IN THE FIELD
By Joe Ryan
Making Best Use of your Welding Expertise 5 tips to eliminate wire feeding issues and improve welding productivity
Welding technology on the market lets welders make parameter adjustments right at the weld joint with a wire feeder or stick/TIG remote, resulting in more arc-on time, higher quality welds and a safer jobsite.
he construction industry outlook remains strong in many sectors, but a continued shortage of skilled labor is a key challenge on many jobsites â€” one that may prevent contractors and structural steel erectors from completing projects on time or even competing for some projects. There are two ways to address the lack of skilled welders: Recruit and train more welders into the trade or be more efficient with the workforce you already have. A conversion to wire welding processes is one option for improving productivity and efficiency. More companies are transitioning from stick welding to wire welding on construction jobsites, due in part to the significantly higher deposition rates and travel speeds wire processes can deliver. These gains Joe Ryan is Infrastructure Segment Manager for Miller Electric Mfg., LLC, Appleton, Wis. Get other welding resources, safety precautions and support at millerwelds.com.
can be realized while still meeting high weld quality requirements and improving jobsite safety. Following some key best practices for wire welding in the field and utilizing the right technologies can help optimize efficiency and reduce weld defects. Here are five tips to help contractors complete projects more quickly.
1. Make adjustments remotely On structural jobsites, welders may need to make frequent adjustments to welding parameters to get the best results. When the welder must leave the weld joint and walk to the power source to make changes â€” such as from ladders or scaffolding â€” these trips can add up to several hours wasted every day while also increasing the risk of injury. Current welding technology allows welders make parameter adjustments right at the weld joint with a wire feeder or stick/TIG remote, resulting in more arc-on time, higher quality welds and a safer jobsite. Utilizing this technology also reduces the
22 | THE STEEL ERECTORS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA
need to continually move racks of welding power sources on the jobsite, a time-consuming and expensive task that typically requires an electrician and crane time.
2. Eliminate cable length voltage drops One common issue on the jobsite is addressing the voltage drop that can occur in weld cables. Voltage drops happen due to resistance in the weld circuit, which is caused by distance, number of connections and connections that are corroded or dirty. Typically, the longer the leads and the more connection points, the more resistance in the weld cable. The resulting voltage drop can lead to arc performance issues unless operators compensate for the drop, and this can lead to potential weld quality issues. In conventional equipment, operators must manually adjust for this by setting the voltage higher than necessary at the power source to ensure they get the voltage they want at the feeder. This is often a guessing
In this issue: Communication Key to Bidding AESS; Eliminate Wire Feeding Issues; 2018 Convention Review