Human vs. Robot: How to Choose Your Stud Welding Equipment

In most industries today, manufacturers have a range of technician-operated and automated tools and equipment they can utilize for production. In most cases, a facility will have a combination of hand-operated and CNC or robotic fabrication tools. Even fully-automated production lines, however, require human interaction at some point in the process. Stud welding is a versatile manufacturing operation that has both automated and handheld operations. Because there are benefits to both kinds of operations, it’s important to understand the best applications for each before purchasing equipment, establishing a fabrication setting, training employees, or investing in additional welding materials. Whether you’re working with technician-operated handheld tools or fully automated production systems, Northland Fastening Systems has the supplies you need. We provide a complete selection of stud welding equipment, including tools for rent or purchase, welding studs, accessories, and more. Our own welding technicians also offer expert advice for fabricators working on all kinds of projects, and we service and repair most welding tool models.

Stud Welding

Stud welding as an operation in general is versatile and offers simple, yet powerful, solutions to fastening and composite building. When it comes to choosing automated or manual stud welding equipment, consider the application, materials, welding process, location, and volume of your targeted production.

Handheld (manual) models:

Most welders are trained to use handheld welding guns for drawn arc and capacitor discharge (CD) operations. The main benefits of a handheld model are the flexibility and portability of the tool. Handheld welders can be easily transported from place to place for onsite welding, and it’s relatively easy to train new operators on manual tools. Manual welding tools are also usually cheaper than full production systems, and they can often be calibrated quickly to accommodate studs in various dimensions, different welding materials, and the type of stud.

Robotic (automated) welding:

If you have the facilities for production welding systems and require rapid, large-scale welding with significant repetition, you may want to consider different automated welding setups. Production welding technologies are highly advanced for the manufacturing process. They are built to be fully programmable and handle automatic feeds of studs and welding surfaces quickly. Using an automated welding system also reduces the risk of operator injury and fatigue with heavy duty, rapid load jobs. Most automated welders can perform 40 to 60 stud welds a minute or more with integration into a production line.

Stud Welding Equipment

Both automated and manual stud welding equipment offer precise, strong connection points for fasteners and composite construction. Either option also gives you variety in the materials, dimensions, and additional specifications. For more information about both types of welders, contact Northland Fastening Systems at (651) 730-7770. Request a quote online to get started with us today.

Stud Welding Products Affected by Coronavirus Pandemic and It’s Impact on Manufacturing

Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreaks in early 2020, there have been many different levels of impact on various industries. Some of these impacts were predicted, while others were wholly unexpected. Many of the long-term effects were significantly underestimated as we still see substantial challenges to supply chains and distribution. However, even in the face of a global pandemic, manufacturers and engineers still continue the development of new technology, smarter designs, and more sustainable systems. Throughout 2020, 2021, and now, as we continue through 2022, the stud welding industry faces changes brought on by the pandemic. Despite the difficulties, many still foresee similar market growth to that first predicted in early 2020. For anyone working with stud welding operations on a large or small scale, Northland Fastening Systems has the supplies and tools needed to get the job done. We provide a wide selection of stud welding products, including tools for rent or purchase, welding studs, accessories, and the support of our own technicians.

Predicted Market Growth

The predicted market growth for stud welding products and the welding industry in general was marred by a sharp decrease of about 3.5% of the global GDP in 2020. That decline, though significant, was not the 5.2% shrinkage predicted by the World Bank Group, and currently, the World Bank predicts a global economic expansion of about 4% in 2022.


After the initial impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the global economy, we seem to be entering the recovery period. By 2028, the market size will likely be far greater than its pre-pandemic equivalent.

Greatest Damage to Manufacturing

The greatest damage the pandemic did to the manufacturing world was the unanticipated severing of thousands of supply chains for multiple types of raw materials, parts, and other products. Illness among workers led to limited production time, forced plant delays, and decreased expertise, while government-mandated shutdowns over long periods of time severely lowered manufacturing, inventory, and distribution capabilities.

Government Loans

At the same time that government loans supported many companies, that assistance was not enough for some. Throughout 2020, mass layoffs and company closures led to almost 50 million people being unable to work. In 2021, that number dropped to around 8 million. As of now, the number of unemployed people in the U.S. is about 3.6%, which is the lowest since February of 2020.

Stud Welding Products

For the stud welding industry in particular, the most severe impacts of the pandemic are the supply chain shortages and delays we are still experiencing to some degree. At NFS, we’ve worked hard to continue to be a reliable resource for all our customers. We’re happy to say we’ve been able to keep supporting clients in the construction and industrial markets throughout the pandemic, and we plan to continue maintaining a comprehensive supply of stud welding products.

To learn more about our supplies and services, contact Northland Fastening Systems at (651) 730-7770. Request a quote online to get started with us today.

Automated Fastening Systems Entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Industries are always changing as new technology develops and becomes commonplace. As new equipment and practices come into any industry, regulations and standards come with them, and manufacturers adapt to meet these requirements. In the stud welding industry, we use very different models and systems today than the formats that were used in the early 1900s for shipbuilding. The first stud welding operations were essentially manual stick welding or resistance welding, used for composite construction on navy vessels and other large ships. Today, stud welders have several operations at their disposal, including drawn arc, capacitor discharge (CD), and short cycle fastening systems. No matter what kind of modern stud welding you use, you can find the supplies, repairs, and advice you need at Northland Fastening Systems. NFS provides a complete range of supplies, from tools to accessories and everything in between.

Global Industrial World

The global industrial world has gone through several significant changes in the form of three major eras. The most significant early changes began with the First Industrial Revolution, from the late 1700s to the mid-1800s. This marked the change from handmade products to fabrication with steam and water-powered machines.

Second Industrial Revolution

The Second Industrial Revolution spanned the turn of the century, from around 1870 to 1915. This marked a time of economic growth, the development of larger railroad systems, and the modern production line.

Third Industrial Revolution

The Third Industrial Revolution began towards the end of the 1900s as digital technology, computers, and the internet changed the manufacturing landscape. This revolution led to today’s current status as the time of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0.

What is Industry 4.0?

The foundation of Industry 4.0 is the increased use of artificial intelligence, smart automation, data sharing, and interconnectivity. The internet and cloud systems allow for direct, in-depth data sharing between every production stage, engineers, customers, and third parties. This creates an immersive manufacturing environment that borders on augmented reality, guided through extensive technical assistance. Industry 4.0 gives all levels of manufacturing greater intelligence, the ability to make decentralized decisions, and data transparency.

What does automated stud welding mean for the industry?

Although Industry 4.0 has been slower to affect the stud welding industry and fastening systems in general, there are still new technologies, operations, and capabilities entering the field. Automation has been growing rapidly, material sourcing is improving constantly, and production speeds are at an all-time high. Innovative applications of stud welding are also growing, especially in the fields of design and infrastructure. Most importantly, safety standards, sustainable policies, and economic responsibility have shifted the paradigm of the industrial world, including for stud welding. Industry 4.0 is moving stud welding towards better data, less waste, and smarter tools.

To learn more about the high-quality fastening systems supplies we provide, contact Northland Fastening Systems at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online today.