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L-146 members learn automatic welding


Boilermakers from across Canada and the United States use the CIMS process during the 2013 Suncor vacuum tower turn-around.


L-146 foreman Ryan Johnston checks weld parameters with L-83 trainer Greg Childress during the 2014 Suncor coke drum turn-around.

CIMS process provides protective overlays

MEMBERS OF LOCAL 146 in Edmonton, Alberta, are developing specialized skills using an automated GMAW welding process from CIMS Ltd. The process can be used to protect or restore vessels and equipment in heavy industry. The portable, all-digital system includes an aluminum track with a weld head, a hand-held controller, and a wire spool. It can be loaded in a wire basket and passed through a 16-inch man-way.

Eric Williams, a 24-year Boilermaker and a member of Local 363 (East St. Louis, Ill.), is the general manager for the CIMS Overlay Technologies Division (OTD), the contractor for the process in western Canada. Williams has worked closely with Local 146 to train members on the system. He said he relies on a cadre of CIMS-trained Boilermakers from the United States to provide on-site assistance for those learning the process in Canada, where the system was introduced in 2012.

“Everyone involved in this is a Boilermaker; we’re strictly union,” he said.

About 100 Local 146 members have been through the training thus far, and many of them have applied the process in the oil sands region, working for major owners like Suncor, Shell, Syncrude and Chevron.

Williams praised Local 146 BM-ST Arnie Stadnick, training coordinator John Gras, and others at the lodge for embracing the automatic welding process. “Boilermakers here are really advancing the technology,” he said. “We need more people to train. We would like to expand east.”

More information about CIMS can be found at

Tags  Local News
Locals  L-146, L-363
Reporter  V53N2
Published on the Web: June 5, 2014

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