TIP TIG used on Ships & Submarines

TIP TIG, Weld Process of Choice for Australian Navy.

2018...The Australian Navy Ship Building Industry now leads the USA, UK and all other nations in the choice of arc weld methods that enable the highest possible Submarine weld quality with the lowest weld costs. The question is why?

08/10/18 For more than a decade, the only thing that has slowed the global growth of the unique TIP TIG weld process, is the too common, front office, managers, engineers and supervisors reluctance for weld process change, and this prevails as a result of the general lack of weld process expertise thats required to take on new process ownership. Now that I have insulted most of the weld industry, the good news is that at this site, the weld process controls - best weld practice, self teaching / training resources, are provided, for anyone who wishes the process expertise to completely control manual and Robot MIG, Advanced TIG, Flux Cored and of course the TIP TIG process.

The following is a description of why TIP TIG is the world's best manual or automated arc weld process to weld submarines, any code quality welds, high strength or alloy steels and all alloys. Ed Craig weldreality.com.

2018: In general most global weld shops are using arc weld processes that have changed little in decades. And from my 1000+ weld shop visits in 13 countries, I know that most weld shops simply don’t like change. It’s also a fact, that process change is made more difficult in manufacturing or construction facilities in which the front office weld decision makers lack the process control expertise required for weld process ownership and weld process evaluation. For example while MIG accounts for more than 80% of the global welds produced daily, you would not want to hold your breath finding someone in any weld shop front office who could tell you the voltage and wire feed rate necessary to attain a MIG Spray weld with the common 0.045 (1.2mm) steel wire. Please don’t try this in any automotive plant that makes thousands of robot MIG welds every shift.

 

The common global lack of engineering and management focus on the requirements for arc weld process ownership that would enable weld process quality – productivity optimization, is why we have a “play around with the weld controls” industry. An industry that too often relies on a weld salesman for weld advice, an individual that who has likely never ran a weld shop.

After evaluating and simplifying weld process for 50 years, what really frustrates me is the so called high tech industries such as Defence, Aerospace, Nuclear and Oil are typically the most entrenched in the use of 1950s arc weld processes, and also you would note that the weld procedures use in the 1970s – 1980s period are little different from those used today. This Rip Van Winkle approach to welding is especially evident  in  Aerospace, Oil, Nat Gas, Nuclear, and likely in every global Naval Ship Building yards. Ed Craig. weldreality.com

With Ships, Submarines and Offshore Oil Rig construction facilities, the common manual arc weld processes such as SMAW, Flux Cored, MIG and GTAW have been used for many decades. While these processes are effective for joining metals, none of these arc weld processes are ideal from a  weld quality, weld part properties or from a weld cost perspective.

Each of the common, long established arc weld processes has more than one Achilles heel that affects the weld quality or productivity,  and their has always been room for process improvement. We do see those improvements with MIG – TIG arc weld processes for  aluminum, yet for decades we have seen mostly useless electronic bells and whistles for steels and alloy welds.

However just because many weld shops are stuck in a 1960’s time warp does not mean, that the front office engineers, managers  and supervisors responsible for their companies arc welds, while lacking process expertise, should not at least  have an open mind to any weld process change that can prove in a demo in a matter of minutes, both dramatic weld quality and weld cost savings.

Many who work in our weld industry will be aware, that of the common attitude found in the “play around” with the MIG and FCAW weld controls weld shops, will be “why change the way we have always done it”. 

Traditional TIG, slow, highest skill requirements, high weld heat, yet entrenched throughout high tech industries that lack weld Management Ownership Expertise.


When the highest “manual arc weld quality”  has been desired to weld steels, alloy stls. and alloys, the DCEN. GTAW. (TIG) process has been the weld process of choice. As any good designer, weld manager or engineer involved with arc welds should appreciate, even that 70 year old, unchanged DCEN TIG process used in their weld shop, has to eventually evolve.

Traditional TIG first used in the 1940s, and  with with DCEN steel and alloy TIG welds, there’s little to differentiate a TIG weld made in 1958 or a TIG weld made in 2018. 

2018… It’s taken approx.  70 years, but for those front office personnel asleep at their computers, or constantly in the weld shop fireman mode, please note the evolution of the DCEN TIG process arrived about a decade ago.

 

TIP TIG. One hand, and in this demo the Westinghouse welder depositing approx. 400% more weld than any
Westinghouse pipe welder.


The above ten year old process is called TIP TIG. It was  invented by Plasch. Austria. I found TIP TIG in a visit to Scotland around 2008. I only needed 15 minutes with this process to know I had to get it to N.America. I found a business partner, Tom O’Malley who had more than the $50 I had in the bank. We quickly formed a U.S. company called TIP TIG U.S.A. Tom and I then introduced this process to both North America and Australia. TIP TIG is both a  unique Manual Semi-Automated process and also a process  highly suited to  Automated and Robot welds. TIP TIG has none of the limitations of the Hot Wire and Cold Wire TIG processes. See my blog on Hot Wire TIG. 

Single pass untouched TIP TIG steel fillet, note weld color and small HAZ from low weld heat. You would go to sleep with the slow weld speed that would be done doing a steel or stainless TIG weld like this. Not with TIP TIG that  300 –  400% increase in the TIG deposition means much faster TIG weld travel rates. TIP TIG opens up the opportunity to now use manual or automated TIG welds on any thickness. Think of those Stainless, Inconel, Duplex, Hastelloy,  Titanium and high strength steel weld application. By the way as the weld heat input is so low, TIP TIG would not require a gas trailing shield if this was a TITANIUM  application.


WHAT’S THE SENSE OF BEING PROUD TO BE PART OF A HIGH TECH DEFENSE OR AEROSPACE COMPANY LIKE BOEING, SPACEX,  EXON OR NORTHRUP, AND FIND OUT YOUR  WELD DEPARTMENT STILL IN 2018 IS CLINGING TO A 70 YEAR OLD WELD PROCESS SUCH AS DCEN TIG.  

When the traditional DCEN TIG process evolved into TIP TIG, in contrast to DCEN. TIG, the TIP TIG enabled numerous weld / part benefits on all steels, alloy steels and alloy weld applications:

 IF IT’S TO EASY TO PRODUCE DEFECT FREE WELDS, IT MUST BE TIP TIG.

Now who in 2018 would want to produce the highest possible weld quality that ensures no weld rework? Who would would want to weld with a process that alway enables the lowest possible weld heat? Then again, why would anyone want to use a process that dramatically reduces the TIG welder skills? And lets face it, you would have to be an idiot to choose a process that that each hour does 200 to 400% more TIG weld. And don’t get me going on why you would want to use a process that delivers the lowest possible weld fumes.

  • [] TIP TIG provides far superior weld quality with a dramatic reduction in lack of weld fusion and weld porosity defects.|
  • [] TIP TIG provides the lowest possible arc weld heat on any application, with the increase in weld quality this enables superior part & weld metallurgical properties.
  • [] TIP TIG in contrast to both DCEN TIG and also to the Pulsed MIG process, enables  a dramatic reduction in “all position” welder skill requirements.
  • [] Also in contrast to DCEN TIG, the TIP TIG process typically enables a  200 – 400% increase in hourly weld deposition with dramatic reductions in the hourly TIG labor costs.
  • [] As TIP TIG welds are done so much quicker weld gas costs are dramatically reduced and the use of lower cost spools of 0.035 – to 1/16 MIG wire reduces the TIG weld wire costs.
  • [] Other benefits from TIP TIG are the capability with DCEN polarity and higher weld speeds to always  enable the least weld distortion, and create welds with the lowest possible weld fumes.By the way, with it’s latest Inverter TIG equipment,  Miller proudly announces it can speed your DCEN TIG welds by 17%. So that TIG weld in which  your welder travels at 3  inch/min, will now with Millers latest Inverter allow the welder to speed up be 3.5 inch/min. In contrast to the electronic advances in today’s Inverter TIG power sources,  TIP TIG will typically enables 200 to 400% increase in TIG weld speeds.Weld shop managers, engineers and supervisors you might want to wake up, as the benefits attained by TIP TIG are not the nickel and dime, hard to measure benefits that are usually enabled with the latest electronic inverter DCEN TIG and  also Pulsed MIG equipment changes.The beneficial process  attributes from the TIP TIG process enable game changing weld quality / production benefits that can  dramatically impact any weld shop’s weld application capability and weld quality and cost bottom line.

I  JUST SHAKE MY HEAD WHEN I READ ABOUT WELD SHOP MANAGERS OR CORPORATE EXECUTIVES LAMENTING ON THE SHORTAGE OF SKILLED WELDERS….Excuse me, I have to yawn….

WHILE IT MAY TAKE A WELDER A  FEW YEARS TO ATTAIN THE SKILLS REQUIRED TO DCEN TIG WELD ON ANY ALL POSITION CODE QUALITY APPLICATION. IT WOULD TAKE SOMEONE WHO HAS NEVER WELDED USING THE TRAINING I PROVIDE, LESS THAN A MONTH.

By the way if you need to hire MIG or flux cored welders that can meet any code welder qualification requirements for any industry , my unique process controls – best practice training  programs enable anyone who has never welded approx. 10 days  to meet those requirements, and these welders will not be “playing around” with their weld controls. 

2018.  High tech ships,  and low tech weld technology. 


Part of a 2018 article from B Peniston. Deputy Editor Defense  One he reports on what was being stated by J Geurts the Assistant Navy Secretary for research, development and acquisition. Geurts spoke at a Defense One Tech Summit. The following summarizes  a primary point of the seminar…

Geurts.. “The US Navy can’t build our future planned fleet unless it finds ways to dramatically reduce it’s ship / submarine build and repair costs”.

“For the Navy and the Marine Corps, if we can’t solve and fundamentally drive some of the costs out of our ships over the long term, especially with the construction, repair, and engineering costs,  our  U.S. industrial base will not  attain the 355-ship fleet goal required by our national strategy.  Please remember that it was only a few years ago,  that the USA had the world’s most capable and cost effective shipyards.

———————————————————————– 2018…Today in North America, when you examine  our general lack of industry management & engineering weld process ownership and the unnecessary daily,  manufacturing and construction issues, (Ed’s weldreality.com, extensive info on this subject) we need to go way beyond labor costs as the root cause of our frequent jobs demise. Perhaps we could spend a little more effort to examine our management, engineering and fabrication expertise and capability.   New Sub design, will it be built with old inferior weld Technology.

The Navy and of course the taxpayers are ready to purchase a new class of submarines and invest over 200 billion dollars. At the same time the Navy expresses it’s concerns about Submarine  fabrication delivery times, and reducing the sub. fab. and weld costs. As its done for decades the Navy calls out for ship yard improvements and  CHANGE,  but the Navy as the customer seems to lack the will for process ownership and therefore the   will to demand CHANGE.


Around  2009 to  2011, I called many high ranking Naval officials and asked them would they have a interest in dramatically increasing weld quality and decreasing both  their flux cored weld quality and productivity issues through weld process controls, and also viewing the new TIP TIG  process. Not one of the Navy executives indicated an interest. The Navy or the weld industry few want the responsibility for weld process Ownership.

WHILE THE USA  AND CANADIAN  NAVY TALK THE WELD / FAB. WOES  TALK.  COUNTRIES SUCH AS CHINA AND EVEN AUSTRALIA ARE EMBRACING NEW FAB. AND WELD TECHNOLOGY, AND THEREFORE YOU COULD SAY THEY WALKING THE WALK. 

As the U.S. Navy is aware, China as it does with any important technology, will embrace or copy it, and aggressively work to implement  it to become a global leader in defence projects and especially in Naval ship – submarine building. So maybe I should not have been surprised  that when we first opened our U.S. TIP TIG facility around 2009,  ironically our first  facility was located in the “Philadelphia Navy Yard”, that after attending one of my TIP TIG seminars,  our first large prime customer was CNOOC from China. CNOOC is the third largest “offshore” Oil company in China, they focus on the exploration & development of offshore Oil and Gas. CNOOC sent a group of their engineers  to my workshop then to our weld shop to view and test TIP TIG process.
One of the most difficult weld challenges is Sub Sea Pipe Welds

Offshore pipe laying barge can create great weld challenge. Imagine renting a ship to lay offshore sub-sea pipe,  that ship occurs a daily approx. cost of $255,000.00 a day.. Each 8 to 10 inch pipe start & end had to be ID automated clad weld with Inconel. Then after edge prep.  the pipe OD end joints had to be manually welded with two welders and X-rayed, there was   no tolerance for weld rework. Imagine  the cost consequences from  a pause in that pipe clad and weld joint weld production. Weld rework was for other people and the Chinese were lucky to find TIP TIG in  the USA.

CNOOC had a COMBINED  Inconel – alloyed steel  pipe weld and clad application that required the highest degree of weld challenge and had dramatic weld cost consequences if weld rework was required. Part of TIP TIG ID clad application below.

 Inconel multilayer, multi-pass welds on end of the sub sea pipe. With excess weld heat buildup you still have to control the weld freeze characteristics. No interpass temps or weld rework allowed. By the way the weld times were critical.. It was simple with TIP TIG and even the Chinese who had tried all other available TIG and pulsed MIG processes were impressed.

    
These  inconel clad welds  could only be a achieved  TIP TIG. 

Note: The multi-pass, multi-layer weld solidification uniformity, this is the ultimate in difficult clad weld control especially with no interpass weld control.

For their pipe welds that lay on the ocean floor, CNOOC traveled the globe and tried both the world’s best pulsed MIG process from companies like Fronius and the most sophisticated Advanced, pulsed Hot Wire TIG technology from Europe.  As the months passed, they found no weld process that capable of meeting either their weld or clad needs. A prime concern was the short weld times demanded, controlling the weld heat with the ID pipe multipass – multilayer inconel clad welds. and having no weld rework on the pipe weld joints.

The Chinese stayed in our TIP TIG weld shop for a week, working 12 hour days, and whatever the TIP TIG manual and automated weld and clad tests that they provided, passed with flying colors. 

Once the pipe clad ID welds on the barge were complete,  the pipes had to be edge prepped and OD welded. The all position, manual  TIP TIG pipe welds had to  meet the most stringent weld code requirements, weld rework was not acceptable  and the welds made in the shortest possible weld times. 

Each TIP TIG welder you see below required less welder skills than a regular TIG welder. Each of the TIP TIG  welders was producing approx. 300%  more weld each hour than any DCEN TIG manual welder could produce.  Also lets not forget the higher weld quality than possible with TIG, and  the lowest possible weld heat and lowest possible weld fumes. 

 The quicker the OD pipe welds were made and NDT reviewed and accepted, the quicker that pipe would end up on the ocean floor.  With the daily pipe production requirements and massive ship overhead costs, weld speed was critical and weld defects were simply not an option, on the numerous pipes that were fed daily onto the ocean floor.


EVEN SOMEONE IN THE WELD SHOP FRONT OFFICE,  THAT LACKS PROCESS OWNERSHIP EXPERTISE AND EVERY DAY SPENDS THEIR TIME IN THE FIREMAN ROLE, SHOULD BE ABLE TO FIGURE OUT  THE IMPORTANCE AND BENEFITS OF A WELD PROCESS SUCH AS TIP TIG THAT DRAMATICALLY REDUCES TIG WELDER SKILLS, LOWERS LABOR COSTS AND IMPROVES THE WELD QUALITY.
WE CANT GET WELDERS THEY LAMENT, THAT’S BECAUSE YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO CORRECTLY TRAIN WELDERS,  SAID I.Ed Craig.. For many years it’s been difficult for many countries to get the experienced TIG welders, especially when large scale weld projects requiring code quality weld work was required. TIP TIG has dramatically reduced those TIG welder skills and the TIG training requirements for  DCEN TIG welders. TIP TIG has also reduced TIG hourly labor costs typically in the range of  60 to 75%.  Any of the above statements can be proven in about 30 minutes at your facility. Contact  E. Craig  ecraig@weldreality.com.  If you want a TIP TIG, flux cored MIG and robot MIG workshop, seminar or  training at your organization, give me a call. 828 337 2695.  If you want to do it yourself with the best possible TIP TIG, Gas Shielded Flux Cored, Manual MIG or Robot Mig and  Self Teaching and Process Controls – Best Weld Practice Resources,  click here.Most of the shipyards that build Aircraft Carriers or Navy Frigates will  annually create millions of dollars of unnecessary Flux Cored weld rework, the reason is simple,there are few in the front offices of this important  industry that understand the importance and requirements  of  weld  process ownership, and have the ability to implement the weld process controls – best weld practices that will minimize the opportunity for weld defects, and optimize weld production.  You would think that those designing and  building Submarines should have every incentive to change to a process such as TIP TIG, a process that enables both dramatic weld quality improvements and weld cost reductions. However there is a reason why my site is called WeldReality and I know that many of  you will likely understand why those that shy away from weld process ownership, will not likely be first in line to encourage a weld process change. Ed Craig… I sometimes wonder if reducing  Navy ship fabrication / welding  costs is possibly not a great incentive to  the contractors that deal with the lucrative, large Navy contracts. If that’s the case the Navy should drive the train, however from my perspective it sometimes seems  that the USA Navy top brass like to “talk the cost cutting  talk, but are  not prepared to walk the cost cutting walk”  required to drive the design, fabrication and weld changes necessary to attain  the desired  ship and submarine build cost reductions.EVERYONE THAT CALLS THEM-SELF A WELD DEPARTMENT MANAGER OR RESPONSIBLE ENGINEER OR SUPERVISOR, SHOULD BE AWARE THAT POSITIVE WELD CHANGE IS NOT  DRIVEN BY FRONT OFFICE WISHFUL THINKING AND DEFINITELY NOT  FROM THOSE THAT LACK THE ABILITY TO OWN THE PROCESSES IMPORTANT TO THEIR COMPANY. E Craig.E. Craig EMail  ecraig@weldreality.com.  If you want a TIP TIG, flux cored. MIG and Robot MIG seminar or training at your organization, give me a call. 828 337 2695.  If you want to do it your your self, the best possible self teaching, process controls – weld data and best weld practice resource, are here.
The following is an example of the Australian approach to driving weld change with   Submarines.  

 Ed Craig. Sept 2018. AUSIES LEAD THE WAY, NOT AT THIS TIME IN BUILDING SUBS, BUT IN SUB ARC WELD  REPAIR TECHNOLOGY:   While the world’s prime defense contractors  are too often stuck in an arc weld time warp, ASC Pty. Ltd, an Australian Government business owned ship builder has proven that the TIP TIG process  attains astounding weld quality and cost results on it’s  Submarine Hull Weld Tests. 

Ed Craig..2018. Collins Sub… Australian Government company ASC approves TIP TIG as it’s arc weld process of choice for Submarine Hull build / repairs. Not only did TIP TIG prove to be a superior process to DCEN TIG, the TIP TIG process solved a major problem for the aussies, as this country has a concern with finding the necessary skilled TIG welders to work on submarines.  TIP TIG quickly revealed it’s much easier to use than TIG,  and has the potential to lower the TIG welder requirements in the range of 200 to 400%.


Ed Craig…TIP TIG is a process invented in Austria by Plasch. TIP TIG was brought to Australia in 2009 – 2010 by myself,  and my business partner Tom  O’Malley, (both formerly TIP TIG USA owners). Tom and I also set up Australian TIP TIG distributors and TIP TIG USA trained the Ausy personnel in the use of this unique weld process.

Comments from the ASC Chief Executive Officer is Mr. Stuart Whiley.

Whiley…To evaluate and approve  the TIP TIG process, ASC used an explosive weld test on Submarine Hull, High Strength Steel Plate. To gain Commonwealth / engineering approval, ASC-welded test specimens of the hull steel had to pass repeated explosive bulge tests at a facility in Victoria.

TIP TIG ROOT: Still walk the cup, no wire feed no foot control, then one more wire feed and amp change for all the pipe fill passes. 

Whiley…The weld tests involved a one square meter specimen of Collins Class Hull steel, made up of two sections 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 last thing you would want to worry about on any sub, is the welds.

Whiley.. The Hull test specimen thinning continues to a certain specified percent. The tests were conducted with the specimens held at temperatures   significantly below zero degrees, simulating the most demanding under-sea conditions. 

Whiley…Careful examination of the TIP TIG welds showed that cracks did not grow or break through, successfully passing this destructive weld  test.  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.

Whiley…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 defense company to receive the international corporate certification for excellence in procurement by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS).


Ed Craig…AS TIP TIG IS EASY TO USE, PERSONNEL WHO HAVE NEVER WELDED CAN WITHIN A MONTH WITH THE PROPER TRAINING PROGRAM I PROVIDE, LEARN TO ATTAIN THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE,  ALL POSITION CODE QUALITY WELDS WITH ONLY A FEW WEEKS TRAINING.

Whiley… 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. 

Ed Craig… AN IMPORTANT PROCESS THAT’S SIMPLE TO OPERATE AND A PROCESS THAT DRAMATICALLY CAN REDUCE WELD LABOR COSTS ARE TWO KEY ELEMENTS THAT ENABLE COMPANIES TO SUCCESSFULLY  BID ON MANY DIFFERENT WELD CONTRACTS.

Ed Note:  On the subject of arc weld processes and weld defect potential. It’s very difficult to generate weld defects with the TIP TIG manual or automated  process, the reason is TIP TIG  in contrast to other arc weld processes provides the highest possible arc energy and weld fluidity, always with the lowest weld heat input.

Ed Craig …In contrast to TIP TIG,  irrespective of the welder skills, the Pulsed MIG – Regular TIG & the Gas Shielded Flux Cored process have inherent process issues  that can contribute to weld defects. At this site and in my process controls – best weld practice training programs, you not only learn to optimize the common arc  processes but became aware of all the variables that influence weld defects

Ed Craig…Apart from the welder’s skills, the effects of the  process & consumables selected, the lack of management process ownership, and the lack of weld process control & best weld practice expertise / training  are also the prime root causes for the formation of weld defects. 

 E. Craig Oct 2018. ecraig@weldreality.com.  If you want a TIP TIG flux core or MIG seminar or training program at your organization, give me a call. 828 337 2695.  If you want to do it yourself with these arc weld processes, the self teaching / training  process controls – best weld practice resource is here.

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