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Managing Welding for Reliable Results

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Welding-management means leading the workforce.

Welders should never weld their own way.

Private ways of welding must never be allowed.

Welding must be a controlled operation.

Only as such, it can be expected to give reliable results.

Therefore discipline must be enforced.

Welding must be performed only per approved Welding Procedures Specifications (WPS).

Visit the NEW Page on Weld-design-review, for
avoiding costly oversight.
Visit the NEW Page on Welding Applications, for
selecting correctly the ways and means needed for productive performance.
Visit the NEW Page on Welding Problems,
for looking into the causes of production hindrances.

Welding-management is often sloppy, unfortunately.

The whole welding operation is then inadequately dealt with.

This is an amazing conclusion, if the most important purpose of management is to maximize the bottom line.

That is the essential expression of success of any enterprise.

Who should care for the adequate functioning of all Welding-management functions?

In principle the owners, that is whoever has an interest in the profits.

They should be interested in the health and prosperity of the enterprise, chiefly as a safeguard in times of economic unrest and of volatile markets.

Cost estimate may be requested for bidding purposes.

Welding-management Officials may have developed an empirical formula that provides an indication of a suitable price to quote,

It may be based on previous experience, by taking into account total construction weight with a few qualifiers.

But it cannot be right if devoid of causal relation to the difficulty of the job and to the resources employed.

The quest for truth may be opposed, quite often, by entrenched personal positions that are too deeply rooted to be subverted.

Welding-management may prefer, in these cases, to pay an unknown price in lack of efficiency in exchange for organizational rest.

Such an attitude could be called a breach of trust.

Many executive officers are probably considering the whole of welding operations in their company as a big black box.

They may be unable or unwilling to extract useful indications for controlling the efficiency of operations.

Other manufacturing activities like machining are tightly monitored for productivity.

Welding operations are deemed too complex to be analyzed properly.

Therefore an inadequate Welding-management will prefer to justify its inactivity with a groundless cost estimate.

The real state of affairs should be ascertained with a thorough investigation.

In preparation for that, all involved people should be motivated by Welding-management to be cooperative.

That is required for the interest of the enterprise and for their own advancement.

Unless properly advised, welders and supervisors alike may tend to hide real facts except if actively questioned, for fear of losing their status, their position or even their job.

Uncooperative attitude should not be tolerated.

Welding-management must know the baseline

It should be understood that, in order to improve, the baseline of the present situation should be known.

A thorough investigation will probably reveal that, up to that point, nobody had a correct idea of the actual costs involved in welding operations.

Those may hide unbeknown waste of scarce or precious resources.

It may be difficult to examine hypothetical options of change.

However cost calculation of a running operation should be quite easy to perform by accounting for each of the intervening factors.

This part of the cost estimate should be quite straightforward for anyone having received a minimum of training and enjoying full cooperation at all levels.

The potential savings of establishing such a function should be probably valued at many times its cost.

That is because the analysis will put forward action items generating material savings and gains.

The faulty perception that the easiest way to economy in production is to look for the cheapest consumables should be questioned.

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It must be checked with factual tests that take into account all factors, like increased production and decreased rework, achievable with improved and costlier quality consumables.

The decisions of what to buy and where from should never be left in the hands of purchasing clerks, however devoted to their job.

Other possibilities like a change in process, introduction of fixtures, positioners, robotic cells, may be examined.

To do a correct check one should be prepared to dedicate the necessary resources to this important task.

From time to time, one can consider employing the services of experienced consultants capable of providing accurate and verifiable cost estimates.

One way of obtaining welding cost estimates is to place tenders for subcontracted work.

That allows to compare the required expenses against the internal costs originating from in house operations.

Other items of activity for a distinguished Welding-management are:

  • Design review for error proof assembly
  • Welders recruitment, training, testing and maintenance
  • Keeping pace with process improvements and planning for their introduction
  • Administration of documentation functions related to Code requirements
  • Suitably prepared introduction of new materials and jobs
  • Involvement in active research and trials for assuring quality while minimizing costs.

See also the new page:
Managing Welding Operations.

On the problems dealt with in this page read also my article of May 27, 2008
Where is the welding management?

An Article on Welding Management Duties was published (2) in Issue 86 of Practical Welding Letter for October 2010.
Click on PWL#086 to see it.

An Article on 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 Business Software Benefits was published (2) in Issue 133 of Practical Welding Letter for September 2014.
Click on PWL#133 to see it.

An Article on Learning from Experience was published (2) in Issue 135 of Practical Welding Letter for November 2014.
Click on PWL#135 to see it.

An Article on Weld Quality Monitoring was published (3) in Issue 137 of Practical Welding Letter for January 2015.
Click on PWL#137 to see it.

An Article on Improving Running Welding Operations was published (3) in Issue 138 of Practical Welding Letter for February 2015.
Click on PWL#138 to see it.

An Article on Tips for Small Businesses was published (11) in Issue 149 of Practical Welding Letter for January 2016.
Click on PWL#149.

An Article on Issues that will disrupt the industry was published (11) in Issue 158 of Practical Welding Letter for October 2016.
Click on PWL#158.

An Article on AWS Roadmap on Global Engagement was published (7) in Issue 161 of Practical Welding Letter for January 2017.
Click on PWL#161.

A new page on Welding-Automation, and a new Resource Page on the same subject were recently reviewed in a note published (8) in Issue 140 of Practical Welding Letter for April 2015.
Click on PWL#140 to see them.

A page on Welding Production Planning was recently added to this website. Click on Welding Planning to see it.

A few of the factors that must be included in any realistic evaluation are listed in our page on Welding Cost Estimate.

Another reliable source of information about the Economics of Welding and Cutting is found in Chapter 12, from page 483 to 531 of the AWS Welding Handbook, 9th Edition, Volume 1.

Welding Handbook
9th Ed., Vol. 1, Welding Science and Technology
American Welding Society, 01-Jan-2001, 650 pages

See also:

Total Welding Management
American Welding Society / 01-Jan-2004 / 200 pages

Watch the following Video (no endorsement)

Control and Quality Management of welding processes


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