April 21, 2021
Welding offers a unique career path that’s formed from creativity and innovation. Welders get to apply their own approach while using standard work practices as a guideline in many of the projects they take on each day. According to the Caterpillar Wamego in Kansas, the facility applies creativity within Caterpillar standards while using best work practices as a guideline in many of the projects they take on each day. According to Wamego Facility Manager Paul Olsen, Wamego welders provide customized customers solutions in the form of a large variety of machine attachments that serve more than 25 different product groups. Think things like buckets, blades and other work tools found at the end of a machine.
Wamego manages and delivers on many unique customer requests. For a welder, that means no two days are the same. Paul says, “When a welder comes to work here, the majority are going to be working on something different every day. Pallets of flat parts are cut out, machined, bent and sent to the weld cell to finish the product.” Paul explains that the type of welding projects completed at Wamego is different than that of other facilities. In Wamego, welders will use standard work to lay out the pieces and put them together, which is both mentally and physical engaging. “There’s a lot of skill involved and a high variety,” Paul says. “There is also sophisticated welding robots and machine tools to provide the robust quality one would expect in Caterpillar products.”
Though the work is unique and requires precise skills, the Wamego facility is looking to build their team with both experienced and new welders. The facility has a robust training program where new welders learn to weld safely. “It’s a gradual process that takes time to be fully proficient at and new welders progress through jobs as their familiarity and skills grow. Much of the time is spent with a senior welder working on some of the trickier projects,” said Paul.
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