COLUMBUS, OH--The Edison Welding Institute and the American Welding Society have commissioned a study to determine the economic impact of welding technology on the U.S. industrial economy.

In addition to determining the amount of dollars invested annually in welding activities, the study will investigate how improvements in welding technology can improve manufacturing productivity.

The study, to be conducted by the consulting firm, Insight MAS, will take 16 months to complete and include interviews with experts from seven industrial sectors. Survey questionnaires will also be circulated among U.S. manufacturers that are heavy users of welding.

An expert advisory panel will review the results and draw conclusions about the overall economic impact of welding. The panel will also identify promising areas for productivity improvements.

The results of the study are expected to be announced in early 2002.