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Published by the Welding Journal, January 2022.

When the demand for piping in the construction of data centers, ships, hospitals, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants is compared to the supply of skilled welders needed to perform those joints, an obvious problem comes into focus. There are not enough welders to get the job done. Combine this workforce challenge with the current supply chain difficulties that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the compounding issues become critical.

Escalating costs and delays in scheduling have created massive bottlenecks in the construction of industrial plants needed for developed and developing economies worldwide. Further complicating this challenging situation, pipe shops that serve global industries such as oil and gas, energy utilities, water and wastewater, shipbuilding, and chemical and nuclear plant construction and maintenance require highly skilled welders. However, according to the American Welding Society, more than 300,000 welding professionals will be needed by 2024 (Ref. 1). With an aging welder workforce and the lack of uptake of the welding trade, there are no simple solutions for the welder demographic.

Combining Welding and Technology

In 2016, Novarc Technologies Inc. launched the collaborative Spool Welding Robot (SWR) to help reduce this bottleneck in construction and enable welders to be more productive and efficient. Read More…