When creating welding procedures according to the ASME Section IX or AWS D1.1 codes, do you have a quick way to cross-check that the procedures are following the applicable codes? Part of this compliance involves ensuring the code is met with the required PQR and WPS documents. Because of the procedure’s complexity, completing them can take significant time and attention to guarantee specific code requirements are met.
ASME AND AWS WPS DOCUMENT ISSUES
Codes are constantly changing, making it time-consuming to research and keep track of changes. Some CWI’s or QC Managers at manufacturing facilities create their WPS welding documents from scratch, an endeavor that can be complicated, as well as time-consuming.
Another shortcut people have used, is to take an existing WPS document, copy the information, and change what is needed. However, with this method, missing a change that could result in a welding failure is a huge risk. Basically, when a Welding Inspector fills out multiple documents with different versions of the same information, it can be difficult to keep track of the required information, which, again, poses a huge risk.
Many engineers have kept their WPS welding documents in a Microsoft Word, Excel, or even printed paper format for the entirety of their careers. Twenty years ago, this may have worked well, but multiple problems exist within this practice today.
The Downfall of This Process
First, on-premise storage of your welding documents (in Word, Excel, or other applications) are only searchable within someone’s own computer or network storage location. If someone else needs access to the documents, they will need access to the computer, network files, or paper documents wherever you have them stored.
Furthermore, if a computer or server is damaged or stolen, the digital storage of the documents is also lost. If all your documents are printed out and stored in binders, searching for a document from 5 years ago can be very time-consuming.
Constructing your own system to keep the documents organized and current would take a significant amount of time that could be spent on other aspects of fabrication. And devising your own system, again, opens the process up to human error and headaches for others following or replacing you.
Welding documents created in Word or Excel also depend on human reliability, meaning the process itself won’t catch a mistake or provide you with guidance. If you fabricate to multiple codes or procedures, the sheer volume of codes and code changes that Welding Inspectors must keep track of can also be time-consuming.
Because there is no room for a Welding Inspector to make any welding document errors, using a dependable and trustworthy tool is incredibly important. It’s best practice to use industry-standard software applications with cloud-based storage for consistent document creation and searchable off-site document storage.
THE FUTURE OF WPS Document COMPLIANCE
To bypass the many issues brought about by creating or duplicating welding documents, fabricators can use software applications that can suggest filler, base material, and gas options that are allowed per code.
A Safety Net In The Welding Procedure Document Process
To assist these companies in maintaining compliance, a software application, ProWrite, has been developed by CEI. ProWrite can provide code-assistance when creating PQR, WPS, and WPQ documents for ASME Section IX (which includes some additional assistance for Section I, III, VIII, B31.1, and B31.3 when combined with Section IX) and AWS D1.1.
Code-assistance is defaulted “on” in ProWrite and will be notated in the resulting document. You can also create non-code assisted documents (for documents not using ASME Section IX and AWS D1.1) in ProWrite by turning code-assistance off.
When the Welding Inspector or Production Manager can visually see that the document was created utilizing code-assistance, they have an additional level of confidence in the result. Once the base material, welding process, and welding position has been filled out, the application will narrow down the filler metals and gas selections based on what fits the process according to code.
For example, instead of choosing from the built-in database of thousands of filler metal options, ProWrite will only provide the filler metals that follow the type of process chosen and matching the code that goes with it. If a project requires an overhead weld, the code-assistance will only suggest filler metals suitable for overhead welding. This enables the engineer to make decisions faster and with more precision.
Keep Your Information Consistent Across All Forms
CEI’s application includes document templates, monitors codes for changes, and provides guidance to engineering staff when welding procedures are being created. The ProWrite application will also transfer like information between documents, meaning when you create a WPS, ProWrite can create it directly from an already created PQR document in less than 30 seconds. Likewise, you can create a WPQ for a welder directly from a PQR or WPS document just as quick.
Furthermore, CEI has and continues to work closely with ASME and AWS to remain in compliance with the latest codes and code changes. By using the code-assistance functionality, the customer can rely on the application to filter restricted choices for your procedures based on the applicable code. ProWrite doesn’t let you save a document if there is missing or incorrect essential variables and will tell you where to find the error. This enables Welding Inspectors to process with confidence when inspecting documents that have been created with code-assistance.
ProWrite with code-assistance applied reduces the time required and provides an extra level of standardization when creating your welding procedure documents, however, any code-assisted documents are not a replacement for not knowing the codes or owning the code-books. CEI does not assume any liability for the documents or production of a weld. The ProWrite application provides a way to make the creation and storage of your documents quicker, more organized, and standardized.