The term Welding Coordinator is used to identify people who are appointed by a manufacturer to perform certain tasks. The tasks are identified in ISO standard ISO 14731 (Welding Coordination Tasks and Responsibilities).
Some standards such as BS EN 1090 and BS EN 15085 use the term Responsible Welding Coordinator (RWC). This term identifies a person who would take sole responsibility for all welding activities and appoints / nominates other individuals as appropriate to perform specific tasks on their behalf i.e. visual inspection of welds, purchasing materials etc.
The following is a list of tasks and responsibilities as identified in BS EN IS0 14731:
Review of Requirements
Part of the process for a manufacturer when they are quoting for projects would be to identify the scope of work for which they are looking to quote for. Part of this process would be to review product / application standard i.e. EN 1090, 13480, 13445 and any other supplementary requirements as specified by the client, this could include additional requirements on Non-Destructive Testing (NDT), surface preparation, regulatory requirements i.e. CPR, PED etc. As part of the review the manufacturer would consider the capability to meet the prescribed requirements. Some or all this, depending on the size of the organisation, maybe be carried out by the Responsible Welding Coordinator (RWC).
As well as identifying the initial scope of the work there is also an element in both ISO 14731 / ISO 3834 which requires a technical review to be performed, the technical review would be carried out by a competent RWC. The review would identify such things as the parent materials to be used (grades / qualities) welded joint details and properties and weld quality acceptance requirements (ISO 5817, applicable level or contract specific requirements). The RWC would also consider accessibility of welds for inspection and Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) any weld sequence requirements and also any other addition requirements that may be specified such as control of consumables, ferrite content, aging, diffusible hydrogen content and also weld finish (e.g. ISO 8501 P1,P2 or P3).
A sub-contract activity is where a manufacturer places an order with another organisation for part of the manufacturing process of components, this could include cutting, drilling, bending, thermal cutting and fabrication welding activities. The RWC may need to become involved with identifying suitable sub-contractors for certain activities, the RWC would need to be involved where sub-contracting of fabrication and welding is to take place. The RWC would need to review as a minimum WPQRs, WPSs and welder qualifications / welding operator qualifications to ensure suitability.
There may be pre-requisites for a company to satisfy this, they could include compliance with relevant clauses of ISO 3834 and mandatory requirements such as EN 1090 certification by a notified body under Construction Product Regulations (CPR). Other pre-requisites may include certification to ISO 9001.
The RWC / nominated Welding Coordinator will need to ensure the appropriate personnel are suitability qualified to perform their tasks, these include welders to be qualified / certified to the relevant standard:
BS EN ISO 9606 – 1
BS EN ISO 9606 – 2
BS EN ISO 9606 – 3
Personnel – this could include suitably qualified and certified welding inspection personnel and NDT personnel.
The RWC / Welding Coordinator will need to ensure that suitable equipment is made available to carry out the manufacturer operations, consideration shall be given to the suitability of welding and associated equipment and relevant auxiliary equipment, this includes suitability of handling equipment i.e. lifting equipment. Consideration should also be given to suitable Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE) and equipment maintenance.
Some equipment will require verification and validation for example welding plant needs to be calibrated / validated and in some cases measuring equipment would need to be calibrated / validated.
Under ISO 3834 and in some application standards there could be a requirement for the manufacturer to prepare an equipment calibration / validation / maintenance and capability schedule.
Production Planning requires the RWC / Welding Coordinator to identify applicable welding procedure specifications and in some cases the sequence in which welds are to be deposited. There may be specific contractual requirements for locations for stop / starts to be made when welding structural hollow sections (e.g. appendix E EN 1090). The coordinator would also consider environmental conditions such as minimum temperature specified prior to welding, this is usually found in application standards. The Welding Coordinator will also need to consider the allocation of competent personnel (suitably trained / qualified / certified welding inspection personnel). Within production planning activities there also may be a requirement to carry out production tests as an ongoing quality control measure.
Qualification of the Welding Procedures
The RWC will need to ensure that suitable welding procedures have been qualified before welding competencies in production. The standard for welding procedure qualification would be dependent upon the application standard being applied and / or the contract requirements
Welding Procedure Specifications
The RWC / Welding Coordinator will need to prepare suitable welding procedure specification in accordance with applicable standards and ensure they are available within the workshop and / or on site where the welding activities are taking place.
Standards such as EN 1011 series may be used for the appropriate material being welded and can be referenced to avoid such details that prevent cracking mechanisms such as hydrogen cracking, centre line cracking and lamellar tearing.
A Welding Procedure Specification (WPS) is an instruction of how to complete a welded joint, it is supported by a WPQR and will identify all the essential variables and where applicable other variables to assist in producing the desired weld quality.
Work instructions aren’t always essential; however, they may be necessary to satisfy quality management systems and / or contract requirements.
Suitability of welding consumables will need to be considered for the intended application of the product being manufactured, this may include low temperature service conditions. Also, the requirements of welding consumable specifications and inspection documents will need to be considered against the appropriate standards, for example on purchase orders the full designation of consumable and relevant standard, complete with level of inspection document shall be specified.
The storage and handling of welding consumables will also need to be considered to ensure non-degradation. Correct storage will also avoid cross contamination and the mixing of batch numbers etc.
Welding Coordinators confirm the parent material standard and specification on the purchasing specification and identify the appropriate type of material inspection document. Welding Coordinators also consider the weldability of materials being joined and the storage, handling and traceability requirements as specified in the applicable application standards.
Inspection and testing activities before welding
The following shall be considered prior to welding;
a) the validity and suitability of welders’ and welding operators’ qualification certificates;
b) the welding procedure specification(s)
c) the parent material identity
d) the identification of welding consumables
e) joint geometry (e.g. Dimensions)
f) any specific jigging and tacking requirements
g) any distortion control methods to be used. (balanced welding techniques)
h) Minimum temperature prior to welding and other environmental considerations
Inspection and testing during welding
The Welding Coordinators shall consider the following during welding;
a) welding parameters (e.g. amps, volts, travel speed and heat input (where applicable))
b) the preheating and / or interpass temperature where specified
c) Interrun cleaning and shape of runs and layers of when applicable
d) back grinding / gouging when specified
e) the welding sequence if specified
f) the handling and use of welding consumables
g) distortion control methods
h) any intermediate inspection / examination requirement
Inspection and testing after welding
The following shall be considered on completion of welding;
a) visual inspection in accordance with the specified standard
b) the percentage of non-destructive testing as specified in the application standard / contract
c) the possible use of destructive testing; as specified in the application standard / contract
d) the tolerances identified in the applicable standard / contract
e) Any results and records of post-weld operations (e.g. post-weld heat treatment, ageing).
Post-weld heat treatment
Where post weld heat treatment has been specified and performed the Welding Coordinator shall ensure all records are kept for future reference.
Non-conformance and corrective actions
Non-conformances and corrective actions shall be appropriately logged and retained in accordance with relevant QMS / FPC requirements.
Calibration and validation of measuring, inspection and testing equipment
Calibration and validation of appropriate equipment shall be carried out and records retained.
Identification and traceability
The following shall be considered;
a) documentation in relation to production plans
b) manufacturing records such as route cards / travellers etc
c) location of welded joints
d) non-destructive testing procedures followed and certification of appropriate NDT personnel
e) welding consumables (e.g. designation, trade name, manufacturer of consumables and batch numbers)
f) identification and traceability of parent materials and where applicable traceability of cast numbers
g) a record of repairs and location of repairs
h) when applicable location of temporary attachments
i) traceability for fully mechanized and automatic welded joints
j) traceability of welder and welding operators to specific welds
k) traceability of welding procedure specifications to specific welds.
Manufacturing records shall be kept in accordance with a contract and / or application standard requirement. There may also be a regulatory requirement to retain records for longer than specified in the contract and / or application standard, where this is the case the retention period shall be in accordance with the regulatory requirements
The above list of tasks is associated with the relevant clauses of the BS EN ISO 3834 series of standards, also the relevant application standard being applied.