Frequently Asked Questions

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What is weld mapping?

Weld mapping is the process of assigning information to a weld joint to enable easy identification of its design (WPS), production (welders, their qualifications, date welded), quality (visual inspection, NDT) and traceability (heat numbers of materials joined & welding consumables).

Weld mapping should also incorporate a pictorial identification to represent the weld number on the fabrication drawing, in case the designer does not nominate a weld number. Weld mapping is also another term for weld tracking or welding traceability with the added function of an identification of the location of a weld in a drawing.

Apart from offering the process of weld mapping with data, WeldTrace has a unique annotation tool to create pictorial weld maps. You can annotate the weld number and other details on a fabrication drawing to mark the location of the weld with an easy to use tool. 

Read how to weld map with WeldTrace
What is welder continuity?
Codes such as AWS D1.1 & ASME IX require welders to weld at least one weld every 6 months in a process they are qualified to in order to maintain their welder qualifications for that process. If a welder has not welded with a process during a period of 6 months or more, the codes say that his qualifications for that process shall expire. This is referred to within the codes and in the industry as maintaining “welder continuity.”

So, this begs the question as to how a company can demonstrate this welder continuity at a given point in time. Most companies keep some form of record, popularly known as a “Welder’s Log.” A welder’s log has to have an entry made periodically of the process a welder has made a weld to and the date as a minimum and the rest of the record is up to the requirements specified by their own quality system, client specification or certification requirement (ASME shop certification or ISO 3834).

This record keeping process can be quite time consuming, depending on how often a welder’s log needs to be updated and how many welders a company employs. It could be even more difficult to demonstrate that a welder was indeed within the period of continuity when a weld was completed in the past, if such a question arises (e.g. during a client audit or factory certification).

In WeldTrace, we have made the process easier. Each welder’s log is updated automatically on a continuous basis from records made within a project. Apart from providing full traceability for all weld data, a detailed log can be generated for each welder at any time. Each welder’s log will have a list of all welds ever done by a welder, listed by project, WPS, process and type.

Read more about the welder continuity process in WeldTrace
Can I automatically generate an NDE request?
Yes. You would be able to select the types of tests for particular welds and create the test request. The test requests can be printed and emailed to the testing agency. Once the results are received and updated in WeldTrace, the status of the test packs will be automatically updated to show completion of tests.
With WeldTrace you can also generate an NDE request for welds selected based on an algorithm in order to randomize the selection of welds.
How can I manage welding QA QC?
The first step is to create a robust system to manage the documents that get used repeatedly in every job. These would be your WPSs, PQRs, WPQs, welder continuity records, calibration records and the like. Your system should make sure that only the authorized and current documents are available for use and superseded documents are marked and are not available for use.

The second step is to create a system where the expiry dates of welders’ continuity records and equipment calibration records are continuously or at least periodically updated. The system should also show alerts and warnings for welder qualifications that might expire for lack of continuity. Welds that are performed by a welder who had not welded to a particular process for over six months could mean costly cut and repairs or scrapping them altogether. 

The third step is to setup and manage a system that takes care of customer supplied documents like drawings, records for materials that are purchased like the mill test certificates, filler metal batch certificates, and records that are created during the course of execution of a job, like the inspection reports, NDE reports, records of repairs, PWHT records and so on. The more you weld or the more stringent the project specifications are, the more of these records you may need to manage. 

The fourth step is to make sure that these documents are available and are easy to find when needed. There is no benefit when they are all filed away neatly and are inaccessible. 

If your projects use subcontractors, you may need to make sure that they manage all of these or if they do not, your system will have to manage them too.

All that are listed above are essential elements of a welding quality assurance system. For welding quality control, yet more need to be done. 

The first step in welding quality control management is to create a system where welds are identified, mapped and planned. This may require the system to incorporate the drawings management system. 

The second step is to make sure that for each weld joint, a qualified WPS and one or more welders that are qualified to that WPS and are in continuity are allocated.

The third step is to ensure that the stagewise visual inspection takes place and is recorded. These could be fit-up check, inspection during welding for distortion and post-weld inspection for defects. 

The fourth step is to perform non-destructive testing as per the code or client specifications and the records are stored against each weld or drawing. 

The fifth step is to make sure that the welds that fail NDE or visual inspection are identified appropriately and repairs are carried out and tests are repeated. Records need to be managed for the repairs. 

Identification and full traceability of each weld, NDE percentage compliance, producing as-built drawings may be some of the other tasks a company may need to perform as part of welding QA QC management. 

If you have read all of the above, you will be surprised to learn that WeldTrace provides an integrated system to manage every one of those steps. 

WeldTrace is an end-to-end welding management software that takes care of all your welding QA QC needs.
Why do I need WeldTrace?
WeldTrace is an end to end welding management software. 
If you need to write code compliant welding procedures (WPS), procedure qualification records (PQR) and qualify or certify welders and prepare the welder performance qualification records (WPQ or WQTR), then WeldTrace is for you. 
If you need to manage welding documents created elsewhere, you can add them to your WeldTrace account and use them at no extra cost.
You can add the welders in your company, their WPQ/WQTRs and let WeldTrace manage the welder continuity records.
WeldTrace is also a powerful welding project management software. 
Why do I need a welding management software??
As welding is a special process, it requires continuous control and that specified procedures and instructions are followed. Increasingly, fabricators are being encouraged to embrace the AISC certification, ASME accreditation or ISO 3834 Quality Management system standard as a means of establishing confidence in their fabrication & welding operations.
Record keeping in demonstrating QA/QC compliance for welding requires a contractor to provide complete traceability. The record keeping system has to be user friendly, reliable, accurate and should be able to produce reports on demand. WeldTrace ticks all these boxes. The main drivers of the need for such a software are governments and companies that are investing huge amounts of money in critical infrastructure like oil & gas installations, chemical plants, bridges, stadiums, etc. Naturally, they want their contractors to be able to demonstrate compliance to specifications and submit records that would stand scrutiny of auditing.
There are at least 4 features none of our competitors’ products have:
1. Pictorial weld mapping – the ability to upload drawings, open them up and annotate on them, transfer annotation bubbles when revising a drawing, render annotated drawings one at a time or all drawings for an equipment, add dimensions, create notes for as-built drawings;
2. Usability in all devices – you can WeldTrace in a PC/Mac, android tablet/iPad or with a mobile phone;
3. Generating turnover pack, project data book or MDR – a compilation of records can be created for selected sections in the order specified in a neat PDF file with bookmarks;
4. Multi-account, role based, hierarchical platform with access control and historical change tracking process, which is found only in high end financial platforms;
WeldTrace also has many other features that are not found in our competitor’s products. 

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