Professional pipe welding estimation software can cost nearly $500. However, a simple rough estimate for your pipe welding project can be quickly and cheaply calculated for any type of application. Simple welding estimates, for any welds including pipe welding, are estimated based on cost per unit welded, cost per length of the weld, or cost per weight of the weld material. The per-unit estimate applies to repeated welds on a series of similar pieces. The per-length estimate works best on long line-welds. The per-weight estimate is most accurate for welds with a high amount of filler material. The best method will depend on your specific pipe welding project.

## Cost Per Unit

Determine the total production time to produce a single unit. Determine how much of this time is spent with the “arc on” during the actual welding. For example, a pipe fixture takes three minutes to produce, but the actual welding time is only 45 seconds.

Multiply the speed of the wire feed by the welding time per unit. Multiply again by the electrode per inch. Multiply by the cost of the electrode per pound. This value is the total cost of the filler metal per unit produced.

Multiply the flow rate of the shielding gas by the welding time and gas cost per cubic foot. This is the total cost of the shielding gas per unit.

Multiply the total production time by the labor rate to determine the total labor cost per unit.

Add the filler metal cost, shield gas cost and labor cost to find the total cost per unit.

## Cost Per Length

Determine the average travel speed of welding in feet per unit of time.

Determine the total time spent welding in a day. Divide the welding time by the total hours worked to calculate the operating factor.

Multiply the wire feed speed by the weight of the electrode per inch and by the cost of the electrode per pound. Divide by the travel speed of the weld. This value is the total filler metal cost per length.

Multiply the gas flow rate by the cost of the gas per cubic foot. Divide by the travel speed to determine the cost of the shielding gas per length.

Divide the labor rate by the travel speed. Multiply by the operating factor to determine the labor cost per length.

Add the filler metal cost, shield gas cost and labor cost to determine the total cost per length of the weld.

## Cost Per Weight

Determine the amount of deposit in pounds per hour. This value is known as the deposition rate.

Determine the total time spent welding in a day. Divide the welding time by the total hours worked to calculate the operating factor.

Divide the cost of the filler metal per pound by the electrode efficiency to calculate the filler metal cost per pound.

Multiply the shield gas flow rate by the cost of the gas per cubic foot. Divide by the deposition rate to determine the shield cost per pound.

Divide the labor rate by the deposition rate and multiply by the operating factor to determine the labor cost per pound.

Add the filler metal cost, shielding gas cost and labor cost to find the total cost per pound of weld.