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The Quality Management of Welding and Fabrication

The risks associated with the welding process are often poorly understood in the industry. It is far easier to ensure than the correct processes and documentation are followed during the fabrication process than it is to retrospectively assure fabrication after it has been delivered to site.

I have worked on many projects where poor or non-existent management of the welding and fabrication processes have caused significant problems which have led to cost and programme over runs. These include fabrication delivered to site without the required inspection documentation, fabrication where the required assurance processes have not been followed and fabrication delivered with non-compliance welding or painting.

An example of this was the installation of a steel crane platform structure over a deep access shaft where the structure was to be used to facilitate the excavation of the shaft. It became apparent that the welding and inspection documentation required to demonstrate that the fabricated steelwork was compliant was not available. This lack of assurance prevented the use of the platform structure to support the required crane until an extensive amount of additional on-site fabrication/welding inspection had been undertaken. This delayed subsequent excavation works.

Throughout my career, both from an engineering and quality perspective, I have frequently been involved in the management of on and off site fabrication and have developed a real interest and understanding of the welding assurance process. I have been fortunate to work alongside many professional fabrication inspection bodies such as Sandberg and Stanger from whom I have expanded my subject technical knowledge.

“Jon has been instrumental in raising awareness of structural steelwork requirements, specifically welding and non-destructive testing, to an industry that often has a poor understanding of the specific requirements and pitfalls. There is little doubt that Jon’s involvement will have improved safety, quality and reduced costs for the many projects with which he has been involved.”

 Julian French
Partner, Sandberg LLP

To promote better understanding of the welding assurance process, I have authored and published a peer reviewed article on this subject. This article will not make you a competent welding expert but will highlight commonly experienced issues with the management of the welding assurance process and is available here.