DOBSON — The American Welding Society (AWS) Regional Welding Competition was hosted by Surry Community College on April 22, when welding students from all across the state competed to produce the best welds.
During the one-day competition, participants used their skill sets to make welds using SMAW (STICK) GMAW (MIG) and GTAW (TIG) processes in the newly expanded welding lab at Surry Community College. Students followed a Welding Procedure Specification (WPS) to complete the weldments. SCC’s welding lab has 26 booths each equipped with GTAW, SMAW and GMAW machines. Surry also has a Fanuc robot with the Lincoln Electric welding educational cell. The robot utilizes the GMAW process and is capable of short circuit or spray arc processes.
“Welding instructors from the community colleges had time to network, discuss changes in welder training using virtual reality simulators and how they can play a role in our curriculums,” said Surry Community College Lead Welding Instructor Michael Dixon. “Instructors were able to tour our campus and visit our Industrial Training Center and mechatronics labs as well.”
Surry welding students did not participate in the contest, but served as lab facilitators for the guest students.
Brad Baugus of Lenoir Community College placed first as the overall winner and also received the best SMAW (Stick) weld. Steven Deaton of Craven Community College earned second place overall, and Mike Staley of Lenoir Community College placed third overall. Inez Mickel of Guilford Technical Community College won Best GTAW (TIG) weld. Mitchell Harrell of Nash Community College earned Best GMAW (MIG) weld.
All of the North Carolina Community Colleges with welding programs were invited to attend the event. The community colleges with representation were: Central Piedmont Community College, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Lenoir Community College, Craven Community College, Nash Community College, Richmond Community College, Guilford Technical Community College, Wake Technical Community College and Johnston Community College.
The competition was sponsored by AWS Section 140 and AWS Section 87 along with Surry Community College. Multiple instructors and company representatives supplied prizes for the competitors that were donated by vendors and industry partners.
Surry Community College offers many opportunities for people who want to study welding. SCC is offering a morning Welding Fundamentals basic/advanced class and evening corporate and continuing education GMAW (Mig), Oxy Fuel, and SMAW (Stick) classes throughout the summer.
Surry has also recently added an Overnight Welding Technology Certificate that will take two semesters to complete. Classes start in the fall at 12:05 a.m. and run until 3:55 a.m. Monday through Thursday, and on Friday, classes are held 12:05 a.m. until 1:55 a.m. The overnight classes were added to help first and second shift workers have an opportunity to learn welding at a time that was most convenient for them.
The Welding Technology curriculum at SCC provides students with a sound understanding of the science, technology, and applications essential for successful employment in the welding and metalworking industry. A diploma is offered along with certificates in GMAW and SMAW.
Course work includes consumable and non-consumable electrode welding and cutting processes. Courses may include math, print reading, metallurgy, welding inspection, and destructive and non-destructive testing providing the student with industry-standard skills developed through classroom training and practical application.
Graduates of the Welding Technology curriculum may be employed as entry-level technicians in welding and metalworking industries. Career opportunities also exist in construction, manufacturing, fabrication, sales, quality control, supervision, and welding-related self-employment.
For more information, contact Michael Dixon, Welding Lead Instructor, at 336-386-3242 or [email protected] or go to www.surry.edu. The Surry Welding program also has several social media sites that can be followed by looking up “SurryWelding” on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.