American Welding Society Forum
I am a CWI in a company that employes about 100-150 welders, we curently have about 20 WPS's in place, and that number keeps rising as customer demand. I need to qualify these welders in at least 2 of the curent WPS's in place. By your experiance how long would it take to get this job done, 1 year? I will also have to inspect alot of work on the floor. Can anyone help me? Give some kind of an idea as what to expect the actual time frame to be.
In regards to testing of welders, first make sure that management is behind this and they understand what this action would entail. Their maybe some welders who are only fit to perform certain welding functions.
Second, before starting this program look carefully at which procedures are employed most frequently, it doesn't make alot of sense to qualify a group of welders for procedures that are used sporadically.
The next step would be to set up a test that could be used to qualify a welder to as many procedures as possible. Can you afford to test 6-12 welders at a time or is the schedule in the shop that busy that you can not reasonably take that many welders out of the production loop.
This is a large task which needs to be looked at quite closely, it will also be very costly in regards to lost time and mechanical or physical testing.
Without knowing all the details i would think that a task of this size could be up to 6-8 months in length.
hope this helps.
Thank you Colins.Time is another thing we have little of, as every department is under staffed. I can only expect to get maybe 1 welder a day if at all, some times I get no one for a week. So, given that, how many CWI's would be needed to get the job done, or should I be looking for some CAWI's here? I do try and qualify people to cover many of the WPS's on the floor right now. Did I mention we also have to do some work to Europian standards also? I also perform the PQR's myself.
With that many welders I would say you are understaffed. Most of my clients with more than 20 or so welders have more than one QC dude. The qualification process depends on your guys and how well they are at testing (some people get nervous, some don't like testing, etc.)
I have tested about 20 welders at one time before, but it was well planned by the client. Materials and equipment were waiting, first group finished, second shift came right behind. They new they would be tested and had time to practice before hand. If their practicing right before the test (not setting the machine), then they usually are NOT ready. I use a spread sheet to document activities. Monitor welding parameters and do your final visual.
Don't get suckered into telling them how to weld, even if your a welder. You will be the one to blame if anyone busts out.
DGXL thanx for the reply. Understaffed isn't the word. I also do PQR qualifications, meaning, I do the welding as well. GMAW,SMAW,GTAW,SAW.
Without knowing the ranges of the WPS's this is impossible to answer. And even then very difificult. Because welder qualification variable ranges differ from the ranges on a given wps. For example
Using ASME Sec IX one weld test could be used to qualifiy a welder to use all of the below WPS's.
WPS1, GTAW P1 to P1, No Backing, .375 Max T
WPS2, GTAW P3 to P3, ", .375 Max T
WPS3, GTAW P4 to P4, ", .375 Max T
WPS4, GTAW P5 to P5, ", .375 Max T
WPS5, GTAW P8 to P8, ", .375 Max T
It is key to remember that welders do not "QUALIFY TO" a WPS. They may qualifiy to weld within a range of the WPS. The variables are different. A wps could be prepared using multiple PQRS that covers a range that would require multiple welder performance qualification tests.
Another example would be using AWS D14.6 where requalification of the wps is required when certain joint dimensions are changed. Change of the included angle of the joint does not require requalification of the welder.
Hopefully this helps a little.
If you look through the applicable code and review the essential variables for performance and procedure qualification, this may help you some.
Thanx for your insight Gery, I kinda know what you are talking about, and have them qualify to as broad a range as possible. I am using AWS codes for structural steel, structural stainless, structural aluminum, and sheet steel. As you can see we do alot of different things here.
It seems you could use some help unless you could talk the production department into a little assistance. Nothing says they can't get the welders setup, cut coupons and straps, perform bends for you to look at etc. OOPS SORRY I'm awake now.
That does seem a little much to do. You could hire temps to come help. There may be CWI types in many areas that may not be working a full 40 hour week. Of course I'd be cautious of those that give you that "Oh yea, I had that training in CWI Prep Class" response when you ask them if they can properly test and document welder qualification.
It sounds like you have a future there at least!
Job security! That's what they keep telling me anyways. I feel for you because around here they won't hire any help for my full plate either.
Feel for ya man!
Just remember that if you are coding to ASME 9 and you perform radiography on the welds, you can code the welders on the job. (For most processes at any rate.)
Another issue. If only one welder is available at a time, then getting more than one inspecter will not help in speeding up the process.
I am also concerned about you welding the test pieces and recording the variables. This is especially so when welding to EN288, because heat inputs become an important variable under certain circumstances. How do you manage this? I have enough trouble recording the variables while somebody else is welding!
I have often seen the circumstances where fabricators cutt down on QC personnel because they are trying to save money. I have seen these same fabricators loose big bucks when the job backfires because the QC guy "just let things go" because he could not get to everything. When this happens, who do they blame? The QC guy! You are unfortunately in a no-win situation. I would try to justify some help to my boss if I was you.
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