The Economic Side of Sparks: Uncovering Welding’s Hidden Costs Leave a comment

One of the most frustrating results of any job can be when costs exceed estimates without obvious explanation. This often stems from failing to properly account for all cost factors—direct and indirect. Unanticipated welding operations often create unexpected expenses which derail budgets entirely. Here, we’ll explore various aspects affecting welding costs while emphasizing how high-quality, custom welding equipment can make a big impact on your bottom line.


Quality Considerations in Welding Cost Management

Quality issues are essential components of successful welding cost management. When developing cost estimates, deliberate consideration must be given to quality issues—hidden steps or unnecessary operations must be identified and evaluated for potential expense savings.

Poor oxyacetylene cut quality may necessitate additional grinding to meet dimensions, tolerances or surface finish requirements. Multi-pass joints often need extra grinding to avoid incomplete fusion and incur time and materials costs. Production supervisors generally notice these issues and take appropriate measures; however, these costs often become part of regular fabrication shop practice without estimators realizing them—leading to underestimated cost estimates.

Poor workmanship has an enormously detrimental impact on welding costs. Fixes to welds originally created can cost two or three times more due to labor, material and repair expenses.  Additionally, this may cause shop floor space loss, production delays and possibly harm your manufacturer’s reputation—inhibiting future sales.

Overwelding is an unexpected cost that often arises as a result of inaccurate cutting and fitting, insufficient supervision or training requirements or uncertainty regarding weld strength specifications. Overwelding can significantly drive-up welding costs by increasing weld cross-section size, arc time and defects.

Common examples of overwelded joints include full or partial penetration welds at T-joints connecting plates of various thicknesses as well as connections with butt joints and T-joints connecting different plate thicknesses. Learn more about ways to control costs related to overwelding right here.

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