Skills shortage is real, but is it as big an issue as companies think?
Organisations often struggle to get additional staff, yet don’t consider ‘do I actually need them’. Most fabrication and welding shops have not refined their welding operations in years and the process is driven by tradespeople whose primary focus is not necessarily productivity and efficiency.
Technoweld has extensive experience nationally and internationally. We know what works. All technical staff are welders by trade, so the practical approach ensures we bring to our clients outcomes that are proven to work.
Optimisation does not necessarily require capital expense but rather better utilises existing processes and equipment.
There are circumstances where modifying the approach through the use of newer technology does make sense, be it laser welding or modernising of welding equipment. Where this is the case, our practical experience can help you navigate the maze of technology and sales staff. You will have an independent person acting in your interests to assess options for you.
We have proven results with what plenty of people say: ‘That’s impossible’. Well, it’s not, and we can prove it.
Examples are as follows;
Stainless steel 400NB Sch 10 butt
- Was taking 4.5hrs (270 mins)
- We got it to 5.5mins
- 49X time reduction
- Saving per butt
- 25hrs @ $75/hr (including on costs) = $320/butt
- Purge @15L/min = 4000 litres of argon saved
Whilst in this example, there was a need for a change of equipment and process that cost approximately $25K, the ROI was extremely short at that rate of improvement.
Stainless Steel 80NB Sch 40
- Root run was taking 16mins
- We got it to 0.9 mins
- 16X time reduction
- Saving per butt
- 25hrs @ $75/hr (including on costs) = $20/butt
- Purge @15L/min = 150 litres of argon saved
There was a need for a change of equipment that cost approximately $16K, but again, the ROI was extremely short at that rate of improvement.
Carbon Steel 150NB Sch 80
- Was taking 1.25 hrs (90 mins)
- We got it to 11 mins
- 11X time reduction
- Saving per butt
- 15hrs @ $75/hr (including on costs) = $86/butt
Most companies already have the equipment required for this it is just not being utilised effectively.
Change of process = increase deposition rate by 40%
Reducing spatter means reduced labour = increased throughput and higher metal recovery rate.
Increasing deposition rate by 15% through correct machine setup and/or change of consumables.
There has never been an example where we cannot provide options for productivity gains.
We can demonstrate practical examples. So, we know it can be done, including backing it up with mechanical testing to ensure the necessary properties are achieved.
Why look at optimising my welding operations?
Many businesses create a ‘way’ of operating and continue to follow this process for many years, unaware of how to break the cycle or take on the onerous task of creating lasting change. Often, they are too busy striving to meet deadlines and keep the cogs turning. Couple this with the increasing shortage of skilled workers available within the welding industry, and businesses are stretched.
Particularly with small businesses, there is a reluctance to hire welding experts due to the expense incurred with no guaranteed return on investment. However, the savings on optimising production (doing it right the first time, consistency across operations and welding process, reductions in time wastage, consumables and rework) far outweigh the initial cost of hiring the experts to review your operations and then provide you with options.
New habits are formed, systems and processes are improved long-term, everyone humming to the same tune, and productivity increases and is maintained.
Expertise is developed, skill sets improved, and your business is viewed through fresh eyes across the organisation, from the shop floor up.
It sets the tone for `How we do things now’. Once in place, efficiency can have a massive impact on the bottom line and productivity levels of the future.
Some of the ways Technoweld can help your business are:
- The combining of high-end knowledge with practical application
- Reducing handling
- Reducing weld metal volume
- Optimal welding processes and procedures
- Training staff
Reduction in manual handling, bending and lifting repetitively will increase the productivity of your welders, with savings on time wasted whilst reducing the risk of injuries.
Wherever possible, having materials at the correct height and position, storage of consumables and cylinders with increased thought behind how and when they need to be accessed and transported throughout the operation.
Ensuring the correct positioning of both materials and welding pieces reduces the need for the welder to maintain awkward positioning. If they are comfortable, they will perform more efficiently and effectively. Remember the 5 Golden Rules of Welding.
Our professionals at Technoweld can review and make recommendations on how improvements can be made in your operations.
Reducing Weld Metal Volume
Incorrect leg length or using the incorrect weld preparation by just a small amount can increase the cost of producing the weld by 15%. Depending on the size of your operations, this can lead to significant wastage and reduction in the business’s overall bottom line.
Reducing the weld metal volume while improving the quality of welds and reducing distortion will assist in the reduction of costs.
Engaging someone who genuinely understands the balance that needs to be maintained to reduce volume without compromising the risk of lack of fusion is not that hard. This can then be documented in a well-written Welding Procedure Specification for your workforce to follow. The imparting of knowledge with clarity and consistency to welders across an organisation is game-changing.
Optimal Welding Procedures
A Welding Procedure Specification is a proven `recipe’ on how to weld components. If your procedures are not set correctly, they effectively build in low productivity. The purpose of a WPS is to provide a set of instructions to your team on exactly how to produce consistent, efficient welds that meet the requirements of standards, which can be the tool for maintaining productivity, saving you both time and money.
As industry experts, Technoweld has a library of ready-to-use Welding Procedure Specifications. If there is not already one to suit your needs, one can be developed to your requirements.
Why choose Technoweld for your Welding Procedure Specifications?
- we know what works
- we aim to reduce your overall welding costs
- we increase your efficiency
- to ensure your welding operations are compliant yet user-friendly and productive
Effectively and professionally trained staff have a huge impact on the productivity and financial success of your business. Confidence and increased ability through expert training will produce faster welds that are more compliant with a reduced need for rework.
Investing in and improving the skills of your team will have a significant effect on optimising your production. Further training of your core staff to the Supervisor level will assist in maintaining any improvements to production that you put into place.
Professional Welding Management and Optimisation
At Technoweld, welding is our number one passion and top priority. We have dedicated the last 25 years to helping Australian companies and welders succeed in the industry, whether it be through thorough optimisation of operations and processes, welding management systems, consulting or training. Utilising all the options discussed in this article, the Technoweld team can compile a comprehensive compilation of recommendations.
To find out more about how our team can assist you with improving productivity within your business through optimising your operations please call 1300 00 WELD or get in touch online
Welding may be complex, but it is not necessarily difficult.