- Posted by pete
- On August 2, 2018
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International Institute of Welding (IIW) Annual Assembly and International Conference
Last week I had the opportunity to attend the 71st International Institute of Welding (IIW) Annual Assembly and International Conference. The theme of this year’s conference was Advanced Welding and Smart Fabrication Technologies for Efficient Manufacturing Processes’.”
Neville Cornish and I presented on “Techno-economic Feasibility of Modified Pulse Arc deposition on Thick Sections of Quenched and Tempered Steel”
This has been a collaborative project between The University of Adelaide, Bisalloy, Adelaide Microscopy, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) and of course Australian Welding Solutions (AWS).
The project is one of the core elements of our “Defence Ready Program”, where we have been working among other things to develop optimisation techniques for the welding of Quench and Tempered (Q&T) steels.
Why invest in R&D when the focus is on training welders?
Welders are highly skilled craftspeople. To be a good welder, you must have the skills and aptitude to carry out precision tasks in arduous environments.
To be a great welder, you must have an understanding of the design elements of the welding procedure specification (WPS) you are working to.
Let us not forget, a WPS is a design document. It is not just the parameters which are going to make the final weld profile look good, it encapsulates critical element’s which will ensure that the final welds microstructure, chemistry and of course geometrical structure, give us a coalesced joint that will be fit for service.
So, it stands to reason that if you are writing a WPS you would have extensive knowledge of not only the welding process, but comprehensive knowledge of design elements which will be critical to put together the work instruction, the WPS, used to fabricate the joint.
The same logic applies when you are training a welder to apply a WPS for a safety critical structure.
Advanced Welder Training
The fundamental difference between basic and advanced welder training is the contextual definition of ‘job readiness’.
Job readiness in the context of Basic Welder Training is defined as an individual who has the foundational skills needed to be minimally qualified for a specific occupation.
Job readiness in the context of Advanced Welder Training is defined as an individual who has been independently assessed as being competent and qualified for direct deployment onto a specific set of jobs.
A Coded Welder gets the job done!
Back to R&D?
So why was I tasked with the techno-economic feasibility study.
To develop a training program which takes into account changes in welding technology, changes in materials and changes in current practices you have to know what they are.
You have to invest in understating the science behind these changes, so that that you can develop programs which allow welders and engineers to take full advantage of them.
Welders have to know, what the pitfalls are, where to pay attention and what to do to accelerate productivity without comprising integrity.
You want welders who you can take it to the limit but have confidence that they understand where these limits are and what the consequences of crossing critical thresholds will be.
That is what advanced welder training is. It is the critical link between designers and builders.
Advanced welder training is not a cost saving exercise is churning out men and women only to face the brutal realities of their profession.
Remember, a welder is tested every day on the job.
Most places I have worked have a 2-strike policy; fail one RT and if you fail the next, pack your bags -you are done.
As we embark on this journey to build Sovereign Industrial Capability, we have to ensure that quality training is our top priority.
We owe it to the nation.
Words by Rahim Kurji