Weld Tracking: Why ? How ?

Welding process includes the works that need to be documented and include a lot of information such as planning, base metal, filler metal, welding methods, welding procedure qualification procedure (PQR), specifications (WPS), non-destructive testing (NDT), welder certificates control, beside welding work itself.  This causes the following questions to occur in mind: “Why?”, “How?”

 

NEWS: “Explosion in the pipeline!”,

“The oil spill spread to the sea! Fish washed ashore!”

As a result of investigations of cases that are subject of such news; root causes: nonconformities in welding manufacturing, unproven welding fabrication quality, unmonitored welding variable parameters are very common.  Manufacturers’ not test welds appropriately and tracking welds in minimum detail with cheap methods to save money, cause such new headlines. Such cases cause companies millions of dollars in losses, as well as causing great losses from public lawsuits to loss of prestige and losing new projects that they can win in the future.

 

 

WHY should companies track their welding fabrications? 

Although monitoring welding procedure specification (WPS), procedure qualification records (PQR) seems to be a simple and not very critical job in a small scale project, it becomes a job that requires more documentation in medium and large scale projects.  Keeping a systematic and accurate record of all these welding information and documents is critical to meeting the project contract and quality requirements. It can cost you thousands of USD savings or thousands of USD losses in the medium to long term.

Keeping records of welding productions and being able to access this information in the future, provides different advantages to companies.  For example:

In your new project, there are productions of the same quality as in the previous projects.   You have prepared PQR and WPS for this type of welding before.  Your welder has a certificate for the competency for this production.  But you did not saved this information.  Than, you need to use materials again to do same PQR work for your new project, devote your welder’s time to this work and spend the same time again.  In addition, if you cannot reach the information of the welder who will do the production, you should have the trainings again which you already have hundreds of EURO’s previously and document the competency parameters.  All these repetitive jobs will cost your company thousands of USD’s. Regular and well-recorded welding information helps you detect deviations during welding with non-destructive tests (NDT). Weld Tracking allows you to provide assurance to your customers that your work is quality and flawless with documented evidence.

“Which company does not want to reduce welding repair costs up to %38?

 

Which methods are used for Weld Tracking (HOW?)?

We see that 3 methods are generally used;

1. Records filled in by hand on hardcopy forms;

Although it is the oldest method, it is still used in some groups.  This method can turn into a nightmare when you want to access a PQR you are looking for among hundreds of printed forms and information such as filling materials.  It also brings with it many problems such as human error, storage of physical forms.  Checking the validity date of welder certificates poses separate challenges.

 

2. Files filled in office programs such as MS Excel and electronically stored on computers, company servers or hard disks;

This has some advantages of being able to save documents electronically such as WPS, PQR, W-PQR.  You can store these documents on a local computer or company servers.  However, the searches you can make with the master MS Excel files where the PQR and WPS data of the project are saved, are limited.  Experienced difficulties in processes such as accessing to existing procedures in the corporate memory or tracking expiry dates makes welding management in Excel files not an easy method.  In order to stay on the safe side, companies even re-create perhaps previously prepared procedures for each welding job and retest welders’ competence.  However, considering the total cost of these repeated studies, this method is not a cheap method at all.

On the other hand, considering the number of welding productions made in 1 day in an Oil & Gas project, pipe manufacturing, pipeline or power plant project, it is sometimes impossible to open +100 MB excel files that contain this information.  In addition, since it is difficult to follow the up to date versions of international standards such as ASME, EN-ISO, AWS, API with Excel files, critical information such as production in accordance with the standards and the right material selection is completely dependent on the knowledge of the welding engineer and it is open to human mistake.  No matter how competent your engineers are, they are human beings after all.  While struggling with thousands of information, they can make a “Failed” decision on a quality fabrication and a “Pass” decision on a poor quality fabrication which is the worst dangerous situation.

With this method, a separate human resource is required even to collect and compile the necessary welding information from individual files.

 

3. Using software solutions designed for Welding Management;

Let’s think about a power plant project with more than +100.000 welding.  Dozens of different sub-contractors & companies fabricates welds in the same project.

As a project owner or contractor, how can be you sure that the fabrications in your projects at the different locations of the world is in well quality?  How will you be able to track manufacturing information in a standard format?

 

“Saving time up to %65 for welding documentation”

 

End-to-end welding management, from preparing PQR – WPS to creating welding work orders, non-destructive examination to checking welder’s qualification (WPQ) is very easy nowadays with software developed specifically for welding management.

With these software;

  • Expiry dates of the welders certificates and welders performance can be followed with a few clicks (WPQ)
  • Welding procedures previously prepared for your other projects are easily be accessible, thus avoiding retesting for your PQR information that is already available, substantial cost saving
  • It is ensured that no WPS is written outside the limits specified in the PQR
  • It is possible to track your NDT data digitally and see the status of repaired or unrepaired welds
  • you can reach welding data of your projects in scattered locations and different countries from a single platform with a standard method and remotely manage your welding operations with your mobile devices
  • In order to do production in accordance with international standard codes such as ASME, EN-ISO, AWS, API human errors are minimized, the problem of “data loss caused by the engineer quitting the job” is eliminated and your corporate memory is created.
  • Provides automatic execution of paperwork as PQR & WPS form generation by using corporate templates, bulk generation of certificates for welders, inspectors
  • Allows different departments to work from a common environment and accelerates information flow, can work integrated with other ERP systems
  • Project owners, contractor managers, quality engineers and inspectors can follow up the fabrications completed or in-progress with real time reports and make decisions in a short time by accessing to the accurate information quicker
  • With the increase of the quality and efficiency in welding processes, financial power and reputation of your company increases, helps you to complete successful reference projects.
  • You can manage all your welding process in a transparent and traceable

Welding data control is now more safe and easy withEGWM Global Welding Management System”.

Please contact with ENKA Systems to try …