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9 November 2016
Welding and the Construction Industry
The construction industry had only made small advances from the early 1800’s to the late 1800’s, the screw being the biggest advancement in the last few hundred years. The first practical method of welding was first discovered in 1836 by Edmund Davy. Since then the upgrades and improvements on welding has influenced the industry so much that it would barely be around today without it.
Welding has made a huge impact on the construction industry’s economy. It brings in lots of revenue for not only small business owners, but also the nation as a whole. This revenue has been critical to the U.S economy. The U.S spent a total of $34.1 billion on welding expenditures in the year 2000. In the Navy’s study on welding, one of the major findings was that infrastructure and the construction industry were very reliant on welding as a whole. Dr. Charles Miller explains “those industries included in this study provide the backbone for our nation’s defense, infrastructure, and economic well-being…” (Miller). Not only being the backbone for the economy, it has also been the backbone for the American people’s lives. Many people have depended on the high waging welding jobs for their career. Dr. Mark Crawford says “U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates and data gathered through this research indicated that welding occupations provided employment for more than one-half million individuals in the U.S in 2000” (Crawford).
Before when buildings were made only of large pieces of metal bolted together there was an extreme issues of stability and durability. Many buildings would collapse after years of erosion or violent storms. The durability and stability of constructing buildings has been taken to a new level with welding. When using welding the structure is much stronger than the previous method. GE Mathews goes further into depth using the welding specifics to explain how “The durability and stability of constructing buildings has been taken to a new level with welding” (Mathews). Along with better structure, welding has improved the effectiveness of constructing buildings. D S Howse tells “As an example, fabricators in the bridge and building sector continue to make big improvements in reducing the cost per ton of steel fabricated by focusing on efficiency improvements in welding operations” (Howse). The construction of buildings effectiveness was first doubled when practical welding was introduced, since then it has only continued to increase. Buildings are not the only way welding has improved this industry.
Welding does only support the construction of building, and also the construction of our oil pipelines, along with sewage, and water. The oil pipelines are crucial to the daily life of nations all around the world. Many pipelines are old and starting to crack and break. Tucker Company agrees that pipelines are at their worst “In spite of its importance, piping is the most inefficient of all major construction areas” (“Tucker welding industry”). Without many other ways of fixing without totally replacing, welding has allowed countries and companies to easily make pipes advances in welding has surged the industry forward. TWI explains how the advancements have worked “Lasers and hybrid systems offer a solution to this challenge and girth-weld procedures are under development using either a high power CO 2 lasers alone or Nd:YAG laser/MAG hybrid welding” (TWI). These laser welders have proved to not only make more precise and perfect welds, but also speed the entire process up. Once the machine gets the details put into it, it can run until the boss says stop. No pay raises, no breaks, and no injuries. That being said, not every weld can be made by machines.
The welding industry as a whole has been in dire need of more workers. In the last ten to twenty years, the amount of skilled welders has decreased rapidly. The grueling long hours, hot workspace, and the ever so promised high pay that doesn’t come have made this happen. Also, it is believed that because of newer technology that has created easier jobs elsewhere; people are not willing to get their hands dirty to make money. However, this has also caused the welding companies of the world go into a desperate hunt for workers. They are now offering more pay than ever with a starting pay right out of high school around twenty dollars an hour. That is only the starting pay and as a person climbs the “ladder” of a company, the pay continues to rise. With this ever-increasing need of a higher paying job, construction companies have made less and less money. Thus making welding companies stay on the edge of hiring new people and saving money working with what they have.
Construction would be nowhere near the progressive point its at today without welding. From The first crude method founded by Edmund Davy to the laser welding techniques used today the industry is being continually pushed forward. Along with the construction industry comes one of the many life support lines of the U.S people. The welding program has exceeded all expectations.
"The Basics of Field Welding Repair on Construction Equipment - See more at: https://www.millerwelds.com/resources/article-library/the-basics-of-field-welding-repair-on-construction-equipment#sthash.p21JaRia.dpuf." 5 Feb. 2015, www.millerwelds.com/resources/article-library/the-basics-of-field-welding-repair-on-construction-equipment. Accessed 13 Sept. 2016.
"A crumbling workforce: Construction industry faces shortage of skilled workers." Houston Business Journal, 8 Mar. 2015, www.bizjournals.com/houston/print-edition/2015/11/20/a-crumbling-workforce-construction-industry-faces.html. Accessed 13 Sept. 2016.
"New Joining Technology for Metal Pipe in the Construction Industry." New Joining Technology for Metal Pipe in the Construction Industry, 2 Sept. 2003, www.construction-institute.org/btsc01.pdf. Accessed 13 Sept. 2016.
"Steel construction industry." Steel construction industry, 2 Apr. 2012, Segmentfolder_Stahlbaubauindustrie_EN_1304.pdf. Accessed 13 Sept. 2016. New advanced types of welding and welding rods have cut the costs of efficiency.
"Technological Advances in the Construction Sector." Globalization of Technology: International Perspectives, 3 May 2001, www.nap.edu/read/1101/chapter/9#69. Accessed 13 Sept. 2016.
"Trends in welding processes in engineering construction for infrastructure projects." Twi Global, 3 Mar. 2014, www.twi-global.com/technical-knowledge/published-papers/trends-in-welding-processes-in-engineering-construction-for-infrastructure-projects-july-2003/. Accessed 13 Sept. 2016.
"Welding Forges into the Future." Welding Forges into the Future, 3 Oct. 2016, www.aws.org/about/page/welding-forges-into-the-future. Accessed 13 Sept. 2016.
"Welding in US Manufactoring." Navy, 3 May 2002, www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/forms-documents/doc_view/39-heavy-manufacturing-industries-economic-impact-and-productivity-of-welding-navy-2002. Accessed 13 Sept. 2016.
"WELDING, ITS IMPORTANCE AND IMPERATIVE IN CONSTRUCTION." Welding Capabilities for the Construction Industry, 19 Jan. 2015, www.gemathis.com/welding-capabilities-construction-industry/. Accessed 13 Sept. 2016.
"WELDING OPTIONS IN STEEL CONSTRUCTION." WELDING OPTIONS IN STEEL CONSTRUCTION, 2 Feb. 1999, www.steel-insdag.org/documents/weldingoptions.pdf. Accessed 13 Sept. 2016.
Alvey 1dures are under development using either a high power CO 2 lasers alone or Nd:YAG laser/MAG hybrid welding” (TWI). These laser welders have proved to not only make more precise and perfect welds, but also speed the entire process up. Once the machine gets the details put into it, it can run until the boss says stop. No pay raises, no breaks, and no injuries. That being said, not every weld can be made by machines.
The welding industry as a whole has been in dire need of more workers. In the last ten to twenty years, the amount of skilled welders has decreased rapidly. The grueling long hours, hot workspace, and the ever so promised high pay that doesn’t come have made this happen. Also