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Ways to Increase Arc-On Time and Throughput in the Welding Operation Tracks


Ways to Increase Arc-On Time and Throughput in the Welding Operation


When seeking to improve any welding operation, companies must remember that the pursuit for greater throughput should not be separated from the drive to improve quality. Producing more parts per day is only beneficial if those parts are well made. Advanced Welding Information Management Systems (to be referred to hereafter as AWIM systems) support both goals by providing owners and management with real-time data that empowers them to evaluate their company’s welding operations and drive continuous improvement. AWIM systems carefully track and measure:


• Arc-on time • Welding deposition rates •


Throughput


• Cycle time • Value and non-value-added activities


By Scott Blankman, Field Applications Engineer, CWI/CWE, Miller Electric Mfg. Co.


Using these systems to find ways to increase arc-on time in the welding operation is valuable, but there is more to improving throughput than just spending more time welding. Having the ability to analyze and reduce downtime, and to optimize and evaluate non-welding activities is also essential to maintaining increased levels of productivity. Companies can also use AWIM systems to assess the effectiveness of their choice in filler metal and deposition rates (e.g. wire feed speeds) to ensure welding operators are as efficient and productive as possible. In other words, they can examine whether welding operators are at optimal travel speeds, while also minimizing over- or under- welding conditions, which helps keep costs down.


Analyzing and Improving Pre-Weld Activities


To increase arc-on time and throughput, there must first be efficient pre-welding processes in place. Although certain pre- weld activities are essential, they can still be streamlined.


AWIM systems can help identify what pre-weld activities are currently taking place, and help to identify which activities should or should not be occurring. By examining these activities, management can determine if the time being spent on pre-welding activities is reasonable or if there is room for improvement, and if so, where that improvement needs to be made. In some cases, it may be upstream in the operation.


Advanced welding information management systems (AWIM) can help increase arc-on time in the welding operation. They also provide the ability to analyze and reduce downtime, and to optimize and evaluate non-welding activities in order to improve productivity levels.


62 March/April 2016


For example, data may reveal welding operators spend an excessive amount of time addressing tolerance issues, waiting on parts or preparing joints that require the removal of mill scale. If this is the case, management can take steps to address the activities occurring prior to a part reaching the welding operation. Such analysis and actions help to identify and maintain accountability in the respective departments responsible for the issues;


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