Welder shortage demands innovative solutions

Welder shortage demands innovative solutions

One of the unintentional consequences of the “Information Age” is an entire generation has preferred career paths in information and computer technology instead of traditional professions like welding and countless other trades. This cultural occupational shift has factored greatly into the critical shortage of skilled welders that number into hundreds of thousands.

Workforce shortages mandate new welding equipment provide more intelligent control to perform quality and precision welding operations by a workforce that has a less experienced skill set.
In order to address the problem of the reduced availability of skilled welders, advanced welding systems increasingly offer more welding skill “built-in” in terms of control and monitoring means to produce consistent, quality weld results.

Companies can now choose advanced mechanized, multiprocess welding systems that deliver maximum economic return through increased performance, less training, and accurate and repeatable welds, while providing increased operator safety with reduced fumes and spatter.

To get you up and running quickly, the programmable weld controller should provide a library of default weld programs that can be used as is, modified or replaced by your custom programs. For multiple welding operation workplaces, programs should be easily transferable between machines.

The need for improved operator safety has led to stringent OSHA requirements for hexavalent chrome fumes that have included strict monitoring and often welding in full-face masks. Some systems offer sophisticated, patented circuitry and hardware configurations that enable out-of-position welding of stationary pipe using modified waveforms that significantly reduce smoke and spatter and facilitate compliance with weld safety procedures.

You should look for these distinct advantages for increased ease-of-use and time-saving features:

  • A weld head that can switch between weld processes in minutes.
  • An easy-to-use, ergonomic pendant control.
  • Programs from remote personal computers can be emailed and transferred via USB.
  • Instruction lines that can be modified during program execution and record those changes without stopping the running weld sequence.
  • Three control modes (degree, time and distance) with accuracy that permits weld parameter settings as precise as one-hundredth of a degree or second, or one-thousandth inch of weld head travel or oscillation.
  • Automatic torch height control without close monitoring by the operator. When performing metal inert gas and flux-cored arc welding, automatic torch height control frees the operator to perform other actions without experiencing loss of shielding gas and the resulting porosity problems that might occur.
  • Real-time data logging that “learns” your inputs and fine tunes the program for your specific weld situation. While one operator is performing a weld operation, another operator can be loading and setting up the next weld program while the first program executes for maximum efficiency in production environments.
  • Program lines that run sequentially and end lines of code that trigger the next programmed sequence so a complete weld can run from root pass to finished cap as a single operation.
  • Weld caps that can be programmed for extremely consistent increments with digital control so the deposition of the final beads leave a minimum of weld surfacing for preservice and in-service inspection, which saves significant time.

The intuitive ease of operation and shorter learning curve of these mechanized welding systems mean more operators than ever before can produce superior, repeatable welding results with less experience.

The performance, versatility and programmability of a multiprocess weld system means it can perform orbital welding, plate welding and large diameter vessel welding when configured with corresponding track mounting.

Cultural and occupational trends may need to change to eliminate the critical shortage of certified, experienced welders. But the increase in welding equipment that provides the level of logic and programmable flexibility to ensure all welders can produce quality, repeatable welding results crucial to so many industries is on the rise.

For more information, visit www.tritool.com or call (800) 345-5015. 

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