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Mixed Fortune for Welding Sector

A closer look at the current status and growth potentials in welding industry
Status of welding industry in IndiaWelding is an integral part in many industries such as power, automotive, shipbuilding, oil refinery, offshore, or petrochemicals etc. However, despite having tremendous opportunities, the welding industry in India could not reach its expected level.
Talking about the commercial prospect of this industry, Dr. S Bhattacharya, Advisor, Weldwell Speciality said, “Presently, the commercial prospect for welding industry in India is not very high. The success of welding industry is mostly dependent on infrastructure investments and in India it is more or less standstill.”
Citing the example of power sector, he said, “Due to shortage of coal, most of the power plants are on hold. Though the biggest investor in power plant is government, they have been forced keep the projects on hold as there is no coal.”
Though, there are enough scopes of encouragement for welding industry from shipbuilding activities, there is no major shipping order. “India contributed very nominal in the world shipbuilding industry,” Dr. Bhattacharya informed.
Technological AdvancementsWelding industry in India is still at an infant stage as far as technology innovation is concerned. Globally, the welding industry has migrated from welding transformers to rectifiers to inverters. According to Nimesh Chinoy, Marketing Director – SigmaWeld, Electronics Devices, “In advanced countries like Japan, America and Europe share of welding inverters would be more than 80 per cent, whereas in India we would still be under 20 per cent, although the awareness is now fast increasing.”
However, according to Dr. Bhattacharya, “Technology has not seen any worthwhile improvement in India for a decade or so. There is only a slight change towards betterment in terms of moving from shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) process to metal inert gas (MIG) process.”
Growth DriversIndia is a growing economy compared to Europe and all other major markets, therefore many international companies are now setting up their plants in India to serve the Indian as well as Asian markets from here.
Also shift from traditional stick welding to high productive GMAW (MIG /MAG) welding is increasing. However, it is still way behind than that of Japan or Europe. Further need for automation and semi-automatic welding applications to increase productivity and quality will drive the need to technology innovation. Demand for Robotics/Automation in Welding to GrowRobotics and automation is now the high growth sector in the welding industry. “With the shortage of adequate manpower for skilled and semi-skilled jobs, more and more focus and investments will be made in the automation and robotic applications. As the need and demand will increase, more players will enter the segment, reducing the cost of available solutions,” Mr. Chinoy predicts. “As the automation becomes more and more economic its need will self generate.”
Currently the automotive Industry is seeing a large part of this change over to robotics and semi-automatic welding processes. This is expected to migrate to other Industry segments soon.
SigmaWeld welding inverters are well capable of adapting and working with any automation and robotic solutions. The company has a full-fledged team available for designing and customising automation projects for cladding, hardfacing, MIG / MAG welding, submerged ARC welding automation, critical welding applications in GTAW etc. Adherence to Safety AspectsThe welding industry is still dominated by unorganised players in terms of numbers. Though, safety is of utmost importance as far as welding activities are concerned, safety gets hardly any importance in the unorganised sector.
With more and more MNC’s collaborating with Indian companies, the emphasis to safety standards and needs are increased considerably. With the increased focus on infrastructure development, power sector, cross country pipelines, and associated industries, the site-work has increased considerably, which forces the safety norms to be adhered to with more vigilance.
SigmaWeld Welding Inverters have inbuilt safety protection against, phase failures, under voltage, over voltage, short circuit current, overheating and many more in-circuit digital protections. One of the key safety features inbuilt is the output short feature which ensures that even if the terminals of the SigmaWeld welding inverters are touched / shorted in anyway, there is zero voltage or current flowing though the equipment, the response time is as low as 300 ms.
Besides the welding equipment, basic safety measures which are taken by using correct gloves, DIN rated welding shields, proper accessories such as earthing clamps, welding torches and gas cylinders. Mr. Chinoy said, “Today there are many companies in India which make these products to global standards and are delivering them for both domestic and international markets. Ease of availability of these products has ensured increased safety measures in the field.”
“All the welder or people working should take care of safety. Safety has to be pushed first and then it becomes habit and later runs on its own. People are not aware of the safety in unorganised sector but in organised sector, safety is very important, people are getting more cautious about it,” a veteran Dr. Bhattacharya recommends.

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