Welding is an integral part of manufacturing, especially in the automobile industry. The components of a vehicle need to withstand a significant amount of wear and tear over the course of a vehicle’s lifetime. The process utilizes heat and pressure to provide a consistent, durable component.
A number of processes are categorized as welding, including resistance welding, arc welding, TIG welding, MIG welding, spot welding and more. But which type of welding is used in the automobile manufacturing industry? Although each of these processes is available for automotive manufacturers, this blog post will focus on the benefits of TIG and MIG welding to produce vehicle components.
What Are the Different Types of Welding?
The welding market is projected to steadily increase over the next decade due to product and component demand, the growth of emerging industries, an increase in training and a need to fill labor shortages following the global COVID-19 pandemic.
In recent years, the increase in the adoption of robotic welding has been driven by the reduced time of operation, high productivity, faster processes, higher volume and fewer interruptions. The following types of welding utilize robotic technology:
Resistance welding — one of the most common types of robotic welding — provides an economic benefit and versatility of function. In this process, the two pieces are joined together by liquidating the joined sections of metal.
Spot welding — which is a type of resistance welding — is often used in the automotive industry to join sheet metal frames together.
Arc welding is often used in high-volume production because of its high accuracy and repeatability. An electrode creates the heat to melt and weld the metal components.
Tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding is used to produce complex products, such as bicycle frames. Due to the complexity of the process, this is a slower weld. However, the time it takes is necessary for an accurate product.
Metal inert gas (MIG) welding is best suited for applications that require simplicity and speed. To create the weld, a wire is fed toward the heated tip.
Laser welding is often used in the automotive industry for high-volume, high-accuracy applications. This versatile process is used for heavy industrial equipment and micro-welds. For this and other reasons, the market is forecasted to grow over the next four years.
Unlike other welding processes, mechanical welding is not a robotic welding process. This process requires manual adjustment of the equipment to weld areas that machines cannot reach or to weld spots that were missed. The equipment is often a hand-held torch, gun or electrode.
TIG and MIG Welding for the Automotive Industry
Due to the high number of components required for vehicles, the welding processes vary in terms of complexity, volume and repeatability. For this reason, TIG welding and MIG welding are often used.
Here’s why both processes are used to produce automotive components:
TIG Welding for Complex Components
The precise and controlled application of TIG welding in the automotive industry makes it an effective process for thin workpieces and specialty alloys.
TIG welding machines are equipped to produce a high number of precise, reliable components, including small-diameter and thin-walled piping and tubing for vehicles. TIG welding also provides filler metal options to produce extremely strong welds that are resistant to corrosion and cracking over time.
MIG Welding for High Volume
MIG welding in the automotive industry is capable of producing thicker metals at higher volumes. In the automotive industry, MIG welding is an ideal method for assembling body and interior components of vehicles.
The process provides a strong weld even for a variety of thin and thick metals. Aluminum is well suited for MIG welding and is increasingly used for automotive applications for its high strength, lightweight, corrosion resistance, recyclability, and thermal and electrical conductivity. Advances in MIG welding offer the process higher stability, greater durability and more productivity at a lower cost compared to other welding methods.
Find Out Which Type of Welding To Use With VPIC Group
The importance of welding in the automotive industry cannot be overstated, which is why VPIC Group has mastered this process over our three decades of experience. In a partnership with us, we’ll recommend which type of welding used in the automobile manufacturing industry is right for your project to ensure that you’ll have high-quality components at some of the fastest lead times in the industry.
Interested in learning more about outsourcing some or all of your manufacturing? Take a look at our outsourcing checklist, “Should I Outsource This Component?”