May 31, 2022

What Role Do Automatic Welding Machines Play at PennFab?

Several complex processes and disciplines work together during the metal fabrication process to bring a particular project to life. Steel fabricating companies have found ways to streamline their operations to make the fabrication process more streamlined. To help support the human element, PennFab, Inc. has incorporated automatic welding machines into our fabrication processes over the years.

Automatic welding machines have helped give our engineers and technicians the necessary tools to bring each product to life. However, people unfamiliar with the steel manufacturing industry might not know how these machines impact our daily routines at our facility. We’ll break down what role these machines have for our team and your projects.

A Crucial and Complicated Process

In metal fabrication, welding represents one of our team’s most crucial and complicated processes. Welding parts together and ensuring the pieces come together neatly and can withstand the pressures of daily use adds up to a critically important part of the fabrication process.

In the past, every piece that needed welding was done by the hands of an experienced welder. As projects have progressed and become more intricate and complex, finding ways to support welders and ensure every project moves at a good pace becomes a necessity; which is where the development of automatic welding machines comes into play. With the help of these machines, welders could perform more precision welds to help speed up the process and increase productivity. Operators still have to conduct final inspections and safety checks to ensure the best quality final product, but these machines have helped the PennFab team continue to grow.

Semi-Automatic Vs. Automatic Welding Machines

As with most machines in the fabrication industry, not every machine shares the same function or even the same method of operation. When talking about welding machines, the biggest difference comes down to semi-automatic versus automatic. Both styles offer project managers and operators distinct advantages, but you need to understand their differences to pick which one is right for the current project.

Semi-Automatic Welding Machines

Automating the welding process starts with understanding the two primary categories — semi-automatic and automatic. For the semi-automatic variety, the operator manually loads the necessary parts into the machine and monitors the specifics of the welding process throughout the project.

Paying close attention to the little details helps ensure nothing goes awry and ruins the quality of the final product. They’ll keep an eye on how the torch moves, keeping the parts as still as possible, and ensure that the pre-set parameters are met throughout every stage of the weld. As soon as one weld passes the final eye test, the operator reloads the machine and starts the process again.

Automatic Welding Machines

In the case of automatic welding machines, they handle every aspect of the welding process. Starting with loading the parts, performing the weld, and in some cases, final quality control checks, automatic welding machines aim to keep the process fully automated and move along at a brisk pace.

Having an operator on hand to help troubleshoot and double-check those final quality control checks is often necessary to ensure we get a high-quality weld every time.

Benefits of Automated Welding

Automating the process offers project managers and engineers some distinct advantages when it comes to automated welding. Automating the welding process can help improve weld quality, see a significant increase in output, and decrease the amount of leftover scrap.

Improved Weld Quality

The quality of any weld gets determined by two critical factors — integrity and repeatability. An automated process helps take human error out of the integrity and repeatability of the equation. Additionally, you can perform almost instantaneous quality checks on-site and make subtle adjustments to the machines if the welds aren’t coming together as well as you’d like.

Increased Output

Automated welding machines can keep the fabrication process moving forward steadily. With operators overseeing their processes, you get the speed of an automated machine with the precision and quality checks of the human eye.

Decreased Scrap

Mistakes can happen at any time. Shaving too much or too little off of a piece of sheet metal can mean you have an overabundance of scrap parts that you can’t use. This leftover scrap metal after a weld can often lead to increased waste and the number of unusable parts. With an automated machine, you can set the parameters to always shave off the right amount of metal and help you reign in undesirable scrap metal.

Trust PennFab With Your Next Fabrication Project!

Finding the right partner for your next fabrication project means you understand what you want from the project and what you need to make it a reality. With PennFab, our team consists of the best in engineering, fabrication, and processing to make it a reality. We use the latest state-of-the-art automated welding equipment to put our team in the best position to bring your project to life.

Contact our team to learn more about our process and get your next project started today!