When you think of branding solutions for a business, welding is probably one of the last things you think of. Welders are some of the most essential workers in our modern world. Despite this, welders and the welding trade rarely get the spotlight they deserve for being highly technical, incredibly skillful tradesmen who literally give structure to much of our world.
The welding department is the first department which begins to craft the physical product that Dualite's customers will see.
When it comes to branding solutions and signs, Dualites own Reid Weibel explains it best: “Our welders help assemble the basic skeletons of some of the largest signs that our assemblers will then populate with lights, power supplies, and the wiring which will light it up.” Kevin Olthaus will tell you that the welding department is responsible for “the welding of sign housings, all of the internal steel structures, and the external mounting structures.” While this may seem commonplace and not seem like the most exciting aspect in the process of a sign being designed, produced, and installed Steve Knight points out that “without these tasks the sign can not move forward in production.” Even more exciting than this though is the fact that “the welding department is the first department which begins to craft the physical product that Dualite's customers will see.” (Weibel). These welders have more on their hands than just the actual sign, Bryon Doss explains that the welding department is responsible for all the welding related to “the sign, but also the poles, the frames and so much more” and that “if the parts are never welded, then you have nothing but a pile of parts!” In some cases these welders even get to think outside the box and “assist in designing and building necessary tools for use in house. With the help of outside inspectors, Dualites welders have helped install overhead crane systems” so they can work more efficiently and work on larger products! (Weibel).
Safety is always the #1 priority, and Dualites standards are in place to protect us but also the customer.
In Dualite's welding department “the main positions are the fabricator and the welder” (Knight.) “There have been occasional Co-OP roles which have been filled by local trade school students, many of which have resulted in full-time hires after their rotation was complete. These roles are few and far between, and because of this, they are hotly contested!” (Weibel). In order to become a member of this vital and highly skilled department “you need to know how to weld, read a tape measure and think for yourself. While having experience with shop tools and skills in fabrication are a plus” (Doss). Those wishing to come into this department have to pass “a weld test, where the prospective employee would perform the basic welds we use here. Whether you have welding experience professionally or otherwise, this weld test is the main job qualifier” (Weibel). Dualite is able to trust their welders not because of the promise of experience (Dualites welding team has over 150 years of combined experience welding) but also because “safety is always the #1 priority, and Dualites standards are in place to protect us but also the customer” (Doss) which is why Dualite requires all of their welders pass this in house welding test before they are trusted with your branding solution!
Welding is important for the fabrication of a sign because it is what provides the rigid structure to withstand high winds, weather, storms, and other physical issues arising from natural processes.
“Welding work is hot, dirty and can be challenging. It requires a very steady hand and a meticulous mindset to be able to properly weld material together. There is a certain speed and technique which is required to get that perfect weld.” (Weibel). Dualite's welders get to play with tools such as MIG welders, TIG welders, stick welders, drill presses, welding torches, metal grinders, sanders, automatic saws, forklifts, clamps, carts, and plasma cutters! (Doss, Olthaus, Knight, & Weibel). All of these tools are used when “the Sheet Metal department supplies parts to the welders, which they will fabricate together” (Weibel). “The fabricated parts which are produced in the welding department are distributed to other departments for assembly” (Olthaus). “With Proper material and engineering drawings, the welding department could produce just about anything because welding different parts together results in completely different structures” (Knight). Dualite is “continually working towards improvements in their production processes through better scheduling and innovative ideas” (Olthaus) which leads to the welding department being better equipped “to supply the welded parts and housings to the other departments in a timely manner” (Knight). One of the most valuable sources of innovative ideas has come from the “process improvement team meetings” where welders and assemblers come together to communicate and work out “issues related to the final assembly so both departments can continually make that process better” (Weibel). Besides the assembly department, Dualites welders are well connected with the engineers who design the signs permitting “quick conversations between departments allowing for rectification between bills of materials, drawings, and what the products actually require.” (Weibel). Dualite prides itself on the amount of interdepartmental communication which goes on as this ensures the highest quality product to each of our customers, in the most time and cost efficient way possible. The welding department is the bedrock for each and every one of our products, and our welders fully understand how vital and important their roles are. Weibel summarizes it like this: “Welding is important for the fabrication of a sign because it is what provides the rigid structure to withstand high winds, weather, storms, and other physical issues arising from natural processes. If a weld is not properly done, it could result in a catastrophic failure of the cabinet, which means a customer is now without a sign, and that isn't even mentioning the potential damage caused when a frame comes apart. This is why Dualite has welding procedures which each of our guys must satisfy. This ensures our product will perform to the highest standards while in the field.” Dualite's welders take the foundation of your sign, and your branding solutions as seriously as you do, we're confident that both will stand the test of time!