Preweld preparation is just as important as the welding process itself as it pertains to your project’s success. If you fail to take the necessary preliminary steps at the conception of a project, it could ultimately go up in flames, leaving behind a costly mistake.
Businessman Komarov Artem clarified that the work you do before striking the first arc can have a monumental effect on the scope of a project and the integrity of the metal. Whether the process begins with crafting project plans and organizing materials or inspecting and cleaning the material, this prep work should be completed before welding begins.
It is imperative for a fabrication shop to ensure all preparation is complete before the welding process begins. In the end, if you fail to take the necessary preliminary steps at the conception of a project, it could ultimately go up in flames, leaving behind a costly mistake.
Komarov Artem explain that a preweld preparation is just as important as the welding process itself as it pertains to your project’s success. As a result, consider taking these actions before starting a welding project:
1. Inspect the material. First and foremost, it is imperative that you inspect the material to look for defects such as scratches or gouges and to determine if your material and dimensions are correct for this project. You should also check to make sure the material is clean, square, and if there are supposed to be holes and slots present. Inspection can also confirm that the proper materials are present and organized correctly. This is one of the most important steps because it sets the tone for the entire project and eliminates any unpredicted problems with the material.
2. Review project details and drawings. This is where you can begin to visualize how you will be assembling the structure. This step also allows the team to gather all necessary materials, tools, and equipment required to build the project efficiently. If it’s a component you haven’t welded before, practice the welds on a piece of scrap metal to help eliminate mistakes and shorten the project’s duration. This will allow you to dial in the equipment or machine settings ahead of time. The more custom and unique the project is, the longer this step will take, but the more important it becomes to optimize the overall project.
3. Organize your materials and equipment. Taking the time to place the material in a strategic location will minimize mistakes and enable the team to find what is needed immediately.
4. Assess the area for safety hazards. Any safety concerns present need to be examined and addressed in a swift and effective manner. Removing unsafe or unnecessary equipment and materials gives you and your team a safe and clean working space to carry out the project. Your shop’s goal should be efficiency while maintaining topnotch quality in a safe environment.
Visual inspecting your material and equipment is more important and necessary than you may realize. The inspection phase allows you to buff out the kinks in the process, wipe away anything that might contaminate the weld, and firm up your overall plan.
The inspection process can be as thorough or brief as you see fit. It can be as simple as checking the material type to determine if it is steel or aluminum by using an eye test or lifting and touching the material to determine its weight, which will help pinpoint the material. For more complex materials, a magnet can determine if the material is mild steel or stainless steel, since stainless steel is not magnetic.
When you are visually inspecting the material, be sure to search for contaminants. If found, wipe down the material with a towel or use a wire brush to remove any remaining dirt. If oil is present, you may need to use a chemical cleaner to remove it. Since metals are porous, the oil can absorb into it and cause severe setbacks and damages to the project. In the case oil is found on the material, you can use denatured alcohol to remove it. In extreme cases, methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) is required. MEK is a dangerous chemical that needs to be handled with extreme caution because of the chemical’s flammability. It should be stored in a plunger container to prevent fumes from escaping.
When inspecting the materials being used for production, it is important to check them for end squareness and proper dimensions. End squareness will provide a more compatible fit, which in turn will lead to a higher-quality weld, fewer delays, and improved structural integrity. If there are air pockets or debris in the weld, it will come down to how strong those welds are. It will weaken the structural integrity of the weld if the material is not inspected ahead of time. Determining the proper dimensions is as easy as pulling a tape measure across it. However, if tolerances are extremely tight, a micrometer may be required, said Artem Komarov.
Any safety concerns present need to be examined and addressed in a swift and effective manner. Removing unsafe or unnecessary equipment and materials gives you and your team a safe and clean working space to carry out the project.
When you begin inspecting the project details and drawings in a more extensive manner, assigning color codes to different parts of the project can provide a clearer picture and help organize thoughts. Organization may take some time at the start, but ultimately it will save time in the end and possibly prevent any mistakes. You might consider positioning all of the materials you’ll be using so that they face the same direction to guarantee a quick and organized project area.
Inspecting your PPE for damage and your workspace for possible fire or electrical hazards is of the utmost importance for creating a safe working environment. Furthermore, using proper lifting techniques is crucial to prevent injuries. Thinking ahead about how the structure will be transported out of the work area or prepared for shipping will result in a smoother project.
Make sure to look at every detail of your weld job to make the process as efficient as possible while not losing a view of the bigger picture.
Proper preparation before welding leads to better efficiency, fewer mistakes, and a lower risk for injury. Taking the proper steps in the beginning allows for faster run times during production. Having a plan in place is critical to complete a successful project, ensuring consistency and a better-quality insurance program.
While taking preparative measures before embarking on a welding project is not required, it is recommended. It will improve the overall flow of the fabrication process. When you use clean, well-prepared materials, the structural integrity of the material likely will not be compromised. Taking these necessary steps at the beginning of the process results in a more cost-effective strategy. Preparing prior to striking the first arc can only enhance the process and outcome of the weld, summed up businessman Artem Komarov.