American Welding Society Forum
If a company were to call and request your CWI services to come into their facility as a third party inspector and administer a welding test to twenty welders they are wanting to have certified to their WPS. Would you charge them per hour while at their facility or would you charge them per welder to witness, perform bend tests and sign off? How do some of you guys do this? Thanks in advance!
My preference (when I was consulting) was to offer the services of an "observer"
Let them prep, let them assemble, let them tack the assemblies, let them weld them out, LET THEM REMOVE THE BACKING BARS, let them cut the straps, and let them perform the bends... All under my watchful eye.
Charge by the hour.
This way, the QA/QC department and production leads are typically forced to be involved. This involvement makes them better at their jobs, and makes it much easier the next time I visit.
But if they are going to have you do more of the physical part, calculate what that time will be worth to you and charge per welder....
It's fine to do it either way really, as long as YOU are satisfied when the job is done.
My experience is usually that the first time around; The WPS's are garbage, the processes are out of control and most of the welders fail the test the first time through......... Then you have an option to offer your customer.... They can take two more plates for every 1 plate they fail and most likely blow it again at great cost and time, or they can receive some of my Special High Intensity Training (S.H.I.T) and actually become better at their jobs and comply with the code at the same time :)
It's a racket that American manufacturing needs more of :)
We normally charge per test coupon for each certification. But there is a minimum charge per day.
Example: minimum charge is $1000 per visit...$200 per test coupon regardless of pass or fail result.
If one welder was qualified in one day for one test coupon, the min charge applies i.e. $1000
If six welders was qualified in one day for 6 test coupons, the charge is $200 x 6 = $1200
A daily minimum plus a charge per test plate.
During your time as an "observer" would you offer any suggestions or advice along the way or would you wait until everything was completed to comment on what you have observed?
You didn't ask me, but I will offer an opinion never the less.
I provide the welder with instructions on what can be used for the test (hand tools only once the test begins) and acceptance criteria. I ask the welder if he has any questions before the test begins. After that, the welder is on his own. I have mandatory inspection points that must be observed. Typically the root bead and once or twice during the test. The inspector can halt the test if it is clear the welder doesn't have the required skills needed. The welder tells the inspector when the test is completed. A final inspection is performed while the assembly is still in the test position. If it is acceptable, it is taken down for further evaluation.
Questions such as, "Is this weld high enough?", "Does this pass look OK?" do not get a response other than, "It's your test, not mine."
Best regards - Al
Pretty much with Al on this.
I won't be there to answer questions when they apply the WPS in production, so after detailed initial instructions I try to harden my heart and close my mouth. (which is difficult for me being a teacher, I always want to coach)...
So I don't coach during the test... and if they skip a hold point that was emphasized in the instructions... Fail.
I think to conduct, to observe (witness) are two different roles.
If you are in-charge of issuing the certficate, then you should conduct the test according to your Method Statement / or Quality Mannual. But if you are just an observer representing the customer, you have no right to interfere the test. You may reject the certificate with your valid reason. But the certificate issued may be valuable to other operations, whenever applicable.
Be very careful of your role during the welder test.
I have witnessed an incident where a TPI was called by fabricator to conduct the welder test in the presence of Inspector representing the customer. The inexperience Inspector cross marked (fail) the test plates before the TPI evaluation. The TPI questioned the Inspector if he is the one in-charge of issuing the certificates, when the Inspector said "NO", the TPI brushed him up until he walk away from the testing bay.
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