Inside the Job: Welder
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Friday, August 7, 2015

Being an electrical equipment manufacturing company, we’re extremely familiar with all of the professions our employees hold. But, one not familiar with the trade may assume that the employees who make up our team only hold professions within the electrical field. As several of the pieces of electrical equipment we produce require metal in their construction, every employee doesn’t necessarily have to have a fondness for electricity. That’s what’s great about the line of work we’re in; not only do we employ an engineering staff, but we also have a manufacturing and service staff, which consists of many professions, including certified welders.

Because of the continuous updates to and changes in technology, for some it may seem bizarre that welding is a job that is still completed by a person and hasn’t completely succumbed to automation. Not only are there several different welding methods, there are also numerous energy sources used in welding. Because of all of these factors, rather than relying on machinery, having an actual person complete the job is better in some instances than plugging numbers and inputs into that machine. However, as welders use fusion, pressure, and sometimes heat to weld materials together, not having sufficient training or improperly welding materials together can be dangerous if the proper precautions haven’t been taken.

Though if you aren’t in the know of the industry, or have an active imagination have a child with an active imagination, you may not be fully knowledgeable about modern welders, but have an understanding of what they do thanks to the welders of olden times, who were also known as blacksmiths. But, as technology has changed — and so have the industries that require welding — what consists of a weld may have changed since your last jaunt to the Renaissance festival.

In the simplest terms, welding is a process that joins two materials together. The materials typically used are metals or thermoplastics. The weld itself is where the two materials have been joined together. The welding process is different than other techniques that join two pieces of metal together because in this technique, a welder does melt the base metal, unlike in soldering or brazing. There is a multitude of welding methods used across several different industries. However, among the most commonly used welding techniques are:

  • Flux-colored arc welding (FCAW or FCA) — A semi-automatic arc welding process that is used in construction because of its high speed and portability.
  • Gas metal arc welding (GMAW) — This is a welding process that’s used in industrial applications. In the industrial process, GMAW is preferred because of its versatility and speed. GMAW is rarely used outdoors.
  • Shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) — A manual arc welding process, this is considered to be one of the world’s first welding processes. SMAW is primarily used in the construction of sturdy structures and in industrial fabrication. It can be used to weld iron and steels, as well as aluminum, nickel, and copper alloys can be welded with this method.

To see the multiple products our team of certified welders welds at Gilbert Electrical Systems, click here. Or, contact us to find a representative in your area.

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