India’s Welding Industry: Nurturing the Future of Skilled Welders

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Mr. Devasis Paul, Technical Director at Nextgen Plasma Pvt Ltd, Chairman, General Purpose Committee of IIW India, Industrialist with 35 Years of experience

However, upon closer examination of skilled labor production in India, a glaring deficit of trained and professional welders emerges within the Indian craftsmanship landscape. Contrary to mere labor, welding skills represent a highly refined profession. While exploring this industry beyond national borders, distinct skill sets, and educational approaches tailored for the welding profession become apparent. Unfortunately, in India, welding and skilled welders have historically not received adequate recognition and respect commensurate with the demands of the profession. Despite being among the most sought-after occupations in the country, welding is still often perceived as a profession for the underprivileged.

Consequently, while the demand for welders continues to surge daily, the supply remains notably insufficient. Furthermore, projections indicate further growth in the welding industry in the near future, exacerbating the disparity between the demand and supply of skilled welders.

Factors Contributing to this Imbalance:

Evolution of Arc Welding Equipment in India since the 1990s:

Significant advancements in arc welding processes and equipment, such as the introduction of welding inverters, have bridged the gap between highly skilled and less skilled welders. These advancements offer advantages like energy efficiency, lightweight design, improved arc characteristics, and reduced spatter. The incorporation of digital controls in welding power sources enables the use of materials beyond steel, such as coated sheets in automotive undercarriages and stainless steel in railway coaches, by controlling heat input to the parent material and facilitating controlled short circuit transfer for thin sheet welding and welding of structures with gaps without the use of backing strips, among other functions. This development signifies the dawn of advanced welding functions with the objective to produce consistent quality and avoid weld defects.

India’s Welding Industry: Nurturing the Future of Skilled Welders

Some of the Advanced welding functions are like:

  • Root Pass Welding of Pipes and Plates without backing strip by GMAW.

  • Narrow Gap Welding by GMAW  (upto 30mm plate thickness)

  • Thin Sheet Welding without spatter

  • Pulsed Arc welding of Stainless Steel, Aluminium and other alloys by GTAW and GMAW


  • Tandem Welding for high deposition and reduced material distortion (Automated)

India’s Welding Industry: Nurturing the Future of Skilled Welders

Challenges in MSME Adoption of Advanced Welding Techniques:

Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) struggle to embrace new welding techniques due to high capital investments and a scarcity of skilled welders trained in advanced methods, despite being major suppliers to larger corporations.

Welding Automation:

The post-pandemic era experienced a severe crisis of skilled manpower, which included ‘true’ skilled welders. This made the welding fabrication industry gradually shift towards automation. Automated welding systems ensure consistent quality and productivity but still require skilled operators proficient in understanding the arc and ensuring optimal system performance.

Robotic Welding Automation replacing manual welding operation.
Robot operator training

Despite these advancements, a critical question looms – are our welding training centers equipped to meet the evolving demands of the industry? Some training on advanced welding functions and training on Robotic operation are being carried out by some training institutes in the country but in a very scattered way. Addressing this demand for advanced manual and robotic welding training  necessitates a holistic approach, encompassing advancements in training infrastructure, curriculum updates, and industry collaboration. Only through such concerted efforts can we ensure a well-prepared workforce capable of meeting the evolving needs of the welding industry, securing its pivotal role in India’s industrial landscape, and nurturing the future of skilled welders.

India’s Welding Industry: Nurturing the Future of Skilled Welders

Acknowledgements:
Kemppi Oy
CLOOS GmbH.