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Up Topic Welding Industry / Inspection & Qualification / Simple Question about Welder Qualification
- - By GMI Kyle (*) Date 08-18-2016 17:33
We have a GMAW WPS that was has been qualified with a PQR. 

When qualifying a welder to this WPS, is it necessary for the welder to follow the WPS exactly, or is it permissible to deviate from the WPS as long as the requirements in Table 4.5 are upheld?

I understand that filler metal, base metal, and position cannot be outright changed, but this question has to do with groove type.  If the WPS calls for a single V groove butt joint with no backing, can a welder be qualified to that WPS using a single bevel groove butt joint with backing?

Thank you,

Parent - By pipewelder_1999 (****) Date 08-18-2016 19:51
I am assuming D1.1. There are specific joint details called for in D1.1 for performance qualification test plates and reference is made to using a WPS. The WPS should apply to the joint being welded. That is its purpose.

However, the WPS may be able to be revised depending upon the code requirements for joint dimensions.

Parent - By welderbrent (*****) Date 08-18-2016 22:49
Let's expand upon Gerald's answer a bit:

Remember that there is a difference between Procedure Qualification and Welder Performance Qualification. 

When you are not using a process, joint, or in some way a procedure that is Pre-Approved/Qualified then you must do a PQR and after the successful testing and recording of all the information to establish a successful procedure you write up a WPS from the test data that must be within the prescribed boundaries of the PQR essential variables or you need to run another PQR. 

That is for PRODUCTION fabrication/welding.

Now, for Welder Performance Qualification there are pre-established tests that are used in another part of Clause 4.  Go through it carefully and you will see the divisions. 

Now, after a welder has been qualified to those criteria and is qualified/certified to AWS standards, not 'BY AWS', specifically D1.1 then if the company wants to see and prove that the welder can perform the welding on the job the WPS was written for they may do their own supplemental testing and establish that fact.  He does not actually certify at all to an AWS standard that way but if the company so desires they can issue their own Certification Document that states he has passed that specific test with them for their purposes and maybe even customer satisfaction. 

A company can give as many tests as they want but to qualify to AWS standards each code has a prescribed procedure with joints, thickness, positions, and coupon evaluation all called out. 

Hope that helps.

He Is In Control, Have a Great Day,  Brent
- - By 803056 (*****) Date 08-19-2016 01:59
The welder is bound by the WPS.

Although the code may allow a wide range for the arc voltage, welding current, use of weave or stringer bead, travel speed, etc., if the WPS is more restrictive, i.e., stringer beads only, then that's what the welder is obligated to do.

If the WPS is revised and complies with the limits specified by the code, it must go through the proper revision cycle as required by the employer's QC program before the welder can use the revised WPS.

The WPS is the welder's bible whether it is supported by a PQR or whether it is prequalified.

Consider the following: The WPS limits the base metals to M1, group 1 base metal (from B2.1), the welder cannot use a M1, group 2 even though group number only comes into play when notch toughness is invoked. When welding in accordance with D1.1, the same hold true, if D1.1 says the welder can qualify with any prequalified base metal, but the WPS only lists Category 1, that's what the welder must use.

If the WPS says interpass cleaning is by hand brush with a stainless steel brush, the welder cannot use a carbon steel brush.

Best regards - Al
Parent - - By Joey (***) Date 08-19-2016 02:53 Edited 08-19-2016 02:56
:grin: Why must be so complicated, what I understand is simply "the welder qualification is limited by the essential variables" That's all:lol:
Parent - - By 803056 (*****) Date 08-19-2016 12:20 Edited 08-19-2016 12:47
It isn't complicated. The welder is bound by the WPS provided when taking the performance test.

Write a WPS for the material, thickness, joint detail, process, parameters, filler metal, diameter, position, and shielding gas used (if any). The welder follows the WPS, done deal.

It becomes complicated when people try to work around that very simple concept. It gets complicated when one writes a WPS that is all encompassing, for all tests, with material substitutions, etc. Then the welder gets confused, there is a greater chance the WPS is incorrect, and the welder ignores the WPSs and everyone is upset.

The WPS should be simple, it should show the joint detail he/she is expected to weld, the process, the electrode, the diameter(s), the appropriate welding parameters (that actually work, i.e., reasonable ranges for voltage, wire feed speed, etc.), etc.

Qualifying a welder to a SWPS purchased from AWS is an exercise in frustration. Writing a separate WPS based on the SWPS is a waste of money. In other words, why pay AWS for a WPS that can't be used as written? I have never been able to hand a welder a SWPS and walk away. The are all too encompassing and too confusing for most welders. The ranges are too broad to be of any value, i.e., the low end is too low for most welders and the high end is too high for most welders. In my humble opinion, SWPSs are another source of cash flow that has little value to the contractor, the welder, or the customer. It is a piece of paper that will be ignored for the most part because it isn't useable. They are written by engineers for engineers and serves little if any useful information or direction to the welder. As in all too many cases it doesn't meet the needs of the intended audience, i.e., the welder. The objective of the WPS is not met if only the shop supervisor and the engineer can read and understand the information provided. They superficially meet a code requirement without achieving the goal or the intent of the code requirement, i.e., provide direction to the welder.

While I'm on a rant, has anyone looked at the new electrode classification system for FCAW in AWS A5.36? That committee must have taken stupid pills when they decided to try to harmonize with the Europeans. If you haven't, take a look at the annex in the New Farm Code where they try to explain the new classification system. There is probably two people on the committee that can tell you what the electrode classification actually means without spending twenty minutes reading the A5.36 specification. There might be one welder in the entire country that will be able to look at the new classification and know what it all means.

Just my opinion.

Best regards - Al
Parent - - By Joey (***) Date 08-20-2016 11:42
Hi Al,
Please allow me to say that it's unecessary to qualify a welder for every prequalified /
qualified WPS applicable for the job unless there are essential variables the welder is not qualified for.
Example is when a 6G qualified welder doing butt welding on pipe, and he has to weld a bracket plate besides on the same pipe, no one can stop him of doing so just because he was not qualified in a WPS specifically written in 3F position.:lol:
Parent - By 803056 (*****) Date 08-21-2016 14:13
Well stated Joey, the welder only needs to be requalified if the welding process changes or if the new job entails requirements beyond the essential variables of table 4.12 (D1.1:2015). A single welder qualification, properly selected, can qualify the welder for nearly everything covered by D1.1.

One thing to add; the test assemblies included in D1.1 are the required tests. The contractor can add different tests to ensure the welder is capable of performing other tasks, i.e. successful back gouging the test plate in lieu using a backing bar, welding with copper backing rather than steel backing, etc. are qualifications tests to be administered after or as supplements to the qualification tests prescribed by the figures in clause 4 of D1.1.

As always, these are my thoughts on the subject of welder qualification.

Best regards - Al
Parent - - By GMI Kyle (*) Date 08-24-2016 18:02
Thank you all for your replies.  However, I've confused myself even further...

Al -

So my original statement "trying to qualify a welder to a WPS" is not correct based on my current understanding of things. 

I understand now that you are qualifying a welder to a PROCESS, not a PROCEDURE.

However, when you give a welder a test, you have to provide them with a procedure; otherwise, how do they know how to make the weld?

In the code, Chapter 4 Part C Performance Qualification section 4.18 states "the performance qualification tests required by this code are specifically devised tests to determine a welder's, welding operator's, or tack welder's ability to produce sound welds.  The qualification tests are not intended to be used as guides for welding or tack welding during actual construction.  The latter shall be performed in conformance with a WPS"

Also, looking at figure 4.21, it clearly shows the "Test Plate for Unlimited Thickness - Welder Qualification"

So, what if the WPS I give my welder when he is taking the test has a different joint designation than that test plate?

This all leads me to believe there should be a separate WPS for testing vs the production welds that you'll have WPS's for.  The only thing is you have to make sure your testing WPS will qualify your welder to produce all your production welds (which you've also written WPS's for).

I feel like i'm chasing my tail....

Thanks again for the help,

Parent - - By 803056 (*****) Date 08-24-2016 18:20 Edited 08-24-2016 18:27
You are mixing apples and oranges.

The welder must follow a WPS while or when welding the performance qualification test assembly. The welder must follow the WPS as it is written. If the WPS depicts a joint detail other than what he or she is welding, he or she isn't working within the parameters of the WPS, hence my objection to using a SWPS purchased from AWS.

A welder that doesn't follow the WPS while welding the test assembly fails the test. No visual examination, no bend test, no RT necessary, the welder fails because he or she didn't follow the WPS.

Once qualified, the welder is qualified to use any WPS provided the limits of Table 4.12 are observed.

It sounds to me like someone is trying to bend the rules to justify a welder qualification that was completed incorrectly. I stand by my previous post that the welder is bound by the limitations of the WPS hand to him when he took the performance test. If he is welding using parameters beyond those listed by the WPS, he fails.  If he welds a joint other than one included by the WPS, he fails. If he welds with a process other than what is specified by the WPS, he fails. If the welder uses a filler metal other than what is listed by the WPS, he fails.

Parent - - By GMI Kyle (*) Date 08-24-2016 18:24
With this in mind, do I then need to have a "test WPS" that depicts the joint as the test plate (figure 4.21)?

Or can I have a WPS that says "all prequalified CPJ joints" or something similar?
Parent - By 803056 (*****) Date 08-24-2016 19:14
I use a specific WPS for the test the welder is taking.

Parent - - By Lawrence (*****) Date 08-24-2016 19:26 Edited 08-24-2016 19:41
See how he didn't exactly answer your question !?!?!!?!?!!!???

See Table 3.7  (23) (24)
Parent - - By GMI Kyle (*) Date 08-24-2016 19:42
Haha Lawrence, yes, but answers like that are pretty much par for the course coming from engineering/management.  No one wants to "incriminate" themselves...

Anyway, I guess maybe I should word it differently:  If I am qualifying a welder with a test, are there any other joints that I can test the welder on (that do not require qualification through a PQR) besides those shown in Chapter 4 (Figures 4.21, 4.22, 4.24, 4.26-4.33, and 4.37-4.39)?
Parent - By Lawrence (*****) Date 08-24-2016 20:11
Yes and No   Ha ha !

The qualification test assemblies shall be used to qualify welders to D1.1.    Most if not all of those test assemblies have joint details that can be placed in a prequalified WPS eh ?

Now once your welder is qualified... If you elect to do further performance qualification testing... Let's say open root from one side with short circuiting transfer and a bevel angle or root face that don't match prequalified dimensions....   You would need a PQR..... Or SAW with copper or ceramic backing...    Maybe you would want to do that performance testing *above* what was required for initial qualification.
Parent - - By welderbrent (*****) Date 08-24-2016 22:07
So, first we see that your title for the thread was completely misleading, it isn't SIMPLE at all. 

On the other hand, it isn't really that complicated.  You are just missing some information and not able to follow all the train of thought here.  Not uncommon.  It is difficult to accurately, simply, in short format on an internet forum, relay the depth of information needed.  And we never know where to start.  It's hard not to make some people feel stupid when that isn't our intention.  It takes some research and help to get it right and then sometimes I see something else that Al, Lawrence, John, or others write and I go 'OOOPPPS' missed it again.  Let's adjust and start from here and see if I can get it right.

He Is In Control, Have a Great Day,  Brent
Parent - - By GMI Kyle (*) Date 08-25-2016 13:55 Edited 08-25-2016 13:58
Alright, fresh start, and you're right Brent, this is far from simple, though it shouldn't be.

So I have been writing prequalified procedures in D1.1 and qualifying my welders to FCAW and GMAW processes.  At this point, I understand that when giving a welder qualification test, it is necessary to provide a WPS.  When looking in Chapter 4 of the code, I see there are specific test plates that detail joints required for testing (Figures 4.21, 4.22, etc.).  First question:

1.  Does the WPS I give to my welder when he is taking his qualification test need to specifically detail the test plate joint shown in the code (for example: Figure 4.21)?

The second issue I'm having is that I've been told several different things as far as what is acceptable regarding the joint detail on a prequalified WPS.  Al and others have told me that a WPS must have a specific joint detail on it and a welder cannot deviate from that joint.  However, I have also been told that (and seen) WPS's written that say "Groove: See Figure (3.3) (3.4)" in the joint detail as a way of saying all prequalified joints are acceptable with these parameters on the WPS.  And that makes sense to me: if I'm running .045'' flux on prequalified CJP joints all in the same position, my welding parameters have not changed (as far as speed, feed, volts, amps).  Why is it necessary to have 5 documents with 5 different joints if they are all welded with the same parameters?

I've also been told that if a welder is qualified to a process and a position, he is qualified to weld every other prequalified joint in that position and can weld in production with or without a WPS that specifically details the joint he is welding.

Just so I don't muddle things further:

2.  Can a prequalified WPS detail multiple joints?  Or is it necessary to have a separate WPS for every joint?

3.  Can I give a welder a qualification test using a prequalified joint other than those shown in Chapter 4, Figures 4.21, 4.22, etc or is it necessary that the test be performed on one of the test plates detailed in Chapter 4 specifically?

If i can get this straight, I'll be in much better shape moving forward.

Thank you all for your patience.
Parent - By Steelslinger (**) Date 08-25-2016 15:26
At the shop I work for, we run a separate WPS for each Joint and each position (Although Combining 1G & 2G on one) that we utilize. We did 3 PQRs for our settings (1G, 3G, 4G), then we use the Prequalified joint details for each of the appropriate WPSs. One set for D1.1 GMAW and One set for D1.5 (FC compliant). We have 24 WPSs for D1.1 GMAW and 19 WPSs for D1.5-FC FCAW. Plus variants for various DOTs that want something specific.

As for weld testing (Welder Performance Qualification), I have them do a 3G & 4G V-Groove w/ Backer on 3/8" (limited thickness test) with GMAW, then they do a 3G & 4G V-Groove w/ Backer on 3/8" with FCAW. Using Figure 4.20 and they follow our WPS for V-groove w/ backer Joint for settings.

Hope that helps.

-Shop CWI/QC
Parent - By welderbrent (*****) Date 08-25-2016 21:33
Okay, first, I was speaking of myself responding when I read Al's posts and then have to start myself fresh and see if I can adjust my normal to a more fitting procedure.  But, that's okay, we can't go wrong trying to make sure we have our communications clear with each other.

1) Yes, as long as I understand you correctly.  That does not mean it cannot also be used in production but I personally would number it differently and keep it as only for use for welder qualification.  Do all of your production WPS's with different numbers that will be clear to you what they are used for.  Even if the two may have one joint, the ones from the mentioned figures, that is common, still keep them separate so there is no confusion between production and qualification. 

Your second issue: Because they are a formula, a recipe, for the welder to perform the required work as prescribed.  If you make it too broad you will get a pancake instead of a brownie, and a flat one that tastes like a salad instead of either a pancake or a brownie.  There are some that can go together but it can be confusing to welders trying to make sure the joint they are looking at is correctly fit up when they have tolerances that vary from joint to joint.  The root openings vary especially in tolerances from one to another.  If the welder has to go through and pick and choose he may, even if somewhat understanding in the reading of WPS's, the wrong one.  Then, the TPI comes along and starts yelling at everyone and threatening a NCR.  Keeping it simple may involve a little more work for you at the beginning but the end result is easy to follow directions for each joint. 

Remember, yes, there are things that especially D1.1 will allow for the grouping of material grades, weld position, and joint configurations but ultimately that will totally confuse the welders and you will actually notice they don't really use the WPS because it is too complicated.  Just weld it and hope for the best, let the inspectors sort it out. 

Yes, the one test from D1.1 Clause 4 qualifies for all, even the not Prequalified joints in D1.1.  They don't have to retest because the work needed a PQR unless the customer on that job requires it.  Once you have your approved PQR they can weld it per the WPS made from the test record which has boundaries before you must retest another PQR.  And, if you did want to test them to it you can, but don't need to.  And, they only have to weld a vertical and overhead though the person getting the PQR qualified had to do three in order to have an all position PQR for your work.  Don't forget, the one who did the PQR successfully is truly, totally qualified to run those welds, he passed the test. 

2) In many ways, the more the better even if not totally necessary.  Be careful about lumping too many together unless they are truly very similar.  The same with positions.  It is really better to give more specific guidelines so the vertical weld is truly successful as it cannot always be done to exactly the same parameters as the flat or overhead, etc.

3)  Test to the Clause 4 for original qualification, then, if desired to prove competency on a particular joint, do your own test.  It can even be something rather off the wall if it is something your company must do and isn't part of the prequalified joints shown in D1.1. 

Hope this helps, along with all Al has said.  He is the master.  You won't find much better than him to fill in the gaps and interpret the details. 

He Is In Control, Have a Great Day,  Brent
- By 803056 (*****) Date 08-25-2016 20:09
You can write a WPS so that it provides useful information to the welder so he or she knows exactly what is required or you can write one that is all encompassing and tells the welder everything except what he needs to know.

If the WPS states it can be used for all prequalified joints, are you going to provide each welder with a copy of AWS D1.1 so he has the information needed with regards to groove angles, root openings, tolerances etc.? If you plan of providing each welder with a $500 book and you are going to teach them how to use it, go for it.

If the WPS states it can be used for all group 1 through 4 base metals, are you going to provide each welder with a copy of AWS D1.1 so he has the information needed with regards to the different ASTM and API base metals covered? You'll be hard pressed to find a plate, beam, or bar with "AWS Group 1" stamped on it.  If you plan of providing each welder with a $500 book and you are going to teach them how to use it, go for it.

I've seen plenty of WPSs collecting dust because the welder's cannot find any useful information listed. The AWS SWPSs fall into that category.

Best regards - Al
- By Dreizehn (*) Date 08-25-2016 21:35
If the concern here is the joint design, I don't see the difficulty in scanning an image of the joint in question(tolerances and all) out of the book and on the WPS under Joint Details just putting

See D1.1 Figure 3.4
(for example)

Just make the scanned image of the joint design page 2 in the PDF.

(actually there may be some copyright issues with scanning, so just have your detailer draw it up with all the info needed)
- - By Michael Kim Date 09-25-2016 18:56
Hi there,
I am the quality manager and dealing with several difficult NCRs these days.

Our site is composed with big main factory building and several few small buildings.
The main building steel erection was complete with using Skidmore Wilhelm Test for T/C Bolts however none of the testing for the small buildings were done.
The bolts for factory buildings were fabricated from the states meanwhile the bolts for out-line buildings were from south korea.
Currently we have a NCR regarding this issue and I am trying to figuring out how to close.

Does anyone know how to close an NCR issued by not conducting an bolt inspection in prior to steel erection?
Parent - By Duke (***) Date 09-26-2016 06:52
perhaps you could start a new topic
Parent - By Joey (***) Date 10-04-2016 03:54
How to close an NCR? Well, you must talk to the person who created the NCR and ask for advise.
What bolt inspection is needed prior to steel erection? Is it to check the grade, bolt size?
After erection, the bolt inspection is normally for bolt tightening or torque testing.
Parent - By welderbrent (*****) Date 10-04-2016 13:00
As long as the bolts were within all the same size, length, and lot numbers and the same crew did the erection all buildings on the one site would be covered by the one Skidmore test.  Just noticed you next statement, yes, separate testing of bolt samples would have been required per RCSC because the bolts would have been of different lots being from different countries. 

So, the question, did the specs call out ALL buildings or were only the main buildings on the Plans?  Sometimes smaller buildings are not included in permits and plans because there is no real structural consideration.

Little is actually required in the RCSC or IBC beyond that other than differences in Observe or Perform as to how inspection is to be completed. 

Clause 10 in RCSC deals with arbitration of challenged connections.   It is important to note that the inspector does not have to 'check' the tightness especially with a torque wrench of any kind on completed connections.  This is an age old myth that went out before most of the people here were even born.  See both the RCSC and SSTC documents on bolting to verify. 

He Is In Control, Have a Great Day,  Brent
Up Topic Welding Industry / Inspection & Qualification / Simple Question about Welder Qualification

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