Welding-codes

and other Quality requirements

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Meeting Welding-codes is needed for Quality implementation.

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When built into the product, Welding-codes Quality is not an expense
it is a powerful asset contributing to the economic success of any enterprise.

How would you assess the Quality of your welded Production?


Scrapping defective parts is NOT Implementing Quality!

Of the three essential parameters for measuring the success of an industrial operation

  • Price,
  • On-time-Delivery and
  • Quality
the last one is possibly the most important.

Therefore much attention must be dedicated to Quality Assurance.


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Visit also the NEW Page on Process-selection, for Understanding the Selection procedure and
the NEW Page on Process-optimization for improved productivity.



What is in here for me?

An Introduction to Quality and a presentation of the most important Documents spelling out Quality Requirements, to find your way in understanding how to comply.

Welding Codes are documents establishing legal obligations spelled out through laws and rules to be complied with whenever engaging in the manufacture of certain constructions regulated by the appointed Authority.

In other words Welding codes are laws covering minimum mandatory requirements essential to guarantee public safety and reliability of large structures.

Some of the regulated items, object of law enforcement by means of Welding Codes, are grouped in two types:

  1. for pressure containment: Unfired Pressure Vessels, Power Boilers, Pipelines, etc.
  2. for structures: Bridges, High Rise Structures, Ships, Lifts and lifting equipment etc.
Welding-codes describe the types of construction they are concerned with.

Welding Specifications cover requirements for voluntary adoption and no enforcement is meant unless they are agreed upon between procuring agency and contractor as spelled out in a Purchase Order. One could say that Welding-codes are essentially enforced Specifications.

Welding Standards cover industry agreed upon conventions like definitions of terms and of symbols as used in the industry for conveying information.

Welding Recommended Practices reflect the recommendations of some of the most knowledgeable professionals in the field with the purpose of helping people improve the practical implementation of different techniques and procedures to obtain best results.

One should always inquire which Authority is in charge of making sure that the welded structure is safe for the public in the particular place, and which are the latest binding Welding Codes applicable to the construction considered.

The contractor should understand Welding codes as they represent legal obligations between the manufacturer and the purchaser (or owner).


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Good Quality Starts with Good Design

It is accepted knowledge that Welding codes Quality starts with design.
Design, as a major factor establishing Quality, is an essential subject addressed by Welding-codes, either directly or by reference to another document.

A perceptive Management should be alert to Design influence on Quality, and should make sure to implement the best possible Design.

Material selection is part of the design process, but should be addressed by involving materials experts, as it is quite impossible for designers, even exceptionally good ones, to be able to cover adequately all aspects of Materials Engineering and Welding.

On this subject see an article of mine by clicking on
"Design for Welding - Letter to an Engineer".

For more information click on Welding Design.

The different steps to ensure Quality

A broad definition of quality Welding codes should be understood.

Building quality in the product consists in breaking down the process to the most elementary factors, and in providing the best consistent implementation to every single step.

Qualification is the whole of the process to be performed, as required by Welding Codes, in order to obtain approval from the appointed Authority as to safety and serviceability of the welded structures manufactured.

Welding-codes typically require that qualification include demonstrating successful testing of test pieces representing welding procedures, and also compliance with requirements designed to assess the proficiency of the welders involved.

This is done by establishing theoretical and practical Instruction Courses, by having candidate welders sustain appropriate examinations conducted by knowledgeable instructors leading to official Certification of successful welders.

The documents demonstrating the adherence to all the conditions required and the correct results of all specified tests are called Certifications.

Employers are requested to keep track of the Certifications of their welders and of their actual continuing good workmanship in an official document called welder Performance Qualification Record.

The qualification expires if a Welder does not perform welding activity for a certain time (typically six months).

Read on!...

Your economic success will improve if you refresh the meaning of some of these concepts related to Welding-codes Quality. You can

  • save time avoiding sub standard manufacturing,
  • point out what hurts you and where,
  • avoid scrap, repair and rework,
  • use Quality as a powerful sale promoter.

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Quality Assurance and what it means to you.

The evolution of the concepts of Quality Assurance as referred to in the practice of Welding codes, reflects trends that originated from the most exacting requirements concerning high risk applications for nuclear, submarine and aerospace fields and that later spread to the whole industry.

The practice of assuring the Welding codes Quality of any manufacturing, service or commercial activity took the form of voluntary or imposed adherence to the international specifications spelled out in the official documents known as ISO 9000 (and other numbers of this series).

For direct exposure to these documents explore the site at http://www.iso.ch/

To sum up the philosophy of the whole concept of Welding Codes, one could say that full control is to be obtained by strict adherence to all the elements that build confidence in successful operations, as briefly outlined in the following.

A Company or Enterprise wishing to be approved is requested to set up a Quality Manual, a programmatic engagement of top management establishing lines of authority and responsibilities.

These are specifically involving also the various levels of intermediate management. The major elements specified by quality management systems are often the same process control provisions addressed in Welding-codes and standards.

Consultants are available whose job is to prepare, for a fee, any shop or firm to abide to the above specifications by preparing all required documentation, assisting the customer and following through the process of Certification conducted by an independent recognized Agency.

The quality level of the job and the reference to Welding-codes is assigned by the engineering function. It should be just what is needed to assure correct performance in service: not more, not less.

For the contractor, Quality means sticking to requirements, consistently.

An Article on Quality Assurance in Welding was included in the January 2005, Issue # 017 of Practical Welding Letter. To read the article click on PWL#017.

An Article on Quality: Best Practice in a Fabrication Environment was published (2) in Issue 88 of Practical Welding Letter for December 2010.
Click on PWL#088 to see it.

An Article on Complying with Welding Codes was published (3)
in Issue 94 of Practical Welding Letter for June 2011.
Click on PWL#094 to see it.
In the Mid June Bulletin 62 appended to the same PWL issue above, find links to rich online Resources on Welding Codes and Standards.

Comments on Complying with Welding Codes were published (11), in Issue 95 of Practical Welding Letter for July 2011.
Click on PWL#095 to see them.

An Article on Helpful Information on Welding Stainless Steels Standards was published (7), In Issue 130 of Practical Welding Letter for June 2014.
Click on PWL#130 to see it.

An Article on Changes to ASME Section IX was published (3) in Issue 144 of Practical Welding Letter for August 2015.
Click on PWL#144 to see it.

An Article on Nuclear grade amendment was published (11) in Issue 145 of Practical Welding Letter for September 2015.
Click on PWL#145.

An Article on Traceability in Automated Cutting was published (2) in Issue 146 of Practical Welding Letter for October 2015.
Click on PWL#146.

An introduction to our new page on Welding-certification was published (8) in Issue 148 of Practical Welding Letter for December 2015.
Click on PWL#148.

An introduction to our new pages on Weld-quality and Resources was published (8) in Issue 149 of Practical Welding Letter for January 2016.
Click on PWL#149.

An Article on Changes in D1.1:2015, Structural Welding Code — Steel was published (2) in Issue 150 of Practical Welding Letter for February 2016.
Click on PWL#150.

An Article on AWS D1.5, Bridge Welding Code new edition was published (2) in Issue 152 of Practical Welding Letter for April 2016.
Click on PWL#152.

An Article on New ASME BPVC Section IX was published (7) in Issue 169 of Practical Welding Letter for September 2017.
Click on PWL#169.

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A thorough treatment of the subject of Welding Quality was addressed in Chapter 13 in the ninth edition of the AWS Welding Handbook, Vol.1. See
AWS Welding Handbook
9th Edition Vol. 1
Welding Science and Technology
Document Number: AWS WHB-1.9
American Welding Society

The subject is also treated in the section on Joint Evaluation and Quality Control beginning at page 1073 of the most helpful
ASM Handbook : Welding, Brazing & Soldering
Olson, David L.
9th Ed. Vol. 6
ASM International, 01-Jan-1993
1299 pages

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Welding Codes are not a hindrance: they provide a way to improve performance. Quality is not only a must, it is a Winner. See here for more...