TIP TIG and the Australian Navy Submarines

TIP TIG, Weld Process of Choice for Australian Navy.

Australian Navy ship building industry now lead the USA, UK and other nations in the choice of weld methods that can enable the highest possible Submarine weld quality with the lowest weld costs.

08/10/18 The only thing that slows the acceptance of the TIP TIG process is a manger or engineers lack of process ownership and their fear of change. Ed Craig weldreality.com.

The Unique TIP TIG Process.

TIP TIG, WORLD'S BEST WELD PROCESS FOR SUBS OR ANY CODE QUALITY WELDS... BY Ed Craig weldreality.com. 

2018: Ed Craig: In general most weld shops don't like change, and the most difficult place to make a change to a weld process would be in the places where front office weld process ownership is lacking, places like Defence contractors and especially relevant in Naval ship building yards. On ships and submarine construction, the common manual arc weld processes, SMAW, Flux Cored, MIG and GTAW have been used for many decades, however as each of these weld processes are often not ideal from either a weld quality or weld labor cost perspective, in reality this should mean, that the front office engineers and managers responsible for weld decisions should have an open mind to progressive weld process evolution, rather than the too commonly heard "why change the way we have always done it" weld shop swan song.

No engineer or manager should be content with cast in concrete weld process technology simply because that's the way we have always done it, especially in light of the fact that for decades, apart from the welder's skills, that arc weld process utilized, has also been influencing both the weld defects and weld costs.

When the highest "manual" arc weld quality has been desired throughout the global weld industry, the traditional GTAW (TIG) process has been the arc weld process of choice. As any good designer, weld manager or engineer involved with arc welds should appreciate, even TIG weld technology has to eventually evolve. Traditional TIG was first used in the 1940s, on aluminum, and with with DCEN steel TIG welds, their is little to differentiate a TIG weld made in 1948 or a TIG weld made in 2018.

TIP TIG was introduced in North America around 2009, is the logical evolution of the TIG process. TIP TIG is a semi-automated process for manual welds and it's also highly suited to automated welds. TIP TIG is so superior to the existing manual TIG and automated Hot and Cold wire TIG processes, that even the high tech Defence and Aerospace industries will eventually have to wake up to the numerous weld benefits that can be derived. Once the TIP TIG weld benefits are fully appreciated, managers and engineers will have to assume weld process ownership responsibility, rise up from their desks, and I suppose reculantly drive the weld process changes that will be necessary to attain the extensive weld quality and productivity benefits for their organizations.

When the traditional DCEN TIG process is changed to TIP TIG, the change enables on all steels and alloy steel applications, far superior weld quality, superior part & weld metallurgical properties, a dramatic reduction in the welder's skill requirements, typically a 200 - 400% reduction in the hourly TIG labor costs, much lower gas and wire costs, plus the capability to enable the least weld distortion and the lowest possible arc weld fumes. These are not the nickel and dime weld benefits that are usually enabled with the latest electronic inverter TIG and MIG equipment changes, these are weld benefits that will dramatically impact any weld shops bottom line. IT MAY TAKE A WELDER A FEW YEARS TO ATTAIN THE SKILLS REQUIRED TO TIG WELD ANY ALL POSITION CODE QUALITY WELD APPLICATIONS. IT WOULD TAKE SOMEONE WHO HAS NEVER WELDED WITH THE TRAINING PROVIDED AT THIS WEB SITE, LESS THAN A MONTH.

2018: Part of an Article from B Peniston. Deputy Editor Defense  One,

J Geurts Assistant Navy Secretary for research, development and acquisition spoke at a Defense One Tech Summit. The following summarizes  the point of the seminar/

The US Navy can’t build our future planned fleet unless it finds ways to dramatically reduce it’s ship 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 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.

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 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 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.  

Ed Craig.. It’s almost impossible in many countries to get the amount of  experienced TIG welders that are necessary  when large scale weld projects requiring code quality weld work is required. When you think about it, the TIP TIG processes dramatically reduces the skills and the training requirements for TIG welders and also will reduce TIG weld labor costs typically in the range of  50 to 75%.  However as reducing ship building or other fabrication labor costs is sometimes  not an incentive to  the contractors that deal with lucrative large government contracts, its therefore logical that in the case of defence projects and especially the Navy, that the weld process and fabrication changes required for effective cost reductions  would have  to  be driven by the Navy. Below is an example of a government  department driving weld change.  

  Ed Craig…Sept 2018.. While the worlds prime defence 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…2018. Collins Sub… Australian Government company ASC approves TIP TIG as its arc weld process of choice for Submarine Hull build / repairs. Not only did TIP TIG prove to be a superior process to GTAW, TIP TIG revealed its much easier to use and lowers the TIG weld labor costs 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 2010 by myself,  (more info weldreality.com) and my business partner Tom  O’Malley, (both formerly TIP TIG USA owners). Tom and I set up Australian TIP TIG distributors and 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.

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 defence 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. 

POSITIVE CHANGE WILL NOT BE DRIVEN BY WISHFUL THINKING OR THOSE THAT THINK THEY DON’T PROFIT FROM THE CHANGE. Craig 2018.

   

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