Stud welding has been around for a very long time. There are conflicting reports about who actually invented the process. A patent search reveals one possibility. In 1930, Boris S. Robinoff, along with Sumner E. Paine and Wrignol E. Quillen, published patent US1782316A and later sold the rights to Linde Air Products Company. At this point, the company used stud welding for submerged welding in the shipbuilding industry. It wasn’t long before it spread into other construction industries.
What also may have been around a long time is your stud welding equipment. It is common to grow fond of something you have owned a long time, but using old tools may not be a wise idea. Here are some questions to ask yourself that will help with the decision about when to replace welding equipment.
- Is it obsolete? There is a difference between a classic car and a junk heap. Obsolete welding equipment is unlikely to become a classic, so it is a junk heap for sure! It may be hard to part with it, but once you use a newer model with its vast improvements, you won’t miss it.
- Is it safe? Old equipment could cost you dearly because of an injury or because the lower-quality welds it produces could hurt your image and lose you some business.
- Are you facing repairs? Repairs are costly in several ways. Not only will you be paying for them, but you will lose time on the job, which drops revenue. If your welding equipment is old, you may lose even more time, as it can be difficult to locate parts or find someone that knows how to work on them. When repair costs become greater than replacement costs, it is time to act.
- Are you happy with results? If you find yourself constantly dealing with issues or the results are not satisfactory, replace the equipment. Not only is it frustrating to work with obsolete equipment, your welds won’t hold up as they should. Besides, if you are not happy with the results, why would your customer be? In addition, you could be liable should a weld fail.
Troubleshooting Your Stud Welding Equipment
Old equipment can be fraught with problems. Troubleshooting is necessary to decide if you should replace your equipment. Is the issue caused by the equipment, the consumables, the work piece, or user error? The process of troubleshooting will depend on the type and model of the welding equipment you have.
MIG Welding Troubleshooting
Any number of weld defects can result from problems with the equipment or the consumables. To make things more complicated, a defect can result from more than one issue. Here are a few issues:
- Wire is not feeding. This is usually an equipment issue. One or more parts must be replaced, such as the trigger switch, feeder relay, control lead, liner, or adapter connection.
- Erratic wire feeding. If the wire is feeding, but erratically, the liner probably needs replacing. There may also be debris buildup.
- Short tip life. A number of factors can influence tip life, and it may well be the particular application that is to blame. It can also be user error, such as using the wrong size tip for the task. Other things to check are the drive roll tension setting, low-quality wire, or a defective drive roll.
- Erratic arc. Consistent electrical conductivity is required for a proper arc, so look for what is hampering it. Possibilities include erratic wire feeding, worn or improper tip, gun neck is too straight, connections are loose, or liner is worn, damaged, or dirty.
- Extreme spatter. Diagnosing this issue is complex and can be either equipment or non-equipment related. User errors include improper weld puddle protection, incorrect tip installation, incorrect shielding gas, and not keeping the nozzles and diffusers clean. Other possibilities include a contaminated work piece and electrical conductivity issues.
- Running hot. The most common causes when the gun is getting too hot are loose connections, defective power cable, and exceeding the duty cycle. You can correct the latter only by using a higher-rated gun for the project.
A great source for troubleshooting your welding equipment is the dealer where you purchased it. They can also tell you the benefits of newer equipment and provide tips on maintaining your equipment so it lasts as long as possible. With preventive actions, including cleaning and developing a maintenance schedule, your new welding equipment will give you years of service.
For all your arc welding needs, including sales, service, and rentals, contact Stud Welding & Fasteners, Inc. We’ll help you with new equipment as well as accessories and parts. If you have a short-term need, ask about our rental welding equipment.