Orbital Technology Blog
Orbital welding and automation: machines vs. welders
Dexterity and versatility are the key words of the welder. This profession requires curiosity and the desire to learn to perfect one’s skills.
He does not understand the crisis: business demand is constant for this skilled workforce (more than 3,000 jobs each year and 17% growth in the field of industrial maintenance). Moreover, it’s a profession that affects all industrial sectors, because the welder is required for all assemblies, whether they are steel, copper, titanium, aluminum, or some other material.
Vehicle manufacturing companies, especially, believe that it is difficult to find skilled labor.
Automating the projects: the solution?
It is necessary to train new welders in light of the shortage of skilled labor. Some employers don’t bother with this formality and move to automate their worksites. But is this the solution?
Automation corresponds to the total or partial execution of technical tasks by machines operating without human intervention. Therefore, it includes all production line systems but also includes operations that require the intervention of a qualified welder. In fact, for each type of automated system, the operator must complete specific training in order to use the machine best and achieve quality work.
It is therefore understandable that we don’t talk about replacing the welder with a machine, but instead how they complement each other.
Do machines and welders complement each other?
If the welder is distinguished by his skills and great adaptability, automation allows for constant non-stop work and the concept of fatigue is absent. But the big difference lies in the tasks to be accomplished: complex tasks are done by humans, while machines are limited to simple tasks.
From the perspective of intelligent, and therefore partial automation, they can place themselves into a working partnership that is fluid, shared, and pleasant between the human and the machine.
We then see relief in the most tiring operations for people, and therefore respect for the human factor in work. A valued personnel is a motivated personnel that makes gains in growth!
In 2015, the motivation, involvement, and well-being of employees are the first factors in improving competitiveness in the industry, to the tune of 55.4%.
Therefore, automation shouldn’t be feared in the sense where machines will always need experienced welders to operate them best.
Overall process: the adapted solution?
In the case of orbital welding, the overall process will be of better quality by combining the skills of welders with the consistency of the machine. All stages of preparation up to the welding will be performed with precision and quality.
The welder, who has fewer tasks thanks to the machine, can focus on the art of his profession: welding.