Andy MonkClick image to enlargeBy Andy Monk

Overcoming common problems and consumables issues


Making a high quality MIG weld depends in part on having a gun and consumables that are functioning properly. When something isn't right with these components, problems can occur. Here are some tips for solving common consumables and gun-related problems associated with MIG welding.

Contact tip burn back can simply occur from time to time, but it can also be caused by improper equipment set-up. Check for improper contact tip recess or improper wire stick out. Adjusting the distance between the gun and work piece can resolve the problem, as can replacing cables to prevent a faulty work lead/ground that may lead to burn back.

Erratic wire feeding can be caused, in part, by a worn or kinked liner, dirt in the liner or the wrong size of liner. Trimming the MIG gun liner according to the manufacturer's recommendations is key, as is using the proper tools to cut it. Some manufacturers offer a liner gauge to determine proper length and/or a spring-loaded module that combines with a front-load liner to minimize issues of an incorrect liner length. The modules, housed in the power pin, put forward pressure on the liner and allow up to 1-in. forgiveness if the liner is too short.

Short contact tip life can stem from the wrong size contact tip, exposure to excessive heat or erosion caused by the wire. If the contact tip is melting, it's likely a result of exceeding the rated amperage or duty cycle. If the wire is prematurely wearing out the contact tip, the drive rolls may be creating small burrs on the wire that can erode the inside of the tip. Setting the drive roll tension too high also can create deformities in the wire. Rectifying these issues can help lengthen the contact tip life.

A gun running hot is likely caused by exceeding the rated amperage or duty cycle, or loose power connections or a degraded power cable, which can cause excessive resistance in the weld power circuit. Make sure to keep parameters within the gun's range or use a higher-rated gun. Clean and tighten connections and replace those that are worn out. A discoloured liner is a sign of loose power connections or a degraded power cable. Also, check to make sure the work lead connection is tight and free of obstruction. SMT

Andy Monk is product manager for Bernard, Beecher, IL.


Listen to your cutting tool supplier

by John Mitchell

You’ve invested heavily in your new CNC machine.

Heavy plate fabricating challenges

by Scott Tacheny

Methods to better meet the demands of thick plate fabricating

ERP: Navigating changing waters

Choosing the right ERP system can be tricky

Getting into gear

by Tim Wilson

Quebec gear shop builds reputation for quality

Orbiting Efficiency


by Noelle Stapinsky 

Intuitive advancements in orbital welding technology

Get 'Career-Ready' with CTMA Work Program

Program helps match employers with students, recent grads, and/or potential new apprentices

Machinery ROI

by Jeff Reinert

Justifying high technology in the machine shop

Union welcomes Chrysler $2 B investment in Windsor

Chrysler's announcement that it's investing $2 billion in its Windsor, ON, minivan plant was welcome news by workers in the automotive industry.

Skills training: government funding isn't enough

The Federal government spends nearly $2.5 billion for skills training in Canada via training transfers to provincial governments and territories.

Vehicles of the future

What futire transportation systems might look like.

Welding in the arctic

By Billing Canning, CWB Group

The first joint Canadian Welding Association (CWA) and International Institute of Welding (IIW) CanWeld Conference 2014 was a great success. The conference's theme was "Welding in the Arctic" focusing on the best welding applications and advanced research topics associated with welding in sub-arctic climates.

Revisiting Free Trade

US President Donald Trump says he wants to make America great again and part of his plan is to rip up free trade agreements and bring manufacturing back into the US.

Digital disruption

by Mary Scianna

Tech Tips: Smarter drilling

by Sam Matsumoto

Selecting the right drill for stainless steel and titanium

Milling Tools

Luke Pollock, Product Manager

Shop Metalworking Technology Magazine speaks with Walter Tools’ Luke Pollock about advances, cutting strategies and challenges

Stay In Touch

twitter facebook linkedIn