Most welding workshops in the informal sector are small, having an average staff strength of around 3 master crafts persons and 4 apprentices.
Main manufactured products are the following:
- Metal gates and doors
- Metal constructions (beams, roofs, trusses)
- Metal windows
- Door locks
- Window grills, grids
- Metal stairs and handrails
- Sheet metal coverings, panellings
- Sheet metal containers, tanks
- Metal furniture (chairs, cupboards, tables)
- Rust removing and provision of anti-corrosive coating
Besides the above products a wide range of other items are also made by some of the companies.
Many of the companies have quality problems with regard to the welded seams. This is especially the case when long weldments have to be produced e.g. for tanks and containers. As MAG welding machines are unavailable, long welded seams have to be produced by the manual metal arc welding method using coated welding rods.
Sheet metal work is needed for many of the products that are manufactured in the Welding/Fabrication workshops. Sheet metal panels are inserted into doors and gates and containers are also sheet metal constructions. As only few companies have sheet metal processing equipment, the sheets are mostly manually cut and moulded which does not produce high quality results. It is for this reason that many MCPs are interested to get training in this area and consider purchase of sheet metal processing equipment.
A closer look at the equipment and tools of the MCP’s workshops revealed deficiencies regarding maintenance. Machine tools, welding sets, power tools, hand tools are often dusty and corroded so it looks as if no periodic maintenance programme takes place. Furthermore storekeeping is poor, as no racks or shelves are available to stock steel bars, sheet metals, spares and manufactured products so the items lay haphazardly on the ground. The MCPs realize that apprentices should learn about preventive maintenance, repairs, stock keeping etc. .