WELDING MAKES THE DIFFERENCE
National Sales Manager, Dan McMahon recently had the opportunity to sit down with Kusel's VP of Manufacturing, Jeremy Walker to discuss aspects of stainless-steel welding as well as how Kusel sets itself apart from the competition.
Kusel is adamant about putting out a high quality product every time, so QC protocols demand that it’s done right, no if, ands or buts.
DM: What is different about welding stainless?
JW: Welding stainless steel may appear identical to welding carbon steel to the untrained eye, but subtle differences can make or break the process and the quality of the end product. For instance, stainless steel retains heat at a greater level than carbon steel, so the welder must be more careful with the heat applied and how the weld is cooled to avoid any distortion. In addition, the filler material (filler rod or wire) for stainless is more critical, because of the desire to have as clean a weld as possible. In certain circumstances, our drains need to be polished to have a pristine finish and if that weld isn’t clean, it won’t matter how much it’s polished, it just won’t look right. If it does not look right, it won’t pass QC and will have to be scrapped and rebuilt. This costs time and money and is something a successful company cannot afford. At Kusel, quality is built-in as each welder is trained in what makes a quality part and has the ability to make the necessary changes to meet the customer’s needs for quality every time.
DM: What is the most effective welding process for welding stainless steel?
JW: Stainless steel welders at Kusel utilize two main processes of welding. TIG (Tungsten inert gas or TGAW-Gas tungsten arc welding) and MIG (Metal inert gas or GMAW-Gas metal arc welding). The two processes are equally effective, but have independent benefits depending on the material thickness and available space to weld. MIG welding is used with thicker materials (welding plate or heavy wall pipe) and can cover more linear inches faster compared with TIG. TIG welding is used with thinner materials (sheet material or thin walled tubing) and can be done in tighter spaces and leave a cleaner weld for polishing. It is very common for most stainless steel welding shops to use both TIG and MIG welding based on the weldment involved. Having experienced welders that can use these two processes coupled with providing the best welds and finished products possible is an advantage of working with Kusel where stainless welding is what we do.
DM: What makes Kusel’s process unique?
JW: When stainless is all that you do, it allows our welders to focus solely on stainless and become good at a specific process. Longevity of tenure in our welding department allows us to always have an experienced welder who has seen it all. Unfortunately, I cannot offer any more trade secrets than that.
DM: What makes Kusel’s welders different?
JW: Our welders truly specialize in stainless welding. Kusel’s welding staff is a combination of homegrown talent as well as those that have come from other metal fabricating shops, but specialization in stainless is the asset that ties them all together. Production welders at Kusel have liked the variety of work in the shop including metal finishing, forming, rolling, etc… They stay fresh by working in multiple areas of the shop. Many thrive on the consistent variety of work available to them at Kusel and decide to plant themselves for their entire career in our shop.
DM: Why does Kusel’s process make a difference?
JW: We have created an established and repeatable processes based on years of experience. Newer welders are paired with experienced welders to bring them up to both quality and efficiency standards. Additionally, experienced support staff are on-site and available to solve any issues as they arise. Lastly, Kusel looks to continually invest in new welding equipment that allows for the latest technologies in welding to be utilized by our staff. On a side note, I sit on a partnership committee with our local high school to align manufacturers with technical education in an effort to train the next generation workforce. We are so confident in the ability and experience of our welders that we utilize them to teach stainless TIG welding. Throughout the process, students gain valuable experience with stainless steel materials and learn the value of the trade.
Kusel strives to put out the highest of quality of products and it all begins with the highest of quality welders.
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