Welding contributes to the success of many key industries today, including shipbuilding, aircraft manufacturing, construction and defense. Welding plays an important role in repair and life extension of manufactured products. Similar to any other industry, the welding industry also has its own strengths and weaknesses, which are affected by opportunities and threats present in the environment.
Cost effectiveness, reliability and safety make welding the choicest option for bonding metals. Welding is critical technology in almost 90 percent of all the durable goods produced in the United States, according to National Center for Welding Education and Training. In comparison to other traditional bonding methods such as bolting and riveting, welding provides stronger and lighter products. Welding consists of more than 100 variants of process technologies. Its scope has widened away from metals to ceramics and polymers, making it more versatile.
For many manufacturers, the welding process hinders their smooth production flow because it requires energy and time-consuming efforts. Welding is not an exact science, thus imperfections will always occur. Minimization of these imperfections depends on the welder’s skill. Additionally, unlike other industries where engineers come from specialized educational background, welding professionals do not. They acquire knowledge on the job under apprenticeships. This creates a significant shortage of skilled workers who can operate advanced welding machines.
The threats and weaknesses show a way forward for the industry. Improving the quality of welds and increasing the efficiency of the welding process might change the negative perception of welding and deter the rising market share of welding alternatives. An increase in skilled welders and improvements in the industry can prove helpful in this endeavor. Providing more people with requisite education and training and teaching them to use sophisticated machinery might translate to improvements in the overall quality of outputs.
The welding industry faces many challenges. Inefficiencies in the welding process and imperfect finishing contribute to the negative perceptions of the industry. In response to these weaknesses, strong alternatives in the form of chemical adhesives are capturing market share. Industries that primarily use welding to join products are turning to industrial adhesives, which are more agile and stronger tools. Increasing competition from other countries also threatens the U.S. welding industry.