September in North America means going back to school. It’s an exciting time. The learning of new things. Most importantly, another rung on the ladder of success.
So, in the spirit of September, let’s look at the field of welding: as a continuous education. On how to weld different metals, how to weld with different welding processes and how to weld better and faster.
Welding has moved from the Arts department to the Science department. Thanks to the accumulation of knowledge and better technology, we rely less on what feels right and rely more on what science knows is right. So let’s get started …
Everyone should be building a library of reference books on welding. Here are a few suggestions.
Total Welding Management by J.R. Barchoff
The Total Welding Management is a system for improving productivity in your welding area. It’s very readable and doable.
Certified Welding Supervisor Manual for Quality and Productivity Improvement by J.R. Barchoff, Kenneth Kerlluke, and Don Lynn
This is (almost) the workbook for Total Welding Management. It’s specific to how to improve your welding operations.
The Practical Welding Engineer by J. Crawford & Ken Rodgers
My favorite part is how you explain to your customer why changes need to be made to his original design – and he gladly pays for the extra work.
The Procedure Handbook of Arc Welding by the Jame F. Lincoln
Arc Welding Foundation Exhaustive book on everything about welding. From welding design to the actual welding. Nothing is missed out.
Magazines, Twitter, Podcasts and other forms of media
At least 2 things remind us we’re living in a different age. One, you can listen to a podcast on welding. Two, you need to have a Twitter account. It’s one of the easiest ways to obtain new information about the welding field.
As you climb the ladder of education, you need new tools to meet the new challenges.
A Gas Flowmeter
The regulator shows what’s in the cylinder. But the gas travels through a long narrow hose to reach the gun (or torch). How much gas actually comes out of the nozzle? The gas flowmeter will tell you.
Weld Fillet Gage
What is the required size of the weld? It shouldn’t be less (underwelded) or more (overwelded). The gage eliminates the guessing.
Tungsten Stick Out
Get a quick accurate measurement of your tungsten stick out.
A quicker, better and more productive way to sharpen your tungsten
Let yourself get educated. Join as a student at the CWB (Canadian Welding Bureau) and/or the AWS (American Welding Society). Learn about robotics and automated welding. Learn about new changes in the welding wires. Pick a subject and learn more about it. Some Vendors have great videos showing the features and benefits of their products.
We all know how important a good teacher is. And if we’re really lucky, we still have some great teachers in our life.
Here are some new teachers:
-Esab has their On-Line Esab University
-Hypertherm has on-line The Cutting Institute.
-There are certain vendors who are excelling in their niche market: CK Worldwide for tig; Flame Technologies for Gas Equipment. They have informative web sites and helpful technical departments.
-Manufacturer reps are a great source of special knowledge. They can quickly match their offerings with your situation.
-Your Welding sales rep. He’s been in many different welding shops, big and small. He’s been to manufacturer’s training sessions. And he has a Rolodex for the things he doesn’t know.
-Of course, every school year has a field trip. This year Fabtech is in Atlanta. It comes to Canada every 2 years – next one is in 2020.
We don’t acquire an education in one moment or one year. It’s building a little bit every day. A mixture of theory and experience. Then one day, you become the “Go-To-Guy”. And maybe that special teacher for the Next Generation of welding experts.