3 Considerations When Choosing a Welding Services Supplier
Welding is an integral part of manufacturing. If you are purchasing Metal goods, you need a quality welding vendor or manufacturer to keep your operation running smoothly. The demand for expert and trusted welding suppliers has significantly increased. The ever-growing design, fabrication, manufacturing, industries are driving factors for this growth. Modern businesses cannot choose a supplier blindly, so they must consider key factors when choosing a quality supplier. In the United States, almost 50 percent of metal goods products require welding. The percentage is much higher in new products coming onto the market.
Here are three main crucial considerations when selecting a welding vendor or manufacturer.
Expertise in different welding processes
Are you considering suppliers with a proper amount of expertise and experience?
The weld process consists of various types of welding services. For the purpose of this article, we will be discussing welding as it relates to mig and tig welding. Additionally, various gasses and welding electrodes(or welding wire) are used to produce different results, depending on the required specification of the project. Some common gases may include CO2, 90/10 argon, 98/2 argon, helium, tri-mix, and several others. Based on your needs, the right vendor should have a broad expertise in different welding materials and techniques. As far as selecting the proper weld procedure is concerned, there are many considerations:
What is the volume of parts required?
What are the specific base materials used in the product? Is it Steel?, a forging? Aluminum? Stainless? or something more exotic?
Does the nature of the designed part require pre-heating?
What are the requirements as listed in the specifications?
Is there a welding standard required?
Is a certification required?
As you can see, there are a lot of possibilities when it comes to designing the correct weld process for your products. It is in your best interest to have a supplier who has the required expertise to get the job done right, and in a timely manner.
Another essential consideration is “Does your prospective vendor have the best possible equipment to do a high quality of work in an efficient manner?
After all, most experts in metal manufacturing will tell you it is all about the tools you have at your disposal, and how well you can use them…that determine the successful outcome of your project.
Modern welding equipment allows the company to monitor the weld as it is being produced. This highly technical information can help to show the consistency of the weld quality.
Does the company maintain and monitor it’s weld equipment? Does it perform regular testing to ensure the equipment is operating at peak performance.
High quality modern welding equipment offers many productivity features that allow a trained employee to adjust settings immediately on the fly for the different weld requirements of your product.
What about seam tracking welders or
Robotic welders These are very expensive tools that allow the company to have incredible consistency of weld quality while increasing productivity by as much as 600%. These high performance tools allow the companies that have them to be super-performers who can ramp up production quickly and maintain a high level of performance and quality day after day, after day.
Process and Quality
The 3rd consideration you must consider in selecting a great supplier for welded products is the dynamic duo of process & quality. These are two sides of the same coin. Quality must be built into the process to ensure a high quality product. A process must be designed that builds quality into the manufacturing process. This will greatly reduce costly scrap and rework. The process should be efficient. It should be repeatable. It should be measurable. Process that does not improve or measure quality is a failure. Quality at the expense of an efficient, repeatable process is unsustainable.
Many large companies have their own engineering team to design the best process for manufacturing their products. But, not all companies have this much engineering horsepower. In those cases, using the right welding vendor is even more critical. The right weld method helps ensure the quality of workmanship. An expert weld vendor chooses the right process for this purpose. The correct process is a significant factor in the quality of your product. A professional manufacturer finishes the process with top-performing welds and guarantees durability.
The weld techniques used should demonstrate the required precision and professionalism in the procedure you apply. Always choose a welding supplier that is up to the task of your work.
What about cost?
Shouldn’t cost be a factor? Cost is likely an important consideration in your selection, but it should never be the #1 reason for selecting a welding services vendor.
Think of it like this…the lowest price is NOT the same thing as the lowest cost. If the supplier who has the lowest price is shipping you late or low quality product, he will almost certainly not be the low cost supplier. Unfortunately many companies have discovered their foreign manufactured product has a major quality issue and they are stuck paying for costly recalls and rework.
Your best way to consistently ensure low cost is to work with a competent company who has the experience and expertise to deliver quality product on time. This vendor must have the experience and systems in place to be able recognize and eliminate cracks in the supply chain so you don’t have to deal with problems. They should have the mentality that they are not just a vendor, but they are part of your team.