Welding is the process of joining metals by extreme heat. Its history can be traced back 2,000 years ago, the earliest being a Bronze Age example of small circular gold boxes made by pressure welding lap joints together. Today, welding is used extensively in light to heavy fabrication processes such as seen at Muskogee Technology (MT). There are many types of welding including SMAW, GTAW, FCAW, and GMAW. Gas Metal Arc Welding commonly referred to as “MIG”, and Gas Tungsten Arc Welding commonly referred to as “TIG”, are utilized daily in Muskogee Technology operations. This process is commonly used in MT’s light and heavy fabrication departments for products in industries such as wind energy, oil and gas, and shipbuilding. MIG welding is most suitable for fusing mild steel or common ferrous metals.
Another common process used at MT is TIG welding or Tungsten Arc Welding which requires a higher level of expertise from the operator. TIG welding is most commonly used for carrying out work where a superior standard of finish is desired without needing to use clean up processes like sanding or grinding with nonferrous metals.
Stick or ARC welding is the most basic of all welding types. It is best suited for heavy metal size four millimeters and upwards and applicable in all weld positions. Welding is a highly specialized area of expertise. At MT, welders fall into a classification scale that spans from a general Welder I up to Welder IV, the highest level of welding experience. Thomas Ardis works at MT North as a level IV welder with over 20 plus years of experience. He is currently the Shift Lead. He has been working with MT since 2002. When asked about what changes have been seen in the industry over the past few years, Thomas stated Muskogee Technology’s growth and expansion have better positioned the company to more effectively compete and to produce higher quality products.
Regarding what he likes best about welding, Thomas likes “getting under the hood,” and enjoys the solitude of welding. Welding represents a large portion of the manufacturing work done at Muskogee Technology, which is why dedicated welders are so important to the success and continued development of the organization.
By Jen Chism CIEDA Marketing Manager