If you’ve got a large weldment project we can help. In fact we can do the whole job for you. If you’re wondering how large of a job we can handle, why you should bring your project to us, or what a weldment is, keep reading.
What’s a Weldment?
“Weldment” is a generic term for a welded fabrication. Typically, it’s composed of several pieces of plate welded together to make something useful. It might be a large bracket, a frame or maybe even the bucket of an excavator. They all count as weldments.
Weldments generally start out as shapes cut from plate. Bar or tube might be incorporated as needed. Plate thickness goes up from 1/2″ although 1/4″ plate might count. Size or area is as big as you want or can cut. These pieces are prepped for welding and positioned relative to one another in a fixture. Then the welder strikes an arc. Minutes, or sometimes hours, later, and after adding copious quantities of filler metal, you have a weldment.
The Challenges of Large Weldments
Large weldments – trailers, excavator buckets, man baskets – pose some fabrication challenges not present, or present to a much smaller degree, in other projects.
To start, because there’s a lot of money in the individual pieces, the first one has to be right. Practicing on a few pieces isn’t an option. That means spending more time planning the weld and coming up with a fixture or fixtures to hold the parts in the correct relationship. It’s also important that the welders doing the work have a lot of experience.
Welding plate puts a lot of heat into the workpiece, and that causes expansion. Then, as the weld metal freezes, everything cools and contracts. That will lead to distortion and even cracking unless it’s considered at the design stage. Our welders will pre-heat as necessary and in addition, fixturing is designed to take this movement into account.
These are the top two challenges, but there are things to consider. Fume control is one. We want to keep the air in our shop as clean as possible. Then there’s the sheer difficulty of moving a large weldment. Again, both need careful planning before the job hits the floor.
Large Weldments Make for Complicated Projects
If you’re planning or need a large weldment you could split the design and fabrication work between multiple businesses. Have one guy do the design work, buy the steel somewhere else and have a third company cut and edge prep the pieces. A fourth business will build the welding fixture that holds the pieces in the correct relationship and a fifth will take care of the actual welding. Then you need a sixth company to paint or powder coat the finished product.
Oh you wanted dimensional checks and the welds inspecting? Those are the seventh and eighth companies you’ll need to deal with.
If that sounds like a lot of work, it is. That’s why you need a one-stop-shop.
The Wiley Approach to Weldment Projects
We understand you just want a fabrication that will work. Maybe you need trailers for grain haulers, perhaps you want brackets to support a walkway or you just want a rigid base for a robot. We’ll give you what you need and save you the time and effort of dealing with several different businesses.
We can handle your project from start to finish. Bring us the classic napkin sketch and we’ll take it from there. Our designers will create what we understand you need in our CAD system. When you’ve signed off on the design we’ll cut the shapes, prepare the edges, position each piece in a fixture, and carry out the welding.
If you need the welds inspecting, talk to us: we’ll take care of it. And whether you want the completed weldment powder coating or painting, we’ll handle it.
Because we’re experienced with fabricating large weldments we know what to plan for and how to ensure the first part made is a good part. Plus, keeping everything under our roof enables good communication between everyone working on your project. That improves quality and reduces risk.
How Large Can Wiley Go With Weldment Projects?
Assuming the question relates to physical dimensions and weight, the answer is: very large. The aforementioned grain trailer illustrates the scale of weldment we can produce. We’ve also fabricated large man baskets for boom trucks, walkways for airports and 50′ scuff panels for the trailer industry.
If you need something bigger than a trailer, talk to us. We’ll see if we can figure it out.
Should the question about large projects relate to quantities, well let’s explain. We’re a fabrication shop, not a factory, (although we do have some small to medium volume product lines.) If you need one to ten large weldments, that’s firmly in our wheelhouse. Ten to a hundred, let’s talk. Need a thousand a month? We can talk about that too.
Taking on Your Large Weldment Jobs
A large weldment is a significant project. It takes planning, preparation and most of all, experience to get it right. We have that experience here at Wiley Metal. What’s more, we have the capabilities and resources to provide a one-stop service from design to delivery. That saves you time, reduces risk and ensures you get exactly the weldment you need.
Now, talk to us about your next project.