Our Market Today for Industrial and Construction Welding

Northland Fastening Systems started in 1987 with the goal of bringing stud welding into the future and committing to excellence in service and products. Over the past 30 years, we’ve seen many changes in the stud welding industry, from new products and technologies to differences in the market itself. Today, stud welding is used across industries, including the construction of buildings and infrastructure, installing insulation, building electronics, and much more. In many ways, stud welding is a superior fastening system. Stud welding quickly provides a powerful, clean connection point, requires access to only one side of a work surface, is leak and corrosion resistant, and is cost-effective. For any manufacturers and contractors working with stud welding, Northland Fastening Systems has the supplies and services needed to get the job done. We provide a comprehensive supply of studs, accessories, tools, and other support for industrial and construction welding.

Construction Welding

In our past 30 plus years of operation, the biggest market change we’ve seen is the shift in demand for construction vs. industrial stud welding supplies. In the early days of NFS, many parts of the Twin Cities were still being built to become the metropolises they are today. The greatest demand for supplies came from the construction welding industry.

Now that metro area growth has slowed, a large increase in industrial demand has grown, shifting the majority of our market supply from construction to industrial.

80% Industrial

Today, about 80% of our business is with the industrial market. This includes customers manufacturing parts and assemblies of all kinds. We supply to the automotive, electronics, food service, sheet metal, agricultural equipment, robotics, and even furniture industries. The largest use of industrial stud welding supplies includes electrical enclosures and enclosures in general, commercial and industrial food service equipment, and the fabrication of multiple parts with sheet metal. Factory equipment is also largely built with studs and other types of industrial welding systems.

20% Construction

While demand for construction welding supplies has decreased, the construction market still makes up about 20% of our business. Many different types of multi-story buildings and other structures are built with stud welding. The use of shear connectors in composite construction is critical for bridges and other infrastructure, and thru-deck welding is a prevalent operation in modern building. In addition to thru-deck welding and shear connectors that fasten concrete to steel beams, bar anchors are also used in composite construction, and CD studs are key in the installation of insulation for most building types.

Stud welding continues to be one of the most versatile and reliable fastening systems today for both the industrial and construction markets. For more information about our supplies for industrial and construction welding, contact Northland Fastening Systems today at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online.

Aluminum Alloys Used for CD Weld Studs

Capacitor discharge (CD) stud welding has a broad range of applications from the installation of insulation with CD pins to the construction of electrical cabinets with larger diameter CD studs. CD stud welding and other types of stud welding are valued for the powerful connections they form; the quickness of each operation; and the clean, mark-free backside of welding surfaces. With power from a standard electrical outlet, an experienced welding technician can perform up to 20 CD welds per minute. When done correctly, those welds are more aesthetically pleasing than any other fastening system, and they are often stronger and longer lasting. For any diameter, material, or other specifications you need for CD weld studs, you can find what you’re looking for at Northland Fastening Systems (NFS). We provide a complete supply of CD studs, including pins and flanged or non-flanged studs with various lengths and thread sizes. Our CD studs are available in aluminum, mild steel, stainless steel, and brass with plating and annealing options.

 CD Weld Studs

When it comes to aluminum CD weld studs, we offer several alloy specifications that provide a flexible range of properties as well as custom stud options. Our main aluminum alloy studs include: 

     1100 Series: Alloys in this series are commercially pure, containing a minimum of 99% aluminum. This makes these alloys also some of the most mechanically durable. 1100 alloys are highly conductive thermally and electrically, resistant to corrosion, and workable to form many parts. Other than aluminum, these alloys can contain 0.05-0.20% copper, 0.95% iron, 0.05% manganese, 0.95% silicon, and 0.1% zinc with additional residual materials up to 0.15%.  

     5000 Series: This series of aluminum is typically alloyed with small percentages of manganese, copper, magnesium, chromium, zinc, iron, silicon, and zirconium. Aluminum content can range from around 94% to around 99%. Many of these alloys are considered universal for a broad range of applications, but several are specific to welding.  

     6061 Material: In the 6000s series of aluminum alloys, 6061 is a precipitation-hardened material with magnesium and silicon as main alloying elements. The material has good weldability and contains about 96-98.5% aluminum with 0.80-1.2% magnesium and 0.40-0.80% silicon. The 6061 alloys have high tensile strength and mechanical properties.  

For all of our studs, including CD studs, special sizes are available by request. We have studs regularly available ¼–2½ long, and stud diameters [BL1] [JP2] [JP3] 2”-56 and ⅜-16. Flange diameters are available between 0.125 and 0.437. If you are looking for aluminum CD studs or any studs in the additional materials we offer, you can request a quote online to get started with us today.

 For any other information about our CD weld studs or other supplies, repairs, and services, contact NFS today at (651) 730-7770.


Strength of Complete Fusion in the Stud Welding Process

Since its invention in the early 1900s, stud welding has proven to be an exceptionally useful tool for a wide range of industries. From construction to electronics, stud welding offers a fastening system that connects metals with strong, rapid, and clean operations. When applied correctly, stud welded connections are stronger than the stud and base material put together. In fact, one of the quickest ways to test the accuracy of a weld is by seeing if the stud will fail in a bend test before the connection point fails. If you are working with stud welding, you know the benefits it provides to many manufacturing processes. Stud welding is quick, cost-effective, and powerful. At Northland Fastening Systems (NFS), we provide a complete range of supplies for the drawn arc, capacitor discharge (CD), and short cycle stud welding process. This includes studs for each type of welding, tools for rent and purchase, welding accessories, and even repairs for most welding equipment.

Stud Welding Process

One of the reasons why the stud welding process is advantageous for so many industries is because of the strength a full fusion weld point provides. Stud welding operations completely fuse stud materials to surface materials. This fusion can be done with a variety of metals, including steel, aluminum, and even copper.

What Is Complete Fusion?

Complete fusion requires both metals to reach melting temperatures. Molten metals will fuse together at the weld point and create a complete connection between parts. All layers of stud and surface material should be molten in order to create complete fusion. Because of this requirement for deep penetration, stud lengths will shorten a specified amount when installed, depending on material and weld types.

A homogenous weld point that is completely fused will be clean with no spatter or puddles. Complete fusion eliminates the risk of a cold or porous weld that will likely fail. Any incorrect applications that have incomplete fusion can be revealed with testing. Incomplete fusion issues can be prevented by accurately calibrating welding equipment, using the right power, and performing a weld in the correct duration and positioning. With drawn arc welding, ceramic ferrules and shielding gas also help technicians achieve complete fusion in the welds.


For complete fusion through paint, annealing, and other surface treatments, technicians should adjust accordingly and use grounding clamps on the job site. In facilities where automated stud welding systems are integrated into a production line, complete fusion results are often built into the equipment. Automation parameters for complete fusion can be adjusted when stud dimensions, materials, and other specifications are changed.

If you are working with any kind of stud welding process in any industry, and are looking for supplies, equipment, and more, we can help. Contact NFS at (651) 730-7770. You can also request a quote online to get started with us today.

Power Supply Classifications for the Stud Welding Process

Welding with an electrically generated arcing current was first developed in the late 1800s by several British, Russian, and American inventors. In 1887, Russian inventor Nikolay Benardos presented the first arc welding system with a carbon electrode. The same year, another inventor, French Auguste de Méritens, also developed a carbon arc welder. Over the next 130 years, new technologies for welding would be invented and developed to the advanced state-of-the-art systems they are today. Modern metal welding hosts an umbrella of operations from gas metal arc welding (GMAW) to electron beam welding (EBW). Stud welding is also a commonplace welding operation that is used across industries. If you are working with a drawn arc, capacitor discharge (CD), or short cycle stud welding process, you can find all the supplies you need at Northland Fastening Systems (NFS). NFS provides a complete selection of welding equipment, including tools for rent or purchase, welding studs, accessories, and even repairs for most models.

Stud Welding Process

Stud welding machines can utilize either AC or DC power supplies depending on the welding application and the facilities. The power source for any stud welding process can be one of three general designs: transformers, generators, or inverters.


Using electricity from main utilities, transformers convert moderate electrical currents and voltage into high current and low voltage. Generally that conversion takes 110–240 V supplies to around 17-45 V with anywhere between 55 and 590 amp. Transformers are less costly than other power supplies, but they can only be used within a facility because of their large size.


For job-site welding with portable welders, a generator is often the best choice for power conversion. These designs convert mechanical energy into electrical energy with an electric or internal combustion motor. Generators are also called alternators because they convert that energy from mechanical to electrical to reach the same voltage step-down that transformers provide.

Inverters In the Stud Welding Process

Inverters are a newer power source for welding units because they use high-power semiconductors that have only recently been adapted into wider technologies. These systems take main utility AC and change it to DC, then they invert that DC power to step-down the voltage and change the current to the calibrated weld requirements. The most significant feature of inverters is that they can be adjusted with software systems thanks to their use of semiconductor chips.

Within these categories of transformers, generators, and inverters, there are many variations that can be used as power supplies for stud welding. Each type of stud welding and welding overall will require different calibrations of voltage and current that can be achieved with these power supply designs.

If you are in need of any supplies for your stud welding process, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770. You can also request a quote online to get started with us today.

Our Favorite Automated Production Welding Equipment

Manually operated stud welding tools are practical and convenient for many applications across industries. Portable welding equipment that can be quickly set up on job sites are key for many operations in the construction industry, such as thru-deck stud welding, composite construction, and sheet metal fabrication. While handheld stud welding tools have many uses, automated production welders also have an important part in the manufacturing world. Automated equipment may have a limited flexibility in terms of different operations it can perform, but for the stud installments it can do, it beats handheld tools in speed and consistency. Some automated systems can even weld upward of 40 studs a minute. While a weld done with a handheld gun usually takes less than 1 second to connect, the time spent in reloading the gun and positioning a new stud means manual welding is much slower than automated welding. For either type of stud welding, you can find everything you need at Northland Fastening Systems (NFS). We provide a complete supply of studs, accessories, tools, and other welding equipment. We also offer repair services for most welding models.

Welding Equipment

Automated welding equipment typically is installed in a facility where it becomes part of a complete production line. Production welders perform hundreds to thousands of rapid stud installments with precision over extended periods of time. Because they get such heavy use, production welders are durable and intelligent. Our automated tools are computer numerical control (CNC) machines with programmable software direction systems.

Favorite automated production welders

CPW 0604: The CPW 0604 performs capacitor discharge (CD), drawn arc, and short cycle welding operations. It can work in a welding range of 600 x 400 x 120 mm and can install studs with diameters of 3-8 mm. With a 9″ touchscreen display, it’s easy to calibrate and adjust the high performance PLC IEC 61131-3 controller. This model can weld up to 30 studs per minute and has an axis movement speed of 25 m per minute along the X and Y axes and 20 m per minute on the Z axis. The single welding head is automatically fed with up to three different stud lengths at a time. The software is user friendly and multilingual, and the unit is compact for such a high-production machine.

PC-S: The PC-S is another great production welder for all types of stud welding operations. It can be manually fed to a single welding tip or automatically fed for a 30% faster load rate. The working plate is 500 x 375 mm. This machine is especially precise with a positioning tolerance of ± 0.2 mm. Stud diameter capabilities are 3-8 mm and 10-12.7 mm. The PC-S is an advanced welder with a microprocessor controller. It’s a reliable option for any facility that works with high precision production.


For more information about these tools and our other stud welding equipment, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online.

Freight Shipping Statistics Made Possible with Steel Weld Studs

Since the first usage of stud welding in the early 1900s for the shipbuilding of freight, naval, and other large vessels, stud welding operations have become a mainstay for the maritime industry. Over the next 120 years, stud welding grew to be used in a broad range of industries in addition to shipbuilding, including the construction, electrical, and food equipment industries. While stud welding is widespread across the industrial world today, it continues to be a key operation for the maritime and, by extension, freight shipping industries. Because it is such a heavily used manufacturing operation for freighters, stud welding and steel weld studs in particular make container shipping possible and allow a trading economic system to exist on a global level. For any stud welding projects, Northland Fastening Systems supplies welding units for rent or purchase, CD and drawn arc studs, welding accessories, and more.

The Impact of Steel Weld Studs on the Shipping Industry

As we’ve said, freighters and other shipping vessels could not be made as efficiently and safely without the use of stud welding. The steel weld studs used to construct these vessels are what make container shipping a significant part of the global economy.

Container Shipping

Let’s look at some basic statistics from the container shipping industry made possible with stud welding (published as of 2022):

  • 80% of all products traded worldwide are shipped by sea.
  • In 2020, around 1.85 billion metric tons of goods were shipped around the world by freight.
  • In the past 40 years, cargo ship tonnages have increased in capacity from about 11 million metric tons to around 275 million metric tons.
  • Around 54,700 merchant ships operate globally.
  • Some of those types of merchant vessels include general cargo, crude oil tankers, chemical tankers, container ships, and passenger ships.
  • Shanghai handled 47 million tons of cargo in 2020, making it the leading global port for container shipping.
  • New general cargo ship designs may produce 40% less CO2 emissions by 2040.
  • The first standardized intermodal freight containers were developed in the 1950s.
  • The first refrigerated freighters were introduced in the 1970s.
  • The world’s largest cargo ship, the Ever Ace, measures 1,300 feet and has a holding capacity of 23,992 standard freight containers.

Steel Weld Studs to Meet the Needs of Today and Tomorrow

Modern freight shipping has reached massive proportions to meet the demands of a growing population and an increasingly capitalistic economy. Despite the futuristic systems and designs of today’s freighters, they still all rely on the use of stud welding and steel weld studs for construction.


To learn more about the abilities and uses of stud welding, contact Northland Fastening Systems at (651) 730-7770. Request a quote online to get started with our team today.


Best Cable and Welding Gear Management for Job Site Safety

Active job sites in any industry should have safety systems, checks, and manufacturing process regulations in place for the protection of workers, construction materials, and equipment. In the stud welding industry, safety is equally important for all those factors, especially because stud welding operations are so prolific across many different types of job sites. From multi-story constructions and major infrastructure to automated in-house production lines, safety systems and precautionary practices are critical. If you are working with stud welding for any project, Northland Fastening Systems can provide the supplies and support you need to get the job done. We offer a broad range of welding gear, which includes tools for rent or purchase, welding studs, accessories, and even repair services.

Safety in the Workplace

Although manufacturing in general has been industrialized since as early as the 1760s, universal safety standards have been slow to develop. In the U.S., OSHA wasn’t established as part of the U.S. Department of Labor until 1970, when the Occupational Safety and Health Act was passed.

Welding Gear

Today, OSHA helps make a broad range of work environments, from offices to construction sites, safer for workers, employers, and third parties. For worksites where stud welding gear is active, OSHA dictates several safety conditions, which include cable management.

The Need and Importance of Cable Management

Stud welding equipment on job sites often needs to be moved far from power sources, requiring cable extensions that can spread across trafficked areas and throughout other equipment and building materials. These cables present several hazards:

  • Tripping hazards, which can lead to more severe fall risks
  • Tangle hazards with other electrical equipment and power tools
  • Electrical issues that arise if a surge occurs or cables are damaged
  • Electrocution risk if cables are damaged from mismanagement
  • Falling object hazards if items are pushed by cable movement
  • Fires or explosions due to sparking from damaged cables
  • Ineffective installation of studs caused by poor power supply to welders

Welding Gear Includes Cables

To prevent any of these safety issues, deliberate cable management is important. Cable management starts with planning the layout of extensions and the movement of cables throughout a job site. Care must be taken to ensure cables will not build up through walkways or stretch underneath other equipment. Always make sure cables and any other electrical systems are properly grounded. Cable ties and links are small but mighty components that can keep cables tidy, in place, and away from areas of a worksite where they might be damaged or cause other problems.


Cable management and stud welding safety only work with the right equipment. To learn more about the welding gear, supplies, and cable management options we offer, contact Northland Fastening Systems at (651) 730-7770. Request a quote online to get started with us today.

Material Specifications for the Drawn Arc and Capacitor Discharge Stud Welding Process

Because stud welding is used so prevalently throughout different industries, it shows its versatility in terms of applications and materials. Stud welding operations also have great flexibility when it comes to sizing, such as stud diameters and lengths. With stud welding, you can perform food-grade fastening systems, composite construction, large-scale thru-decking, and much more. If you are taking advantage of the wide range of the stud welding process for any project, big or small, you can find all the supplies you need with Northland Fastening Systems (NFS). We provide a complete supply of welding tools for rent or purchase, drawn arc, capacitor discharge (CD), and short cycle welding studs, welding accessories, and repair services for most models. Our own welding technicians are also available to provide support and advice from their own expertise and knowledge.

Stud Welding

For the majority of stud welding, steel is a mainstay material for drawn arc and CD operations, but there are many other materials that are critical parts of the stud welding process as well as materials that can improve and alter the properties of a weld.

Stud Welding Process

Let’s look at the material specifications for different components of the many steps that may be included in a full welding operation:

Studs and surfaces:

As mentioned, steel is a primary material for most stud welding scenarios. Low carbon steel and 302/304/305 stainless steel grades are common for drawn arc welding. However, for drawn arc operations, aluminum, other stainless steel grades, monel, and inconel can also be used for studs and surfaces. CD stud welding uses similar materials, including low carbon and stainless steel, but 1100, 6061, and 5000 aluminum alloys, brass, and other steels can also be used.


For drawn arc welding, cadmium and zinc alloys can be used as plating. CD welding can use copper, cadmium, nickel, zinc, and many other plating metals. If nonweldable plating is already on a surface, that should be removed to prevent weld contamination.


Generally speaking, all low carbon and stainless steels can be annealed for both the stud and surface. Annealing can be done to a maximum of 75 Rockwell B for low carbon steel and 90 Rockwell B for stainless steel.


An important nonmetal material used in stud welding comes in the form of a ceramic ferrule. Ceramic ferrules are a part of the drawn arc process. Ferrules are installed at the point of the weld around the stud tip to contain and control molten metal while the weld is performed. They can then be chipped off when the weld is cooled.


If you are looking for materials used in any part of the stud welding process, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770. You can also request a quote online to get started with us today.

The History of Catering and How Food Grade Welding Plays a Role in Catering Today

Welding has been a part of many metalworking industries for centuries, with the earliest forge welding dating back to the Bronze Age (3300-1200 BCE). Stud welding as one of many newer kinds of welding was developed in the early 20th century in the shipbuilding industry. Since its first advancements, stud welding has grown to be a part of almost every metal manufacturing industry from construction to food service. If you are working with stud welding operations, you can find all the supplies you need at Northland Fastening Systems (NFS). NFS is a comprehensive supplier of all stud welding equipment, tools, studs, and other accessories. We also provide repairs for tools and the advice of our own expert technicians. One application of stud welding that is sometimes overlooked is its use in food grade welding for restaurant, catering, and other commercial food service industries. Stud welding is a quick, clean operation that can create strong connections between stainless steel studs and other equipment components. Not only is stud welding effective for well-made equipment, it’s also sanitary. Equipment made with stud welding operations meets strict standards for food safety and hygiene.

Food Grade Welding

From commercial kitchens to residential appliances, food grade welding is a heavily relied-on operation that allows manufacturers to quickly build components and full assemblies that won’t have potential issues with hygiene. Food grade stud welding prevents harborage, creates strong connections, and uses stainless steel that won’t corrode or allow spaces for bacteria and other pathogens to grow.

A large part of the food service industry that utilizes equipment manufactured with stud welding is catering. Many kinds of equipment used in the catering industry are fabricated with CD stud welding, thanks to the strong, clean connections points it offers.

Catering Chronology

Catering in the world dates back to 4000 BCE in China, but catering in the United States has a much shorter history. Let’s look at a brief timeline based on an article on Medium.com website, “A Brief History of Catering.”

  • 1778: One of the first large catered events was held in Philadelphia at a ball. The event was catered by Caesar Cranshell.
  • 1820: By this time, catering was a respectable business that was largely operated by African Americans in the free northern United States.
  • 1840: Robert Bogle, the “Originator of Catering,” expanded and diversified the catering industry.
  • 1930-1960: The catering industry survived through World War I and World War II rationing by simplifying menus and partnering with restaurants.
  • 1970-2000: During this time, as more and more women started working in the food service industry, new styles of cooking passed down in different communities became a part of catering menus.
  • 2000-present: Catering is a dedicated department for many restaurants today. Catering has also changed to adapt to new concerns and rules after the COVID-19 pandemic. Current restrictions for sanitation and preventing pathogen transmission make it more important than ever for catering equipment to be hygienic.

To learn more about how catering equipment is made today with CD food grade welding and our supplies, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online.

Benefits of Renting Stud Welding Equipment

There are many industries that utilize stud welding operations to manufacture parts, build structures, and create infrastructure. From electronics and food service equipment to multistory buildings and ships, stud welding has a wide range of applications. The powerful, quick, and clean connection points that stud welding offers have clear benefits to quality fabrication. If you are working with stud welding in your industry, you have probably weighed the question of whether to invest in purchasing your own welding units or rent out tools. There are advantages to both renting and buying stud welding equipment, and choosing what’s best for you depends on your circumstances as a manufacturer. For many, renting is an excellent option even for long-term stud welding operations. If you are looking to rent or buy tools, supplies, and other welding accessories, Northland Fastening Systems (NFS) has what you need. We provide a comprehensive range of welding tools for rent or purchase, drawn arc and CD welding studs, welding accessories, tool repair services, and the advice of our own expert technicians.

Manufacturers choosing to rent stud welding equipment rather than purchase their own is a common practice due to the expense of purchasing and maintaining owned tools. Stud welding units can range in price depending on their size and capability, but even the most cost-effective models can go over a project budget.

If you are in need of a rented welding tool, NFS offers a variety of models with differing capabilities that fit the majority of worksite requirements, including portable generators. From thru-deck welding to automated systems, you can rent tools that will help you keep your project schedule on time.

Some of the most significant benefits of renting over owning stud welding tools include:

  • You can try out the most current models and the newest technology when you choose to rent from NFS. We swap out-of-date models when newer and higher performance ones are on the market so renters get the latest units.
  • You aren’t responsible for tool maintenance and maintenance expenses; we do that for you.
  • In addition to avoiding regular maintenance costs, you also won’t have to deal with unexpected repairs that force your production line to halt. Rented tools are kept in peak condition and can be swapped out the moment a possible issue arises.
  • With rented tools, we provide extra studs and welding accessories for just-in-case manufacturing scenarios.
  • Rented tools are perfect for short-term jobs or one-time use so you don’t have to invest in purchasing supplies that will sit on a shelf after one project is completed.


There are many other benefits of renting stud welding equipment over purchasing, but owning tools also has its advantages. To learn more about renting or purchasing tools and other supplies, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online.