Firefly News

Firefly prepares next generation welders

Young welders get their chance to increase their skill-set using Firefly automated welding equipment. In today’s ever-increasing technological landscape, learning how to work with semi-automated welding equipment is something next generation welders will need to contend with to keep their skills in demand.

After getting to grips with the welding set up and operation of the firefly equipment, much of the trainee’s time is spent getting valuable ‘arc on’ time. Welding is a practical trade, so there is no substitute for hands-on experience. Practice, practice, practice.

Firefly project manager, Michael Burgess ‘At first the lads are closely supervised, one on one, but they soon pick it up. These days clients expect welders to be productive right from the word go, so we need to get the lads up to speed, well prepared and field ready. What we are looking for is welders who are good enough to become part of our welding crew.’

The workpieces

The workpieces the trainees have been working on simulates the welding they would be expected to do on a hot tap project – circumferential and longitudinal welding. The trainees trained using FCAW and MCAW wires. This is to show the welder the difference in wire applications giving the experience of two different weld processes.


The purpose of the training? If we feel the trainees are ready, they are put forward to do welder qualification testing for a particular project. If they get past this rigorous independent testing process, they are qualified for welding on the project. Without the preparation and arc-on time, it would be difficult to achieve the required qualification standard.

About hot tap welding

Hot tapping strictly refers to the installation of connections to pipelines while they remain in service. In the welding context, it is commonly used for any welding onto in-service equipment. Hot tapping is frequently used to repair areas that have undergone mechanical damage or corrosion, or to add branches for system modifications.

Firefly automated welding machine has been used for hot tap welding projects throughout Europe.