What is a welding supervisor?
A certified welding supervisor is responsible for ensuring compliance of all welding activities. Some of these activities include:
- applicable safety requirements
- weld procedures
- relevant documents.
A welding supervisor has a high-level of technical knowledge and vast welding experience. They also have in-depth knowledge of management techniques and the basic principles which create the foundation for effective supervision. Their personal qualities include:
- moral courage
- powers of expression
What does a welding supervisor do?
In addition to compliance, a welding supervisor also keeps track of project deadlines. They need to ensure production schedules and budgets are met while maintaining product quality requirements, and welder safety.
An experienced welding supervisor is able to train employees on the workshop floor where they can rectify issues quickly.
Welding supervisors provide expert advice from the very start of a project. They are able to easily identify the different requirements for specific projects due to their knowledge of the technology and processes. The efficient use of tools and consumables means that the project can be completed in a cost-effective manner.
A welding supervisor is also involved in the scheduling of work hours and coordinating job tasks in line with project schedules.
Other responsibilities include:
- identifying and qualifying, or obtaining the correct weld procedures
- qualifying and organising welder qualifications
- conducting welding inspection (although final weld inspection is most often completed by a certified welding inspector)
- identifying and requesting the required non-destructive testing (NDT)
- creating and signing inspection and test plans (ITP) and manufacture data records (MDR)
Do I need a Cert 10 or AS2214?
In short, the answer is yes to both!
There can be some confusion between a certificate 10 AS1796 welding supervisor and an AS2214 welding supervisor. Let’s break them both down separately.
A certificate 10 welding supervisor is often required to oversee specific projects for the manufacture and welding of pressure equipment. They conduct supervisory activities that are based on manufacturer and client specifications.
Certification of welding supervisors to AS1796 requires completion of a theoretical and practical course. The course covers supervision core topics such as basic metallurgy, welding processes, welding inspection and testing. In addition to this, they would have also completed the theoretical components for pressure equipment codes and specifications.
A welding supervisor certified to AS2214 would have also completed the supervision core topics as listed above. In addition, they would have also completed the theoretical components for steel structures codes and specifications. Welding supervisors certified to AS2214 are only qualified to oversee the manufacture and welding of steel structures, not pressure equipment.
A certified welding inspector is primarily involved in the inspection of welding at various stages such as:
- fit-up of components
- completion of root runs
- evaluation of completed welds in accordance with the relevant standard and specification.
They are also involved in ensuring the following aspects are compliant with the requirements of the applicable standard and client specifications:
Welding inspectors usually carry out these inspections for, or on behalf of the principal or end-user. In this instance, they may be able to undertake the role of both the supervisor and inspector. Although this is only possible if they have the appropriate qualification.
Larger organisations generally have quality control (QC) or inspection departments which incorporate a welding inspector. In this setting, the inspector is normally not involved in any supervision activities.
It is helpful, but not always necessary, for a welding inspector to have the same knowledge and experience as a supervisor. In a setting with both an inspector and supervisor, there will often be much overlap.
The inspection of various welding projects may differ considerably in material, process, testing methodologies and in-service requirements. Due to this, an inspector requires a broad knowledge of global standards and codes in order to inspect various projects correctly.
Here is an example of the different standards relating to welding :
- AS/NZS1554.1 covers the welding of steel structures
- AS/NZS1554.6 covers the welding of stainless steel for structural purposes
- AS/NZS1665 covers the welding of aluminium structures
- ASME IX covers welding, brazing and fusing procedures and qualifications
- AWS D1.1 covers Structural welding for steel fabrication.
These examples are a few of the many standards that an experienced welding inspector may be required to use. This is why a broad knowledge of global standards is important for a welding inspector to have.
Communication is key
All this knowledge isn’t helpful without high-quality communication skills. Information obtained from completed welding inspections needs to be reported to the welding department in a clear and accurate manner. It should decipher the language of standards, and state the basic facts.
Certified welding inspectors often have to deliver news that may not always be welcome by manufacturers. They will often require them to address mistakes, which not only may be upsetting and costly, but can also delay projects. No one likes to be told they made a mistake, so it is important to communicate in a respectful manner.