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Up Topic Welding Industry / Inspection & Qualification / Shop welding vs. field welding
- - By thcqci (***) Date 08-19-2003 12:55
10 to 15 years ago I was an NDE technician and CWI performing 3rd party field inspections (structural, ASME, API, etc.). As our business focus changed, I gradually left field work and only performed welder and procedure qualification tests for several years. In the last couple of years, I changed jobs and am now the lead QC inspector for a structural steel fabricator. I have had a few opportunities to take site visits to structures we are providing steel for (that is usually not a good thing!).

Is it my imagination or do I just have a bad memory? I do not remember field welding looking nearly as bad as it does compared to our shop welding! I do not remember signing off on the cruddy looking welds like I see on some of our projects with field welding. I have been looking at E7018 and FCAW-S welds. UGLY!!! I have seen porosity, poor profile, undercut, lack of slag removal, etc. Yes, there was some difference between shop and field welds due to many out of position weld in the field that are not performed in our shop. But welds still have to meet code requirements. It matters not whether they were deposited in the shop or in the field. As I talk to outside inspectors who frequent our shop, they tell me if they did not accept some of the welding in the field, no buildings would ever be bought off.

Is there a new code book that I have not read? AWS CFWA1.1 - Structural Welding Code - Steel - Cruddy Field Welding Allowed or maybe just a chapter about field welding in my code book that I missed or that AWS forgot to include in my code book?

Do any of you other shop-bound inspectors ever get to go on-site and see the field welding? Is there that big a difference in your situations? How about outside inspectors; do you see the big difference I do? It can't be just a problem with the erector(s) we use because the outside inspectors say they see it across the board. Feedback please!
Parent - - By CHGuilford (****) Date 08-19-2003 14:55
You've got a tiger by the tail on this one! I've been in the business for 23 years now. Most of my time is spent in a fab shop, although I have been in the field quite a bit. In my opinion, field welding quality has not changed much, it wasn't great before. Shop welding has changed quite a bit in some cases, for the worse in general! I think "fast tracking" on projects is the real culprit ("You don't understand! We don't have time to do it right!")

Before I go too far here, I want to clarify that not all people do poor work. There are quite a few talented people out there. It's just that the work ethic is downgrading and expectations are lowering for a significant number of people. But the good welders know who they are and this is not directed toward them.

I just deleted quite a few lines I had written here. On re-reading them, I realized the some people would agree with me and others would be offended. I think what I wrote would have sounded like "whining" from a QC point of view, so it's best left unsaid. I will say that most people want to do a good job if they are able to. I'll leave it at that.

Chet Guilford
Parent - - By ssbn727 (*****) Date 08-19-2003 18:53
Hello CH! thcqci!

I think it is important to talk about this, and not hold anything back when it comes to observations regarding this topic because, we need to set the example about quality welding, both in the shop and in the field!!!

The only people that will be offended are the people that really are'nt craftspeople!!! You know, people that just come in for a paycheck and NOTHING ELSE!!!

CH? I've always respected what you've had to say in this forum and, it would be a shame to see that you're holding back on some of your observations, and the wisdom you share with the rest of us on a regular basis... Please tell it like you see it!!! Constructive criticism is important to read about, especially from somone with your background, and experience!!!

Thcqci? Keep it coming!!! Btw, You know better!!! Everything you mentioned is going on out there!!! Tell it like it is!!!


SSBN727 Run Silent... Run Deep!!!

Parent - By Shane Feder (****) Date 08-19-2003 23:11
Hi Guys,
Here in Australia we are experiencing the opposite in the quality of shop versus field welding.
Off the top of my head we have about A$ 20 billion worth of projects
(Oil and Gas, Petrochemical, Power generation and Mining) currently underway and a severe shortage of tradesman.All the good tradesman are heading off to get the big dollars on site and creating a vacuum in the workshops.This vacuum is then filled by grabbing blokes "off the street" and sticking a gun / handpiece in their hands and saying " go for it".
An employer will spend four years training an apprentice and as soon as he has finished his apprenticeship and got his trade papers it is " see-ya later, I'm off to earn some big money" and the employer will have to start from scratch again.
The mining project I am currently on is a large structural project valued at A$80 million.In the six months I have been here the repair rate for off-site welding is sitting around the 30% mark ( mainly lack of or insufficient backgouging) and with the exception of a few visual "touch-ups" the repair rate on-site is currently zero.The defects were only picked up once the modules arrived on-site and tested.
As for why the contractors QA/QC did not pick up the defective welding prior to shipment, don't ask, my hands are tied.(10% random NDT was somehow negotiated out of the contract prior to my starting)
Parent - - By BCSORT (*) Date 08-19-2003 23:52
I worked as a field structural steel inspector and during that time I also ran into my fare share of "extremely poor welds." As I came across these welds and the responsible welders/contractors I came to the conclusion that I was far more critical than most if not all of the inspectors these guys (welders/contractors) were use to dealing with. This struck me as being quite odd considering there is a distinct line between acceptable and unacceptable. I can understand a little variance between different inspectors but the differences I'm talking about is between an inspector doing a thourough inspection and an inspector not showing up, at all.

IMO at least in my area of the country, welders (the ones I came across) are not all that knowledgable in acceptance criteria and when defects are brought to their attention they cant understand why this inspector is rejecting a weld because of a little porosity and on their last job the inspector accepted everything without even looking at it.

I remember the shop welds being of better quality also.

To answer your question, I would definatley have to agree that there is a huge difference between shop quality and field least in my part of the country.
Parent - - By thcqci (***) Date 08-20-2003 14:27
To add to my earlier thoughts, I have come into a Design/Build company that owns it's own steel fabrication shop. I understand that is pretty rare. We fast track the fast track schedule, to the point that that is normal and then they need rush service on top of that! The shop operated for over 20 years with no QC Department before I came on board about a 1½ years ago. Dimensional checks and "Is it welded out? Ship it!" by the foreman was pretty much the normal. Quality of welds was not terrible, just not good and certainly not code quality. No real understanding what procedures were and we only had 2 welders with acceptable FCAW welder certs. Still, clearly the welds looked better than what I saw when first sent to a jobsite. The erector sure wouldn't like me! And he did get his panties in a wad when I sent word back through the chain that those field welds were not code quality. We are still not where I would like to be in our shop, but we are head and shoulders above where we were. Heading towards an AISC Certification in the near future (I, and my boss, hopes!).

In the old days, I set the weld quality level at the very beginning of the project and welders learned what I would accept. From what I am hearing now, that level of expectations must be set pretty low, locally anyway. I would expect more out of CWIs. We are held to a higher standard. CWIs are hired to inspect erected buildings, etc. so that the welds are code quality. I am quite sure out in seismic zones the field welding is held to a higher quality. And I am sure there are buildings elsewhere that are being erected with quality field welding. As I said previously, I see nothing in my code book that allows a lower quality of weld just because it deposited in the field. If cruddy welds are to be accepted, let people who are not CWIs accept them, but when job specifications call for AWS D1.1 quality, CWIs should not! I sure hope what I am hearing is the exception and not the rule! If not, shame on us!!!
Parent - - By jwright650 (*****) Date 08-20-2003 16:18
I would like to add my two cents,
I'm a QC in a structural steel fab shop and upon my first visit to the job site (many years ago) I was very disappointed in the quality of welds and cutting. It looked like an alligator bit the copes out where it was cut in the field. I am all over my guys in the shop to lay pretty welds and cut with precision and make those radius in the copes as smooth as possible. The field on the otherhand had different ideas as to what nice looking work was. I went to the jobsite to see some frames that I had detailed (before I was in QC) and our shop had built by my drawings. The erector was telling our project manager that I couldn't detail a lick and nothing fit, so therefore I was dragged to the site to face these people. I grabbed my drawings and headed off up onto the building where these very complicated window/brick lintles and frames went. When I got to the first one I saw the mess I was in for. The erector had the wrong piecemarks hung in the wrong windows and he had took a torch and tried to make them fit. He had cut a foot off of one and welded(no, that's too nice a word for that weld) it back onto another frame that he says was too short. In short, he screwed up. For those of you that are not familiar with erection marks, All piece marks are to be located on the left hand end of each piece that leaves the shop and erected according to the erection plan, which by the way, I drew also. These welds were supposed to be full pen if they were to be spliced and the erector only butted them together, with no prep and slapped some bubble gum on them. Upon being inspected by the Inspector on site, he rejected each and every weld. That was back in my first few years with our company, now 19 years later I find myself in the shop and in charge of the QC duties. my guys still have the desire to produce quality work and I find the field work hasn't changed that much either, still needs a lot of improving.
So, my question is. What are we going to do about it? Do we keep holding shop work to high quality while the field gets held to another standard? I'm talking to the field welders that do poor work, not to the ones who do good work, so if the shoe fits.......
John Wright
Parent - By TimGary (****) Date 08-20-2003 19:29
It's the same kind of stuff here, for the most part.
The company I work for does metal buildings plus a lot of weird millwright type jobs.
A few of our field welders to good work and some don't.
One way I've tried to alleviate the problem is on our AISC code compliant buildings, I've worked with the design department to eliminate 99% of all field welding. Instead we use all bolted connections. The only thing to be welded in the field is a small plate clip here and there which only require a simple fillet.
On other jobs, I've kept field welding under control by first working with Engineering to force them to keep field weld joints that are difficult to get to out of the design, inspect every weld and make the welder who makes rejects fix his own mistakes, train the welders how to make code compliant welds, and weed out the welders who can't handle the job. Also you need to make sure that the field welders have the proper tools/equipment that they need to do the job right in the first place.
As far as Project Managers and Superintendents that are only concerned about meeting schedule deadlines, it takes time and a big stick to make them realize that if they don't have the time to do it right the first time, they sure don't have the time to do a lot of re-work.
Parent - By CHGuilford (****) Date 08-20-2003 17:09
OK SSBN here goes....

I remember one job where I was asked to go inspect field bolting and welding. I arrived on site, and no one was there. No job trailer, no trucks, no ladders, no people, nothing but a 2 story 60' by 80' structural steel frame sitting in the middle of a grassy field. All I could do was to walk around the ground and look up with binoculars; anchor bolts were buried with gravel. My report reflected just that. It seems the owner had neglected to arrange for inspection and I was sent in to correct the oversight. When it was pointed out that a proper inspection wasn't possible, the reply came back " That's OK as long as someone looked at it and we have a report."

I'd gone to another site where I identified poor welding. "OK, we'll get it." Come back the next day and the block wall covered everything. The owner says "Well, we can't get to it now."

On a bridge rehab job, field bolted splice plates idn't line up properly. Some 3/4 bolts were stuffed in because the 7/8 bolts wouldn't fit. I pointed out AASHTO's requirements to the Field Engineer who had the contractor ream the holes to 1" as is allowed. The Field Engineer took me aside the next day and reamed me good for "causing problems". I was removed from the job (thankfully).

I had to go to a job site to answer for quality problems from our shop. While standing there taking my "kicking", it was obvious that the field welds had everything you can imagine wrong with them. Our problems were minor in comparison. But you often can't say a word because you just get treated worse. (I tried that without making excuses for our work. It got worse.)
At least we weren't blamed for the poor field welds as has happened before.

Another job. I was taking a chewing for no radius in the beam copes. Field Engineer (different one) and his inspector were there. It was obvious that galvanizing had puddled in there and made the cope look like less radius that was really there. Engineer's comment- "My man here has many years of experience and if he says there's supposed to be a 1" radius here then that's the way it is! Fix it!"
(This was a D1.1 job with no minimum cope radius specified. We had provided a 1/2" radius.)

Last fall I spent many hours in the field on night shift, inspecting field welds that our engineer had told at least a dozen people that the welds were not supposed to be there, just that the revisions hadn't been made. "But this has to be on site so hurry up and get it there." Guess what? the customer did want the welds there and we had to put them in, using mirrors, on painted steel, on a barge, at night, in 85' manlifts.

I've caught some very knowledgeable, talented shop welders "slugging" 2 inch thick CJP welds. The "talking to" they got? "Heh, heh. Caught you this time! You know better! Now get back to work"

There are many more "horror" stories to tell. Generally, the welder is the last person I blame for poor welding, unless I know otherwise. All too often, he knows the difference but is forced to "fudge" things or else lose his job.
And i don't automatically blame the inspectors. Having been there, I know that all too often, one inspector is expected to cover an entire project (in his spare time) for one day a week. Kinda hard to be thorough that way.

So overall, I don't see field weld quality as worse than years ago. There was good and bad then, same as now. It depends on the job and how fast it has to be built. Shop quality is degrading though. Fast track is viewed as "don't have time to do it right" and now that is "standard procedure". Most shops have minimal QC personnel and they can't see everything. They have to depend on supervisors making sure the crew knows what to do and to check the work also. Too many people feel fast work means cutting corners is OK and there is no real reward for producing good quality (You never hear about the good jobs, only the bad). But there often is a reward of some kind (at least an "atta boy" but sometimes money) for "getting it out the door."
I've rambled enough and now I'm cutting into my other work.
(I warned you, SSBN!)
Chet Guilford

Parent - By ssbn727 (*****) Date 08-20-2003 20:05
Hi CH!
Yeah, you did, but I'm sure we at least appreciated reading about some of those experiences you had!!! I know that I did!!!

I can relate to some of your stories, because of my past experiences when I worked in the New York area... Believe it or not but, over in the City of New York, your "best friends" more than sometimes are the city's own building inspectors!!! Especially when you want to reinforce your point regarding QC issues to some of the GC's over there!!!

I can remember more than once, I was backed up by them when it came to QC issues that came up on-site! When they back you up, the GC's know that they've got to listen to what they, meaning the building inspectors want, and if they choose otherwise, then the building inspectors can give them "The Riot Act" so to speak on how they''ll have such a hard time keeping their work permits or obtaining their certificates of occupancy, etc. Oh yeah, this may result in some "bad feelings" in the relationship with the GC you're working with but, for myself it usually resulted in creating an understanding that in the end, was benificial for both of us...

Now I'm not saying this will always happen but, it does help if possible, to have another person, independant of your relationship with the GC, also available to back you up when one decides it's time to "ruffle up some feathers" so to speak!!!

Unfortunately, not all locations allow you or enable you to use this "extra voice" so, I can definitely sympathize with the frustrations one can experience!!!

CH! It's always good to read your replies and posts, either way so, you can be rest assured that at least this guy wo'nt label you a "Whiner", That's for SURE!!!


SSBN727 Run Silent... Run Deep!!!
Parent - - By Omega Date 08-23-2003 14:02
Im new to this forum and wanted to say hello to everyone. In regards to the current topic I feel the need to add my two cents as well.
Im astounded by the conditions that the typical CWI has to deal with in regards to conducting a proper inspection in the field. Time after time before even entering the construction area the proper documentation doesnt generally exist. Required plan drawings are there, however Welder Qualifications and WPS's arent.
Requesting them Im usually laughed at getting the response from the contractor "They cant speak english and you expect them to be qualified ?" or " I've been in this busness 20 years and I've never had anyone require that stuff !" "yes I have the procedures ( pointing out the design drawing showing the length, size and location of the welds ) "
I used to get irritated with this situation, but, there are contractors that actually do care. Given the right attitude they will listen after they've called an engineer trying to get the failed inspection bought off.
Engineers are lost when the contractor asks them what a welding procedure specification is.
How many times I've been called to a jobsite requiring inspection and the construction is nearly completed ? Countless! The welding looks less than appealing at the start of the inspection ( if its accessable ) and you'd rather have had recently been struck blind. Initially the General Contracting Foreman "wants to know more" so you agree to let him follow you around during the inspection. Meanwhile through out he's pointing out that this isnt really a load bearing member.

Whats the solution? Digital Cameras, and a failing report.
I hope eventually the CWI's that sign off on a building without actually looking at the construction ends. If we were all "hard asses" eventually it would make all of our jobs much less of a headache.

just my opinion

Parent - By Niekie3 (***) Date 08-24-2003 08:17
Hi There Omega

Welcome to the forum!

I must agree with you. As an engineer that used to work for a fabricator, I know that the bottom line is that the fabricator will do the least to "get past the inspector". As such, the quality of the fabricators are a function of the requirements of the inspectors. When they expect more, the fabricators will give more. (Grudgingly at first!)

Niekie Jooste
Fabristruct Solutions
Parent - - By BillC (**) Date 08-24-2003 16:04
This has been an interesting, but not surprising thread. Does a CWI have any liability for accepting rejectable welds? Who has the ultimate liability?

Parent - - By Michael Sherman (***) Date 08-25-2003 19:40
There are some fabricators that will gladly take the time to do the job right the first time. I agree with alot of the things I have read in this thread. However, it must be mentioned that some fabricators still take pride in making quality welds, at any location, the first time. I try to instill this pride in all of my employees and I am proud to say that no inspector would say any of these things about us. I am certain we are not the only company like this, but I know we are not in the majority.

Mike Sherman
Shermans Welding
Parent - - By ssbn727 (*****) Date 08-25-2003 21:35
Hello Mike!

Do you work alot in the Erie area?
What section are you vice-chair of?
I'm over here in the Pittsburgh area, and was just curious if you ever came down to any of the section meetings down here?

It's good to hear about an owner taking pride in their work, and DEMANDING that the work be performed right the first time!!!
It would be nice if everybody would demand the same from their welders and other workers... Sooner or later those CWI's that obviously look the other way, will get "weeded" out of their positions but, in the mean time we'll either have to put up with it or come up with some collective ideas and strategies to counter this growing reality!!! In fact let's post some ideas on how to combat this problem through effective debate!!!
Drop me an e-mail if you do'nt feel like answering those questions in the forum...
Parent - By BCSORT (*) Date 08-26-2003 04:05
I live and work in a part of the county with a seismic rating of 3. Some inspectors and myself have joked (poor humor I know) that if and when the big one hits, we will then see more interest by the general public, who have no idea there is a problem.

I think the problems runs deeper than a few ugly welds being overlooked.

I worked on a project a few months back and noticed masons pouring a 20' grout lift without cleanouts, grout consolidation or the required special inspection. Later on that afternoon I was in the project trailer waiting on a RFI fax when an acceptance report was faxed in outlining all of the masonry walls poured that same day. I had a good relationship with one of the contractors hands and he told me that all they needed to do to get the acceptance report was to call the inspector, tell him which areas were poured and he would send them over his report. I forgot to mention this was a Jr. High School.

I had the idea of calling Dateline or some other investigational program but I kind of forgot about it after I was layed-off.

Parent - By Michael Sherman (***) Date 08-26-2003 12:19
Hi ssbn727, I am located West of Erie. I typically operate from Cleveland to Youngstown to Erie. I have traveled from Michigan to Massachusetts on occasion though. Every now and again one of my customers will get a job out of town and rather than try to find a welder in a strange town, they will call me out. I am vice chairman of the Northwest Pa. (Erie) section. I don't come down to Pittsburgh meetings (I would like to visit one when time permits), although I do know Kerry Szabo from Lincoln and I believe he participates down there. I have never understood welders who will let poor quality go by. I also have never understood inspectors who will let poor quality go by. Your reputation is all you have, take care of it or you won't even have that. I have been called alot of things in my life, but no one will ever get to call me a lazy or poor welder. Feel free to write me direct, I believe my e-mail address is available.

Mike Sherman
Shermans Welding
Parent - - By vonash (**) Date 11-15-2003 15:43
Well I gotta say this is strange. Most of the field welders I work with have to rework the shop errors I reject. I have a reputation for finding things right, and if they don't comply with project requirements, I find them wrong. It's funny how the AISC fab shops are sooooo always right,
and their sub-contractors are soooo always wrong.
Parent - By CHGuilford (****) Date 11-17-2003 20:15
I guess I don't know where your comment is coming from. Reading back over the posts, I don't see where anyone says AISC fab shops make no errors and that subs are to blame for everything. In fact, most everyone has said it goes both ways on both sides of the fence.

Chet Guilford

Parent - By vonash (**) Date 11-22-2003 23:59
OK, first you don't have to be certified AWS CWI to inspect to AWS D1.1; So long as the Engineer of Record accepts the inspectors credentials.
Being a CWI is prestigious but we are not all perfect.
There has always been a guy who will "salt the mine", you know, not make his inspection just write a report...cos' after all that is all the client really gets from us is a piece of paper.
There is no rule of thumb for marginal in AWS. You say you don't like the way the welds look? You say they were not cleaned of slag; so how could you see porosity?
I'm not attacking your question, I was being a little facetious in my earlier statement, hoping for levity. Ultimately, I can not inspect quality into the weld; that comes from the craftsman.
Very best regards,
Parent - - By inspector362 (*) Date 11-17-2003 14:09
Until all areas of fabrication and erection can be controled to a large degree by an independent entity, you will not see engineers that won't say "just do it my way", fabricators that upper management hasn't "bottom lined" it, erectors that "put it up, cover, and forget it", and inspectors that inspect by "mental telepathy". The only problem, is even that entity can either go over-board, or can be (shall I say it?) corrupted. To tell you the truth, I'm about over it, and I'm a new inspector, and don't even have my feet wet yet! Face it, inspectors for the most part are ornements to be "shown off", as in "see what we have, yuk, yuk', ain't it purty. Ain't much good fer nuthin' 'cept tellin' whut to do". I'll not be a part of it. Sorry to go off on you folks, but I'm pissed. You can E-mail your responses to "", my home.
Parent - - By Dave (**) Date 11-17-2003 14:43
Oh no! Billy, you should never say that. "Corrupted" implies unethical and/or illegal and may offend those who find themselves in such an unfortunate situation. Perhaps "appropriately compensated for their services" would be much less offensive, if at all, and an agreeable term to all parties involved.

Of course, I am open to suggestions and do encourage others to voice theirs.
Parent - By DGXL (***) Date 11-17-2003 21:39
Design/build firms that own their own fabrication facilities are getting to be quite common these days. I have a couple of clients who fall into this category. Even though the shop is owned by engineers, do you think the work is any better [or should be] than any other type of approved fab shop?

I can honestly tell you I get the same headaches and more from these clients. Most problems include:
*lack of documentation (WPS, PQR or WPQR)
*NDT that was never performed
*Work being performed without any QC present or without any QC period

The visual quality of welds has not been problamatic (at least for me) with the exception of one project involving a D/B fabricator.
Parent - By jwright650 (*****) Date 11-17-2003 21:31
I get outside Inspectors that practically live here at our shop. We have many jobs going at the same time and there are times when a couple of outside Inspectors are here at the same time. They have free reign over the records and the steel they are here to Inspect. As long as they are Inspecting and not holding up my guys talking to them about lastnight's ball game, I don't have a problem. I see various methods of Inspection in terms of thoroughness and dilligence. Some come to hang around all day and some come to see steel and Inspect. I feel after my Inspection team has been over it and then an outside Inspection outfit has been back over it, there should be no oops's getting out the door. My hope is that the field will see a quality product to erect.
John Wright
Parent - - By cawelder (**) Date 01-15-2004 23:01
I came across this thread and just had to respond. I am a field inspector and I agree with you guys. I worked in a fab shop for seven years before I got the bright idea to become a CWI. I would have never let any of my welds go looking like most of the ones I have to look at. As an inspector, I am hard on the welders becouse I know it can be done right. But my biggest problem is, by the time I get called out to the job site, all the damage is done. Then nobody wants to spend the money to fix these problems. I end up refering most everything to the Engineer on Record and he accepts the welds. Since this is the case, then why am I even there? Welding over paint is my largest problem I have out of erectors. Most of these companys are AISC certified but they have no clue as how to put up a building to code. Sometimes I feel like I just cant get any backing from anyone. Even the client's Superintendent usually acts as if he don't care. CWIs cannot do it on their own; a little help is needed once in a while.

Blowin off steam
Parent - - By jon20013 (*****) Date 01-20-2004 14:32
Chuck; welding over paint is a very serious issue! In construction of one of Atlanta's larger sports arenas, two welders were fatally injured due to welding over "non-weldable" primer. It seems the Engineer had given authorization to purchase an alternate primer which seemed to have the same chemical composition. I happened to have been an expert witness on that matter, which was settled favorably towards the surviving family. I make these points only to emphasis to keep doing what you are doing, even if you don't seem to get the necessary support!
Parent - - By thcqci (***) Date 01-20-2004 16:43
I have recently found out that cawelder and myself work in the same city. A personal e-mail to him indicates we will probably be crossing paths often in the future. I can only say to Chuck in this public forum, do what is right. Do not compromise the integrity of you position. Don't cave to pressure from erectors or superintendants. As a newer CWI, you have responsibility to sign off only on what is acceptable by code and to turn down what is clearly not acceptable to code. If you have questions, document them and put them in your reports and feed them back through the chain of command and you have done your job. The SER is ultimately responsible for all that is reported to him. You are one of his sets of eyes. You are trained to recognized quality, whether it is good or bad. Your best "weapon" is what you put down on paper in your report. It becomes part of the permanent record for any particular project.

We QA/QC guys catch a lot of heat for wanting to do things right. Lots of pressure from many directions to cut corners. One prominent reason given is to save money. But what many don't realize is good quality ultimately saves money. Mistakes, poor quality, cut corners, etc. often catch up and cost much more than doing it right to begin with. Lives are priceless! Whenever I see a construction accident reported in the news where there was loss of life or limb, it makes me realize that there is a chance that someone performing a QA/QC job such as I do probably missed something, or overlooked something, and the cost was huge. Keeps me grounded. My job is important.
Parent - By DGXL (***) Date 01-20-2004 17:46
There are a number of forum users from the same locale. QA or QC problems that may result from the contractor not doing what they originally said they would do in contract docs. is all too common. Yes, inspectors take a lot of heat, it comes with the trade.

The SER is liable to a point. If reports are modified to reflect the contractor in a positive light (and not the facts), that is soley the inspectors responsibility. One inspector is holding his/her reports as we speak (so to speak) because he/she has not received any welding docs (WPS and WPQR's) on his/her job. My reply was: "Are you crazy!?" He/she wants to keep that OT coming in. At this point the QC inspector is to blame. This problem is quite rampant in our industry. Issuing bogus welding docs is another topic and another topic for another day.

Sounds like your someone I would like to have on my team. I rarely perform QC inspections these days and have let my COLA license as well as many others expire in the last 3-4 years. I like my market niche and intend to keep a low profile and continue to perform QA (verification) inspections and the other specialized services I provide. Some of the big dogs (local labs) now are somewhat apprehensive about my invovlement with their projects, they know someone is monitoring their work (or lack thereof).

It's not hard to be a good inspector these days, all you have to do is your job. That puts you above all the yahoo's who can pass tests and exams easily.
Parent - - By brande (***) Date 01-17-2004 07:23

Parent - - By boilermaker (**) Date 02-17-2004 13:54 my two cents...I just left a Nuclear Facility, I won't say which one, but it's in the middle of Illinois. I was a welding foreman on the condenser, and much to my suprise, the owner did not want QA/QC of non-safety related welds. The new nozzles we installed because of FAC issues, were not QC'd. I've worked nuclear facilities for 6 years and never heard of such a thing. I'm having trouble grasping the concept that they want ME to sign off that the welds are acceptable to code, or criteria. The owner basically will put my head on the chopping block if the welds fail in the future because of some unforseen problem. I have a problem when the Owner wants me to do the QC on welds when I have no "official" certification in VT. I'm supposed to make sure the welds are "ready" for QC...not I AM QC...I'd be interested to hear if any other nuclear utilites are like this
Parent - By jon20013 (*****) Date 02-17-2004 18:59
Well, yes and no. There is a thing called Peer Verification and, as long as you don't inspect your OWN work, it is recognised to some degree in the nuke and other industries. Of course the areas where this type of verification is applied are non-nuclear safety areas, non-critical and generally don't fall under a "specific" code jurisdiction. I really wouldn't worry about your head being on anyones chopping block, I'm sure you'll be okay! Incidentally, there are only few Codes that I know of that actually REQUIRE certification for VT.
Up Topic Welding Industry / Inspection & Qualification / Shop welding vs. field welding

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