requirements and constraints

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Process-selection is the decision about methods and means to be used in any specific case.

The purpose is to optimize the particular welding operations while taking into account important considerations.

In a previous page on Welding_Overview,  we introduced briefly the different welding processes by grouping them into logical categories.

Process selection is necessary as not all processes are equally likely to produce acceptable results in any case.

A successful process is the one that produces the required quality in reasonable time at the least cost.

Less than ideal conditions may induce operators to compromise on certain requirements to get the work done anyhow.

But there is more than Process selection in the establishment of a realistic welding plan.

Any welding plan must be based on available resources. In case certain resources are limited, a responsible management has to make painful choices, that may adversely affect the operation outcome.

In principle any Process selection could be used for any given task.
But in practice there are constraints that indicate the preferred ways to follow.

What are the main reasons that suggest or compel a specific Process-selection?

  • Availability is a most compelling reason.
  • Not only of main equipment and its energy source,
  • but of accessories and consumables as well.
  • Certified Welders' skills may be needed.
  • Weldability of base material must be taken into account.
  • Heat input requirements may limit the selection of power sources.
  • Suitability to obtain the final product is a precondition.
  • Reasonable operating costs should be preferred, relative to the value of the final product.
  • Required time to completion, may condition the choices.
  • Capability to perform joint preparation and to handle the work in progress must be assured.
  • Production Quantity or Volume will influence Process-selection.
  • Safety concerns must be satisfied.
  • Code and quality requirements must be assured.

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The AWS Welding Handbook, ninth edition, Volume 1 shows in Table 1.1 at page 4, the Capabilities of the Commonly Used Joining Processes.

It may give a first indication of the suitability of processes to materials, in selected thicknesses.

A final appropriate Process selection can only be done by someone with an intimate knowledge of the different processes and long time experience with successful applications.

This is an invaluable asset for anyone with responsibility to run an industrial welding operation.

Therefore anyone with prospects of a long and gratifying welding career, should profit from any occasion to learn the finer details of equipment operation and its limits.

Learning applicability of Process-selection to different materials is essential to correct performance.

Distance-learning could be a suitable way to improve the knowledge relative to specific processes likely to benefit current or future production plans.

In particular one should be open to investigate new developments that may not yet be sufficiently popular to be common, but could provide remarkable advantages in special situations.

An Article on one such process, New SAW Technology was published (3) in Issue 137 of Practical Welding Letter for January 2015.
Click on PWL#137 to see it.

Another Article on a different new composite process, called Hybrid Induction Arc Welding  was published (2) in Issue 138 of Practical Welding Letter for February 2015.
Click on PWL#138 to see it.

Once a process has been selected, a proper Welding Procedure Specification (WPS) should be prepared with all details and working parameters spelled out, to guarantee correct acceptable results.

At the same time inspection methods and limits have to be specified to guarantee the satisfactory performance of welding operations.

Productivity advantages may be offered in newer equipment proposed by manufacturers, but in general even older machines may be perfectly reliable for many years of continuous work, if maintained correctly and used within their capability limits.

For every process outlined in the quoted introductory page
(Welding_Overview) many pages were written describing operating details of different processes.

It is strongly suggested to all readers to familiarize themselves with all types, or at least with those they will use currently, to absorb essential knowledge.

Personal notes and bookmarks may help for future reference.
Learning Process selection is a never ending, continuing endeavor, likely to provide intense satisfaction to those pursuing it with passion.

Reviewing the following articles may help readers grasp essential meanings of Process selection:

Process selection for Welding

A Quality and Cost Approach for Welding Process selection


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To reach a Guide to the collection of the most important Articles from Past Issues of Practical Welding Letter, click on Welding Topics.

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