Music City Motorplex adds ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series to “Tennessee Stock Car Tripleheader”

If you're a racing fan, this is fun news...

TOLEDO, Ohio -- Officials from the ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series have announced an addition to their 2005 season schedule.

The season will now run through the weekend of October 15 & 16, with the Music City Motorplex adding the ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series to the Tennessee Stock Car Tripleheader.

“We’ve been talking to (Music City Motorplex promoter) Joe Mattioli, and track GM Jack Deery for some time about an ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series race in Nashville,” commented ARCA VP for Competition Joe Wells. “Fortunately, we were able to find a mutually agreeable date for a truck race, fitting in nicely with their October 15-16 special event.”


Welder leads with his torch- Whitmer Welding instructor Craig Donnell is Ohio Technical Teacher of the Year

From the Toledo Blade, a good story about a fellow welder...

Over the blinding arc from his welding torch and through his protective mask, Craig Donnell wants to make sure everyone sees the work he's doing.

Mr. Donnell is particular about the weld he is doing because someday he expects everyone watching to do the same with masterful skill.

"There are so many jobs available that are part of a trade, and - especially in the Toledo area with all the manufacturing - there are great jobs out there," Mr. Donnell said. "So we need good training in classes like welding or carpentry to teach young people these skills."

The Whitmer High School teacher, who has been teaching welding for 10 years, was recently named teacher of the year by the Ohio Association for Career & Technical Education. He will also be Ohio's nominee for the national ACTE Teacher of the Year. Mr. Donnell will be formally honored on Aug. 4 at an awards ceremony at the Ohio ACTE State Conference in Cincinnati.

Read this article in its entirety over at the Toledo Blade...


Automatic TIG tube welding benefits explained - with Free ESAB CD

Check out a good source of info from ESAB, over at ManufacturingTalk.

A free CD-Rom called explains the process of automatic TIG welding of tubes and, most importantly, the benefits provided by this surprisingly versatile process.

As the name suggests, this explains the process of automatic TIG welding of tubes and, most importantly, the benefits provided by this surprisingly versatile process. Compared with manual welding of tube, automatic TIG welding offers a number of advantages relating not only to the consistency of the weld around the tube, but also weld quality from one joint to the next.

In addition, considerable cost savings are available due to a reduced need for skilled labour, less finishing, and less rework.

Might be worth your time to get one of these CD's...


Fire may cost welders $500,000 - Ouch!

Another word to the wise for welding and fire safety here, from the Yucca Valley Hi-Desert Star...

A Yucca Valley welding company whose workers are believed to have caused the fire in the Sky Harbor area June 6th could possibly be responsible for paying the estimated half-million-dollar tab, according to the Star's report. The fire burned about 625 acres of land. The flames were sparked from someone's welding torch.

The San Bernardino County Fire Department is tallying all the costs of putting out the fire and will be meeting with the company to determine who will pay, added Summers.

Summers said the bill includes the resources and hours put into fighting the fire, but not any damage the fire caused.

Many homes were threatened by the fire, but they were all saved from the flames and the only damage done was to acres of desert and vegetation, reported Summers.

With as many as 200 people from numerous agencies responding, the fire was contained and completely put out in a little over 36 hours, said Summers.


Welding: It's not just for boys anymore

girls can weld, too - their hand-eye coordination is often better than that of menIn the 1980's, I used to work for the Oklahoma State Department of Vocational Education, and one of the books we produced every year was about diversity, and how girls can take welding or auto mechanics classes while boys can take beauty and cuisine ones. I suppose it's still unusual in this day and age to see a lot of women welders, but they are around. And they're usually good hands.

This from the Greenville Tribune Times stresses that we'll see more girls learning to weld and entering the field. Good news, I think.

Many children go off to camp during the summer, but a group of 12 middle school girls are going to class instead. And they're learning traditional guy stuff: how to change the oil in a car, weld metal and make benches and bookshelves.

Several Golden Strip girls have attended the workshop classes that started June 8 at J. Harley Bonds Career Center in Greer. Children in the program, called Rosie's Girls, are taught skills in activities that have been generally male-dominated in the past. They learn welding, carpentry and automotive maintenance from instructors who specialize in those areas.

"It's been really enlightening for everyone involved," said class teacher Christina Hunter.

Studies show that girls have interest in math, science and mechanics until about age 12 when they begin to lose interest. This class is trying to combat that trend.

"I don't think it's that we lose it. I think it's that we don't use it," Hunter said. "I think we do it to them as grownups. You don't want someone to be different and instead of thinking of it as unique and special we think of it as different."

During the first week of the class the students learned safety tips especially for welding where one girl made sure that everyone knew to wear boots along with their safety goggles, face mask, coat and gloves. The girls learned different welding techniques and performed each of the techniques, even welding a steel palmetto tree cutout onto a base shaped like the outline of South Carolina.


How would they weld the Starship Enterprise?

This article at American Scientist speculates how advanced plasma windows could serve electron-beam welding. A fun article, even the non-welding parts!

...Similar physical principles are behind a second Star Trek-like technology now coming into use, something called the "plasma window," which is the brainchild of Ady Hershcovitch, a physicist at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Hershcovitch conceived of the plasma window to serve in electron-beam welding, a technique used to fashion metal welds that are narrower and deeper than what can be accomplished with conventional tools.

The chief drawback of this technique is that the electrons used for welding must be accelerated in a vacuum (just like, for example, the electrons that light up the front of a television picture tube). Hence the objects being welded together must normally be placed within a sealed chamber from which the air has been extracted. With that constraint, one cannot make welds to, say, the deck of a battleship. Even for small work pieces, pumping down the vacuum chamber each time an object is inserted is time-consuming, making this form of welding rather costly.

To get around this difficulty, some have tried a variation of electron-beam welding that has the electrons accelerated in vacuum but the welding done at atmospheric pressure. Such systems rely on bulky, energy-hungry vacuum pumps to maintain the pressure differential between the source of electrons and the work piece. So they are awkward and costly to operate. What is more, the electron beam has a troubling tendency to spread out once it passes into the air, negating the fundamental advantage of electron-beam welding in the first place. Last May, Hershcovitch and colleagues at Acceleron, a company in Connecticut licensing his invention, described in the journal Physics of Plasmas how to sidestep these problems, making electron-beam welding that much more practical.


Sparks fly at Beloit welding show

According to the Beloit (Wisconsin) Daily News, Sparks were flying as 40 vendors participated in the Wide World of Welding, the area's largest welding and cutting trade show.

Welders Supply Company held the event Wednesday and Thursday at its corporate headquarters at 704 S. Fourth St.

"It's the biggest cutting and welding show outside of Chicago," said Brian Beck, show coordinator. The show attracted close to 850 people on Wednesday and almost 1,000 Thursday.
A bi-annual event, the Wide World of Welding last debuted in 2003.

Popular welding vendors such as Miller Electric and Thermadyne Industries displayed the latest in welding equipment and plasma cutters.

Read the rest of this article at the Beloit News Website...


Kotecki elected president of American Welding Society

Dr. Damian Kotecki of the Lincoln Electric Company’s consumable division, has been elected president of the American Welding Society.

According to The Manufacturer,
Kotecki is the 79th person to lead AWS, the arc welding industry’s leading technical society, will serve a term of 19 months. He said he plans to expand the global presence of AWS, focusing on international standards development, education programs and certification of welding personnel. He also will continue the Society's efforts to support the activities of its thousands of volunteers through Internet-based meetings and Internet-based distribution of welding information.

Kotecki is currently Technical Director for Stainless and High Alloy Product Development in Lincoln Electric’s Consumable R&D Department. He is an expert in the area of welding metallurgy, holds five US patents, and is the author of more than 60 papers and published articles on arc welding science.

The American Welding Society is the largest organization in the world dedicated to advancing the science, technology and application of materials joining, and serves more than 48,500 members in the United States and around the world.


Kitchen Builders Serve Up Safer Humvees

Going from welding salad bars to Humvee armor? Yup!

If there is a government building here in the nation's capital, said James Phillip Poole of American Metal Fabricators Inc., chances are his company has built its food-service equipment.

The Prince Frederick, Md., company opened nearly 60 years ago by Poole's father has even built kitchen equipment for the Pentagon and more recently for the White House.

But Poole's company stands out in another way: If there is a Humvee driving the sometimes mean streets of Iraq, odds are good that Poole's company had something to do with the protection of the soldiers inside.

In spring 2004, a military supplier with a long professional relationship with Poole approached him and asked if his company could produce armor plating to frame a bulletproof windshield. The supplier had won a bid to help bulletproof the glass on Humvees.

The two companies had worked together on past projects, but never on anything like the Humvee project. The Humvee plan would require that a 100-plus-pound bulletproof glass stay in place if the vehicle hit an eight-inch curb at 80 miles an hour, and it would also have to deflect small arms and shrapnel.

"We use a lot of glass to build salad bars," Poole said. "We've done a lot of government work, and some weird things, but none of this I would have imagined from the start," he said.

Poole agreed to give the Humvee project a try, motivated mostly by patriotism, but also fueled by entrepreneurial spirit and boredom.

"The norm is just salad bars. What's good about something that isn't normal is that it breaks the routine," Poole said. "You get tired of building the same thing."

Read the entire article over at the DefenseLink.mil site...


Outlook stalls for metal products - slowdown in automotive sector blamed

According to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report, Metal-product manufacturers are expressing little optimism about business conditions for the next three months, according to a new survey from the Precision Metalforming Association, a trade group with Wisconsin companies in its membership.

For years, some metal fabricators aggressively sought automotive contracts because the dollar amounts were large and the work seemed endless. But that might have been a mistake, as the torrent of money slowed and automakers stepped up the pressure on suppliers to deliver parts at lower costs.

Some companies are diversifying to deal with it. For instance, K&S Tool & Die has turned to the lawn-and-garden industry to keep its order books filled. The company's sales are up from a year ago, and it has recently added robotic welding to its capabilities.

Read the rest over at the Sentinel site -- it's something that filters down to welders in a whole lot of industries when automotive is hurting.


Valley National Gases to buy Michigan gas distributor

Valley National Gases Inc., a supplier of industrial, medical and specialty gases and related equipment, said Monday it will acquire a Michigan industrial gases and welding supply distributor.

Washington, Pa.-based Valley National did not disclose the purchase price of Plymouth Wayne Welding Supplies, Inc., which has four locations in Southeastern Michigan and about $12 million in annual sales.

Valley National vice chairman and CEO William Indelicato said the deal works because both companies have operations in Northwestern Ohio and it opens the Southeastern Michigan market to Valley National. THe company operates 63 locations in 11 states, with eight production and distribution centers in the eastern United States.


Holding it together for 40 years

From the Henry County Herald, a feel-good story about a lifetime in the welding industry. See the entire story over there...

When Stanley Head was laid-off from his job in construction, he wasn't exactly sure what he would do with the rest of his life. It was just before Christmas in1962.

But a friend said that the Snapper plant in McDonough was hiring, so he applied.

And he's been there ever since.

"I basically like what I do," said Head, now 60-years-old and supervising the welding department, where he began as a rank-and-file welder's helper after a short stint cleaning parts.

"We make things, and every time you make something, there's a certain fulfillment in it," he said.

Indeed, the Snapper manufacturing plant in McDonough produces a number of the company's lawn care and snow-blowing products, including its signature red, rear-engine riding lawnmower.

Head, who moved up the ladder in the company's welding division, became its welding supervisor in 1974 and has seen the technology used in fusing metal parts move from a hands-on process toward one with more and more automation.

"When I first started here, we did what we called arc welding," Head said. Today, it's "almost all robotic welding."

Q&A: Can a stepdown transformer be used as a stepup transformer?

Can a stepdown transformer be used as a stepup transformer? Can a 440 single phase welder run on 220? If you have a transformer that inputs 440 and outputs 220, can it just be wired backwards? Generally, yes, but there may be some losses. The transformer should be capable of maintaining the KVA rating though. Remember that the current at 220 is twice that of the current at 440.

Often times the 440 side is rated (for instance) 30 amps with the 220 side being rated at 60 out. So the wiring may..may be smaller in diameter on the 440 side. So if you reverse it to step up and try to draw 50 amps on the 440 side (really really really big welder), you may harm it.


Lincoln Electric Introduces Inverter-Based Power Wave AC/DC 1000

I thought this tidbit was interesting...

CLEVELAND, May 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The Power Wave AC/DC 1000 inverter power
source from The Lincoln Electric Company is designed as part of a modular
welding system for single or multiple arc applications targeted at submerged
arc customers with these objectives: increased productivity, lower operating
costs, improved quality and greater production flexibility.

The machine is rated at 1000 amps for AC or DC. Each welding arc may be
driven by a single machine or by a number of machines in parallel. For
example, two machines can be used to produce up to 2000 amps at 100 percent
duty cycle. At the same time, each Power Wave 1000 achieves a 95 percent
power factor with 86 percent efficiency for lower operating costs.

The Power Wave AC/DC 1000 produces a variable AC output, as well as
straight DC+ or DC- output. No hardware configuration changes are required.
These software driven capabilities allow for unprecedented welding performance
in multi-arc applications typical of high quality welding in pipe mills,
pressure vessel applications or structural steel fabrication.

The Power Wave AC/DC 1000 takes advantage of Lincoln's Nextweld(TM)
Waveform Control Technology(TM), which uses electronic regulation circuitry to
control and shape the output waveform. Using Waveform Control Technology(TM),
welding waveform parameters can be tailored to the application.

The AC waveform can operate at any frequency between 0 and 200 hertz with
a single knob. Dialing in the frequency aids in stabilizing the arc. Also,
the amplitude and duration of the positive and negative cycles are
independently adjustable, delivering greater control of bead shape, higher
deposition rates and lower heat inputs.


Henry Cialone picked to head Edison Welding Institute

From Columbus Business First,

Henry J. Cialone, a senior researcher at Battelle Memorial Institute, has been named president and chief executive officer of the Edison Welding Institute, the state-established group that provides research, consulting and training to the welding industry.

Cialone replaces Don Caudy, who was named acting president of the Columbus-based organization in January, following the departure of CEO S. Theodore Ford, who left after nearly five years heading the group.

At Battelle, Cialone was vice president of the organization's commercial energy business, developing and managing its energy portfolio and fuel cell development efforts. During his 24 years at Battelle, he helped commercialize technologies - a skill he'll likely rely on in his new role.

"We believe that Henry Cialone's expertise in connecting complex technology with real world business opportunities makes him ideally suited to lead EWI toward greater growth and opportunity," Chairman Dennis Crockett said in a release.

Cialone takes over an organization that saw its annual sales increase to $30 million from $18 million under Ford, who left six months ago, saying a new top executive was needed to head EWI in its next stage of growth.

EWI was spun out of Ohio State University in 1984 and is the largest industrially driven engineering organization in North America dedicated to materials joining technology. Its staff of about 150 workers provides contract research, consulting services and training to companies that operate more than 3,300 plants in the U.S.


Airgas wraps up deal for Welding Hardgoods Company, Kanox

From the Philadelphia Business Journal...

Airgas Inc. completed its planned acquisition of Kanox Inc., a Kansas distributor of packaged gases and welding hardgoods.

Airgas first announced its intent to acquire Kanox on March 21. It completed the purchase of all outstanding stock from private shareholders and Airgas (NYSE: ARG) has begun to operate the business through two of its regional companies as of today.

The acquired business employed about 120 people and generated about $23 million in revenues last year.

Airgas Mid-South is responsible for six Kanox locations in the Kansas cities of Hutchinson, Wichita, Dodge City, Garden City and Salina and El Reno, Okla., outside Oklahoma City. Three branches in Denver, Colorado Springs, Colo., and Pueblo, Colo., were integrated into Airgas' intermountain division.

Airgas, headquartered in Radnor, Pa., is the largest U.S. distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases, welding, safety and related products.