Linde AVANTO: Digitalising an ancient technique

More than 2000 years after welding was first used in ancient Greece, Linde develops a digital solution to revolutionise welding.

It must have been an impressive sight for the faithful visitors to ancient Delphi; a gift truly befitting a king and deserving a mention in the writings of Greek historian Herodotus. “Among all the offerings at Delphi, this is the most worth seeing, and is the work of Glaucus the Chian, the only one of all men who discovered how to weld iron,” Herodotus writes in his Histories. Dating back to the fifth century BC, this report is widely believed to be the first mention of what became modern-day welding.

Ancient as it may be, welding remains a highly complex technique that forms the basis of many, if not all, products in metalworking industries. “Depending on its size and complexity, a metal product such as a bridge may require thousands of individual welds,” says Daren Siddall, global marketing manager at Linde’s UK branch. “A welding firm may employ as many as 200 welders who typically spend only about 30 percent of their time on welding. The rest of the time is spent on preparation and post weld tasks.” This makes it a promising field for efficiency gains.

Cover image, AVANTO welding management brochure. ONLY to be used with Connected Welding campaigns
AVANTO is a cloud-based service that uses a clear structure to make welding processes easier and more comprehensible
AVANTO is parted of the Connected Welding portfolio and campaign.  This image of several weldered and their wedling information going to the cloud is used as part of the AVANTO PSO brochure
The tool greatly reduces the workload of fulfilling industry standards

Linde offers welding, shielding and laser gases along with reliable supply solutions and robust equipment for all standard welding techniques. To support clients beyond these products and assist them with the various complementary tasks, Siddall and his colleagues developed AVANTO, a cloud-based welding management solution that covers the workflow from end to end. It allows customers to capture, monitor and analyse every step of every welding operation. 

The welding process is governed by multiple standards in the UK, but also in the US, Germany and many other countries. Companies are required to document their welders’ qualification, the welding procedure used, the joining material, the welding parameters such as voltage and current and the materials that are connected. In some cases, they even record the weather as climatic conditions may affect the weld.

Safety and quality control requirements are crucial. This is particularly true when it comes to products that pose a significant risk in case of failure, such as a pressure vessel or a bridge. Yet despite their obvious benefit, fulfilling regulatory standards takes time and money. As a leading provider of industrial gases, Linde is keen to help companies reduce the burden of complying with all welding related requirements.

The latest piece in the puzzle is the AVANTO smart connector that somehow bridges the gap between the digital and the physical world. This device allows companies to digitalise their welding processes without the need to invest in expensive, high-end welding machines,” Siddall explains. “AVANTO smart connector is a retrofit device that can interlink to any basic analogue welding machine via a standard Euro connector. The welding data is sent to the AVANTO cloud via a mobile app and can be compared to the initially planned welding procedure. Deviations are flagged for inspection helping reduce the costs associated with rework. 

AVANTO and the actual enhancement that the smart connector provides, allow operators to digitally create an entire weld audit trail and do quality control almost in real time. Once the weld is completed and tested, all the information can be easily downloaded from the cloud and shared with the customers in a consolidated report. “Today, most companies capture this information manually on pieces of paper or in an excel sheet. For many projects, paperwork can form a significant part of the overall cost.” 

Glaucus the Chian most likely used a basic form of welding, so-called forge welding, to produce the offering at Delphi. More than 2000 years later welding is entering a total new era

AVANTO Smart connector being attached to a welding machine to be used in conjunction with the AVANTO welding management service
AVANTO smart connector enables real-time comparison of procedural parameters against the process steps performed by the welder