As a welding manager or director of quality assurance, you have a huge feat before you: managing welder qualification continuity records for your hundreds or even thousands of welders.
We will discuss common pain points in large enterprise-level organizations and highlight how welding software can help you operate efficiently.
As you probably already know, a welder’s qualification continuity log must have an entry made periodically that specifies the process the welder has made a weld to and the date the weld was made. With so many welders working for your company, maintaining each welder’s continuity log can quickly become overwhelming.
Welder Performance Qualification Records (WPQR’s) expire periodically, which often occurs without proper continuity documentation. Depending on which welding codes you utilize, ASME, AWS, API, NAVSEA, MILSPEC, and others, employer-based qualifications usually follow industry-based certifications and can expire between 3 months and up to 3 years, even though the industry norm is 6 months.
It’s important to document a welders continuity to the processes they are qualified for prior to the expiration date of that process. Once the Continuity Record is updated the welder’s qualification for that process is extended to another 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, or 3 years. If expired, the welder should not be available to perform welding on projects that require qualification and if allowed, there could be costly ramifications.
Below, we will address four main issues commonly faced by large enterprises that must maintain welder performance qualification records and their continuity:
- Tracking hundreds or even thousands of welder’s qualification continuity with timely and actionable notification
- Expired welders are not available at critical times
- The expense of recertification
- Company-wide access to welding documentation
Tracking Hundreds or Thousands of Welder’s Qualification Continuity with Timely and Actionable Notifications
Large companies may be tracking hundreds of welders at any given time, depending on projects. Companies usually have multiple jobs going on at once, with separate end dates, meaning there may be a mix of “on staff” and “externally sourced” welders. Once a welder leaves a project, their continuity tracking may not be a priority.
Without a welder continuity management system that provides timely and actionable notification in place, the welder can easily lose continuity and procedure qualifications. If that same welder is needed urgently to complete an upcoming project, your company will have to ensure qualifications are current. When multiple welders are going through this process, your requirement for ensuring proper welder qualification can become overwhelming.
Expired Welders Are Not Available at Critical Times
While some projects can afford the extra time to ensure a welder is qualified, other projects are more critical, requiring rapid response to tight completion dates. In these cases, welders who are not qualified or are unaware that they can't participate can cause major delays in your projects.
The Expense of Recertification
Requalifying hundreds to thousands of welders each year quickly becomes an extremely expensive venture. If a welder doesn’t have an up-to-date Welder Performance Qualification Record (WPQR) for a specific process you need them to perform, you will lose the welder for that job.
The welder could have WPQs for ten other welding processes, but if they are missing the one you need, the other qualifications cease to matter. Not only will you have to pay to requalify the welder, but your project timeline will suffer, costing you even more money. With multiple projects going on simultaneously, each with a multitude of welding processes, maintaining each welder’s WPQs for each process can be a complicated process.
This is where welding documentation management software can help. It can ensure you have the right welders on the right job at the right time, saving you significant time and money.
Company-Wide Availability of Other Welding Documentation
Some companies may try to keep track of their welders in an Access database or even Excel. This can result in significant administrator time to ensure there are no welder qualification continuity issues.
Companies may also keep other welding documentation, such as Procedure Qualification Records (PQR) and Welding Procedure Specifications (WPS), in Microsoft Word. This method can result in information silos and non-integrated databases while employees may have limited access to documents or welder qualification continuity logs. In order to keep projects moving in a timely manner, your company would benefit from a shareable or online database that’s available to multiple employees in multiple locations.
How Welding Documentation Software Can Help
CEI, in conjunction with the industry for over 30 years, has developed an industry-leading welding documentation management software called ProWrite that can maintain welder qualification continuity logs for hundreds and even thousands of welders, saving companies money and improving their productivity.
ProWrite is a highly collaborative welding documentation management software that can replace spreadsheets, provide quick access to alert welding managers of upcoming expirations, as well as support code compliance. It provides for a 6 month expiration default but let’s you customize the expiration time-frame by each process.
ProWrite allows you to bulk update hundreds of welders qualifications with one continuity record, saving you time from making an individual entry for each welder. It also allows you to group, tag, and label your welders to provide searching and reporting capabilities of your welders and jobs. You can add a profile picture of the Welder directly on their WPQR documents and even add a PDF attachment of their test results.
ProWrite can interact with outside ERP and HR systems to allow automation of updating welders continuity records directly from their timesheets and even automate expiration notification to their managers prior to expiration. Furthermore, enterprise-level ProWrite can save a company money and time, by ensuring all welder qualification continuity logs are up-to-date and visible.