tests results rated the the new Beetle car seats (using my robot weld data), as the most durable of all in the small car seats that they had ever crash tested. I never even got a Christmas thank you card from VW.

My car seat robot welds made in the
beautiful town of Vigo Spain:

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


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

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

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

Tier One Tenneco – Monroe USA and Global.

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

Ed’s influence on Caterpillar Trucks & Elgin Sweepers.

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


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

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

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

Chrysler and its pathetic approach to robot welds.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Management influenced robot Down Time issues.

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

Management influenced robot Weld Rework issues.

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

Management influenced robot Weld Rejects issues.

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

Management influenced robot  Weld Production Efficiency issues.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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



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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

ASME quality clad MIG welds on Water Wall Boilers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is not necessary in most weld shops.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Usual robot MIG fire works display, shows incorrect volts.

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

A pathetic engineering statement for an important global industry.

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

A sad engineering practice in an important global industry.

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

A sad approach to engineering evolution.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                     Can you count the weld safety infractions?

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

E Craig’s MIG Weld Process Controls Test.

E Craig’s Flux Cored Process Controls Test.

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

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

With Ed the weld application did not matter.

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

Ed managing Textron Stingray Armoured Tank weld repairs in Thailand.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Global Weld Education, a C-.

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

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

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

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



These guys will try anything that the salesman recommends.

Note: It would take me only 15 minutes in any global weld shop to prove that on 99% of all steel and alloy steel weld applications,  that the majority of the costly weld equipment products purchased provides no real value to the weld shops. The electronic MIG weld equipment has certainly  increased profits to both the weld equipment / consumable manufactures and distributors, and wait till you see the cost of the short lived electronic weld equip. repairs.

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



weld and QA dept. managers and supervisors become firemen

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

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

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

Process ownership and responsibility need to be clear

Should front office personnel have weld process ownership and accountability?

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

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

Most of the major auto & truck recall defects will typically be the result of a poor decision made by a designer, manager or engineer. It’s anticipated that the latest vehicle recall costs for the auto industry, and the resulting long term law suites that will likely result could be some where between 10 to 20 billion dollars. The resulting extraordinary loss of potential profit for the USA auto industry should be difficult to grasp in a manufacturing industry that is seen to be top heavy with university educated managers and engineers, an industry that has also in the last few decades spent billions of dollars implementing a variety of Quality Control Programs and Manufacturing Standards.

How does your company
define robot weld process optimization?

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

At your facility, who is

responsible for  
process optimization?

Weld ownership and accountability

This manager would be a rare find.


The too common corporate & plant
management weld process apathy.

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

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

in any plant would point to what?

The caliber and qualifications  of weld management will often be revealed in the plant’s job descriptions that they produce. The lack of process control – best practice expertise of managers, supervisors and engineers will often be evident by the common, lack of, or poor plant job descriptions for the employees that daily work with the manual or robot arc welding processes.

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

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

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

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

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

MIG, FLUX CORED, TIG OR TIP TIG. Manual or Robot Weld
Process  Controls & Best  Weld Practices TRAINING
in Asheville NC. or maybe at your facility.

In 2013, Ed knows all about the importance of change. At age 68  Ed  changed to the person she should always have been, Emily. By the way to teach manual welders or robot technicians on how to minimize MIG or flux cored weld spatter, she first creates the spatter  then shows the weld personnel how to make the simple weld adjustments to eliminate it.

Want to teach your self or train others?

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

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

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

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

One Popular Seminar I provide.

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


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

For more info. Emily Craig. 828 337 2695. E-Mail

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

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

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

A Moment on WELD COSTS.

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

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

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

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

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

If front office personnel are not aware of their typical weld deposition rates for the common welds produced it’s impossible for these personnel to fully control their weld costs, and therefore it’s impossible for their company to optimize the profits that could be attainable from the weld shop.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It can be this simple to produce
optimum MIG welds.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was my job as the Corporate Weld Training & Weld Product or Marketing Manager with USA and Canadian companies such as Praxair,  Airgas, AGA and Liquid Carbonic, to test MIG weld equipment and the MIG and flux cored weld consumables that were available from companies around the globe. Of my 50 years in the welding business, I did  weld equipment and consumable evaluation for approx. 30 years.

Today, as many of you are aware, in 2105, you can pay $3500 to $5000 for a traditional CV 350 – 450 Amp. MIG power source and wire feeder, or you can pay approx. $6000 to $20,000 for sophisticated Pulsed MIG equipment.

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

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

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

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

For weld shop management that have no wish to waste their potential profits in purchasing the often useless costly pulsed MIG equipment, or from unnecessary weld rework and poor weld productivity, the weld reality is this. Using my MIG – Flux Cored Process Control – Best Practices and Self Teaching – Training resources available here, you will find many cost benefits possible for the weld shop.

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

MIG WELD EQUIPMENT FACT: Before your company wastes thousands of dollars on that new pulsed MIG equipment, remember if you wish to attain optimum MIG or Flux Cored weld quality – productivity on carbon steels & alloy steels, gauge to any thickness. , Purchase 350 to 450 Amp  CV. MIG equipment. This equip should in North America cost approx. $3500 to $5000.

You may want to check out the MIG equipment part of this site to see the weld equipment that I recommend, and the weld equipment that  will makes you  want to chew more TUMS. 

It’s a common sense statement, that in their role as a professional, that any weld decision maker should be capable of managing or supervising a weld shop without weld advice from a weld sales rep. And yet in many advertisements you will see for weld engineer or weld mgr. position, it’s often part of the add or job description requirement that the weld engineer establish good relationships with the weld “vendors” who typically have minimal weld / application experience and rarely will have ever run a weld department.

[] Weld shops decision makers should be able to make rational weld shop decisions that are based on their process knowledge, and those decisions will have technical substance.

[] To optimize MIG – flux cored weld quality, weld decision makers need to be aware of the real world, weld process controls and best weld practices necessary for both processes.

[] To control weld costs, the weld decision makers should understand that for each common weld daily produced, their is an optimum wire diameter, that should be used with an optimum gas. With the MIG consumable there will be an optimum weld transfer mode suited to the application or specific weld. And that transfer mode will have an optimum wire feed / voltage and with automation weld travel speed. With this data it should takes less than five minutes to figure out the cost of any manual – robot MIG or FCA weld.

Note: The world’s most common MIG and flux cored weld is either a 3/16 or 1/4 (5 – 6mm) fillet weld, therefore, it’s logical to assume that with a glance at the wire feed control, each weld decision maker if asked, could within a few minutes figure out the cost of a foot, or a meter of one of these welds.

For the doubting Thomas, please note:

All It would takes is a few minutes, a weld shield and weld PROCESS CONTROL EXPERTISE to prove this: Apart from the necessary, costly pulsed MIG equipment, and the useless three part gas mixes, many companies for the last decade have been sucked into purchasing ineffective and necessary Metal Cored and Flux Cored wires for steel and alloy steel welds which are made in the flat weld position. They will be told they are getting higher weld productivity with improved weld quality than that possible with the MIG process. These cored products will typically sell in the $2 to $6/lb range. I have evaluated and tested cored products for decades, and the weld reality is that irrespective of what the company who uses these wires has been told by their over friendly distributor or product rep, when welding on clean materials that are free of mill scale, the flat – horizontal position welds produced with the cored products, will rarely in contrast to MIG wires, (cost approx. $1/lb), offer when used correctly, any real weld quality or productivity benefits.

I believe that the continuing growth of the often not necessary costly Metal Cored & Flux Cored Wires, and also the use of the useless Three Part MIG Gas Mixes that are also utilized throughout the global weld industry, is strictly based on both weld sales influence and of course on the lack of weld shop management / engineering weld process control – best practice expertise.

For those of you that have never met me, you may have an interest in my back ground. For five decades, I optimized MIG and flux cored welds in more than 1000 plants in 13 countries. And for three decades, while working for some of the world’s largest producers of weld equipment – consumables, I was responsible for process control training and testing and evaluating global weld equipment and consumables. I helped write the AWS MIG gas specifications and advised the AWS committee on the flux cored specifications. Irrespective of the weld applications that I assisted companies with, I always achieved the highest possible weld quality – productivity, with no weld rework and no weld spatter issues. The MIG – FCA welds that I produced, were attainable with weld process expertise and the utilization of the lowest cost MIG welding equipment and MIG – FCA consumables.

Note: If a company wants to know how much weld salesmanship has had an influence at their weld shop floor, all any manager, engineer or supervisor has to do is think about all the MIG power sources and gas mixes that have likely tried in their facility during the last few years, and then take a look at MIG mixes in the cylinder storage racks.

No matter what steels or alloy steels are MIG welded in 2015, any company that has used, or is using “three part gas mixes”, or has or is using mixes with oxygen, straight CO2 or the common Argon – 25% CO2 mix in their plants, is simply a company that suffers from MIG weld process expertise, a company that unfortunately has been influenced by MIG Gas Salesmanship.

Great design, poor quality and pathetic welds.

Will the extremely poor quality cored welds that were made on the construction of the Beijing, Birds Nest, Olympic Stadium, mean that one day this unique designed steel structure will turn into a Spiders Web Trap for the stadium spectators?

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

Written by E Craig.
Aug. 2. 2008.

The five hundred million dollar, Beijing, Olympic stadium was built on top of an earth quake fault. The steel stadium is wrapped in a unique designed, high strength steel cocoon that weighs approx. 45,000 tons. While the world’s focus was on the artistic design of this stadium, my focus was on the sad weld engineering practices that were used to build it.

At the end of July, two weeks before the 91,000 seat stadium was ready to host the 2008 Olympics, I sat in front of my TV and watched a Discovery Channel program about the stadium construction. The steel Bird’s Nest design is without question a steel wonder to behold, however having a more than slight interest in welding fabrication you know where my focus was. While I watched the TV show that showed the construction, I did not like what I saw that was going on with the on site welders and their welds and I certainly knew that what the chief engineer at the site was saying about the welds, was simply a load of rubbish.

May. 2009. Beijing Update: Check out what’s happening to this Chinese stadium, nine months after Ed wrote his opinions on the poor welds and construction at the Birds Nest stadium.

A reasonable question about the global weld industry would be. The weld industry is an old well established industry in which the majority of daily mfg. welds are made with two weld processes, MIG and Flux Cored. These two weld processes are little changed from the processes that myself and welders were using many decades ago. So a reasonable question would be, why would someone want a management or supervision role in an industry that is governed by processes and consumables and yet lack the process and consumable expertise for process optimization?

The wide use of MIG welding started in the 1950’s. Around 1962 I started MIG welding tractors at Massey Ferguson at a factory in Manchester, UK. where the weld shop management and supervision knew a little about the relatively new MIG Weld Process. I suspect if I visited a John Deere tractor plant in 2018, I would find that most of the managers / supervisors responsible for the welds also know little about MIG process controls – best weld practices.

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

Other industries usually have higher learning standards: I have never met a machine shop supervisor who would allow one of his machinists to “play around” with their Lathe or Milling machine controls. So why would any experienced weld decision maker allow their weld shop personnel to “play around” with the much more simple, two control MIG / Flux Cored weld processes, the answer to this issue is a simple one.

For decades many of those involved in weld management, engineering, supervision and weld education have simply not been aware of the benefits or the requirements of MIG – Flux Cored Weld Process Controls and Best Weld Practices. Want to test your process expertise?

Ed’s Flux Cored Process Controls Test.

Reminder dumb robots always need
optimum weld process data.

Robot MIG Weld Process Controls Program.

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

Sad lack of manual weld process expertise.

Many weld supervisors think they are on top of the weld production as long as they see that the welder’s shield is down and weld smoke and the sparks are being generated. What the weld decision makers are often not aware is, that welder working hard can weld a vertical up flux cored 1/4 fillet at 4 – 6 lb/hr, or with a little process control expertise, set the same fillet weld with the wire feed set to deliver 8 -10 lb/hr. Or there could be a MIG welder working up a sweat to weld a common, horizontal 1/4 (6 mm) fillet at 6 lb/hr, and with the same sweat, using my MIG process control data they can make that fillet weld (without spatter) in the range of 12 to 15 lb/hr.

It’s a sad reflection of the industry that I love, that you will find that less than five percent of managers and supervisors will have the MIG – Flux Cored weld process control knowledge and expertise necessary to optimize their weld quality and control and understand their real weld costs. That’s the bad news. The good news, there is a solution and its a simple one.

My unique, low cost, self teaching or training resources enables the attainment of consistent, optimum MIG and flux cored weld quality and productivity for the majority of weld applications, and these resources simplify weld costs.

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

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

With Process Expertise
the solution is simple.

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

Pick up a weld magazine in any industrialized country, and you may read about how some mfg. executive or plant manager is concerned about the shortage of qualified MIG – TIG or Flux Cored weld personnel.

Company [A] is required to increase it’s weld labor force for a contract that involved mfg. MIG welds on construction, food processing or farm equipment parts. The welder must pass an AWS weld test.

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

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

Welder qualification costs are expensive and most of those that pass the welder test will lack the weld process control – best weld practice expertise that’s necessary to consistently produce optimum welds with minimum defects and with maximum productivity.

Most managers and especially HR department management, are typically not aware that if they simply could find people without drug problems, (difficult)  people with a good work attitude, and then by providing my process control training programs, and hands on training recommendations, with these individuals,  that it would take approx. 40 – 60 hours to train a “person who has NEVER welded” to produce code quality welds for any application and any weld position.

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

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

TEACH THEM TO PASS THE TEST…If you want to increase the rate at which new hire weld personnel can pass any MIG – Flux Cored weld qualification test, it would make sense if the weld decision maker in charge would insist that before the welders waste the weld costs associated with welder testing and weld coupon evaluation, they first sit those involved with the test down in a classroom and give them a few hours of my weld process controls, and best weld practice requirements .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[1] Get advice from another weld salesman.

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

The following is in the HOME PAGE Section 2.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Home Page. Section. 2.

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

For more than 60 years, the majority of the global weld industry has placed little focus on Weld Process Controls and Best Weld practices. From the out-dated weld Specifications and Procedures at the highest tech. companies such as NASA and Boeing, to the poor excuse for robot MIG found throughout the automotive industry, you will find in the majority of global weld shops that use MIG – TIG and flux cored, the daily weld quality – productivity consequences of arc weld process controls and best weld practice lack of expertise. Consistently attaining optimum manual or robot arc weld quality and productivity at the lowest welding costs, requires that those involved in daily weld decisions, have the arc weld process controls – best weld practice expertise that’s necessary to both own and optimize the weld processes utilized. FOR APPROX, SIX DECADES THERE HAVE BEEN TWO COMMON DENOMINATORS THROUGHOUT THE GLOBAL WELD INDUSTRY. ITS BEEN A “PLAY AROUND” WITH THE WELD CONTROLS INDUSTRY THAT HAS IN GENERAL AN ATTITUDE OF “WHY CHANGE THIS IS THE WAY WE HAVE ALWAYS DONE IT”.

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