New Technology Boosts Welding ROI

  • Seven years ago, Lyle Proctor started DDJ Welding, Enumclaw, WA, a firm specializing in welded steel pipelines for the water industry, including hydroelectric dams, local water lines for utilities, pen stocks and power houses.
  • In addition to himself, Proctor regularly employs four or five other welders, equipping them with completely outfitted work trucks.
  • Some years, however, demand increases to the point where as many as 15 welders are needed.
  • DDJ Welding has Miller Electric Trailblazer 275 DC gas engine-driven welders on two of its trucks.
  • With a peak generator output of 10,500 watts and a welding output of up to 325 amps (300 amps at 100% duty cycle), the units can weld with larger diameter electrodes and gouge with larger carbons (up to 1/4 in.).
  • Stick welding is also an inherently slow process. A 3/16-in. E6010 electrode deposits about 2.6 lbs. of filler metal per hour.
  • However, a 5/64-in. E71T8-K6 wire, with a wire feed speed of 110 in. per minute and an arc voltage of 20.5, yields a deposition rate of 5.5 lbs. per hour - more than a 100% improvement.
  • Greater deposition efficiency can mean big dollars, since DDJ Welding often gets paid by the joint.
  • A recent water pipe job for the city of Tacoma involved 48-in.-diameter, 3/16-in. wall pipe welded to AWS D1.1 standards.
  • The bell-and-socket joint required a 1/4-in. fillet weld on the outside of the joint.

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