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Thu, Jul 26, 2012

Lack Of Welders Brings A Group To Oshkosh To Teach The Skill

Welding Trailer Open To All With A Virtual Welding Machine

By Maria Morrison

Almost everything in the world requires welding. The clothes you are wearing needed to be made by welded machines. Trucks that deliver food need welded parts. However, there is a lack of welders. By 2019, approximately 200,000 welders will be needed across America. The American Welding Society (AWS), has taken it as their mission to encourage kids to become a part of the welding industry. To do this, they brought a trailer full of welding information to Oshkosh. The first thing in the trailer is a statistics board. This shows how much a welder makes, which is, on average, about 35,000 - 40,000 a year. There are also many trivia facts about welding on the wall, and quizzes that test your knowledge about science and welding. The trailer also includes a camera screen that sends four photos of you to your email, a tool kit, and many informational videos.

One of the big parts of the Learn to Weld program is their scholarship opportunities. They give about $400,000 to kids who want to weld. They give District, National, Research, and Personal scholarships. Inside the trailer, they have a code reader that, when scanned by an Android phone, will give more information. One display shows a pressure vessel that was welded by a kid who won a 45,000 scholarship.

However, despite all the fun facts, my favorite and probably the most memorable part of the trailer is the Lincon VrTex 360 Virtual Welder. At first, all you see is the two-part T joint piece of metal and a rubbery welding tool. After the welding mask goes on, you see a virtual world and a real welding tool in your hands. You can’t see yourself, and you can get dizzy, though, so be prepared. The tool on screen moves when you move the tool in your hands, and what you see changes when you look around. The welding tool, called a Mig Gun, has two signals on it that turn green when you have the right distance and level/rotation from the block that you are welding. The welder has many settings and features for all different types of welding. Most of all, the AWS needs more welders, and this trailer is a great opportunity to try out your skills.

FMI: www.learntoweld.com, www.aws.org/foundation

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