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THERE WILL BE LESS CONCERNS WITH MIG & FLUX CORED, WELD QUALITY, PRODUCTIVITY, COSTS, REWORK, REJECTS, AND ALSO WITH PRODUCT RECALLS AND LIABILITY ISSUES, WHEN THE WELD DECISION MAKERS HAVE THE ABILITY TO IMPLEMENT THE MANUAL AND ROBOT WELD PROCESS CONTROLS & BEST WELD PRACTICES THAT ARE AVAILABLE AT THIS WEB SITE.
Ed Craig's is a MIG & Flux Cored weld process control - best weld practice expert. His manual and robot Weld Process Control - Best Weld Practice
Self Teaching - Training Resources, have been used by over 3000 companies in 27 countries.
THE BAD WELD NEWS: For decades, in the majority of global weld shops, you would find manual or robot, MIG and flux cored weld personnel that daily "play around" with their MIG weld equipment controls. These are controls which have barely changed in sixty years. The bottom line in facilities where process control expertise is lacking, in many instances, and especially with new weld applications, the MIG or flux cored welds will rarely be optimized from a weld quality, weld productivity and weld cost perspective.
Also in the majority of global weld shops you will often find that
the key weld decision makers in the front office have to frequently turn to a "weld salesman" for MIG or flux cored weld process advice. Also it's a weld reality to find managers, engineers and supervisors who are aware of the "real weld costs" with their common welds, and also aware of the manual or robot weld quality - productivity potential that can result from the MIG and flux cored process.
Note: Typically the weld salesman that's giving advice will have a degree in English. History or Fine Arts, and will rarely have ever run a weld shop.
THE GOOD WELD NEWS: The above Bad News typically means that with the addition of MIG - flux cored weld Process Control - Best Practice knowledge for both the weld shop and front office personnel, in most global weld shops there will be an excellent opportunity for those that are interested to dramatically increase the manual and robot MIG and flux cored weld quality and productivity, and quickly generate extensive weld cost savings.
The value of MIG & Flux Cored Weld Process Controls - Best Weld Practices.
To explain the importance of MIG - flux cored "Weld Process Controls - Best Weld Practice Expertise", take a moment to review the following weld questions. Then ask your self,
is this expertise important to the quality - productivity goals of a weld shop, especially in those weld shops which have weld personnel that "play around" with the manual or robot weld parameters and controls.
Try some of the questions below on your own weld personnel. Please also give a consideration to the importance and value of these topics for your company or for your career. MIG accounts for approx. 80% of the global welds produced daily,
With the MIG process the 0.035 (1mm)
and the 0.045, (1.2mm) steel MIG wires are most common. Most steel welds on parts > 3 mm thick, will use the spray or pulsed modes of weld transfer, and most steel parts less than 3 mm, will benefit from MIG short circuit welds. With gas shielded flux cored, two common wire sizes are 0.045 and 0.062.
 Provide the spray transfer weld parameter START point parameters using an 0.045 (1.2mm) wire and an argon - CO2 mix, (10 - 20 % CO2).
Volts____ Wire Feed_____ and minimum amps required.
 Provide the reason the common 75 argon - 25% CO2 mix should not be used to weld steel parts > 3 mm.
 Provide the optimum set of short circuit weld parameters to MIG weld common 16 - 14 gage steel parts, using an 0.035 (1mm) wire and an argon CO2 mix. Volts_____Wire Feed_____Amps_____.
 Provide the reasons why the often recommended Helium Tri-Mix, (90He - 7.5Ar - 2.5% CO2) is a waste of money and this gas mix will actually provide many weld issues for stainless gage welds.
 With an 0.045 MIG wire, what would be the optimum "short circuit" setting be for most manual or robot gage welds? Volts_____Wire Feed____ Approx. Amps______
 Explain why the 0.045 (1.2mm) MIG wire is poorly suited to manual welds on gage to 5 mm steel parts, however its suited for robot welds.
 Why is spray transfer often superior to Pulsed MIG Transfer on steel parts over 5mm thick?
 With an 0.045 steel MIG wire, there is an optimum set of parameters that are a great start point for most pulsed MIG welds? Volts_____Wire Feed_____ Amps______
 You are required to use the common 1/16 (1.6mm) E70T-1 flux cored wire to weld parts that are 1/4 to 1/2
(6-12mm). The parts are welded in the flat position. Optimum parameters.
 You have a robot that welds parts that mostly have 3/16 and 1/4 (5 - 6mm) fillet welds. What is the robot weld speed that can be attained with these two common welds.
 With a robot weld you have MIG weld start issues, and you note a blob on the end of the wire at each weld end. What parameters are used to eliminate the blob, and the weld start problems?
 With spray and pulsed MIG welds, to eliminate spatter you _______volts. With short circuit MIG welds, to eliminate spatter you _______volts.
 Provide the reasons why a weld shop should not be wasting money on three part MIG gas mixes that contain oxygen.
 Provide the reason why the common E70S-6 MIG wire is a poor choice, especially in automotive plants.
 With the common 0.045 (1.2 mm) E71T-1 Flux Cored wires, there are optimum parameters for a common 1/4 (6 mm), vertical up fillet weld. The parameters are.
Volts_____Wire Feed in inch/min_____Amps______.
There are tremendous, annual weld cost consequences
that come from the
poor MIG and flux cored weld quality & productivity
that's found in many global weld shops. If the weld personnel, including managers, engineers, technicians and supervisors cannot answer the following fundamental process questions, do you believe there will be weld quality - productivity - costs consequences.
Ed's Flux Cored Process Controls Test.
Ed's MIG Weld Process Controls Test.
WELD COSTS: For those of you in the front office or on the weld shop floor that have a say in weld shop decisions, but don't have to weld, an important benefit from weld of learning weld process control expertise is a comprehensive understanding of WELD COSTS.
WELD COST QUESTION...Take a look at the common Miller Wire Feed unit above. The welders in the shop are paid $15/hr. Note the welders are using the wire feed set at the 12 o'clock wire feed setting. The MIG wire is an 0.045 (1,2mm) steel wire which costs a $1/lb. The cylinder of argon - 20% CO2 costs $60. The most common welds on the parts and in the shop, are 1/4 (6mm) fillet welds made in the flat position. The part that is to be welded has a total of 10 feet of 1/4 fillet welds. The plant manager asks the following logical weld cost questions.
[a] How long should it take for manual welder
to weld one part?
[b] What will be the approx. weld cost per-part?
[c] For future applications, what will be the average cost of one foot of a 6mm fillet?
If a person takes more than 10 minutes to answer these three weld cost questions, they will benefit from this important weld process control expertise resource.
My process control - best practice training resource introduces the Weld Clock method which simplifies weld parameter selection and enables anyone to instantly set optimum MIG or flux cored weld parameters for any application. This method also enable a weld decision maker to look at a standard or digital wire feed control and be aware of the weld deposition rate being attained which is an important factor in weld costs. Weld cost formula is simplified in all my training - self teaching programs.
NO ONE IN A "PROFESSIONAL WORK ENVIROMENT" SHOULD WANT TO WATCH ANY WELD PERSONNEL "PLAYING AROUND" WITH MANUAL / ROBOT MIG - FCA WELD DATA.
It does not take much for most MIG and flux cored welders with minimum weld experience to make an acceptable quality weld. However, when a company employs many welders, or utilizes welding robots, the logic company WELD SHOP GOAL should be;
This weld shop will require and maintain the ability to daily, consistently produce uniform, optimum quality welds, always with the highest weld productivity potential, and when possible always at the lowest weld costs.
To achieve this goal, any weld department would requires that all their weld personnel (including front office weld decision makers), should understand the required MIG - FCA Weld Process Controls and Best Weld Practices with the equipment, process and consumables they utilize.
GLOBAL MIG & FLUX CORED WELD ISSUES, RESOLUTIONS & THE COMMON DENOMINATORS:
The MIG and Gas Shielded Flux Cored process has for more than three decades, accounted for approx. 80% of the daily, global welds produced, yet It's still very common to find the following in global weld shops that utilize these important processes;
 WE HAVE A "PLAY AROUND WITH THE WELD CONTROLS" INDUSTRY:
From Germany to the USA, or from Japan to Canada or Australia, it does not matter which country you work in, you will find the majority of MIG - flux cored manual weld personnel will frequently have to "play around" with their MIG or Flux Cored weld controls.
 WE HAVE A ROBOT WELD INDUSTRY IN WHICH THERE ARE FEW "WELD PROCESS CONTROL EXPERTS":
Few MIG welding robots ever achieve their weld quality - productivity potential, and the reason is a simple one. The majority of robot technicians that daily make the robot weld adjustments are not familiar with the Robot MIG Weld Process Controls
- Best Weld Practices that are necessary to attain consistent, optimum, robot weld quality and productivity.
 WE HAVE AN INDUSTRY IN WHICH FEW ARE AWARE OF THE REAL COSTS OF THEIR COMMON DAILY WELDS.
Too many front office MIG - flux Cored weld decision makers are aware of the real weld costs of their common welds and instead focus on their weld consumable costs. The gas mixes and weld wires typically account for 15 - 20% of a MIG or flux cored weld costs. Also few weld supervisors or personnel in the front office will be aware of their manual - robot weld deposition rate potential per-weld, or how they can reduce robot issues that influence down time.
 WE HAVE A TECHNICAL INDUSTRY THAT TOO OFTEN RELIES OR IS INFLUENCED BY "SALES ADVICE".
The majority of global weld shop managers, engineers and supervisors will often rely on "weld sales advice" for their weld issue resolutions. Sales influence has had an extensive negative / costly impact for many weld shops. Every day costly Pulsed MIG equipment, cored wires and three part MIG gas mixes are being purchased, yet it would take only a few minutes to prove that these products typically bring minimal value to most weld shops.
* A good indication that lack of MIG and flux cored weld process expertise prevails in a weld shop, is if that shop purchased costly "Pulsed MIG" equipment to weld " Steel or Stainless" applications.
* A good indication of lack of MIG weld process expertise prevails in a weld shop, is if the weld shop has purchased;
Argon - 25% C;2 mix.
Any Helium Tri-mix.
Any gas mix that contains oxygen.
* A good indication that lack of flux cored weld process expertise prevails in a weld shop is if that weld shop purchased;
Any Self Shielded flux cored wires.
E71T-1 gas shielded flux cored wires for applications that are mostly welded the flat position.
Metal cored wires for any carbon and low alloy steel applications.
Note: At the approx. 1000 companies in 13 countries, that I was asked to fix the weld quality or productivity issues, it did not matter if the company was Exon - Volvo - Caterpillar - GE - John Deere or General Motors, it was very rare in the plants to find a weld decision maker who was aware of weld process control expertise or was aware of the real weld costs with their common welds.
When there are manual or robot weld problems you need instant solutions, when a weld is not optimized, it's typically costing more than it should...The solution is here. Best Weld Practices & Weld Process Controls, Self Teaching - Training Resources.
LETS EXAMINE MANY OF THE ROOT CAUSES OF MOST MIG - FLUX CORED WELD ISSUES, AND TAKE A LOOK AT THE DIFFERENT WAYS WE CAN DECREASE COSTS IN GLOBAL WELD SHOPS:
Every day, throughout the global weld industry, hundreds of millions of dollars are lost to manual and robot MIG - flux cored weld quality and productivity issues, and the issues simply should not be occurring.
The first step in MIG and flux cored weld quality - productivity - costs weld issue resolution is to recognize that the majority of the weld issues do not start with the weld personnel on the weld shop
they are typically a result from the lack of Weld Process Control & Best Weld Practice expertise that typically prevails by the prime weld decision makers, and also by most of the global education facilities that train weld personnel and weld engineers.
WELD OWNERSHIP - RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY......In many of the global manufacturing plants that provide MIG and flux cored weldments, and especially in the auto - truck industry and their robot welds, it would be highly beneficial and profitable to see the weld
quality - productivity, equipment and process ownership / responsibility placed on the the correct shoulders.
Ed Craig, 2015.
Throughout the weld shops in industrial nations, it's common to hear complaints about the lower competing weld - labor costs being generated in "those other countries", however it's a rare event in any global weld facility for the weld decision makers to have a discussion on their plant's personnel, "weld process control, best practice expertise". For those of you that have worked in different weld shops, in the facilities where you have worked, how many managers, engineers, supervisors, technicians and weld educators that you met, do you think had comprehensive MIG - flux cored process control - best practice expertise?. For that matter how many companies do you know would even think to test weld personnel on their "MIG - flux cored weld process control expertise" .
WELD SKILLS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH WELD PROCESS CONTROL EXPERTISE. For those that ask
"what is MIG - flux cored Weld Process Control and Best Weld Practice Expertise'?
"With this expertise and welding either Manual or Robot, MIG and flux cored welds, the weld decision maker would have the expertise to make the correct weld equipment, weld process, weld transfer mode and weld consumable selection, (without sales advice or influence). And then instantly, without playing around, set the required optimum weld parameters and provide the required best weld practices.
All front office personnel that have a voice or an opinion on the welds that their company daily produces, should also have the expertise necessary to attain the maximum quality - productivity performance potential from the process / consumables they utilize, and also have the ability to quickly work out the real costs of the welds they produce. If they don't have this ability then the bottom line is their is little value in their weld opinions?
If you are part of a weld team that discusses weld issues and you don't have the process knowledge to consistently attain the highest possible weld quality always at the lowest possible weld costs, then what's the point of you being on the weld team..
In companies in which the manufacturing management, supervision, engineers, technicians and sometimes maintenance personnel lack the ability to consistent control and optimize the results from their primary manufacturing equipment and processes, the reality is you have an organization in which the key decision makers have typically not taken ownership, responsibility for what is going on in their facilities. I believe that this is one of the prime root causes for most of the weld quality - productivity issues that for decades have been generated in all industrial countries.
THE TOO COMMON LACK OF "EFFECTIVE GLOBAL WELD & MANUFACTURING & CONTROLS".
DURING 2014, OVER 60 MILLION VEHICLES WERE RECALLED, THIS IS A STAGGERING FIGURE ESPECIALLY WHEN IN THE USA THIS INDUSTRY TYPICALLY PRODUCES ON AN AVERAGE, 11 TO 14 MILLION VEHICLES PER-YEAR.
AUTO - TRUCK MFG. PRACTICES IN ASIAN - EUROPEAN & NORTH AMERICAN FACILITIES, IN TOO MANY OF THESE PLANTS, SOMETHING IS NOT WORKING...... Most of the vehicle recall defects that occur with in a manufactured product, will typically be a result of a poor decision made by either a designer, a manager, an engineer, or a supervisor.
It's anticipated that the latest vehicle recall costs for the auto industry plus the resulting long term potential liability law suites could end up some where between 15 and 30 BILLION dollars.
The extraordinary loss of potential profit for the North American auto industry should be difficult to grasp in a manufacturing industry that's often seen by others as top heavy with university educated engineers and managers, an industry that also in the last three decades has spent billions of dollars implementing a variety of Quality Programs, Training Programs and creating what's believed to be is Effective Customized Manufacturing Standards.
When mfg.. issues occur, many auto - truck managers and engineers will point their fingers at those on the shop floors.
THE REALITY IN THE AUTO - TRUCK INDUSTRY, IS MOST OF THE DAILY ROBOT - MANUAL MIG WELD QUALITY - PRODUCTIVITY ISSUES COMMENCE AT THE CORPORATE OFFICE AND CONTINUE AT THE PLANT'S FRONT OFFICE:
WHEN CORPORATE EXECUTIVES AND ENGINEERS INFLUENCED BY SALESMANSHIP:
In the auto
- truck industry, and in other large industries that have multi-plant manufacturing facilities, you will frequently find corporate, and plant manufacturing engineers, managers and executives that make major decisions on the way a robot welded application should approached. These guys, often sitting in front of their computers may pick up the phone and attain sales biased, equipment - process - automation advice from companies that in many instance do not have personnel that are qualified to provide give the best and cost effective advice for the application.
Unfortunately few of the corporate individuals that make manual / robot weld equip - process recommendations will fully comprehend the technical and process control - best practice expertise that will be required for their plant managers, engineers, technicians, supervisors and shop floor personnel.
Want evidence? TAKE A LOOK AT THE COMMON LACK OF, OR THE POOR WELD JOB DESCRIPTIONS.
The weld process control expertise of any manager involved with either manual or robot welds will quickly be evident through how well that manager understands real world weld costs, and how well that manager has defined the job descriptions that are required for all those that make decisions involving the manual or robot weld quality and production.
From companies such as Caterpillar, G.E, General Motors or Exon, in 13 countries I have was asked to assist over 1000 mfg.. facilities with their robot or manual weld issues. With "ROBOT MIG welds", all of the job descriptions that I was ask to review, typically indicated that the responsible managers, engineers and supervisors and sometimes their peers simply did not comprehend either the comprehensive robot programming requirements, and especially did not have a clue about the Robot Weld Process Controls and Best Weld Practice Expertise that's required for robot arc weld process optimization.
When the robot MIG weld productivity goals are disappointing for a company, it's the norm, especially in auto - truck plants, in which weld process control expertise is lacking, for the responsible managers & engineers not to address the process expertise issue, as lets face it, they are likely not aware that they have this issue, instead they will simply order the PURCHASE of NEW ROBOT WELD CELLS. The irony here is that usually from a robot MIG weld quality - productivity perspective, the robots in their plants are most likely under utilized and not performing at their full potential.
A few of the reasons for the global, common poor robot MIG weld results are;
The common lack of management - engineer and supervision awareness of the real robot MIG weld productivity potential and the real costs of the welds produced.
[b] The management - engineering ignorance about the requirements and importance of weld process controls and best weld practices, expertise that essential to daily attain consistent, optimum, uniform weld quality.
The lack of engineering / management expertise in the root causes of unnecessary robot down time.
[d] The common poor engineering - mfg.. practices and lack of controls in building the robot welded parts in compliance with the design dimension tolerances.
[e] The frequent poor design of robot welded parts. Few designers understand the processes used on their parts.
[f] Poor fixtures and poor robot cell maintenance.
[g] No training or Ineffective process training programs.
COMMON GLOBAL MANUAL AND ROBOT WELD SHOP ISSUES.
Lets face it, if you have worked in more than one weld department that utilized the MIG or Flux Cored process, you will have likely experienced the common weld shop reliance and the consequences from accepting WELD SALES ADVICE. Also you may have had to daily listen to confused weld discussions that were usually based more on weld myths than weld reality.
For those of you that have walked through more than one weld shop, you may have wondered, why the wide variety and lack of uniformity with the MIG equipment, the weld guns, the weld wires and the gas mixes utilized. Or perhaps you simply may have wondered why no one ever in the weld shop had a discussion on how to control the real costs associated with the common daily welds. You may also have wondered why in the weld shop no weld personnel were provided with process control Training, and there was no evidence on the implementation of Best Weld Practices.
In the majority of global weld shops, it's common to find weld personnel that play around with their weld controls. In these weld shops one task the weld management will do well, is to ensure that the welders do not run out of the never ending grinding discs that are typically required when the MIG and Flux Cored weld processes are not optimized.
THE BAD NEWS: THE COMMON, GLOBAL, LACK OF MANAGEMENT - ENGINEERING AND SUPERVISION AWARENESS OF THE MIG & FLUX CORED WELD PROCESS CONTROL - BEST PRACTICE REQUIREMENTS NECESSARY TO ATTAIN THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE MANUAL & ROBOT WELD QUALITY - PRODUCTION, .
THE GOOD NEWS: USING MY EASY TO TEACH MIG - FCA PROCESS CONTROL - BEST PRACTICE SELF TEACHING / TRAINING PROGRAM, THERE IS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR ANY WELD ORGANIZATION TO RAPIDLY ATTAIN EXTENSIVE DAILY MANUAL - ROBOT WELD QUALITY PRODUCTIVITY IMPROVEMENTS WITH EXTENSIVE WELD COST REDUCTIONS.
EVERY WELD SHOP SHOP OBVIOUSLY WANTS IT'S EMPLOYEES TO WORK IN THE SAFEST POSSIBLE MANNER, AND EVERY WELD SHOP MANAGEMENT SHOULD ALSO HAVE THESE TWO SIMPLE GOALS.
 DAILY MAXIMIZE THE WELD QUALITY ATTAINED, AND MINIMIZE THE OPPORTUNITY FOR WELD DEFECTS, REJECTS, REWORK AND WELD LIABILITY CONCERNS.
 DAILY MAXIMIZE THE WELD PRODUCTION POTENTIAL AND MINIMIZE THE WELD EQUIPMENT - CONSUMABLE COSTS, WITH THE GOAL OF ATTAINING THE LOWEST WELD COSTS AND HIGHEST WELD PROFIT POTENTIAL
WELD SHOPS AND WELD MANAGEMENT.
UNDERSTANDING & SIMPLIFYING "WELD COSTS":
THE FRONT OFFICE MIG - FLUX CORED "WELD "COST FOCUS IS TYPICALLY ON THE COST OF THE WELD WIRES AND THE GAS MIXES
2015: In the majority of weld shops that use the MIG and flux cored process, the weld management and supervision manual weld cost FOCUS is typically on the "costs of the Weld Consumables" such as the weld wires, the gas mixes and of course those grinding wheels. The irony is for decades is weld consumables have typically accounted for approx. only 15 to 20% of the actual MIG and flux cored weld costs.
With the cost effective MIG and flux cored weld processes, it's;
the selection of the optimum weld wire sizes and the correct weld gas,
with MIG, the selection of the optimum weld transfer mode,
[c] the selection of the optimum and always the "maximum" wire feed rate,
[d] the ability to fine tune the parameters to ensure minimum weld spatter,
[e] the use of best weld practices that will ensure minimum weld rework.
The above are the key factors required to produce manual welds at the lowest costs, (with robot MIG welds the weld rules change as they are extended. Unfortunately for decades, few in weld shop management have been focussed on the required process knowledgable for MIG and flux cored weld process control / cost optimization.
WELD PROCESS OPTIMIZATION, WELD PRODUCTION,OPTIMUM WELD MODE - CONSUMABLE SELECTION - MAX WELD DEPOSITION POTENTIAL - AWARENESS OF HOW TO PREVENT WELD REJECTS AND DEFECTS - AWARENESS OF HOW TO ALWAYS ATTAIN THE LOWEST WELD COSTS - AWARENESS OF INSTANT SOLUTIONS TO DAILY WELD ROBOT OR MANUAL PROBLEMS....The bottom line, it's impossible for front office personnel or supervisors to minimize their daily weld costs, and optimize their companies weld profits without "Weld Process Control & Best Weld Practice Expertise".
Those of you that are involved with MIG and flux cored weld costs, will be aware of the complexity that many companies and weld personnel will bring to the subject of WELD COSTS. However you may be pleased to know that my Process Control - Best Practice Self Teaching / Training Materials, simplify this important subject for any MIG or flux cored, manual - robot welds.
With MIG - FCAW process expertise, you can look at an application and instantly select the optimum consumables, weld transfer mode and best possible weld settings for any manual - robot weld..
"SALES" INFLUENCE HAS FOR DECADES HAD A DRAMATIC
ON WELD INDUSTRY COSTS - QUALITY:
No this is not Donald Trump without his
but the verbal BS is the same.
ANY TECH INDUSTRY IN WHICH THE MANAGERS, SUPERVISORS AND ENGINEERS WILL RELY ON SALES ADVICE FOR GUIDANCE WITH THE PROCESSES THAT THEY UTILIZE DAILY, WILL LIKELY BE AN INDUSTRY THATS SATURATED WITH PRODUCTS IT DOES NOT NEED, AND WITH EQUIPMENT THATS LOADED WITH useless Bells & Whistles.
ANY PLANT THAT DAILY HAS EXTENSIVE WELD QUALITY & COST ISSUES, IS A FACILITY THAT SHOULD BE CONCERNED WITH IT'S LOSS OF DAILY WELD PROFITS, AND ALSO IT'S CONCERNS FOR POTENTIAL WELD LIABILTY CONSEQUENCES.
When MIG or Flux Cored manual or robot weld issues occur, many managers, engineers, supervisors or technicians will not think twice about getting 'weld advice from their local weld sales rep. The rep is often an individual who has never run a weld shop, more likely its a person who's attained a degree in Fine Arts, English or History. Lets face it, if a weld shop wants to attain maximum weld profits, that shop should be run and advised by individuals who at least understand the requirements of weld process controls and best weld practices, which will then enable to acquire weld process ownership.
The most common question I was asked when I went to plants to provide process improvements and process control - best practice training...." I'VE BEEN MIG . FCA WELDING FOR 30 YEARS, WHY DOES AN EXPERIENCED WELDER LIKE ME NEED YOUR WELD PROCESS CONTROL TRAINING?
I will then explain that "WELD SKILLS & WELD EXPERIENCE HAS LITTLE TO DO WITH THE INDIVIDUALS ABILITY TO ESTABLISH EFFECTIVE WELD PROCESS CONTROLS - BEST WELD PRACTICES WITH MANUAL WELDERS OR IN ROBOT WELD CELLS.
Most weld managers, engineers and supervisors should be asking, 'why do we daily have so many manual / robot weld issues, and why do our senior, "EXPERIENCED" weld personnel frequently "play around" with their MIG and flux cored weld controls. After all both the MIG and flux cored process have two simple controls, and these processes, equipment and controls have hardly changed in six decades?
The answer to the above question is a simple one. The global weld industry and majority of global weld education facilities, have simply never focussed or understood, the MIG - Flux Cored Process Controls & Best Weld Practice requirements that are necessary for both manual and robot welds.
I HAVE HAD HUNDREDS OF COMPANIES CALL ME ABOUT THEIR ROBOT OR MANUAL WELD QUALITY - PRODUCTIVITY ISSUES THAT ARE COSTING THEIR COMPANIES THOUSANDS AND IN SOME COMPANIES MILLIONS OF DOLLARS ANNUALY.
I EXPLAIN TO THE PERSON ON THE PHONE THAT THE WELD SOLUTIONS ARE IN MY PROCESS CONTROL RESOURCES THAT WILL COST THEM APPROX. $300. THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THE PHONE LINE OFTEN GOES QUITE, THEN STATES, "I HAVE TO GET MY MANAGER TO APPROVE THAT CHARGE".
Many experienced engineers, managers, technicians and supervisors and also welders, are surprised to find that weld SKILLS are only a small part of MIG and flux cored weld process optimization, and they quickly find this out when a robot comes into their facility. That the robot will provide the required weld manipulations, (weld skills), but also requires optimum weld data? What most mfg. managers are not aware of with robot welds is
BEING ABLE TO PROGRAM THE ROBOT IS ONE PART OF AN EFFECTIVE ROBOT CELL THAT REACHES IT'S WELD POTENTIAL, THE OTHER REQUIREMENT THATS USUALLY MISSING, IS ENSURING THE ROBOT PROGRAMMER HAS THE REQUIRED WELD PROCESS CONTROL - BEST WELD PRACTICE EXPERTISE.
If the person programming the robot struggles with the following fundamental MIG process control questions, the question management would ask is, "should we ensure our programmers and weld decision makers have this expertise?.
Ed's MIG Weld Process Controls Test.
The required manual and robot weld process control expertise is here.
To create substantial weld cost savings in any weld shop is usually not to difficult, that is if the person given the task spends a few hours and learns the required Weld Process Control Expertise and Best Weld Practice Knowledge. Also of course the weld shop management has to be aware it needs this training / expertise and understands the cost benefits from this training.
IMPROVE YOUR COMPANIES WELD BOTTOM LINE OR IMPROVE YOUR CAREER PROSPECTS:
Perhaps you are a manager, engineer, supervisor, technician, or any weld person that believes your career weld prospects will improve with Weld Process Control knowledge? Or perhaps you are a manufacturing engineer, manager, technician or supervisor that wants to optimize your companies manual or robot, MIG - FCA weld quality and productivity. If so please take a moment to review my MIG and - Flux Cord Weld Process Controls and Best Weld Practice self teaching / training resources.
I said this in 1985.
WORTH REPEATING IN 2015:
Its far more logical to hire people
who can prevent as well as find defects,
2015. HOW QA DEPARTMENTS CAN BENEFIT FROM CHANGING THEIR APPROACH TO WELDS.
IN MOST GLOBAL PLANTS, THE QA DEPARTMENT & WELD INSPECTION PERSONNEL ARE TYPICALLY A COSTLY RESOURCE. AS THEY HAVE DONE FOR DECADES, THOSE INSPECTORS WILL TYPICALY HAVE RECIEVED THE STANDARD AWS TYPE TRAINING ON HOW TO DETERMINE AND IDENTIFY THE COSTLY WELD DEFECTS. HOWEVER A MORE PROGRESSIVE WELD MANAGEMENT, WOULD ENSURE THAT IN THEIR ORGANIZATION, ALL THE WELD DECISION MAKERS INCLUDING THE WELD INSPECTION PERSONNEL HAVE THE REQUIRED WELD PROCESS CONTROL & BEST WELD PRACTICE EXPERTISE THAT ALLOWS THE ORGANIZATION PRACTICES TO BE DIRECTED TOWARDS "WELD DEFECT PREVENTION".
WITH THIS TYPE OF MANAGEMENT DIRECTION, THE QA MANAGER WHO HAS THE ABILITY TO RISE UP FROM THE TYPICAL "THIS IS THE WAY WE HAVE ALWAYS DONE IT" WELD DEPARMENT, WOULD THEN DIRECT THE QA DEPT AND THE OTHER INVOLVED FRONT OFFICE AND WELD SHOP FLOOR RESOURCES, TO HELP THE WELD DEPARTMENT PREVENT THE FORMATION THOSE COSTLY MANUAL OR ROBOT WELD DEFECTS?
MY MIG - FLUX CORED MANUAL OR ROBOT TRAINING / SELF TEACHING PROCESS CONTROL COURSES ARE MADE SO SIMPLE, NO WELD BACKGROUND IS REQUIRED IF SOMEONE PRESENTS IT. THERE IS NO OTHER WELD PROGRAM AVAILABLE THAT HAS THE METHODS REQUIRED TO MINIMIZE WELD DEFECTS, & OPTIMIZE THE WELD QUALITY AND PRODUCTIVITY.
Weld management - engineer - supervision and technician career prospects are rapidly enhanced when you can fully control the equipement and processes vital to the weld shop. With less than 15 hours on my manual - robot MIG - flux cored Weld Process Control - Best Weld Practice resources, any personnel can quickly acquire the expertise necessary to optimize manual - robot weld quality - productivity, and of course also prevent costly weld rework.
WELL GOOD LUCK WITH THIS: I BELIEVE THAT IT'S LOGICAL THAT THE PERSONS WHO DESIGNS WELDED PARTS, SHOULD HAVE AN INTEREST AND RESPONSIBILITY TO AT LEAST UNDERSTAND THE WELD PROCESS THAT THEY REQUESTED BE USED ON THEIR MANUAL OR ROBOT WELDED PARTS?
When you see some of the ridiculous weld joint designs, the required weld sizes or the common weld joint gaps with the thin gage auto - truck stamped parts, it would be reasonable for anyone involved in engineering department to ask this question. "Should the designer or mechanical engineer involved with producing the welded parts call themselves a professional, if they do not understand the fundamental weld process requirements, the weld benefits and the weld limitations of the weld processes & consumables that are used to weld their parts?
PURCHASING A ROBOT IS A SIMPLE TASK, OPTIMIZING THAT ROBOT MIG WELD QUALITY - PRODUCTIVITY AND MINIMIZING THE ROBOT DOWN TIME, REQUIRES A UNIQUE WELD PROCESS CONTROL - BEST PRACTICE EXPERTISE THATS UNFORTUNATELY RARE IN MOST OF THE GLOBAL COMPANIES THAT USE ROBOTS:
ENGINEERS ARE NOT TAUGHT IT, AND TRADE SCHOOLS DON'T KNOW WHAT IT IS OR PROVIDE IT,
SO SOMEONE IN MANAGEMENT HAS TO STEP UP TO THE PLATE.
In most global manufacturing companies that utilize MIG welding robots, especially in the auto - truck industry, it's difficult to find management, engineers, supervisors or technicians who actually have the required robot or manual MIG weld process control - best practice expertise. , This expertise is necessary to ensure either their manual welders or their robots are daily attaining consistent, optimum weld quality with maximum weld productivity, always at the lowest weld costs.
There are tremendous, annual weld quality - cost consequences
that come from the
poor flux cored & MIG weld quality & productivity
that's found at most global ship yards. If weld personnel (including managers and supervisors) cannot answer the following fundamental flux cored process control questions, should these personnel be involved in welding ships, frigates, aircraft carries or submarines.
Ed's Flux Cored Process Controls Test.
Ed's MIG Weld Process Controls Test.
FROM BUILDING AIR CRAFT CARRIERS, FRIGATES, LNG VESSELS OR OIL TANKERS, THE SHIP YARD WELD ISSUES ARE COMMON.
2015: WITH THE MIG AND FLUX CORED PROCESS, FOR THE FIVE DECADES THAT I HAVE BEEN INVOLVED WITH THESE PROCESSES, I BELIEVE THAT THE MAJORITY OF THE "GLOBAL" SHIP YARD MANAGERS, ENGINEERS, AND SUPERVISORS HAVE PLACED LITTLE FOCUS OR UNDERSTOOD THE IMPORTANCE OF WELD PROCESS CONTROL AND BEST PRACTICE EXPERTISE.
ITS' A SAD COMMENT THAT THANKS TO THE GENERAL WELD MANAGEMENT AND ENGINEERING WELD PROCESS CONTROL APATHY, THAT THE ANNUAL COST CONSEQUENCES FROM THE RESULTING POOR SHIP WELD QUALITY AND PRODUCTIVITY, ALONG WITH THE LIABILTY CONSEQUENCES, IS READILY MEASURED IN BILLIONS OF DOLLARS. EACH YEAR.
In the last decade it was reported on the web, that each year approx 300 ships are lost at sea. While many
of the ships go down due to the inclement weather conditions, many others when witnessed in decent weather conditions have simply torn apart, usually at the weld seams.
I would suppose that many in ship yard management, and also the ship yard share holders are in reality glad that the evidence of the lack of their poor ship weld quality typically ends up sitting on the ocean floor.
As that USA or Canadian Navy ship heads out in that mission of looking for those elusive terrorists, and their well hidden
weapons of mass destruction, if I was a sailor on these ships,
rather than be concerned with the elusive terrorists, I would be more nervous about the quality of the ship's welds, and be especially nervous as to what may happen when that next great ocean wave pounds the ship .
With MIG and flux cored expertise, you wont have to waste money on costly electronic MIG equipment, three part gas mixes or metal cored wires, as a matter of fact you will be able to make weld decisions without asking a weld salesman.
The greatest characters in any industry
are frequently found in ship yards:
You can be sure that MIG - Flux Cored weld Process Controls and Best Weld Practices
are not part of the weld training programs found in most global ship yards.
Thanks to the lack of effective weld management, many ship yards will spend
dollars in weld repairs for each ship built.. You don't want to know what the taxpayers will waste on weld repairs with large Navy Frigates and Air Craft Carriers.
was the weld Manager in a a large USA ship yard and have also assisted otherUSA and Canadian ship yards with their flux cored and MIG weld issues. As most weld training departments in ship yards are highly innefective at providing weld process control - best practice training, I developed and provided unique weld process training programs for the yards. When I worked with the ship yards, I enjoyed the characters that I met, and always thought what
a great place any ship yard would be to do a Reality TV show.
IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT THE COUNTRY. THE WELD ISSUES AND BS IS THE SAME...In the ship yards, I worked with
Norwegians, Swedish, Danish, German, Polish, Italian. English, Korean, Japanese,
Yanks, Brits, Canadians. and lets not forget some of the worlds best ship builders, those tenacious, thick skinned, highly
intelligent, canny, durable, out spoken, very hairy, often wee, Scottish welders.
My experience with the hard working
ship welders, indicated that many times during each shift the majority would either play around with their MIG / FCA weld controls, or in the Canadian Navy North Eastern ship yard that I visited, the welders would use one inappropriate wire feed / volt setting for all their MIG and flux cored welds.
ship yard weld management experiences, increased both my sense of humour and also the thickness of my
already super thick skin. The experiences also taught me to have a great respect for welders who worked
through weather extremes, and mostly in very harsh conditions. It's unfortunate that the ship yard welders and fitters were too often managed by "hands off managers" and supervisors who typically would have an understanding of the SMAW process and knew very little about MIG or flux cored process. The managers in these yards are the guys who were responsible for the poor weld productivity and quality, the typical extensive over budget weld cost repairs and the inability to frequently meet production dead lines, These are the guys who in 2015 will ensure that their yard stays stuck in a 1960's weld time warp.
For those ship yard weld managers, engineers, supervisor and trainers that are still stuck in the 1960 - 1970's, please note. MIG
and Flux Cored Weld Process Control and Best Weld Practice Training, has nothing to do with your typical weld skills training programs available to your employees..
Click here for flux cored issues and resolutions found in ship yards and other applications.
Click here for Ed's MIG and Flux Cored Training Programs.
Click here for the most comprehensice data on TIP TIG.
Want to see how Ed received a few thousand dollars from Imperial Oil
a few days he saved them >10 million dollars on their pipe weld projects.
More of the Common Weld Issues that occur in too many global weld shops:
The following are a few of the reasons why it’s important that every one involved with weld decisions, receive the missing link thats common in most weld shops, MIG - Flux Cored Weld Process Controls and Best Weld Practices Training.
 When given a new part to weld, most experienced weld personnel are not sure of the optimum data, consumables or weld transfer modes, and instead play around with their weld controls?
 In too many weld shops, no matter what application is being welded, many of the welders will set their MIG or flux cored weld controls at one scratch mark on the wire feed control and power source.
 With optimum quality welds, it's the weld deposition rates that drive the weld costs. Yet in most weld shops it's difficult to find any weld personnel that are aware of the deposition rates they are attaining on their common welds, or the weld deposition rate potentials with the weld processes, consumables they daily utilize.
A written MIG test or Flux Cored test is a rare requirement when hiring weld personnel. The problem with this, is when weld questions are asked, you will get many weird answers.
 If you were to ask some of your MIG or flux cored weld personnel to provide more weld heat to improve the weld fusion, some will turn up the wire feed speed, while others will turn up the weld voltage.
 If you were to ask the manager, supervisor or weld technician responsible for the MIG or flux cored weld quality and productivity, to let you know the approx. cost of the common 1/4 (6mm) horizontal fillet weld that is 3 feet (1 meter) in length, you may find that person wants to change the subject.
 A large fab shop could easily spend $150,000 annually on grinding discs and over $500,000 annually with grinding and weld cleanup labor costs for it's MIG or flux cored welds. It's therefore logical that any manager would want to reduce these costs. However in this company, as with many companies, the welders are attached to their grinders with an umbilical cord. The welders are creating unnecessary spatter and weld cleaning from welds that were set with erratic,?globular transfer. The process solution is simple and costs about $300.
 You just started in this weld shop and you ask the weld supervisor to justify why he wants to purchase a costly pulsed MIG power source, metal cored wires, or a three part gas mix. Listen closely to the answers as you will hear the words of a salesman.?
 You would think that any manager or supervisor interested in weld quality - productivity and costs would want to know how much their weld personnel understand the MIG or flux cored weld process. All it usually takes is one simple MIG weld process question with the common MIG consumables.
Note: As you are aware the world's most common MIG wires are the 0.035 - 0.045 (1 - 1.2mm),
E70S-3 & 6 wires. The most common weld mode for
Fundamental MIG Weld Question:
You may want to ask some of your "experienced" MIG weld personnel.
Using an argon 10 to 20% CO2 mix, what's the Spray Transfer Weld Start Point, amps - volts, and what will be the required weld wire feed rate to attain this with an 0.035 and 0.045 E70S-6 wire.?
It's easy to dramatically reduce MIG - Flux Cored weld costs, reduce weld rework and minimize any organization liability consequences from a future weld failure, that is, if the responsible managers, engineers and supervisors are aware that they should provide Weld Process Control and Best Weld Practices Training for those on the weld shop floor, and also those in the front office.
What's NEW in the Auto Industry
with those Aluminum Welds?.
WHILE THE USE OF ALUMIUM PROVIDES SOLUTIONS FOR THE AUTO - TRUCK INDUSTRY IN THAT IT ALLOWS VEHICAL WEIGHT REDUCTION, THE PROLIFIC ALUMINUM BODY USE THATS NOW PROMOTED BY FORD AND OTHER COMPANIES FOR THEIR FUTURE VEHICLES WILL IM'N SURE END UP AS AN ULCER EPIDEMIC FOR THE PLANT MANUFACTURING PERSONNEL INVOLVED.
The easy to use MIG process is a prime manufacturing processes in vehicle production, yet the sad weld reality is, that during the last three decades, (since the introduction of robots) the majority of auto - truck companies and their tier suppliers, have employed managers and engineers that lacked the ability to control and optimize this simple two control process when with robot welds on easy to weld carbon steels.
As with most other major companies that utilize large numbers of robots, Ford is a company saturated with engineers and - designers that are not aware of what robot weld process control expertise is, or what benefits they could attain through the implementation of robot best weld practices. The sad reality is apart from the millions of dollars lost daily, in poor MIG (and Spot weld) weld productivity, rejects and rework, the human price paid for robot weld process ignorance in the global auto - truck industry is not just billions of dollars annually but loss of engineering pride and job satisfaction, loss of sleep, and of course an increase in ulcers for those that try to make weld decisions.
My PULSED MIG Bells and Whistles annual update:
As some of you are aware, over the last twenty five years, in my books, articles and in the MIG equipment - consumable evaluation, and in the pulsed MIG equipment analysis in the weld programs at this website, I have reviewed the pulsed MIG weld application potential, and the pulsed MIG equipment cost justification.
Pulsed MIG equipment can typically cost 100 to 300% more than regular CV, MIG equipment. During In this time period, my conclusions were. I found pulsed MIG provided real world weld benefits on the following, 'very limited
weld - clad applications";
 Pulsed MIG benefits heat sensitive, aluminum parts < 5 mm,
 Pulsed MIG benefits specific heat sensitive alloy clad
 Pulsed MIG benefits specific "automated" pipe applications,
 Pulsed MIG benefits specific alloy applications > 4 mm, in which many welds may be located in a small or restricted areas, and where spray transfer if used, would put in too much weld heat
Pulsed MIG is simply one of a few practical MIG weld transfer modes.
For those of you not aware. I developed a pulsed MIG clad weld patent that has had a dramatic influence on reducing Boiler Water Wall, MIG weld clad costs for the global power industry. This patent also dramatically improved the traditional clad weld quality and dramatically extended the life of the water wall tubes. I have worked with the Pulsed MIG process, for approx. three decades. However my weld reality in 2014 is this. Apart from the above 4 very narrow weld - clad applications, when welding the majority of the common, steels and alloy steels "weld applications", the only persons that that will typically profit from the purchase of the costly, less durable, pulsed MIG equipment, will be the weld distributors who sells these units, and of course, the weld equipment manufacturer that makes the costly pulsed MIG units.
If someone in your organization believes that in contrast to the much lower cost, much more durable CV MIG equipment, that they can justify paying 100 to 300% more for pulsed MIG equipment, I believe they have been influenced by a salesman. The reality is, the purchase of the pulsed MIG equipment for steel or low alloy steel welds, is usually an indication that the weld shop decision makers lack the MIG weld process control expertise necessary to optimize the regular MIG welds from the lower cost CV equipment.
When the inexperienced weld shop decision makers, ask the welders to test weld equipment or consumables, you know a rational weld decision will not be made.
Anyone in the weld industry that has a logical mind, would find it makes little sense to ask the weld personnel that lack process control expertise and "play around" with their MIG or flux cored weld controls, to evaluate new cored wires, different MIG gas mixes, or sophisticated pulsed MIG equipment.
When looking at achieving extensive weld costs reduction, managers will find it's highly cost effective if they would first recognize their companies lack of MIG or Flux Cored weld process control expertise. Then spend a few dollars to educate all those that influence the weld decisions.
For the most comprehensive data on why you may not want to
purchase those costly pulsed MIG units, click here.
2014: The extensive growing use of aluminum will eventually be a manufacturing Achilles Heel for the Car and Truck industry, and also a treasure chest for the legal industry. The problem is not with the aluminum metal, the problem is the aluminum is going to be welded by an industry that for decades has never understood the Weld Process Controls - Best Weld Practices that are necessary to consistently provide optimum robot / manual weld quality on easy to MIG weld CARBON STL PARTS.
At the Big Three and the Japanese auto and truck corporate offices that I visited, and these were numerous, I found that many of the highly paid, executives that I met that were responsible for the major manufacturing decisions made at their company's plants, typically did not have a clue about the Technical Expertise involving (process controls - best practices) that should have been required by the responsible plant managers, engineers and supervisors and technicians. This is the expertise necessary to optimize the robot MIG weld quality - productivity.
For decades, many managers and engineers in the auto - truck industry have struggled daily with the attainment of optimum robot MIG weld quality - productivity on their very easy to weld, carbon steel parts.
WHAT MANY OF THE PLANT - MFG ENGINEERING MANAGERS FAILED TO REALIZE WAS, THEIR ROBOT WELD ISSUES WERE NOT TYPICALLY A RESULT OF ROBOT EXPERTISE OF THEIR WORKERS, IN MOST INSTANCES THE MAJORITY OF GLOBAL ROBOT WELD ISSUES ARE DERIVED FROM SOMETHING THAT MOST PERSONNEL DEALING WITH ROBOTS LACKS, ITS CALLED MIG WELD PROCESS CONTROL EXPERTISE.
At a time when USA vehicle companies recall 60 million vehicles, Ford corporate management make the decision to make their mfg.. plants life more difficult and complex, with the use of extensive amounts of Aluminum in the welded structures of their best selling F-150 trucks.
In the 1990s, Ed set the robot MIG welds (above). This was the
world's first successful, multi-unit, robot cell that was used to MIG weld aluminum vehicle frames. The reason this application was a success, even with the erratic 1990s pulsed equipment that I had to use, was I applied my Weld Process - Controls & Best Weld Practice programs to the welds.
Possible Aluminum Forming & Weld Issues
with Trucks and other Vehicles.
JAN 10. 2014: I READ THIS WEEK THAT THE SENIOR FORD COMPANY MANAGEMENT ANNOUNCED THAT IT WOULD SOON START TO MAKE IT'S F-150 TRUCK BODIES OUT OF "ALUMINUM" COMPONENTS.
ACCORDING TO THE FORD NEWS RELEASE, THE CHANGE FROM CARBON AND ALLOY STEELS TO THE ALUMINUM ALLOYS, WOULD REDUCE THE F-150 WEIGHT BY APPROX. 700 LBS. THE WEIGHT REDUCTION SHOULD REDUCE GAS COST BY APPROX. 20%.
Why did the January Ford F-150 announcement on aluminum bring a smile to my face? It was quite evident to me in the decades that I assisted the major auto - truck companies with their never ending robot and manual weld issues, that the majority of these companies and their Tier One suppliers have in general employed managers, engineers, supervisors and technicians that lacked the MIG weld process control expertise and best weld practice ability necessary to consistently produce optimum ROBOT MIG weld quality and productivity on their easy to weld carbon steels parts.
Jan 2014: A REASONABLE QUESTION FOR SENIOR FORD EXECUTIVES WOULD BE,
"IF THE MAJORITY OF YOUR RESPONSIBLE PLANT AND TIER ONE ENGINEERS AND MANAGERS HAVE LACKED THE ABILITY TO FULLY OPTIMIZE A SIMPLE, TWO CONTROL MIG PROCESS THAT'S BARELY CHANGED IN 60 YEARS, OR FOR THAT MATTER A 100 YEAR OLD RESISTANCE WELD PROCESS ON YOUR EASY TO ROBOT WELD, CARBON STEEL PARTS, HOW WILL THE SAME INDIVIDUALS ALONG WITH YOUR ENTRENCHED, OBVIOUSLY NONE EFFECTIVE WELD CONTROL MFG METHODS, DEAL WITH THE SOPHISTICATED LASER WELD REQUIREMENTS WITH THE COMPLEX LASER ROBOT JOINT TRACKING TECHNOLOGY MAKING WELDS ON HIGHLY HEAT SENSITIVE, METALLURGICALLY COMPLEX, 6XXX ALUMINUN ALLOYS?
Note: It's to be expected that the complexity of alloys welded and the lasers utilized will contribute to both ongoing daily weld quality and productivity concerns. Jan 2014: At GM, Ford or any auto - truck part's mfg., the daily game is managing and attaining the daily high volume production, and quality is rarely given the same importance. With the alum welds, the bottom line will likely be after a few months of either laser spot, seam or stitch welds,
when the stamped or laser cut aluminum part fit, tolerances change,
when the aluminum part cleanliness deteriorates and becomes questionable,
when the robot & laser has TCP issues or other issues,
[d] when robot - laser program changes are made and accumulate. These changes, many of which will have a negative impact on the weld quality and productivity are a daily event in most robot cells, and again an indication of the lack of management / engineering controls.
When the appropriate mfg. standards and robot weld procedures and best practices are either not implemented or followed, the result is that managers are daily allowing unqualified weld changes to be made too often by unqualified weld individuals, and the bottom line is the changes related to the welds will rarely be verified to ensure that the welds and parts still meet the quality - metallurgical requirements.
There will be many weld repair questions in the plants that produce the alum welds, and eventually also in the body shops on the weld requirements and the controls necessary to produce the optimum "manual weld repairs". Will the TIG or pulsed MIG process be allowed? Will the repair shops get caught up in the Pulsed MIG BS salesmanship and told they need Artificial Intelligent MIG machines or the silly Pulsed On Pulsed nonsense.
Remember Ford like Chysler and GM and just about every other vehicle mfg. has for decades had extensive problems with it's daily robot carbon steel welds and with the manual steel weld repairs. With this in mind, body shops need to be aware that with the 6XXX alloys when doing weld repairs, depending on what has gone on at the auto / truck mfg.. facility, there nice looking weld repairs could be opening up a "STRUCTURAL LIABILITY CAN OF WORMS".
Jan 2014: With the aluminum manual weld repairs that will be necessary at the plants and at body repair shops, it's likely welders may be asked to do, what a knowledgable designer or engineer would not allow them to do? Pulsed MIG is a high weld energy input process that often produces a large weld HAZ and pulsed MIG will likely be the process choice for manual weld repairs in both the mfg. plants and at the body repair shops.
2014: ALUM WELD REPAIR HEAT WILL BE INFLUENCED BY THE NUMBER OF WELDS PRODUCED, THE LACK OF INTERPASS TEMP CONTROLS, THE WELD LENGTHS, THE WELD SIZES, THE WELD SETTINGS & TECHNIQUES, AND ALSO THE SIZE OF ANY WELD GAPS. GAPS THAT WILL REQUIRE LARGER THAN NORMAL REPAIR WELDS, (larger HAZ).
2014: THE REPAIR WELD HEAT IF NOT REGULATED ON 6XXX ALLOYS MAY IN THE WELD HAZ AREAS DRAMATICALLY REDUCE THE INTENDED VEHICLE STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY.
Jan 2014: One prime question that the Ford design & mfg. engineers may not have figured out, is what the max weld joules limits (weld restriction limits) that should be allowed for these thin gage 6XXX aluminum alloys, especially as these engineers are aware that the MIG weld repairs will be applied at the plants or body shops. Also what will be the negative structural strength effects from the possible multi-pass repair welds applied to the 6xxx aluminum.
2014: The auto - truck industry appears to be one in which recall costs are now the number one concern, and the irony is the corporate bean counters values still seem to focussed mostly on marketing or on how many pennies it can be save per part, rather than on the required engineering best practices and controls. Over the last two decades, we are seeing the price paid for this executive philosophy and that process is today measured in Billions of dollars annually.
As the use of aluminum increases in this industry, I predict that in the truck - auto mfg. facilities, and at vehicle body repair shops, that a good percentage of the 6XXX manual alum weld repairs will lead to unacceptable weld quality with weld & HAZ cracks, and if destructive tests are applied to the repaired weld areas, the result will be highly questionable weld joint integrity, an integrity that will not be what the vehicle designers specified.
Aluminum or steel parts, with MIG and flux cored process control - best practice expertise, you won't be worried about manual or robot weld weld defects, weld rework and part liability.
Possible Alum Forming & Weld Issues
with Trucks and other Vehicles.
2014: IN THE AUTO - TRUCK INDUSTRY, WHILE 'CARBON STEEL' STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY IS TYPICALLY NOT DRAMATICALLY INFLUENCED BY MOST OF THE POOR QUALITY WELDS OR BY THE WELD REPAIRS, THIS WILL NOT BE THE CASE WITH THE WELDS ON 6XXX ALLOYS.
Jan 2014: A possible Legal - Engineering Question:
IF THE 6XXX VEHICLE STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY IS REDUCED DURING THE WELD OR THE WELD REPAIRS, AND THE RESULTING AFTER WELD PART STRENGTH IS NOW LOWER THAN WHAT THE VEHICLE DESIGN ENGINEER REQUIRED, SHOULD THIS BE ALLOWED AND DOES THIS OPEN THE DOOR TO LIABILITY CONSEQUNCES WHEN THAT VEHICLE IS INVOLVED IN A COLLISION?
2014: WHEN THE AUTO - TRUCK INDUSTRY MFG. EXECUTIVES AND MANAGERS WERE ASLEEP AT THEIR DESKS AND PAID LITTLE ATTENTION TO THEIR ROBOT STEEL WELD JOINTS, THEY WILL GET A SEVERE WAKE UP CALL DOWN THE ROAD FROM THEIR ALUM WELDED PARTS.
When automotive executives made the decision to go from carbon steels to aluminum for their parts, I wonder how many of these executive were aware that for decades the majority of global auto - truck mfg. companies have been placing poor quality manual MIG and SMAW repair welds on top of their poor quality robot MIG steel welds.
The good news for the auto - truck industry, was typically thanks to over welding, the poor SMAW or MIG weld repairs typically did not have a great impact on the structural strength of the carbon steel or high strength steel parts being welded.
NOTE: CANNOT REPEAT THIS ENOUGH: BODY REPAIR SHOPS SHOULD ALWAYS REMEMBER, THAT IN CONTRAST TO THE ALUM 6XXX WELDS, WITH THE CARBON STEELS AND HIGH STRENGTH STEELS USED ON AUTO - TRUCK PARTS, POOR QUALITY CARBON STEEL MIG WELDS AND THEIR RESULTING 'HEAT AFFECTED ZONES", SHOULD ALWAYS PROVIDE MUCH GREATER WELD / JOINT STRENGTH THAN ANY ALUMINUM WELD AND HAZ.
BEFORE MAKING THE MOVE TO ALUMINUM WELDS, ONE WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THAT AUTO - TRUCK EXECUTIVES WOULD FIRST WANT TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO ESTABLISH EFFECTIVE WELD PROCESS - MFG CONTROLS & BEST WELD PRACTICES WITH THE DAILY NUMEROUS ROBOT WELDS BEING MADE ON THEIR EASY TO MIG & RESISTANCE WELD CARBON STEELS PARTS.
E-mail from Chuck to Ed. Nov 2014:
While working in the automotive repair industry I have been been made to use silicon bronze on collision repairs that could have been welded with steel MIG wires and now I have being told to buy a Single or Double Pulsed MIG unit as it will be mandatory on the new aluminium Ford F-150 trucks. Ed, there is very little if any available information about these and the gas to use. Please e-mail me and post information about these issues here in the USA. Thanks, Chuck in California.
Ed's reply: THE BS COMMENCES:
The trucks are just hot out of the paint ovens and the E-mails on welding the aluminum have started. I anticipate numerous e-mails on this aluminum weld repair subject. I suspect that the E-mails will show the weld process confusion from those that have to put on a weld shield, and we will also see the laser - pulsed -MIG process ignorance that will come out of the mouths of engineers that simply are not process or metallurgical experts on the subjects involved.
WHAT ABOUT THOSE THAT PURCHASE A VEHICLE THAT HAS EXTENSIVE USE OF ALUM?
Jan 2014; A logical question for anyone that drives.
If you were driving a vehicle and travelling at 60 miles an hour and involved in a collision, would you prefer the vehicle you were in to be made out of a high strength, highly ductile carbon steel parts, or would you prefer the vehicle be made out of a lighter weight, much lower strength aluminum metal?
Jan 2014: A logical question for anyone that drives.
If you experienced a vehicle collision, would you prefer that your vehicle was made of carbon steels which typically have high tolerances for the numerous poor robot MIG and resistance weld defects that are often found on most global vehicles. Or would you rather the vehicle was made out of aluminum alloys which are highly sensitive and can be easily weakened by weld repairs at the mfg. facility or at the body shops?
Note: When alum welded body parts are used and they are weaker than steels, in a vehicle collision their is likely to be more damage and more costly parts that will require replacement.
Potential Aluminum Form & Weld Issues
with Trucks and other Vehicles.
ALUM WELDS ARE LIKE A SPONGE AROUND WATER.
On carbon steels, weld porosity is usually a common yet minor weld defect that's easy to reduce and eliminate. Porosity typically has minimal impact with the mechanical properties of most carbon steels and also high strength steel welds.
In contrast to steel welds, aluminum is like a sponge for moisture. With aluminum porosity oxides are very readily formed, and as alum is weaker that steel, alum porosity can therefore be considered a serious weld defect that can result in severe mechanical strength / ductility implications in the aluminum auto - truck welded components.
Note: With its increased oxide potential with aluminum welds, the oxides and porosity is also influenced by more weld variables than steel. With alum welds, variables such as high sensitivity to surface contaminates, weld techniques, weld parameters (especially voltage and arc length), slight changes to gas flow rates and the quality of the weld gas utilized.
I WONDER IF THE DESIGNERS GAVE CONSIDERATION TO THIS TRIPLE PLAY?
To keep up with their vehicle production demands, I believe that the plants that build the laser welded aluminum vehicles will as the months go on, see more and more need for aluminum MIG weld repairs. If the laser welded alum parts have MIG weld repairs, and that vehicle is later involved in a collision, it's possible that further aluminum MIG weld repairs will be required at body shops, that in reality result in a triple weld in which the laser welds were then influenced by the plant MIG weld repairs and weld heat, and later these same weld locations may receive more weld heat from the MIG repairs made at the body shop. From my simple logic perspective I would wonder what the resulting aluminum part strength will now be in the weld repair locations with these heat sensitive alloys?
With the 6XXX alum alloys, if designers had a concern for maintaining their structural design strength for their vehicles they would be more involved in the weldments and be applying strict weld controls and limits to their parts. And lets face it, if the designers of these alum parts have little MIG / alum weld expertise and expertise on the the influence of weld repair heat on the 6XXX alloys, who in a body shop is going to qualified to evaluate the influence of their welds on the part structural integrity attained?
JAN 2014: A logical question for anyone that drives vehicles with alum parts.
If the vehicle driven has aluminum welded parts which get damaged in a collision, and the vehicle has to go to the body shop for aluminum weld repairs, how confident should the vehicle owner be with the structural integrity of those parts after the weld repairs, when the weld reality will be that the majority of global body shops will not have a clue on the effects of their TIG or MIG weld repair heat on the strength of aluminum alloys repaired.
Jan. 2014. Aluminum MIG Weld Fabrication Concerns:
A big influence on the required alum repair welds will come from forming and fabrication issues that are common with alum alloys. Lets face it, you don't have to look far in the auto - truck industry to find robot MIG and Resistance welds that are daily made on carbon steels parts that are rarely built to the design dimensional tolerances.
In numerous auto - truck plants I have had to place robot welds on gage parts that had 2 to 6 mm gaps and these parts were from controlled, relatively new stamping operations. Also again due to the too common poor mfg.. management and lack of consistent good mfg.. practices, the majority of stamped parts welded today as its been for decades are coated with forming lubricants, (oil - water).
The GOOD NEWS. Thanks to the common "over welding" on the steel auto - truck parts, the more serious carbon steel weld defects such as lack of weld fusion, micro crater cracks and undercut typically have had minimal influence on the vehicle part integrity.
The BAD NEWS. Along came aluminum to an industry that typically rarely has process control - best practice expertise,
Jan. 2014. Aluminum MIG Weld Oxidation Concerns:
At any plant that MIG welds carbon steels, it's a a rare event when someone in the engineering department has a discussion on the
subject of "weld oxidation". Once these plants get involved with aluminum MIG weld fabrication, they will learn how aluminum is highly sensitive to oxidation and especially on thin parts in which the rear side of the thin gage repair welds is unlikely to receive oxide protection. Controlling the oxide formation and porosity should become a hot topic for this industry.
Aluminum MIG Weld Fabrication Dimension Concerns:
At many auto - truck plants, you will find that the carbon steel part weld gap dimensions are way beyond the design dimension specifications. The robot weld gap dimensions will often vary from 0.025 to 0.250. With carbon steels, it's easy to deal with carbon steel weld gaps, as you could use a weld transfer mode like short circuit to bridge the steel gaps without too much concern about weld burn through, or about the weld oxidation formation on the rear side of the welds.
In contrast to the carbon steels, the thin gage, alum MIG welds used for repairs will have a much lower melting temp than carbon steels, and will therefore "increase the weld fabrication (part fit) concerns for "weld burn through". Keep in mind in auto plants MIG weld repairs are typically made with one weld settings or personnel will play around with the weld controls.
As mentioned, when weld gaps or weld burn through occurs with steel weld gaps, there is little concern to fill the gaps and little concern for oxide formation on the back side of open root welds. While gaps in thin steel parts rarely negatively influence the strength of the parts being repaired. In contrast with aluminum parts, the weld gaps would leave an open root weld that's would get minimal inert gas protection and therefore increase the oxidize produced on the weld gap rear sides. That weld oxidation like porosity can lead to further metallurgical concerns and dramatically weaken the alum welds and parts. Weld gap variations should be a major concern for any large scale aluminum applications as those gaps also require larger welds that will result in slower weld speeds. The slower weld speeds will create increased weld heat that can negatively influence the alum parts strength.
Jan. 2014: Aluminum MIG Weld Fabrication and Conductivity - Changes Concerns:
In contrast to carbon steels, "the increased conductivity" that's part of all aluminum MIG welds, along with part gap dimension variations will have dramatic impact on the consistency of the weld fusion or the weld burn through potential that can result. What typically happens in most of the auto - truck plants in which the aluminum parts will be manually welded, is eventually inexperienced personnel will start to make weld changes to either the laser or to the pulsed MIG aluminium settings, and those changes are usually not re-qualified.
Jan. 2014 Aluminum MIG Weld Fabrication - Wire Concerns:
With the aluminum robot MIG weld repairs, the plants will soon have to get control of the soft wire feed issues, the alum wire burn backs, the weld end crater cracks and the weld start stop issues. To avoid this use process control - best practice training.
Aluminum multi-robot MIG weld cell production is greatly impacted when a typical single robot
issue can shut down the other robots in the cell. Therefore for mult-robot cells, a good manager / engineer would be aware of the potential issues that can occur with these robot welds and take preventive actions in the manufacturing methods / robot programs to compensate.
Using my robot weld process controls - best practice data & methods, it was an easy task for
me to set optimum robot aluminum MIG welds on the above golf cart frames, by the way these gage frames had extensive weld joints with variable weld gaps and I had minimum production - quality issues.
Jan. 2014: ROBOTS AND ALUM MIG WELDS....in contrast to welding carbon steels, the above aluminum, gage, vehicle frame, robot MIG application, had unique weld requirements and a much higher degree of sensitivity to the many variables that typically influence robot weld quality and production.
It does not matter if it's a a laser robot aluminum weld or a MIG robot weld using pulsed, spray or short circuit, the responsible manager, engineers, supervisors and technicians should understand the metals welded, the influence of weld heat on those metals, the required weld process controls and the best weld - mfg. practices that are necessary to minimize the influence of the weld variables and consistently deliver optimum aluminum, robot weld quality and productivity.
To attain consistent process optimization with laser, MIG or the Resistance weld process in auto truck plants or in any plants that produce robot welded parts, as I stated in 1985, and repeated at least 1000 times, managers and engineers are going to have to do something that for decades few have excelled at, they are going to have to take ownership of the equipment weld processes that they are suppossed to be responsble for .
WHEN AN APPLICATION IS SENSITIVE TO MANY WELD VARIABLES, AND THE STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY OF THE PART IS EASILY COMPROMIZED DURING A WELD OPERATION, IT'S LOGICAL IN A PLANT THAT IS NOT AWARE OF THE REQUIRED WELD PROCESS CONTROLS AND BEST WELD PRACTICES, FOR THE MANAGEMENT TO ORDER A CRUTCH CALLED A "WELD QUALITY MONITORING DEVICE"
ITS ALSO A REALITY IN THE AUTO - TRUCK INDUSTRY IF A WELD QUALITY MONITORING DEVICE NEGATIVELY IMPACTS THE REQUIRED DAILY PRODUCTION, THAT THE AUTO - TRUCK PLANT MANAGEMENT ARE LIKELY TO TO REMOVE OR TURN OFF THE MONITORING DEVICE.THE WELD REALITY IS I HAVE BEEN SETTING OPTIMUM AUTOMATED WELD APPLICATIONS ON OVER A 1000 APPLICATIONS AND THERE WAS NEVER A NEED FOR WELD MONITORING EQUIPMENT.
Jan 2014: With a laser process that's very sensitive to a large scale gage application, or to a specific alloy, I would be interested to note if Ford used a weld monitor to ensure their weld quality. With the laser weld units available at this time Vision systems are available that can view and pin point the required weld location, and then measure the completed weld bead or spot weld height, length and width that's produced. However as robot personnel will be aware, sometimes the laser will want to do one thing, while the robot TCP works against the laser, especially if the TCP has changed and therefore not in calibration with the laser vision system. This of course means the laser spot welds will not end up where they were supposed to be.
Both the robot / laser communication and calibration will likely be the can cause of robot weld issues for the frustrated, undertrained robot technicians ans maintenance personnel, especially when weld process changes have been made that are not optimum for the welds. In Fords case, in the past, I was aware that they had removed costly laser vision equipment after it was installed on their steel frame robot MIG weld lines. The reason the vision systems were removed, was the adjustments and calibrations resulted in extensive robot down time, and of course production has alsways been more important than quality for the auto industry.
The bottom line, and remember this is Jan 2014, I believe the Ford robot laser issues will build up as the stamped parts change with the press dies and seasons, and Ford or their suppliers will turn to the use of more manual MIG welds for the increasing amount of alum repairs and missed welds. I also predict that as in the past when ever something gets complex or impacts production for a major vehicle manufacture, those corporate executives will quickly out source the application and remove it to some poor tier supplier. Again everything that i discuss here is simply a prediction of what's likely to come, and the weld reality is the issues discussed could be dramatically reduced, if those in the front office managed to make the required process decisions.
IF DESIGNERS AND ENGINEERS AS THEY HAVE DONE IN THE PAST, CONTINUE TO SHOW LITTLE INTEREST IN THE ROBOT WELDS PRODUCED ON THEIR PARTS, MAYBE THE LAWERS WILL WAKE UP AND TAKE AN INTEREST..
NEW Jan 2014. If I was a lawyer involved in alum vehicle collisions, I would hire a weld eng consulatnt thats familer with the aluminum alloys utilized and familer with the alum weld / weld repair heat influence on the welds / applications structural strength. Also I would also want to know why special concern should be applied to those aluminum laser welds that required "manual MIG or TIG weld rework" either at the vehicle mfg. plant, or later at body shops.
MAYBE SOMEONE ONE DAY WILL GET THIS SIMPLE MESSAGE:
In contrast to the repair welds made on carbon steels, aluminum repair welds will have the potential to dramatically weaken the aluminum parts. In some instances after the weld repairs, the resulting structural strength of the parts will be much lower than the strength demaded by the vehicle designer.
Aluminum auto - truck weld issues
will eventually make lawyers drool.
AS MUCH AS I APPLAUD ANY COMPANY TRYING TO INNOVATE IT'S WELD PRODUCTION METHODS WITH THE USE OF WELDING LASERS, THERE IS VERY LITTLE EVIDENCE TO SUGGEST THAT TODAY'S AUTO / TRUCK ENGINEERS AND MANAGERS ARE BETTER TRAINED THAN HAVE BEEN OVER THE LAST FOUR DECADES, WHEN THE REALITY WAS THEY WERE TYPICALLY UNABLE TO CONTROL OR OPTIMIZE THEIR MIG / RESITANCES WELDS THAT HAVE SIMPLE CONTROLS.
I predict that many of the plant managers and engineers that will be responsible for laser weld fabrication on aluminum parts and also responsible for the MIG weld repairs will as they often did in the past with their carbon steel robot welds, simply scratch, their heads, reach for their TUMS and call another useless weld meeting. Individuals like this offer their company little. They tend to always be in the firemans role of trying to quench the daily weld shop fires without being aware of the root causes of their robot weld production and quality issues.
IT'S EVIDENT THAT WHEN IT COMES TO WELDING
AUTO - TRUCK MANAGEMENT NEED TO REINVENT THE WHEEL:
WITH OVER 40 MILLION VEHICLES RECALLED THIS YEAR, IT'S OBVIOUS THAT MANY EXECUTIVES IN THE AUTO & TRUCK INDUSTRY NEED TO REVIEW THE EXPERTISE, MFG PRACTICES AND QUALITY PROGRAMS BEING UTILIZED IN THEIR PLANTS.
To be a manager or engineer in any large scale manufacturing facility such as a Caterpillar, Volvo, John Deere, GE or a GM plant, it would help these companies if apart from the normal production requirements, if the responsible plant managers, engineers and supervisors were also able to;
 Assess the Manufacturing Quality, Production and Cost Risks that will be involved with the weld processes, equipment, materials required to build new components.
 Correctly define, the job descriptions that enable employees to fully control and optimize the equipment / processes that they are responsible for.
 Have the ability to recognize the root cause of daily mfg. issues, and ensure that training programs are provided so all involved have the expertise to meet the daily production / quality needs.
 Define the quality - productivity accountability, responsibility and ownership of the managers, engineers and supervisors involved with the welds.
 Ensure front office employees have the ability to purchase equipment, processes and consumables without the influenced by salesmanship.
 Define and provide the process control - best practice training programs required for each individual so they can fully control the weld equipment processes and consumables utilized.
 Ensure managers / engineers walk a path in which they do not allow deviations in design tolerances, or inferior quality or productivity.
 Ensure that time and resources are not being wasted in meetings with individuals that are not qualified to address the root cause and provide instant resolutions.
 Ensure someone in the front office is aware of the real weld cost of each product produced.
[10) Ensure someone in the front office has the expertise necessary to be aware of when a robot has attained it's maximum weld quality - productivity potential.
PROCESS SELECTION, QUALITY & PRODUCTION RISKS:
WITH THE TECHNOLOGY ARE THE BENEFITS REAL? While Robot Plasma or Laser cutting applications are readily controlled in mfg. operations, in contrast, laser "WELDS" controlled by robots on large, heat sensitive, thin gage 6XXX series aluminum parts, would have to be one of the most complex mfg. applications that any plant or fabricator would have to deal with.
I believe that the last place you would want to put a robot - laser "weld"
cell is in an industry;
that typically has a history of lack of management / engineering robot weld process control - best practice expertise,
which has rarely optimized it's robot welds on easy to weld "carbon steels",
that never seems to get on top of it's day to day high volume, fabrication, forming, weld quality and production issues,
[d] that relies too often on sales and vendor advice for its common technical problems.
To add to the laser / robot weld complexity, the management - engineering decision is made to add into the manufacturing risk pot, a complex, heat sensitive alloy that is be be welded with a process that has the most stringent demands
for part fit, tolerances, controlled weld edge preps and cleanliness.
I suspect one day some corporate individual in the auto - truck industry might say. We have to change the way we manage - engineer our products, or "for the amount of mileage we increased in our trucks and cars with the increased use of aluminum, it would likely have been far more cost effective to have got those extra gas miles from improved Engine Innovation".
ROBOT LASER - PLASMA - PULSED - REGULAR MIG - FCA OR RESISTANCE WELDS, THE IRONY IS MOST WELD QUALITY - PRODUCTION ISSUES ARE READILY RESOLVED WHEN MANAGEMENT / ENGINEERS ACCEPT THEIR ROLE, RESPONSIBILITY AND THE PROCESS CONTROL - BEST PRACTICE EXPERTISE THATS NECESSARY TO ATTAIN THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE QUALITY FROM THE EQUIPMENT / PROCESSES THAT THEY MANAGE.
BY THE WAY FOR THOSE OF YOU LOOKING TO GET OFF THE WELD SHOP FLOOR AND SIT IN AN AIR CONDITIONED OFFICE, THE FASTEST WAY TO GET ON IN A FABRICATION FACILITY IS ATTAIN THE WELD PROCESS CONTROL - BEST PRACTICE KNOWLEGE,
With MIG and flux cored expertise, you won't be worried robot weld quality, production, efficiency and down time.
I HAVE BEEN IN MANY PLANTS THAT PURCHASED LASERS, AND WHEN I EXAMINED EITHER THEIR CUTTING OR WELD APPLICATION, IN MOST CASES, I KNEW WITHIN MINUTES THAT I COULD HAVE GOT JUST
AS GOOD QUALITY AND PRODUCTION RESULTS FROM THE USE OF MUCH LOWER COST TRADITIONAL WELD - CUTTING EQUIPMENT.
THE FOLLOWING IS NOT WHAT YOU WILL READ
When lower cost, simpler equipment - process solutions are available to meet a companies weld or cutting production or quality demands, of course it's a major MANAGEMENT MISTAKE when these guys bring into a high volume production environment, unnecessary, costly, complex, difficult to maintain equipment or a processes.
In the large corporations that supply the auto - truck industry, it's not hard to find gullible executives that are easily impressed by sales people who will offer their latest, costly equipment that's often loaded with ineffective bells and whistles.
Lasers are typically sold by a well educated laser reps, and these high tech reps for example on laser welds will be able to talk the talk about lasers versus traditional weld methods, yet ironically if asked, they would be unable to optimize the two simple controls on the 60 year old MIG equipment. This does not stop the laser rep telling the management why their robot laser welds application is far superior than the robot MIG welds, or why their robot laser cutting systems are better thana robot plasma cutting cell.
HOW CORPORATE EXECUTIVES
CAN EARN THEIR BONUS.
IF SOMEONE WANTS TO SELL YOUR COMPANY ON THE "HIGH WELD OR CUTTING SPEEDS" FROM THEIR SINGLE ROBOT- LASER CELL, YOU MAY ALSO FIRST CONSIDER THE LOWER COST TRADITIONAL PROCESSES SUCH AS PLASMA FOR CUTTING AND MIG FOR WELDING, AND THEN CONSIDER THE USE OF THESE PROCESS USING "TWO ROBOTS WITH TWO PLASMA or MIG UNITS". YOU WILL GET THE PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE COSTLY LASER AND IT'S COMPLEX OPERATING AND MAINTENANCE ISSUES.
I've seen high speed laser cutting applications that I could have easily done with $20K plasma equipment and the addition of a second robot. I've seen laser welds that I could again with the addition of another robot and the use of MIG or the TIPTIG process, again provide the desired weld production and quality and therefore create dramatic reductions in complexity and maintenance for the plant, and in the future capitol expenditures.
This company needed to SHINE MORE THAN A LIGHT
ON IT'S UNNECESSARY, COSTLY LASER PURCHASE.
One laser weld application that I was asked to optimize was outside the auto industry. This company had purchased a laser and robot that travelled the length of a track to weld the longitudinal seams on LAMP POSTS. This laser / robot cell cost a small fortune and six months after installation there was more down time in the laser weld cell than up time. The laser down time was a result of many laser / robot issues that the engineers and technicians could not handle.
I examined this application for an hour, and figured that I could have given them the same weld production with better quality (MIG less sensitive to seam fit and weld gaps), using two instead of one robot, with two low cost MIG units. My weld production times would have been similar, yet my down time would disappear and enable a dramatic increase in the daily weld production. Also the operator skills and maintenance dept... concerns would be dramatically reduced. By the way when i looked at the costs involved, with the two robots and MIG equipment this company would have saved approx. $300K on the equipment purchase.
I made changes that improved the laser welds but i knew it was a short term fix and more issues and variables would again cause production issues. I walked away from that plant again frustrated at the stupidity of the management / engineers in the front office. Please remember, costly management decisions such as this are why many hard working people loose jobs and plants close,
MANAGEMENT, LASERS AND WELD JOINT TRACKING: I
remember in Detroit, I was requested by Ford to assist them with their robot weld issues at one of it's biggest truck plants. The Ford management had purchased a multi-million
dollar robot MIG welding line, they also had purchased every possible robot cell bell and whistle, including
a very costly Laser Weld Vision Tracking system for each robot on the lines.
The Ford engineers responsible for the robot weld at the truck plant, figured they needed
the laser tracking systems for their MIG welds because the other Ford managers / engineers were simply not capable of producing parts with the design dimension tolerances.
Within twelve weeks of the new robot purchase, all the laser tracking devices were removed from the robot lines. I could be wrong, but I believe the approx. total cost of these lasers was approx. $250K - $300K. The high tech, weld joint tracking lasers were dumped in cardboard boxes to gather dust in a storage room. The reason the lasers were removed was no one in the plant could handle the highly
technical issues that were derived each shift when laser or was it robot tracking problems occurred and they certainly could not manage the MIG weld process corrections that were forever being made.
ROBOTS GOOD WELDS AND WELD CELL LOGIC, PLEASE PROVIDE:
 Clean parts built to design dimension tolerances.
 Well designed fixtures..
 Choose correct process and weld transfer mode.
 Provide optimum equipment and consumables.
 The use of robot Weld Process Controls - Best Weld - Mfg. Practices.
 The use of easy to operate & control Touch Sensing & Through Arc Tracking.
 Effective, automated robot TCP controls.
 Good torch cleaning station.
 All personnel (including front office) trained in Robot weld Process Controls -
These were the most important attributes for any robot cell in 1985, and in 2015, they still are the primary keys to optimum robot MIG weld automation.
THE TASK OF A GOOD MANAGER IS TO ASSES RISKS - LIABILITY AND THE BEST POSSIBLE, MOST COST EFFECTIVE WELD PRODUCTION METHODS.
As evident in my Bad Weld Section, for decades as I worked in the auto industry, I saw something that most law companies are not aware of, or perhaps they would rather not want to get involved with. Most lawyers were simply not aware that In general, throughout the auto - truck industry there has been a flagrant disregard by the major global manufacturing companies to consistently produce their robot - manual welded products in accordance with the design requirements.
Thanks to the general, global lack of corporation - management weld quality ownership and accountability, the amount of bad welds produced daily from welds on ships, oil platforms, to the weld produced in the auto - truck industries, should have the legal sharks salivating.
In the 1990s, Ed set the the robot data for possibly the world's first
MIG welding large, thin gage aluminum frames, (below).
One robot down, all down...
2015: I have much interest in robot alum MIG welds, as I believe I was the first person in North America to establish the robot MIG process - best practice data for a complex, multi-robot cell, (4 robots) welding the large, aluminum robot, gage frame application shown above.
In the late 1990's, most Pulsed MIG equipment was little more than erratic, electronic junk loaded with excess bells and whistles. To avoid robot down time, wire burn backs and robot alum wire feedabilty and data for variable weld gaps had to be addressed. Keep in mind when one robot was down, this meant all four robots had to be stopped. On this alum robot project, I used my weld process control expertise and applied best alum weld practices and the bottom line is I managed to reduce the robot down time to less than what typically occurs in well run robot cells welding carbon steels, and also consistently attained in the development stage optimum robot weld quality and productivity. Keep in mind this was achieved two decades ago, and at this time in 2015, few companies are attaining the robot MIG weld quality and productivity on their carbon steel parts, that myself and ABB personnel achieved with these robot MIG welds on alum parts. If you wish to achieve weld results such as this please take a look at the following;
For robot MIG issues in the auto - truck industry, you may want to visit this section.
Aluminum robot problems this time from Panasonic.
For bad welds in the auto - truck industry. you will find data here
2014: WITH 60 PLUS MILLION VEHICLE RECALLS, AND BILLIONS OF DOLLARS SPENT THIS YEAR ON RECALL REPAIR COSTS, A REASONABLE QUESTION ONE COULD ASK. "WHY IN THIS INDUSTRY IS TRAINING NOT BEING IMPROVED SO THAT INDIVIDUALS (INCLUDING WELD DECISION MAKERS) HAVE THE EXPERTISE TO ENSURE THAT THE MFG. PARTS THEY DEAL WITH, ARE BUILT IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE DESIGNER'S SPECIFICATIONS.
In the last three decades, at many of the major auto - truck plants that I was asked to assist with their robot or manual MIG - flux cored weld quality and productivity problems, I would be asked to create reports showing the root causes of the companies's weld quality or productivity issues. In my reports that were usually went to the plant manager and engineering manager, I would typically criticize the fact that the robot or manual weld issues were not being generated on the weld shop floor, they were instead being generated in the front offices by the lack of management - engineering weld process control - best practice expertise, ownership, responsibility and accountability. I would typically in a day or two solve the plant's weld problems for a small cost and offer training programs that were sometimes accepted and other times rejected as the management would not allow the few hours required for the training program. It was also an ironic point that as few managers or engineers appreciated my critique of their lack of process control expertise, my weld reports would often end up in the front office garbage basket.
IN THE AUTO INDUSTRY, MOST OF THE KEY WELD DECISON MAKERS WILL NOT HAVE TIME TO VISIT THIS SITE AS THEY ARE TOO BUSY TRYING TO QUENCH THEIR DAILY WELD SHOP FIRES.
ABB Robots & the ESAB
Power Source Weld Issues.
Welds on Ford Aluminum Car Seats.
I was requested by the management at VAW, a tier one supplier, to analyze the
weld performance of their ABB robots and the ESAB Arcitec MIG equipment. This
plant produces extruded aluminum parts and made aluminum car seats for
Ford. The robot welded car seats and parts required small welds which were made on thin gage
the installation of the robot cells, the robot weld
reject rates averaged sixty plus percent, and the robot down time per-hour averaged
20 to 30 minutes. Continuous production of optimum weld quality
parts has been made impossible by poor management / engineers decision. The issues and resolution are documented in the following weld report. Click
QUICK PROFIT RETURN FROM JUST A LITTLE OF THE
MIG WELD PROCESS CONTROL EXPERTSE.
As you walked through the weld shop and went in in weld each cell, your review of the weld application made you aware in most of the weld cells you could turn the wire feed controls one turn. Lets say for example, using my Weld Clock Method, you changed the 0.045 (1.2mm) wire feed setting from 12 to 1 o'clock, (thats approx. 350 to 420 ipm). With that 0.045 wire, the welders have instantly increase their hourly weld production by approx. 17%.. The question is do you or others in your organization have the MIG or flux cored process control expertise necessary to make changes like this and also instantly fine tune the welds?
PROCESS - TRAINING - BEST PRACTICE TRAINING - PROCESS TRAINING - BEST..
Their are two ways to get my MIG and flux cored weld process control - best practice training. You can either order one of my programs, or request CUSTOMIZED training, info follows.
FOR MANAGERS OR ENGINEERS THAT ARE INTERESTED IN "CUSTOMIZED TRAINING" FOR THEIR WELD DECISION MAKERS OR TRAINERS, PLEASE GIVE CONSIDERATION TO THE UNIQUE PROGRAMS THAT I PROVIDE IN ASHEVILLE NORTH CAROLINA .
HOW TO MANAGE A WELD SHOP & ENSURE MAXIMUM DAILY WELD QUALITY
AND PRODUCTION, ALWAYS WITH THE LOWEST POSSIBLE WELD COSTS".
Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina. Asheville voted # 1 USA. City in 2015.
Wikipedia Photo. Ken Rainy.
MY CUSTOMIZED PROCESS TRAINING IN A GREAT LOCATION:
The following customized MIG & flux cored,
Process Control & Best Weld Practice training program is suited for managers, engineers, supervisors, technicians and trainers. The training is provided in Asheville. NC.
In the competitive global weld - fab industry, increased profits will be achieved by those companies that employ, managers, supervisors, technicians and trainers that do not rely on weld sales advice, and have the Weld Process Controls and Best Weld Practice capability for weld process optimization.
Weld Process controls - Best Weld Practices is essential to consistently attain the required MIG - flux cored weld quality with the highest weld productivity always at the lowest possible weld costs.
PROCESS TRAINING & WELD COST REDUCTION OPPORTUNITIES:
Extensive weld cost savings will be found in any weld department in which manual weld personnel and robot technicians no longer have to play around with their MIG and flux cored weld controls.
Extensive weld cost savings are generated in weld departments when weld processes, weld consumables, weld transfer modes, weld deposition potential and weld costs are understood by the weld decision makers.
Extensive weld cost savings will be generated when the manual / robot weld quality is consistently optimized, weld rejects and rework are reduced, and the prevention of weld defects is understood.
Extensive MIG weld equipment and consumables cost reductions are enabled in weld departments in which the weld decision makers no longer rely on weld sales reps for weld advice. These cost benefits will be many;
The weld decision maker will have the reasons and proof that your company does not need to purchase costly pulsed MIG equipment that's typically loaded with useless electronic bells and whistles.
 The weld decision maker will no longer need to purchase three part gas mixes or a variety of different gas mixes.
 The weld decision maker will not require the costly metal cored wires and will think twice about the flux cored wires purchased.
 The weld decision maker will dramatically reduce weld fumes and weld grinding enabling a cleaner safer environment and also reduce the requirements for grinding wheels & discs.
A COMPANY WILL NOT NEED A WELD TEAM, WHEN ALL THE WELD DECISION MAKERS IN THE PLANT ARE "QUALIFIED" TO MAKE WELD PROCESS - BEST PRACTICE DECISIONS.
My customized training course last two days. The course location is in Asheville, North Carolina. With this program I provide what no training company or global educational facility provides. The participants will become manual or robot weld process controls - best practice experts.
For more info. E Craig. 828 337 2695. E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
PROCESS CONTROL - BEST PRACTICE TRAINING AUTO - TRUCK INDUSTRY:
E-Mail. 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, our robot MIG
were producing less than 40 Ford F-150 truck frames per-hour, and
over 90% of the frames required extensive weld rework.
Thanks to your Robot Weld
Process Controls - Best Practices Training program,
and your process and consumable recommendations, the robot weld
from our employees are today staggering. Yesterday this plant hit very close to
a record of 76 frames per hour. We daily attain
our average goal of one frame per-minute. We had two recent weld audits. One weld
audit had a total of two failures,
and the 2nd weld audit was the first 100% pass
weld audit in the history of the Ford F-150 line.
We have now implemented your robot weld process recommendations in five of our
A grateful engineer, and a grateful DANA Corporation.
Note The DANA corporation is a tier one supplier and a world leader in the supply of drive line products such as frames, axles, drive shafts, and transmissions for light- and heavy-duty vehicles. DANA employs approximately 22,500 people in 26 countries and in 2010 had sales of $6.1 billion.
WELD PROCESS CONTROL TRAINING FOR ANY WELD SHOP USING MIG - FCAW.
Dear Ed, I want to let you know that by using your MIG - FCA weld process control - best practice methods in one of our plants, we have now dramatically improved our weld quality - productivity and reduced our labor - filler metal costs by approx. 45%. We intend to utilize your training program in all our plants.
Lawrence Bower CWI/CWE.
Chief Welding Engineer.
NCI Group. Houston TX.
There are some USA, auto - truck plant managers that daily sweep their robot weld issues under their office rug. I know one big three company that gave up on their robot welded parts, and shut down the multimillion dollar robot lines, and sent the robots and parts to Mexico, a country where overtime rates and manual labor weld rework costs are not that relevant.
2015: WHEN YOU DON'T EVOLVE IN MFG. SOMEONE ELSE WILL"
Instead of providing weld manufacturing resolutions that could dramatically cut costs and create a more competitive company, many North American mangers, engineers and supervisors have for decades buried their heads in the sand, and weekly they and their employees are heard muttering "why should we change, this is the way we have always done it". What a sad commentary while we watch the manufacturing jobs and the middle class way of life slowly disappear.
With MIG and Flux Cored weld technology, from the 1950s to the 1980s, the USA led the industrial world in MIG equipment technology and in Flux Cored weld consumable development.
The MIG and Flux Cored process in 2014, accounts for approx. 80% of the global welds made daily. The irony with these two important weld processes, is in 1960's there was minimal focus by weld educators and by engineering management on Weld Process Controls and Best Weld Practices expertise, and fifty years later, little has changed.
The one thing that has changed today in the weld industry, is the weld cost competitiveness, of today's global weld shops.
As most countries can produce welds cheaper than the USA or Canada, North American mfg.. managers and engineers would benefit by applying a controlled approach to the welds they daily produce. It's important that those that make a living from applications that involve welding, take note that the common, annual weld fabrication profits and job related erosion is not a recent thing.
The reduction in weld jobs and weld profit erosion has been occurring in North America for more than two decades, (thanks Reaganomics).
While many involved in weld shops, complain about the influence of competing countries who pay welders and fabricators 25 cents, to three dollars an hour, it's notable that in 2014, that many third world countries have the engineering and manufacturing capability to produce any code quality, manual or automated welds.
The main reasons most companies invest in welding robots, is to hopefully reduce their hourly weld costs, and to provide consistent, optimum weld quality. The reality with the majority of companies that have invested in the robots, is due to the lack of management, engineering MIG - robot weld process controls expertise, and the lack of robot best weld practices, most of the global robots purchased will rarely attain more than 60% of their daily MIG weld production potential. To add to the robot weld costs and production woes, the typical robot down time of 30 to 60 minutes per shift (often not reported) is completely unacceptable, and also the usual high weld reject, and required manual weld rework costs, all add the robot woes.
It's not just the third world labor costs that North American large weld shops should be concerned about: If you work in North America, you will likely be aware that there are plenty of weld - fab shops in the USA southern states that will be glad to weld anything for less than ten bucks an hour. In this increasingly difficult and frustrating industrial manufacturing weld cost environment, it's difficult to comprehend why so many weld shop managers, supervisors and engineers show so little little interest in MIG - Flux Cored Weld Process control and Best Weld Practices expertise.
It's not all doom and gloom. For those North American weld shops that have an owner, manager, engineer or supervisor that has an interest in improving their daily MIG and Flux Cored weld quality, decreasing their product weld failure liability, and increasing their weld shop profits, these things are easy to attain with these resources.
FIRST WORLD OR THIRD WORLD, IT DOES NOT MATTER IF YOU MANAGE A WELD SHOP IN INDIA, CHINA, USA OR TIMBUCKTOO,
THE COMMON, UNNECESSARY. DAILY WELD OVER COSTS
WILL EAT AWAY AT THE WELD PROFITS.
IF NO ONE IS AWARE OF THE REAL COSTS OF THE COMMON WELDS THEY DAILY PRODUCE AND WHAT THE PROCESS POTENTIAL FOR THOSE WELDS IS, HOW CAN ANYONE BE AWARE OF THE ORGANIZATIONS WELD PROFIT POTENTIAL?
|Ed's weld process training resources
simplify all MIG - FCA weld costs.
To get rapid MIG - Flux Cored weld quality - productivity results that will enable extensive weld cost saving,
takes a certain type of weld decision maker.
 It takes an individual who understands the value of weld process - equipment ownership.
It takes an individual who does not want to rely on weld sales reps for weld advice.
It takes an individual who does not accept that skilled weld personnel should "play around" with their MIG or flux cored weld controls.
 It takes an individual who is honest about the fact that he needs to know more about the real costs of the common MIG - Flux Cored welds they are daily responsible for.
 It takes an individual that understands there has to be a high value in weld process control - best weld practice expertise.
Why should any weld shop manager complain about competing labor costs, if that manager does fully understand their real MIG - Flux Cored weld costs, and also does not understand the weld process controls - best weld practices that are necessary to consistently produce welds at the lowest possible weld costs.
Uniform Skills - Uniform Equipment - Uniformity - Consumable & Process Uniformity.
YOU WOULD THINK THAT ALL MANAGERS WOULD WANT THOSE INVOLVED IN WELD DECISIONS TO WALK ONE PATH THAT LEADS TO TO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF UNIFORM BEST WELD PRACTICES.
Who benefits from the expertise offered at this web site? Welders, managers, supervisors, technicians, engineers, QA personnel and of course any person that has influence on the welds produced. Using process expertise the following was common.
I WAS ASKED TO ASSIST OVER 1000 WELD SHOPS IN 13 COUNTRIES. WHEN ASKED TO RESOLVE HIGH VOLUME ROBOT WELD QUALITY PROBLEMS, I WOULD TYPICALLY ELIMINATE THE WELD QUALITY ISSUES AND ENSURE REJECTS WERE NEVER MORE THAN 1%. FOR THOSE LOOKING TO INCREASE ROBOT WELD PRODUCTION, AT MOST COMPANIES I WOULD USUALLY DECREASE THE DAILY ROBOT WELD CYCLE TIMES PER-PART BY 30 TO 60%. WITH MANUAL WELD OPERATIONS, I WOULD AGAIN ELIMINATE WELD QUALITY CONCERNS AND INCREASE THE MIG OR FLUX CORED WELD DEPOSITION RATES FROM 25 TO 70%.
The weld issues discussed at this site are global in scope, and they have been around for the fifty years that I have been optimizing welds. The bottom line, this web site is about what managers, engineers and supervisors have for decades failed to do, and what weld decision makers could do to dramatically improve their weld quality and profits.
My name is Ed Craig and welcome to weldreality.com, which I suppose is more of a blog than a web site. However this blog started before there was such a thing around 1997.
Some of you will know me from the almos 20 years that I wrote the QA. weld column in the USA, "Weld
Design & Fabrication" magazine, or perhaps you read one of my thirty plus published
articles on the simplification of manual and automated MIG and Flux cored weld process controls. If you have a Machinery Handbook gathering
dust on your shelve, and it's not too old, I wrote both the MIG and the Cutting sections. I invented the Pocketwelder before there was I Pads or laptops. I have three weld patents, and also have written three books on MIG and Flux Cored Weld
Process Controls - Best Weld Practices. With fifty years of hands on weld process control expertise, I have resolved
manual and automated weld issues in more than a thousand companies in thirteen
countries. I was born in Manchester, England where I lived till I was 21 and then moved to Canada and later to the US. Those born in Manchester tend to be pragmatic, thick, skinned people that don't usually appreciate bovine fecal matter (BS), but do appreciate a sense of humor.
hope you enjoy this web site which in reality simply provides my personnel opinions on the weld industry, and on the importance of the elimination of sales influence and BS from global weld shops. Of course, for decades I have specialized in MIG - FCA Weld Process Controls and Best Weld Practices and I hope you can appreciate the importance of these with your manual or robot welds.
BOVINE FECAL MATTER WHILE AN UNDERSTANDABLE SUBJECT IN MANY SALES OFFICES, HAS NO PLACE IN A WELD DEPT OR ANY FACILITY IN WHICH ENGINEERS OR PROFESSIONAL WORK.
UNFORTUNATELY THE MAJORITY OF GLOBAL WELD SHOPS AS THEY HAVE DONE FOR DECADES STILL RELY ON WELD SALES ADVICE FOR MANY OF THEIR WELD QUALITY - PRODUCTIVITY ISSUES, AND THE RESULT IS MIG - FCA WELD PROCESS BS IS STILL PROLIFIC THROUGHOUT THE GLOBAL WELD INDUSTRY.
I bring one of the world's most important weld processes, TIP TIG to North America and Australia:
During 2009, I was in Europe helping a company called Cameron (Subsea Components Manufacture). I was asked to assist Cameron with the automated Hot Wire TIG Clad weld issues they were having with their large Subsea valves. While in the UK, I heard about a unique weld process called TIP TIG.
I travelled to Scotland to see this process. A few months later I had established TIP TIG as a new business in the USA, and with the help from my new business partner Tom O'Malley, I bought this important process to
North America and later to Australia.
When you visit my TIP TIG SECTION at this site you will find the most comprehensive data ever written on this important process, you will also find that the TIP TIG process is the natural but far suprior evolution of the seventy year old manual TIG process. and the automated Hot and Cold Wire process. In contrast to pulsed MIG, which is the evolution of the regular MIG process, whereas pulsed MIG provides more sales benefits than real world weld benefits, the TiP TiG process provides extraordinary weld benefits.
TiP TiG delivers 100 - 400% more hourly production than regular TIG and Hot Wire TIG. the TiP TiG process dramatically reduces the manual welder skills, and is very easy to learn. TiP TiG provides superior weld quality than any other conventional manual weld or automated process. If your company welds alloys, TiP TiG delivers the lowest possible weld heat, always providing the best possible metallurgical properties from a weld process. TiP TiG also delivers the least possible weld fumes of any wire fed process and typically requires no weld cleaning. Of all my achievements in the weld industry I am most proud of the fact that I bought this process to North America and to Australia. And many of the world's leading engineering companies based in North America are more than pleased that they have access to the TiP TiG process.
There are weld quality and metallurgical requirements that are impossible to consistently attain
with any MIG mode or with flux cored wires and with the regular TIG or Hot Wire TIG process.
When a company consistently wants to achieve either manual or automated defect free welds with the best metallurgical results, they should like Siemens below, turn to TIP TIG.
THE MOST DIFFICULT FACILITIES TO IMPLEMENT
WELD CHANGES IN INDUSTRIAL NATIONS ARE TYPICALLY THE LARGE CORPORATIONS
THAT 'EMPLOY MANY ENGINEERS':
Why Change The Way We Have Always Done It",
SHOULD BE ON A SIGN OVER MANY ENGINEERS OFFICE.
ALL ENGINEERS MANAGERS AND SUPERVISORS SHOULD WANT TO EMBRACE ANY CHANGE THAT CAN IMPROVE THEIR COMPANIES WELD QUALITY & LOWER WELD COSTS.
The TiP TiG process has been available to the global weld industry for more than 12 years, yet USA managers and engineers at companies such Siemens, Exon, GE, Dow and Boeing only recently started to realize the numerous
weld quality, costs, and metallurgical benefits
on any alloy applications when using this important weld process.
With TiP TiG, no matter how complex the alloys, most alloy welds are made simple, weld defects are a thing of the past, weld costs are very low and the all position pipe weld skills are dramatically reduced.
The point is in a highly competitive global economy, it should not have taken
more than a decade for companies that employ numerous engineers to figure out the benefits of an important weld technology.. www.tiptigusa.com
WITHOUT APPROPRIATE WELD PROCESS CONTROL - BEST PRACTICE TRAINING, MANY WELD SHOP PERSONNEL WILL LACK CONFIDENCE IN THEIR WELD PROCESS EXPERTISE, AND THEREFORE TYPICALLY WHEN IT COMES TO WELDING THEY DON'T LIKE CHANGE.
WITHOUT INNOVATIVE AND PROGRESSIVE WELD MANAGEMENT / SUPERVISION THAT ENCOURAGES PROGRESSIVE CHANGE, LARGE COMPANIES TYPICALLY BECOME ENTRENCHED WITH THEIR LONG TERM ESTABLISHED WELD PROCEDURES & WELD PRACTICES THAT OFTEN WILL HAVE NOT CHANGED FOR DECADES.
I CAN GUARANTEE
THAT IN 2015, DOW CHEMICAL MANAGERS & ENGINEERS WILL STILL BE REQUESTING THAT THE SMAW PROCESS (POOR QUALITY - LOW PRODUCTIVITY) BE USED TO WELD THEIR STORAGE TANKS, AFTER ALL THIS IS THE WAY THEY DID IT IN THE 1960s. AND FOR THOSE THAT HAVE OPPOTUNITY TO A WALK THROUGH A GE PLANT AND TAKE A LOOK AT THEIR WELD OPERATIONS THEY MAY IN MANY INSTANCES GET THE IMPRESSION THAT THEY ARE WALKING THROUGH A WELDING MUSEUM.
The following is not a message you will get from your friendly weld supplier.
"The influence of "weld salesmanship" has for decades negatively impacted the global weld industry, and had grave weld quality, productivity, liability & cost consequences".
THE FIRST STEP TO CUTTING THE COMMON BOVINE FECAL MATTER FROM MANY WELD SHOPS, IS FOR SOMEONE IN THE FRONT OFFICE TO RECOGNIZE WELD REALITY AND "WHAT'S REAL".
During 1985, as it still is three decades later in 2015, the best possible, manual and robot "carbon or alloy steels" MIG welds, simply require a low cost, traditional CV MIG weld
power source, a two part argon 2 - 20% CO2 gas mix, and the selection of the "correct" type and size MIG weld wire. With the robot welds of course an important requirement was the individual responsible had robot programming training and just as important but rare, also had MIG Weld Process Control & Best Weld Practice training".
With robot welds, in the last two decades, robot manufactures have strived to improve both their weld soft ware and robot cell hard ware and also tried to improve the robot to power source communication. Now in 2015, in most robot cells, we have highly sophisticated, electronic MIG equipment with a built in interface. From my five decades of MIG weld equip evaluation, in general, the majority of the electronics introduced into today's sophisticated pulsed MIG equipment have created NO STEELS OR ALLOY STEELS, WELD QUALITY - PRODUCTIVITY BENEFITS. However these electronics have created numerous headaches as discussed at this site in the MIG equip, pulsed process and robot weld sections.
ANOTHER ELECTRONIC MIG POWER SOURCE THAT PROVIDED NO WELD BENEFITS.
So that costly robot cell sits there with it's electronic pulsed MIG power source which is typically loaded with useless, electronic bells and whistles. This of course pushes up the MIG weld equip prices, reduces the MIG equipment durability, adds to the MIG equip repair complexity, and brings another weld transfer mode to a shop that rarely has figured out how to optimize the other two weld transfer modes, short circuit and spray.
As a purchaser of robot weld equipment, reading this will do little to change things, I simply want you to be aware that you don't have to buy into the electronic MIG equipment BS that proliferates. Also when managers do get sold on this type of equipment they then tend to purchase this costly and again unnecessary weld equipment for the manual welders in the shop. The weld reality is this. I could demonstrate in approx. 10 minutes that a CV MIG power which usually costs <$3000, can for steel and alloy steel welds, provide the same quality and often higher weld productivity that that attained from the electronic MIG units that costs three to five times as much.
WELD REPAIRS. A SUBJECT RARELY TALKED ABOUT, AND USUALLY ABUSED IN THE AUTO - TRUCK INDUSTRY.
One way to benefit from the my process control self teaching / training program. Lets say you have a large number of robots and in each robot cell there was either an expensive Fronius, Miller or Lincoln Power Wave MIG unit. Lets also say you were using either an 0.045 - 0.052 or 0.062 (1.2 - 1.4 - 1.6 mm) MIG wire. It's very common with auto part suppliers (big and small), that when they order robot cells to also order the same or similar MIG equipment and consumables for their weld repair stations. Frequently they will use the same size MIG weld wire in the repair station as used on the robot lines. We have potential here on the next robot order to lower the weld repair costs, and also improve the repair weld quality.
As most of you are aware, most auto part weld repairs are made in small weld areas with very 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, with high end short circuit settings. When set correctly the settings should not create weld spatter concerns. With the 0.035 wire, the best possible MIG power source is a low cost 250 amp CV MIG power source, (approve. $2000 - $3000, wire feed included). This power source, wire size combination will provide with the majority of 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 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 will also ensure the highest possible robot weld quality and productivity with the least amount of robot weld repairs and down time.
Note: In the 1990s, while I was the Robot Weld Manager for the North American ABB Robot Weld Div, Miller Electric senior executives informed ABB management that they wanted to stop selling us their Delta Weld CV. 350 - 450A power sources that we used very successfully with a separate interface for the majority of our robot applications in North America. Instead the Miller executives wanted use to use their electronic Invision or Maxtron equipment, (cant remember at this time which one).
The Miller Delta Weld units were very well built, easy to repair and from a weld performance perspective provided the optimum slope, (volt - amp curve) for the majority of weld applications. These units were always my first choice for any MIG application.
I advised the CEO to inform Miller that if we had to stop using their superior CV Miller Delta Weld equip for their unstable, erratic, poor performing electronic Invision or Maxtron power sources, then we would have to look to another MIG equipment manufacturer to supply us with MIG equip.
ABB was the prime source for robots to a tier one company called A.O.Smith. This company was in the 1990s the worlds largest user of MIG welding robots and the A.O. Smith engineers and myself were well aware of what MIG power source was optimum. The Miller Delta Weld was the perfect MIG power source (optimum in the 1990s, as by the way is still the best MIG power source available for manual and automated welds in 2015.
THE WELD REALITY IN 2015 with minimal focus and expertise on weld equipment performance, unfortunately most robot cells have ended up with inferior, over priced, electronic pulsed MIG units in their robot cells.
In the 1990s, my robot weld process controls were used to make these 3/8, (10mm) single pass,
welds using low cost CV MIG equipment and consumables.
Manual MIG welds accounts for approx. 75 to 85% of the global welds produced daily. The flux cored process in which the majority of consumables were developed on traditional CV MIG equipment, account for approx. 13 - 18 % of the daily global welds produced. The growth of the MIG process was in the 1980's, further enhanced with the introduction and rapid annual growth of MIG welding robots especially in the auto and truck industry..
WHILE MANY IN THE WELD INDUSTRY FOCUS ON THE SKILLS OF THE WELDERS, MANAGEMENT NEEDS TO BE AWARE THAT WELD SKILLS ARE A SMALL PART OF THE REQUIREMENTS NECESSARY TO CONSISTENTLY ATTAIN OPTIMUM MIG AND FLUX CORED WELD QUALITY - PRODUCTIVITY.
When weld decision makers lack MIG - Flux Cored Weld Process Controls - and Best Weld Practices Expertise, there will be frequent costly weld issues and the weld decision makers will often then turn to a weld salesman to provide the weld resolutions. Over decades, this situation has led to a highly technical industry that has an extraordinary reliance on sales advice. The end result is an industry that for decades has paid a high price for unnecessary poor weld quality, poor weld productivity and unnecessary weld cost consequences.
Many managers, engineers and supervisors responsible for weld departments that contain MIG welding robots, are under the impression that "skilled" MIG welders can contribute to the robot MIG welds. The robot weld decision makers are often unaware that while the robots and MIG equipment has the potential to provide superior weld quality
and productivity than manual MIG welders, the MIG weld optimization will not occur unless the worker who provides
automated - robot weld data
the complete requirements of robot MIG Weld Best Practices and robot MIG Weld Process Controls.
Note: Please be aware that weld skills have never had anything to do with Weld Process Control expertise and Best Weld Practices knowledge.
Chinese mfg.. companies seem to have a difficult time making Wallmart steel can openers or nails that don't bend under the hammer, so when Chinese construction companies are asked to build any large scale project involving extensive use of steels and welds, no one should be surprised if the responsible CHINESE ENGINEERS ON THE CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS EVER REPORTS THE "REAL WORLD WELD QUALITY RESULTS".
The sad, apathetic, engineering - weld issues that I saw during with the cored process during the weld construction at the Bejing Olympic Stadium (below) , happens every day on large construction projects and ship yards around the globe.
For those that may have wondered why the modern day buildings collapsed during the small earth quake at Northridge California, take a time out. click here, and find out how lack of flux cored weld process expertise combined with ignorant politicians can create legal liability diversions, and as in this remarkable case, actually create new, ridiculous FEMA weld specifications
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?
GREAT STADIUM DESIGN, PATHETIC CHINESE CONSTRUCTION & WELDS..
by Ed Craig.
Aug. 2. 2008.
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.
I HAVE A QUESTION?
So the weld equipment mfg. promotes and sells useless electronic BELLS AND WHISTLES IN THEIR MIG EQUIPMENT. The weld equipment mfg. is aware (or is not aware) that their power source electronics offers no real world weld benefits, or that the power source electronics is negatively influencing the weld equipment durability and the end users MIG or FCA weld quality / productivity. These guys rarely if ever recall this MIG equipment, or notify the end user. Should the purchaser of the weld equipment sue the weld equipment mfg? JUST ASKING.
2015.. Major MIG equipment manufacturers like MILLER, ESAB, LINCOLN AND PANASONIC CONTINUE TO ATTAIN EXTENSIVE PROFITS FROM AN INDUSTRY IN WHICH MANY SEEM HAPPY TO PAY AN UNNECESSARY PREMIUM TO PURCHASE COSTLY, UNNECESSARY, ELECTRONIC PULSED MIG EQUIPMENT, WHICH FOR THE THREE DECADES THAT I HAVE EVALUATED IT, HAS TYPICALLY BEEN LOADED WITH USELESS, INEFFECTIVE, ELECTRONIC BELLS AND WHISTLES.
Note: I have also evaluated MIG gas mixes for decades, and have never seen a reason to justify the purchase of a three part gas mix for steels, low alloy steels or stainless applications.
Rather than wasting money on the costly $5K to $25K electronic MIG equipment, If instead, weld shops would spend approx. $300 and utilize my weld MIG & FLUX CORED WELD PROCESS CONTROL - BEST PRACTICES RESOURCES, these weld shops would then have the process controls keys necessary to attain the full potential from the much lower cost CV equipment and consistently attain optimum, manual and automated MIG and flux cored weld quality and productivity at the lowest labor costs.
was my job as the Corporate Training &
Weld Product Manager with companies such as Linde (Praxair), Airgas, AGA and Liquid
Carbonic, to test MIG weld equipment and the MIG and flux cored weld consumables that were available in North America and from around the globe. Of my 50 years in this business, I did the product evaluation for approx. 30 years.
Today, as many of you are aware, in 2105, you
can pay $3500 to $5000 for a traditional CV 350 - 450 Amp.
MIG power source and wire feeder, or you can pay approx. $6000 to >$20K
for Pulsed MIG equipment.
ALL IT TAKES IS APPROX. 10 MINUTES PLUS A WELD SHIELD AND OF COURSE MIG PROCESS CONTROL EXPERTISE, TO PROVE THE ABOVE WELD EQUIP FACT:
For weld shop management that has no wish to waste their potential profits in purchasing costly pulsed MIG equipment, or from unnecessary weld rework and poor weld productivity, the weld reality is this.
Using my MIG - Flux Cored Process Control - Best Practices and Self Teaching - Training resources available here, there will be many cost benefits possible for the weld shop.
For example, in contrast to the costly, pulsed MIG power equipment, when welding carbon steels, alloy steels and stainless weld applications with the much lower cost, easier to maintain, easier to operate, more durable, conventional, CV. MIG equipment , the weld shop could attain greater MIG and Flux Cored weld productivity with superior weld quality (superior fusion - less porosity) on all applications > 4 mm.
MIG WELD EQUIPMENT FACT:
Before your company wastes thousands of dollars on pulsed MIG equipment, remember if you wish to attain optimum MIG or Flux Cored weld quality - productivity on carbon steels & alloy steels, gauge to any thickness, simply requires CV. MIG equipment. This equip should in North America cost approx. $3500 to $5000 for ,350 to 450 Amp CV MIG power source. You may want to check out the MIG equipment part of this site to see the weld equipment that I recommend, and the weld equipment that makes me want to chew too many TUMS.
When employees lack MIG - Flux Cored, Weld Process Controls and Best Weld Practices expertise, weld shops will unfortunately, daily waste many $$$ on the following weld issues.
 MIG WELDS THAT ARE MADE DAILY WITH PROCESSES AND CONSUMABLES THAT HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR DECADES, SHOULD NOT REQUIRE WELD REWORK OR GRINDING.
 MIG WELD SPATTER COSTS GLOBAL WELD SHOPS BILLIONS OF DOLLARS ANNUALY TO REMOVE, YET WHEN WELD PERSONNEL HAVE WELD PROCESS EXPERTISE, SPATTER SHOULD BE MINIMUM.
 IN THE MAJORITY OF WELD SHOPS, BOTH THE MANUAL AND THE ROBOT WIRE FEED / WELD DEPOSITION RATES RELATIONSHIPS ARE RARELY UNDERSTOOD, AND THEREFORE WELD DEPOSITION RATE POTENTIAL IS RARELEY ACHIEVED.
WELD DEPOSITION RATES ACCOUNT TYPICALLY FOR APPROX. 80% OF WELD COSTS. WHEN WELDS ARE NOT AT THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE DEPOSITION RATES, MUCH HIGHER HOURLY WELD LABOR COSTS ARE BEING GENERATED. WITH MY TRAINING PROGRAM, THE MAJORITY OF WELD SHOPS WILL HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO REDUCE THE WELD LABOR COSTS IN THE 20 TO 70% RANGE.
 PAYING UNNECESSARY HIGH MIG WELD EQUIPMENT COSTS TYPICALLY BY PAYING FOR USELESS BELLS AND WHISTLES, IS NOW THE NORM THROUGHOUT THE GLOBAL WELD INDUSTRY.
 MANY COMPANIES WILL PURCHASE UNNECESSARY
CARBON STEEL METAL CORED
AND FLUX CORED WIRES, WHILE IN MANY INSTANCES, MUCH LOWER COST MIG WIRES WOULD DO THE SAME JOB.
 MANY COMPANIES WILL PURCHASE USELESS THREE PART GAS MIXES THAT CONTAIN OXYGEN WHICH BY THE WAY IS DETRIMENTAL TO MOST MIG WELDS. SAVINGS ARE ATTAINED BY USING LOWER COST, TWO COMPONENT ARGON - 10 TO 20% CO2, MIG GAS MIXES.
 MANY COMPANIES WILL PURCHASE ADDITIONAL ROBOTS WHEN THEY HAVE NEVER ATTAINED THE FULL WELD PRODUCTION OR QUALITY POTENTIAL OF THEIR EXISTING ROBOTS.
ALL OF THE ABOVE, ARE ADDRESSED WHEN THE WELD DECISION MAKERS
HAVE THE WELD PROCESS CONTROL EXPERTISE THAT IS AVAILABLE IN MY TRAINING RESOURCES.
MIG Gas Mix Selection has for decades been surrounded by process / application confusion, myths and Bovine Fecal Matter Sales Adjectives. This has had tremendous weld cost and quality consequences for the global MIG weld industry.
The good news for the weld industry. When you find management and supervision
weld process ignorance or confusion,
you will typically find that it's easy to create extensive weld improvements, with large weld cost savings.
It's a weld reality, that the global weld industry could save hundreds of millions of dollars daily if many of the managers, supervisors and engineers that influence the daily weld decisions, learnt to to take "full ownership and responsibility" of the weld equipment, processes and the weld consumables that are typically essential to the success of their organization.
It's a common sense statement, that in their role as a professional, that any weld decision maker should be capable of managing or supervising a weld shop without weld advice from a weld sales rep. And yet in many advertisements you will see for weld engineer or weld mgr. position, it's often part of the add or job description requirement that the weld engineer establish good relationships with the weld "vendors" who typically have minimal weld / application experience and rarely will have ever run a weld department.
 Weld shops decision makers should be able to make rational weld shop decisions that are based on their process knowledge, and those decisions will have technical
 To optimize MIG - flux cored weld quality, weld decision makers need to be aware of the real world, weld process controls and best weld practices necessary for both processes.
 To control weld costs, the weld decision makers should understand that for each common weld daily produced, their is an optimum wire diameter, that should be used with an optimum gas. With the MIG consumable there will be an optimum weld transfer mode suited to the application or specific weld. And that transfer mode will have an optimum wire feed / voltage and with automation weld travel speed. With this data it should takes less than five minutes to figure out the cost of any manual - robot MIG or FCA weld.
Note: The world's most common MIG and flux cored weld is either a 3/16 or 1/4 (5 - 6mm) fillet weld, therefore, it's logical to assume that with a glance at the wire feed control, each weld decision maker if asked, could within a few minutes figure out the cost of a foot, or a meter of one of these welds.
For the doubting Thomas, please note:
All It would takes is a few minutes, a weld shield and weld PROCESS CONTROL EXPERTISE to prove this:
Apart from the necessary, costly pulsed MIG equipment, and the useless three part gas mixes, many companies for the last decade have been sucked into purchasing ineffective and necessary Metal Cored and Flux Cored wires for steel and alloy steel welds which are made in the flat weld position. They will be told they are getting higher weld productivity with improved weld quality than that possible with the MIG process. These cored products will typically sell in the $2
to $6/lb range. I have evaluated and tested cored products for decades, and the weld reality is that irrespective of what the company who uses these wires has been told by their over friendly distributor or product rep, when welding on clean materials that are free of mill scale, the flat - horizontal position welds produced with the cored products, will rarely in contrast to MIG wires, (cost approx. $1/lb), offer when used correctly, any real weld quality or productivity benefits.
I believe that the continuing growth of the often not necessary costly Metal Cored & Flux Cored Wires, and also the use of the useless Three Part MIG Gas Mixes that are also utilized throughout the global weld industry, is strictly based on both weld sales influence and of course on the lack of weld shop management / engineering weld process control - best practice expertise.
For those of you that have never met me, you may have an interest in my back ground. For five decades, I optimized MIG and flux cored welds in more than 1000 plants in 13 countries. And for three decades, while working for some of the world's largest producers of weld equipment - consumables, I was responsible for process control training and testing and evaluating global weld equipment and consumables. I helped write the AWS MIG gas specifications and advised the AWS committee on the flux cored specifications. Irrespective of the weld applications that I assisted companies with, I always achieved the highest possible weld quality - productivity, with no weld rework and no weld spatter issues. The MIG - FCA welds that I produced, were attainable with weld process expertise and the utilization of the lowest cost MIG welding equipment and MIG - FCA consumables.
Note: If a company wants to know how much weld salesmanship has had an influence at their weld shop floor, all any manager, engineer or supervisor has to do is think about all the MIG power sources and gas mixes that have likely tried in their facility during the last few years, and then take a look at MIG mixes in the cylinder storage racks. No matter what steels are MIG welded in 2015, any company that has used, or is using "three part gas mixes", or has or is using straight CO2 or the common argon - 25% CO2 mix in their plants, is simply a company that suffers from MIG weld process expertise, a company that unfortunately has been influenced by MIG Gas Salesmanship.
FURTHER INFLUENCE OF WELD SALESMANSHIP:
In the global weld industry, it's easy to find managers or supervisors that to resolve their daily weld issues. will seek a salesman who will pull out a glossy brochure and offer a marketing induced promise of weld improvements that rarely happens. In the case gas MIG mixes the supplier or gas mfg. wants that monthly gas / cylinder revenue and will therefore encourage the weld shop to utilize their so called unique MIG gas mix. This is one of the reasons that for four decades, we have had available in North America and Europe, as many MIG gas mixes as there are breakfast
cereals available on the shelves of a super market.
How sad a weld shop would be,
without thick skin,
serious attitudes, great egos, and
a sense of humor.
When weld shop customers do not have a clear understanding or are confused about the weld processes and the consumables that they daily use, it's an easy task for those that produce and sell industrial MIG gases, to ask for a premium price on what in reality is simply a low cost commodity product.
ONE WAY FOR MAJOR MIG GAS PRODUCERS - SUPPLIERS TRY TO GET HIGHER PRICES FOR THEIR MIG GAS
PROVIDE SALES INFLUENCED BOGUS WELD CLAIMS ABOUT THEIR LATEST THREE OR FOUR PART MIG GAS MXES.
WHEN A COMPANY PROMOTES A THREE OR FOUR PART MIG GAS MIX, THEY ARE SUGGESTNG THAT THE THIRD OR FOURTH COMPONENT IN THEIR UNIQUE MIX IS GOING TO HAVE A WELD QUALITY - PRODUCTIVITY RESULT THAT WILL BE READILY MEASURABLE , & THERFORE JUSTIFY THE HIGHER GAS PURCHASE PRICE.
2015: I HAVE BEEN EVALUATING MIG GAS MIXES SINCE THE 1960s AND THE WELD REALITY IS THIS.
IN CONTRAST TO A RECOMMENDED TWO PART GAS MIX, WITH THE USE OF OPTIMUM MIG WIRE SIZE, CORRECT' WELD PARAMETERS AND BEST WELD PRACTICES, THREE OR FOUR PART MIXES, WHEN USED FOR MIG WELDING STEELS - STAINLESS - ALLOY STEELS AND ALUMINUM, WILL PROVIDE NO MIG WELD QUALITY - PRODUCTIVITY OR SAFTEY BENEFITS.
OVER 90% OF THE TWO PART MIXES THAT ARE AVAILABLE ARE SIMPLY NOT REQUIRED, AND THE POPUAR 75% ARGON - 25% CO2 MIX FOR STEELS OR THE HELIUM TRI-MIXES USED FOR STAINLESS, WOULD NEVER BE PURCHASED BY ANYONE WHO UNDERSTANDS THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE MIG PROCESS.. (see MIG gas section).
Global MIG gas misinformation and MIG gas selection confusion has been the norm for more than five
decades. It's a sad
reflection of the weld industry that the majority of the MIG gas information found in too many weld
shops is based on weld management, engineering, and supervision process ignorance, and of course, the gas info they do have has typically been provided by a weld gas salesman.
For any company that utilizes a three part MIG gas mix for carbon steels, alloy steels, stainless or aluminum applications, they may be embarrassed to find out they have been part of an industrial gas marketing
con game. For a few years I was a primary contributor to the American Weld Society (AWS) committee that wrote the MIG Gas Specifications. Much of my time at these AWS specification meetings, went into trying to keep the extensive sales biased, incorrect. BS data that was presented on the three part mixes, out of that AWS specification. For decades it was a a sad fact, that many of those that contributed to the AWS Weld Specifications, were personnel that had a marketing or sales management or biased background.
In the last three decades, in my research roles at Airgas and AGA I developed four of the most practical, low cost, two component MIG gas mixes which are today sold throughout North
America. If you want to stop wasting money on three part mixes, check out my low cost MIG gas mix recommendations.
For MIG gas information without sales bias, visit the MIG Gas section at this site.
For five decades the most common sentence that I heard in weld shops was, "WHY CHANGE THE WAY WE HAVE ALWAYS DONE IT?.
You will never hear this in your weld shop...
OVER FIVE DECADES, I HAVE ASSISTED MORE THAN 1000 MANUAFCTURING PLANTS IN 13 COUNTRIES. IN 99% OF THOSE PLANTS, I COULD NOT FIND A MANAGER, ENGINEER, SUPERVISOR, OR WELDER THAT HAD THE NECESSARY MIG & FLUX CORED WELD PROCESS CONTROLS & BEST WELD PRACTICES EXPERTISE FOR EITHER MANUAL OR ROBOT WELD PROCESS QUALITY - PRODUCTIVITY OPTIMIZATION.
THOSE IN WELD - DECISION MAKING POSITIONS, WHO HAVE AN INTEREST IN "MIG - FLUX CORED WELD PROCESS CONTROLS - BEST PRACTICE EXPERTISE", MAY WANT TO REVIEW THE FOLLOWING WELD TESTS, AND THEN CONSIDER THE WELD COST - QUALITY - LIABILITY RELEVANCE AND IMPORTANCE OF THESE QUESTIONS FOR THEIR OWN WELD DEPARTMENTS.
Ed's MIG Weld Process Controls Test.
Ed's Flux Cored Process Controls Test.
A REASONABLE QUESTION FOR THE WELD INDUSTRY WOULD BE... Why is there a general lack of global focus, on the essential weld process controls - best weld practice requirements that are necessary for MIG and Flux Cored Weld optimization?
The wide use of MIG welding started in the late 1950's. Yet since
the introduction of this important process, there has been little management, engineering and educational focus on the requirements for "MIG Process Controls and Best MIG Practices. The consequence is global in scope. For decades, the majority
of global manual MIG and flux cored weld personnel have "played around" with their MIG
or Flux Cored weld controls.
In 2014 as it was in 1964, why do the majority in this technical industry accept LOWER TRAINING AND EDUCATION STANDARDS THAN MOST OTHER SIMILAR SKILLED TRADES?
After my 50 years of being in this buisness, Imn running out of time, and I wonder what it will take to get this industry to realize that there is much more to MIG and Flux Cored welds than that provided by the "welder's skills" .
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 more simple, two control MIG / FCA processes, both of which in reality, have hardly changed in decades. From my persective, 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 and requirements for MIG - Flux Cored Weld Process Controls and Best Weld Practices
2105: The MIG and flux cored manual and robot weld process potential will never be completely attained till process control education is initiated from office to the weld shop, and of course when all weld education facilities realize that this is not 1960.
My Robot MIG weld Process Control Program.
WHILE MANAGERS KEEP ORDERING MORE ROBOTS, FEW ROBOTS HAVE EVER ATTAINED THEIR MIG WELD QUALITY - PRODUCTIVITY POTENTIAL: THE MOST WIDELY UTILIZED "ARC WELD" PROCESS UTILIZED BY ROBOTS IS THE TWO PRIMARY WELD CONTROL, SIXTY YEAR OLD MIG PROCESS THATS USED DAILY FOR THE MAJORITY OF THE WORLD'S WELDS. YET THE MAJORITY OF ROBOTS THAT USE THE MIG PROCESS AND HAVE BEEN PURCHASED IN THE LAST THREE DECADES, WILL RARELY, CONSISTENTLY ATTAIN THEIR WELD QUALITY AND WELD PRODUCTIVITY POTENTIAL.
It makes little sense, why any company that takes pride in it's level of engineering, manufacturing and weld expertise, to spend thousands and maybe millions of dollars on robots and the related weld equipment and fixtures, and then let their managers, engineers and supervisors scratch their heads when weld quality - productivity issues occur, and continue daily to put up with poor weld quality, rejects, rework and let their workers "play around" with the robot weld data.
There is a simple low cost solution to the global lack of manual - robot Weld Process Control - Best Weld Practice expertise. During the last four decades, I developed the world's most simple, self teaching
/ training MIG - Flux Cored weld process control - best practice programs. The programs utilize my unique, "Weld Control Clock Method" With the weld Clock Method, participants with or without MIG expertise, will within a few hours of training be able without taking notes to attain the MIG - Flux Cored Process Control
- Best Weld Practice Expertise that's necessary to instantly set optimum manual and robot MIG / Flux Cored weld data / practice for any weld applications.
ROBOT WELD PRODUCTVITY ISSUES. ROBOT WELD QUALITY CONCERNS.
REJECTS. ROBOT WELD REWORK. ROBOT WELDS AND LIABILITY CONCERNS, AND LET'S NOT FORGET THE CAUSES FOR ROBOT DOWN TIME.
attain optimum "robot" MIG weld quality and productivity or instantly deal with
robot weld issues that effect down time, requires MIG Weld Process Control expertise. With the global
average robot MIG weld production efficiency range at only 40 to 60% of it's real
potential. With the too frequent questionable weld quality and costly robot weld rework usually in the range of 20 to 100%, many manufacturing
companies would with the expenditure of $300 on my self teaching and training process resources have a great opportunity for dramatic robot weld cost reductions and robot
weld quality improvements.
For a few years,
I was the North American Robot Weld Manager for ABB Robotics, at ABB I used my process programs to establish the world's first, "Robot MIG weld Process Control Training Program". For the last two decades, when employed as a Weld Process Control Consultant, I provided both manual and robot weld optimization and training to
numerous companies in 13 different countries.
Before I optimize a companies's robot weld quality or productivity, I would start out by providing my Seven Steps to Robot MIG Process Controls Training Program to all the weld decision makers at the plant. I would not provide this type of training program unless all the relevant management and engineers agreed to attend the program, getting these people to attend anything to do with welding was often like pulling teeth. The reason it was important that the front office personnel attend the training, was, lack of management and engineering weld process ownership has been and still is a major part of global weld problems. The bottom line is to establish and maintain the required Best MIG - flux cored Weld Practices in any plant, requires that all weld decision makers have process expertise and walk the same welding path.
I developed my MIG and Flux Cored programs so that anyone (no weld expertise required) could present them.
MIG - FLUX CORED, MANUAL OR ROBOT WELD CONTROLS. Why not provide your employees
with one of my easy to use weld Process Control - Best Practice training
programs. Imagine after
a few hours of viewing this unique resource, that all the participants will have the
ability to instantly address their daily robot or manual MIG weld issues which impact the daily weld quality and productivity. Imagine, a weld department where no one "plays around with their weld parameters" . And imagine the plant management satisfaction when the weld shop daily achieves consistent, optimum weld quality / productivity without weld rework all at the lowest possible weld costs.
A management mystery in too many global weld shops, is the real world
COSTS of the common MIG or Flux Cored welds that are made daily.
MIG AND FLUX CORED WELDS AND COSTS? A weld department cannot maximize it's profits or control it's MIG and Flux Cored weld costs, unless someone fully understand the primary weld processes utilized. One of the world's most common welds is a MIG or flux cored 1/4, ( 6mm) fillet weld. Do you believe anyone in your front office or on the weld shop floor has the ability to look at the weld wire size, glance at the MIG wire feed control and then instantly provide the real weld costs associated with that fillet weld. Using my process control resources, this weld cost task would be so simple that the weld decision maker would not even require a pen or calculator.
When you ask
a manager the cost of a MIG or flux cored weld,
the majority of managers typically will want to talk about the cost of the weld gas mixes and the cost of the weld wires.
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 sparks are being generated.
What the supervisors and management is often not aware is, the welder working hard can weld a vertical up flux cored 1/4 fillet at
6 lb/hr, or with process control expertise set the same fillet
weld with the wire feed set to deliver 10 lb/hr. Or you could have 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 at 12 to 20 lb/hr.
The weld reality is few managers or supervisors understand the weld deposition rate potential of the weld process and consumables they use for the applications they daily weld. 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 is the solution is a simple one.
My unique, low cost weld process control 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.
The often touted global shortage of MIG and Flux Cored
always been a weld myth:
Pick up a weld magazine in any industrialized country, and you may read about how some manufacturing executive or plant manager is concerned about the so called 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 MIG welds on construction, food processing and farm equipment parts.
Company [B] A job shop looking for welders to weld chemical tanks and pipe welds with the flux cored and TIG process. The welders must pass an ASME Sect 1V. 5G. welder qualification test.
Company [C]. A ship yard has a large MIG or flux cored weld project coming up, and will need to hire many more welders. In the past when the welders have taken the welder qualification test, typically one to three out of every ten welders tested will pass the tests, and extensive costs are occurred in this frustrating task. Also few of those that pass the weld test will have the process expertise that's necessary to produce 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, people with a good work attitude, and then by providing my process control training programs, and hands on training recommendations, 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.
Those going through my process training programs would have the capability to provide optimum
MIG and Flux Cored welds that
meet any global weld code / specification requirements.
these same companies could also have the trainee weld personnel
attend the usual local weld training establishment and after six months
of costly, wasted effort, you would find that the new welders have a few skills and yet they typically will still "play around" with their MIG and flux cored weld controls.
THE TRADITIONAL TIG PROCESS REQUIRES THE HIGHEST WELDER SKILLS WITH MINIMAL PROCESS EXPERTISE. FOR SOME IT TAKES MANY YEARS TO MASTER THE SKILLS REQUIRED FOR CODE, ALL POSITION, PIPE WELDS. HOWEVER SINCE THE YEAR 2000, THERE HAS BEEN A SIMPLE SOLUTION TO THE GLOBAL TIG WELDER SKILLS SHORTAGE. THE SOLUTION IS CALLED TIP TIG.
WITH THE TIP TIG A PROCESS THAT I INTRODUCED IN BOTH NORTH AMERICA AND AUSTRALIA, YOU COULD TAKE
SOMEONE WHO HAS NEVER TIG WELDED OR WELDED PIPE, AND WITH THE TIP TIG PROCESS IN APPROX. 10 DAYS, THAT PERSON SHOULD BE ABLE TO MEET ANY ALL POSITION, CODE, PIPE WELD TEST.
By the way, the TiP TiG manual or automated pipe welds will be better quality than any regular manual TIG welds, and better quality than any Hot / Cold Wire automated TIG welds. As a bonus the TIP TIG welds will be done 200 to 400% faster always with superior metallurgical properties. www.tiptigusa.com. Ask for Nick and tell him Ed Craig sent you..
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 weld testing and weld coupon evaluation, they 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 .
It's a good job for most weld shop managers, supervisors and engineers that
NDT or Macros are rarely used on their MIG - Flux Cored welds.
AS YOU EXAMINE THIS PHOTO, WITH MY FLUX CORED PROCESS CONTROL
PROGRAM YOU WOULD INSTANTLY KNOW WHAT THE ROOT CAUSE WAS.
If NDT was applied to all global MIG and Flux Cored welds, approx. 70 - 80 % of the welds would have defects that are not considered acceptable to any weld code requirements. Its logical and highly beneficial that all weld decision makers learn with process control training, how to instantly diagnose MIG - FCA weld defects, and be aware of how to prevent them from occurring.
I suppose most weld shop managers and supervisors are relieved that the majority of their r welds will not require "internal weld evaluation" However from a safety and product liability perspective, however as no additional weld costs are required, you would think weld shops would want to always ensure the highest possible manual or robot weld quality.
In contrast to most welds, common codes such as API, ASME, AWS, require weld qualification procedures,
yet every code weld that has failed or has serious defects, will be a weld that was supposed to be made with so
called, pre-qualified weld procedures and qualified skilled welders.
WITH MOST CODE WELD DEFECTS, THE MANAGEMENT FOCUS IS OFTEN ON THE WELDER WHO MADE THE WELDS, WHEN IT'S A GOOD POSSIBILITY, THAT THE WELD PROCEDURE, THE PROCESS, THE PARAMETERS OR CONSUMABLES UTILIZED HAD A LARGE INFLUENCE ON THOSE DEFECTS.
Apart from the welder's skills, an essential element to the success
of any weld project, is the implementation of Best Weld Practices, and assurance that the weld personnel doing the weld decision makers providing the weld qualification procedures, have the necessary Weld Process Control Expertise.
Response to variables is an important welder's function
I always find it interesting in the weld shops I visited, to watch the weld personnel respond or not respond to the numerous variables that are affecting their welds.
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 on unacceptable surface conditions,
 welds with undercut,
 welds with
 welds that are causing distortion,
 welds that are creating cracks, lack of fusion, porosity or spatter,
and lets not forget, the influence of welds that are made in changing environmental conditions.
A WELD REALITY: Few weld shops have ever provided their weld personnel with the process control - best practice training necessary to correctly respond to the variables that daily effect the weld quality or productivity.
Imagine the weld cost benefits of a weld work force that is trained to understand how to react to weld variables. Imagine using welders that know how to minimize the formation of weld defects, and will always use weld settings that ensure maximum hourly weld productivity.
If you are a weld shop decision maker and you want to create cost affective changes in the weld shop, you have these two simple options;
 Get advice from another weld salesman.
 Or use the unique manual / robot MIG and flux cored
weld process control training resources. available at this site.
My simple Weld Clock Method, simplifies MIG & Flux Cored weld parameter settings.
Set that MIG pipe root weld, or a common 16 gauge MIG weld.
11 o'clock, with 17 cups of coffee, (17V).
Ed's easy to remember Weld Process Control
Weld Clock Method© is Copy
For those of you with sparse, or grey hair, you will have likely noted that in many weld shops there is a glass wall that divides the hands off management and engineers from the weld shop floor personnel. That dividing wall often results in the "them versus us syndrome". In this costly and unhealthy manufacturing environment, it's not uncommon to find the ships crew (the welders) have taken over the ship. In this too common mfg. environment. you end up with welders who do their own thing and develop unwarranted, inflated egos from the control they think they have in their poorly run weld shops. This old and very tired weld shop quagmire is ripe for the influence of a weld salesman, and ripe for weld quality - productivity issues with weld costs that are out of control.
MIG and flux cored weld process confusion, has for decades been a great door opener for that guy they call the
Weld shop confusion will often lead to a costly crutch such as the introduction of new weld equipment saturated with useless electronic bells and whistles or unnecessary costly weld consumables. Lets face it, if that new pulsed MIG power source does not help the weld issues, the problem must be with the weld gas and the solution must be in that new three part gas mix. I have been in many weld shops in which the weld distributor salesman spends more time on the weld shop floor than the manufacturing manager.
Weld process confusion typically opens the door for someone to create DRAMATIC WELD COST SAVINGS:
The good news, it's taken decades to create the cultural weld shop mess we too often see today, however with management driven change, there typically is great opportunity for most weld shops to attain dramatic weld quality improvements and cost savings.
SHOP FLOOR MIG - FCA WELD PROCESS CONTROL IGNORANCE AND WELD MANAGEMENT APATHY, FOR FIVE DECADES YOU WOULD FIND THIS IN THE WORLD'S LARGEST ENGINEERING COMPANIES OR THE SMALLEST WELD SHOPS:
In the majority of fortune 500 companies in which welding is an important process, you will find that too often there is management - engineering weld process ignorance and apathy.
Most of you who have spent 10 minutes at this web site will now be e aware of the extensive lack of weld management in the Auto - truck industry, and It may be a surprise to find that many major USA fortune 500 companies such as General Electric and Dow Chemical have numerous fabrication facilities which appear to be stuck in a 1960 - 1970 weld manufacturing time warp. These corporations typically rose to greatness as a result of research, innovation and strong management and engineering leadership.
In the last decade, as I visited many of the 500 companies to assist them with their never ending weld issues, I frequently witnessed the growth of hands off managers - engineers, with minimal focus on engineering R & D. Also thanks to the management weld apathy i found that the manufacturing practices - processes and procedures I reviewed were typically established in the 1960 - 1970s. The reality was while the past practices built these corporations, too many managers and engineers are today ensuring often through fear of change or lack of balls, that their companies will remain entrenched in that welding past.
IF A WELD SHOP IS NOT HIGHLY EFFICIENT IN TERMS OF THE WELD QUALITY - PRODUCTIVITY IT DAILY PRODUCES, HOW CAN THAT SHOP UNDERSTAND OR EVER REACH IT'S REAL PROFIT POTENTIAL:
In the last 15 years, the North America, management and engineering weld process ignorance - apathy has been a large part of the discussion and scope of this site. Many people are not aware that an important consequence of the the lack of management focus on this important subject is this is one of the reasons the "USA no longer produces good paying factory weld jobs".
POOR WELD MANAGEMENT OFTEN HAS RESULTED IN THE "WHY SHOULD WE CHANGE ATTITUDE":
A fabricator I knew in 2010, received an opportunity to quote on a job for Dow Chemical, this is a company that I believe often gives the impression that when it comes to weld fabrication, it's an "Engineering Dinosaur". Dow wanted large, thick wall, stainless steel, storage tanks built. When the DOW welding specs were reviewed by the fabricator, he noted with dismay that DOW had requested the worst possible weld process for this large project. Dow wanted the fabricator to use the SMAW (stick) process to weld the 15 - 30 ft diameter tanks. The fabricator complained to Dow engineers and managers responsible, that the use of the SMAW process would dramatically increase both the weld production time, and the welding costs. He also told the engineer that with the SMAW process, the anticipated weld rework costs would be much higher than they need to be if alternative welding processes were utilized. The fabricator requested that DOW engineers enable them to uses the Gas Shielded Flux Cored weld process. The Flux Cored process would allow the fab shop to reduce the overall weld costs by at least 70%, provide higher weld quality and reduce the concerns for meeting the production deadlines.
The Dow engineers and the managers responsible for the project rejected the gas shielded flux cored selection recommendation. The reason give by the DOW management was an old tired one. Dow stated that the initial tanks which were first built in 1960s were welded with the SMAW process, and the engineers were therefore reluctant to change to the 30 + year flux cored weld process. One of the DOW engineers actually had the nerve to say in the weld meeting, "after all why should we change the way we have always done it" .
The DOW management sad attitude, and their apathetic engineering response, has had for this company, created decades of dramatic weld cost, quality, and schedule consequences. Those that call themselves engineers, and do not utilize the most cost effective weld processes for their applications, should do their company a favour, and change their profession. Perhaps these people would be better suited working at McDonald's, as that's one company who would appreciate "this the way we have always done it" speech.
GE - Exon - Siemans - ABB, I have seen the same apathetic management / engineering process apathy at most of the Fortune 500 engineering companies that I visited. The common denominator at the world's largest companies were they consistently employed "hands off", managers and engineers, personnel that were happy in front of their computers, and even happier behind the glass walls that separated them from the weld and fab shops.
When engineers and managers lack MIG - FCA weld process control expertise, they typically would want to retain the processes that were used for similar applications built in the past. These processes were typically SMAW - TIG. Lets face it, if management and engineers at any large corporation wanted to dramatically reduce their annual, global weld costs, these guys would attain a weld process control - best practice education, (requires 10 - 16 hrs of reading), and then roll up their sleeves and take ownership and responsibility for their large scale weld projects.
Extensive global weld cost consequences
from a common weld shop attitude.
Weld quality & cost consequences from many sources:
Lack of Management - Eng - Project Mgt, Supervision Weld Process Ownership.
Designers and Weld Process Apathy.
Weld Decision makers reliance on Sales Advice.
Technicians that decide they should stop learning after two years experience.
If they ever applied NDT to all the welds on cars and trucks, they would find so many weld defects, that few vehicles would ever be allowed to leave the plant.
An internal MIG weld evaluation would reveal that for
every four robot MIG welds found on auto - truck parts
one to three of the welds would reveal unacceptable weld defects.
weld reality of the the majority of robot MIG welds that join global cars and truck parts, is the
average fillet weld size is approx. 4 - 5 mm, while the average gage part thickness welded is 1 to 3 mm. Thanks to the general lack of best weld practices and lack of MIG process
control expertise in these industries, it's frequently that the "over
weld applied," rather than the robot or manual MIG - FCA weld integrity is what is really holds together
those expensive vehicles.
robot Weld Process Control Training resources are
easy to learn and simple to use. These resources will ensure
the personnel in your
always attain the full weld
quality - productivity from
the robots and MIG equipment selected.
Click here for info.
2008. Above Photo: I had to use the ridiculous Miller remote control to set a Miller Axcess Pulsed MIG power source, that was loaded with useless electronic bells and whistles. I knew that Viza, the tier one Spanish auto seat manufacturer must have purchased this new pulsed MIG equipment, based on the advise by a Miller salesman. I found out at Viza, that the Miller Axcess equipment had electronic problems that I had previously encountered with the same equipment in the USA (and I previously reported this to Miller in the USA). Miller management ignored the pulsed MIG problems with their MIG equipment in North America, and introduced the faulty equipment with the same electronic issues to it's Spanish customers.
Check the MIG equipment selection and pulsed MIG section for more info on companies that have no issues making weld equipment, and when they know they have faulty weld equipment, they make no attempt to tell their customers.
Over the decades, I worked with numerous new pulsed MIG power sources that had extensive, electronic issues, and I would report many of the issue to the weld equipment mfg. Yet I cannot recall ever seeing a pulsed MIG weld power source recall from, MILLER - LINCOLN - HOBART - ESAB OR PANASONIC?
For many companies,
would be a first.
Where are the qualified
global weld managers?
The global job web career sites, will in a few minutes let you know how
unimportant that Weld Managers job is.
to one of the world's largest career web sites, monster.com and a quick key word search for a "QUALITY MANAGER"
and you should typically find numerous jobs in the USA and around the globe. However if the key words, "WELD
MANAGER" few jobs will be evident.
From my weld shop logic, it's always been more important to "prevent weld defects rather than to find them," and a weld shop manager, QA person, engineer, supervisor or technician that wants to justify his salary should know how to achieve this.
Note. The sad weld reality is most large weld - fab shops employ a QA manager. The inspectors that work for this mgr, unfortunately will be typically trained to find, rather than to prevent weld defects.
We are all aware that Weld Process - Best Practices expertise should start with those weld and mechanical engineers, however as many of you are not aware, most of the major, global colleges and universities that provide weld education, do not provide their engineer students with the appropriate weld Process Controls - Best Practices education they need for the most common weld processes used in the industries they will serve.
Who is responsible for the robot cells?
It does not matter if the robot weld issues are being generated by the;
 The ROBOT TECHNICIANS.
 The PERSONNEL MAKING THE ROBOT WELD CHANGES.
 The ROBOT CELL OPERATORS.
ACCOUNTABILITY AND FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR ROBOT WELD QUALITY OR PRODUCTIVITY ISSUES SHOULD ALWAYS BE WITH THE ENGINEERS AND MANAGERS.
Few in the global manufacturing industry are aware that for
almost two plus decades in manufacturing facilities, over
90% of MIG welding robots were set up by inexperienced robot companies and integrators. The robot MIG weld quality - productivity achieved after installation was further negatively influenced through management, engineering and supervision weld process ignorance, and through the plant's inexperienced robot technicians.
Its a weld reality that the
majority of global MIG welding robots are daily managed by technicians who are typically responsible for placing the weld data
in the robot programs. The irony is that the vast majority of the robot technicians have never received MIG Weld Process Controls and Best Practices Training.
When you combine the common lack of robot weld process controls - best robot weld practice with;
[a] management that is typically not aware of the real robot weld quality - productivity and costs,
[b] equipment in the robot cell that is part of the problem, (Pulsed MIG weld equipment),
[c] equipment that is not in the cell that should have been part of the original robot purchase,
(robot TCP controls, torch cleaning station, or joint tracking etc),
[d] the too common, poor or lack of engineering and
manufacturing standards that result in unacceptable "part dimensional
tolerances" for the welded parts,
[e] the frequent poor weld fixture design that either impedes the robot movement or the optimum gun angles, or fixtures that do not provide consistent part placement,
[f] poor robot cell fixture maintenance.
[g] maintenance personnel allowed to make unqualified weld changes.
All of the above will influence the global poor robot weld quality and necessary weld costs that are found with the majority of robot MIG weld cells.
I would not waste energy asking any designer of an auto or truck MIG welded parts, if they understood the process they had requested to weld their parts.
From car seats to shocks, thin wall tubes are widely used with car and truck parts. The tubular parts are great for increased rigidity and strength, however
these components also offer unique
robot MIG weld - energy
It's a shame that most of the university educated designers of the tubular parts will be completely unaware of the MIG weld requirements and the MIG weld concerns with tubular parts.
A good example of a tubular MIG weld problem will often occur with the "J"
groove tube joint shown in the right photo. The J groove occurs when welding a round part to flat gage part. With this weld joint, increased
weld mass is necessary to fill the groove, and the groove typically requires twice as much weld as necessary for the thickness welded.
The larger weld mass required in a J groove, dissipates some of the energy that would typically be
applied to attain the required side wall weld fusion. Lack of MIG weld fusion is very common with these weld joints, as is excess weld heat from the over size weld.
From welding thin gauge parts to 5/16 (8 mm), single pass, horizontal, fillet welds, few weld shops have ever understood that both the MIG spray and pulsed process will too often deliver a poor ratio between the weld energy produced. the weld mass and the weld speed required.
Combine the frequent poor MIG weld fusion on J groove joints, with the short
cycle weld times found with the too common, "short length", auto and truck welds, and you often end up with rapid freeze, low energy welds that on the surface may look sound and robust. However as in the case of the weld macro above, you end up with a large weld on a 1.4
mm tube to brkt, and that weld reveals, lack of robot MIG weld fusion. Note with the above poor weld fusion, you still have evidence of excess weld heat from the large HAZ evident on the thinner tube. This defect is a common MIG weld issue which is easy to resolve with MIG weld process control expertise. It's also something that one day hopefully designers of these parts will have a better awareness of.
Remember, J grooves welds typically require > 100 to 200% more weld necessary for the part thickness welded.
Oversize MIG welds will take away from the weld fusion potential, slow down the robots weld speed, add to the excess heat in the welds HAZ, something that can weaken the HSLA parts.
If designers of robot MIG welded components do not purchase the robot process control - best weld practices program at this site, who will teach these personnel to understand the weld cost & weld quality consequences of their designs?
The most ridiculous weld specification I have ever seen, have been those from the major Japanese and the Big Three USA auto - truck manufactures. For example you may find in their weld specs. that some idiot in the corporate office has;
Requested the use of the terrible Self Shielded Flux Cored Wires,
Specified the weld porosity content on parts that have zinc coatings, or parts they know will be covered with stamping lubrication fluids.
[c] Specified ridiculous max and minimum weld fusion requirements on thin gage parts in which the weld fusion has to change as the part heat changes
Also on tube welds, it's difficult with some robots to control
the robot Tool Center Point and attain consistent robot high rotational weld speeds from the robot's multi-axis
movement, or from the fixture movement. The weld quality and consistency of the robot programming, the global lack of weld process control expertise, the common small weld lengths, the weld parameter influence
from MIG wire stick variations, and the weld wire helix issues can all influence the weld positions (weld fusion) weld quality attained on small round welds.
Note: With tubular welds or cold rolled part welds,
weld fusion - porosity issues is often influenced by lubricating oils from the
manufacturing - forming process, or from the zinc protective coatings on the parts.
As mentioned small tubular welds are often over sized welds and these Reverse Polarity welds will rapidly build up weld heat in a small localized areas. On thin
gage HSS tube steels, the excess weld heat in the HAZ has to be a concern especially when additional weld passes are delivered from weld rework
which is typical with auto and truck robot applications. To
retain some of the High Strength Steel (HSS) structural integrity in the weld's heat affected zones, it's critical
in the robot welding of these high strength components, to ensure that correct weld sizes are applied and manual
MIG weld rework is eliminate. Also what's the sense of providing robot welds if they don't consistently provide weld fusion over their total length.
The HSS, small tube robot weld applications, are one that management is advised to keep their inexperienced millwrights,
electricians and other maintenance personnel away from. Robot welded parts don't need inexperienced maintenance personnel "playing
around" with the robot weld data making "unqualified weld changes. The weld solutions to
all of these issues are addressed
in my robot weld process control programs.
MIG WELDS CONCLUSION: It's fine for designers and engineers to talk about the reduced weight benefits
of their thin, high strength, steel or tubular parts, however if the weld process destroys those properties with unnecessary weld heat or creates welds with lack of weld fusion, or if the manufacturing engineers have lost dimensional control of the parts creating weld gaps, the robots will be producing welds with unacceptable quality. If this is the case, those lawyers involved in car and truck collisions should take note, and engineers could ask. What's the real
benefit of the high strength tubular welded components when the vehicles are involved in collisions?
All engineers and robot weld decision makers working with robot welded part should be aware of the fundamentals in my Best Weld Practices - Robot Weld Process
Control Training Resource.
Robots, weld costs &
poor robot weld production efficiency:
i have been in hundreds of plants in 13 countries that use many MIG
robots, and in the majority of plants, it was typical to find that the plants on average were using three
robots to do the work that two could do. The managers and engineers in these plants were never aware of this costly fact, as they also were not aware of how to produce robot welds that do not require weld rework.
For more than two decades in the auto - truck industry,
the typical, robot weld down time
per-8 hr/shift, has been a ridiculous 60 to 90 minutes,
which according to Detroit auto industry sources, can result in an approx. cost
of $2000 - $2500 per-hour.
my numerous visits to Detroit plants that were having robot
I found few managers or engineers understood the root cause of their robot weld quality - productivity and down time issues, and and even fewer wanted to get involved.
2013. The average global, Robot MIG weld
production efficiency range, is only 40 to 65% and the
average robot weld rework range is 20 to 100%.
The last thing a weld shop needs is to ask weld QA personnel who typically have no weld process control expertise, a question on weld process quality - productivity issues. QA personnel who are process control experienced are typically wasted in the majority of weld shops as the management and engineers direct them to react after the welds are complete.
For decades, too
many global manufacturing companies have placed their weld quality labor resources and focus on "finding
rather than on providing their employees (including QA personnel) with highly cost effective
weld process control training programs, that would "enable weld defect prevention".
"GLOBAL QA - WELD QUALITY DEMISE":
never been a bigger demand for QA Managers and Weld Inspectors,
yet the demand for Weld Managers,
Technicians with Weld Best Practice Capability and Weld
Process Control Expertise,
has always been almost none existent.
 IS YOUR ORGANIZATION CLOSE TO MAKING A LARGE WELD AUTOMATION OR WELD
EQUIPMENT INVESTMENT, AND YOU WOULD LIKE TO KNOW HOW TO ATTAIN OPTIMUM WELD QUALITY AND PRODUCTIVITY WITHOUT THE PURCHASE OF COSTLY, USELESS BELLS AND WHISTLES?
Do you have weld design concerns or looking for design tips that
can enhance weld optimization from your weld automation?
 ARE YOU SIMPLY LOOKING TO RESOLVE
WELD PROBLEMS OR LOOKING FOR THE MOST COST EFFECTIVE EFFECTIVE WELD PROCESS DATA AND PROCEDURES?
 Perhaps you have a MIG / Flux Cored welder shortage at your locations and would like to provide the world's most effective robot - manual MIG process control training programs. With a few hours process training your employees will exceed your expectations.
AT THIS SITE YOU WILL FIND THE WORLD'S MOST EFFECTIVE MIG AND FLUX CORED PROCESS CONTROL TRAINING RESOURCES.
FOR A LOW COST, FAST SOLUTION TO YOUR ROBOT / MANUAL WELDING ISSUES, CONTACT ED.
Ed has resolved weld issues for hundreds of companies and many
of the weld issues were resolved with a phone call or by E-mail .
Call Ed if you would like his customized training at his Asheville, North Carolina location. E-mail.
email@example.com. Pho 828 337 2695
NEVER ENDING WELD MEETINGS ARE USUALLY A SIGN OF LACK OF WELD PROCESS CONTROL EXPERTISE;
WHEN WELD MANAGEMENT DOES NOT RECOGNIZES THE IMPORTANCE
OF WELD PROCESS CONTROL AND BEST PRACTICES EXPERTISE, THEIR WELD QUALITY - PRODUCTIVITY ACCEPTANCE STANDARDS
WILL BE LOW. THESE MANAGERS
WILL KEEP HAVING
WELD ISSUE MEETINGS. IN THE MEETINGS THEY WILL KEEP ASKING THE SAME OLD IRRELEVANT QUESTIONS. WHEN EXPERTISE IS NECESSARY SOMEONE WILL INVITE THE LOCAL WELD SALES REP.
Manual or robot welds, it's too often the
same old MIG weld process issues:
|Have you ever met a tool maker or any machinist that daily "plays around" with the settings on the equipment they use?
Be a professional like my grandson Riley. Train your weld
they also don't have to "Ask
a Lincoln Rep" how to MIG weld a part someone likely MIG welded 50 years ago.
Are they managers or FIREMEN? Does your weld facility employ weld
managers, weld supervisors or firemen?
a weld manufacturing facility in which the MIG or flux cored weld quality and
productivity are not optimized, it's not uncommon to find engineers, supervisors, technicians and their management
in a constant Fireman mode, These are the guys that daily
run around trying to quench the weld production and weld quality fires.
 In the Fireman's plant, you will often find ISO deeply embedded,
KAIZEN is a second language, black belts are in abundance, while many of the common manufacturing processes such a paint, resistance welds and MIG welds are out of control.
 In the Fireman's plant, you will find the management and engineers are incapable of establishing uniform Best Weld Practices and have no understanding of the requirements of robot or manual Weld Process Controls.
In the Fireman's plant, you will not find a single person who can tell
you the real cost of the common welds they daily produce.
 In the Fireman's plant, you will the managers and engineers have not taken ownership of the manufacturing
processes that are responsible for their profits.
 In the Fireman's plant you will you will find no job descriptions or if there are job descriptions they are poorly defined.
How can managers control their weld costs, if they don't know the real costs of the common welds they daily produce?
How many weld decision makers have you ever met that
can look at a simple 1/4 (6mm) fillet weld and the weld consumables utilized, and instantly know;
the optimum consumables that should have been utilized,
the optimum weld data that should be used,
the weld deposition rates that should be attained,
[d] with robots, the weld speeds that could be attained for each weld.
Why does anyone bother with the costs and time associated with weld qualifications and weld procedures,
if the daily weld results end up with "weld rework"?
Too many weld qualification tests and resulting weld procedures do not encompass best weld process practices or process controls. In north America, we loose over a billion
dollars annual on weld rejects, unnecessary weld rework and poor weld productivity, and its a sad commentary that the majority of those welded
parts will have had "pre qualified weld procedures". While so much reliance is placed on welding skills the experienced weld decision maker is aware that welding skills are only a small part of the requirements to consistently attain optimum welds.
For five decades, as I walked through more than a thousand weld shops in 13 countries, I hoped that in at least one weld shop, that I would find a weld decision maker who;
could make weld decisions without seeking the advice of a weld salesman,
[b] understood the importance of weld best practices - process controls.
[c] was aware of the real weld costs.
It was a wasted effort.
With my roles as
a Weld Training Manger and Weld Product Marketing Manager for companies such as Praxair, Airgas, AGA, and Liquid Carbonic,
I have dealt with, and trained more than 1000 weld salesmen and I therefore believe that this experience allows me to have an opinion on global weld sales reps.
to five decades of global MIG weld industry reliance on sales advice, three of the
largest growth and most profitable weld products sold in today for welding carbon and alloy steels are;
 Costly, unnecessary electronic pulsed MIG equipment.
 Costly, unnecessary metal and flux cored wires for flat - horizontal welds.
 Costly, and unnecessary three
part MIG gas mixes.
If the above three products were no longer available to the global weld shops that
weld mostly carbon steels, low alloy steels and stainless steels, there would be no impact
on the weld industry's weld quality and productivity.
As it was five decades ago and as it is today, the majority of weld decision makers need to get some scissors and cut the umbilical cord which too often is attached from them to a local weld sales rep:
I think its amusing that when
MIG or flux cored weld advice is needed, many of the global weld shops which employ weld personnel who
have been in the business for decades, will not think twice about asking a weld sales rep for advice.
What's ironic about the above statement, is the majority of sales reps will have a background education or experience which is not relevant to the welding industry.
The sales reps with their frequent biased product advice will usually be eager to recommend another new, three
or four part, gas mix, or offer their costly pulsed MIG power source with it's useless, programmable
magic wave forms, sensitive circuit boards and short life span.
If you want evidence of the MIG weld process and equipment confusion, you would find it in the majority of global weld shops.
If it takes you or anyone in your organization more than 5 minutes to work out the cost of any weld, that person lacks
weld process control expertise. The solution to this striking weld cost issue is simple. Those interested, should spend a few hours with my low cost MIG - Flux Cored weld process control - best practice resources. A few hours to get complete control of any MIG or flux cored weld cost.
WHEN MANAGERS - SUPERVISORS LACK WELD PROCESS CONTROL - BEST PRACTICE EXPERTISE AND MIG - FCA WELDS NEED TO BE OPTIMIZED OR ISSUES RESOLVED. THE MANAGEMENT - SUPERVISION FOCUS IS OFTEN ON THE WELDERS, RATHER THAN ON THE REAL ROOT CAUSES.
|The highest optimum MIG - FCA weld quality and productivity can be made by dumb machines, when Best Weld Practices and Process Control expertise is applied.
WOULD THE FOLLOWING FUNDAMENTAL WELD PROCESS
CONTROL QUESTIONS BE TO AN ORGANIZATION THAT LIKES TO MAKE MONEY FROM IT'S WELDS?
your Weld Process Knowledge with these fundamental weld questions. If
it takes you more than 15 minutes to provide the "correct answers" to the following
weld questions, you are not in control of the world's most common
weld equipment and consumables.
As MIG Spray Transfer is the most widely used weld transfer mode used for all steel welds on parts > 1/8 (>3mm) thick, it's reasonable, that the MIG weld personnel would be aware of the answer to this question.
What is the MIG wire feed setting in inch/min (m/min) in which the common 0.045 (1.2mm) wire
using argon - 20% CO2
goes into Spray Transfer?
 Most MIG weld personnel are not aware that a change in MIG gas mixes requires a change in weld parameters. The weld supervisor wants to try another new MIG gas mix.
What weld parameter changes would a weld decision maker advice the welders to adjust with a change of the shops's MIG gas mix from argon - 20% CO2, to argon - 10% CO2?
Utilizing the best weld transfer mode is the first step to weld optimization and a change in weld part thickness may enable a change in the weld transfer mode.
The welders in the shop usually weld thin gauge parts <3mm, with 0.035 (0.9mm) wire. Occasionally they have to weld thicker parts in the 1/8 - 1/2. (3 to 12 mm) range. Using an 0.035 (0.9mm) MIG wire, what wire feed setting in inch/min (m/min), will Short
Circuit Transfer change into spray transfer when using argon
- 20% CO2?
 One of the most common MIG gas mixes utilized, causes many weld problems.
Why is the common argon - 25% CO2 mix the worst possible MIG gas for companies who
weld parts thicker than 1/8 (>3mm)?
 Why purchase robots if there is little expertise on the robot weld speed potential?
Your company is using a robot to weld a common 3/16 (5mm) carbon steel,
horizontal fillet welds.
An 0.045 (1.2 mm) wire and
argon - 10% CO2 is used. To meet your weld production needs you need
to attain a minimum weld travel speed of 40 ipm. Provide the
Wire Feed Speed____ inch/min. Required Amps ____ Volts___.
Robot weld production is greatly influenced by robot down time.
The robot cells are on average going through three to six contact tips each day. The robot welds 1/4 (6mm)
using an 0.045 MIG wire and
argon - 10% CO2. The wire feed data is
280 inch/min (7 m/min) with 25 weld volts.
Why is this company having daily contact tip issues?
 Weld automation is rarely optimized if automated MIG or flux cored weld parameters are poorly understood.
A mechanized weld carriage or a robot is used to
weld a 1/4 (6mm), horizontal fillet weld with an 0.045 (1.2mm)
E71T-1 flux cored
wire and argon 20% CO2. Provide the flux cored;
Wire Feed Rate____Weld Travel Rate____Weld Voltage____.
 Can the weld shop profits be maximized in a weld shop that does not understand the real cost of a weld?
What is the MIG weld cost for a weld application which has
a total of 6 feet of weld (1.5 meters) of 1/4 (6 mm) horizontal fillet welds on each part. The part is welded with the common 0.045 (1.2mm) MIG wire. This wire cost $1 /lb. The argon - CO2 gas mix cost is $40 per-cyl.
The wire feed rate used is 420 inch/min with 30 volts. The welders have an
overhead rate of
$40 / hr. The MIG welders average arc on time is 30 minutes per-hr.
Gas shielded flux cored wire will not be optimized unless the parameters are understood.
Welding 1/4 (6.4 mm) structural carbon steel parts with an 0.045 (1.2mm) E71T-1 flux cored wire. The weld position is vertical up. The gas mix is argon - 25% CO2. Without asking the sales rep, provide the optimum wire feed, amps and voltage for the welder.
Fine tuning MIG or flux cored welds is an essential requirement for anyone responsible for the welds.
This company has an automated Bug O type weld unit that runs on a track, (or the application could be robot weld). The MIG Spray Transfer weld is oversize.
Without touching the wire feed rate, you increase the weld travel rate by 20%.
What will you have to do to the weld voltage and explain why?
 So many companies use this poor MIG gas mix.
The weld shop is using Helium Tri Mixes (90 He - 7.5 Argon - 2.5 CO2) for MIG welding thin gage <3 mm stainless. As the new weld shop decision maker you have to advice why this expensive MIG gas mix has been the wrong choice?
 An important part of weld cost is the time spent cleaning those welds.
The weld shop is using MIG Spray and Pulsed MIG and weld spatter is in abundance. The weld decision maker is about to demonstrate how to get rid of most of the weld spatter. What will he adjust adjust and why?
 The weld shop welds thin gauge parts with short circuit (SC) and have extensive weld spatter. To get rid of the SC spatter, what parameters have to be adjusted and why? The same weld shop then welds using MIG spray transfer and also get spatter. As the weld decision, you have to explain why in contrast to the SC welds, you are about to make opposite weld parameter adjustments.
 In the robot cell a glob of weld on the wire tip is causing poor arc starts and effecting the robot weld production.
At the end of the robot welds there is a large melted glob on the end of the weld wire. The glob is causing robot arc start issues. Explain how the glob causes the problems and how you will get rid of the globs?
Note: A reasonable question. Are the above weld process control questions relevant to the weld quality, productivity and costs in a weld shop, and just as important are the questions relevant to your weld career? If you had
difficulty with the fundamental MIG and Flux Cored weld process questions, don't feel frustrated,
after all, for more than six decades the weld industry and most weld educators have
placed minimal focus on the subject of weld process controls. The solutions are available in the training section of this site.
Ed's MIG Weld Process Controls & Best Practice Test.
Ed's Flux Cored Weld Process Control & Best Weld Practice Test.
You may know a weld manager, engineer or supervisor like this.
will be that manager, engineer, supervisor or technician that daily has their head buried in the sand. This is the weld decision maker who takes no ownership for the companies weld equipment and processes. This guy actually believes that
MIG and flux cored welders need to "play around" with their weld controls and his companies daily weld quality
and productivity depends on the temperament and artistic skill levels of each welder. This guy (most women would have more sense) will get most of his weld questions addressed by the local sales rep. This is that weld decision maker who believes that weld productivity
is measured by how long the welder's hood is down, and never has had a clue about the cost of the welds he is supposed to be responsible for.
you ask these weld decision makers about their weld costs, they typically want to discuss the
cost of the weld wires and gas mixes.
 When you ask these weld decision makers about their weld issues, they will
not think twice about calling the local weld sales
rep for advice. They will have no problem spending unnecessary
dollars on the latest (useless) three part gas mixes, or on costly pulsed MIG equipment that is typically loaded with
ineffective electronic bells and whistles.
These are the weld decision makers who will daily accept inconsistent, manual, weld quality and unacceptable
productivity as being the norm.
Or you may know a weld decision maker like this:
These will be the weld decision makers who are tired with the daily, futile finger pointing, typically directed at those who are not responsible for the ever changing weld shop issues. These guys will also be fed up with the time wasting useless, too frequent weld meetings, in which BS is the norm, and practical, cost effective weld solutions are rare.
 These will be the individuals who are frustrated
that their so called experienced weld personnel have to "play around" with the
decades old, two control, MIG and Flux Cored weld processes.
 These will be the guys who no longer want to read weekly
reports full of excuses for the inconsistent, robot or manual, MIG flux cored
weld quality and productivity.
 These are the weld decision makers that know that optimum MIG - Flux Cored weld process
comes from the plants that will have the ability to establish uniform Best Weld Practices and Weld Process Controls.
These weld decision makers will
know that to achieve optimum weld quality - productivity, their employees need more than weld skills, they need MIG - FCA weld process control training. Click here for my Weld Best Practice - Process Control Resources.
Note: You should not be in this industry if you don't have an open mind, a sense of humor, and very very thick skin
hope you are not upset with the messenger at this site and that you are focused on the message. I hope weldreality.com can be a catalyst for progressive, cost effective weld
for your organization. I also hope that my information and opinions will encourage managers, engineers, technicians
and supervisors towards Weld Process Ownership. The info at this site can dramatically reduce most of the common MIG / Flux Cored
weld process issues, the too common weld myths, the process - consumable weld confusion, and the too frequent sales reliance that's common for most global
MIG weld shops.
EXON - HALIBURTON - GM
- ROLLS ROYCE - IMPERIAL OIL - FORD - CHRYSLER HARLEY - DANA - MAGNA - TENNECO - VOLVO - TOYOTA
- HONDA - IMPERIAL OIL - COMBUSTION ENGINEERING
- GENERAL ELECTRIC - CATERPILLAR - JOHN DEERE - MERCEDES - DOW CHEMICAL - BABCOCK - ABB
- GENERAL DYNAMICS -
VW - TEXTRON - INGERSOLL
RAND and ESSO are just a few companies that utilized Ed's robot / manual process
control services, expertise or training resources.
Ed Craig provides weld process quality / productivity solutions for a reasonable fee.
Ed's Robot and Manual MIG and Flux Cored Weld Process Control Training power point presentation should be provided to all personnel involved in the weld process and involved in weld process decisions. This list starts with the management, engineers, supervisors, technicians and QA personnel and of course all the weld shop personnel.
When everyone in the weld department walks the same welding path and training is provided, Uniform Best Weld Practices and Weld Process Controls can be implemented and the following should result.
 All robot or manual pre-qualified weld procedures will provide data that deal with all the
real world parts and the weld variables that will influence the daily weld quality and productivity.
 Optimum, shop floor Weld Manufacturing and Weld Instructions
will presented. The management will ensure that these instructions will be adhered to and always highly visible.
 All weld personnel will be aware of how to instantly set optimum MIG and flux cored weld data for any weld, any alloy, any wire, any weld issue. The change in the weld setting will be made without the weld personnel "playing around" with the weld parameters.
 Daily weld clean up and weld rework will become miniscule and unacceptable.
 Managers, supervisors or any weld decision maker will know the real cost of the common welds they daily produce.
All weld decision maker will be aware of their weld production capability in terms of the weld deposition rate potential and the weld travel speeds per their common weld applications.
It's not just the global Auto - Truck industries where there
great opportunity for weld quality - productivity improvements and dramatic weld cost reductions.
improvements in MIG - TIG and Flux Cored
quality and weld cost reductions, can
in the majority of global weld shops.
For Ed's Ship Yard, Oil Rig weld
issues section, click here.
The greatest potential for weld quality improvement and
reduction is found in every weld shop that employs many welders or uses many robots.
No one daily uses more MIG - Flux Cored weld wires than a ship yard or a facility building
oil - gas platforms.
 No one daily produces more weld defects or has higher weld repair costs than these industries.
If a person wanted to find extensive lack of management, supervision and engineering "weld process ownership", the first place they would visit would be the above facilities. The next place to visit would be an automotive or truck manufacturing plant. The good news for those are looking for career opportunities and advancement in these industries, to rise above the common weld management - engineering apathy and mediocrity all that person would have to do is get weld process control and best practice expertise, grow some balls and be ready to show how they could generate tremendous weld quality improvements and weld cost savings.
Ed's Flux Cored Weld Process Control & Best Weld Practice Test.
the weld cost section, take a look at the multi-million dollar cost savings, one
ship yard attained
using my one day flux cored process control weld training program.
As a weld process control expert, you should have the ability to instantly master any manual or automated weld equipment - consumables utilized, and without playing around with the controls, attain both optimum weld performance and productivity with all welds.
As a weld process control expert you know it's your responsibility to ensure the correct process control training is provided.
Imagine a weld shop in which all the weld personnel
are aware of the root causes of the manual / robot MIG and flux cored weld problems, and these employees have the
ability to provide instant, logical solutions to their weld issues, without playing around with the weld controls.
Imagine a weld shop in which all weld personnel understand the relationship between
the wire type, weld gas, wire diameter, weld transfer mode, part thickness and the weld deposition
rates and weld travel speeds required and the welders are also using the correct weld practices and techniques for the process and consumables utilized.
It's always "rare pleasure" to watch the weld personnel I have trained over the years when they act in a professional manner and instantly set optimum manual or robot weld parameters for their application.
Ed's MIG - Flux Cored Process Control Workshops:
For both Ford and and their tier one supplier Dana, this was a rare
opportunity for their unqualified managers, engineers and supervisors to witness consistent, optimum, robot MIG weld quality on the truck frame lines.
For both Ford and and their tier one supplier Dana, this was a rare
opportunity for their unqualified managers, engineers and supervisors to witness consistent, optimum, robot MIG weld quality on the truck frame lines.
A decade ago, my Robot Process MIG Weld Control training program dramatically improved the
weld quality and productivity
on the Ford F-150 truck frames. The F-150 is the world's biggest selling truck.
From Dana Weld Engineer To
Jan 2007: Ed. I wanted to send update about the E-Town Dana plant that you visited a few
years ago: As you know on your first visit to this plant, our robot lines were producing less than 40 truck
frames (Ford F-150) per-hour and the majority of the MIG robot welded frames required extensive weld rework. Thanks to your MIG Weld Process Control Training and
your consumable / parameter changes and recommendations, the results from our employees are today
staggering. Yesterday this plant hit very close to a record of 76
frames per hour. We now daily attain our average goal of more than one frame per-minute.
We had two recent weld audits. One weld audit had a total of two failures, and
the 2nd weld audit was the first 100% pass weld audit in the history of the Ford
F-150 line. Many thanks from a grateful Dana
R. G. Dana. Weld Eng. Note from Ed: It makes me happy to hear a robot welding success story like this, especially at Dana, where initially there was extensive management and engineering process ignorance, and
process control apathy with great resistance to the robot weld changes I recommended. The Dana - Ford truck frame weld quality and productivity results were eventually attained
through the weld process control and best practices training program I provided. This program is available in my Robot
/ Manual Weld Process Control Training programs located here.
With global MIG weld process confusion, it should be no
that there is GLOBAL
WELD GAS CONFUSION:
are approximately sixty MIG gas mixes available for MIG
applications, which is ridiculous as no more than four MIG gas mixes should be required.
The common global MIG gas mix selection confusion is simply a
reflection of the
global weld industries lack of MIG weld process control expertise.
If you are looking for the best MIG gas mix.
Note I developed four low cost MIG gas mixes
that provide real world weld benefits.
Note: Working in management with AGA,
Airgas. Praxair and Liquid
Carbonic. He developed and introduced four of the
top selling MIG gas mixes used today In North
MANUFACTURING AND WELD PROCESS EXPERTISE WOULD LIKELY SERVE COMPANIES BETTER THAN COMPLIANCE WITH INNEFECTIVE, ISO QUALITY STANDARDS:
A message to automotive management and engineers.
INSTEAD OF WASTING EXHORBANT COSTS AND VALUABLE MAN HOURS ON THOSE EUROPEAN GENERATED, BUREAUCRATIC AND OFTEN INNEFECTIVE, ISO QUALITY STANDARDS, MOST COMPANIES WOULD HAVE ACHIEVED SUPERIOR QUALITY RESULTS IF THE SENIOR MANAGEMENT HAD THE ABILITY TO HIRE 'QUALIFIED, HANDS ON MANAGERS WHO BELIEVE IN ACCEPTING OWNERSHIP AND RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE EQUIPMENT - EMPLOYEES THAY MANAGE'. OF COURSE THESE INDIVIDUALS WOULD ALSO HAVE THE UNUSUAL EXPERIENCE AND EXPERTISE NECESSARY TO TRAIN THEIR EMPLOYEES AND IMPLEMENT BEST PRACTICES.
For over two decades I've been reporting on the manual - robot weld issues generated by the apathetic, hands off, we accept no ownership weld management and engineers in the auto - truck industry.
Here we are in 2014, and GM, the world's largest auto - truck company will loose billions of dollars on recalls of close to 14 million vehicles, (equivalent of a good years production). The irony is few consumers are aware that for every vehicle recalled there are numerous others that have factory induced defects that never get reported. While some may argue that cars today are complex and therefore we should expect many issues, my argument would be that sending a space craft to mars is complex yet engineers and managers seem to be able to handle that little project. Every product that goes into a car or truck is managed and engineered by university qualified individuals who's job it is to see that the products they put into the vehicles conform to the design and manufacturing specifications.
To show that we don't have this lack of management - engineering ownership and accountably disease in North America, we are all aware of the quality issues with Mercedes, and Toyota is a product that at this time carries lesser quality expectations than it did a decade ago. This last week in May, Nissan reports it will have to replace hundreds of its Nissan Leaf battery cars because of missing welds. The Nissan recall is because a key front structural component has not been completely welded. The missing welds would weaken the front and make it less able to protect the car's occupants in a crash.
When those Big Three automotive corporate executives lined up in like sheared sheep to borrow billions from American
taxpayers to save their companies, a logical individual who knows this industry could have asked. Why does the auto industry, which
has one of the highest ratio of engineers to workers, annually create "billions of dollars" in rework, rejects, recalls, warranty and productivity issues?
these industries, millions of dollars are lost daily from robot
MIG weld rejects, excessive weld rework and poor robot weld production efficiency. We are all aware of the important role the MIG process plays in building a car, yet for approx. three decades, we have seen that the
majority of auto - truck plant managers and engineers seem to lack the ability to understand what they own and simply lack the ability to establish uniform Best MIG Weld Practices
and apply logical cost effective MIG Weld Process Controls to their plant's robot welds.
With automotive robot - manual MIG and resistance welds, it's not just the too common, missing vehicle welds that should be a consumer concern, it's the poor quality of many of the remaining welds that the customer never gets to see. The poor quality welds will for many generate serious consequences when that vehicle is involved in a collision.
Too many weld shops either have no weld job descriptions, or they provide poor job descriptions for anyone involved in the manual or robot welds.
quality and productivity issues will always be more numerous in weld shops in
which confused managers, surround themselves with confused supervisors, who are
surrounded by confused engineers, who have to be surrounded by confused employees. You can be sure these individuals will
get no assistance from their none existing, or poor job descriptions: A well run weld shop starts out with all weld personnel having job descriptions that clearly identify their required expertise and their responsibility and accountability for the daily weld quality - productivity attained.
When the blind leads the blind, you know things cannot be as smooth as they should be.
FOR DECADES, UNQUALIFIED AUTO / TRUCK PLANT MANAGERS ALLOWED UNQUALIFIED MAINTENANCE
MILLWRIGHTS AND ELECTRICIANS AND OTHER UNQUALIFIED PLANT PERSONNEL TO DAILY ADJUST THE
SO CALLED "PRE-QUALIFIED WELD PARAMETERS" ON THEIR ROBOT MIG WELDS.
every time I walk past the robot cells, some millwright or electrician from the
maintenance department is playing around with the robot weld data. For
heavens sake Joe, our experienced welders play around with their MIG controls. Do you seriously believe those guys in the maintenance department
with there 150 - 200 amp Miller MIG machine, have the MIG weld process control expertise
necessary to optimize robot MIG welds? By the way Joe, in case we ever get sued for faulty welds, perhaps you can tell me why are these unqualified guys are changing the so called, "pre-qualified
weld data" without engineering approval and new weld qualification?
If you are relatively new to the auto - truck industry take note that few Global MIG welding robots are well managed.
"The majority of the technicians and engineers who run robots in this industry are simply
"operating" not optimizing the equipment and the process. Any engineering survey would find that less than 5% of the personnel that daily make adjustments to the robot MIG weld programs are in full control of the robots or the process.
I made the above statement in a weld report that I provided to the Ford (Detroit) Frame plant management in the 1990s. It was futile message at that time as the managers and engineers running the plant simply did not understand the concept of weld process ownership and they also lacked the interest and knowledge to grasp the root cause of their daily robot MIG weld issues.
Below. Some of the work shop participants at one of Ed's 2007 workshops. The workshop was
"Seven Steps for Robot Weld Process
Wolf Robotics. Fort Collins. Colorado.
You can purchase Ed's Seven Step, Robot program for around $300. Any questions E-Mail Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- FORD - HARLEY - DANA - MAGNA - TENNECO - VOLVO - TOYOTA
- HONDA - IMPERIAL OIL -
- CATERPILLAR - JOHN DEERE - MERCEDES - DOW CHEMICAL - ESSO BABCOCK -
ABB - GENERAL
GENERAL ELECTRIC - VW - TEXTRON - INGERSOLL
The above, are just a few companies
that utilized my Weld training resources.
Thanks for sticking with it, I know it never ends, which is what happens to a person when they don't have a life.
The following is in the home page Section 2.
 Find out why the inspection approach of most QA weld managers is simply not cost effective.
 View the best inconel, stainless, pulsed MIG "clad" welds that have ever been made in North America.
Find out why so many companies that do code quality welds are stuck
in a 1960s weld time warp.
Find out why companies should not be using self shielded flux cored wires, when they want to attain quality welds and good mechanicals.
When the weld equipment and processes are not optimized you would think someone in management wants to generate change.
If you have any sense you don't make MIG welds like most Japanese manufacturing companies.
 Find out why the "robot weld team" is frequently a good resource for the management to water down and spread out what should be their role and responsibility.
 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.
Continue Home Page. Section. 2.
Or perhaps you are interested in seeing how easy it is to save millions of dollars with large weld fabrication projects take a look at the following;
HOW THIS SHIP YARD SAVED MILLIONS FROM WELD QUALITY - PRODUCTIVITY IMPROVEMENTS:
HOW THIS OIL COMPANY SAVED MILLIONS EACH YEAR FROM INCREASED PIPE WELD PRODUCTIVITY. Click here.
Low wages yet management pays ridiculous
prices for useless MIG equipment.
Asian management loves to waste money on useless
MIG weld equipment electronic bells & whistles.
Visit Ed's Process Training Resources.
Please don't leave this site without checking Ed's MIG- Flux Cored
weld practices and weld process controls resources.
Whats in Home Page Section TWO.
Why Dow Chemical often looks like it's stuck in a 1960s weld time warp.
Magna uses Ed's Robot Process Control Training program.
What do ship yards and auto plants have in common?
Why the common QA weld inspection practice often fail.
When the robot welds are difficult this USA Big Three company ships the parts to Mexico.
FEMA the weld joke.
Would this be Einsteins Theory on MIG welding?
One prime reason the North Ridge welds failed during the earth quake.
More Motoman weld issues.
Another reason many robot weld managers have raised the white flag.
Why the Volvo manger was wrong to want to hire skilled welders to run his robots. (page 3)
Eds Process Control Best Weld
Practice Training Resources.
All weld and steel Programs.