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Up Topic Welding Industry / Inspection & Qualification / Welder Qualification, using B2.1 SWPS, to other Standards
- - By ericpope Date 08-09-2016 02:30
Hello all,
Recently my attention was alerted to a situation in which a CWI conducted testing using properly purchased B2.1 SWPS' but qualified to D1.1 code on the WPQR. I would like to verify the concept because I went back to a qualification of mine (SMAW 3/8 plate) done in 2006 and my WPQR sited the same SWPS as above but qualified me to D1.1. The D1.1 is clear about the test plate bevel angles and root opening dimension (no range of opening) and they do not match those on the SWPS. However, when I tested, the tester gave me a locally produced WPS with the D1.1 criteria but filled out the WPQR using the SWPS identification number but qualifying me to D1.1. THe difference being the locally produced WPS as opposed to handing out the SWPS for the test. Furthermore, I heard the same CWI above say to use the acceptance criteria in D17 for a test conducted to B2.1 SWPS for a GTAW test on aluminum.

I went back to the first page of the SWPS and found this:

Supplementary Instructions. To adapt this SWPS to a specific application, a user may issue supplementalry instructions. Such instructions may consist of tighter fit-up tolerances, higher minimum preheat temperature, or any other instructions necessary to produce a weldment that meets the requirements of the fabrication document(s). These instructions shall not be less restrictive than provided in the SWPS.

So I can verify the SWPS test parameters i.e. material and thickness, and use the acceptance criteria and essential variables out of other codes and Im good to go?
Parent - - By Lawrence (*****) Date 08-09-2016 05:50
If you are "the Engineer" you can make that decision.

Are you the Engineer?
Parent - - By ericpope Date 08-09-2016 14:12 Edited 08-09-2016 14:15
No I am not. And neither is the other CWI, we are a testing facility not a contractor or manufacturer.  By "Engineer" we are talking about the responsible party, does that mean we should have the customer's engineer or responsible party sign off on the changes before we conduct third party testing? What about paying students? I understand you to be correct, if we use the SWPS we have to qualify them to B2.1 and use that acceptance criteria unless accepted otherwise by the engineer. Except D1.1 seems to leave a blank in regard to testing facilities by referencing engineer in regard to manufacturers or contractors. As a school, we could hire an Engineer to sign off --document-- a locally produced WPS (correct drawing) or have our responsible party sign it because there is no contractor or customer involved. Correct me if I am wrong but that would allow us to qualify to D1.1? In my view, qualifying to B2.1 is what we should do but others think we should qualify to D1.1. But I need to clarify because of the third party testing.
Parent - - By Lawrence (*****) Date 08-09-2016 15:20
I doing some guessing... But I am supposing you are using the SWPS because the procedure does not fall into the 'prequalified' category... Yes?   Probably an open root welded from one side?

I don't see what you are doing is negligent necessarily, but if you are a testing lab (business) and your business is to test welders and they are paying for it... Why not just run a D1.1 PQR for the procedure and wrap everything up nice and clean eh?

This way you can avoid the whole authority chain as far as WPS acceptance.

I can't imagine a D1.1 Procedure Qualification would be very expensive or time consuming for a testing lab to perform.
Parent - - By ericpope Date 08-10-2016 02:23
I agree and the answer is that I don't really know except to say that the testing facility is new and purchasing the SWPS' was a quick way of getting up and running. It happened that way before I got there. I am soliciting input so I can help to organize in the way you suggest.
Parent - By 803056 (*****) Date 08-10-2016 02:54
Hence, one of my arguments before I was thrown of the AWS subcommittee charged with revising the standard that governs ATFs.

Parent - - By pipewelder_1999 (****) Date 08-10-2016 11:07
Our quality system, the supporting WPQR, and AWS D1.1 allow for use of an SWPS. The applicability of an SWPS (or any other WPS) for production is at the discretion of the Engineer. For performance qualification the engineer has the right to accept or reject the qualifications on the basis of using an SWPS, but if he does, he has no sound engineering basis to do so provided all requirements of D1.1 were met during performance qualification. The WPS is NOT the WPQR.

As an ATF we recently ran into the need for this when a customer needed GTAW WPQ's quickly. (As to why GTAW is not prequalified but secret voodoo complicated spray/pulse/waveform controlled GMAW is, beats me)

When SWPS's are used, we will review the SWPS AND the code requirements with the welder. The applicable acceptance criteria is referred to on the WPQR both for visual and destructive tests.

The WPQR references the WPS but also references the code AWS D1.1. Thus a record with evidence as to what was done.

It is my understanding that SWP's are typically supported by multiple PQR's which are performed in accordance with various codes. 

"All SWPSs are supported by Procedure Qualification Records (PQRs) which meet the rules of AWS B2.1 and which in addition are intended to meet the rules of the major codes which govern the intended applications such as AWS Structural Codes (D1.1, D1.2, D1.3, etc.), AWS Sheet Metal Welding Code (D9.1),ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section IX, NAVSEA Technical Publication......" Taken from

Though the ranges listed on the SWPS for joints may allow for joints outside the scope of a code, using one is not a violation of any kind per D1.1. If an SWPS is followed during performance qualification there is absolutely noting wrong with it provided the requirements of D1.1 are met.

If anyone is in a situation in which the WPS is the sole source for welding details, there are bigger problems. No drawings? No reference to code requirements? Just a welder with a piece of paper ?

There are two lines of thought in my mind when it comes to documents related to welding. 1) Make them specific to an individual joint with specific settings for the application, position, etc...  OR 2) Make them to meet the requirements of the code (which was reviewed by many industry "experts") and if supplementary information is needed, supply it to the welder OR just let him use the skill that he/she has to make sound welds. In cases where strict adherence to the OH SO CRITICAL amperage/voltage/travel speed/ waveform/solar flares is needed, supervise what the welder is doing and provide monitoring..

I usually qualify and test our procedures or prepare prequalified ones. It is my opinion that performing volumetric testing as required by D1.1 does nothing to establish the validity of the parameters used during a PQR so I try to stay away from that but do have  GMAW Short Circuit that has passed bends and tensile for Sec IX that I will probably do again for Volumetric testing and Mechanicals per D1.1. Just in case.

The above is just an opinion based upon my understanding so is very likely to have points worth discussing, correcting or clarifying. Its early so I haven't reached my quota of mistakes yet!

Hope everyone has a wonderful day.

Gerald Austin
Greeneville Tn
Parent - - By Lawrence (*****) Date 08-10-2016 12:40
That's a really detailed explanation Gerald.

There are a lot of ways to look at this issue... And it brings up a lot of other important issues as well.

"Students" paying a testing lab for a cert"   Whether the lab is part of a school or an independent business; Students leave with a test report (cert) assuming they pass.   Right now for the most part, the market drives the value of that cert.  

1.     Some employers won't even look at it.  
2.     Some employers will allow that cert to open the door for a weld test of their own..  
3.     Some employers will accept the cert at face value and put the welder to work on production with no further testing.

Those responses are sometimes driven by the reputation of the School/lab,  sometimes driven by codes and standards, and sometimes driven by subjective whim.  

Response #3 being the least likely to occur in reality, which is problematic for the students, because they are often led to believe that this is exactly what will happen... "If I have a Cert. I can work."

This is one reason I really like your approach Gerald.   Keeping all the factors of the test, transparently provided on the report and in accordance with your Quality Manual.   If an employer was presented with a test report (cert) from your lab, you could easily answer any question about the controls put in place and verify the essential data that you have already supplied in the test report.     Not everybody does it that way.
Parent - - By pipewelder_1999 (****) Date 08-10-2016 14:06
I agree. I think the system of testing welders should be a documented system and auditable.

I let students know that a certification is just a document that shows they had the ability to pass a test and that most companies worth working for will want you to test again and if they accept a prior record of certification and are not familar with the test, use extreme caution.

I let contractors know that end users/owners may or may nnoot acccept what is provided and to also know the difference between an "AWS certified Welder" and a Welder Certified in accordance with AWS XX.XX. And that the welder has displayed no different skills and is limited by the range of qualification allowed by the applicable code.

The wallet cards in my opinion are TRASH and I would never accept one. I want to see a signed WPQR with all of the data required by the code.

I think the term "certified" is the most abused in the industry.  I myself would love to incorporate video recording into testing but haven't figured out where the $ comes from.

Have a great day Larry.

Parent - By ericpope Date 08-12-2016 19:49
Thank you for the input. I'm traveling and haven't had time to respond but you have been very helpful.
Up Topic Welding Industry / Inspection & Qualification / Welder Qualification, using B2.1 SWPS, to other Standards

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