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Welding Basics – Welding Tips and Tricks – MIG + WIG + Arc + Robotic Welding 101

Welding Basics – Welding Tips and Tricks

Welding Basics

Welding is a process that uses electric to bring a particular diameter electrode to its kindling point and join 2 metallic pieces of metal together. Each type of material from steel to stainless to aluminium all have different melting points.  Typically on a GMAW Mig-welding Arc you can reach temperatures of 10,000 degrees at the arc. Mig-welding and Tig-welding is a common term for GMAW which stands for Gass Metal Arc Welding and GTAW which is Gass Tungsten Arc Welding.

GMAW Welding

GMAW is more of an automatic process where you have a filler material, it is loaded into the welding machine, you depress a trigger and that material automatically dispenses out, it generates an arc and you fuse two pieces of metal together. With Tig-welding, the process of adding the filler is most times manual, when a person takes that material and ads it into the electric with the arc and then joins those two pieces of material together.

Mig Welding

Different applications lend themself to Mig-welding verses Tig-welding. Again for efficiencies Mig-welding is most times an automatic process where an operator can just pull a trigger and material is dispensed. It fuses those materials together, where Tig-welding requires a little bit more skill set because you have both hands needed to be used one holding a torch, one holding the filler material, unless you get into a robotic scenario. Which you know we have the capabilities here as well.

Robotic Welding

Provotic welding is something PCI ventured into about 9 years ago. What that is, it basically uses a robotic arm to hold a type of power supply and do that process with a robotic arm verses a manual process. We have 2 robotic welders here, both of those are die hand machines and sales and they use a H frame design. Which we can take apart up to probably 60 inches wide and it can be up to a 1000 pounds, put it on there and we have GMAW. Which is commonly referred to as Mig-welding, Mig-welding power supply is hooked up to those, so we have 2 cells that are capable of that.

So one of the parts we have done on that machine, very repetitiously over the last couple of years is a part for the alternative energy division and it takes a box of materials that we weld together.  They’re relatively thin but we were travelling in upwards of 30-40 inches a minute. So when you have a part that has multiple areas that need welding on it and we are travelling at 30-40 inches a minute and you have 100+ inches of welding on. You are talking a couple of minutes to produce a part.

Whereas if you did that manually you might be there for 30 minutes to weld that part. So it significantly reduces weld time, which translates into cheaper costs for our customers. One of the more challenging pieces was actually, as far as design actually a very simplistic part but the tolerances were very strenuous. As far as us being able to hold a tight tolerance. On a small part so any time you have heat introduced into metal you get warping and distortion and we had a part that.  Like I said it was very simple but there was a lot of heat input into a small area which the tolerance between lug to lug or dimension on the print was very hard to achieve. So we had some experts in to help us with some fixturing that we designed here and we were able to achieve that over some time.