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Sheet Metal MIG Welds Made Simple.




www.weldreality.com
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Carbon and Alloy steel MIG welds
on thin gage parts, < 4 mm.

 

Selecting the correct weld transfer mode is
important with the multi-mode MIG process

Short circuit welding when to use it ?


The above actually happened because the USA plant management and engineers responsible for the bomb lug mfg - welds, did not understand or take ownership of the weld process and equipment used in their plant.

 


Please refresh this page as it's updated frequently.
Written by Ed Craig. E-mail ecraig@weldreality.com.



Car Seat MIG Welds, SC - Spray or Pulsed?



When I reset the new VW Beetle seat welds, at the plant in Mexico, I ignored the way the VW engineers had made the prototype seat welds at their facilities in Germany. I changed the seat tube welds from Short Circuit welds, to low Spray & controlled Globular. At the plant meeting the German managers and engineers came with some serious attitude (no surprise) about my robot changes. The engineers and managers complained that I had some nerve to make changes to their welds. They soon shut up, when revealed the macro sections of their welds and my welds. My welds revealed dramatic improvements in the robot weld quality, and an added bonus, I provided them with a 40 % decrease in the robot seat weld cycle time. Read the rest of the story in the robot section, By the way that's not the VW photo above.

 

 

As the pulsed MIG process painfully evolved over more than two decades, the utilization of short circuit, (SC) has decreased for gauge, carbon steel applications. The weld reality is that in contrast to pulsed MIG, the lower cost, more durable, traditional CV MIG equipment, that offers short circuit - globular and Spray welding can offer many unique superior weld attributes for most thin gage steels and alloy applications.

Note: This web site has been a weld blog a decade before the word blog was discovered. The programs at this site eliminate the salesmanship from an industry that is too often dependant on sales advice, an industry in which the majority of weld decision makers " play around" with their 50 year old, simple weld controls.

This site provides the weld process control - best weld practice expertise, that I gained over 50 years, and the site also brings the opinions of other weld personnel that strive to see this technical industry, gain the respect it deserves.


As this SC video shows when it was made > 20 yrs ago.
Short Circuit produces spatter free welds.




short circuit welding diagramDuring short circuit weld transfer, unlike the open arc pulsed, globular, or spray transfer modes, the unique short circuit arc spends 50% of it's time in the "arc off" condition.

When the electrode positive, SC weld wire makes contact with the negative grounded part,
it's in the "arc off" condition. This cold weld condition, is controlled by the power source slope.

With the MIG wire short circuit to the work, the resistance to the current drops and therefore the weld voltage drops. With the relatively steep slope, that voltage drop enables the current to rise (not too much) to the slopes limit. That high SC current rise is sufficient to melt the wire tip and the resulting drop is driven into the weld pool when again an arc forms and a slight explosive (crackle) sound occurs.

As the short circuit wire feed is constant, the hot molten weld droplet being formed is again driven to the fluid weld surface. The SC weld droplet is detached and the wire is driven to the weld to repeat the arc off, arc on cycle which typically occurs on average 60 - 100 times per-second, this produces that crisp crackle sound.

Note: With argon gas mixes, the argon mix gas plasma (as indicated in the video below) partially covers the fluid droplet during it's formation. In contrast, when using straight CO2, the CO2 plasma would be at the bottom of the weld droplet, therefore straigh CO2 supports the weld drop, disturbing the drop till it gets larger and then transfers in an erratic globular manner. (softer plopping sound)



A UNIQUE ATTRIBUTE SHORT CIRCUIT TRANSFER:
Remember with that low cost CV MIG power source you have with SC, a unique weld transfer mode in which the arc goes "On and Off".

That "arc on - arc off" SC weld attribute, is a desirable weld benefit for gage applications or any welds that have a gap, (great for steel rotated pipe root welds)..

If welding stainless and steel thin gauge applications, short circuit is again an excellent weld transfer mode, however the stainless alloys produce much more sluggish welds than carbon steel welds. The sluggish welds welds are especially noted on stainless welds on parts > 0.080.


THERE IS A LOT OF INFO AT THIS SITE, HOWEVER IF YOU WANT TO BE A MIG - FLUX CORED WELD PROCESS CONTROL EXPERT, THE REAL GOLD IS HERE.


If you weld > 14 gage welds and the highest weld quality, the least distortion, the cleanest welds and the least weld fumes are things on your list consider a process , that I and my buisness partner introduced to North America. Its called TIP TIG. www.tiptigusa.com.



TIG Welding Brochure




REGULAR TIG VERSUS TIP TIG:


REGULAR TIG IS VERY SLOW AND PUTS IN HIGH WELD HEAT.
Note: PLAY THIS VIDEO FIRST
YOU COULD GET ON WITH YOUR LIFE, REDUCE YOUR TIG WELD COSTS. MAKE HIGH QUALITY WELDS LIKE THIS WITH MUCH LESS HEAT THAN TIG.
REGULAR TIG: Play this video first: Regular TIG typical manual weld speeds for these welds is 4 to 7 inch/min.


The TIG arc on time for this 12 inch weld would be around 2- 3 minutes. Take a look at the irregular weld quality influenced by too many arc start / stops, and take special note of the large heat affected zone that's going to create distortion concerns.


Someone can always do a better TIG weld than this but it will never match the quality and productivity attained with TIP TIG.


TIP TIG: Manual TIP TIG weld travel rate
48 inch/ min as noted on the UTube second counter with this 12 inch length of 3 mm weld made with an arc on time of 15 seconds:

Note the uniform weld quality that comes from the constant wire feed rate and only one arc start / stop. Examine the smooth clean, unoxidized weld surface, the very small HAZ and lack of weld distortion and weld minimal fumes. Think about the savings that will results from less cleaning.

From welding small, long track, 3 mm fillet welds on the deck of an Aircraft Carrier to the small size stainless welds typically found on food and beverage / processing equipment, no other weld process can provide long, small size gage welds with the TIP TIG quality and the lowest possible weld heat input.



THE WELD PROFESSIONAL KNOWS WHEN TO CHANGE THE WELD TRANSFER MODE TO EITHER A HIGHER ENERGY OR LOWER ENERGY MODE.

On robot stainless gauge applications > 0.070, thanks to the increased weld speed potential, low spray parameters and an 0.035 wire can be used. Pulsed MIG with 0.045 wire is also applicable, but not necessary, when manual welding > 16 gauge stainless parts.

Note the weld process controls required for MIG and flux cored welds is right here.

,
A Short Circuit and Pulsed Transfer Weld Consideration. Short circuit weld transfer available from that low cost, constant voltage, traditional MIG power source, with an 0.035 (1mm) wire, is suited for all manual steel and alloy applications from 20 to 12 gauge.


Note: A benefit of the Pulsed MIG mode for some > 16 gauge applications is the lower cost, easier to feed, 0.045 (1.2 mm) carbon steel or stainless wire may be used instead of the 0.035 (1 mm) wire. The 0.045 wire provides a little more deposition which may can be beneficial when larger welds are required on specific thin parts. As a lower cost weld equipment alternative you could take regular, much lower cost CV MIG equipment and set that 0.045 in the SC and controlled globular modes and achieve similar deposition as the pulsed MIG..

 


Designers, manufacturing engineers, managers, supervisors and technicians of gage MIG applications, often suffer from a lack of MIG weld process knowledge that can lead to dramatic weld cost consequences.

When welding thin, carbon steels - stainless robot welds parts < 2mm, you may find;

[a] unacceptable part part tolerances,
[b] unacceptable weld gaps,
[c] poor part fixtures,
[d] inappropriate weld joint designs,
[e] poor consumable wire size selection and weld equipment with poor performance,
[f] poor weld parameters and poor technique.

Of course items A to F, may lead to weld rework and weld cost ramifications. Common gage issues are weld burn through, distortion, spatter which can lead to weld rejects or rework. To add to the thin gauge weld issues, it's a sad fact that the majority many automotive and truck manufacturing plants that use MIG welding robots, lack the engineering ability to select the correct size MIG wire or the optimum weld transfer mode for the application.

Every plant that manually or robot welds gage parts should consider this resource.



THE COMMON LACK OF ROBOT WELD PROCESS CONTROL
IS OFTEN IN THAT PULSED POWER SOURCE. .

 

PULSED MIG. ROBOT GAGE WELDS, INSTABILITY & INCONSISTENCY..
Lets say that you are pulsed MIG welding thin steel parts that are 18 gage to 14 gage. The welds are typically less than 2 inch < 50 mm) in length. You have a robot weld cell producing the thin parts and the weld data is rarely changed, yet each part produced has very different looking welds. Believe it or not the solution to this common inconsistent weld issue, is to change to the welds to an optimum SC setting.

The weld reality with that pulsed MIG mode, is there is great electronic complexity required by the Pulsed MIG power source to try to provide in a consistent, stable manner, uninterrupted pulsed weld drops over a controlled length arc gap. And as I discuss in my pulsed MIG section, and in my MIG equipment evaluation section, pulsed MIG power sources simply don't have the capability to produce the weld consistency that specific welds may require. Also, when you add in the short weld cycle time that are common with most thin gage welds, the weld time is often is less than 5 seconds. In a short arc on time, that pulsed MIG weld may be trying to provide three sets of very different weld start - weld - and weld end data.

As for the SC mode (below). In contrast to pulsed this is a much less sophisticated weld transfer. The SC wire simply drives into the weld and the wire to ground contact creates that short circuit that enables a weld drop to detache. With this transfer arc length is not a consideration unless the voltage is set too high. To see the weld difference simply set that 0.035 or 0.045 wire at its weld parameter sweet spot. And this brings up the question of how many weld personel could now provide the SC sweet spot weld data for the robot. My robot and manual MIG process control training programs, provide this information including the optimum weld start - weld end data for all Robot MIG welds..

On certain weld, SC can often provide
superior weld stability than pulsed.

SC transfer, when optimum SC parameters are utilized.




Ed optimized robot and manual welds for hundreds of companies in 13 countries. A few of his weld improvement projects.

FORD F 150 FRAMES - VOLVO TRUCK CABS - CORVETTE FRAMES- HARLEY - BIKE FRAMES - NEW BEETLE - MERCEDES CAR SEATS, AND ROBOT WELDS ON BOILER WALLS, OIL RIGS AND THE WORLD'S LARGEST CATERPILLAR TRUCKS.

 






Numerous Fortune 500 companies have used Ed's manual and robot
MIG Process Control Training Programs

 


STEEL GAGE CHART.
Optimum MIG wire size & weld gas mix.

Gauge to inch conversion

GAUGE 3 = 0.239 inch O.6 cm
GAUGE 4 = 0.224 inch 0.56 cm

CONSIDER 0.045 (1.2 mm) WIRE. ARGON-10-15 C02 FOR THESE MANUAL / ROBOT SPRAY / PULSED WELDS.



GAUGE 5 = 0.209 inch 0.53 cm
GAUGE 6 = 0.194 inch 0.49 cm

CONSIDER 0.035 (1 mm) WIRE.
ARGON-10-15% C02 FOR MANUAL / ROBOT SPRAY. IF USING PULSED USED
AN 0.045 WIRE WITH THE SAME GAS MIXES.

GAUGE 7 = 0.179 inch 0.45 cm
GAUGE 8 = 0.164 inch 0.41 cm

CONSIDER 0.035 (1 mm) WIRE. ARGON 5-10% C02 OR ARGON 2 TO 5% OXYGEN FOR THIS MANUAL / ROBOT SPRAY WELD . IF USING PULSED USED AN 0.045 WIRE WITH THE SAME GAS MIXES


GAUGE 9 = 0.15 inch 0.37 cm
GAUGE 10 = 0.135 inch 0.34 cm

CONSIDER 0.035 1 mm WIRE.
ARGON 5-10% C02 OR 2 TO 5% OXYGEN FOR THIS MANUAL / ROBOT SPRAY WELD. IF USING PULSED USED AN 0.045 WIRE WITH THE SAME GAS MIXES
,


GAUGE 11 = 0.12 inch 0.3 cm
GAUGE 12 = 0.105 inch 0.26 cm

CONSIDER 0.035 1 mm WIRE ARGON 15-20% C02 FOR THIS MANUAL SHORT CIRCUIT GAUGE. THIS CAN ALSO BE SPRAY OR PULSED SPRAY WELDED WITH A ROBOT USING THE 035 WIRE AND 5 -10% CO2 OR 2-5 OXYGEN. IF USING PULSED USE AN 045 WIRE WITH 5 TO 10 CO2.


GAUGE 13 = 0.09 inch 0.22 cm
GAUGE 14 = 0.075 inch 0.19 cm

CONSIDER 0.035 1 mm WIRE.
ARGON 15-20% C02 FOR THIS MANUAL SHORT CIRCUIT GAUGE. THIS CAN ALSO BE SPRAY WELDED WITH A ROBOT USING 5 -10% CO2 OR 2-5 OXYGEN. IF USING PULSED USED AND 0.045 WIRE WITH THE SAME GAS MIXES

GAUGE 15 = 0.067 inch 0.17 cm
GAUGE 16 = 0.06 inch 0.15 cm

CONSIDER O.035 (1 mm) WIRE ARGON 5- 10% C02 FOR THIS SHORT CIRCUIT GAUGE. IF USING PULSED USE AN 045 WIRE AND 10 CO2.


GAUGE 17 = 0.054 inch 0.13 cm
GAUGE 18 = 0.048 inch 0.12 cm

CONSIDER 0.035 1 mm WIRE.
ARGON 5-10% C02 FOR THIS SHORT CIRCUIT GAUGE. IF USING PULSED USE AN 0.045 WIRE WITH THE SAME GAS MIXES


GAUGE 19 = 0.042 inch 0.11 cm
GAUGE 20 = 0.035 inch 0.08 cm


CONSIDER 0.035 1 mm WIRE ARGON 5 TO 10 CO2 / ARGON 2% Oxy FOR THIS SHORT CIRCUIT GAUGE. USING PULSED USE AN 045 WIRE AND LOW ENERGY ARGON 5 TO 10 CO2.
GAUGE 21 = 0.033 inch 0.08 cm
GAUGE 22 = 0.03 inch 0.07 cm


CONSIDER 0.030 0.8 mm WIRE ARGON 5% OXYGEN FOR THIS SHORT CIRCUIT. USING PULSED? USE AN 035 WIRE WITH THE SAME ARGON OXY MIX GAUGE


GAUGE 23 = 0.027 inch 0.06 cm
GAUGE 24 = 0.024 inch 0.06 cm

CONSIDER 0.030 (0.8 mm) WIRE ARGON 5% OXYGEN FOR THIS SHORT CIRCUIT GAUGE, BE CONCERNED ABOUT WIRE FEED ISSUES WITH 030. USING PULSED? USE AN 0.035 WIRE WITH THE SAME ARGON OXY MIX...



Note: When MIG welding
STAINLESS STL WELDS?

USE THE SAME WELD RECOMMENDATIONS EXCEPT
CHANGE THE GAS MIX TO
ARGON 2 to 4% CO2.
 



E-mail. Weld Question, 06 /20/03

Hi Ed, I would like to know what the critical factors are that determine short circuit weld fusion. I often wonder if short circuit transfer simply won't put heat into the base metal fast enough to achieve fusion on anything greater than gauge thickness. Right now I have a single phase, Miller 185 amp power source and we use 0.035 wire. We weld steels for architectural work, balconies, railings, etc. Typically we weld 1/2 to 3/4 inch, thin, square tubes. Most of our welds appear to be in the globular mode. I don't think the Miller 185 will get me into spray transfer and am trying to decide if a 250 amp MIG power source is the solution. We are currently stuck with single phase power. What is your take on all this?

Regards, Erik Lander.


Ed's reply.

Erik, with any MIG weld, the first thing the weld decion maker gives consideration to, is the compatability of the weld mode selected with the part thickness.

with a manual, short circuit weld, you should have concerns for weld fusion on components that are over 3.5 mm, and consider with the 2 - 4 mm parts using the start point of spray settings with an 0.035 wire, and similar current with the pulsed mode and an 0.045 wire.

SOME OF YOU MAY BE WONDERING WHAT THE START POINT OF SPRAY IS WITH THE 0.035 WIRE. THATS WHAT MY TRAIN RESOURCES PROVIDES ANSWERS TO.

Using argon with 10 to 20% CO2, the best SC wire size is 0.035 (1 mm). This wire will require > 200 amps to attain optimum spray transfer. By the way that's why the 250 amp, CV power source is a popular choice for sheet metal shops. With your low current power source, I dont know what the max amps out put is, however you could achieve a lower spray transition current if you used an argon oxygen 2 - 5% oxy mix, or use argon - 5%CO2 which would be less oxidizing. Gas mix info for all gage welds is available in this section of the site..

With argon oxy mixes, you attain spray at approx. 180 - 185 amps, however, these argon oxy gas mixes are not suited for short circuit transfer as you are reducing the SC weld energy. If you really want to get into spray with argon CO2 mixes on your power source, you would have to use an 0.030 (0.8mm) MIG wire, however I would not recommend that as you could then expect wire feed issues with this small wire.

Another solution to increased utilization of your low amps MIG power source, is when welding carbon steel welds, consider an 0.035, E71T-1, gas shielded flux cored wire, with argon - 20 - 25 % CO2. With these consumables and your small power source you could weld any metal thickness in any position. By the way the web has plenty of second hand, higher amp, MIG equip available. Good luck Ed.

 



What the macro reveals with that MIG weld, is too often
the unknown scourge of the weld industry.



If every MIG weld in North America was sectioned
the majority would reveal lack of fusion.

 

 


Robot and manual MIG weld can have
dramatic process differences

As robots move faster in a controlled manner and can provide controlled weld weaves, the weld decision maker will be aware that the MIG weldi data recommendations can change dramatically when changing from manual to robot welds.

In contrast to manual MIG welds, when welding thin gage applications with robots, the welds typically can be made with "much higher weld travel speeds" which also allows higher weld current settings, or different weld transfer mode options.

Pulsed spray transfer " typically allows robot welds to be made on carbon steel or alloy steels in the thickness range of 0.045 (> 1.2 mm) to any thickness.

Robot welds using 0.035 (1mm) wire with regular "spray transfer" set at low weld start spray parameters, can be used on parts as thin as > 0.070, >1.8mm. No weld gaps and short weld lengths preferred on this thickness.

Robot welds with an 0.035 wire and short circuit can weld parts > 1 mm, under 1 mm depending on the weld joint design and tolerances, the weld burn through risks are high,

Globular Benefit: For welding those exhaust components or bike frames that are poorly put together and end up with weld gaps, an alternative weld transfer mode to pulsed and short circuit is the globular transfer mode. For globular weld transfer use 0.035 wire typically set at 400 to 600 ipm ( 1 - 3 o'clock) with a weld voltage range of 20 to 24 volts. This mode provides low to medium weld energy at higher weld deposition than short circuit, and on round parts there is little area for the weld spatter to get attached.


MIG Welding and Short Circuit Welding Resource Manual
I believe that ever MIG decision makers will benefit from these 3 books.

[1] My MANUAL MIG & ROBOT WELD PROCESS CONTROL" book.

[2] MY "MANAGEMENT AND ENGINEERS GUIDE TO MIG" book.

[3] MY "MANUAL MIG & FLUX CORED PROCESS CONTROL" book.

Note: These books and my MIG self teaching / training video and process control programs are found in the training resources section of this site (click here).

My process control training resources, simplify the selection of optimum MIG wire feed and volt settings for all common electrode diameters used on manual and robot applications. The process control - best practice programs will provide your robot personnel and welders with the ability to instantly set the optimum MIG weld transfer modes and weld parameters for any steel application.

Two important steps for any weld shop.

[1] Avoid weld sales advice.

[2] Take a logical, process control approach, (taught here) in selecting the optimum MIG wire diameter for your applications.

Lets see. If we have traditional CV MIG equipment, the 0.035 or 0.040 (1 - 1.1mm) MIG wire diameters provide an optimum short circuit weld current range that is best suited for the common thin 20 - 12 gauge, steel and stainless applications. We should avoid using smaller MIG wires as they are not necessary and they can create wire feed issues, and pulsed with our more expensive MIG equipment, while an alternative mode is really not necessary.

OVERSIZE MIG WIRES & POOR WELD CONSUMABLE CHOICES:

For decades many process ignorant, auto and truck managers, supervisors and engineers, believed that when it comes to MIG welding, "the lower cost bigger MIG weld wires are more cost effective and will provide weld cost reductions" .

[] The use of oversize MIG wires for gage welds, is common in most auto = truck plants. The wires 0.045 - 0.052 - 0.062, (1.2 - 1.4 - 1.6 mm) require higher weld current than the more compatable 0.035 - 0.040 wires.

[] The use of self shielded flux cored wires is also common. Take note; These weld wires have no place in any plant in which desires consistent optimum weld quality.

[] While the majority of plants that use argon mixes utilize the E70S-6 wires. The weld reality is that the E70S-3 wires would have less oxides islands on the surface, less porosity and less undercut potential. Reducing oxides is important when welds are to be painted or coated.

To attain optimum weld transfer from the over sized diameter MIG wires requires high weld current and typically the current required will not be compatible with the gauge size welded. The bottom line is the auto industry needs managers who understand the importance of weld consumable selection, weld process controls and best weld practices.

My process control training programs both simplify and teach the best practices - process control requirements and anyone who can read English can present these programs.


MANY PLANTS WILL USE 0.045 (1.2mm) AND 0.052 (1.4mm) MIG WIRES WITH THEIR CV, SHORT CIRCUIT OR GLOBULAR MODES TO ROBOT WELD PARTS LESS THAN 0.100.THESE LARGE WIRES ARE THE FREQUENT CAUSE OF WELD BURN THROUGH, DISTORTION AND WELD REWORK ISSUES.

MANY PLANTS, ESPECIALLY AUTO / TRUCK FRAME PLANTS WILL ROBOT WELD PARTS 1 TO `4 mm AND USE AN 0.052 (1.4 mm) WIRE, YET THE SPRAY CURRENT WITH THESE WIRES IS BETTER SUITED TO WELDING PARTS > 5 mm




WELD PROCESS CONTROL EXPERTISE WAS NOT A
REQUIREMENT AT THE FORD ROBOT LINE.




AT THE INFAMOUS "QUALITY IS JOB 1" FORD FRAME PLANT IN DETROIT, ROBOT MIG WELDING ON THE TRUCK FRAMES WAS MORE OF A COMEDY SKIT THAN AN ENGINEERED, CONTROLLED FUNCTION.

THE FORD PLANT, IT'S ENGINEERS AND MANAGERS SIMPLY HAD NO UNDERSTANDING OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF ROBOT MIG WELD PROCESS CONTROLS, AND THE PLANT USED THE WRONG (OVERSIZED) MIG WIRE FOR THE TRUCK FRAME.

AT THE HEAVILY ENGINEERED FORD PLANT, YOU WOULD FIND BUCKET PERSONNEL AT THE END OF THE ROBOT LINES. THEIR JOB WAS TO USE A CHEAP SWEEPING BRUSH, DIP IT IN BUCKET CONTAINING YELLOW TYPE PAINT AND TRY TO MARK THE NUMEROUS BAD WELDS ON EACH FRAME AS THEY PASSED AT THE RATE OF ONE A MINUTE. THIS PLANT AND OTHER FORD FACILITIES HAS FOR DECADES HAD THE PROUD ENGINEERING ACHIEVEMENT OF NEVER PRODUCING A ROBOT WELDED FRAME, WITHOUT MOST WELDS REQUIRING WELD REWORK.


WHEN OVERSIZE MIG WIRES ARE UTILIZED, THESE WIRES WILL OFTEN NOT ALLOW THE USE OF THE HIGH ENERGY SPRAY MODE, WHICH FOR MOST PLANTS WAS NOT A CONSIDERATION AS THE PLANTS DID NOT KNOW WHAT SPRAY TRANSFER WAS.

OFTEN WHEN THE OVERSIZED WELD WIRES ARE USED, THEY END UP BEING USED IN THE GLOBULAR TRANSFER MODE. GLOBULAR WELD TRANSFER WAS VERY COMMON AT FORD, GM, DANA, TOWER AND MOST CHRYSLER PLANTS. THE GLOBULAR MIG WELDS WILL TYPICALLY LACK WELD FUSION, CAUSE EXCESS SPATTER AND CAUSE CONTACT TIP ISSUES RESULTING IN EXCESS WELD REWORK AND ROBOT DOWN TIME.

MIG Wire Facts: Welding carbon steels or stainless steels with an 0.035 to 0.045 (0.9 to 1.2 mm), MIG wire, and the short circuit transfer on most applications is found in the weld current range of approx. 80 to 190 amps.

Optimum short circuit transfer with 0.035 (0.9mm) wires is typically found between 100 and 180 amps with a voltage range of 15 to 18 weld volts. These settings provide optimum weld results on parts < 0.100.

On the applications that utilize the 0.035 wires in the optimum short circuit current range, pulsed MIG using an 0.045 wire can also be used with similar or slightly higher weld current and deposition rates.


If plants use self sielded flux cored wires, it's an indication that the management and engineers need to look for another job, working with something that they understand.

SELF SHIELDED FLUX CORED WIRES AND WELD PROCESS IGNORANCE
BY CHRYSLER, CAUSED MILLIONS IN UNNECESSARY WELD COSTS:

 

2006: WHEN I SEE SELF SHIELDED, (SS) FLUX CORED WIRES USED IN ROBOT CELLS, OR WITH ANY MANUAL INDOOR WELD APPLICATION, APART FROM WANTING TO THROW UP AND HOLD MY NOSE TO AVOID THE DANGEROUS AFFECTS OF THE OBNOXIOUS WELD FUMES, I ALASO WILL KNOW THE PLANT HAS NO CONCEPT OF WHAT WELD QUALITY MEANS, AND THAT THE MANAGERS AND ENGINEERS THAT APPROVED THIS WELD PROCESS SHOULD BE FIRED

AT THE TIME I A WROTE THIS, BOTH CHRYSLER AND GM MANAGEMENT WERE REQUESTING THE USE OF THE SS WIRES FOR THEIR GALVANEALED PARTS, WHICH WAS IRONIC AS THE SS WIRES OFFER NO WELD BENEFITS FOR GALVANEALED OR GALVANIZED WELDS.

THANKS TO THE NUMEROUS WELD ISSUES THAT THE SS WIRES GENERATE, THE SS WIRES EACH YEAR, COST CORPORATIONS MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN;
[a] LOSS OF ROBOT OR MANUAL WELD PRODUCTIVITY,
[b] EXCESS WELD PART REJECTS,
[c] EXCESS WELD REWORK.
[d] EXCESS WELD CLEAN UP.
[e] EVEN THE GOOD WELDS ARE TOO OFTEN QUESTIONABLE.

WITH THE SS WIRES, EMPLOYEE TURN OVER IS CAN BE HIGH AS A RESULT OF THE DANGEROUS WELD FUMES. THE BOTTOM LINE IS WORKERS WHO ARE MADE TO USE THE SS WIRES HAVE A GOOD CASE TO TAKE LEGAL ACTION. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE POOR CHRYSLER AND GM MANAGEMENT DECISIONS TO USE THESE WIRES, CHECK HERE HERE..


PULSED INFO. In contrast to the "arc on - arc off", short circuit transfer mode, the pulsed mode is an "open arc" mode that delivers the droplets across the open arc sometimes in a consistent transfer. The consistent transfer is derived if you purchased one of the rare pulsed power sources that actually works in a consistent manner.

In contrast to short circuit transfer set at 150 amps, the OPEN ARC pulsed process set at
150 amps will deliver a weld with greater weld energy.

Note: If you were producing manual or robot short circuit welds at 180 amps and you want to try an 0.045 and the pulsed process, I would start the pulsed weld at 160 amps, then adjust.

Optimum Short Circuit Transfer and Pulsed MIG Wire Diameter Selection for Gauge Applications.

CV Regular MIG Equipment. The best two MIG wire diameters for short circuit transfer are 0.035 and 0.040 (0.9 and 1.1 mm). In industrial shops, there is simply no justification for the use of smaller weld wires and if the typical thickness worked on does not exceed 7 mm there is no justification for larger wires...

Pulsed MIG The best MIG wire diameter for all carbon steels, stainless and aluminum gauge applications is the 0.045 (1.2 mm) wire.


When companies lack MIG weld process control expertise,
it's rare that optimum weld consumables will be utilized.


THE UNIQUE, E70S-3, HARDLY UTILIZED "0.040" MIG WELD WIRE, IS A WIRE THE AUTOMOTIVE WELD INDUSTRY SHOULD HAVE BEEN USING FOR AT LEAST THREE DECADES:


Using traditional MIG CV equipment: If you could get your hands on the 0.040 (1.1 mm) wire, it would be the most practical choice for most robot and manual MIG short circuit and low current spray carbon and stainless applications in the 1.2 to 7 mm range.

The 0.040 MIG wire would require less current than the 0.045 wire which is especially beneficial for the 3 - 7 mm parts and the 040 wire would provide higher deposition and better feed ability than the 035 wire. The lack of use of this wire should be no surprise in a play around weld industry that rarely implements Best Weld Practices.


NOTE ON ATTAINING 0.040 MIG WIRES: In North America for more than two decades, Lincoln Electric has been in a monopoly position in the sales of MIG wires. Lincoln does make small quantities of the 0.040 carbon steel MIG wire, however as Lincoln typically has had a hard time keeping up with the demand for it's traditional 0.035 - 0.045 steel wire products they are not exited about the sale of 0.040 wire. It's understandable that from their perspective, that without extensive customer demand and without weld process educated consumers, there is little incentive for them to market the 0.040 wires.

[] The 0.040 wire, optimum short circuit current range is approx. 130 - 190 amps. This current range is well suited to short circuit welds on the very common and 14 - 18 gauge carbon steel and stainless applications. In contrast to the 0.035 wires, with short circuit welds and the 0.040 wires, you can expect slightly higher weld deposition rates and improved wire feed ability which is very beneficial on robot gauge applications. The 0.040 wire needs less current to get into spray than the 0.045 wire making it the weld wire of choice for 3 to 6 mm spray transfer applications (less undercut and distortion potential).

[] If you cannot use 0.040 wire, the optimum weld wire for thin gauge current is the 0.035 wire which typically uses a working weld current of approx. 100 to 180 amps.

[] The "optimum" short circuit weld current for the 0.045 wire is approx. 170 - 200 amps. In contrast to the 0.035 or 0.040 wires, the 0.045 (1.2 mm) wire operates in a narrow, short circuit wire feed range that delivers higher weld current, thus being less suited to thin gauge parts (<2mm) and on these parts this wire will increase the weld burn-through potential.

WHAT'S BEST FOR THE WELD INDUSTRY, is often the least utilized:

It's a sad weld reality that many of the companies that make MIG wires and gas mixes do not fully comprehend the weld applications considerations of the consumables that they market. This is one of the reasons why in the last five decades, you have not seen MIG weld parameter recommendations on that box of MIG wire sitting in your plant.





FOR DECADES, MY FOCUS WAS ON MAKING
LIFE SIMPLE FOR THE WELD SHOPS I ASSISTED:

In the 1980s, while working as the Marketing and Training Manager roles with AGA Gas and later on Air Gas, I was the first person, and to this date in 2014, the only person in North America or Europe, to create optimum MIG weld parameters for any MIG application and then provide this data on a label attached to the Wire Feed Units and on the MIG wire boxes. I also put these process control labels on the gas mix cylinders we sold. To ensure the weld shops knew what applications our gas mix were for, I made up logical gas names such as, Steel Mix - Stain Mix - Alum MIG with the Two parts gas mixes I also developed.


While we often blame China for bad manufacturing practices, read about this USA Mid West exhaust manufacturer which for years allowed it's weld department to use the wrong welding polarity.




Question:
Ed can you describe the difference between Straight and Reverse Polarity in MIG welding?.

Answer:
As we can all likely do with some humor in our lives, I thought, rather than answer this fundamental weld question in the traditional manner, that I would tell you about a real world welding application I was involved in a few years ago.

A Midwest company that builds exhaust systems for the after market had major MIG weld quality problems with the exhausts. The absent owner of the company asked if I would visit his plant and report on the plant's weld issues. The owner told me that some of his customers were complaining that the carbon steel welded flanges were falling of the exhausts. This occurred during delivery of the exhausts to the auto parts suppliers.

I arrived at the exhaust manufacturing plant just before lunch. Like many automotive companies, the plant was too cheap to pay $7 an hour for a receptionist. I waited 30 minutes in the lobby and no one answered the phone. To get access to the plant, I walked around to the back and found an open door.

I entered the plant in the middle of the busy weld shop, and my weld senses went immediately on high alert. The "MIG weld sounds" I heard from the approx. 40 MIG weld booths were unique, but I had heard the sounds before. While thinking about the sounds I heard a grunt from behind, then again, it could also have been a pathetic sounding fart. As I slowly turned around I saw what could only be called a Englishman's nightmare, an over sized Red Neck.

As many of you are aware, Red Necks are not restricted to the south and I was within spitting distance of the meanest looking one i had ever seen. Thankfully he just grunted, and did not ask me to squeal like a pig. However what witnessed next was every weld managers nightmare. For the rest of the story click here.


The poor manual MIG weld practices will work there way into the robot cells.




Most global weld shops become entrenched with negative cultures, and with the weld equipment and consumables they use daily.

If a new weld product comes along that indicates it can provide "real weld weld cost benefits" for the users, then it's logical that the end users should demand that product. The fact that weld shops rarely demand the best and most cost effective weld equipment and consumables, is an indication of the level of the global weld process control and weld cost expertise that prevails in too many weld shops.

The companies who are typically reluctant to make a major weld transfer mode or weld consumable changes have often used less than optimum equipment and consumables for years. Eventually these lack of weld management ownership, "play around" with the weld control companies will move the poorly suited consumables and their poor weld practices into their MIG robot cells.

 



A frequent Auto - Truck robot weld management solution to the robot weld problems. When they continue to have robot weld quality issues they employ more manual welders for the weld repairs. When they have robot weld productivity issues, they simply order more robots.





Weld Fact:
When an unqualified manager, supervisor or engineer, asks their unqualified weld personnel, (they have weld skills without process control expertise), to evaluate a new MIG wire. gas mix or power source, is it any surprise when the incorrect weld answers are provided?

:
Weld Fact:
At least fifty percent of the robots installed in North America are using a weld wire diameter, gas mix, power source or weld transfer mode, which impedes the weld production or the weld quality potenti
al.

Lets see. Ed states that if we are worried about weld quality and productivity, management and engineers should take ownership and responsibility for understanding the process and weld wire selection. Boy in this company that would be a first. Perhaps it's time I got up from this computer and read his book and implemented his best practices - process control training programs.





THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE GAGE THICKNESS MIG WELDED AND THE GAS MIX UTILIZED.

  • There are 40 available argon mixes for MIG welds. The MIG gas influence on the short circuit steel weld energy should be the primary consideration in MIG gas selection.

    When welding thin gauge carbon steels less than < 0.060 "weld burn through" is often a concern, especially when the welds are butt - fillet welds, or the welds are on on tubes or applications with poor weld heat distribution.

    When the majority of welds are on thin < 0.060 steels, and alloy steels applications, consider a low energy, two part gas mix like an argon with 10% CO2 for carbon steels. For stainless welds use a gas mix I developed, argon - 2% CO2 . For extensive MIG gas information without sales bias, visit my MIG welding gas section.

    If you MIG weld mostly gauge > 0.060 steel applications, consider a higher energy, two part gas mix like an argon mix with 15 - 20% CO2.

    Note: Do not waste money on an argon - 25% CO2 mix. as this mix is not suited to spray or pulsed transfer modes.

    If you use "three part gas mixes" for any carbon steels or any stainless applications, you are not using weld process logic, and typically you have been getting incorrect weld process advice from a weld salesman.


    Let's see, we have another important step for weld process control. When it comes to MIG gas selection we don't need to try a different MIG gas six times a year. We don't need the advice of a gas salesman, and we should get rid of those costly, useless three part gas mixes.

    The bottom line is all our steel and stainless MIG welds can be made with a couple of simple argon - CO2 mixes which are found in the MIG gas section . Holy cow, with all the money I can save, I will be able to afford that divorce lawyer.


    I don't think that the following statement is something that MILLER. LINCOLN. FRONIUS, PANASONIC & ESAB would want their customers to hear.


    "IF ALL THE GLOBAL. PULSED MIG EQUIPMENT WAS REMOVED FROM THE WELD INDUSTRY, TOMORROW, AND WELD PROCESS CONTROL TRAINING WAS PROVIDED, THERE WOULD BE NO IMPACT ON 99% OF MANUAL OR ROBOT STEELS, ALLOY STEELS MIG WELD QUALITY AND PRODUCTIVITY.


    It usually takes me at least 30 minutes to prove this.





 

 

With MIG weld process control and best practice expertise, weld quality and productivity issues should be rare when using low cost, CV MIG equipment.

With low cost CV MIG equipment, the Short Circuit, Spray or controlled Globular mode selected, can be set to produce on most steels and alloy steel applications, consistent acceptable weld fusion with minimal spatter or welds that are spatter free.

In 2014, a traditional, USA, manufactured 350 - 400 amp MIG power source would usually be in $3000 to $4000 range, while Pulsed MIG equipment would typically be in the $6000 to $12,000 range. For the weld decision maker who has to purchase weld equipment and pay the weld shop bills, it would be logical if they placed some focus on ensuring their weld personnel received MIG or FCAW process control - best practice training, This training will enable anyone in the weld shop to have the ability to fully utilize and optimize the performance of the much lower cost CV equipment.

2014. For five decades, emphasis in the weld industry has been on welding skills rather than on weld process control expertise. This is a prime reason why after fifty years, most manual MIG and FCA welders still "play around" with their weld controls, and the reason most robots never meet their weld quality or productivity potential.


IT'S TIME FOR SOMEONE IN THE WELD SHOP TO STEP UP TO THE PLATE AND FULLY COMPREHEND THE PROCESSES THEY OWN.


2014: Note the typical MIG wire feed control (current control) on one of the world's largest selling MIG wire feed units.

Miller, Hobart, Lincoln and ESAB have made traditional MIG wire feed controls for more than fift years. However in 2014, not one of their wire feed controls provides information to the welder on the selection of optimum MIG weld parameters. By the way I first wrote this paragraph in the early nineteen eighties.

You can be sure each day that millions of welders around the globe are playing around with a wire feed control like the one shown, and after playing around they will end up placing a scratch or pen mark on the feeder. To stop welders playing around with their weld controls I developed a unique simple method called the Clock Method for optimum weld parameter selection.

IN THE EIGHTIES, I DEVELOPED A UNIQUE MIG / FLUX CORED PROCESS CONTROL - BEST PRACICE TRAINING METHOD CALLED THE "WELD CLOCK METHOD". THE CLOCK METHOD HAS EVOLVED OVER THREE DECADES. THE CLOCK METHOD SIMPLIFIES BOTH MANUAL AND ROBOT, OPTIMUM WELD PARAMETER SELECTION.


Ed developed the MIG Clock Method over three decades. The weld parameter Clock Method simplifies weld parameter selection for any carbon steel or stainless application and brings together the relationship between none digital and digital MIG wire feed settings, the application thickness, weld size and weld deposition rates.

The Weld Clock Method is based on the fact that traditional, global, none digital wire feeders deliver a wire feed rate of 600 to 800 in./min (15 to 20 m/min). The majority of global wire feeders have provided this wire feed range since the development of the MIG process.


Most wire feeders will deliver approximately 700 - 750 in./min. With the ten wire feed settings, starting at 7 o'clock and finishing at 5 o'clock. Each turn on the wire feed control would therefore deliver approx. 70 inch/min per-turn. When you place the wire feed at the middle setting, 12 o'clock, this is the fifth turn. 5 x 70 = 350 inch/min.


With an 0.035 (1mm) wire, the majority of optimum carbon steel and stainless gauge welds will be made with short circuit settings found between the 10 and 12 o'clock wire feed positions. Set the wire feed control at the third setting which is 10 o'clock, = 3 x 70 ipm = approx. 210 ipm.

At 10 o'clock, the Short Circuit wire feed setting delivers approx. 140 to 150 amp. This SC current is ideal for all manual carbon steel and stainless common gage sizes 0.050 - 0.060 (16 gauge) applications. At 10 o'clock, set the weld voltage at 17 volts. When training those welders, simply tell them to remember a great start point for all carbon steel and stainless sheet metal MIG welds, is 10 o'clock. with 17 cups of coffee.




With Ed's MIG or Flux Cored Weld Process Clock Method weld settings are this simple.

To set a good Short Circuit weld remember this.

Set the wire feed at 10 o'clock
with 17 cups of coffee.




USING TRADITIONAL CV AND PULSED MIG EQUIPMENT? There are 3 easy to remember, optimum wire feed settings for every MIG weld transfer mode and and 3 settings for any flux cored wire irrespective of the application. Want to learn these settings for all MIG wires?



ONCE YOU LEARN ED'S CLOCK METHOD YOU HAVE THE ABILITY TO ATTAIN OPTIMUM WELD QUALITY WITH LOW COST MIG EQUIPMENT. YOU CAN APPLY THIS UNIQUE EASY TO REMEMBER, SIMPLE APPROACH TO ALSO SET DIGITAL WIRE FEEDERS AND ROBOT WELD DATA. THIS METHOD IS USED IN ALL ED'S BOOKS, CDs AND VIDEO WELD TRAINING RESOURCES.




PURE PANASONIC Bull S_ _ T. While Panasonic and other pulsed MIG equipment manufacturers inform the weld industry that their MIG equipment offers millions of wave form options for the welds, it's important that the weld shop understands, that irrespective of the weld application, steel or alloy welded, with that CV MIG equipment there are only three" optimum wire feed settings" for each weld wire and weld transfer mode utilized.
Its just unfortunate that the majority of weld personnel are not aware of the few optimum settings required.

 


Ed's Weld Clock Method is applicable to all
digital feeders and robot settings.

 





Watch those robot "TIMES" and it's influence on Robot Arc Starts - Stops.

At robot weld starts, it's critical for "consistent arc starts" to have the weld gas flowing before the arc is initiated. Poor arc starts occur if there is not sufficient gas, remember, its the arc plasma "ionized gas" which is the conductor for the transfer of electrons across an arc gap.

A robot offers many timed functions that a manual welder does not have to deal with. Robot weld time on the pendent is rarely calibrated with the actual robot times. A good thing to know if the robot timed functions are working, is use your ears, if you cannot hear the changes they are typically not effective and you may need to increase the robot times. For example on a weld crater fill, you may put a second for the crater fill and the time for the crater fill may be only a third of a second.

Pre flow gas times, arc ignition times, and at the weld ends, arc delay and crater fill times etc. With many robots, the different arc timed functions can accumulate. The arc ignition times may combine with the gas pre-flow time which may combine with the time in which the robot examines the arc ignition before it allows the weld to commence. The accumulation of weld start function times can result in the robot being stationary too long at the weld start.

If a robot sits too long at an arc start when welding thin gauge parts, it's common to find the weld size at the weld start is twice as big as the rest of the weld. The bottom line is the with thin gauge welds only use robot times at the arc start if weld start issues occur. Arc start data becomes much more relevant on parts > 3 mm
.

ROBOTS REQUIRE UNIQUE CONSIDERATIONS FOR WELDING GAUGE APPLICATIONS. ED'S ROBOT BEST PRACTICES - PROCESS CONTROL TRAINING CD PROVIDES ALL THE SOLUTIONS AND THE ROBOT WELD DATA NECESSARY TO OPTIMIZE ALL CARBON STEELS AND STAINLESS ROBOT WELD QUALITY AND PRODUCTIVITY.

 

 

MIG WELDING COSTS? In many welding shops there is often greater concern for the cost of the welding wire or gas, than there is for the cost of the weld.

The objective of a MIG weld decision maker should be simple. Every time the welder presses the trigger on their MIG or flux cored gun ensure the weld settings selected should deliver the desired weld quality with the wire feed control set as high as possible providing the highest deposition and therefore the lowest weld costs.

Placing focus on attainable optimum wire feed and weld deposition rates for a specific weld application, is achieved through this weld process control education.


Weld Question: Ed. How does the welder know how much weld, they or a robot will deposit when using the 0.035 (1 mm) wire?

Answer: Its simple. With my unique clock teaching method. For each turn on a traditional wire feeder, the welder feeding the 0.035 wire at 70 in./min, delivers approximately 1 lb/hr (0.5 kg/hr) per-turn. So with the 0.035 set at the 10 o'clock (210 inch/min) short circuit position, the 10 o'clock setting is the third turn and this provides approx. 3 lb/hr. The robot arc on time per-hr is 20 minutes, so the robot deposits a one pound of wire each hour.

Any MIG or flux cored wire and any weld application. Once Ed's weld process training is provided, weld quality and production objectives are fully understood and Weld Cost Calculations are Made Simple.


You can attain your complex weld cost calculation tables from your weld equipment or consumable suppliers who are typically ready to pull anything out of their hats to get your weld equipment and consumable business. Or deal in Ed's world and use a very easy method to control your weld costs.




Let's see, all I have to do to control welding costs is provide the weld personnel with Ed's self teaching MIG process control books, or provide this organization with process training with the Process Control training Program. These resources will keep the the weld shop focus on wire feed and deposition rates using Ed's easy to remember Weld Cost Clock method. Then I should make sure my engineers, technicians and supervisors keep their eyes on the wire feed settings used daily in the shop. Well now, that's worth looking into.

 

Weld Question: Ed. How do I know if the traditional none digital wire feeder we use delivers the traditional wire feed range of 650 to 750 in./min (16.5 to 19 m/min)?

Answer: Every person who has to use a wire feeder that they have never used before would benefit from the following especially if you go for a job and are required to use a wire feeder you have never seen before. Also this simple test will let you know if your wire feeder is working correctly.


[] Set your wire feed control at the "12 o'clock position"
[] Set the digital wire feeder at 350 inch/min

Press the gun trigger for 10 seconds you should have approximately 60 inches (1.5 m) of weld wire. Place one end of the wire under your foot and the other end should come to the top of the average size guy's chest.

2007: NOT ALL WIRE FEEDERS USED IN A WELD SHOP WERE CREATED EQUAL. In the eighties as part of a ridiculous marketing ploy or con job, some wire feed manufacturers like Hobart sold high gear ratio, MIG wire feeders that fed the weld wire from 1000 to 1500 inch./min, (25 to 38 m/min). Other wire feeders were sold that fed much lower wire feed rates <500 ipm, (Lincoln). The low wire feed rate feeders that are commonly used for MIG welding, were designed to be used for large diameter self shielded flux cored wires. The odd ball feeders mentioned are few, yet they are out there adding to the general weld shop process confusion.



REGULAR TIG VERSUS TIP TIG ON THIN GAGE APPLICATIONS:

REGULAR TIG: YOU CAN USE REGULAR
TIG, TAKE TOO MUCH TIME, PUT IN TOO MUCH WELD HEAT AND MAKE WELDS LIKE THIS. PLAY THIS VIDEO FIRST
TIP TIG: YOU COULD GET ON WITH YOUR LIFE, REDUCE YOUR WELD COSTS. MAKE HIGH QUALITY TIP TIG WELDS LIKE THIS WITH MUCH LESS HEAT INPUT.
REGULAR TIG: Play this video first: Regular TIG typical manual weld speeds for these welds
is typically 4 to 8 inch/min.


The TIG arc on time for this 12 inch weld would be around 2- 3 minutes. Take a look at the irregular weld quality influenced by too many arc start / stops, and take special note of the large heat affected zone that's going to create distortion concerns.


Someone can always do a better TIG weld than this but it will never match the quality and productivity attained with TIP TIG.





TIP TIG: Manual TIP TIG weld travel rate
48 inch/ min as noted on the UTube second counter with this 12 inch length of 3 mm weld made with an arc on time of 15 seconds:

Note the uniform weld quality that comes from the constant wire feed rate and only one arc start / stop. Examine the smooth clean, unoxidized weld surface, the very small HAZ and lack of weld distortion and weld minimal fumes. Think about the savings that will results from less cleaning.

From welding small, long track, 3 mm fillet welds on the deck of an Aircraft Carrier to the small size stainless welds typically found on food and beverage / processing equipment, no other weld process can provide long, small size gage welds with the TIP TIG quality and the lowest possible weld heat input.


Visit TIP TIG manual and Automation.



Too many weld shops provide their welders with undersize or oversized MIG contact tips or gun nozzles, this is simply another indication of lack of weld management.

Poor tip diameter OD 3 mm. Nozzle ID 9 mm.




How can an industry that has more than 50 years of MIG process expertise, hand out to the welders in it's facility contact tips that are the no thicker than the end of a pen and nozzles so small that they become blocked with spatter in minutes.

Many of the plants that I have been in that were welding gauge to 6 mm metals, provided their employees with ridiculous thin (< 3 mm) OD contact tips. With these under size tips (LEFT) they would then provides nozzles with ID diameters of approx. 8-9 mm. With this situation,
the MIG gun nozzle ID was so small that after five minutes of weld time the nozzles would be s blocked with spatter or the contact tip will have shorted to the nozzle interfering with the current flow. You can bet when they are handing out the wrong tips and nozzles that they don't have control of the weld spatter.

In one last plant I visited, the welders in the plant did not seem to mind the ridiculous tip and nozzle consumables they were given as changing the tips and cleaning the nozzle was more comfortable than doing the actual welds. Of course it's logical to use a small diameter nozzles when you cannot get a standard nozzle size as shown in the right photo into the required weld space, however in many situations the weld joint restriction is not the issue.

The other amazing thing is once a poor practice like the inappropriate selection of the gun tips and nozzles are in place, the weld personnel will often not want to change to the correct consumables because "this is the way we have always done it"


The primary value of a weld is based on the wages paid the employee and the costs of the weld wires and gases used, The driving factor of weld costs is weld deposition rates provided by wire feed rates and the weld current delivered through that $1 contact tip.
In North America you typically have an annual cost per-welder between $40,000 and and a $60,000. Without the correct $1 contact tip to transfer the current in a stable manner and a $8 nozzle that allows the MIG gas to the weld, how much of your weld costs do you believe go flying out of the window every day?


Understanding the weld tools we work with and the weld deposition rate potential for our welds, now that will be a first for our weld shop. Let's face it, we either control the bloody weld process or let the process and the salesman control us.

 

Question. Ed where do we position the contact tip for manual or robot short circuit welds?


Answer. To use the lowest voltage for thin gauge parts which typically is required for short circuit welding <16 gauge, stick the contact tip outside the nozzle 2- 3 mm. Welding short circuit on >16 gauge, place the contact tip flush with the nozzle.



Question. Ed, we short circuit 0.035 (1 mm) hydro formed gauge parts. On the seam welds, the lap joints open up between the robot fixture hold points. We always end up burning through at this area, any suggestions.

Answer: Use a manual welder or the robot to MIG spot weld the areas subject to problems. Don't know how to set a MIG spot weld, it's in my books.


Any manual MIG welder or robot can become a MIG spot welder. You need no special equipment, just a little technique and a little process knowledge that's found in my books. You can MIG spot weld any steel stainless, aluminum or alloy gauge applications.

Weld Question: Ed, as most of the wire feeders sold today provide a digital wire feed rate why bother with the clock method?

Answer: The Clock Method "simplifies" optimum weld parameter selection and it;s extremely easy to remember any weld setting for all MIG and flux cored weld applications.

Digital or none digital when you learn the clock method you end up with the ability to instantly set any manual or automated weld without playing with the weld controls or parameters.

Please remember the traditional, low cost, more durable none digital wire feeders can last 10 to 20 years in a welding shop, and in 2007, there are over a million traditional wire feeders out there. As a weld decision maker you will most likely have to work with these common durable wire feeders. If you are a professional at your craft you should know how to set that simple one knob wire feed control, rather than "play around" with the controls. If you are a trainer this method is easy to remember, therefore it's easy to teach.

 


When you combine the optimum weld volts with the optimum wire feed, the optimum short circuit welding parameters will produce a crisp, consistent, rapid crackle sound.

 

 



The Sweet Sounds of MIG: Today the majority of MIG welders, use arc sounds as a method of fine tuning their weld parameters. Arc sounds are fine but they don't let you know if you are providing the required weld deposition rates.

Welders and robot operators should know "the cause of arc sounds" and the "correct weld parameter weld control response" to those arc sounds".

The weld sweet spot or sweet arc sounds attained with short circuit transfer result when the recommended optimum wire feed and voltage parameters are used. The optimum weld current (wire feed rate) and weld voltage will result in the maximum amount of short circuits achieved each second. The more rapid the short circuit crackle sound the more consistent the "spatter free" weld transfer.

THANKS TO LACK OF WELD PROCESS EXPERTISE,
WELD SPATTER COSTS MILLIONS DAILY:

The welding industry spends millions daily on cleaning welding spatter from its parts. The welding equipment manufactures even build special electronic MIG power sources designed to try to produce minimum weld spatter. The weld reality is this. For the majority of gauge applications, when welding with a low cost, durable, easy to use and easy to repair Lincoln, Miller, ESAB, or Hobart 200-400 amp, CV power source, as this 20 year old video show, set the correct short circuit or spray welding parameters and you will attain minimal weld spatter.


Weld Fact: Remember the key to minimizing short circuit weld spatter is to keep the short circuit weld drop as small as possible and create the fastest rate of short circuit weld transfer. This is achieved working in the recommended SC wire feed range, and ensuring the weld voltage is set to it's minimum.

You don't need to invest in a sophisticated Fronius CMT, Lincoln STT or a Miller RMD electronic power source to control weld spatter, you simply use a traditional low cost durable, low cost CV power source and teach the welders or robot personnel to set the correct weld parameters. Most weld spatter occurs with short circuit transfer from a traditional CV power source because the welder has set their weld volts too high.

Your self taught welders may have 20 years of skills experience, however please remember "welding skills are not weld process control expertise" Instead of investing in costly, unnecessary weld equipment which may be impossible for your electricians to repair, or buying loads of anti-spatter, surely its more logical to provide your welders with some process control training.



LETS SEE WE HAVE BEEN BUYING ANTI-SPATTER COMPOUNDS FOR TEN YEARS, AND WE ARE NOW LOOKING AT VERY EXPENSIVE ELECTRONIC MIG WELD EQUIPMENT. WHY WITH A LITTLE WELD PROCESS KNOWLEDGE MY WELDERS COULD STOP PUTTING THAT COSTLY OIL AND WATER ON THE PARTS AND WITH THE MONEY I SAVE, I COULD TRY THAT MINOXIL AND GET SOME HAIR GROWING BACK ON THIS BUSY HEAD.


This picture proudly presented in a USA welding magazine, shows newly trained, Detroit MIG welders welding truck frames. The worst MIG welds found in the industrial world are found on in auto / truck frame plants. The excessive weld sparks seen in the picture, indicate poorly tuned manual MIG welds as evident by the fire works display. The amount of weld spatter generated is excessive and it's evident excessive wire stick outs are being used.

These welders in the photo were trained by a national auto training organization based in Detroit, it's purpose to help auto companies with their weld issues. Obviously the trainers at this Michigan organization placed little emphasis on teaching MIG weld process control.

It's a sad reality also that whenever you find bad manual MIG welds, in the same plant you are sure to find bad robot MIG welds.

 

A Self Teaching, Weld Process Control resource for less than $400 may be the smallest investment we ever make with the largest return.


How many companies are prepared to invest a few pennies per supervisor, robot personnel or welders, for weld process control educational resources or a training program designed to optimize both the manual or robot welding in their organization?


Shoot, it seems the biggest impediment to the implementation of effective Weld Best Practices and Process Controls in my plant is the face that stares back from my mirror.

Most of you reading this weld data will be aware that the welding personnel at your facility are not aware of all of the weld data presented at this site. I have a question for the you, how important is it to your organization to attain MIG or flux cored manual or robot weld process controls? If you think you don't need this type of weld data, do me a favor and try the MIG welding Spray Transfer quiz, and then ask your self how important is this MIG data to your organization

Consider how easy it is with this unique clock method to bring your weld personnel into a lunch room put my CD in your lap top and project weld data that will optimize the MIG or flux cored welds. Reduce your product liability and eliminate weld rework. Get instant control of your weld costs through optimum weld deposition rates. Get your weld shop into a professional mode with management and weld personnel all walking the same path providing consistent, daily uniform weld results. Become a weld shop that frowns on individuals that play around with the process parameter controls.


HOW YOU CAN USE THE CLOCK METHOD FOR OTHER COMMON WIRES. Welding pipes or structural steels? Do you know the optimum welding parameter range settings for an 0.045 (1.2mm) Alloy Rod E71T-1 flux cored wire, for welding a 1/4 (6mm) fillet weld in the vertical up or over head positions?. What's the single optimum setting for that 1/16 (1.6 mm) flux cored wire? With the clock method its simple and of course flux cored is covered in my books.


TIP TIG 409 16 GAGE SEAM WELDS. TIP TIG 409 16 GAGE SEAM WELDS

IF VIDEO PAUSES PLAY A SECOND TIME
If you compared short circuit or pulsed MIG with this TIP TIG seam weld or any other steel or alloy seam gauge welds, you would instantly note the superior weld quality from TIP TIG. While the MIG welds may have fume concerns, oxide formation, spatter, distortion and possibly require manual cleaning or weld rework, in contrast the TIP TIG welds would not create these common weld production issues.

Customer wanted to see the quality and production capability for TIP TIG on this seam application. The automated set up was easy, just attach the TIP TIG torch to the auto carriage. No sophisticated equipment required like complex plasma or Arc Volt Controls. Within 10 minutes the TIP TIG was producing the parts shown on the left. With automated TIP TIG seam gage welds such as this, you can anticipate the welds would be made between 25 - 35 inch/min. (500 to 700% quicker than manual TIG)





Email Ed Craig at ecraig@weldreality.com   -  Phone Eastern Time. USA.