TIP TIG is easier to use and attains better weld quality than TIG. TIP TIG enables 100 to 400% decrease in TIG labor costs. TIP TIG always provides the lowest possible weld heat for the lowest weld distortion and best metallurgical properties. When you have the best arc process and use my  process control – best practice  resources  you produce welds like this for 25%  of the cost of a TIG weld.

Don’t try to duplicate this weld  quality or the low costs generated by TIP TIG  in your weld in your shop.

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 WELD PROCESS IS NOW USED ON  SUBMARINES: ASC Pty Ltd formerly the Australian Submarine Corporation utilizes the TIP TIG and gets astounding weld results on it’s Submarine Hull weld tests. 

2018. Collins Sub… Australian Government company accepts TIP TIG as the arc weld process of choice for Submarine Hull weld repairs. 

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. 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. 

DIFFICULT TO GENERATE WELD DEFECTS: On the subject of arc weld processes and concerns for weld defects, its very difficult to generate weld defects with the TIP TIG process as it provides  the greatest weld fluidity with the lowest weld heat input, however in contrast Pulsed MIG – Regular DC TIG & the Gas Shielded Flux Cored processes do not need welders to produce weld defects. These three weld processes also contribute to weld defect formation. At this site and in my training programs you will learn how these processes,  and lack of weld process control expertise & lack of best weld practice training  are often the prime root causes for weld defects.

THE SOLUTION TO ALL CODE QUALITY STEELS  &  ALLOY STEEL WELDS.  PRODUCE THE HIGHEST WELD QUALITY WITH LOWEST WELD HEAT. When you can utilize an easy to use process that always enables the highest possible weld quality with the lowest possible weld heat. And then 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 that’s 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.


If you use DC TIG or pulsed MIG, don’t bother to try and duplicate this TIP TIG weld.

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.

Its easy to find poor MIG and flux cored welds in industries as diverse as automotive & 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.

The bottom line is with MIG and flux cored welds there will always be concern for weld defects, and the concern is enhanced when weld process controls and best weld practice are not utilized .Process Question. In contrast to TIG and Hot Wire TIG, why does TIP TIG not require. 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, is 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.

NASA and Aerospace companies engineers and managers should embrace and encourage positive arc weld changes, updated weld specs & procedures, and the introduction  of weld process controls –and implementation  of best weld  practices  that can minimize weld defects and lower weld costs.

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

So the Weld quality is 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 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 when on the shop floor, forever fighting the never ending weld shop fires. 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”.Costly weld results not from welders but  from lack of experienced weld management.

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   inspection personnel will fully 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”.

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.

I sold my ownership in TIP TIG USA a few year s ago, and also with great pain, I am sorry to say Tom who was 20 years younger than me died unexpectedly.17. Its not just manual welds where TIP TIG is the superior weld process if you have high quality automated clad weld applications then the  TIP TIG process should be considered. 

The TiP TiG arc welding process

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


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

 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  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.

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

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

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



For approx. six decades, the auto & truck industry that utilized manual MIG  acquired a reputation as a PLAY AROUND with controls industry. So when the robots were introduced into their 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. A common plant mfg.managers solution to the never ending robot weld quality or production issues, is to  order more robots, add a shift, add manual welders to the end of the robot lines,  ship the parts to a tier two supplier,  or sweep the frustrating weld issues under the rug, and send the robots and the parts south to Mexico.

ROBOT MIG 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 are daily attaining their weld quality & production potential.

From my perspective, 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 weld practice.

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.

 A subject rarely discussed or  hidden in the auto – truck industry.. 

One way to benefit from the my weld process control self teaching or  training programs. Lets say a company has  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.



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

MAGNA a top three global auto part supplier: Below, Ed before Em is providing Robot Best Practices – Process Control Training for USA MAGNA robot personnel. This Canadian company in 2016 was  the 3rd largest global  tier one auto – truck parts supplier.  At this facility, Ed  started the MIG robot process control training program in one of the manual welders cell. Robot technicians and weld decision makers should   first learn the robot weld process controls and best weld practices before being allowed to adjust the robot welds.

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.

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  US product  ICONS is what I did for decades, and what I 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.

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

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

So you know how to control robot MIG welds?  Try these Two Fundamental MIG Process 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 knowledge. 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 Seat Welds Mexico:

In a car or truck crash, one of the most critical structural components are the seats. When the new VW Beetle was introduced, it was announced that this rear engine  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 had  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 robot engineers could not produce robot MIG weld quality that met the VW Beetle car seat weld destructive test requirements. As expected  the VW managers & engineers responsible for the seat, provided lots of attitude, but they also did not have a clue about how to attain the desired robot MIG weld quality. The VW 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 engineers in Germany.

I was requested by the tier seat supplier to consult and provide them with the  robot weld resolutions for the VW seats.  It took me less than a day to figure out that the German VW. robot MIG weld procedure parameters being used  were too low and this was the root cause effecting the weld quality desired, (poor weld fusion issues).

Robot Weld Process Controls at work: In the next 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 from high end short circuit to low end spray. I changed the wire size and gas mix. I provided new parameters for each weld on the seats and  established optimum robot weld practices. My  welds were tested, and 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.

VW was Informed:  Of course when the German VW Mexico corporate managers and engineers  heard about my extensive robot weld changes on their Beetle seats, they were annoyed.  I was immediately requested to stop working with the robots and requested to urgently attend a meeting in which all German and Mexican  managers and engineers responsible for the new Beetle seats must attend. Of course, with a little German blood mixed in with my British blood, 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.Note as I was born in England in 1946,  and therefore for many 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 to show results.

Before the the VW meeting, I had attained and sectioned in all the welds off one of the VW seat prototypes that was robot MIG welded in Germany. The German seat weld macro’s revealed that over 70% of their seat welds had extensive lack of fusion.  In the meeting I first 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, 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 loud individuals sitting around the conference table suddenly went very quite. The German senior manager responded by mumbling something about they must approve my weld changes, and they quickly left the building with their tails between their legs. I got an approval within 24 hours. I think for my robot weld quality – productivity improvements and for  putting up with their unqualified management / engineering BS, that I charged the plant a minuscule $6000 which they then took many 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 (that were 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.

Robot MIG welds 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.

The Viza company located in Vigo Spain builds  auto – truck seats for  Toyota, Renault, Citroen, BMW and others. The president and owner of this company  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 success, that 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 .

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 lets face it, 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.

Note from me: 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 in my  Chrysler  story below.

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


On my favorite  subject of automotive manufacturing management and engineering  incompetence, in the nineteen nineties, in a period of less than 18 months, Chrysler corporate management lost  approx  18 – 20 million dollars from their  new, flux cored robot line. This robot line was located at the prime Mini Van stamping facility in Ohio. The robot weld line 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 always 100%. The robot welds were made with Lincoln, Self Shielded, (SS), Flux Cored wires. 

Please note the SS flux cored  weld wire was selected by the corporate Chrysler Weld Engineer. It was the worst possible weld wire choice

The sad excuse for the SS weld consumable was also influenced by Lincoln Electric engineers. 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 gave up on his own corporate weld engineer. I was asked to assist and my boss charged them $250,000 for my service. 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 Neon robot 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 cross member 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 MIG 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 surpassed  the design requirements and no  weld defects were revealed. 

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

NORTH AMERICAN AUTOMOTIVE WELD REALITY: 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.

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.



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

The auto – truck industry loves fireworks displays from both resistance and MIG welds, which simply point to welds out of control.

 In too many  global weld shops, you will find that a critical tool required for a welder 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.. Ems training materials


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 annually.  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  at least  25%. The superior, uniform clad weld quality with excellent weld pass tie -ins reduced weld defects, and the higher weld speeds reduced clad weld shrinkage stresses helping increased boiler life longevity. 

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 USA built Stingray Armored Tank MIG and flux cored 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,  Armour ed 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.




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 weld process control 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.

How does your company define robot weld process optimization?


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

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

POOR WELD JOB DESCRIPTIONS in plants 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.

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 .

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  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” 

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

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

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

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

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.


The Miller 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.

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 beThe 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.

Indication of 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.

If you know weld process controls, there can be no such thing as a welder shortage.

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.

Ships or golf carts there is only one way to weld.

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.

HOW DO YOUR 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.

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.


Sorry its so  long. However Please don’t leave this site without checking Ed’s MIG- Flux Cored – Advanced TIG and TIP TIG
best weld practices and weld process controls resources.