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There are over 80 different welding processes that a welder can employ. Some are performed manually, and the work is entirely controlled by the welder. Others are semiautomatic, and the welder uses machinery, such as a wire feeder, to perform welding tasks.
Skilled welding, soldering, and brazing workers generally plan work from drawings or specifications and use their knowledge of welding processes and base metals to determine how best to join the parts. The difficulty of the weld is determined by its position—horizontal, vertical, overhead, or 6G (circular, such as in large pipes)—and by the type of metals to be fused. Highly skilled welders often are trained to work with a wide variety of materials, such as titanium, aluminum, or plastics, in addition to steel. Welders then select and set up welding equipment, execute the planned welds, and examine welds to ensure that they meet standards or specifications.