Welding Services at AjaxAn essential manufacturing capability.
The ability to produce high-quality welds efficiently and consistently is a vital manufacturing function.
That’s why Ajax is continually re-investing in our welding people and capabilities. Like our new robotic welding cell featuring the Yaskawa Motoman AR1440. Here’s a short video of the new cell in operation:
Tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding, also known as gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), is a process that joins metal using a pointed tungsten electrode activated by an electrical current. The intense heat of a TIG arc is formed between the electrode and the metal workpiece, heating it to a melting point. An inert “shielding” gas, usually argon or helium, is blown onto the workpiece to keep contaminating particles away from the work.
The small TIG point enables very accurate, high-quality welds. TIG is quite difficult, so only the most experienced and well-trained welders are able to produce quality TIG work.
Although not the fastest process, TIG can reduce production costs by eliminating secondary operations like deburring or polishing.
Benefits of TIG:
- Inert gas eliminates spatter and slag, resulting in clean, cosmetic welds
- No consumable elements to cause work stoppage
- Produces strong, high-quality workpieces that meet strict requirements
- Can be used on a wide variety of metals
- Joins thin metals with less distortion
- Ideal for projects that require extreme precision
Drawbacks of TIG:
- Complex and very difficult to learn
- Slower than other welding processes
- Tools and machinery are costly
- Does not perform well with thick metals
Metal Forming Applications
The cosmetic qualities of TIG welding are ideal for metal parts that are visible to the end user. TIG welds are very strong, suitable for water or air-tight parts and safety or security-critical parts like hinges for heavy doors.
MIG welding can produce long stretches of material without stopping, creating efficiency advantages.
Metal inert gas (MIG), also called gas metal arc welding (GMAW), is a process in which an electric arc forms between a spool-fed wire electrode and metal workpieces. A MIG arc heats the workpieces quickly, causing them to melt and join almost instantly. Argon or helium shielding gas helps prevent atmospheric contamination of the workpiece. The equipment consists of a welding gun, a power supply, a shielding gas supply, and a wire-drive system that pulls the wire electrode from a spool and pushes it through the gun to the workpiece.
MIG creates a puddle of material, so not all joints can be reached by a MIG welder.
Benefits of MIG:
- Produces high-quality welds quickly
- Much easier to learn
- Welds long stretches of material without stopping, creating a manufacturing advantage
- Uses inert gas to defend the arc and reduce spatter and slag, resulting in cleaner workpieces
- Works well with a wide variety of metals and alloys
- Applicable to semi and fully-automated production
Drawbacks of MIG:
- Cannot be used in the vertical or overhead welding positions
- The equipment is complex
- Not as precise as TIG
- MIG welding differs from TIG welding in these ways:
|Degree of difficulty||Easier||Much harder|
|Weld malleability||Hard & brittle||Softer & more workable|
|Production Costs||Usually lower||Usually higher|
Spot welding, also known as electric resistance spot welding, is a process where two or more portions of sheet metal or wire mesh are instantly and permanently joined using intense heat generated by a strong electric current. The process generally uses two opposing L-shaped copper alloy electrodes to first clamp the sheet metal together, then concentrate current into a small “spot”, producing the welded joint. The electric current is provided to the electrodes by a switched power supply that can store, transform, and deliver current in a quick, intense burst. The amount of current can vary depending on material thickness for optimum weld performance.
Spot welding can be automated with robots and controlled by computer programs. This makes spot welding a great choice for manufacturing auto bodies, metal housings and containers, and other fabricated sheet metal products. Spot welding can be used on a variety of metals, but aluminum requires more current due to its much higher thermal and electrical conductivity.
Benefits of Spot Welding
- Produces very fast, efficient welds
- Ideal for automated factory settings
- Does not require high skill levels
- No consumable elements to cause work stoppage
- Avoids heating other areas of the sheet metal
- No open flame or arc
- Welded spots are small and can be accurately positioned
Drawbacks of Spot Welding
- Joints may not be as strong as other types of welded joints
- Joints are rough-looking. Joints exposed to the end user must be painted or plated
- Current must be carefully controlled to avoid weak joints
- Certain spots may be difficult to reach with two electrodes, requiring specialized equipment
Spot Welding Applications
Spot welding is ideal for producing containers, boxes, and other sheet metal assemblies.
High weld speeds and few quality issues enable huge productivity gains, a primary benefit of automated welding.
Automated welding provides manufacturers with huge gains in efficiency and quality. Welding automation can be broken down into two basic categories: semiautomatic and fully automatic.
In semiautomatic welding, an operator manually loads workpieces into a fixture. A weld controller then engages the welding appliance and completes the weld according to preset parameters. After the weld is completed, the operator removes the welded assembly and loads the next set of workpieces. A second worker provides workpieces to the operator and collects finished assemblies to avoid production stoppage.
In fully automatic welding, a machine or robot, or a series them, will load the workpieces, position the welding appliance, complete the welds, check the quality of the joints, and offload the finished assembly into a chute or conveyor. The operator is responsible for keeping workpieces available to the machinery.
Benefits of Automated Welding
- High speeds enable huge efficiency and cost-savings gains
- Consistently high quality
- Far lower labor costs
- Automated process controllers detect quality issues immediately
- Material feeders and conveyors coupled to the system increase efficiency
Drawbacks of Welding Automation
- Higher initial investment
- Longer setup time
- Can’t accommodate changes as easily
- Some maintenance required
- Only makes sense for large quantity production
Weldments are defined as two or more parts welded together. Creating weldments for assembly requires expertise in production welding and also in project planning. This is especially true in an automated welding environment.
A steel weldment on an Ajax welding table ready for finishing.
A powder-coated weldment ready for final assembly.
Examples of assembly weldments include bolt attachments, nut attachments, and hinge attachments. Materials often include aluminum, titanium, copper, brass, stainless steel, high strength low alloy (HSLA) steel, galvanized steel, hot and cold-rolled steel, spring steel, and more.