A person welding.
While there are many different types of industrial power tools, most of them are designed to work with metal. Since wood is no longer as commonly used for parts and construction, industrial power tools such as lathes, milling machines, and arc welders are typically intended for cutting, shaping, and combining metal parts. It is necessary, however, for the metal to be molded and formed in various ways to create different parts. Therefore, different machines are needed for specific manufacturing processes.
Arc welders are considered a type of industrial power tool.
One of the most important and commonly used industrial power tools is the metal lathe. The lathe is a relatively simple piece of machinery that can finish and shape metal. The workpiece is fixed to a large chuck, which rotates at high revolutions. Then a sharp stationary tool cuts parts of the workpiece as it rotates. This process, known as turning, is what can give metal objects a smooth, shiny, and precise finish.
Another important machine among industrial power tools is the milling machine. The milling machine is technically the exact opposite of the lathe; instead of having the part rotating at high revolutions and a sharp tool cutting through it, the part remains stationary. Milling tools, which are very similar to drills, cut small or large portions of the workpiece surface. This allows the metal to have a perfectly flat surface and for slots, keyholes and other shapes to be cut.
Without lathes and milling machines, making many of the precision parts found in complicated machines like car engines would be next to impossible. A piston in an engine, for example, needs to be turned on a lathe to form an almost perfect circle. The engine block in an engine also goes through a polishing process, where the inner wall is cut away from any imperfections to make it almost perfectly round as well. This allows the piston to move up and down the cylinder easily, making the engine more efficient. These precise cutting processes, commonly known as machining, are responsible for manufacturing many of the high-performance parts found in engines and other machines.
However, industrial power tools are more than machining. Another type of tool that plays an equally important role is the welder, which comes in three main varieties. One of the most commonly used processes is metal gas arc welding (GMAW), which includes both metal inert gas (MIG) and metal active gas (MAG) welders. There is also welding with tungsten inert gas (TIG) and oxygen-acetylene. Different metals often require different welders; for example, a MIG welder can weld steel and iron, but not aluminum, due to higher temperatures.