Sunday, March 5, 2017

Find Your Resident Experts

Hi Paul,
Quick question. Can a CWI write a welding procedure just being a CWI? Or does the company he works for engineering department have to give him the power to?
Whomever you are,
Becoming a Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) does not, in-and-of-itself, qualify you as the one who writes Weld Procedures (WPS).  Codes and standards will require that we use “Sound Engineering Judgement” and AWS QC1 - Specification for AWS Certification of Welding Inspectors states “…the CWI shall: 11.2.1 Undertake and perform assignments only when qualified by training, experience, and capability.”
A designation as CWI (or CAWI & SCWI for that matter) does not qualify you for anything outside the scope of visual inspection of welds/welding.  CWI’s come in all shapes and sizes.  Some are Welders considering a career change, some are Engineers, Purchasing Agents, Lawyers, Supervisors or NDE Techs (nondestructive evaluation).  The list is pretty much endless.  All of those backgrounds can make great CWI’s, but none of those backgrounds make the individual an expert in the field of Code Compliance. 
Back in 1993 I was a 3rd shift Welder who dreamed of bigger things.  My employer gave me the opportunity to take the AWS Seminar and CWI Exam.  Shortly after passing the Quality Mgr recruited me to his department for a short-term project of reviewing the companies ASME & AWS WPS’s, PQR’s and Welder Qualification.  Everything I knew about the subject I had just recently learned in a 1 week seminar.  I was nowhere near ready.
After about a week of banging my head, falling asleep reading and making zero progress, that Quality Mgr suggested I enlist the help of others, and that’s what I did.  I found that all throughout our company we had resident experts on some portion of the subject matter. 
Long story short, I mottled through with the help of just about every department in the company and came up with my first Weld Quality Program.  As difficult and frustrating as it was, it was an experience that changed me as a Welder and now, rookie QC inspector (6 months earlier I couldn’t spell QC).
So, none of that actually answers your question… or does it?  Who has, or gives, the power is not the real question here.  Who has the responsibility? is.  The responsibility lies with your Company, and as I found out early in my career, nothing less than the whole company is what it takes.
Good Luck,