The inspector’s role begins well before welding starts, continues during the welding operation, involves action after welding is completed, and is finalised only when the results are properly reported. As part of the quality system, inspection activities are defined in an inspection and test plan, which clearly describes what is required. The inspector is frequently responsible for producing documents that ensure traceability of the components and related fabricating action.
Prior to welding, the inspector must be assured that the materials are correct and that the shop has approved welding procedures and appropriately qualified welders. Written procedures and competent operators are important to the production of a quality welded product, but the actual execution of the weld is also a critical point for the inspector. Once the inspector is satisfied that all is in order for the welding to proceed, the task becomes one of witnessing and monitoring. There are two basic interests at this point: ensuring that the written procedures are being followed; and checking for any physical signs of non-conformance of the final product. The inspector’s responsibilities are to verify base metals and welding consumables, observe the fit-up and preparation for the weld, and watch the welding operation itself. Once the welding is completed, a new series of inspection tasks begin, which start with executing an inspection programme according to an approved procedure, maintaining the status of examination and testing and selecting specific welds for further NDT or mechanical testing.
- Dexterous Institute