The Growing Need for Electron Beam Welding in Mexico

Mexico is increasingly a player in global manufacturing, including aerospace. EBI has been working with Boeing in Mexico and other international aerospace firms to provide one of the key services which manufacturing in Mexico lacks: EB welding.

How many parts make up a Boeing 747 airplane? According to Boeing, the aircraft is comprised of over six million individual pieces. With that many components, there are a lot of opportunities for manufacturers of aerospace parts to grow and many suppliers from emerging markets have begun to take advantage of these opportunities.

Mexico has been slowly building up its aerospace sector over the past few years. According to the Ministry of Economy, Mexico’s aerospace exports totaled 1,267 parts in 2002 and increased to 5,040 parts in 2012. Much of this growth is attributed to Mexico’s close proximity to the U.S.A., as well as its vast labor force. However, Mexico is missing companies with precision welding capabilities such as electron beam (EB) welding.

The real challenge for Mexican aerospace manufactures lies in the fact that EB welding is not a simple manufacturing process to adopt; yet the engineering of aerospace parts require its unique capabilities. EB welding is particularly well-suited for joining complex part geometries. The welding process is known for a very small heat affected zone, yet exceptionally deep weld penetrations, up to 2” in carbon steel for example. EB welding is often the only welding process that will weld exotic metal alloys.  Many of these alloys have a high thermal conductivity and/or crack sensitivity, which can make them difficult to weld. Fortunately, the unique properties of the electron beam overcome these challenges.  EB welding is also a preferred method for joining dissimilar metals.

Unfortunately, adding an electron beam welding capability to a manufacturing facility is not easy.  The equipment is expensive, often costing in excess of $1 Million per welding machine. Trained and certified weld operators are then required to perform the welding. These individuals must have years of experience, and undergo constant certification, testing and retraining. Additional engineers specializing in precision welding may be required. Finally, due to the precise nature of the parts being welded, a very robust quality management system is required.  With precision welding, a small mistake in a welding parameter can easily turn an expensive aerospace part into scrap metal. All processes and parameters must be tightly controlled and maintained.

EB Industries has been providing precision electron beam and laser welding services to the aerospace industry for over fifty years. Since 2000, the company has also been servicing several aerospace companies within Mexico and Canada. EB Industries has the experience and the knowledge to provide high quality electron beam welding services that meet the needs of the industry. We also have the experience to work for companies located in Mexico since we understand import and export regulations, international trade agreements such as NAFTA, ITAR requirements, and shipping logistics.

To learn more about our work with companies in Mexico, and to find out how we can help you with your precision welding needs, visit the EB Industries website. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for more company updates and aerospace news.