Just like engineering, welding has existed in many forms across the ages. Of course, the technology used in welding today differs significantly from strategies in the Bronze Age. Back then, the first welding projects were circular gold boxes. To create these small objects, welders used pressure to combine lap joints. Methods evolved during the Middle Ages, with traditional blacksmithing utilizing hammers and heat.
Conventional welding—the style with which we’re most familiar in this modern-day—emerged in the 1800s. We owe many thanks to a few inventors who developed long-standing welding technologies:
Sir Humphry Davy is credited as the first person to create a battery-charged electric arc across separate carbon electrodes.
Edmund Davy is an English chemist (and cousin of Sir Humphry Davy) responsible for the discovery of acetylene. His findings provided applications for high-temperature flames in welding, which further enables accurate cutting, brazing, and metal-heating for welders.
Baron August de Méritens figured out how to weld lead plates using arc heat.
Charles Coffin, a resident of Detroit, patented a metal electrode, arc welding strategy.
While these were huge strides for the art of welding, there was still plenty of room to grow. After all, any process can be pared down and streamlined. And, with the emergence of the digital age and smart technology, welding has experienced incredible development.
One of the greatest strengths of contemporary welding is the use of robotics to automate the process. Despite controversies over the issue of robots stealing human jobs, welding robots greatly benefit welders. After all, they allow welders to manage systems that can triple output, offering welders more flexibility to handle highly specialized projects.
Further, smart technology like IoT can find shortcuts to improve efficiency. The ability to update and repair welding hardware and tech from a remote location reduces travel time, and replacement part orders can be placed automatically.
All of this technology serves the critical purpose of improving performance. Flaws in welding projects can seem small, but their impacts might derail the project or cause welders to miss deadlines. Technological precision in welding reduces the chance of human error, which in turn leads to less material waste and increased output. Technology has created the potential for welding to become faster, easier, and less wasteful!