ROSENBERG — Automation is the future for many industries, and welding is no exception.
Texas State Technical College’s Welding Technology automation lab at TSTC’s campus in Fort Bend County recently received new equipment to help keep TSTC students on the cusp of emerging technology and practices.
“We’ve got a submerged-arc machine, new orbital pipe welding machines, and another FANUC robotic arm,” TSTC Welding Technology instructor Alex Deibert said. “We’re able to better prepare these students for the new age of automation that’s coming in the welding industry.”
Deibert is particularly excited for the addition of the submerged-arc machine.
“What that’s going to allow us to teach our students now is sub-arc on pressure vessels,” he said. “We’ll be able to simulate that. There’s a lot of positions available for students who know how to run a sub-arc. There’s a large market for this.”
The orbital tube welder joins small-diameter tubing without the addition of filler metal. This type of equipment is typically seen in the food service industry at plants that need stainless steel sanitary tubing for their products.
The orbital TIG (tungsten inert gas) head, when properly fitted, can complete an entire weld on pipes measuring anywhere from 1 3/4 inches to 6 1/4 inches in diameter. An additional piece of equipment operates under the same principle, but uses different welding processes: MIG (metal inert gas) and flux-core.