information on this site is critical of the too frequent, inappropriate, sales
practices that often bring disrespect and confusion to the welding industry.
If you have been in this industry for decades, you will know that when it comes
to "MIG" the worlds most important welding process, that advances in
welding equipment and consumable weld technology are too frequently a figment
of a weld equipment, marketing managers imagination.
In a time when weld
automation is becoming more important than manual welding, many MIG customers
are taking all the manual weld shop myths and diseases of the last five decades
and placing them in the robot welding cells. Too add to the extensive weld contamination,
some of the major weld equipment and consumable manufactures who in reality bear
a great responsibility for the majority of weld shop myths are now with the aid
of electronics and marketing propaganda adding more useless bell and whistles
with exaggerated product claims to their welding products. The bottom line, look
forward to another decade of weld shop chaos and confusion.
LAST PULSED APPLICATION IN THE YEAR 2000:
only fitting that my last weld consulting job in the year 2000, would be working
with "pulsed" MIG equipment at a GM plant in Ohio.
was simple. A new multi-million dollar production line set up to automatically
weld torque converters. The problems generated, [a] A 2% leak rate from the multi
MIG welds, and [b] excess weld heat from the multi-torch operation caused production
assembly issues. Four days into my visit the 2% reject figure was reduced to "0%"
the weld heat problems was eliminated, and as a bonus I gave them 15% more production.
What I found
interesting about the costly, high volume installation, was the two weld production
lines used six Lincoln Power Wave power sources. The lines were not yet in the
production mode, yet the plant engineers informed me that four of the six pulsed
power sources had already been replaced.
As a matter of weld interest,
the pulsed mode was found not ideal for the application, (numerous, costly pulsed
power sources are purchased in North America and the pulsed modes are never used).
The bottom line the weld application was welded with spray transfer which was
found to be more stable than the pulsed mode.
If the lower cost, traditional, more durable Lincoln CV 400 power sources had
been purchased, I know several GM engineers that today would have more respect
for the red welding equipment.
WELD UNIVERSITY FIASCO
the last five decades the gas metal arc weld process, (commonly called MIG) has
been the worlds most important welding process. This process along with flux cored
wires now account for more than 80% of the welds produced daily in manufacturing
shops. The traditional MIG equipment typically requires no more than two controls.
It's a sad weld reality that most of the universities and colleges in
North America that offer welding degrees, placed little emphasis on teaching the
potential weld engineers and technicians the ability to establish effective MIG
or flux cored weld process controls.
At many universities that teach
welding, too much time is often spent on classroom text book weld processes
such as laser or electron-beam. These interesting, black board, high tech processes
account for a fraction of one percent of the daily welds produced in industrial
If more practical and classroom time was spent on MIG, flux
cored and resistance weld process controls, the automotive and weld manufacturing
industry would generate hundreds of millions of dollars daily through improved
welding productivity and quality. Unfortunately this is not likely to happen in
the short term, the reasons; few universities or colleges hire engineering department
heads, with the practical technical ability to recognize what the manufacturing
universities or colleges do not recognize the technical process expertise required
by professors and teachers to implement weld process controls. The bottom line
the emphasis in teaching weld engineers will likely stay on traditional classroom
topics such as metallurgy or NDT combined with instruction on, how to produce
an electron beam weld.