This paper discusses the progress made in the development of a “Smart Welder” system consisting of “state of the industry” networked welding power supplies, welding productivity software, and a new programmatic “go / no-go” decision to reduce the potential for wrong weld wire (WWW) occurrences and the resulting rework at General Dynamics Electric Boat. A secondary focus of this effort is to facilitate the checks required of a welder prior to striking an arc which should result in a reduced welder start-up time, enabling the welder to be more like a surgeon who has his tools assembled and ready at the start of his task. A prototype “Smart Welder” System is under development and is expected to save $1.78M/VIRGINIA Class Submarine.

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