Banner
Training & Education

Training to weld

By Udo O.J. Huff, M.ED.

October 2010 - Companies want welders and other skilled metal trades in the U.S. employee market as the economy recovers slowly and manufacturing-engineering jobs are increasing. Hiring skilled workforces from overseas is not the answer to the employment problem, because international markets also are experiencing a shortage of skilled laborers. What is the reasoning behind the reported shortage of skilled trades?

For one, a generational issue exists. The skilled workforce is aging and large numbers of welders, tool and die makers, robotic programmers and fabrication workers are retiring with no replacement of equivalent numbers of newly trained and skilled manufacturing workers.

Companies that have invested recently into training strategies, which implement training and development programs that enhance workforce skills in the metal trades, now can receive a return on their investments.

A top priority for major-league sports teams is recruiting and training future world-class players. Why are the major American manufacturing industries failing to prevent a shortage of trained and skilled workers?

What it takes
Someone who wants to become a trained and skilled welder should know the criteria for choosing the right training source, a well-defined syllabus and curriculum that includes the classification of the welding process and the different welding types.

Previously, welding was mainly done with gas fusion welding using acetylene and oxygen and with electric arc welding using the stick electrode. Welders must consider and deal with multiple technology factors, such as the nature of the base material, the purpose of welding, joint welding, deposit welding or hard surfacing, the process of welding, pressure welding, fusion welding, the method of welding, manual welding and automated welding. Additionally, welders must consider materials science factors, such as stress, changes in structure, hardness and elasticity. Accident prevention, including safety applications and compliance with OSHA standards, also is a consideration.

Industry professionals use multiple types of welding processes:
Shielded Arc Welding: The electrode, arc and welding puddle are protected against the atmosphere by a specially fed protective gas.
Metal-inert gas welding (MIG): The protective gas is inert and does not react with the melt. This gives rise to a spray arc. The transfer of material is in the form of fine droplets and is free of short circuits.
Metal-active gas welding (MAG): This process is used for unalloyed and low-alloyed steels. CO2 or mixed gases, such as 80 percent argon, 15 percent CO and 5 percent oxygen, are used as protective gases. Thin, medium and coarse sheet metals are welded with a short arc.
Tungsten-inert gas welding (TIG): This process is particularly suited for alloyed steels and nonferrous heavy metals. Light metals generally are welded with an alternating current arc because their oxide layers can be melted better.
Laser Welding: This includes YAG, CO2 and diode laser applications.

Challenging training
With the welding technology discussed above, a prospective student or apprentice should understand the importance and complexity of welding engineering. Those who complete training in welding engineering are able to enter into a rewarding but challenging career, and they have the potential to earn very good wages.

Any potential employee is able to identify the significant welding training required to support the growing production scheme. The American Welding Society and qualified technical colleges can provide further information and programs to support innovative and state-of-the-art training. For laser-operator training, the leading laser welding equipment manufacturers also are a good resource for training courses. FFJ

Udo O.J. Huff is an independent consultant with project experience in machine building, welding engineering, training and development. He holds Master of Education and Bachelor of Science in Technology degrees from Bowling Green State University. Questions or comments? E-mail uhuff@sbcglobal.net.

FFJWEB homepage-AMADA2-1

LATEST ISSUE  
MFD Cover0822

lineclearAUGUST 2022

METAL FABRICATORS DIRECTORY

The 2022-2023 Guide to Metal Fabricators in the U.S 

tjs ffjournal webad sept2022

stamtec 931816 stamtec 2020q3 brand 300x250v1

Udo O.J. Huff, M.ED.

Instagram - @FFJournal

Banner

Company Profiles

AIR FILTRATION

IRONWORKERS

NESTING SOFTWARE

SERVICE CENTERS

Camfil APC - Equipment Trilogy Machinery Inc. Metamation Inc. Admiral Steel
Camfil APC - Replacement Filters

LASER TECHNOLOGY

PLASMA TECHNOLOGY

Alliance Steel
Donaldson Company Inc. AMADA AMERICA, INC. Messer Cutting Systems Inc.

SOFTWARE

BENDING/FOLDING

Mazak Optonics Corp.

PLATE

Enmark Systems Inc.
MetalForming Inc. MC Machinery Systems Inc. Peddinghaus Lantek Systems Inc.
RAS Systems LLC Murata Machinery, USA, Inc.

PLATE & ANGLE ROLLS

SecturaSOFT

BEVELING

TRUMPF Inc. Davi Inc. SigmaTEK Systems LLC
Steelmax Tools LLC

LINEAR POSITION SENSORS

Trilogy Machinery Inc. Striker Systems

COIL PROCESSING

MTS Sensors

PRESS BRAKE TOOLING

STAMPING/PRESSES

Bradbury Group

MATERIAL HANDLING

Mate Precision Tooling AIDA-America Corp.
Burghardt + Schmidt Group EMH Crane Rolleri USA Nidec Press & Automation
Butech Bliss Fehr Warehouse Solutions Inc.

PRESS BRAKES

STEEL

Red Bud Industries UFP Industrial AMADA AMERICA, INC. Alliance Steel
Tishken

MEASUREMENT & QUALITY CONTROL

Automec Inc.

TUBE & PIPE

CONVEYOR SYSTEMS

Advanced Gauging Technologies MC Machinery Systems Inc. BLM Group
Mayfran International

METAL FABRICATION MACHINERY

SafanDarley HGG Profiling Equipment Inc.

DEBURRING/FINISHING

Cincinnati Inc.

PUNCHING

Prudential Stainless & Alloys
ATI Industrial Automation LVD Strippit Hougen Manufacturing

WATERJET

Lissmac Corp. Scotchman Industries Inc.

SAWING

Barton International
Osborn Trilogy Machinery Inc. Behringer Saws Inc. Jet Edge Waterjet Systems
SuperMax Tools

METAL FORMING

Cosen Saws Omax Corp.
Timesavers FAGOR Arrasate USA Inc. DoALL Sawing

WELDING

HYDRAULIC PRESSES

MetalForming Inc. HE&M Saw American Weldquip
Beckwood Press Co.

MICROFINISHING TOOLS

Savage Saws Strong Hand Tools
Triform Titan Tool Supply Inc.

 

T. J. Snow Company

TPMG2022 Brands


BPA_WW_MASTER.jpg