Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics and automation systems WILL NOT improve welding quality. However, these systems have the potential to produce consistent welding quality, depending on the artificial intelligence technique being used, and the welding parameters being selected and controlled.  To improve welding quality the welding engineer uses the science, technology and application of welding to select and improve the welding parameters.  Otherwise, the welding quality will remain the same.  For example, the welding engineer can change to a better welding process or change the weld joint design to better accommodate the welding process or change the welding filler metal to be more compatible with the base material.  These changes if correct will change the completed weldment from a lower quality to a higher quality level.  By making these changes the welding engineer has designed-in welding quality.

The welding engineer then turns these changes over to the artificial intelligence system for implementation, and control which produces consistent quality, productivity, and costs.  In other words, the system builds-in the welding quality that was designed-in by the welding engineer.

Under the umbrella of artificial intelligence for welding process control there are various techniques being researched that have advantages and disadvantages depending on the welding process parameters being controlled and end results required.  For example, the technique of neural networks or deep learning can be used to discover difficult to recognize patterns and trends from known welding principles where humans cannot.  Are these relationships, patterns and trends important for welding, or are researchers developing solutions to problems that don’t exist?

Artificial intelligence techniques can control welding robotic and automation equipment, but it has no creativity, imagination or original ideas as the hype in the evening news would have you believe.

Mr. McWane provides welding consulting and support to both artificial intelligence welding system suppliers and artificial intelligence systems buyers and users, by helping to establish and specify welding requirements for the application, answering technical welding questions and advising on matters of welding.