Certification and Procedures
The two most common questions businesses or individuals ask us are:-
“Do we need to get our welders qualified?” and “Do we need our own procedures?”
The answer really to both is yes.
- All welding jobs should be welded by certified welders.
- A company should have welding procedure specifications (WPS) for each welding process in use, outlining the general welding procedure to be followed in the construction of welds written in accordance with the governing design or manufacturing standard, or both.
What does it mean to be a certified welder?
Welding certification means ‘Certification in writing that a welder has produced welds meeting prescribed standards.’ It also means that the weld was performed using a welding procedure specification (WPS). Prescribed standards usually means the weld has met visual inspection criteria as well as other tests like ultra-sonic, x-ray, or bend testing. Welding certification almost always involves complying with a welding code or standard of some kind. e.g. AS/NZS ISO 9606.1:2017
Is there one single welding certification test that will certify me to weld anything?
No, not even close. Different Welding certification tests are given for material types, thickness, positions, etc. there are many, many possibilities of different combinations.
Fortunately, there is some overlap. One welding test can cover several different positions and thicknesses if chosen properly.
Where can I go to get certified?
The Welding Academy is an accredited test facility. You weld a test plate to one of our procedures or one of your own procedures, we visually check then send the plate for radiographic testing and around a week later, if you’ve passed, your certificate arrives here for your collection.
What are Procedures?
Procedures in a welding context refer to the Procedure Qualification Record (PQR) and Welding Procedure Specification (WPS)
What is a PQR?
A Procedure Qualification Record (PQR) is a record of welding variables used to produce an acceptable test weld and the results of tests conducted on the weld to qualify a Welding Procedure Specification (WPS).
Essentially a PQR is a snapshot of what actually took place at the time of welding from which you can create the range for the WPS.
Once the PQR is completed the test piece is subjected to non-destructive and destructive testing as specified in the applicable standard, if all testing is successful a WPS is written from and supported by the PQR.
What is a WPS?
A Welding Procedure Specification (WPS) is a document that provides the required variables of the PQR welding procedure to ensure repeatability during production welding.
WPS serves as a blueprint for a written instruction or guide on how to create a welded product based on a certain standard and quality.
Like a recipe for welders, the WPS provides clear direction for your welders to follow in order to make repeatable, good quality welds. They will include any details and information that are required to make a desired weld.
Why you need a WPS?
A Welding Procedure Specification (WPS) is essential for every company that employs welders to have because it maintains quality standards across every weld. It isn’t just a nice guide to follow.
Under various New Zealand and international standards (eg.AS/NZS ISO 9606.1:2018), a WPS is required to ensure a consistent, stable weld.
You can employ welders whose skills are in line with the WPS and a WPS can also help you complete a fast inspection with quick testing times. Since your employees will follow strict safety standards, you can also reduce the risk of company liability.
The WPS should be used as a tool on the workshop floor as it includes all the correct information along with any welding variables allowed in the relevant code to achieve a weld that will meet the design requirements and is fit for its intended purpose.
Whether you have a small welding business or are a multinational manufacturing company, your ultimate goal should always be to create a high-quality product with a long lifespan.
No matter how experienced your welders are, to consistently provide welding quality of the highest standard you shouldn’t rely on them to simply guess the best way to accomplish a specific weld.
Instead, you should provide a list of directions and specifications to execute an excellent weld in any situation. To maintain consistently high standards, you should implement a Welding Procedure Specification for every type of weld you action.