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How Automated Welding Positioners Help Minimize Human Error

Other than stunt performers, most people don’t enjoy feeling like they’re in danger at work. However, many injuries at manufacturing plants and fabrication shops...

Two words nobody wants to hear at a manufacturing facility: human error.

However, in the world of industrial manufacturing – including automotive, heavy-duty trucks, construction, agriculture and military – innocent human mistakes cause massive problems. Problems that could cost millions of dollars and serious injuries.

Any manufacturer who’s shut down production due to human error understands the stress these situations create. In fact, these types of errors tend to be more prevalent in manufacturing.

In the manufacturing and engineering field, one doesn’t have to look hard to find examples where something small, like a part being installed backwards or someone mixing up a unit of measurement, triggered a catastrophic failure.

The Power Lift™ Positioner by Lincoln Electric

Lincoln Electric helps combat human errors in the welding process with the Power Lift Positioner – along with the Smart Positioning and Weld Sequencing software. These tools synchronize positioning, standardize procedures and verify welding performance. 

Key features include

  • Integrated laser alignment and leveling
  • Clean, concealed cable management
  • Logging and verification of welding steps with real-time feedback
  • Integrated rotary encoder for programming and tracking weldment rotation
  • High-quality linear rails and bearings for precise vertical travel
  • Industrial-grade, variable speed hydraulic valves

As a leader in the welding industry, Lincoln Electric is a trusted provider of highly-evolved – yet simple-to-use – technology that provides operator comfort and an enhanced level of protection to safeguard against human error. 

For more information on how the Power Lift can transform your welding environment, read our white paper, watch our video or feel free to reach out to a Lincoln Electric representative.

The dark cloud of a welder shortage is looming. But the good news is, fabricators of large, heavy metal materials have options that can help them raise productivity and power through daunting labor challenges.......

The Prevalence of Human Error in Manufacturing

According to a 2017 study from Vanson Bourne, 23 percent of all unplanned downtime in manufacturing was the result of human error, compared to 9 percent in other sectors. 

Other results from the survey noted:

  • Nearly half (48 percent) of manufacturers acknowledged considerable room for improvement when it comes to proactively preventing problems with assets in their organization.
  • Across all sectors, 82 percent of companies have experienced at least one unplanned downtime outage over the past three years, with the average number of outages being two.
  • Across all sectors, 70 percent of companies admitted that they lack full awareness of when equipment is due for maintenance, upgrade or replacement.

Automated Welding Positioners and the Impact of Improved Quality Control

When large metal weldments (weighing up to 25,000 pounds) are concerned, there is little room for error. This heavy material must be safely lifted off the ground and moved into ergonomic positions that can give welders the control and flexibility necessary to make high-quality welds in hard-to-reach and challenging out-of-position orientations. 

New forms of technology, such as automated welding positioners with tutorial and tracking software, can provide additional quality control measures that can help reduce the occurrence of mistakes and unplanned downtime. 

Along with an automated welding positioner, utilizing PLC encoder technology and weld sequencing software lets manufacturers create visual work instructions to guide operators step-by-step and weld-by-weld. Once developed, the operator can review demonstrations and live on-screen verification during each phase of the welding process to minimize the possibility of missed or incomplete welds. The equipment empowers employees to make more accurate welds and reduces the need to spend additional time and money to re-do or correct incomplete or inconsistent welds. 

This technology is not only designed to help minimize human errors, it’s also made to improve safety and solve issues related to welding quality and labor shortages. In fact, automated welding positioners can provide up to 20 percent better productivity by cutting out the time that’s necessary to setup and reposition large parts using traditional methods.