The people at Honda of America in Marysville, Ohio, are just like everybody else - they want increased productivity and decreased scrap.
But also, the people at Honda are different from many others in the industry. Instead of just standing around wishing for these things, they went out and found a way to achieve them!
Honda of America has been making quality motorcycles for more than 19 years. Of course, every motorcycle has a gas tank, and the gas tank is a very important part of the machine. Not only does the tank have to be of absolutely top quality from a safety standpoint, but it's also right between the rider's legs. If it's not perfect - it's very noticeable!
The tanks are fabricated from highly formed sections of sheet steel and are then welded together with a 100% penetration butt weld.
Because of the thickness of the parts, usually 22GA and the varying contour of the seam where the parts join, welding them can be a bit tricky. Since Honda would never use a gas tank that wasn't perfect, they rejected tanks that were imperfect.
Dennis Billingsley, Engineering Coordinator for the welding decided to find a way to improve. He talked to Mike Krystofic, Lincoln Electric's technical representative in Columbus, Ohio, who recommended the STT® process. Honda had previously been using standard shortarc MIG welding.
Originally written 07/22/99