Custom Welding Solutions

Some projects are entirely unique, requiring custom solutions to complete, and it can be challenging to know who to rely on for high-quality bespoke tools and materials. PWP has a long history of building bespoke tools to achieve high-quality projects as envisaged by our clients. 

 

Benefits of Custom Welding Solutions

Custom solutions have many benefits, individually and for companies with large output. Streamlining production is one of the substantial benefits which allows for greater productivity and efficiency, resulting in better-quality final products within a shorter timescale. 

Additionally, custom solutions are known to be more cost-effective in the long term than standard products. While initial customisation costs are often high, in the long term, these tailored products will have considerably longer lifespans and are less likely to break due to the details put into their construction. The product’s frequent use rationalises its cost as the likelihood of paying for repairs is minimal.

 

Welding Production Improvements

The most significant benefit of custom solutions is the overall workflow and production improvement resulting from bespoke tools. 

User-tailored tools and materials are easier to use and allow for serious precision and efficiency, resulting in better overall workflow, production improvement and higher-quality outcomes. 

It’s also worth noting that PWP can make bespoke tools to increase the safety of welders. One of our team members can easily build a tool that aids and keeps you safe through discussion, ensuring its lasting quality. The design can incorporate features such as shields and ventilation, reducing potential hazards like sparks and exposure to harmful gases. 

 

Improving Welding Safety

The addition of safety mechanisms can also extend to PPE in the form of ergonomic handles and emission control systems. Also, automated features can be added to your tools to help regulate the welding parameters and control the arc, giving the user greater control over their project. Better control over welding tools significantly decreases the risk of injury, enabling welders to finish their projects safely and efficiently. 

 


Contact The Professionals at PWP

If you need any further information about our Custom Welding solutions, give us a call on 01234 345111 or email us at [email protected] where a member of our highly knowledgeable team will be available to give their expert advice. We’ll even go that extra mile to find the exact product you’re looking for or modify an existing product if necessary.

The cost of downtime: How productive business solutions can save companies thousands

Understanding The Financial Impact Of Downtime In Welding Facilities

 
The financial impact of downtime in welding facilities can be immense, costing thousands of pounds every year and creating further issues that are difficult for companies and employees to recover from. To combat downtime before it begins, companies may rely on productive business solutions to keep the workflow uninterrupted and reduce critical financial strains. 

PWP is proud to offer businesses affordable, productive solutions and help in the interception of downtime before it starts, allowing for more significant profit and less financial loss. Our productive solutions are long-term preemptive solutions for any issues the welding industry faces.
 

How Productive Solutions Solve Downtime

 
We must understand the development and aftermath of downtime before knowing how productive solutions can help the industry and individual companies. This article will delve into the effects of downtime before highlighting how productive solutions can remedy these issues. 
 

The Issues Of Lost Productivity In Welding

 
Firstly, the loss of productivity is the most significant issue of downtime. Due to mechanical failures or human error, welding environments can be inoperable by employees for safety reasons; therefore, there is no output from the facility during downtime. With the production line halted and workers idle, there is a significant decrease in the number of units produced; therefore, the company experiences financial loss. 

However, while workers remain idle and production halts, the company must continue to pay labour costs. These costs create even further losses for companies that need to generate profit, continuing to strain the business’s finances. 
 

The Cost Of Repairs And Maintenance In Welding

 
If the downtime was due to mechanical failures, maintenance or power outages, then the company must consider the cost of repairs and the time necessary to conduct those repairs. Examining the safety of employees and repair professionals is essential; however, updating safety precautions can incur extreme costs.

The effect of downtime in one part of the company can cause chain reactions. This reaction can include missed deadlines, loss of future opportunities and, therefore, future loss of profit. Downtime has a ripple effect and can affect your company’s reputation, which is difficult to recover, so you need to get your company operational again quickly – which costs more money. 
 

How To Solve Productivity In The Welding Industry

 
Downtime can be disastrous for companies within such a fast-moving industry like welding. So, it’s best to think ahead, invest in production solutions and get the upper hand on potential downtime. 

Productivity solutions play a crucial role in the welding industry by increasing efficiency and improving output while driving growth in the industry and individual companies. By utilising productivity solutions, companies can produce higher quality products, better their safety standards and position themselves with potential clients, presenting a lack of downtime as a reason for commission. 

Suppose you’re searching for a proactive solution to downtime and aiming to reduce costs. In that case, productivity solutions are the best option for companies hoping to become prominent and reliable. 
 

Contact Us For Expert Welding Advice And Solutions

 
For many years, PWP has distributed productive business solutions to customers who have positively impacted their company by reducing the opportunity for downtime to occur, allowing prosperity and financial success. 

If you would like to learn more about productivity solutions from welding experts or would like to discuss the topic with a member of our team, please contact us today.

Welding Consumables Complete Guide: Parts and Materials

What are welding consumables? 

Welding consumables are materials used during the welding process, such as MIG wire, TIG wire or MMA electrodes. These materials must be replaced regularly as they get used up during the welding process. 

There are two main types of welding consumables: firstly, the type which forms the weld, and secondly, a material such as tin or lead which acts as a “glue” that melts and joins the metals together by bonding. This article will discuss the first method while examining the MIG/MAG, TIG and MMA welding processes. 

What is arc welding? 

Arc welding is a process that uses an electric arc to create heat. This heat then melts and melds the metals together. A power source generates the electrical arc between a consumable or non-consumable electrode, creating a “weld pool” that melds the metal together once cooled. This type of welding is typically used to join metals such as steel, aluminium and stainless steel. 

MIG/MAG Welding Consumables

MIG/MAG welding is what most welders are familiar with as it is relatively easy to learn and can be a great introduction to welding.

MAG (Metal Active Gas) uses active gases (argon, hydrogen and nitrogen) to shield the weld pool from contaminants. The active gases form plasma around the electrode, and the heat from the plasma melts the consumable wire and forms the weld joint. 

The usual method of delivering the welding arc, shielding gas, and filler metal to the workpiece is achieved by a welding torch (or ‘gun), which is attached to the electrical terminal of a welding machine. While the filler wire is pushed along the torch, a shield gas is fed up the torch from its compressed cylinder, directed at the contact tip. 

MIG consumable parts are a commodity, but they are vital to achieving quality welding and can directly impact the productivity and cost of the project. Poor-quality welding materials can significantly affect the welding result; a badly designed MIG torch can poorly feed the filler wire or provide inconsistent gas shielding. 

The main consumable parts used during MIG/MAG welding are a liner, contact tip, gas nozzle, and diffuser. These parts feed the filler wire, maintain the gas shield, and create a good welding arc. These parts are vital to completing a superior weld, so using the best quality materials for these roles is essential. 

Higher-quality consumables are typically made from higher-grade materials, maximising life, increasing weld quality and reducing unnecessary issues. To reduce strife and low-quality welding results, buying quality consumable welding materials is best. 

TIG welding consumables 

TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to produce the weld, and a shielding gas (usually argon) is used; however, a filler metal is not always used in this process. TIG welding primarily welds thin sections of stainless steel and non-ferrous metals such as aluminium, magnesium and copper alloys. 

Welding Consumables Complete Guide

As the tungsten electrode is non-consumable, it does not melt or become part of the weld; instead, the arc’s heat melts the metal being welded. 

During welding, the tungsten electrode is held in place by a collet within the torch head. The main parts of the collet, the collet body and ceramic nozzle, need to be precisely dimensioned to suit the tungsten electrode. A poorly mounted electrode will cause the welding arc to wander, making it harder to control the weld pool. 

Poor-quality parts produce unnecessary difficulties such as undesirable weld bead appearance, weak gas shielding and extra downtime caused by frequently replacing burnout parts and ceramic nozzles. 

MMA welding 

MMA (Manual Metal Arc) welding is an arc-welding process in which the meld is produced by heating with an arc between a covered metal (stick) electrode and the workpiece. In this case, the shielding gas is generated through the decomposition of the electrode covering and the filler metal is collected from the electrode. This type of welding is frequently used in the construction and fabrication industries.  

Welding Consumables Complete Guide 2

There are no actual consumable parts in the MMA welding process; however, the electrode holder, earth clamps and welding leads that are used deteriorate with use, which can cause issues such as the electrode falling out of the holder or changing position during welding, or the reduction of welding power due to poor earth and electrode conductivity. 

It is recommended that welding leads are replaced regularly and that the correct size of cable, holder and earth clamps are used. PWP has provided a sizing guide below:

 

Where to find quality welding consumable suppliers in the UK

At PWP we aim to provide welders and those who work in the industry with the highest-quality materials to ensure that your welding has perfect results, and we plan to execute this goal by providing the essentials. 

Our extensive product ranges are focused on providing solutions that customers can benefit from and help produce their best work. PWP is determined to put quality equipment in the hands of welders and help the industry become more efficient, dynamic and profitable. 

If you require expert advice or new welding consumables, get in touch today. Call PWP on 01234 345111 or email [email protected] to place an enquiry or learn more. 

 

Welding PPE Essentials: What You Need

PPE for Welding

In this guide, we’ll cover why welding PPE is essential and what equipment you require to protect your employees in the workplace.

Practising a regulation level of health and safety in the workplace is not only a smart choice but a statutory requirement.

The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 is a specific guide adapted from the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. This Act outlines that it is the duty of every employer to ensure the health, safety and welfare of every employee. 

The provision and use of welding PPE, although the final form of protection, is essential in an industrial workplace — especially for welding shops where lots of hazards are present.

Why is protective equipment important when welding?

Fumes, flames, flying projectiles, extreme environments — these are just a few of the health risks associated with welding equipment. Although every measure should be made to eradicate these hazards where possible, PPE can help you to be confident your employee welfare is protected.

Welding without PPE leaves employees exposed to common welding risks such as carcinogenic welding fumes, high temperatures and aggressive airborne particles. By choosing not to supply appropriate welding PPE, or even failing to educate employees on why they should use it, workers are inviting damage to vital organs such as the eyes, lungs and skin.

It’s hard to anticipate accidents, which is why it’s essential to be prepared for them with the right protective welding equipment.

Failing to comply with regulations can not only lead to a poor business image but should employees become ill/injured then you are directly responsible. This comes with its own set of consequences.

In the long run, if inadequate protection is provided and employees become sick it can lead to long periods of inconsistency and downtime. Ultimately this has an impact on both overhead and outputs.

Supplying PPE also lets your employees know that you’re aware of the importance of their safety. This can improve their thoughts about their treatment from the business and make them feel valued.

Welding Helmet With Correct Protection

Best welding PPE Equipment

As welding can expose workers to so many hazards, it’s important to do a proper evaluation of the risks present in the workplace and select your PPE based on the risk assessment. For example, if your welding occurs in a wide-open, well-ventilated area then your employee won’t need such an advanced piece of respiratory protective equipment.

Below are several essential types of PPE that we believe are necessary for most welding situations.

Headshields/Face screens

Common forms of PPE for welding are the headshields or face screen. Headshields and welding helmets are perhaps the most iconic symbol of the welding profession.

The two types of headshield are the advanced headshield and manual passive headshield. Passive headshields do not have technological additions and are much more traditional. They are similar to face shields but offer more coverage around the face and neck as the material is wider and more rectangular.

The advanced headshields are a revolutionary addition to the range of PPE not offered for welders. PWP’s range of 3M headshields provides uncompromised protection against respiratory and optical workplace hazards.

Speedglas headshields are fitted with auto-darkening screens to protect the eyes against bright exposure during the weld. With protection against glare and projectiles, this solution is great for visual protection and covers the whole of the head like a helmet to keep sensitive skin protected.

Face screens and welding masks are different from headshields as they do not cover as much of the head. They are most frequently made from a visor and a headpiece that keeps the face screen secure. Inside the face screen, there is usually a face seal that keeps a flush fit against the skin and prevents fumes and projectiles from flying toward the face from the chin area. The Vitrex Combination model also offers auditory protection.

It’s important to note that face screens can also be paired with head, shoulder and neck covers for more protection.

All headshields and face screens should be fitted for the wearer. Where adjustments can’t be made to PPE, fit testing should take place to make sure an individual has a proper fit.

3M Adflo Welding Facemask

Fume Extraction

Fumes are a hazard that falls under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH). An influx or overload of fumes in the welding workplace can not only have a long-term adverse impact by evolving cancerous cells but can, in some cases, cause asphyxiation.

Fume extraction equipment will remove hazardous fume before they can reach dangerous levels in a welder’s lungs.

PWP’s range of fume extraction machines is available in fixed and mobile styles, to go with your employees onsite when the welding environment changes.

Do you already have a fume extraction system? Is it thoroughly examined by a competent person at least every 14 months? This is a legal requirement.

kemper welding fume control

Gloves & Gauntlets

Skin is sensitive and even the smallest projectiles can cause severe irreversible damage. For welders, their hands are vital for the trade and they shouldn’t be subjected to a potentially preventable injury.

Welding causes a lot of sparks and even though most extinguish in the air, should a projectile or flame fall on the skin, it can lead to blistering and open wounds. Welding also brings welders into contact with sharp objects and metals.

Protective gloves and gauntlets can be the PPE solution to help reduce these risks.

We supply cut level 5 gloves high cut resistant fibres blended with soft nylon and other synthetic yarns to produce an ergonomically tested, close-fitting and extremely comfortable glove. This premium glove is further enhanced with a durable and dextrous unique NitraDry foam nitrile palm coating that offers good mechanical protection in a variety of handling situations.

Where to buy welding PPE

At PWP, we want to make the welding industry the best it can be. Our vision is to put the best quality equipment into the hands of welders and that includes ensuring that welders have the appropriate welding PPE to keep themselves protected.

Want more information about welding PPE? Contact us today on 01234 345111 or email [email protected]

Common welding safety hazards and how to avoid them

When it comes to welding hazards and control measures, the welfare of employees is the most important consideration. Worksites and factories are full of risks that must be assessed and accounted for so that safe workplace practices can go ahead. This can include infrastructure, materials, other workers and contaminants.

In 2018/2019, 147 workers were killed at work and 550,000 injuries occurred in the workplace, leading to 30.7 million working days being lost. Each year, 13,000 deaths are suspected to be a result of past workplace exposure.

Multiple studies have observed excess mortality from pneumonia in welders and workers exposed to metal fumes as well as an increase in pulmonary infection in metal workers.

Controlling safety hazards and understanding how to resolve them is the only way to help prevent injury or harmful exposure. In this guide, we will outline the common welding safety hazards and how you can avoid them.

Importance of Welding Health and Safety

Controlling the safety of workers while welding might seem like a no-brainer but there’s a lot to consider, from fumes to tools to the environment. If welders are working at height or in an unfamiliar or high-risk environment (such as offshore workers or on an electric plant) then further safety concerns should be enforced to reduce Welding Hazards.

All standards and considerations should already be practised in line with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. This act makes it the duty of every employer to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work for every employee. This includes the provision of instruction, training, PPE and supervision as well as maintenance of machinery and equipment.

Not only does health and safety keep your workers safe but it also ensures that, as a company, you do not suffer huge profit losses as a result of legal consequences or downtime from missing workers. You can’t put a price on human life but you can put a price on neglecting it.

Common Welding Hazards

Electricity:

A voltage as low as 50 volts applied between two parts of the human body causes a current to flow that can block the electrical signals between the brain and the muscles. This can stop the heart or lungs.

When an electrical current passes through the human body, it heats the tissue along the length of the current flow. This can lead to deep burns that often require major surgery and permanent disability.

The arc welding process requires a live electrical circuit. This means that all arc welders using hand-held equipment will be at risk of electric shock and electrical burns. The risk for MIG/ MAG and TIG welding is reduced because the welding current is normally switched on and off using the trigger or footswitch so is more controlled.

For all arc welding processes, the essentials of safe practice to avoid Welding Hazards are:

  • Welding equipment conforms to the appropriate international (ISO) or British (BS) standards.
  • Fixed welding equipment is installed by a qualified person and is connected as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • The insulation on the welding and current return leads is undamaged and the conductor is thick enough to carry the current safely.
  • All connectors are clean, undamaged and correctly rated for the current required.
  • Never use equipment with damaged insulation on the welding cables, plugs, clamps or torch/electrode holder as this exposes live circuits.
  • Use the appropriate personal protective equipment for the task such as rubber gloves or gauntlets.

As for the environment, should a worker need to weld in damp or wet conditions or position the welder inside a tank, an insulating mat or dry platform should be provided so there is no direct contact with wet or conductive surfaces. A rubber floor mat or wooden pallet will work but should be large enough to offer protection if the welder has to kneel or lie down.

Welders should make sure their PPE or clothing is clean, and dry and should cover as much of the body as possible to minimise naked skin so they are less conductive.Welders clothing like overalls can provide a thick fabric layer to protect sensitive skin.

Welding Processes

Fumes & Gases:

All welding types produce smoke that contains harmful metal fume and gas byproducts such as aluminium, arsenic, lead, nitrogen, carbon monoxide and hydrogen fluoride.

Acute exposure to welding fume and gases can result in eye, nose and throat irritation, dizziness and nausea.

Prolonged exposure to welding fume can cause fatal damage to organs and immune systems. Health effects from certain fumes may include metal fume fever, stomach ulcers, kidney damage and nervous system damage. Prolonged exposure to manganese fumes can cause Parkinson’s–like symptoms.

Gases such as helium, argon, and carbon dioxide displaces oxygen in the air and can lead to suffocation, especially in enclosed spaces. Carbon monoxide, a scentless gas, won’t be detected by the welder and is a serious asphyxiation hazard.

As of February 2019, the HSE will no longer permit welding to be carried out without suitable control measures in place, regardless of duration. Control measures will range from ventilation to suitable respiratory protective equipment (RPE), depending on the nature of the activity.

This enforcement is a result of new scientific evidence from the International Agency for Research declaring that exposure to all welding fumes, including mild steel welding fume, is carcinogenic.

The damage done to welders, without correct health and safety practises, is not always instant. That’s why it’s important to protect your workers from the very beginning. Without protection against fumes and gases, employees can become another fatality in the 13,000 deaths already attributed to workplace exposure every year.

To control this risk, in line with new standards from the HSE, suitable engineering controls will be needed for indoor welding activities such as Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV).

Where LEV does not cover the risk of exposure, it should be supplemented by RPE to protect against residual fume.

Appropriate RPE should always be provided for welding outdoors and all welders must be trained and instructed on how to use their RPE because when used incorrectly PPE can be useless.

The HSE will no longer be accepting any welding activities to be carried out without any suitable exposure control measure in place as NO LEVEL is safe.

Monitoring air quality is a key safety factor as a lot of damaging fumes are non-detectable by human senses. Airwatch Monitoring System continuously monitors the air quality in production halls and warehouses using an optical, laser-operated measuring method. In addition, AirWatch controls the room ventilation and extraction systems and thus ensures efficient use as required.

PPE ensures that all individuals are protected during personal tasks and that their PPE is there when they need it. While FFP1 dust masksare suitable for airborne particles that are more irritable than dangerous, FFP2 and FFP3 masksshould be chosen for welding and used alongside previous measures mentioned.

PWP’s 3M Adflo systems can be used with filters for protection against fumes and gases in one system.

Welding Hazards

Fire or Explosion:

Fires and explosions caused by hot works have claimed the lives of many workers. Despite the fact the risks have been known for years, fatal and life-changing accidents still occur.

Hot metal parts, sparks and drips of molten metal can easily start a fire. Before starting to weld, wood, fabric, cardboard and other flammable material should always be cleared. Note that the heat, sparks and drips of metal and slag can travel a considerable distance and can start fires in adjacent rooms.

One of the main (and most dangerous) causes of fires and explosions is welding on, or near, flammable substances. When using a welder or flame cut on drums and tanks make sure you know the risks and can compensate for them.

In Scotland, a young welder was using a plasma cutter to remove the lid from a drum. When the blade began to cut through the metal, it generated a shower of sparks that ignited the flammable vapours inside the drum. The drum exploded, causing the lid to strike the welder on the head, resulting in fatal injuries.

A Health and Safety Executive investigation found that the cutting operation had not been properly risk assessed by the company. The drum had not been completely emptied of waste engine oil, and this would have been contaminated with petrol, causing the drum to be filled with petrol vapours.

The investigation also found that there was a lack of information, instruction and training, leading to the worker using an unsafe method to carry out the task. Although it was known by workers at the garage the used engine oil could be contaminated with fuel, they were not fully aware of the dangers of using a heat source such as the plasma cutter to remove the drum lid. The employer was prosecuted and fined £15,000.

Welding equipment requires gas to function. When welding or transporting materials, always be aware of gas spills or dangerous levels. If have to carry any gas cylinder inside a vehicle you should always close the main cylinder valve and ensure they won’t knock together.

Physical Damage caused by welding hazards:

Welding jobs have lots of risks to the body that can come from equipment and environmental factors like height, lose parts or infrastructure, sharp objects and heavy loads.

Eye injuries makeup around a quarter of all welding injuries and can be permanent. These can be burns welding sparks, chemical vapours or radiation damage from ultraviolet and infrared. “Welder’s flash,” a burn to the eyes, accounts for a great deal of construction eye injuries.

Optical and face PPE lowers these risks considerably. Goggles and glasses approved to correct EN standards will protect the eyes from small projectiles and sparks. For full facial protection, welding headshields and masks give a wider coverage layer. For super protection, even against fumes, ADFLO systems are the ultimate in welding PPE for respiratory and visual hazard control.

Falls and crushing are also risks that lead to a high number of injuries during welding work. This is usually when a risk assessment of the building or surroundings has not been carried out. If a welder must lay down or stand under large objects then the vibrations should not make materials fall. If a welder is operating at height, how are they secured? One misstep backwards can be a long way down.

Contact PWP

Welding Hazard Control Best Practices

Ensuring welding safety is all about preparation. No employee or worker should ever proceed to weld without the correct equipment, information or training. Every new environment and situation (and any change to a regular workplace) should be assessed to see whether new safety measures should be put in place to avoid Welding Hazards!

Long-term damage to personnel is as dangerous and damaging as short-term injury and all risks should be handled with the same integrity and care. By avoiding risks in the workplace, you can ensure your workers or your own health is protected as well as your brand reputation, revenue and relationships.

Safety hazards in the welding industry are always going to exist but they can be reduced drastically by using the appropriate equipment and making necessary preparations. Choose tools and welding machines you can trust.

At PWP, we strive to assist the metal fabrication industry. We only supply our customers with brands that we know are the best so workers can stay safe while also being efficient and reducing downtime. We’re fully prepared and equipped to protect you against welding hazards with our expansive range of welding PPE.

Want to make sure you’re staying compliant and safe at work as well as minimise welding hazards? Contact us today to see how we can help you on 01234 345111 or email [email protected]

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Welding Robot: Are They Worth It?

Welding Robots

Did you know the first workplace welding robot was designed in the 1950s and was known as the Unimate? The first Unimate model was sold to vehicle manufacturing giant General Motors in 1960 and worked on die casting and spot welding! Robotic Welders have been around longer than you think!

But why use a robot for welding at all? In this guide, we’ll discuss why robotic welding is so useful in the industry and whether the costs of the robotic units are worth the investment.

What is a welding Robot?

Robotic welding is often considered the rival of manual welding. However, robotic welding has actually grown in popularity as a result of the unavailability of welding personnel. Out of all robotic applications used in the workplace, robotic welding units make up 29% and with increasing production demands and dropping human involvement in this industry, this percentage will probably continue to rise.

The robotic welding unit, also known as a robot welding cell, is made up of a combination of components. These parts include those that actively complete welding tasks as well as accessories and safety features that improve the operation of the machine.

Most people have the idea that only big businesses need robotic welding because these welding systems appear so large and grand. However, companies of all sizes can improve their production times and business costs with these machines.

Robotic welding systems are most commonly used for resistance spot welding and arc welding for high quantities of products. These types of welding feature strongly in the automobile industries and any business with large production lines. But what makes robots so useful in these environments?

Statistically, human workers only have 50% arc-on time on a good day and this is subject to decrease. In contrast, robotic welding units have about 75% arc-on time and can increase for materials with longer seams. Humans are also…well, human and need to do human things like sleeping and eating.

Combined with no necessary human downtime, welding units are also not subject to human error or human limitations. Each movement of the robot arm and weld is precise, even on the most complex builds if they are configured correctly. This is consistent too because it does not decrease with fatigue.

By reducing errors, less material is wasted and by increasing the speed and precision (and reducing the spatter) of the weld, fewer consumables are burnt up. Combined, this has a significant positive impact on cost output and a strong improvement in productivity.

Another feature of robotics is its capability to withstand heat. It’s no mystery that welding is a job with risks (the iconic pull-down masks don’t exist for fun). Workers are exposed to high heats, airborne gases, molten materials and volatile objects. Robotic welding automation machines reduce the direct involvement of human workers, keeping them out of harm’s way.

professional welding

How to use a welding robot

Humans are not completely removed from the usage of robotic welding systems. To use a robotic welding unit, programs are inputted via the teach pendant and saved to the controller, telling the robot what to do. These programs move the welding robot and dictate the movement of the torch on the end of its arm, placing it exactly where it needs to perform tasks.

Robotic welding needs to be supervised constantly and maintained by a trained operator. If no one in a company’s employment has worked with robotic welding before, it’s advised to hire someone certified for this skill.

A trained technician will be able to resolve any on-site issues there and then while monitoring the capability of the machine for specific tasks. This helps reduce downtime and ensures smoother running.

The below outlines the process of a welding robot at work:

Welding instructions

Automated welding systems: A WORD OF CAUTION

We must just add a word of caution regarding the work holding jigs and the co-ordination of implementation.

  • The jigs are the make or break of a successful robotic welding system and can cost more than the robot itself. These jigs are normally designed and manufactured by an independent party.
  • The robot manufacturer generally does not get involved with the welding process itself.
  • The welding machine manufacturer generally does not get involved with the actual robots.
  • The integrator knows about robots and jigs but generally not the actual welding process.

This can make backup and support complex, the coordination of all four parties above is essential.

How much are Robotic Welding Machines?

Robotic welding machines are not a piece of equipment you can invest in if you’ve pulling pennies from the back of your sofa. However, they are a machine you can invest in if you want to improve your profits for the future.

The price of robotic welding units will depend on the power and reach requirements of the system and the quality of its components as well as the advanced technology of its programming device. Despite a rather considerate initial payment, robotic welders work (24/7 if you need them to) to return your investment.

Robotic welding jigs can be manually loaded with components or loaded with another robot and is some cases a robot has been used to hold the components while another robot performs the welding operation.

Without mistakes, material wastage and downtime, these machines are cost-effective for the long term to get your welding projects completed in good time and at great quality.

Robotic welder from Fronius

Best Robotic Welding Systems

For the best results, you need the best systems. Global market leader Fronius are at the forefront of welding technology and welding robotic systems. With a presence in over eighty countries, Fronius machines are changing the face of welding worldwide with large investments into research and development.

That’s why PWP take a huge amount of pride in providing our valued customers with units from this range that go above and beyond the call of duty for magnificent results.

From TIG systems to MIG Welding systems, through CMT & Plasma systems, the Fronius range of robotic welding systems provides solutions from simple to the sophisticated.

The following is a summary of the welding processes and their application to robotics:

MMA

The MMA welding process is not suitable for robotic applications.

MIG Welding

MIG welding is a robust & tolerant welding process which lends itself to robotic applications.

CMT Welding

The CMT process is derived from MIG welding and gives even greater process robustness & tolerance. In some cases, the CMT process can replace TIG or Plasma welding especially for the robotic welding of aluminium alloys.

TIG Welding

TIG welding can be problematic in robotic applications, consistence arc starting is an issue and as the wire feed is a separate component to the torch, accesses to the work can be problematic. If the join is an outside corner and not requiring any filler wire (called an autogenous weld) the TIG welding process can be successfully automated using robots.

Plasma Welding

Plasma welding has many advantages over robotic TIG welding, stand-off tolerance, narrow consistent arc, pilot arc running continually making main arc starting much more consistent and reliable. The down-sides are the filler wire feeding has the same problems as TIG welding and the sophistication of the equipment.

Having said that, plasma welding is sometimes the only process that can make the welding high enough quality.

Resistance Welding

Resistance welding is very suited to robotic applications. Sometimes the work is moved by the robot in relation to a fixed resistance welding machine and other time the welding head is on the robot which manipulates it around the workpiece. Once again the jigging or fixturing of the workpiece is one of the largest factors ii successfully implementing a robotic setup.

Who uses welding Robots?

With welding, the options are only as limited as your mind can imagine. From Chevrolets to Crates, from flashy Ferraris to Fencing, welding robots are the solution for manufacturers and businesses looking to increase their productivity, safety and reduce their downtime and wastage.

Compared to other welding options, welding robots give an unrivalled precision and pace that is simply not paralleled by human beings on large scale jobs and production lines. Alongside human employees, welding robots can change the way your company succeeds and allow you to venture forward toward ideas you previously thought were impossible.

welding in action

Where to buy welding robots?

PWP aims to help the Metal Fabrication Industry reach its full potential. We have an unwavering commitment to being a driving force for businesses everywhere that want to further their current system or discover the worthwhile investment of robotic Welders.

Our skilled team has extensive experience in the welding industry. This means everyone in our sales, administration, finance, store, and service departments are equipped to help you find the welding solution you seek. As a result, we are able to offer all-round assistance, advice and after-sales service.

So if you want to make improvements in your productivity or need more advice on why a welding robot is the best option for you, contact us today on 01234 345111 or email [email protected]

Bio of Author:

This article was written by Richard Fryer, a partner at PWP Industrial with 24 years of experience.

Richard

Passionate about supporting the professional welder and a demonstrated history of supplying products to the welding and fabrication industry, Richard is an invaluable asset to PWP Industrial and contributes toward the end goal of providing innovative solutions.

Connect with Richard on Linkedin.

Welding Consumables Complete Guide: Parts and Materials

Welding Materials and Parts – A Complete Guide

What are welding consumables? 

Welding consumables are materials used during welding, such as MIG wire, TIG wire or MMA electrodes. These materials must be replaced regularly as they get used up during welding. 

There are two main types of welding consumables: firstly, the type which forms the weld, and secondly, a material such as tin or lead which acts as a “glue” that melts and joins the metals together by bonding. This article will discuss the first method while examining the MIG/MAG, TIG and MMA welding processes. 

What is arc welding? 

Arc welding is a process that uses an electric arc to create heat. This heat then melts and melds the metals together. A power source generates the electrical arc between a consumable or non-consumable electrode, creating a “weld pool” that melds the metal together once cooled. This type of welding is typically used to join metals such as steel, aluminium and stainless steel. 

MIG/MAG Welding Consumables

MIG/MAG welding is what most welders are familiar with as it is relatively easy to learn and can be a great introduction to welding.

MAG (Metal Active Gas) uses active gases (argon, hydrogen and nitrogen) to shield the weld pool from contaminants. The active gases form plasma around the electrode, and the heat from the plasma melts the consumable wire and forms the weld joint. 

The usual method of delivering the welding arc, shielding gas, and filler metal to the workpiece is achieved by a welding torch (or ‘gun), which is attached to the electrical terminal of a welding machine. While the filler wire is pushed along the torch, a shield gas is fed up the torch from its compressed cylinder, directed at the contact tip. 

MIG consumable parts are a commodity, but they are vital to achieving quality welding and can directly impact the productivity and cost of the project. Poor-quality welding materials can significantly affect the welding result; a badly designed MIG torch can poorly feed the filler wire or provide inconsistent gas shielding. 

The main consumable parts used during MIG/MAG welding are a liner, contact tip, gas nozzle, and diffuser. These parts feed the filler wire, maintain the gas shield, and create a good welding arc. These parts are vital to completing a superior weld, so using the best quality materials for these roles is essential. 

Higher-quality consumables are typically made from higher-grade materials, maximising life, increasing weld quality and reducing unnecessary issues. To reduce strife and low-quality welding results, buying quality consumable welding materials is best. 

TIG welding consumables 

TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to produce the weld, and a shielding gas (usually argon) is used; however, a filler metal is not always used in this process. TIG welding primarily welds thin sections of stainless steel and non-ferrous metals such as aluminium, magnesium and copper alloys. 

As the tungsten electrode is non-consumable, it does not melt or become part of the weld; instead, the arc’s heat melts the metal being welded. 

During welding, the tungsten electrode is held in place by a collet within the torch head. The main parts of the collet, the collet body and ceramic nozzle, need to be precisely dimensioned to suit the tungsten electrode. A poorly mounted electrode will cause the welding arc to wander, making it harder to control the weld pool. 

Poor-quality parts produce unnecessary difficulties such as undesirable weld bead appearance, weak gas shielding and extra downtime caused by frequently replacing burnout parts and ceramic nozzles. 

MMA welding 

MMA (Manual Metal Arc) welding is an arc-welding process in which the meld is produced by heating with an arc between a covered metal (stick) electrode and the workpiece. In this case, the shielding gas is generated through the decomposition of the electrode covering and the filler metal is collected from the electrode. This type of welding is frequently used in the construction and fabrication industries.  

There are no actual consumable parts in the MMA welding process; however, the electrode holder, earth clamps and welding leads that are used deteriorate with use, which can cause issues such as the electrode falling out of the holder or changing position during welding, or the reduction of welding power due to poor earth and electrode conductivity. 

It is recommended that welding leads are replaced regularly and that the correct size of cable, holder and earth clamps are used. PWP has provided a sizing guide below:

Where to find quality welding consumable suppliers in the UK

At PWP we aim to provide welders and those who work in the industry with the highest-quality materials to ensure that your welding has perfect results, and we plan to execute this goal by providing the essentials. 

Our extensive product ranges are focused on providing solutions that customers can benefit from and help produce their best work. PWP is determined to put quality equipment in the hands of welders and help the industry become more efficient, dynamic and profitable. 

If you require expert advice or new welding materials or consumables, get in touch today. Call PWP on 01234 345111 or email [email protected] to place an enquiry or learn more. 

 

Richard

Passionate about supporting the professional welder and a demonstrated history of supplying products to the welding and fabrication industry, Richard is an invaluable asset to PWP Industrial and contributes toward the end goal of providing innovative solutions. Connect with Richard on Linkedin.

Choosing the Right Type Of Welding Machines

Modern-day welding is still a skill and can be physically demanding when using the wrong type of welding machines. Tried and tested processes are the norm and ones that most welders (and indeed their employers) feel comfortable with. However, when we stand back a bit and analyse what the result needs to be, sometimes new processes and methods become more attractive.

With April being National Welding Month, we’re as grateful as ever for the clients that we strive to provide quick, cost-effective and high-quality support and products to them. Our vision is to put peak-calibre tools into the hands of welders so that we can help to keep the industry productive and profitable.

At PWP Industrial we know how important it is to perform tasks to the highest standard which is why we acknowledge how important it is to choose the right type of welding machines to get your jobs done.

Welding machinery to consider when choosing a welder

There are plenty of things to consider when it comes to selecting the correct welding technology. First and foremost, it’s important to know the requirements of the job you will be using a welder for. This can include materials, location, spatial impacts and the skill available.

Welding machines and technology have advanced enormously over the past 20 years. This complicates and simplifies the selection process. Professional welding personnel are advancing from being highly skilled craftsmen to being highly competent associates to the elevated technical status of the current generation of welding machines.

With most welding machines making the conversion from dial to digital, welders in the profession must consider their adaptability to new easy-to-use interfaces as their own advantage.

Being able to trust the qualities of your welding products allows security and confidence when performing a job. Fronius manufactured machines provide the adaptability that welders need in this modern age to create bold and well-finished projects that exceed expectations.

Types of Welding Applications

Welding is a skill. Not just anyone can walk onto a site and perform a welding job. Knowing the limitations, advantages and disadvantages, as well as where to buy high-quality welding machines is always going to be pivotal to a project’s success.

Knowing the restrictions and advancements of your project will enable you to consider what you require from a welder, whether that’s efficiency, space or power. Being aware of the thickness as well as the components of a material that a job will require is also imperative as not all welders are appropriate for all metals.

There are three main welding processes (not the only three exclusively) but for most projects, these are the most adaptive and efficient:

MIG Welding Explained

MIG welding (also referred to as Gas Metal Arc Welding GMAW) in reality stands for Metal Inert Gas welding and this in itself is misleading because most MIG welding is, in fact, MAG welding (Metal Active Gas) and is therefore sometimes called MIG/MAG welding!! (follow that?? – more information on the differences is listed below). It is currently the most frequently used welding process and enables high-speed, good-quality welding. The process can be used as a manual, mechanised or robotic process.

So how does MIG welding work? In MIG welding, a filler metal or wire ignites the welding arc when it comes into contact with the workpiece. The consumable wire is advanced by a feeding mechanism and is transferred to the weld pool at the rate it is melted. When correctly adjusted, the advancing of the wire maintains a stable arc length i.e. a constant distance of the solid wire end from the workpiece. The molten weld pool is protected from reactive oxygen in the air by a ‘shielding gas’ flowing through the torch nozzle and over the workpiece. As a result, oxygen/air is displaced with this shielding gas during welding and therefore prevents oxidation of the components.

There are three common shielding gas mixes used in MIG or MAG welding and all are generally based on the inert gas, argon.

  1. Pure Argon (actual MIG welding!) – mainly only used when MIG welding aluminium and its alloys.
  2. Argon/Co2 Mixes – welding of steel is generally performed with argon/Co2 mix shielding gases, this makes the actual process MAG welding (Metal Active Gas) as the Co2 content influences the welding process, reducing spatter and increasing arc stability
  3. Argon/Helium Mixes – Adding helium produces a wide, deep penetration profile, Helium works well with thick materials and is usually used in ratios between 25-75 % Helium to 75-25 % Argon. Adjusting these ratios will change the penetration, bead profile and travel speed. Helium creates a ‘hotter’ arc, which allows for faster travel speeds and higher productivity rates.  With stainless steels, Helium is typically used in a tri-mix formula of Argon and CO2.

The advantages of MIG welding are:

  • It’s easy to learn
  • High welding and deposition rate
  • Low filler metal costs and suitability

However, MIG welding can be problematic in exterior settings as the wind can blow away the shielding gas causing porosity in the weld due to exposure to oxygen in the air.

PWP Industrial offers a range of high-quality MIG welding machine packages which provide solutions to many welding scenarios that come across in production. With touch screen options available now on some of the ranges, the MIG welders we supply are at the forefront of welder technology with its adapted usability and ease, ensuring this already speedy method goes even faster with greater repeatability. The Job functions on the Fronius machines allow you to store the parameters once they are established in a named format for easy retrieval and reuse.

TIG Welding Explained

Tungsten inert gas welding – or TIG welding – is a gas-shielded welding process. It is also one of the fusion welding processes and can be used wherever optimum quality and spatter-free weld seams are required.

TIG welding is suitable for application on stainless steels, aluminium (an AC arc is required for aluminium welding), copper, titanium, tantalum, tungsten and nickel down to very thin sheet metal. It is most prominently used in sheet metal, pipeline and contained construction as well as aerospace applications!

When it comes to TIG welding, This type of welding machines is currently emitted from a tungsten electrode held in the torch. The electrode emits an arc to the workpiece that rises in temperature and liquefies the surrounding material (TIG welding torches have a nozzle for directing shielding gas that surrounds the electrode and flows over the weld pool). It is important to ensure the tungsten electrode is protected because tungsten “flares” burns very readily at these temperatures in the presence of oxygen.

The inert shielding gas ensures the workpiece is primarily protected from reacting with oxygen in the surrounding air and allows for the production of high-integrity welds.

The tungsten electrode that sits at the heart of TIG welding is impressive. With a melting point of 3380ºC, tungsten has the highest melting point of all pure metals in the periodic table. This ensures that the electrode does not melt when the arc is emitted to melt the workpieces.

Fronius TIG welders are all built to the highest quality to ensure fantastic and smooth welding results every single time. With a variety of packages to choose from, selecting the right TIG welder is down to your requirements. The Fronius MW230 MV package is an AC/DC machine that is portable which makes it a fantastic addition to a constantly developing site so it can be moved wherever it’s needed.

Our Fronius TT230i DC package offers the same portability and features the same bright LCD screen to provide instructions and set parameters, ensuring a great relationship between human and machine.

The advantages of TIG welding are:

  • No welding splatter
  • High visual quality appearance of weld seams
  • Its versatility for positions and general outstanding finish calibre
  • Many materials can be welded without the need to change the gas type (Argon) and simply choosing the correct filler wire.

However, TIG welding requires a high degree of skill and takes more time to complete compared to its counterparts. It’s also not suitable for thick workpieces and requires smooth rustless surfaces before use. However, with the right degree of skill and craftsmanship, TIG welding provides outstanding results.

MMA Welding Explained

MMA welding, or stick electrode welding, traditionally was the first arc welding technique that workers were introduced to and taught. There is a skill to it that comes with practice but it offers further insight into other welding processes so that progression is smooth.

This rod electrode process offers numerous advantages in comparison to the processes previously mentioned. In principle, all materials can be welded using electrode welding except for a few.

This process is predominantly used for steel and pipeline construction but is also used widely across the metal trade and industry. MMA allows for a variety of diverse weld seams and positions, irrespective of whether this is vertical or overhead welding with high integrity of the finished weld.

Another bonus is that MMA welding does not rely on a shielding gas so this method of welding can be used outside, even in weather such as wind or rain.

For this process to move, contact between the rod electrode and workpiece ignites the arc. From this, a short circuit is created for a split second between the two poles which maintains that the current can flow. The arc burns between the two which creates the necessary fusion heat, the metal core of the rod is melted into the weld and the flux coating melts and floats on top to prevent oxygen from making contact with the molten metal.

The low voltage and high amperage required for MMA welding make it favourable. This regulated and adjustable power source means that factors can be easily monitored. The amperage is the most important parameter for the quality of the welding. Therefore, it must remain as constant as possible even if the arc length changes.

Because of the versatility of this welding process and the weld quality of the finished joint, it’s no wonder it’s used so much. The MMA welding machines supplied by PWP Industrial are designed to emit low amounts of noise and to make the welder’s life as comfortable as possible with features like hot start where the power is increased for a short burst to help start the welding process.

It must be noted that MMA welders should be used in locations with plenty of ventilation or air extraction as lots of smoke can be produced. This welding option is known as the slower of the three but is particularly suited to thicker sections. With forethought and planning, this process doesn’t lose its usability.

TIG welding machine in action

Why choose Fronius welders?

Fronius offers high-quality welding solutions that have the range and diversity to meet the demand for an assortment of projects and requirements. With each welder having unique qualities it’s important to conduct thorough research to ensure you select the machine that will suit the limitations of your project.

Fronius considers itself to be a pioneer in the digital age because they are technology leaders. Fronius find, develop and implement innovative methods to monitor and control energy for welding technology, photovoltaics and battery charging. They forge new paths, try something difficult and succeed where others have failed in achieving what seems to be impossible.

This means that every bit of technology is designed to be at the head of regulations and specifications with every step, even forging steps its way into the digital world.

With all that in mind, you may be wondering whether Fronius welders are worth every penny. Simply put, Fronius machines offer a full range of advanced features, and with their robust and durable designs and high specifications, you can trust that they won’t give up and are there to get the job done.

Shop our welders and welding consumables today!

PWP always goes the extra mile to ‘make something better’. That’s why we stock high-quality types of welding machinery and accessories that we trust to get your jobs done. We cover the United Kingdom using a devoted courier network that provides an unprecedented service that gets your welding materials to you when you need them. With extensive stock lines that range from welding torches to welding consumables, PWP provides the equipment for you without all the issues.

Don’t hesitate to check out our best type of welding machines mentioned in this blog at our range of welders page today. For further questions or enquiries, contact us on 01234 345111 or email [email protected] to talk to our friendly, knowledgeable team.

Bio of Author:

This article was written by Richard Fryer, a partner at PWP Industrial with 24 years of experience.

Richard

Passionate about supporting the professional welder and a demonstrated history of supplying products to the welding and fabrication industry, Richard is an invaluable asset to PWP Industrial and contributes toward the end goal of providing innovative solutions. Connect with Richard on Linkedin.

Carcinogenic Welding Fumes: How To Reduce the Risk (2019)?

Hearing the news that welding fumes have been classified as carcinogenic (having the potential to cause cancer) is likely to be quite shocking for all welders.

Don’t worry, in this article, we will be answering all the burning questions you have regarding this news including how you can avoid welding fumes and mitigate the risks.

Welding fumes now classified as a carcinogen, but why?

The carcinogenicity of welding fumes was assessed by International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 1989 and classified as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”, based on “limited evidence in human beings” and “inadequate evidence” in experimental animals.

In March 2017, 17 scientists from ten countries met at the IARC to re-evaluate the carcinogenicity of welding and they found substantial new evidence from observational and experimental studies.

In the present evaluation, welding fumes and UV radiation from welding are classified as “carcinogenic to humans”.

Who is affected by the new classification of welding fumes as a carcinogen?

All workers, employers, self-employed, contractors, and any others that carry out welding, including mild steel, are required to ensure effective engineering controls are provided and correctly used to control fume.

Welding fume doesn’t just affect the welders themselves, it can also affect anyone that is working nearby. The research by IARC found a trend of various eye-related disorders such as cataracts or keratoconjunctivitis occurring in both welders and nearby workers.

In addition, Arc welding generates UV radiation, a risk factor for the rare cancer melanoma. IARC state in their report “Most case-control studies showed positive associations, with risks of developing ocular melanoma generally increased by between two-fold and ten-fold.

Two of three studies that assessed risk by duration of employment as a welder showed positive trends.

These studies also showed increased ocular melanoma risk associated with eye burns—a proxy for UV exposure—and one reported a positive exposure-response association for cumulative occupational exposure to artificial UV radiation, including welding.”

Pipe welding on the pipeline construction causing welding fumes

Also, most studies reported increased risks of lung cancer in welders or other workers exposed to welding fumes. Asbestos exposure and smoking could not explain the excess risk.

Regularly breathing in welding fume can also lead to pneumonia, occupational asthma, metal fume fever (caused by exposure to specific oxides produced when certain metals are heated, symptoms are similar to that of the flu), irritation of throat and lungs, and temporarily reduced lung function.

After reading through all of those risks, you might be feeling a little concerned, but don’t give up on your welding career just yet because, thankfully, these risks can be mitigated.

What can be done to prevent carcinogenic fumes for welders?

General ventilation alone is not enough, fume extraction and filtration must be put into place to minimise the effects of welding fumes as much as possible. There is currently no known level of safe exposure.

The best way to extract welding fumes and dust is by using Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV). This video by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) does a great job of explaining what LEV is, its key components, and how the system works to protect health.

HSE’s key messages for buying LEV are:

  • Work out which jobs and activities cause exposure.
  • Write down what the LEV needs to do – get a reputable supplier to advise you.
  • Get the right type of LEV to control exposure.
  • Involve your employees in LEV design or selection.
  • Make sure the LEV is installed properly and works effectively.
  • Make sure the LEV has airflow indicators (or equivalent).
  • Make sure the supplier provides a User Manual and Log Book (or equivalents).

HSE’s key messages for using LEV are:

  • Manage the checking and maintaining of the LEV system.
  • Train employees to use the LEV properly (ask a supplier for help).
  • Follow instructions in the User Manual (or equivalent).
  • Fill in the Log Book and get repairs done.
  • Get the LEV thoroughly examined and tested annually.
  • Use the thorough examination report as an ‘audit’ and improve if necessary.

 PWP Welding fumes extractor

What is the best RPE for welding fumes?

Where engineering controls are not adequate to control all fume exposure, adequate and suitable respiratory protective equipment (RPE) is also required.

Adflo systems are available at PWP industrial, including the new Adflo Turbo powered air respirator with self-adjusting breathing tube QRS, airflow indicator, prefilter, spark arrestor, particle filter, standard battery, and a charger that incorporates a Li-ion battery, making the turbo almost 20% lighter in weight.

B

Adflo™ systems deliver fresh, filtered air to the wearer, with a comfortable lightweight design and long-lasting battery.

With the right type of filter, the Adflo respirator effectively protects you against both particles and gases all in one system. An odour filter can even be added to remove unpleasant smells.

In addition, the airflow is always a constant nominal rate of 170 litres per minute, regardless of the battery’s charge or the particle loading of the filter.

The lightweight Lithium-ion battery fully charges in 4-5 hours and has an operating time of 7-9 hours. If you need to extend operating time, there is also a heavy-duty battery option available.

VIEW ADFLO SYSTEMS

What PPE should welders use to prevent exposure to welding fumes?

PWP Industrial can supply Kemper’s high quality mobile welding fume extraction units.

There are several models that provide different levels of protection, from a basic unit for occasional use during welding to an advanced unit for heavy use thanks to a high capacity and safe filter change. The best model for you will depend on your application and budget.

These mobile fume extractors are ideal for facilities that require welding fume extraction in multiple locations, including maintenance departments, general fabrication and industrial welding.

They’re also the perfect choice for small shops or companies with only a few welding stations.

MIG fume torches are also available at PWP Industrial. These fume extraction MIG torches are the best we’ve seen yet!

With models from 300-500amp available, they feature a special extractor nozzle to minimise the shield gas disruption. These torches would be classed as on-tool extraction, a specialised type of local exhaust ventilation.

Full welding helmets paired with 3M’s Adflo powered air-purifying respirator system can also be used to further reduce exposure to welding fumes.

Disposable dust masks can offer reasonable protection for short jobs but they must be properly fitted to the person using it.

One type of mask does not fit all. This type of RPE is relatively cheap but they are often replaced on a daily basis meaning costs involved in their long-term use may be significant.

You should also reduce the time the welder is forced to breathe the fume directly from the torch.

This can be achieved by minimising the amount of work carried out in confined spaces, using turntables or other devices to weld in a position where the fume rises away from the welder’s face and reducing internal welding.

SAFETY & PPE PRODUCTS

mobile weld welding fumes extraction

Where are carcinogenic welding fumes most likely to occur?

The IARC found that exposure to all welding fume, including mild steel welding fume, is carcinogenic, although it is generally accepted that stainless steel fume is more hazardous than mild steel fume due to the higher chromium and nickel content.

Whilst TIG and flame welding techniques don’t usually involve putting the consumable directly into the arc, they generate much less visible fume particles.

For techniques such as resistance welding and plasma cutting, the health risk from the gases found in the fume becomes as important as the risk from metal particles in the fume.

Welding fume is a complex and varying mixture of airborne particles, vapours and gases which arise from the thermal manipulation of metal materials.

The fume particles formed from the vaporisation of molten metal as well as by-product vapours and gases may cause a wide range of adverse health effects.

Welding fume produced by aluminium welding risks exposure to ozone, which can result in streaming eyes, nose and a sore throat. It can also aggravate existing medical conditions such as asthma.

For Arc welding, the visible fume comes mostly from the filler wire when it’s exposed to the electric arc. Many of the common metals used in filler wires are harmful and several have Workplace Exposure Limits.

Welding fumes graphic chart

When should welders be concerned about carcinogenic fumes?

Welders should always be concerned about carcinogenic fumes as there is currently no known level of safe exposure. According to HSE welders should:

  1. Make sure exposure to any welding fume released is adequately controlled using engineering controls (typically LEV).
  2. Make sure suitable controls are provided for all welding activities, irrelevant of duration.  This includes welding outdoors.
  3. Where engineering controls alone cannot control exposure, then adequate and suitable RPE should be provided to control risk from any residual fume.
  4. Make sure all engineering controls are correctly used, suitably maintained and are subject to thorough examination and testing where required.
  5. Make sure any RPE is subject to an RPE programme. An RPE programme encapsulates all the elements of RPE use that you need to consider to ensure it is effective in protecting the wearer.

A panel of experts from industry, consultancies, academia and the HSE formed a working group to create a web tool on breathefreely.org.uk in order to inform managers and supervisors of welders about the best welding fume controls available to protect their health.

You only have to answer 4 simple task-related questions and the tool will produce a guidance sheet with the optimum control solution based on the responses.

Launch the tool

How does a welding fume extractor work?

Welding fume extractors come in different forms and work in different ways, the mobile fume extraction units from Kemper extract welding fumes at the source. The welding fume extractor cleans the air of harmful chemicals and particles. The contaminated extracted air is transported to the high capacity filter.

Some systems come with disposable filters and some are available with cleanable and reusable filters.

Where to buy welding fume protection supplies?

PWP Industrial stocks a comprehensive range of welding supplies including fume extraction, RPE for welding and fume extraction MIG welding torches.

We will go the extra mile to find the product you want, we can even modify existing products or manufacture a bespoke product to suit your requirements.

We also know how important it can be for welding supplies to be delivered quickly, that’s why we offer next day delivery for orders placed before 3:00 pm.

EXPLORE WELDING PRODUCTS

Where to get advice on welding fumes?

We are incredibly passionate about the welding and manufacture industry and we want our customers to achieve success – we see ourselves as success enablers.

We have advised global industry leaders on their welding and manufacturing processes and our skilled team has extensive experience in the welding industry. As a result, we are able to offer all-round assistance, advice and after-sales service.

If you need advice on reducing exposure to welding fumes, we’re here to help.

Get in touch with us today on 01234 345111, [email protected] or fill in our online enquiry form.

Bio of Author:

This article was written by Richard Fryer, a partner at PWP Industrial with 24 years of experience.

Richard

Passionate about supporting the professional welder and a demonstrated history of supplying products to the welding and fabrication industry, Richard is an invaluable asset to PWP Industrial and contributes toward the end goal of providing innovative solutions. Connect with Richard on Linkedin.

Fronius Welders: Worth Every Penny?

In recent decades welding technology has advanced significantly with Fronius welding machines standing out as the world’s market leader, creating products to make welding comfortable, convenient and perhaps most importantly, simple to use. Fronius consistently invests to develop new products and technology for welding from compact welding machines to top-of-the-range automated systems.

The Fronius Welder is the first choice for many welders and one of the leading brands in the world. As you would expect, this does come with a higher price, leaving many to wonder if the cost is truly justified. In this article, we’re going to explore if it’s worth every penny.

Why do Fronius Welding Machines cost so much?

Weld-seam quality

Ranging from a few hundred to tens of thousands of pounds, it’s no secret in the welding community that Fronius are some of the most expensive welding machines on the market. Put simply, the main reason for their high price tag is down to the outstanding quality of the machines and the resources they have invested in developing new welding technologies.

Fronius power sources are equipped with a digital control with a signal processor, which handles all data with maximum precision. The result is a perfect arc that delivers optimal weld-seam quality and 100% reproducible welding results.

Design and Robustness

Fronius products are tested to extremely high standards to ensure they can withstand even the harshest conditions and guaranteeing a reliable lifespan. All external influences that these products could be exposed to are simulated in a laboratory, this includes heat, cold, moisture and impact.

In fact, The TransSteel 2200 was recently awarded a prize by two expert juries and was recognised as the best product of the year 2018. This was mostly due to the compact design, multifunctionality, and robustness of the product.

Fronius welding equipment is mobile

High Spec

One of the biggest decisions you will need to make with regards to your welding equipment is whether you require a 230V unit that runs off a wall outlet, this is ideal for small home welding projects or a unit that will run from 400V 3 Phase, which is better suited to heavy-duty projects. A new range available also offers a Dual-Voltage option on MIG, TIG and MMA welding power-sources, allowing you to run from 110V building site power supplies.

Importantly, Fronius has developed its welding products to the highest specification, meaning these products are well suited for most projects, particularly those that require a high level of power.

Time

Not only are these welders designed to put down wire extremely efficiently, saving a considerable amount of time, but money can also be saved on welding consumables such as welding wire.

Some welding machines will use more welding wire than required, mainly in the production of weld spatter, which means that money is lost unnecessarily on buying in more consumables. On the other hand, Fronius welders are designed to only use the amount of wire absolutely needed – and to do it rapidly.

The duty cycle is also something to consider and is critically important. The longer that a welder can operate during a 10-minute cycle, the longer you can operate, and the quicker the job will be completed. This speed is compounded when welding at an industrial scale. Fronius machines are amongst the most time-efficient machines on the market.

TIG welding machines

Mobility

Fronius offers a number of power sources that work well for mobile applications such as building sites. This is due to the small and light features which make it highly portable. In some cases, flexible welding is also possible without the need for a mains supply.

Pricing Options

At PWP Industrial, we have a vast range of Fronius welding machine’s available to suit your needs. Whether you require a MIG welding machine like the Fronius TPS500i Pulse MIG SWF Package, a TIG welding machine like the Fronius TT230i DC Inverter TIG Package, or an MMA welding machine like the Fronius TP150 MMA Inverter Welder Package – we’ve got it all, each coming with its own range of benefits and features.

However, if you need expert advice on the best welder for you and your job, our experienced team is on hand to deliver the knowledge you need. In fact, we go that extra mile to find the product you’re looking for and can even modify existing products if required, you simply need to get in touch.

Other Features / Benefits

These days users are concerned with the energy consumption of their welding products and expect their manual power sources to operate energy-efficiently. This is something that has been considered by Fronius and implemented into Fronius welding equipment.

Fronius welders are incredibly straightforward to use and have been programmed with an extensive range of specialised welding processes to deliver professional products swiftly and efficiently. Further to this, these welders have been designed to put down wire very quickly and, rather than simply using more wire, Fronius welders ensure they don’t use any more than is absolutely needed.

Reliability is also a consideration when it comes to the price of your welder. While the upfront cost may seem expensive, if you add up the costs of your operation and compare them with the savings you can make thanks to a longer-lasting, more reliable and high-quality welder, you will see the savings can quickly outweigh the costs.

fronius welding

Fornius Welding Machines at PWP

We offer a vast range of products to the metal fabrication industry. Whatever you need from PWP Industrial you can count on us to consistently deliver.

With our comprehensive stock line, we can ship to areas throughout the UK. We also work tirelessly to ensure that products are available to our customers at the shortest possible lead time.

Ordering welding products has been made extremely easy with our new website, anyone can do it! Simply add an item to your enquiry basket and submit it to us – a member of our team will then be in touch with you to discuss your requirements and provide you with the best price. Payment is simple too – we accept BACS payment and most major credit cards.

If you need any further information about our welding machines, give us a call at 01234 345111 or email us at [email protected] where a member of our highly knowledgeable team will be available to give their expert advice.

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Bio of Author:

This article was written by Richard Fryer, a partner at PWP Industrial with 24 years of experience.

Richard

Passionate about supporting the professional welder and a demonstrated history of supplying products to the welding and fabrication industry, Richard is an invaluable asset to PWP Industrial and contributes toward the end goal of providing innovative solutions. Connect with Richard on Linkedin.

PWP Industrial – Preparing for Brexit

Introduction

Like many other UK companies, PWP Industrial has been following the Brexit negotiations with interest and evaluating the potential impact this may have on the ability to deliver goods and services to our customers. Please read on to see how we are Preparing for Brexit!

As with all major changes outside our immediate area of control, what is thought to be the worst-case scenario (no-deal Brexit and therefore reverting to World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules) is being actively assessed and planned for.

Potential Challenges

The possible ‘no-deal Brexit’ is considered to have a potential impact on the free movement of goods, product compliance, contracts and financial planning. Additional ‘red tape’, customs checks and tariffs are also likely to result in increased costs on top of currency fluctuations that can push prices upwards.

Of all the possible threats, PWP Industrial considers the key area to focus on as being anything that negatively impacts our customer’s production and therefore profitability. Primarily, restricted or delayed delivery of products has been identified as a key danger and PWP has been working on a strategy to limit the risk.

Assessment

PWP Industrial has a wide-ranging portfolio of suppliers ranging from manufacturers to importers and the risk has been scaled into the following categories;

No Deal Brexit Disruption Risk: 1 = highest, 5 = lowest
Rating Type of Supplier
1 European Based Supplier/stock only in EU
2 European Supplier with UK Stock
3 UK Supplier with European Manufacturers
4 UK Manufacturer
5 Non-European Supplier

Plan of Action

We are in contact both with European and UK based suppliers relying on products brought in from Europe to evaluate their contingency plans and are happy to note most are already putting measures in place to minimise the potential impact.

In such cases where there is an element of doubt, PWP Industrial is actively looking at alternative suppliers, supply chains and products that will keep our customers supplied with products essential to their production needs. Where there is no alternative (e.g. brand specific products needed for WPS’s), PWP Industrial is looking to increase and maintain ‘buffer’ stocks at the Bedford warehouse.

Do you have any question? Please do not hesitate to contact us today on 01234 345111 or email [email protected]

Plasma Cutting: Everything you need to know

Plasma cutting is a process that was developed from plasma welding in the 1950s and was designed to precisely cut both thin and thick materials. However, plasma cutting was not accepted by manufacturers and fabricators until the 1970s due to the cost of the system and the gases required, and the lack of knowledge surrounding the process.

Here at PWP, we offer a range of plasma cutters. In this article, we aim to give you all the essential information you need about these high-performance machines.

How much is a Plasma Cutter?

Plasma cutters can vary in price from £800 to £45,000. This is an enormous price range that depends entirely on the size of the machine, whether you need a handheld device for a hobby or a larger, industrial machine. The quality and features required also need to be taken into consideration.

There are many inexpensive plasma cutters on the market, which start as low as £130, however, while these machines may make some impressive cuts it won’t be long before you need a replacement. Established names who are leading manufacturers of welding and cutting supplies are much more reliable, which will reflect in the plasma cutter’s abilities.

The plasma cutters we supply are all high-powered, user-friendly, and of the highest quality. We can also offer a range of delivery options, including the next day if you order before 3 pm, and will keep you up to date on the progress of your order.

How does Plasma cutting work?

Plasma cutters are becoming an increasingly common tool in many industries such as metal fabrication, construction and automotive repair. This tool is able to cut through several types of metal including steel, copper, brass and aluminium by generating an extremely high-temperature, electrical channel of ionised gas otherwise known as plasma.

To create the 4th matter – the plasma – the cutter sends an electric arc through a gas, (either oxygen, nitrogen or argon) which rapidly increases the heat levels to the point where it goes beyond a solid, liquid or gas and becomes plasma. The machine will then use the plasma to transfer the energy to any conductive metal, allowing it to cut through with very little or no resistance. This method results in a clean, fast-cutting process.

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Do you need gas for Plasma Cutting?

Gas is needed for a plasma cutter in order for it to work and create the plasma.

As mentioned, the most popular gases to use are oxygen, nitrogen or argon. Some plasma cutter systems include multi-gas features so a variety of gases can be used for different applications.

Different gases are used depending on the type of metal you are cutting.

  • Oxygen has become the standard gas to use when cutting steel as it offers the fastest cutting speed of any plasma gas.
  • Nitrogen is the best choice when it comes to cutting aluminium and stainless steel and it can provide an excellent cut quality.
  • Argon is ideal for cutting thick stainless steel and aluminium as it’s the hottest burning plasma.
  • For a more economical choice, clean dry shop air is recommended and will cut through mild and stainless steel as well as aluminium.

How hot does a Plasma Cutter get?

The heat of a plasma cutter can reach an impressive temperature of 25,000 degrees Celsius. To put this into perspective, it is hotter than the surface of the sun which sits at a comfortable 5,505 degrees Celsius.

Safety is paramount when using a plasma cutter. Looking directly into the flame can permanently damage your eyes and the flame will also very quickly cut through skin, muscle and bone. It’s vital for you to select the appropriate PPE for the workplace, which can include helmets, safety footwear, gloves, eye protection and respiratory protective equipment to ensure the safety of workers.

Bear in mind that it is often unnecessary to use the maximum heat setting of a plasma cutter and doing so will use up a substantial amount of electricity. Our advice is to keep it on the lowest heat setting, if possible, and don’t leave it running for too long. Use the machine in small bursts, both for the benefit of your safety and the health of your electricity bill!

Can a Plasma Cutter cut through paint?

Yes, a plasma cutter is able to cut through painted metal, however, it will require a solid connection on a clean section of the metal that is as close to the area you are working on as possible.

The only times a plasma cutter will struggle to perform is if there is any water or moisture in the machine’s air compressor and if the air pressure is incorrect. If there is too much air the plasma can potentially blow out of the machine, however, if there’s too little you will have trouble cutting. To find out what the right amount of air pressure is for your machine, check the guidelines on your plasma torch.

Manufacturers should be aware that even the smallest amount of moisture can negatively affect the tool. If, while cutting, the machine is spluttering and erratic, chances are moisture is the cause. To ensure the air in the compressor is dry, use disposable air filters with a quick release at the base of the tool. For more information about plasma cutting you can download our basics guide.

What metals will a Plasma Cutter cut?

A plasma cutter can only be used for metals and alloys that are conductive. These include:

  • Mild steel
  • Stainless steel
  • Aluminium
  • Copper
  • Brass
  • Cast iron
  • Titanium
  • Monel
  • Inconel

The melting point of some of these metals will make them difficult to work with as the cutting capacity of the machine will decrease as the electrical conductivity of the metal increases, resulting in an uneven or ‘messy’ edge.

Plasma Cutter’s at PWP

If you need any further information about our plasma cutters, give us a call on 01234 345111 or email us at [email protected] where a member of our highly knowledgeable team will be available to give their expert advice. We’ll even go that extra mile to find the exact product you’re looking for or modify an existing product if necessary.

BUY A PLASMA CUTTER

CONTACT US

Bio of Author:

This article was written by Richard Fryer, a partner at PWP Industrial with 24 years of experience.

Passionate about supporting the professional welder and with a demonstrated history of supplying products to the welding and fabrication industry, Richard is an invaluable asset to PWP Industrial and contributes toward the end goal of providing innovative solutions. Connect with Richard on Linkedin.

Are Tesla lacking welding expertise on the new Model 3s?

As Tesla rolls out new Model 3s to test drivers, lingering manufacturing problems continue to delay production…

Details published in a Wall Street Journal report and in a video posted on Twitter sparked the interest of industry experts last month, with analysis suggesting Tesla seemed to be struggling to weld together their first predominantly steel vehicle.

The Model 3’s aluminium and steel body requires more welding than their previous projects – and experts suggest the main issue lies with expulsion from poorly planned spot welding.

They fell short of production targets for the third quarter, building just 260. Having previously predicted they would be producing 5,000 per week by the end of the year, it was clear that Tesla were “deep in production hell” – words used by CEO Elon Musk himself.

A few weeks ago the company officially cited battery pack assembly and welding robot processes as the main causes of delay – so could they still be lacking the welding knowledge needed to stand up to their ambitious plans?

Handling the heat: Plasma Welding Torch – the Viper MC

Here at PWP Industrial, we’re always coming up against new challenges, and when a client approached us with an unusual welding torch requirement, we got straight to work on a solution to help you handle the heat.

 

Plasma Welding Torch Requirements

They required a heavy-duty plasma welding torch that could handle very high levels of radiant heat, as all the torches they have previously tried had melted from the outside. Usually when a plasma welding torch is working at too high a power setting they melt/burn from the inside, hence this was a novel situation for the team at PWP!

 

The PWP Plasma Welding Solution

Our solution was to modify a heavy-duty, metal-bodied plasma CUTTING torch, converting it into a very heavy duty plasma WELDING torch and making the lead set to connect it to the power source. The modifications centred around the pilot arc circuit, nozzle seating and the electrode holder. The electrode holder had been modified to accept the PWP screw-in plasma welding electrodes as used in our range of plasma welding torches.

We successfully created the HD36 Plasma Welding Torch – meeting all the requirements, and resulting in one very happy client!

 

Plasma Cutter’s at PWP

If you need any further information about our plasma cutters, give us a call on 01234 345111 or email us at [email protected] where a member of our highly knowledgeable team will be available to give their expert advice. We’ll even go that extra mile to find the exact product you’re looking for or modify an existing product if necessary.

BUY A PLASMA CUTTER

CONTACT US

 

Bio of Author:

This article was written by Richard Fryer, a partner at PWP Industrial with 24 years of experience.

Passionate about supporting the professional welder and with a demonstrated history of supplying products to the welding and fabrication industry, Richard is an invaluable asset to PWP Industrial and contributes toward the end goal of providing innovative solutions. Connect with Richard on Linkedin.

2017 has been the year for product innovation!

We’ve had another busy year full of achievements and product developments here at PWP, here’s a look back at our 2017 Product Highlights

99MBN Plasma Welding Torches

Due to the healthy requirement from the nuclear reprocessing industry, we have seen a growing demand for the 99MBN Plasma Welding Torches. Check out our video on the unusual features of this product here.

HD36

We modified this heavy-duty plasma cutting torch into a very heavy duty plasma welding torch! This was for a specific application in the additive manufacturing development programme. Check out the HD36 Plasma Welding Torch here.

Welding Lathe

Incorporating the first new Fronius 250Kg rotator in the UK, this welding lathe covers 50 – 250mm dia by 0-500mm long workpieces. The new Fronius rotator talks directly to the MIG welding machine calling the jobs upon demand.

Nuclear Weld Data Loggers

2017 saw an urgent need from the nuclear industry for weld data loggers with bespoke software to fit exact specifications. Alongside Triton Electronics, we fulfilled this requirement in very short lead time.

Bohler tubular hard facing wire

The UTP AF Robotic 600 Seamless Cores Hardfacing Wire has solved a significant problem for a particular customer who manufacturers auger bits. So far in 2017, they have ordered 1500Kg of this high-quality wire from us!

A fantastic year for Fronius sales

2017 was a fantastic year for sales of the Fronius welding machines; in fact, there has been a staggering 60% increase.

Special 200Kg aluminium wire bulk pack

A customer required a 200Kg bulk pack of 1.2mm aluminium 5182 welding wire! With the help of Veostalpine Bohler, this material was successfully produced and applied to the robotic welding setup.

What’s been your key product of the year?

If you would like to find out more about what PWP could do for you, get in touch today!

Discover a new online experience from PWP

Welcome to PWP Industrial’s brand new and improved website, packed full of products, both old and new, as well as additional benefits, Our Online Experience is here for all your needs!

With the needs of the metal fabrication industry at the forefront, we’ve tailored our online offering to provide professional welders with everything they need. Browse our selection of essential welding tools, key safety equipment, abrasives, cleaners, and more! We have 1000s of products to cover every aspect of the welding process.

We know time is money – so we’ve made ordering easier for you. You can now open a trade account for a more straightforward and swifter ordering experience.

In need any information about our products or how to make the most of your Online Experience? Click here to contact PWP today.