The demand for welding equipment and consumables in the United States is expected to increase by six percent a year, reaching $7 billion dollars by 2015. Increases will be due to the fact that United States is recovering from the recession that was experienced from 2007 to 2009 in the areas of manufacturing and construction. It is estimated that new innovations in welding technologies and the ways in which it can be used will help drive this increase in demand. This is good news for the field of welding and all those who depend on it to make a living.
The driving force behind the growth in equipment sales is primarily due to the use of arc and resistance welding systems which has accounted for a seventy percent increase in equipment demand in 2010. These two areas will remain the dominant welding processes in use due in part to how successfully integrated they are with modern automation techniques that are responsible for improving deposit rates and are helping to alleviate the shortage of skilled welders that the industry has experienced in the last few years.
It is also estimated that welding consumables will benefit as well from the economic recovery and the fact that arc welding use has increased at a rate of six percent annually. Welding electrodes and filler metal counted for 73 percent of all consumables sold in 2010; ox fuel and shielding gases made up the rest of consumable sales for 2010. The largest product category for electrodes is that of the solid wire type, with emergent consumable products such as flux and metal cored electrodes gaining in popularity and increasing their sales, becoming the second largest selling area of consumables. In the area of welding gases, oxygen and acetylene continue to be top sellers and favorites among welders, although Argon remains the most common gas used as a shield followed closely by carbon dioxide.
The area of manufacturing makes up the largest market for welding products and accounts for 63 percent of all consumption in 2010. In the manufacturing area, the production of fabricated metal products and transportation are the largest buyers of welding equipment and consumables; and as these areas continue to recover from the recession it will help drive the demand for welding products in the years to come. In the area of construction, it is estimated that the demand for welding products will improve the fastest, driving the demand for welding equipment even higher. This is all good news for all of the areas mentioned, and the demand for more equipment will also increase the demand for skilled welders and help get more welders back on the job.