March 1, 2018
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 Paul Smith of Lincoln Electric 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 biggest change that I have seen in the last five years is the development of advanced waveform control, where the welding power source output is manipulated and controlled through software. This allows a single power source to be able to weld a variety of different materials and deliver modified welding outputs including a variety of high speed pulse programs for applications ranging from full automation to manual out-of-position metal cored wire. The new high speed pulse programs offer increased productivity and reduced welding costs.
I have also seen a greater willingness in the consideration and take up of automated welding processes, with companies striving for improved efficiencies, consistent quality and reducing production costs.
What technology will have the biggest impact on the way we approach welding in the next 5 years?
We are seeing an increase in the requirement of real time production monitoring of the welding process. For quality control of welded products particularly in critical applications, QA records, providing more accurate quotations, process improvement, production output reports per shift or individual operator.
What features do people today want most in their welding equipment?
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Advanced welding machines that are versatile to meet their immediate needs yet flexible to meet or be upgraded for future requirements. The other key requirement is ease of use and simple control. Synergic one knob control is high on most fabricators list.
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?
The provision of a safe work environment for works is at the forefront of most employers minds. This requires the control of welding fume through the use of fume extractors and personal protection through the use of PAPR helmets.
Helping employers create a safer welding environment is a priority for Lincoln Electric. Lincoln has released its new 4C lens technology in our Viking range of welding helmets. The 4C technology delivers a clearer view of the weld pool and reduces eye strain. Another new development from Lincoln Electric is a range of stainless steel electrodes and flux-cored wires with reduced chromium 6 in the weld fume to help minimise worker exposure to the CrVI in welding fume.
What is the one welding tip that you would give to a welder regardless of their ability?
The one tip I would give is work safe. Always ensure you are using the correct PPE, welding safety apparel, and fume control.
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