Weld inspectors are busy people. Think about it, they don’t hang around waiting to inspect welds after they’ve cooled. No, the inspections are also carried out during the work. That way, instead of performing an after-the-fact job examination, the service oversees the work and acts as a real-time quality assessment system. Actually, for a full-service weld auditing strategy, inspectors are on-hand before, during and after the job to monitor the work, from start to finish.

Pre-Job Weld Inspections

Of great benefit, the quality-assessment service begins before a welding torch is picked up. The inspector wants to know if the welding equipment has been properly maintained by the journeymen. What codes are being observed? More importantly, is the welder certified to utilize those job codes? Sure, these are the kind of tasks that should have been taken care of before the welder arrived, but that’s just not always the case. Maybe the welder has just been hired on from a different company, an employer who didn’t diligently follow a quality-assurance program. Whatever the reason, the welding inspector is there from the start to monitor every pre-job decision. From the selected consumables to the choice of metal cleaning tools, the anticipatory inspection keeps track of everything.

On-The-Job Welder Monitoring

Perhaps a welder won’t appreciate this over-the-shoulder observance, but this is an essential part of the job. It’s a chance to see how a weld pool is manipulated, to observe how well the welding procedures are followed, and to generally assess a worker’s abilities. This competence-based check looks at how many passes a welder makes. Is that multi-pass approach adequately maintained? What about the pass rate and the way the weld pool is controlled? Pulling back from the heat application zone, there’s a cursory check of the shield gas to make, too. It’s right there, in the here and now, that welder performance is assessed. If the worker’s approach is found wanting, the mistakes are picked up then and there so that the welder can be retrained.

Then there’s the after welding inspection service. The metal and consumables have blended and cooled. Importantly, it’s only now that the fused joints can be fully assessed by a trained eye. Granted, the cues and signs that lead to a poorly applied weld can be detected during the job, just as the causes can be spotted before the job commences. However, it’s only after the work is done that the results become properly appraisable. For example, after the work is done, poorly oxidized surfaces and discontinuity-loaded results are observable, and they can be recorded. Of course, just by acting upon the pre-inspection proceedings, that squandered job could’ve been stopped before it began.