When it comes to the latest trends in the welding industry of 2019, there are some pretty interesting developments. The industry has had a lack of qualified welders and this trend will continue. The good news is that there will always be a need for qualified workers.
The next big trend goes along with that. Robotic welding has been rapidly growing. The industrial world had over 2 million active robots in 2017. This number is said to grow by 80% over the next few years, which is estimated to be roughly 3.8 million active robots in the business industry by 2021. The welding industry is no different, with a projected $5.96 billion in robotics by 2023. China is the leading welding robotics market, but India, South Korea, Thailand, and Japan are growing markets in the Asia Pacific market.
Investments in occupational safety are on the rise. The fumes and gases that can be breathed in are the center focus. Companies have been taking safety actions and governments have been redoing regulations and laws. This has created a space for interesting welding machines to be used.
When it comes to advanced training, virtual reality technology has moved into the spotlight. With virtual reality or VR technology, students can be shown the various industries of welding such as high-rise construction or shipbuilding. An experienced welder needs to make the right choices based on their knowledge. Using VR technology, they can train inexperienced workers to learn from the simulation and to set up the equipment in the most efficient way.
When it comes to welding equipment most of us will think of a gas torch. The equipment used in these applications is as varied as the projects themselves. Between stick welding, MIG welding, TIG welding, plasma cutters, multi-process welding, advanced process welding or wire feeders; there is a lot to know.
This unit, TIG welders or tungsten inert gas welders, is used for precise welds on professional jobs. The unit is a two-hand job. One hand has to feed the filler metal, while the other hand uses the torch. The process is a bit complicated and can use a fingertip remote to control the welding arc and a foot pedal. This process is great for mild metals such as aluminum or steel. Shielding gas is required, like any other welding project.
MIG welders, GMAW or Gas Metal Arc Welding, is the kind of welding you would see for home projects. This common process is used by individuals, small business or manufacturing. The most common equipment is the single-phase all-in-one unit. For bigger projects that involve stainless steel or aluminum welding, there is the three-phase unit that can be used for multiple types of jobs.
Plasma is the fourth state of matter, after solid, liquid and gas. When the heat is introduced to a liquid it becomes a gas. When even more heat is introduced, the now electrically charged gas becomes plasma. By using the electrically conductive gas to move the energy of the power supply to the material, the plasma cutters create a more precise cut.
Conventional and precision are the two types of plasma systems. The conventional process starts by forcing nitrogen, argon or normal air through the nozzle. The plasma arc is between 12-20 thousand amps per square inch and all handheld units use this method as well. The precision process uses a high-density current for the sharpest cuts. The plasma arc is between 40-50 thousand amps per square inch. The process includes additional pieces for the complex torch.