Last month’s HERA News provided an overview of the concept of the “welding co-ordination team” as applied in a quality management system that meets the requirements of the AS/NZS ISO 3834 standard.
The organisation of a fabricator’s welding co-ordination team is usually shown by an organogram; a chart showing the structure of the team and the relationships between its members.
The quality system must allocate the welding and related tasks (“elements” or “items” in ISO 3834 terminology) to the team members. Establishing responsibilities greatly assists in achieving a co-ordinated and effective fabrication process by providing a practical starting point for preparatory work, and ensuring the necessary information flow between team members.
The table below is an example of how responsibilities for the task of inspection before welding can be allocated to team members.
Each task requires a procedure which covers:
- The purpose and scope of the work activity.
- What is to be done and who does it (the person responsible for a task may not always actually do it).
- When, where and how the work activity is carried out.
- The materials, equipment, and any other resources required.
|Inspection and testing before welding||Responsibility||Applicable QA procedures|
|a) the suitability and validity of welders’ qualification||RWC||Database of qualified welders|
|b) the suitability of the welding procedure
|RWC||List of qualified WPSs|
|c) Parent material||Fabrication Supervisor||Materials traceability procedure|
|d) Welding consumables;||Welding Supervisor||Preproduction checklist|
|e) Joint preparation check (e.g. shape and dimensions);||Fabrication Supervisor||WPS|
|f) Fit-up, jigging and tacking;||Fabrication Supervisor||Work instruction|
|g) Special welding requirements (e.g. prevention of distortion);|
Not all the 3834 elements will be applicable to every fabrication situation; each fabricator has some degree of freedom to judge what is relevant to their operation.
There are some tasks that competent people can be relied on to do without the need to consult detailed instructions. As a rule of thumb procedures are needed when people need to ask a lot of questions or the same mistake is made more than once or by different staff members.
Writing procedures can be a challenge as it is quite easy to go into too much detail. Good procedures are as simple as possible; ideally the content should fit onto a single A4 sheet and those who use them should be able to be read each in a minute or so. As with most procedures they will often benefit from being revised and improved on an ongoing basis.
Competent people are the key to getting real benefits from a quality management system.
Our welding supervisor and inspection courses provide the competence required to successfully apply AS/NZS ISO 3834 principles. If you’re interested to take advantage of this – check out when our next course is running here.