The future of welding

The article highlights new norms and technology that set trends in welding
A historical perspective The technology of welding has enabled man to progress mechanically over the past century. Welding which is synonymous with the construction business and every other item involving metals and machines has helped people to lead safe and secure lives. Future of welding is an analysis of the trends in technology that are shaping the welding industry. As global trend is being set by light weight and sleek design for all of technology in general, technology in welding will go that way.
Welding is an important part of the industrial revolution and still remains important to the manufacturing industry. The technology of welding has developed so much over the years with several projections of future technological developments in the field. Welding as we know it today is a hi-tech skilled job and historically it dates back to many centuries ago where it existed in its primitive form. Welding has played its role ever since, men started building houses or structures to live in. Over the years, welding has been used widely in transport, to build bridges, roads and highways and to manufacture goods and services. Welding has a role to play in every facet of life where metals are involved.
Market scenarioThe global welding industry is touted to grow at a rate of 3-4 per cent according to current figures and industry reports. However, this growth figure has not been effectively realised owing to the economic slowdown and unfavourable market conditions. Also various new norms and compulsions have put tremendous pressure on the welding industry. A report published by Global Research & Data Services Oy on the welding market globally, has some insightful analysis. The report said, currently, electric plasma and arc welding machinery accounts for about 40 per cent of the global demand while the remaining market share is divided between electric resistances welding machinery (24.9 per cent), other electric, ultrasonic and laser welding machinery (30.5 per cent), gas welding machinery (2.7 per cent) and other welding machinery (4.6 per cent).
“The largest welding markets in the world are represented by developed nations, namely Canada, China, Germany, Japan and the United States while countries like India represent a smaller share of the pie,” the report observes.
A change in the way the industry worksVV Kamath, National Sales Director, Fronius India Pvt. Ltd., has some compelling points to share with us. Mr. Kamath tells us that the Industry is going through a change, both in terms of technology as well in the way it works. The new emission norms are bringing about changes in the technology as they call for reduction in emissions. Also there is a new found awareness about welding in our customers. The foreign clients and investors also look for greater quality in the welding and they also want to cut costs. Changes in welding are also shaped by the way the market functions. Even as the welding market in India is unorganised, we are competing with companies on a global scale. He also adds that the Industry doesn’t give importance to the money invested in welding accessories which are very important and crucial in welding.
He points out that, over the past few years welding has adopted itself to advancements in technology and the inclination towards quality. The Inverter technology, once considered the future of welding is now widely adopted by the industry. As there are new developments in global technology they will shape the future of welding by bringing new developments in the field.
Mr Kamath points out that, the market forces determine the way the economy works and this is important for welding. With new found career options in other sectors and lucrative pay packages, a lot of people are opting for careers that they find exciting and this has created a vacuum in welding. The experienced and skilled workers usually choose to pursue their careers abroad. This has resulted in less number of skilled workers remaining in India in comparison to what is required by the Indian market.
He also believes that the new government is adding life back to the economy. He says, “New technologies, new material, stringent timeline, market competition, all which pose a challenge to welding industry. Until and unless we change the mindset of allotting very low capital investment and giving least preference to training it would be more and more difficult for the welding industry to meet challenges.”
Future trends and demands in weldingOn the Future of the welding industry, Mr Kamath observes that the Indian market is shifting from manual to automation. The future belongs to robotics and automation. Most of the global majors already have the presence and adequate resources to meet this demand. MIG/MAG welding with its variants will play a major role in terms of process.
One of the areas, which will see rapid growth according to Mr Kamath, would be the high deposition welding market. Fronius has Twin wire welding in its portfolio and we have seen a great demand for the product line. Welding SPM with very good quality and repeatability will be of high demand in precision welding areas. Oil and gas segment offers a quite challenging and quality welding requirement. At present this challenge is negated by countries in South-East Asia and the Middle-East. “Our country is slowly becoming one of the major players in this segment and we see lot of future in this segment for Indian industry,” Mr Kamath concludes.

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