“At Tech Inspections we love standards and accreditations”
Tracy – Part of the Tech Inspections Office Team
The welding industry is full of terms and abbreviations, below are a few of the terms we frequently get asked about.
Weld Quality Management Systems (WQMS)
- WQMS details how welding is controlled by management, from Invitation to Tender stage through production planning to final dispatch of a welded product.
- The level of complexity required for the WQMS depends on the size of the company, materials welded, product range and industry sector.
- For smaller companies with a limited product range it is often sufficient for them to comply with ISO3834 without the need to gain certification to ISO9001 and the WQMS can be a ‘stand alone’ document that focuses on control of welding and related operations.
- For companies that already have ISO9001 certification but who require additional focus on control of welding the WQMS can either be incorporated into the existing ISO9001 QA manual, or it can be written as an Annex to this, although in this case care must be taken to ensure that duplication or even contradiction between the ISO9001 manual and the ISO3834 Annex is avoided
Factory Production Control (FPC)
This is a documented system to ensure that products placed on the market conform to the declared performance characteristics. It should consist of procedures, inspections and tests, to control all aspects of manufacture, from checking incoming goods to signing off the finished product. This is a relatively simple document, which could be incorporated into an existing EN ISO 9001 system if required (although the FPC is not required to be in accordance with EN ISO 9001).
For EN 1090 the FPC should consist of the following sections (where required):
Part 1 (Required) – Section of the FPC system controlling manufacturing and if relevant, design operations. Should include for example; incoming goods – specifications and inspection requirements, manufacturing methods and machinery, control of measuring devices and the specification of the manufactured product (see component specification below). Part 1 Requires Notified Body Certification.
Part 2 (Only required if welding is undertaken) – This section of the FPC relates to controlling the welding operations used in manufacture of the products. It can be certified by a Notified Body in conjunction with Part 1 or it can be certified by Authorised National Body for Company Certification (third party) (e.g. The Welding Institute) and reviewed by the Notified Body.
Part 3 (Only required if welding is undertaken) – This section of the FPC covers the competences of the Responsible Welding Coordinator (RWC) in terms of technical knowledge and experience. The RWC need not be an employee – they can be a subcontractor.
Coded Welding (or Code Welding)
The term “Coded Welding”, ”Code Welding” or “Welding Codes” means that the person who says they are a “coded welder” has taken an exam in a welding process using a certain method. (Welder Approval Test). For example think of the situation of learning to become an aeroplane pilot. Once you have qualified as a pilot you then have to take type approval tests to be able to fly different types of aeroplane.
The same applies to welding codes. If you wanted to work for a company who installed stainless steel tubing in factories then you would probably train for a coding using TIG welding for stainless steel tube in an all postions 6G configuration. You need to consider 1.Process. 2.Material. 3.Thickness. 4.Type of joint.5.Position (Difficulty). Usually 1G is the easiest and 6G the hardest.
Welding Procedure / Specification (WPS)
A Welding Procedure Specification (WPS) is the formal written document describing welding procedures, which provides direction to the welder or welding operators for making sound and quality production welds as per the code requirements. A WPS is developed for each material alloy and for each welding type used. A specified course of action to be followed in making a weld assisting with the writing and development of your welding procedures, Tech Inspections offer expert advice on up to date codes and standards. All testings will be at UKAS accredited laboratories.
ISO 17020, entitled “General Criteria for the Operation of Various Types of Bodies Performing Inspection”, is an internationally recognised standard for the competence of inspection bodies. ISO 17020 should not be confused with ISO 9001, which is specific to quality management systems.
We are proud to use Tech Inspections Ltd & welding services, for their professionalism and expertize in the training of our engineers to the standard of coded welding, and obtaining the necessary certificates.
Tech Inspections have always shown professionalism and vast experience in the role as our Responsible Welding Co-ordinator. They have assisted with audits and given us appropriate guidance where required, whilst offering practical hands-on training and advice whenever needed.
We have worked withTech inspections for a few years now. Dominic is always extremely helpful ans responsive, particularly so with our CE approval process not to mention welder training and all the accompanying paperwork. We would highly recommend Tech Inspections to other fabrication companies looking for assistance in these areas