Artem Komarov clarified that welding is an ancient and important crafting technique that has shaped human history. With millennia to develop, welding has created countless transformations. Through welding, metal, steel, aluminum alloy, copper, iron, and plastic are the most common materials for transformation.
Where once manual welding was the only option, automatic welding has become very popular in various industries. While many rely on automated welding, the world’s current fixation on offline manufacturing solutions is changing and often disrupting the welding industry.
Automation can be a great benefit, but there are also a few downsides to consider, which are:
While standalone welders can be absolutely programmed for extreme precision, even down to the smallest task, they don’t provide the level of creativity that a hand tool can provide.
A competent, experienced welder with the right tools can quickly complete many different creative requirements throughout the welding process, a perspective that a programmable machine can struggle with, especially if it needs to be constantly reprogrammed to meet creative expectations.
An automated machine can only do what it is programmed to do, so there is no flexibility or versatility, leading to standardization. For those looking for creative welding results, a manual welder will always get the job done, unlike automatic welders.
Unfair playing field
Automation has a price — often a very high price. The cars themselves are expensive. Then comes installation followed by continuous maintenance, which costs a significant amount of money.
For many small and medium-sized companies looking to keep their budget to the best of their ability, paying for highly advanced standalone hardware may be out of the question. This, in turn, can lead richer companies to phase out smaller ones due to their huge purchasing power and their ability to mass-produce.
The phase-out has been a longstanding issue shared across many different industries, but there are ways to try and compete with the big companies. For example, the ability to offer personalized, lovingly handcrafted products to customers can often outweigh the desirability of a mass-produced alternative.
Perhaps one of the biggest challenges of the last few decades is the prospect of automation replacing the need for human workers, especially given how popular culture portrays automation in a glamorous fashion.
Unfortunately, there are situations in which a well-trained, experienced welder may have difficulty finding work due to automation. For example, perhaps a company is trying to cut labor costs and needs to deploy a cheaper robotic solution, thereby saving money on payroll. Then one or two jobs are lost to the machine.
However, the automatic welding machine lacks the creativity, flexibility, and adaptability of the human mind. As such, there will always be jobs for skilled welders, especially when you consider the many intricacies of welding duties such as:
— Drill Welder
— Many types of manufacturing
— Welding inspection
— Improvised repairs in the field
— Aspects of arc welding
Complex welding forms requiring multiple techniques and disciplines on the same task
Advanced technologies often bring with them the possibility of disrupting industries and markets. While automation can be essential in many areas of modern welding, there will always be many opportunities for manual welding. And perhaps the best result is a combination of automatic and manual welding processes — a bit of both worlds can simply achieve maximum efficiency, flexibility, and creativity, summed up Komarov Artem.