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Up Topic Welding Industry / Inspection & Qualification / Welder Qualified to D1.1 but being used to D1.3 also.
- - By jv9 Date 07-25-2016 15:48
At my current employer I am having trouble with the welding engineer wanting to qualify guys to D1.1 and using them to weld to D1.3 also. The material thickness is well below the 1/8" requirement within D1.1 but he is saying as the weld engineer he has the ability to deviate from code. I know there are sections that do give the engineer some abilities to deviate but has anyone accepted this?

I do not agree what so ever with his deviations as a certified inspector. Am I being hard headed here and does the engineer have the ability to deviate this much? Our welding engineer owns the welding program where I work, I just inspect the welds but I do run everything he does by the code requirements. As an inspector I just cant seem to wrap my hands around why he wants to deviate from the code, other than pure laziness. I forgot to mention he is trying to add this to his program to save him qualification tests.

Parent - - By jwright650 (*****) Date 07-25-2016 17:33
If he is the one who is signing off on this...let him have his way. You don't have to agree with it, you have voiced your opinion and he wants to continue on, so let him have at it. The customer will be the one who will eventually catch up with what is going on and may ask for the qualifications to D1.3 to be redone.

As a previous QC manager at a fab shop, I occasionally ran up on similar issues like this and if I wanted to continue my employment there, I had to fall in and go with it. Auditors eventually made us issue corrective actions to remedy the problem, and I got to sit in my office and say.. to myself... I told you so...LOL

When the shop has to spend money to fix things, it may get their attention. Some battles are not worth fighting, pick them wisely.
Parent - - By jv9 Date 07-25-2016 17:48
Thank you for the response.

He is not the one signing off on this. It would be me or other inspectors. I was the one to write the corrective action and he wants to justify his actions with using a few outs from the code giving him the ability to deviate. As the field I am working in, I have the ability to raise concerns without backlash. So at this point, I think if he approves this as the "responsible engineer" any issues from government group lets say, would fall back on him.

As an inspector I just feel my integrity falls right on the code/ codes approved for the project, I don't feel ok with approving welds (which I haven't done) that weren't qualified in accordance with a code due to the owner of the welding program not wanting to due 1 more qualification test.
Parent - By jwright650 (*****) Date 07-25-2016 17:55
I think he is over-reaching by trying to deviate, so yes, I agree with you.
Parent - - By Trackergd (**) Date 07-25-2016 18:58
May I suggest you put your concerns in an email to the Engineer.  It is then a searchable record, even if he/she deletes it.  If you are overridden, keep good notes on who, what, when and where.  I use Steno notebooks that I keep for years.
Parent - - By jv9 Date 07-25-2016 19:01
Thank you for the suggestion, its much appreciated. I have taken the steps to cover my butt.

I have documented it in our corrective action program, where he will have to justify why to close it, this will put the call on him.
Parent - By In Tension (**) Date 07-25-2016 23:23
As John said... document your complaint, cover thy butt, and choose your battles wisely.  Sometimes it's a delicate balancing act to remain employed and go home at the end of the day with your integrity intact.  There are plenty of shop inspectors in the same boat as you, who are asked to look the other way.  In an imperfect world the goal is to be reasonable without being compromised.  If you feel you're being asked to do something you feel is truly wrong then it's time to put your foot down or find another job.  You did the correct thing by filing an NCR that requires disposition.
Is weld quality genuinely suffering due to lack of legitimate qualification?
Parent - - By peterj357 (*) Date 07-26-2016 01:38 Edited 07-26-2016 01:46

Just for clarification, I am referencing the 2010 edition of D1.1, so...

Paragraph 1.2 states that ".... The code may be suitable to govern structural fabrications outside the scope of the intended purpose. However, the Engineer should evaluate such suitability, and based upon such evaluations, ..."   So, if he decides to use D1.1 he will be responsible for that decision. In your specific case, the material thickness falls outside of the limitations of D1.1, but because of 1.2, the Engineer can accept responsibility for that and call out D1.1.

Paragraph states "Previous performance qualification test of welders, welding operators, and tack welders that are properly documented are acceptable with approval of the Engineer. The acceptability of performance qualification to other standards is the Engineer's responsibility, ..."   Even if the project called for D1.3, the Engineer could accepted performance qualifications that were done to D1.1 or ASME for that matter.

If he wants to justify his actions with using a few outs from the code, I can't say that he is wrong, but then he is responsible for those decisions.  I think you took the correct course of action by voicing your well founded and reasonable concerns.  As far as visual inspection goes, you can sign off the welds with confidence, because that's all you are doing is the visual inspection.  As long as they meet the requirements of D1.1, or whatever else the Engineer decides, you can have confidence you did your job right.  If the parts fail in the near or far future, that's on the Engineer's back because he may not have choose the best available option.

I agree with you concerns, but ultimately, if the Engineer decides to proceed with what you have described that's his decision and he is responsible for it.

I forgot to mention that I am referring to the Engineer, as defined by D1.1 in 1.3.1.  If this person is just a welding engineer, then none of what I just wrote really matters because he doesn't have that authority, in the code.

I hope this helps and didn't muddy the waters anymore than it may already be.
Parent - By jv9 Date 07-26-2016 11:06
Thank you for the help. Under our program the Welding Engineer owns the program and every reference to welding he is called upon. He has properly documented the answer to close out my corrective action, so at this point I believe I am covered.
Parent - By TimGary (****) Date 07-26-2016 13:32
OK, so let's do a reality check here...
We're talking welder performance quals here, not welding procedure quals.
Welder qual tests for D1.1 are much more complex than D1.3.
Most entry level Welders with little to no experience can pass D1.3 tests, not the same with D1.1 tests.
In reality, a Welder qualified to D1.1 should be able to weld to D1.3, provided a proper WPS is in place.
I would not say the same for a Welder qualified to D1.3, welding on D1.1 work.
As an Engineer who knows the job and Customer requirements, I would have no problem accepting D1.1 certs for Welders doing D1.3 work, if I knew it would not be a sticky issue.

As an Inspector, yes you need to check for valid certs, and if the Engineer has approved this, which is allowed by the code, that's all that's needed. There is no integrity issue involved.
There will be times when your integrity will be put to the test. Save your indignation for then.

Parent - By js55 (*****) Date 07-26-2016 12:29
There is an awful lot of breathlessness in this thread. Keep in mind, as an inspector it isn't for you to wrap your mind around what the welding engineer is doing. Document your position and move on. Jeez.
Parent - By HJLBX Date 07-26-2016 23:46 Edited 07-26-2016 23:49
The Engineer can do whatever he\she desires.  As an inspector whether or not you agree with engineering, welding, fabrication and acceptance criteria is irrelevant.  The inspector's only duty is to ensure that all requirements are met - as established by the Owner, Engineer and\or Contract Documents - whatever they may be.

The Engineer can specify the very 1st code published by AWS if the Owner permits it.  If the Owner designates a Representative and states that they are the ones to specify, then whatever that Rep specifies is what must be adhered to.  It's a matter of legally binding contractual agreement.

If anything is so patently negligent, then you have the personal option of recusing yourself as an independent sub-contract inspector.

If you are an employee inspector, and your employer has accepted to fabricate a project or inspect the project, then it is on the employer - and not you as the inspector.  All professional liability is on whomever specifies a modified engineering or welding code - and that is generally the Engineer of Record, Owner's Rep or whomever the Owner has designated as over-seeing the engineering and technical matters of the project.

I personally have been in such situations and I have found - through hard-won experience - that it is best not to "rock-the-boat."  Because, in the end, the job is going to be fabricated, shipped and erected... one way or another.
- - By welderbrent (*****) Date 07-25-2016 21:40


One more point, he is not 'The' or even 'An' engineer.  He is a Welding Technician with engineer in his title.  He is not THE ENGINEER that the codes are referring to when they say "The engineer may add to, delete from, or otherwise modify..." in Clause 1.4.1.  For the definition of engineer look at Clause 1.3.1; he is the Owner's rep, not some shop rep regardless of his title, education, or stamp. 

He Is In Control, Have a Great Day,  Brent
Parent - By welderbrent (*****) Date 07-25-2016 21:44
Had to leave for a moment,  so, having said that, if he is YOUR company person in charge of such details as laying out the company policies, methods of compliance, etc, then do it that way. 

Just know, you are correct in the technical aspect of the interpretation of the codes.  But, depending upon what your company is manufacturing/fabricating you can qualify your personnel to any code you want to, until the customer requires otherwise.

He Is In Control, Have a Great Day,  Brent
Parent - By jv9 Date 07-26-2016 11:06
Thank you.
- - By 803056 (*****) Date 07-26-2016 02:26
I concur with Brent. The key here is the definition of who is the "Engineer" in accordance with AWS D1.1. The code is clear the Engineer is the Owner's representative. Paraphrased, as the Owner's representative, the Engineer has the authority to delete from, add to, or modify the requirements of the code.

The exception is allowed for an OEM where the manufacturer designs, builds, and/or has legal ownership of the structure being designed and built. In an OEM situation, who is responsible for what must be agreed to by the participating parties.

General, under the auspices of AWS D1.1, the fabricator/manufacturer's, or erector's engineer has no authority to make changes to the code's requirements.

Assuming the structure being constructed is required to be built to a building code, there are additional definition and restriction as to who has authority to change or modify the code requirements.

Best regards - Al
Parent - - By jv9 Date 07-26-2016 11:02
Thank you for the responses. Its appreciated. Under our program the "welding engineer" makes the call on such instances. He owns the welding program.
Parent - By 803056 (*****) Date 07-26-2016 12:01 Edited 07-26-2016 12:09
If you are building a consumer product like a car or refrigerator, that may be the case. However, structures built to a building code must meet the building code and other applicable codes. The same is true if the welding standard is AWS D17.X, where the customer is usually the Engineering Authority.

It isn't unusual for manufacturers/fabricators/erectors' engineer to assume they have more authority then they actually have. They often discover, to their dismay, they don't have the assumed authority until there is a legal action. Then it is simply up to the lawyers how the spoils will be divided.

Your welding engineer (lower case for a reason) may own the welding program in that he has the responsibility of ensuring he is in compliance with the applicable code, but in this case, where AWS D1.X are the governing document, he is amiss in meeting his responsibilities.

As a CWI (you mentioned you are certified), you have a responsibility to yourself, your employer, and you have to answer to AWS (code of ethics) if you sign for work you have not direct knowledge of, work that doesn't comply with the project specifications or applicable codes, or documents you know are incomplete, incorrect, or not in compliance with the code. Since you are the individual that is certified by AWS, it is you that shoulder the responsibility when things go south. You are responsible for anything you sign.

The welding engineer is shielded from AWS' wrath if he is not certified by AWS. He may be held accountable by the state if he is a Register Professional Engineer. However, from your description of his activities, I doubt he is a P.E.

Up Topic Welding Industry / Inspection & Qualification / Welder Qualified to D1.1 but being used to D1.3 also.

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