Behind the Scenes Department Interview: Welding

We recently interviewed Josh Wonderly, Assistant Foreman-Welding, to learn more about welding aluminum. He shared his expertise, how to determine a good or bad weld, and what makes New Age Industrial soar above its competition.

How long have you been welding, and what got you into welding?

Josh: I’ve been welding for over 20 years. I started in high school, and New Age was looking for some welders. I applied and have been here for 20 years now.

What does it take to be a good welder?

Josh: It’s an art form. It takes a lot of practice. You have to be able to maneuver and adjust to whatever product you are welding. You’ve got to be able to adapt.

What do you consider to be a good weld as compared to a bad weld?

Josh: A good weld, in aluminum, is called the dime on dime effect. So, if you put dimes together and sit them down, you will see ripples. That is a good weld. A bad weld has no ripples. It’s just basically someone pushing the trigger and going down the seam.

How is welding aluminum different than steel?

Josh: It’s a different transition. With steel, there’s a lot of splatter, or what we call “frying bacon.” There’s a lot of high pitched noise. You don’t have that with aluminum. With aluminum, you don’t have any splatter. It’s just a nice even tone. Aluminum doesn’t spark. Those are some of the biggest differences in the two.

What’s the difference in MIG, TIG and robotic welding?

Josh: We mostly do MIG. The welder pushes the wire through our gun, and that’s what creates the arc. That’s what creates the bead. With TIG welding, you use a torch. You have what they call filler rod, and you have to manually fill in on the puddle as you go through the seam. Our robot welds are all MIG welds. They use (CMT) Cold Metal Transfer which is a different type of MIG welding.

We can use the hand-welders and the robots on the same product. We can use the robots to weld a bunch of shelves or sides, but they can’t necessarily put the racks together. So the robot will get the parts done if we have a huge quantity of them, and then we will hand-weld the cart, picking cage, rack, or whatever it is. They will assemble it and push it back to the shower.

What are our strengths compared to others doing similar things to what we do?

Josh: We take Pride in the product. We take a lot of pride in the way the weld looks. We care about what the customer thinks. If the customer’s not happy, then they don’t want to come back. So, we want the customer to be happy. We take that extra step to make sure that the product is as scratch free as possible and has as good of a weld as we could possibly do. We want the customer to be happy because they are the reason we are here.

New Age Industrial is the leading aluminum extruder and fabricator of storage and transportation equipment in the United States. We design and manufacture heavy duty, yet lightweight aluminum products to meet your exact needs. We work with various industries including foodservice, supermarket, and material handling. For more information, contact us today, and our team will help find you the perfect product that fits your needs.