With WeldTrace, you can get your welding management system compliant to the requirements of the standards like ISO 3834-2 and EN 1090-2 and easily achieve certification to these standards.
Certification to these standards will allow a manufacturer to demonstrate their capability to produce products of the specified quality, be it prescribed be the clients or required by regulatory standards.
In this blog, I will try to outline the major elements of these standards and how you may achieve compliance to them using WeldTrace and how to demonstrate compliance when you are going for certification audits.
Review of Requirements
The standards require that contractual requirements are reviewed by the manufacturer and that all the information necessary to carry out the manufacturing operations is complete and available prior to the commencement of the work.
In WeldTrace you can create projects and keep all the documents related to that project in one place. There are separate repositories for documents, drawings, MTCs, inspection & NDE reports within each project. Records such as WPS, PQR, WPQ/WQTR that would be used across all projects have common repositories. All these repositories have document control features built-in. Revision control and archiving features would prevent obsolete or superseded documents from being used inadvertently.
You may create contract review records, inspection and test plans (ITP), project schedule and the like and upload them to the documents folder. As each repository is access controlled, you need not worry about certain roles getting access to some of these documents that may be commercially sensitive.
The standards require that necessary information be supplied to the sub-contractors and that the sub-contractors work under the order and responsibility of the manufacturer.
WeldTrace is not only a cloud-based software, it is actually a cloud-based platform where your company can set up separate projects for each of your sub-contractors and have full control over each project, or invite users from sub-contracting companies to work in your projects.
You can also import sub-contractors' welding documents and add their welders and their qualifications to your account. You can establish complete control of the portion of work executed by the sub-contractors. As WeldTrace maintains history of all changes, the software is a great tool to demonstrate compliance records during audits.
Welding & Inspection Personnel
The standards require that the welders are qualified by an appropriate test and competent welding coordination personnel have responsibility for quality activities and that their tasks and responsibilities are clearly defined.
WeldTrace has an easy to use welder qualification module that will guide you through each step of the qualification or certification process in accordance with the code rules. You will be able to see range qualified values as you change the welding data.
You may also import welder qualification data that you would have already created and with an easy to use wizard, you can create hundreds of records in a matter of minutes and manage all the welders and their certificates in one place.
Welder continuity is maintained automatically by WeldTrace. Notifications are sent when welder certifications are about to expire. Read more about it in our knowledge base article here.
Records of boilermakers or fitters can also be maintained in WeldTrace.
WeldTrace has defined roles to manage projects. Apart from project administrators who have overall control over a project, people can be assigned the role of a Welding Supervisor or Welding Coordinator and Welding Inspector.
WeldTrace is workflow based with its built-in gated processes with checks. The users allocated to these roles will be able to access only the relevant functions, such as planning, allocation of WPS and welders to to weld joints, visual inspection, creation of NDE requests and so on.
The standards require that the manufacturer shall maintain a list of essential equipment, their qualification records are maintained when specified and appropriate test records are documented.
WeldTrace offers you the ability to create a list of all your welding equipment. If there are automated welding machines, you can also add their qualification details as well.
This feature allows you to enter the calibration details of instruments or other equipment and maintain their calibration details too. In the equipment list you will be able to see the number of calibrations that are current, calibrations that would expire within one month and the number of calibrations that have expired. You will also receive email notifications when the calibrations are about to expire.
Welding & Related Activities
The standards require that the manufacturer carries out adequate production planning, identifies processes and steps required in production, identifies by batches, components or parts, prepares welding procedures, qualify the procedures prior to production, control of procedures and work instructions.
WeldTrace is a comprehensive welding production management software that has a built-in workflow for welding activities. The workflow makes it easy to manage the entire process from planning of welds through to completion, testing and handover. Read more about managing welds in a series of articles in our knowledge base.
You can create tags (a tag can be described as an object e.g. a pipe spool, pressure vessel, a process skid or a structure) to organize welds by one or more drawings and thereby welds contained within those drawings. You may also create work packages and record dimensions for preparing as-built drawings. Click here to read more about this feature.
Drawings are fundamental for creating any welded product. So, WeldTrace has been designed in such a way that it is super easy to manage your drawings and to create weld maps. This subject is quite extensive to cover in a blog, so you may read how you can manage drawings in WeldTrace in a series of articles in our knowledge base site.
WeldTrace offers automated workflows for creation of pWPS, PQR, WPS and WPQ/WQTR that fully support code rules and validate them as you enter the welding data. You may also bring your own welding documents created elsewhere to WeldTrace. You can read more about it in our knowledge base site.
Only the qualified welding procedures can be employed in projects and welders who are not qualified to a particular WPS or those whose continuity had expired cannot be allocated to a job.
You may watch the videos explaining how you can control your production welding workflow in WeldTrace in our YouTube channel.
Materials & Consumables
The standards require that the manufacturer establish procedures for control of parent materials and welding consumables, including their identification and storage.
Obviously being a software WeldTrace cannot help you in the physical controls like identification, storage and handling of materials and consumables. However, WeldTrace will make it easy to establish and maintain the processes that will help you achieve the desired outcomes.
There are two types of repositories in WeldTrace for managing materials and consumables. There is a common area for the materials and consumables that may be used across projects, where you can add and maintain the heat numbers, mill test certificates and dimensions of the materials that would be available for use in all the projects. There are also separate such repositories in each project.
You can read more about these in our knowledge base site - common repositories and project specific repositories.
WeldTrace also has an extensive base metals list with over 5000 standard materials from ASME, AWS, ASTM, ISO and other standards. You can pick the material type when adding and managing your materials.
The WeldTrace Library also has over 3000 filler metals. You can use them when creating consumables or when writing welding procedures or creating welder qualifications.
Post-weld Heat Treatment
The standards require that the manufacturer is responsible for the specification and the performance of any post-weld heat treatment and that a record of the heat treatment is made during the process. The standard also requires that the PWHT record demonstrate the specification was followed and is traceable to the product.
WeldTrace has a post-weld heat treatment module for specifying and managing the PWHT of welds. You will be able to create and manage requests for PWHT of welds, enter results, upload test reports, retest and monitor the progress. Read more about this feature in our knowledge base article here.
You can also enter the PWHT specifications when creating welding procedures in WeldTrace and when you add welding procedures created elsewhere in WeldTrace.
Inspection & Testing
The standards require that the manufacturer implements an inspection and testing system at appropriate points in the manufacturing process to assure conformity with contract requirements. ISO 3834 specifies the details of the checks that are to be performed before welding, during welding and after welding and that the inspection and test status is maintained throughout the manufacturing process.
With WeldTrace you can easily satisfy these requirements and create a robust inspection and testing regimen.
Stage-wise visual inspection checklists as per the list prescribed in ISO 3834 has been integrated in WeldTrace. Visual inspection may be performed by welding inspectors and the checklists completed using tablets or smartphones in the field. They may even take photographs of welds and they can be included in the project data book or turnover pack. Read more about this feature in our knowledge base article here.
You can also create requests for non-destructive testing of welds, enter results, upload reports, retest, apply penalty, select tracer and monitor the progress of the testing. You can demonstrate compliance to progressive sampling too. Read more about this feature in our knowledge base article here.
You can manage pressure tests of assemblies too. Read more about this feature in our knowledge base article here.
The standards require that the manufacturer implements systems to control non-conforming items and repairs and when repair is carried out, the items are re-inspected, tested and examined in accordance with the original requirements.
You can configure projects in WeldTrace to automatically create repair welds when a weld is marked as failed in visual inspection and non-destructive testing or NDE.
WeldTrace also allows you to pick the defects from an extensive list for each test type when a weld is marked as failed. Read more about it here.
You can also pick the defect classification when performing visual inspection and mark a weld as failed. Read more about it here.
You will be able to analyze the defects and their causes through an array of project reports and analytics.
The standards require that the manufacturer is responsible for the appropriate calibration or validation of measuring, inspection and testing equipment and that the equipment used to assess the quality of the construction are suitably controlled and shall be calibrated or validated at specified intervals.
WeldTrace offers you the ability to create a list of all measuring, inspection and testing equipment.
You will be able to enter the calibration details. In the equipment list you will be able to see the number of calibrations that are current, calibrations that would expire within one month and the number of calibrations that have expired. You will also receive email notifications when the calibrations are about to expire.
The standards require that identification and traceability are maintained throughout the manufacturing process, if required.
WeldTrace is full of features when it comes to handing this requirement of identification and traceability of welds, materials and their heat numbers, locations of welds, NDT status, location of repairs, batch numbers of filler metals, and so on. If you can think of a specific requirement in a client specification or contract, you can be rest assured that WeldTrace can handle it.
WeldTrace offers a weld mapping tool to mark-up welds on drawings and view drawings to navigate to the welds from the weld map.
WeldTrace has a built-in work flow for managing a weld's lifecycle from planning to allocating WPS and welders, stage-wise inspection, completion, different types of NDE, retests, automatic creation of repair welds, penalties, tracers and maintaining not only the traceability of all component parts at all times, but the history of all the changes made each and every time. It is very useful to demonstrate compliance during an audit.
Project calendar, Gantt chart, dashboard, alerts, progress bars and status counts will make managing fabrication projects that much easier.
There is an extensive list of articles about this in our help center. You may also like to watch this video in our YouTube channel.
The standards require that the manufacturer maintain quality records like welding procedures, inspection records, certificates of personnel, dimensional reports, records of repairs and numerous other records and that records are maintained for a period of five years or longer.
WeldTrace makes it easy to upload and store records of any kind and they are maintained indefinitely. Records are maintained in secure cloud servers and they can be accessed only by authorized users.
There are separate areas to upload and store test reports, documents, drawings, WPS, welder certificates and yet when you need to create a report with a select set of records for a single weld or for an equipment or for a whole project, you can easily get it done with just a few clicks. We call it the Data Book. The report will be a single PDF file with only the relevant records stitched in with bookmarks, table of contents in the order you choose. It will save you many hours of hard work and you will love it. All our clients do!
If you have certification to ISO 9001, WeldTrace will make compliance very easy. If you do not, it will be easy to obtain certification and prove compliance to EN 1090, BS EN ISO 3834 and ISO 9001.
ISO 3834-2 - Quality requirements for fusion welding of metallic materials;
EN 1090-2 - Execution of steel structures and aluminium structures - Part 2: Technical requirements for steel structures and easily achieve certification to these standards;