Welding Technology Advancements: How Innovation Impacts the Job Market
Posted on: September 13, 2023
If you found yourself here, you’re likely interested in welding as a career or wondering about the job outlook for welders. That’s great news, as welding jobs are on the rise by 22%, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, that number is expected to continue growing through at least 2026. One of the things driving that growth is innovation.
From shortened training periods to simplifying the welding process, technology and innovation are having a terrific impact on the welding industry. Advancements in the field are allowing entry-level operators to perform complex welds and skilled welders to become even more productive. Let’s dive into it.
Revolutionizing the Welding Landscape: How Technological Advancements Are Shaping the Industry
In today’s welding landscape, the path to transformation is being guided by technological advancements. Innovations encompassing laser welding, robotics, digitalization, and sustainable practices are reshaping the approach and execution of welding. This shift not only enhances precision, consistency, and the handling of intricate welding tasks, but also drives higher productivity, quality and cost-effectiveness.
Amidst this evolution, automated welding stands out as a key contributor, relieving welders of routine tasks and enabling them to focus on more complex projects.
With this backdrop of innovation, let’s explore the historical journey of welding, tracing its progression from ancient techniques to modern technological achievements. This journey sheds light on the captivating evolution that has paved the way for today’s welding excellence.
A Historical Journey: Welding from Past to Present
The advent of the gas tungsten arc welding process in the 1940s marked a seminal moment in the welding industry’s history. However, the origins of welding date back nearly 2,000 years to the Bronze Age. Early techniques included patented fusion welding, bare metal electrode welding, and carbon arc welding. The 19th century ushered in conventional welding practices like thermite welding, forge welding, and oxy-fuel welding, alongside a surge of innovative methods.
Strides in Welding Techniques
Over the years, the ongoing quest for efficiency has led to the development of increasingly effective welding techniques. Today, robotic welding stands out as a prime example, utilizing computer control to execute metal welding with unmatched speed and precision. This approach not only amplifies efficiency but also minimizes risks to human welders.
Other techniques, such as friction welding, laser beam welding, hybrid welding, magnetic arc welding, explosive welding, ultrasonic welding, and electron beam welding, have emerged, each contributing to the diverse landscape of modern welding practices.
A Paradigm Shift in Equipment Innovation
Innovation in welding equipment is driven by the pursuit of efficiency, precision, and safety. Welding guns, for instance, have undergone a revolution, integrating advanced power sources, digital controls, and pulse welding technology. These enhancements streamline the welding process, offering welders improved control and optimal performance.
Beyond welding guns, it’s essential for welders to have access to the best equipment possible to produce the best output possible. But what is considered the “best” welding equipment out there?
The Importance of Having the Best Equipment
We all know that quality equipment produces quality results, regardless of the medium. So having the best and latest welding equipment with the most up-to-date technology makes a difference when it comes to lessening the chances of having defects happen.
Advancements Impact the Job Market
Don’t let automation scare you. It’s allowing welders to be more creative and work on more custom jobs. Sure, it increases efficiency and productivity, but humans continue to outperform robots. In fact, welding jobs are on the rise. The American Welding Society projects that the shortage of skilled welding operators will reach 400,000 by 2024. Not to mention, the aging workforce produces a great need for more skilled welders—especially since the average age of a welder is 55.
So, what does all of this mean for potential welders? Opportunity. Especially if they have knowledge of advanced welding techniques such as AI and automation, because skilled welders are needed to operate welding robots.
Benefits for Welders and Employers
If nothing else, technological innovations have significantly improved working conditions and safety measures, which is beneficial to both welders and employers. Going back to the example of welding automation, it allows the welder to move away from direct exposure to the heat and molten metal of welding and helps the welder avoid fumes or toxins released due to the heating of the metal. That said, innovations also create enhanced quality and precision and greater cost savings. Sounds like a win–win all around.
Future Trends and Opportunities
Beyond what we’ve already discussed, what are some upcoming trends in the field of welding? Here are the top three:
- Advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning: AI and ML enable welding robots to learn and adapt, enhancing their capabilities and efficiency.
- Digitization: Welding processes are also evolving with the integration of digitalization, which is revolutionizing workflows and enhancing efficiency in welding operations.
- Sustainability and green welding technologies: Environmental consciousness is happening everywhere, even in the welding industry. Therefore, sustainability and green practices have become crucial considerations.
And with these trends and technological advancements comes a higher demand for welders. What isn’t new, though, are the skills required: Math, attention to detail and physical abilities continue to rate high among what makes for a successful welder.
Where Are Welding Technology Advancements Making an Impact?
As welding technology continues to evolve, several sectors are experiencing a high demand for skilled welders equipped with expertise in cutting-edge techniques. These emerging sectors are at the forefront of adopting welding innovations to enhance their operations and achieve greater efficiency.
Here are a few notable sectors where welding technology advancements are playing a pivotal role and professional welders are in high demand:
- Aerospace and Aviation: The aerospace industry demands precision and reliability in every component. Welding advancements play a pivotal role in crafting and maintaining aircraft parts, ensuring their structural integrity and performance. From intricate fuselage assemblies to critical engine components, skilled welders contribute to the creation of safe and efficient aircraft.
- Automotive Manufacturing: Welding lies at the heart of automotive manufacturing, where accuracy is paramount. With the rise of electric vehicles and lightweight designs, welding technology is evolving to accommodate new materials and assembly methods. Welders proficient in advanced techniques are essential for assembling complex components, ensuring vehicle safety, and supporting sustainable transportation.
- Energy and Renewable Resources: The energy sector relies on welding for constructing pipelines, power plants and renewable energy installations. Welding innovations contribute to building robust and environmentally conscious energy infrastructure. From traditional energy sources to renewable resources like wind turbines and solar panels, skilled welders are integral to shaping the energy landscape.
- Medical Equipment and Device Manufacturing: Precision and quality are crucial in the medical field. Welding technology is used to manufacture intricate medical equipment, devices, and implants. Advanced welding techniques ensure the production of precise components that adhere to stringent medical standards, ultimately contributing to improved patient care and healthcare advancements.
- Construction and Infrastructure: Welding’s role extends to construction, where durability and safety are paramount. Modern architectural designs often require innovative welding methods to join diverse materials seamlessly. Skilled welders contribute to creating resilient buildings, bridges, and infrastructure that stand the test of time.
- Defense and Military: The defense sector relies on welding for producing rugged military equipment and vehicles. Welding advancements are essential for constructing machinery that can withstand extreme conditions and perform optimally in challenging environments. Expert welders play a key role in ensuring the reliability and effectiveness of military assets.
- Maritime and Shipbuilding: Last but certainly not least, welding’s significance is evident in maritime industries for shipbuilding and repair. Maritime welders employ techniques that ensure the structural integrity and watertightness of vessels. Welding advancements contribute to creating ships that adhere to rigorous safety standards and maintain operational efficiency.
As these sectors and beyond harness the power of welding technology advancements, the demand for skilled welders continues to grow. Welders who combine traditional craftsmanship with modern techniques are poised to excel in these evolving fields. The synergy between time-honored welding skills and innovative technologies paints a promising picture for the future of these industries.
Our Commitment to Welding Excellence
We understand the significance of welding technology in these industries (and beyond).
With a team of over 80 certified welders, more than 400 welding procedures, and a deep commitment to quality and precision, we offer advanced welding solutions that cater to the diverse needs of sectors like aerospace, automotive, energy, medical, construction, defense, and maritime. Our expertise in stainless steel and specialty alloy welding, along with a wide range of finishing capabilities, ensures that our weldments meet the highest standards of quality and performance.
When you partner with Anderson Dahlen, you gain access to our welding prowess, backed by certifications such as ASME Section VIII, European Pressure Equipment Directive (PED), and National Board Inspection Code (NBIC). We are proficient in MIG, TIG, Submerged Arc, and Plasma arc welding processes, and we hold numerous welding qualifications across various welding codes.
As the welding landscape evolves, Anderson Dahlen stands ready to empower both organizations and welding professionals to achieve success with cutting-edge welding solutions and offerings.
Seize the Promising Future of Welding With Anderson Dahlen
If it wasn’t already evident, now is the perfect time to embark on a welding career journey. With new technologies propelling the field into the next evolutionary phase, aspiring welders have an extraordinary chance to shape the future of welding. The ongoing transformation within the industry underscores the importance of continuous learning and adaptation.
Embrace this exciting trajectory by partnering with Anderson Dahlen. Discover the multitude of career opportunities that await you in the dynamic world of welding. Contact us today to explore how we lead the way in welding technology advancements and offer tailored solutions to fulfill your welding aspirations.