Wisconsin Manufacturer Stays Productive With Rapid Paint Booth Cleanup
Red-D-Arc’s Dry Ice Blasting Specialists are industry-renowned for delivering solutions centered around cleaning and performance maintenance, particularly in commercial/industrial paint operations where dry ice blasting often proves superior to conventional hand scraping or chemical methods for the removal of overspray deposits.
Here is one such example.
Project Scope and Development
A Wisconsin-based manufacturing company contacted Red-D-Arc inquiring about the feasibility of dry ice blasting for their paint operation. The process was to be part of a deep clean for one of the client’s paint booths with the goal of removing heavy overspray from walls, floors, windows, lighting covers, fixtures, and sprayers. Once the deposits were removed, the bare surfaces would undergo a protective clear coat application and the booth would then be returned to production.
Red-D-Arc’s Dry Ice Blasting Specialists were instrumental in reviewing the application, evaluating onsite compressed air requirements, and calculating removal rates and ice consumption estimates. They provided the client with a “clear picture” of the job scope, and they tailored a turnkey rental package specific to the customer’s environment and painting operation. (more…)
The Impact of Collaborative Robotics
Collaborative robots like the BotX Welder are shaping the future of manufacturing. Rob Goldiez of Hirebotics joins robotics investor Marc Cuban and Enrico Krog Iverson of OnRobot to discuss the impact of collaborative automation technology.
November 19 at 1:00pm ET
‘Manufacturing: The Next Generation — through collaborative automation’
This virtual event will see the robotics thought leaders discuss their powerful visions of the future of manufacturing. The expert panel will share insights on how collaborative automation helps future-proof manufacturing companies, helping to build resilience and reduce risk as the world navigates unprecedented COVID-19 challenges where uncertainty is now the only constant.
Mitigating Risk in Uncertain Times
2020 has been a year of uncertainty. As people try to manage their health and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses and governments are trying to do the same. In the United States and Canada, many construction, manufacturing, and maintenance businesses have been deemed critical or essential. Examples include those in healthcare, energy, food and water, transportation, and utilities. Work continues, but not in the same way that it used to.
The pandemic is also forcing business owners to take a hard look at their balance sheets. Companies of all sizes are looking for innovative ways to work safely and effectively, while reducing costs. Rental equipment has a key role to play in supporting these innovations. There are three distinct benefits to renting equipment instead of buying equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic: cost, flexibility, and availability. Here’s what you need to know. (more…)
Rotating Equipment Induction Heat Application
Red-D-Arc’s latest customer success story highlights the benefits of using induction heating in rotating equipment applications.
A client contacted Red-D-Arc to inquire about the use of induction heating to remove a coupling hub from a motor shaft. The hub was 12 inches in diameter and roughly 4 inches thick.
The overall work scope was straightforward: the client needed to remove an old motor and replace it with a new motor. The coupling hub had to be reused, so the hub would need to be removed from the old motor and installed on the new one. Two things made this job challenging: the location and the time limit. The work was to take place on an offshore platform. Use of an open flame was not an option, as it would have led to a safety violation.
Power generators are crucial to numerous kinds of projects that require electricity. These include onsite work, events, emergency operations, and many others. Industrial generators serve as a reliable source of electricity for projects carried out in remote locations where there is no access to grid power. They are also an excellent alternative for projects that might put too much strain on the grid. For sectors such as oil and gas, manufacturing and construction , and others that require a continuous power supply, power generators provide a steady stream of reliable power during potentially damaging seasonal fluctuations in the grid electricity supply. They can also provide backup power in emergency and recovery situations.
Whether as prime, backup, or supplementary power supply, power generators have to be in good working condition to function correctly and deliver on all their benefits. Power generators are made up of numerous constantly moving components operating at very high temperatures and pressures. The key to keeping them working optimally throughout their life cycle, despite these operating conditions, is proper maintenance.
Large Scale Paint Removal Job Using Dry Ice Blasting
A coating and refinishing company out of New Jersey recently contacted Red-D-Arc for support on a gymnasium ceiling project. The paint on the ceiling was failing and required a re-coat. The client wanted an efficient and environmentally friendly solution requiring minimal cleanup. Dry ice blasting was the method of choice.
Dry ice blasting uses solid carbon dioxide pellets to remove debris without causing damage to the surface being cleaned. The pellets are accelerated to supersonic speeds through a pressurized air stream. The pellets then sublimate on impact.
A blowout-preventer (special valve or device used for preventing blowouts on oil and gas wells) which had been stuck together for 9 years is finally separated with the quick application of a Miller induction heating system from Red-D-Arc.
In addition to the many welding heat treatment applications, our heating specialists have years of experience applying this technology in numerous applications from hydro dam maintenance to heavy equipment repair. Contact a specialist to find out how induction heating can be applied to your next challenge.
Thanks to Michael Hernandez AWS CWSR from our Houston location for providing the footage.
This article originally appeared in Connector Magazine, Fall 2020 Edition
Erectors can save cost and time by taking this welding technique in-house
Large steel erection projects commonly require heat treatment for welding because of the thick materials used in structural steel construction. Proper implementation is critical; so often this work is outsourced. The perceived level of expertise to perform this work can make the prospect of using in-house personnel daunting. However, most welding contractors are actually fully capable of performing on-site heat treatment operations.
The two primary methods for heat treating metal are preheating and post-weld heat treatment (PWHT). Preheating is the process of heating the base metal to a specific temperature prior to welding to minimize the temperature difference between the welding arc and the base metal. This process helps to reduce internal stresses that occur as substantial temperature differences between the weld and the base metal normalize, which can cause cracking and distortion. Slowing the cooling rate also allows hydrogen to escape from the weld, which minimizes the potential for cracking.
Applications and Advantages in Tank Fabrication and Maintenance
In the fabrication of storage tanks, as in most other welding applications, there are two crucial processes that storage tank fabricators must carry out to ensure the final quality and durability of the tanks. They are weld preheating and post-weld heat treatment.
Preheating involves heating the material to be welded to a particular temperature before welding. This process reduces shrinkage by minimizing the temperature between the arc and the base material. It also removes moisture, lowers hydrogen, and slows the weld cooling rate. These reduce the risk of cracking, brittle welds, and failure of the welds. Preheating is crucial for storage tanks as they are to withstand high pressures during operation.
Power is out to more than 500,000 customers with an estimated 3 to 5 weeks to restore power. Generator-powered, air conditioned tents have been set up to provide power workers with meals; and we’ve also supplied generators for power requirements for restaurants, casinos, fabrication shops, etc.
Other members of our South West Region team are working tirelessly to mobilize generators for all segments of need. A big thanks goes to Michael Stevens and all our supporting personnel to be able to deliver more than 100 generators in a matter of hours.
Special thanks goes to Dave Kendrick and his team, for their outstanding efforts preparing our Lake Charles building prior to the hurricane landing. Dave worked late into the night to provide us with the best chance of weathering the storm. In the pictures below, you can see we sustained minimal damage compared to other buildings located down the road and we are very fortunate to have come out of this storm as well as we did.
Thanks to all for a job well done!
Seasonal events like heatwaves increase the usage of power-hungry amenities from HVAC units at homes to buildings to reactor coolant systems in nuclear power plants.
Fluctuations in electric power during summer peaks may cause hardware failures and the cessation of business-critical operations for banks, hospitals, FMCG, refineries, and other sectors that need a continuous supply of power.
This enormous strain on the power grid and unpredictable electricity supply could lead to the loss of investment worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
That’s where electrical power reliability can protect public health and infrastructure.
Industrial generator rentals provide alternative electric sources that offer a steady stream of high-quality power to minimize production losses and operational downtime.
Power plants can rely on diesel generator sets in their job sites as an efficient emergency power backup source to provide capacity in the event of rising demand or fluctuation in supply.
The shift to an electricity-dominated global energy mix includes microgrids transforming the way electricity supplies to industrial markets, commercial markets, and oil and gas markets.
The falling expenditure of microgrid control technologies is among the top reasons US electric companies now actively deploy them across 42% of the country’s projects. This number has quadrupled since 2014, while the installed microgrid capacity has tripled.
Microgrids Enhance Electric Network Resilience
Microgrids, also known as supplemental power resource systems, are network-connected or operate independently from any electric utility grid. They range from remote microgrids that power the electrical needs of rural areas to true microgrids that supply additional energy to localized businesses.
The hurricane season is arriving soon. A lack of an emergency plan could lead to severe losses such as possible business and financial collapse of the organization.
Per the Federal Emergency Management Agency reports, 90 percent of small businesses close shop if they cannot resume operations within five days after a hurricane strikes. Another 20 percent of these companies usually spend more than ten days a month on business continuity plans.
With industrial generator rental, you can install backup power systems in hurricane-prone areas to enable the facilities’ equipment to remain operational. That means, almost within ten seconds of a power outage, your backup generator ensures smooth operations for multiple days during this severe weather season.
Here are five tips to consider for power preparedness with standby systems:
Welding is a cost-effective manufacturing process. However, several factors can significantly increase or reduce the cost-effectiveness and productivity of a welding project. These range from operational efficiency to the use of consumables.
In this article, we will go through 10 ways to significantly reduce welding costs and boost the productivity of welding projects.
1. Avoid Overwelding
Overwelding occurs when a weld is larger than it needs to be. This is a common occurrence in the welding industry, especially with inexperienced welders. An overweld may result when there is no specified weld size in a design, when there is no fillet weld gauge, or when a big weld is created just to play it safe.
Overwelding is a significant resource drain; it uses more arc time, labor, shielding gas, and filler metal, which leads to higher costs. To put this waste into perspective, consider a 1/4″ overweld instead of a required 3/16″ weld: The overweld results in a 78% increase in both weld metal deposition and arc-on time. This goes up to 177% when the overweld is 5/16″.
The construction industry is responsible for the creation of all kinds of structures with varying sizes, levels of complexity, and uses. From simple, small structures such as family homes to large, complex ones like bridges, dams, and manufacturing plants.
Structural integrity and durability are the most important considerations in this industry. This is why the construction industry employs a very large quantity of metals. In the United States alone, more than 40 million tons of steel are used annually in the construction industry. The majority of this quantity is used to create structural frameworks. This is where welding plays an indispensable role in construction.
Welding technologies are widely usedin the construction industry, mainly for the fabrication of structurally sound metal frameworks for by fusing various metals components. It also used to create and maintain non-structural components. Some of the welding used for construction is on pre-fabricated in a shop environment while other parts of the welding process are done on-site.
Applications of Welding in Construction
Construction comprises numerous industries, including transportation, oil and gas, telecommunication, power, manufacturing, many others. The construction industry is very broad & diverse and is divided into three major sectors which differ by the type of structures they create. These sectors are Building, Infrastructure, and Industrial.
The application of welding, is crucial to all three sectors.
In the midst of the current global pandemic, massive challenges to public health and safety have impacted the global economy resulting in significant levels of unemployment in many countries. While small businesses are scaling down or declaring bankruptcy, critical industries like manufacturing are stepping up to meet the challenges of the pandemic. Rapidly deployed, innovative solutions are helping provide much-needed medical devices, services, and supplies.
Red-D-Arc Innovates with Robotic Welding
Since systems are at full capacity, custom metal fabrication and welding equipment industries are also in high demand to support production for medical devices and diagnostic equipment. Throughput is the most critical key performance indicator (KPI) for manufacturers, and an efficient rate of production requires consistency and high-quality output.
The oil and gas industry plays a very important role in the global energy supply as well as the world economy. Many technologies are crucial to the existence and functioning of this multi-billion dollar industry. One of these is welding.
The oil and gas industry utilizes various highly complex infrastructure such as rigs, pipelines, platforms, plants, and facilities. The majority of these infrastructures are created using welding technologies. Welding is critical in oil and gas operations both for the construction of new projects and for the maintenance of existing facilities.
Applications of Welding in Oil and Gas
The oil and gas industry is divided into three major stages of operation. These, which can be referred to as sectors, are Upstream, Midstream, and Downstream. Welding is widely used across all these sectors and its applications can be classified accordingly.
Whether you’re working in the petrochemical, manufacturing or food and beverage industry, plant shutdowns are inevitable. Plant maintenance is vital to optimizing peak performance of a facility to ensure profitability, safety and regulatory compliance.
From a routine plant shutdown and maintenance period, metrics such as quality, schedule and cost can be measured and planned in advance. However, exceptions such as the global outbreak of COVID-19 global pandemic can pave the way for unexpected maintenance opportunities. In a move to contain the virus spread, companies close up shop temporarily to follow government mandates, protect their employees and take advantage of the opportunity to perform deep-cleaning routines using technologies like dry ice blasting on their factories simultaneously.
Food and beverage producers regularly employ dry ice blasting for cleaning and sanitizing equipment. The sanitizing capabilities of C02 blasting are even more relevant to food and beverage and many other types of operations during the coronavirus pandemic. Disinfect, deep clean and sanitize your production environment with one of the most effective tools available. Dry ice blasting is proven on microbial decontamination including: listeria, e-coli and salmonella on contact. Take advantage of downtime to address cleaning maintenance, enhance industrial hygiene practices, and decontaminate production equipment.
Learn more >
In welding, like in many other manufacturing and fabrication processes, the process is not complete until the necessary post-processing has been carried out. Post-weld operations are usually performed for reasons such as improving mechanical properties, relieving stress, and improving aesthetics. The two most common Post-weld operations are Post-Weld Heat Treatment (PWHT) and Finishing.
Post-Weld Heat Treatment
During welding, the welded materials are exposed to very high temperatures that can cause micro-structural changes in them. Also, residual stresses build up in welded materials when they are allowed to cool naturally. If left unaddressed, these stresses and structural changes can severely compromise the mechanical properties of a material and can lead to failure during use. To prevent this, PWHT is required for welded parts. There are two major types of Post-weld heat treatment and they are as follows.
Dear Valued Red-D-Arc Customer:
As we all continue to adjust to the global COVID-19 pandemic, we would like to take a moment to reach out to you to inform you that Red-D-Arc is continuing to vigilantly monitor the evolving developments and adjusting as necessary in order to safeguard our workforce and limit any potential impacts or disruptions to our commercial relationships.
At this time, Red-D-Arc operations are currently proceeding as usual, to the extent permitted by relevant governmental and federal authorities. While we are aware that various government-imposed shutdowns have been implemented for various industries in certain geographic locations, Red-D-Arc – like its parent company, Airgas – identifies itself as a business which provides essential services, including the supply of necessary equipment to various power plants, oil refineries, the petrochemical industry, government-led construction projects, and so forth.
How To Weld Aluminum To Steel: Is It Possible? What Are My Options?
If you’re new to welding, you may be wondering if it’s possible for you to weld aluminum to steel. Welding “like-to-like” metals like steel-to-steel and aluminum-to-aluminum is usually very straightforward. However, when you try to weld together two very different metals like aluminum and steel – such as two components manufactured by tube laser cutting – things can get a little bit more complicated. So, is it possible to weld aluminum to steel? What are your options for doing so? Let’s discuss everything you need to know.
Red-D-Arc’s dry ice blasting equipment was provided as part of the restoration effort for the prestigious Stephen F. Austin statue in Sugarland, Texas. Our team of dry ice blasting specialists delivered solutions to get the project completed with a package consisting of two Cold Jet dry ice blasting machines, two high volume after-cooled 375CFM air compressors, 2,500 lbs of blasting ice (CO2), and on-site operator/safety training. (more…)
Welding automation has been around for a while, but recently its role has grown exponentially in manufacturing. For years, the welding industry has faced a skill gap, which is expected to grow wider in the coming years. To combat this, employers are adopting automated welding equipment to increase the efficiency of weld operations.
What Is the Skill Gap?
The “skill gap” describes a discrepancy between the skills held by job seekers and the skills employers need. This leads to a paradox where there’s a large pool of applicants, but companies aren’t able to hire workers with the appropriate knowledge and skill set. This has led to increasing welder salaries as manufacturing businesses compete to attract skilled workers, and even then, many positions are left unfilled.
Why Is It Happening?
Two main factors are contributing to this situation: a lack of qualified applicants entering the workforce and an increasing number of employees seeking retirement. Interestingly, these two issues may be caused by social factors rather than economic ones.
Few People Entering the Workforce
The newest generation entering the workforce is the most educated in U.S. history, which is a positive thing in most regards. However, it means that fewer young people are going into trades such as welding. There’s also a feeling among parents that welding, ironwork, construction, and other industries that require hard labor are dangerous or low-paying and therefore not worth pursuing. This has created a push toward white-collar jobs despite the high wages and many benefits offered in the manufacturing field.
With a huge percentage of employees planning to leave the workforce within a couple of years, thousands of positions will open at once and, unfortunately, be left unfilled.
Many Welders Are Reaching Retirement Age
The majority of current trade workers are from the Baby Boomer generation and are nearing retirement. With a huge percentage of employees planning to leave the workforce within a couple of years, thousands of positions will open at once and, unfortunately, be left unfilled.
What Is Welding Automation?
Welding automation is the term used to describe the use of equipment which automates all or part of the welding process. The term hard automation is sometimes used to describe the application of positioning machines designed to hold and manipulate the weldment (object being welded). Automated welding doesn’t necessarily mean robotic welding, rather it is simply the application of automation technologies such as positioners, manipulators and turning rolls to the welding process. The weldment may be positioned for manual or automated welding processes. For example a pipe may be rotated on a positioner while being welded by a hand held welding head or by a welding head fixed to a manipulator arm for a fully automated set up.
How Can Automation Be a Solution To Labor Shortages?
Primarily, welding automation solves the skill gap dilemma by filling positions with machines instead of people. However, the switch to robotics can offer companies several advantages and will likely continue to transform how welding is done.
While the purchase and installation of a machine may be expensive initially, businesses can save money in the long run. There are many financing options available for commercial enterprises to purchase equipment, making the process more affordable, and employers don’t have to worry about costs associated with hiring, such as wage, benefits, and professional development.
Machines can produce higher quality goods more consistently than human workers and work much quicker, which means more production and profits. Having fewer mistakes also means less waste and more products available for sale.
Perhaps the most advantageous quality of machines is their ability to store welding routines and settings. Human workers must dedicate time and energy to learning a new skill and are inevitably bound to make mistakes along the way, costing the company. Machines, on the other hand, perform actions exactly as they are instructed. This means you can easily alter a robot’s role by changing the programming without having to deal with a learning curve. Many modern welders come with pre-programmed routines and settings and are able to make appropriate adjustment automatically with some basic input from an operator.
What Should Manufacturers Know About Implementing Automation?
While welding automation technologies have evolved significantly, implementation still has its challenges, especially for businesses that are just starting to automate their welding operations. For example, though it isn’t actually the case, workers may consider the shift to automation as a threat to their livelihoods. You can ease this fear by communicating with the employees about the ways automation helps improve in the production process – ensuring that a company remains competitive. It also makes the work of welding safer and less strenuous and allows them to focus on higher skilled, more interesting welding tasks. In the case of welding robotics, assigning a robot to a necessary but repetitive task can free up workers for roles that require a human’s problem-solving skills. Collaborative robots (cobots) are designed to work in tandem with human workers and offer great gains in welding productivity.
You also face the challenge of finding the right equipment for your needs and incorporating it into your line operation. These issues should be carefully researched before you make any commitments.
In determining a welding automation supplier, you’ll want to establish an ongoing relationship with a company that’s able to address both startup and longer term issues that accompany a transition to automated welding:
- Employee training
- Maintenance of equipment
- Replacement parts
You’ll want to work with a company that has a thorough solid understanding of your industry and offers reliable technical and customer support.
Are you interested in adding welding automation to your manufacturing process? Red-D-Arc offers a variety of equipment. For more information or to get a quote, give us a call at 866-733-3272 or contact us online.