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Welding is a core enabling technology for our steel and metals based industry. Where it plays a key role in the value added process.

That’s why continuous development of welding-fabrication technology and personnel plays a vital part in ensuring competitiveness of our industry as a whole.

Welding technology is used across almost all industries when metallic parts and components need to be joined. It’s utilised for a wide range of applications from micro-joining of medical devices to electronics and household goods and on a larger scale – transport infrastructure, seismic construction, pressure equipment and pipelines.

Our Welding Centre team is committed in supporting our members operating in this space. Providing technical advice, targeted research, and internationally recognised training and qualifications they can trust.

 

Welding fabrication is a critical part of structurally sound infrastructure

Part of our focus is ensuring we support our fabricator members and engineers with the best welding advice possible so they can confidently meet project challenges for their clients.

From start to finish, welding delivers technical solutions across the life cycle of a product. It requires an expertise in a variety of fields such as metallurgy, design, fracture mechanics, fabrication, quality and inspection. During the management and maintenance stages welding also comes into focus. From basic operations, to repair, decommissioning, recycling and risk evaluation of environmental conditions. Our Welding Centre meets industry needs by retaining an in-house technical capability and  technology transfer links with national and international experts.

Welding fabrication also taps in to a wide range of allied processes from brazing, to soldering, cutting, adhesive bonding, assembly, bolting and more.   That’s why a part of our technical services and training also covers areas like this – particularly if essential for structural steel fabrication to AS/NZS 5131.

Our focuses

Developing International connections of value

As the New Zealand representative member of the International Institute of Welding (IIW) we’re able to link our strategic focus of advancing welding and joining through a worldwide network. One that gives our members access to not only international expertise, but publications as well.

For us, this is a valuable relationship that keeps us connected to the latest global developments, best practices and technical know-how.

We also represent our members on various international standards committees, like the joint Standards Australia and New Zealand Welding Committee WD-003 and 002 and the Pressure Equipment Committee ME-001.

Specifically, WD-003 has an on-going commitment to develop and review key welding-related standards such as the AS/NZS 1554 series, AS/NZS 5131 and AS/NZS 2980. Allowing our members to hear any new developments first hand, as well as ensure their view points are advocated from an early stage.

Upskilling and progressing careers through training

To maintain a competitive edge, our industry requires a competent work force.

That’s why our Training Centre was developed in 1989. Allowing attendees to gain access to a range of courses covering welding engineering related topics.

Our training portfolio is regularly updated to meet industry needs in cooperation with our members and Competenz. And, since 2008 we’ve also been recognised as a an NZQA accredited training provider.

 

Welding supervisor & inspection

At HERA, we believe mechanisms that allow our New Zealand fabricators to compete against imported steel of uncertain provenance and quality is key.  Programs like SFC achieve this by aligning with the European system, which ensures those under this scheme adhere to the only mandatory certification system for structural steel worldwide.

That’s why we our Welding Centre has a focus to ensure that supervisors and inspectors are qualified to a recognised level to meet the Steel Fabricator Certification Scheme (SFC) requirements.  Running regular courses throughout the year to ensure that companies are able to operate to proven procedures and have personnel in-house that are aligned to international best practice.

Since its inception, we’ve had over 4200 professionals through our doors. Attending expert seminars and courses such as our popular AS 2214 Welding Supervisor, and International Welding Inspector IWI-B and IWI-S courses which also give a pathway to CBIP certification if this is preferred.

 

Non-Destructive Testing (NDT)

NDT is a dynamic and innovative industry in testing and analysis techniques. Used to evaluate the properties of a material, component or system without causing damage, it is essential to evaluate compliance of a component with applicable manufacturing standards or its in-service condition.

We’ve provided Non Destructive Testing (NDT) in cooperation with CBIP and NZNDTA historically through our Inspection and Quality Control Centre – which has since been integrated into our Welding Centre.

Our current services include a range of specialised NDT courses through in-house training, and we’re also working hard to establish this training regularly – to lead to certification under ISO9712.

An independent qualification provider

We fill a unique and important niche market for education through HERA ANB – our International Institute of Welding (IIW) Authorised National Body (ANB) for New Zealand.

Not only does this allow us to implement training and examinations for international and national welding-related qualifications, but also create proficiency in welding supervisor and inspection knowledge and understanding beyond what is usually available in standard technical education.

Certification and verification that leads to opportunity

Our team is committed to helping our members advance their market opportunities through alignment to international best practice.

This has seen us undertake works to help inform a range of developments – whether systems, audits or content for courses or scheme guidelines.

We’ve achieved this by contracting our technical understanding of welding fabrication and research skills to help better develop quality mechanisms and their processes to meet the latest standards, guides and quality management control expectations.

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technical-support

We offer technical support and engineering hotline services to all of our members. Helping them to address their immediate and longer term problems.

For us, it’s about helping our members find smarter cost effective solutions, and creating collaborative forums that drive innovation. Our technical advice ensures our members are in adherence with the latest standards, quality assurance requirements and international best practice – so they can compete on a global stage.

Contact Michail Karpenko

Our R&D projects

Seismic design

In co-operation with the University of Auckland, University of Michigan, and our industry partners, we’ve initiated an important seismic research programme.

It’s current focus being to improve welded connections under low cycle seismic fatigue – a program supported by our HERA Foundation scholarship for PhD level studies.

This work addresses seismic performance of connections in steel framed buildings for both carbon steel and stainless as material options. Where it specifically looks at weld details and how they can be enhanced to allow our members to reduce fabrication costs while maintaining a high level of performance under seismic load.

Brittle fracture

New Zealand steel structures are required to be fabricated to local standard NZS 3404.1:1997. A standard that stipulates materials are selected based on the lowest metal temperature.  This can be encountered during fabrication, erection, testing, or in service.

Current approach is based on statistical data available on the notch toughness characteristics (both Charpy and CTOD) of steels, which were originally manufactured locally to Australian or New Zealand specifications. However applying them on imported steels is considered limited – with AS/NZS 1554.1, Table B1 recommending verification testing for this steel instead.

Our research is aimed at revising the brittle fracture provision of NZS 3404.1, and its NDT requirements and weld acceptance criteria. This work will be critical in allowing our members working with imported steel to use these more easily and effectively – keeping their projects on track and to standard.

Quality and productivity

Inspection and testing is an integral part of the fabrication process to meet New Zealand structural steel design and fabrication standards.

That’s why establishing a system for continuous quality and productivity monitoring of fabricated steelwork, optimising inspection requirements and managing compliance risks is so important.

Our research is based on big data analysis – including productivity monitoring and benchmarking to identify limitations and bottlenecks in processes both at a company and industry level.

For those certified under the SFC Scheme, this will have high flow on effects as the quality monitoring will in turn enhance the robustness and credibility of the SFC/ISO 3834 system. Giving them greater credentials to win work and compete in what become a global market.

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Michail Karpenko

General Manager Welding Centre

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Alan McClintock

Senior Welding Engineer

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Holger Heinzel

Research Engineer, Welding Centre

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Peter Hayward

Welding and Inspection Engineer