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Welding-validation is a relatively new concept that should be understood.

It will probably be used more and more by Customers and Certifying Agencies.

It intends to ascertain that all conceivable means were used to guarantee that products meet all requirements.

In particular for welded constructions proofs should include also hidden characteristics not readily verifiable.

Validation is the process of checking if something satisfies certain criteria.

It should be used with precise reference to the discipline to which it is applied and it means different things in different situations.

It may also be applied to different activities having nothing in common with Welding Technology.

For Computers, Pharmaceuticals, Foreign Degrees, Food Production, Human Communication, Validation may be required for other specific purposes.

Why Welding-validation?

In engineering Welding Validation confirms that the needs of an external customer or user of a product, service, or system are met.

The term Welding validation is not yet standardized.

Both the American Welding Society and ASM International provide no definition, universally accepted, for the term.

In the context of manufacturing however, Validation is generally part of Quality Management Systems.

It is required to prove the reliability of the Organization providing Goods or Services and it is considered an essential ingredient.

It is the accepted way for assuring the integrity of materials, processes and manufactured items.

The Welding-validation process is designed to demonstrate that the entire Production is always under scrutiny.

Inspection activities and indeed the whole Quality Assurance System must prove to meet continuously and repeatedly all requirements.

In particular, for satisfying in part Welding validation requirements, any manufacturing facility employing welding is requested to demonstrate that welding equipment is in good operating condition.

Both the Customer and the appointed Authority should be satisfied that production means are being subject to scheduled maintenance, controls and periodic calibration.

In the specific case of Non Destructive Testing applied to welded structures, there is considerable consensus as to what validation means.

In fact it was found, often with much anguish and loss, that Non Destructive Testing may miss important clues to questionable indications, if applied nonchalantly by unscrupulous or inadequate Organizations.

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Welding validation relates to meeting the requirements of an official Agency enforcing adherence to specific Codes or of an external Customer, as applicable, for example, to NDT equipment, methods, procedures and inspectors.

The adequacy of NDT equipment, its current full operational order and calibrations, preparation and skill of personnel, the application of suitable methods and procedures, and the correct interpretation of results are all elements in need of Welding-validation by an unbiased and reliable external agency.

These Welding-validation conditions are designed to prove that the standard requirements, guaranteed by the organization providing welding, have indeed been met within its Quality Manual provisions.

The Company and all eventual Subcontractors are requested to submit for review documented evidence demonstrating that all fixed Procedures and established written Instructions are in fact implemented, so as to be acceptable to the Customer or to the Certifying Agency.

In the open literature reference a different meaning can be found, referring to Welding-validation of a schedule, as a process whereby experienced welders were asked to determine the productivity of the baseline welding procedure.

In Research work the term Welding-validation is used for the purpose of determining if a model proposed for explaining a certain result or for simulating a certain process can be used for predictions, as in the following sentence:

"Thermal cycles measured with thermocouples embedded in specimens are employed to validate a numerical thermo-metallurgical model of an Electron Beam Welding process."

Welding-validation of parameters is used to describe the assessment of a Welding Procedure Specification (WPS), generally in an experimental situation, as opposed to a production environment.

An Article titled Validating the Resistance Welding Process
was published in the December 2009 Issue of the Welding Journal at
page 42. The method described is applicable to all resistance welding applications. See it at
http://files.aws.org/wj/2009/12/wj200912/wj1209-42.pdf

The following documents are applicable for Welding-validation.

ISO 17662:2005
Welding - Calibration, Verification and Validation of Equipment used for welding, including ancillary activities.

BS7570:2000
Code of practice for the validation of arc welding equipment.

The following article explains the requirements of the above code:
Validation of arc welding equipment - revision of BS7570
http://www.twi.co.uk/content/spgbmmay2001.html

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