Expert speak: Evolving welding technology and improved training processes – Part 2


Welding technology evolved quickly over the past years. These advancements in technology call for a skilled and trained workforce in the new welding equipment. In this Skill Talk, Sasianand Parthasarathy, Zonal Manager, Fronius India, shares his views on emerging welding technology, simulator-based welding training, career opportunities in the domain, and the required skillset from the students. Read on to know more.

Q: Since you are an expert in the domain of welding technology, could you tell us how the trend in welding technology changed over the years?

A: Welding technology evolved a lot over the years. Earlier we had big transformers and bulky machines that needed a lot of maintenance. These big transformers were the power sources of welding. From the bulky machines and transformers, we moved to Generators. Generators would give output as DC, but the maintenance was still high. The next technology in the welding power source was the Rectifiers. All these were up to the 1980s.

In the 1980s, Fronius introduced invertors in welding technology. And in the last 20 years technology itself changed. Equipment became smaller in size and became portable. Multi-processes could be done through the invertors. Invertors became the initial revolution in welding technology.

Sasianand Parthasarathy Head, Welding Business Academy Fronius IndiaThe technology was a boon to welders and technicians. Because portable and smaller welding equipment was easier to carry and do the welding. The invertors had initial hiccups and many did not accept it. But later it got popularised and welders across the places have started using it.

After a few years, invertors became programmable machines. This is called the digital revolution technology. This brought in many advantages to the welding equipment. At present we are undergoing an intelligent revolution, where machines have become programmable and perform as industrial computer belt. The entire trend of welding power sources has changed over the years and evolved in a big way.

Q: Could you tell us in brief about digital welding and robotic welding? What kind of training do students need to undergo to join such fields?

A: Just like how we moved from a tape recorder to a VCR, to CDs, and to blue ray disks today, similarly, the digital and intelligent revolution took place in welding technology. The Digital revolution is where welding machines become programmable and act as computer units. There is a touch panel on the equipment which is used to operate the machines.

Earlier, Robots were used as manipulators, but the research is going on in many institutions, to develop machines that can now be controlled by voice. This has been the most recent development in the field of welding technology.

For students to join these fields, they have to undergo industrial training. First, they need to get a hang of this new welding equipment. They need to be trained on this new equipment to understand how they work. For that, our ITIs has to be upgraded to the new series of machines and new technology. Colleges must update their laboratories so that students can learn how the new technology works and be industry-ready.

Q: Given your expertise and experience over the years, how has the welding training changed?

A: Yes, welding training did change a lot. I was into training for a long time. We used to manually train the students, hand-hold them, and perform it in front of them to make them understand the process. We used to show the trainees how to hold the electrode, the angle in which the hand must move, the hand distance, etc. However, in the last 10 years, many things have changed in welding training.

Manual training is replaced by virtual welding. Today, most of the welding training is done on simulators. Now, we can train the students even without going to the laboratories. With virtual training in place, students get used to the welding machines, techniques of how to use and how to hold the torch and electrode, how to draw, etc. which helps them in getting trained easily in welding.

Q: What are the innovative initiatives and measures taken by Fronius India to continue welding training during the Nationwide lockdown?

A: We at Fronius India conducted webinars for industrial welding fraternity in topics of relevant interest. We were in touch with 25,000 during the Nationwide lockdown with virtual tools. We run contests and campaigns like Joining Specialist campaign, Weld, and Win contest. We conducted a number of webinars for students to keep them engaged and interested in the field of welding.

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Q: What are the new emerging job roles and fields in the domain of welding?

A: There are many emerging roles in the field of welding. Students have a lot of career opportunities in this domain.

An interested candidate can become a trained welding engineer, welding technologist, welding inspector, welding quality control manager, or he/she can also become a renowned metallurgist in welding, robotic engineer. One can also become a researcher in developing welding processes and materials, as base materials for welding have changed so much and we are no longer working only on steel. We are working on several other advanced materials.

People can explore many more opportunities in this domain. The more experience you have, the more you can earn in the field of welding.

Anyone with a right and required skillset can excel in this field. A graduate from ITI can become an International Welding Specialist and a student who completed a Diploma can become an International Welding Technologist.

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