Welding is a high-skill job, and as such, it requires high-skill pay. Hiring a welder for on-the-job work on storage tanks can get expensive when paying by the hour, especially if your business regularly requires the skills of a welder on-site. This is especially true of on-site storage tank welding that can require yards of welds. Fortunately, there are solutions for on-site storage tank welding that can improve efficiency and quality — namely an automatic girth welder, sometimes called a 3 o'clock welder.
Automatic girth welders operate on a track and can create horizontal welds in nearly half the time in takes a human welder to complete a horizontal weld, particularly if the job requires welding a large length of metal sheeting. The machine's tracking system keeps the welding gun in the correct horizontal position for the entirety of the weld for perfect accuracy. It can be set up and used on the job site to complete the project on location, eliminating the need to transport the completed storage tank. Additionally, many automatic girth welding models have the ability to create two simultaneous welds on both the interior and exterior of the tank, greatly increasing the speed at which the project is completed.
When you're faced with the need to complete a storage tank on-site and in-place, an automatic girth welder is the best option for welding on raised vertical panels. Though a skilled welder can surely do the job, an automatic girth welder can be set up on the job and will complete the necessary circumferential welds on the upright tank panels quickly and more efficiently than a human welder can. You can easily set up the machine right where it needs to be using the rail system affixed to the shell of the tank, straddling the plate, whereas a human using a typical welder might have a tougher time doing the job as quickly with a traditional welder.
Automatic girth welders create precise welds that won't require any retouching or re-welding. The quality and precision of the weld is another reason the automatic welder is more efficient and why it's a great option on the job site. The number-one cause of tank failure is girth weld failures because of welding quality issues. Misalignment during the welding process can cause ruptures at well below the 72% of specified minimum yield strength. An automatic system eliminates much of the human error that can cause problems like misalignment and welding quality issues.