Welding is an art form that has been around for centuries. And while it's not the easiest field to get into, you might be surprised at how much welding there is in your life already.
It's used in both commercial and residential construction projects; on bridges, skyscrapers, highways; even in your car or truck. Welding makes many things possible which would otherwise be impossible – like the Golden Gate Bridge!
Here are some of the latest innovations that could make this ancient craft easier than ever before.
This new technology is so precise it can weld microscopic spots on tiny electronic componen ts. Laser welding uses heat, light, and pressure to fuse two parts without the use of filler materials like tungsten (which requires an additional step).
This means car companies can save millions of dollars in manufacturing costs – because lasers make the welding process faster. And it's also much cleaner, so there is less wasted material. Laser welding has already been used to manufacture parts for cars like the BMW 7 Series and Audi A8. It will be introduced into the automotive industry on a larger scale starting this year.
Because no filler material is needed, laser welding also dramatically reduces the chance of contamination during the process. That means cleaner, stronger welds that last longer.
Robotic Arc Welding
Arc welding – which includes TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding, MIG (Metal Inert Gas) welding, and Flux-Cored arc welding – forms 90% of all industrial fabrication work in North America.
And yet this type of welding still relies on manual input by a human welder. That's where the welding robot comes in: a combination of automated welding and precise motion control. This recently developed technology makes it possible to weld much more accurately – even with complex materials, like aluminum castings – by removing the need for heat input from a human hand.
Machines can now do what humans can't do as accurately or as quickly. In fact, they can sometimes outperform us. In practice, this could mean reduced lead times and higher quality products without compromising safety. Robotic arc welding is already being used in several industries here in North America and around the world.
Friction Stir Welding (FSW)
If you're fabricating an engine block or brake caliper housing, then look no further than friction stir welding. This advanced technology uses both heat and pressure to melt two pieces of metal together without melting surrounding areas – minimizing waste! FSW leaves very little build-up at the interface between joined metals; so each weld is stronger than the original material.
FSW works best when welding dissimilar metals, like steel and aluminum. FSW has been used to manufacture parts for several car models, including the Porsche 911 GT3 and Mercedes-Benz S500.
While it's already in use in some assembly lines, this technology will soon be more widely adopted by industries that work with alloys or different types of steel.
It's a common problem in welding: a part is fabricated by another company and then needs to be welded onto something else. There are times when you have to call on a third party just to perform that one task.
Fixtureless welding is an innovative technology that could eliminate this need. It's as much about the process as it is about the result. The goal of fixtureless welding is to provide accurate, consistent positioning of components during welding without time-consuming set-ups or costly equipment.
In practice, this means two things: faster production and increased quality control. Plus – because there's no need for a grueling alignment process at the beginning of every job – you can now hire any qualified welder to do the job. This means a larger pool of skilled workers for your business!
Improved Welding Power Source
Welding technology has come a long way in the past few decades. There was a time when it seemed like there was no end in sight to the ongoing power source limitations that affected welders.
For instance, older models required pre-heating of components before welding could begin – which not only wastes time and money but also causes hazards on the job site by delaying production even further.
Not anymore! In recent years welding power sources have been transformed from stationary machines to portable units that can be easily moved around a fabrication shop or manufacturing facility – speeding up production and reducing costs for businesses across many industries. If you’re worried about an increase in your energy bills, you can use a utility billing service.
Sensors for Adaptive Welding
This might sound like something out of Star Wars, but it's actually an innovative technology that can automatically adapt to changes in electrode stick out, torch angle, and position on the weld.
It pairs with more traditional welding techniques like MIG welding or plasma cutting to make them even better – enhancing productivity while also reducing waste. With sensors, machines can communicate information about the job for optimal results.
For example, during arc welding, the sensor could measure the voltage required for each pass of wire through a specific material thickness, then input this data into memory so that all subsequent passes are done with the exact same parameters. The result? A higher-quality product without any wasted material!
Resistance Spot Welding
This high-quality welding method was first used on the U.S space shuttle during the 1980s to hold together vital electronics systems.
It can be applied to a number of diverse materials, particularly thin sheets of metal or plastic. Resistance spot welding is also useful for large volumes given its speed and efficiency – despite being a more expensive process than other methods. For this reason, it's mostly used in industrial production lines where accuracy isn't as important as cost-effectiveness.
What makes resistance spot welding unique is that it doesn't involve any sort of filler material or pressure – unlike some similar processes like Ultrasonic Welding or Thermit Welding. Instead, heat energy from an electric current causes both metals to essentially melt into each other. The result is a strong, permanent bond that doesn't require additional processing or material to complete!
In this blog, we’ve highlighted some of the most innovative technologies that have been developed and how they might interest you as a business owner or individual looking to learn more about these techniques.