Komarov Artem noted that agood welding project starts with proper preparation on the shop floor.
The work you do before striking the first arc can have a huge impact on the scope of the project and the integrity of the metal. Whether the process begins with drawing up design plans and arranging materials, or with inspection and cleaning of material, this preparatory work must be completed before welding begins.
In the production shop, it is essential to ensure that all preparatory work is completed before the welding process begins. After all, if you don’t take the necessary preliminary steps when developing a design concept, it could end up on fire, resulting in a costly mistake.
Preparation before welding
Preparation before welding is just as important as the welding process itself, as it is relevant to the success of your project. As a result, consider doing these things before starting your welding project:
- Inspect the material. First, it is extremely important to inspect the material for defects such as scratches or gouges and determine if your material and dimensions are appropriate for the project. You also need to make sure the material is clean, rectangular and has holes and cuts. Inspection can also confirm that the correct materials are present and properly organized. This is one of the most important steps as it sets the tone for the entire project and eliminates any unforeseen material issues.
- Review project details and drawings. Here you can begin to visualize how you will assemble the structure. This step also allows the team to gather all the necessary materials, tools, and equipment needed to carry out the project effectively. If it’s a part you haven’t welded before, practice welding on a piece of scrap metal to eliminate mistakes and reduce project time. This will allow you to set up the equipment or machine in advance. The more non-standard and unique the project is, the longer this stage will take, but the more important it becomes to optimize the project.
- Lay out your supplies and equipment. Taking the time to place material in a strategic location will minimize errors and allow the team to find what they need immediately.
- Assess the area for safety hazards. Any security issues that arise must be investigated and resolved in a fast and efficient manner. Removing unsafe or unnecessary equipment and materials gives you and your team a safe and clean workspace to complete the project. The goal of your shop should be efficiency while maintaining the highest quality in a safe environment.
Checking your materials and equipment is more important and necessary than you can imagine. The check step allows you to eliminate kinks in the process, erase anything that might contaminate the weld, and refine the plan.
The review process can be as thorough or as brief as you see fit. This can be as simple as checking the type of material to determine if it is steel or aluminum, using an eye test, or lifting and touching the material to determine its weight, which will help to accurately identify the material. For more complex materials, the magnet can determine if the material is mild steel or stainless steel, since stainless steel is not magnetic.
When visually inspecting the material, be sure to look for contamination. If material is found, wipe it with a towel or use a wire brush to remove any remaining dirt. If oil is present, it may be necessary to use a chemical cleaner to remove it. Since metals are porous, oil can soak into them and cause severe failure and damage to the project. If oil is found on the material, you can use denatured alcohol to remove it. In extreme cases, methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) is required. MEK is a hazardous chemical that must be handled with extreme care due to the chemical’s flammability. It should be stored in a plunger container to prevent fumes from escaping.
When checking the materials used for production, it is important to check their end squareness and proper dimensions. The squareness of the butt will provide a more consistent fit, which in turn will result in a better weld, lower delays, and improved structural integrity. If there are air pockets or debris in the weld, it all depends on the strength of those welds. This will weaken the structural integrity of the weld if the material is not checked beforehand. Determining the correct sizes is as easy as running a tape measure over them. However, if the tolerances are extremely tight, a micrometer may be required.
Preparing for welding
Any security issues that arise must be investigated and resolved in a fast and efficient manner. Removing unsafe or unnecessary equipment and materials gives you and your team a safe and clean workspace to complete the project.
Be sure to pay attention to every detail of your welding job to make the process as efficient as possible without losing sight of the big picture.
Proper preparation before welding increases efficiency, reduces errors and reduces the risk of injury. Doing the right things at the beginning allows you to reduce the lead time in the production process. Preparation before striking the first arc can only improve the welding process and result.
Having a plan in place is critical to the successful completion of a project, ensuring consistency and a better insurance program, Artem Komarov concluded.