Welding companies such as Valencia Welding in Santa Clarita, CA, compete with other companies in Southern California that provide similar services. Not only can company president, Rick Montoya, and his team provide welding services in aluminum and copper but, as his “resume” shows, in more exotic materials like titanium, as well. What can up-and-coming welders of today do to build a skill set and impressive clientele list as detailed as Mr. Montoya’s?
A good head start would be to take part in FABTECH 2010, North America’s largest metal forming, fabricating, finishing and welding event, which takes place in Atlanta, GA, from November 2-4, 2010. While around 22,000 attendees are expected to descend on Georgia World Congress Center and visit the 1,000 exhibiting companies during the three-day conference and trade show, the event that attendees should not miss is the American Welding Society-sponsored 2010 Weld-Off Competition. Out of 24 student welders that competed in SkillsUSA Championships 2009 and 2010, six will face off in a series of contests and only three will advance to the WorldSkills Competition in 2011, in London.
Armed with contest drawings that conform with the latest editions of American Welding Society standards, student welders are tested on the following aspects of welding:
- measuring weld replicas using weld measuring gauges
- laying out a plate and using oxyacetylene equipment to cut several holes checked for accuracy and quality
- gas metal arc welding on steel making welds in various positions using short circuiting transfers
- flux cored arc welding using a shielding gas, making welds in various positions
- using a combination machine capable of providing the correct welding current for shielded metal arc and gas tungsten arc welding.
Welding competitions and trade shows will make sure that North America remains competitive in the welding industry on a global scale, particularly by producing high-quality welders that can complement Valencia Welding.
Francis M. Unson
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