LIT Welding Program receives new Bobcat welder through Perkins Grant
BEAUMONT— Lamar Institute of Technology’s Welding Technology program recently was awarded funds from the Perkins Grant to purchase a new engine-driven Bobcat welder. The $4,300 gas welder is the first of its kind for the department.
It offers students the opportunity to experience real-life training, as opposed to confining them to a booth, inside. “I think this is a great asset to our department,” said Welding Technology Instructor Maggie Noble.
“Since the equipment is portable and does not need an electrical outlet, “students get to put them outside on the ground or in tight positions.” She said she is setting up jigs and other situations to make it feel more like on-the-job welding.
“The students normally spend most of their time in the booths with the inverter driven machines and it doesn’t give them the feel for how it will be out in the plants or any other type of field work.” Noble said. “Currently we only have it running Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW), but we will set it up to run Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW).”
The department owns 40 electrical machines that are confined to booths inside. Only one is portable, but still must be plugged in, Noble noted. She said most of the department's equipment has been funded by the Perkins Grant; if equipment is needed, the program must use its budget to replace machines.
“I am hoping we can get companies to donate some (gas) machines or money (so we can) purchase more,” she said. “We hope to get at least three more engine-driven machines for the students. Right now we are limited to one welder being able to use the Bobcat, and currently I have 11 advance welding students.”