With today's advances in welding technology progressing more quickly than ever before, it can sometimes seem a struggle to keep up with the latest developments.
Here we speak with Michael Harvey, Applications Technology Manager for ESAB, to get his opinion the current state of welding and cast an eye to the future to forecast what will be the most significant drivers of change in the coming years.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST CHANGE YOU’VE SEEN IN WELDING EQUIPMENT OVER THE PAST 5 YEARS?
The introduction of user friendly and intuitive controls for welding equipment. For example, the ESAB U82 controller has the functionality and capability to be used in the most basic manual welding application or it can be used in a highly sophisticated robotic welding application.
WHAT TECHNOLOGY WILL HAVE THE BIGGEST IMPACT ON THE WAY WE APPROACH WELDING IN THE NEXT 5 YEARS?
With Asia on our doorstep and their competitive advantages against local fabrication, Australian fabricators need to challenge their existing welding processes. Automated or semi-automated welding equipment and job specific filler metal selection needs to be considered. This can be as simple as using a hi-deposition filler metal. Or a larger capital investment of automated or robotic equipment to improve work efficiencies.
WHAT FEATURES DO PEOPLE TODAY WANT MOST IN THEIR WELDING EQUIPMENT?
Welders want welding equipment that is easy to use. When using more complex welding machines, often the welding panels are too difficult to interpret, confusing the welding operator when setting the machine. A simple user interface allowing the welder to select the best welding parameters for their specific application to achieve the best weld deposit.
CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENTS IN SAFETY ARE IMPORTANT TO ALL OF US. WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE NEXT STEP IN THIS EVOLUTION AND WHAT DOES THE COMPANY HAVE IN STORE FOR 2018?
Material handling - ESAB have an extensive offering with material handling equipment. Often fabricators have a “one off job” and they use any means available to them to get the job done. Often this results in poor and unsafe work practices. Consideration should be given to the handling of the object to be welded.
WHAT IS THE ONE WELDING TIP THAT YOU WOULD GIVE TO A WELDER REGARDLESS OF THEIR ABILITY?
Preparation! Spend extra time preparing for the weld. In most welding applications the “arc on time” is a small percentage of the entire fabrication process. Ensure that the preparation and joint fit-up is 100% correct and accurate.