Skilled yes, experienced yes, reliable yes…but, unfortunately, he won’t last forever! The fear is that when the baby boom generation finally do hang up their welding gloves, there won’t be enough young welders coming through to replace them. With fewer than 20% of current welders under the age of 35, there appears to be a skills gap opening up. Statistics vary from country to country but the message is a familiar one – there’s a shortage of welders.
Here at IPWL, we think scarcity creates opportunity. It’s basic economics. The younger generation will adapt. They will fill the gap. Tomorrow’s welder will use new methods, new materials, new technologies and yes, new tools like Firefly.
Firefly is an automated tool for welders. It is not a robot. It is a semi-automated orbital welding system. This means a skilled welder is needed to operate it. Although automated welding machines have been around since the 1960’s, current technology hasn’t! Firefly is a fully digital system using the latest technology. It just helps the skilled welder do his job quicker, improving productivity.
Here is an example of what is possible. The video clip shows Firefly being used by a weld engineer to run a test piece using the high speed Rapid X process from Lincoln Electric. The inverter is a Lincoln S350 Power Wave.
We think it is something to catch the imagination of the next generation of welders… to help fill the gap. Oh and finally…the guy in the video clip…he is a grandfather in his 50’s – so maybe there a few more welds left in the old guys yet! No worries.