Welding is not only an art, it is a complete science. Without welding, one can’t fabricate. Welding plays a key role in the manufacturing industry and the process requires utmost attention in order to deliver the required quality and output. And the cost of mistakes in this process can be catastrophic.
Fortunately, the welding industry is evolved enough to keep up with the challenging and growing demands of the market, and advanced base materials have evolved to live up to weight to strength ratio. Welding these materials is challenging as they need to be welded at the lowest possible heat input in order to retain the mechanical properties. Welding, per say, is a hot process but it is better done as a cold process.
Various welding alloys have been developed to meet the lowest possible melting range. At the same time, welding power source is also developed to control the wave form & wire movement to ensure that the welding is done at the lowest temperature possible.
Unfortunately, welding is not getting enough traction in academics or the industry, which has resulted into a big gap in demand v/s supply of welding professionals. Students feel that welding is a blue collar job and are afraid to explore the process because of various preconceived mindsets. But due to the emergence of IT and various algorithms, welding has come to look attractive as well as easy by welding simulators. Welding simulators provide the experience of real welding, but without doing it like a flight simulator. At the same time, perfection in welding can only be achieved by practicing on actual welding equipment.
India has a shortfall of welding professionals and so does the world. This is an opportunity for us to become the true manpower supplier to the world, keeping our population in mind. But this calls for a major paradigm shift. Time has come to understand the importance of welding. If we have to grow to 8-10 % GDP, then manufacturing is the key. To make this happen, we need to get the younger generation fascinated by this beautiful process of joining. This needs to be done at the academic level as well as by bringing in stringent norms in welding audit in the industry.
The government has initiated various programs to bring in skills in welding. This needs to be in line with industry requirements. The government must make it mandatory for welding companies in India to impart skill development, which can be a win-win situation for the country as well for the welding industry. Standards, like ISO in welding should be implemented fast and most importantly, the testing norms. After all, there is no substitute for quality.