|All Weld Programs Ed's Process Control Training Resources The Weld QA section Who is Ed Craig?||
|Welcome to the world's largest web site on MIG , Flux Cored and TIG. Weld Process Controls & Best Weld Practices. To get to the root cause of GMAW (MIG) & Flux Cored (FCAW) weld issues, requires Weld Process Control - Best Practice Expertise, & lots of Weld Reality. The site provides the MIG - Flux Cored and TIG weld information and data required to attain the highest possible manual and robot weld quality, always at the lowest possible weld costs. This web site was first established in 1997 by Ed Craig. Contact Ed. firstname.lastname@example.org|
SHIELDED FLUX CORED WIRES AND WELD PROCESS IGNORANCE
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 wrote this, Chrysler, GM and other major auto - truck part suppliers, were utilizing the Self Shielded Flux Cored Wires for their carbon steel and galvanealed parts. This wire choice, was ironic, as these weld wires offer no weld benefits, and are the root cause of numerous weld quality, reject, rework, productivity and safety issues
The numerous annual SS weld issues wires costs corporations hundreds of millions of dollars in;
[a] HEALTH, SAFETY AND EMPLOYEE TURNOVER ISSUES.
[b] LOSS OF ROBOT AND MANUAL WELD PRODUCTIVITY.
[c] WELD PART REJECTS.
[d] WELD REWORK.
[e] WELD CLEAN UP.
[f] EVEN THE ACCEPTABLE WELDS ARE MOSTLY QUESTIONABLE.
Note: WITH THE SS WIRES, EMPLOYEE TURN OVER CAN BE HIGH AS A RESULT OF THE DANGEROUS WELD FUMES AND THEIR AFFECTS. THE BOTTOM LINE IS WORKERS WHO ARE MADE TO USE THE UNECESSARY SS WIRES, HAVE A GOOD CASE TO TAKE LEGAL ACTION. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE POOR CHRYSLER AND GM MANAGEMENT - ENGINEERING DECISIONS TO USE THESE WIRES, CHECK HERE HERE..
GAGE WELDS AND PULSED MIG:. 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 delivers the pulsed drops in a consistent
In contrast to the ARC ON - ARC OFF short circuit transfer mode set at 150 amps, the pulsed mode which is an OPEN ARC mode, when 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 around 160 amps, then adjust.
Optimum Short Circuit Transfer
and Pulsed MIG Wire Diameter Selection for Gauge
CV Regular MIG Equipment. The best two MIG wire diameters for short circuit transfer are 0.035 and the rarely used 0.040 wire, (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 part thickness worked on does not exceed 6 mm there is no justification for larger wires...
The best MIG wire diameter for all Pulsed MIG 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.
WHEN WILL THEY EVER LEARN, WHEN WILL THEY EVER LEARN,
THE UNIQUE, E70S-3, (NOT THE WIDELY USED E70S-6) AND THE HARDLY UTILIZED "0.040" E70S-3 MIG WELD WIRE, ARE TWO MIG WIRES THAT THE AUTOMOTIVE WELD INDUSTRY SHOULD HAVE BEEN USING FOR AT LEAST FOUR DECADES:
Welding thin parts and using traditional MIG CV equipment or using the regular MIG modes on your inconsistent pulsed MIG equipment. if you could get your hands on the 0.040 (1.1 mm) E70S-3 wire, it would be the most practical choice for most robot and manual MIG short circuit and low current spray carbon and stainless applications on most parts that are 1.2 to 5 mm.
The 0.040 MIG wire would require less minimum spray current than the 0.045 wire which is especially beneficial for 3 - 7 mm parts, and the 0.040 wire would provide higher deposition and better feed ability than the 0.035 wires. The lack of use of this wire should be no surprise in the play around, no weld management, auto - truck industry that is short on weld process control expertise and 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 global demand for it's traditional 0.035 - 0.045 steel MIG wires, it's understandable that Lincoln would likely not be exited about the sale of 0.040 wires.
 The 0.040 wire, optimum short circuit current range is approx. 130 - 190 amps. This current range is well suited to all short circuit welds on the common 14 to 18 gage carbon steels - 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, (faster robot weld speeds) and improved wire feed ability which can be very beneficial on robot gauge applications. The 0.040 wire needs less current to get into spray than the 0.045 wire, which makes this weld wire a wise choice for 3 to 6 mm spray transfer applications (less undercut and distortion potential).
Note: It's up to educated customers to create product demand for weld consumables that provide real world weld benfits for their weld applications..
 If you cannot use 0.040 wire, the optimum weld wire for thin gauge current is the 0.035 wire, this wire 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 major companies that make MIG wires and gas mixes do not fully comprehend the weld applications and benefits or disadvantages of the weld consumables that they market. This is one of the reasons why in the last five decades, you did not see MIG weld parameter and application recommendations on that box cover of the MIG wires in your plants.
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 parameter and application information data on labels attached to the Wire Feed Units and on the AGA MIG wire boxes sold. 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 large weld department to use the wrong MIG 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 300 lb 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 I witnessed next was every weld managers nightmare. For the rest of the story click here.
Poor manual MIG weld practices often 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.
Salesmanship ruined the weld industry.
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.
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?
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 potential.
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 and CONTROL 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.
Ed's Unique Weld Clock Method simplifies MIG parameter selection.
Most MIG wire feeders typically 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.
To set an optimum Short Circuit weld for gage part
or a pipe open root, remember this.
Set the MIG 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.
PANASONIC Bull S_ _ _. While Panasonic and other pulsed MIG equipment manufacturers inform their customers in the weld industry that their MIG equipment offers millions of wave form options for MIG welds, it's important that the weld shop understands that irrespective of the weld application, or the steels and alloy steels welded, with that much lower cost, more durable, CV MIG equipment, there are only three" optimum wire feed settings" required for each weld wire and weld transfer mode utilized. Its just unfortunate that the majority of weld personnel are not aware of those few optimum settings required.
Ed's Weld Clock Method is applicable also to all
digital feeders and robot MIG weld settings.
Any good manager, engineer or technician would strive to make things both uniform and simple in the weld shop.
ROBOT TIMES, ROBOT WELD TIPS: Watch those robot "TIMES" and their influence on Robot Arc Starts - Stops and weld start - weld end size issues. 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 which is "ionized gas" which is the conductor for the electrons across an arc gap.
A robot offers many timed functions that a manual welder does not have to deal with, and robot weld time on the pendent is rarely calibrated with the actual robot times delivered.
A good thing to know if the robot timed functions are working, is use your ears. If you cannot hear the preset weld parameter changes the time allowed may simply not sufficient. For example on a weld crater fill, you may put two seconds for the crater and by rights you should put one to two volts less than the weld volts. The crater data should create a distinct crackle for the count of two seconds. If you dont hear the sound you may have to put 4 seconds into that crater data to get the two seconds of lower voltage you require.
Pre flow gas times, arc ignition times, and at the weld ends, arc delay and crater fil and post flow times. 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 in which larger welds are required.
ROBOT MIG WELDS REQUIRE UNIQUE CONSIDERATIONS FOR WELDING GAGE APLICATIONS. MY S ROBOT BEST PRACTICES - WELD PROCESS CONTROL TRAINING RESOURCES PROVIDES ALL THE SOLUTIONS AND THE ROBOT WELD DATA NECESSARY TO OPTIMIZE THE WELD QUALITY AND PRODUCTIVITY WITH ALL ROBOT WELDS.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: FEW WIRE FEEDERS 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 HEAT SENSITIVE 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.
IT'S THE SMALL THING THAT OFTEN CREATES LARGE WELD COST:
Too many weld shops provide their welders with undersize or oversized MIG contact tips or gun nozzles. Which in reality, is simply another indication of lack of weld management.
Poor contact tip diameter 3 mm OD,
with a nozzle ID of 8 - 9 mm.
If you were new to this industry you might ask, how could an industry that has used the same process for more than 50 years, employ management and supervision that daily hand out to their welders, contact tips that are the no thicker than the end of a pen and gun nozzles so small that they become blocked with spatter in a few minutes.
Many of the plants that I have been in that were welding gage to 1/4 (<6 mm) metals, were providing their welders with ridiculous thin, 2 to 3 mm, OD contact tips. With these under size tips (LEFT), the welders would then be made to work with gun nozzles that would have an ID of approx. 8 to 9 mm. Keep in mind in these weld shops you know all involved with the welds will be playing around with the weld controls and excess weld spatter is a way of life. With this situation, after five minutes of weld time the nozzles would be s blocked with spatter, restricting the important gas flow, or the contact tips will have shorted to the nozzle, interfering with the weld current flow. .
In one last plant I visited, the welders on the shop floor, did not seem to mind the ridiculous tip and nozzle consumables, the reason, frequently 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, (indication of a poor weld design).
The other amazing thing that occurs with the use of a poor weld practice like the inappropriate selection of the gun tips and nozzles. Once the weld personnel are used to using inappropriate consumables, they will then 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 MIG welds?
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: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.
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.
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
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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)
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