3 Reasons Why You Have To Search for PQR, WPS and WPQ
The other day, I was talking to one of my prospective clients (structural fabricator to EN 1090-2), and we were discussing the search and management of welding documents such as Procedure Qualification Records (PQR), Welding Procedure Specifications (WPS) and Welder Certificates (WPQ). He tells me this:
“I asked one of my clients, a really big company, how did they search for PQR, WPS and Welder Certificates, in order to avoid qualifying new procedures and welders. He told me that when a new project arrives, they just qualify everything they need for that project”
Both of us agreed that this is completely unsustainable for smaller companies. Qualification of PQR could cost up to 3000 €. If you have 5 projects each year, and you need to qualify 3 PQR for each of them. This amounts to 45000€. If you have a good database of PQR from previous projects, that is 45 thousand that you could save.
So what is the key issue here?
The problem is that welding documents have too much information (and it is important that they do), and each project for your company also has a lot of information, such as pipe or plate sizes, specific project requirements as well as construction code requirements.
This means that engineers will have to do a lot of cross-checks and information matching, to assure that your company is qualified for the job (or that you know exactly what you need to qualify. Just think that you need to be qualified to weld those thicknesses, those diameters, those base materials, with those filler materials, and so on.
And why is this an issue?
Well, no matter how good an engineer is, he is still only human, and doing a lot of information checking and verification will tire him and could eventually cause some mistakes, which could make him flag a specific weld as not being qualified (when, in reality, it is), or worse, making him flag a specific weld as being qualified (when it isn’t). Both will add increased cost to the company.
- In the first case, by qualifying an overlapping PQR (i.e. you already had it qualified, but due to mistake on the verification process, you qualify it again), which costs 1000 to 3000 €, not accounting for the time wasted, welder’s salary, and material costs.
- Also in the first case, qualifying an overlapping welder certificate, which costs up to 500 €. It is a less extreme scenario but the more you get of these, the harder it will be to requalify them after 6 months or 2 years.
- In the second case, by your clients mandating that you stop all work until the weld or welds that were mistakenly flagged as being qualified, are in fact qualified. This is not so easy to quantify because it depends on the project and company size, but it could go into the hundred thousands of euros or even millions.
While this may seem like an extreme situation, it has happened before, and while it is not a frequent one, it is always a hassle and a headache when a situation like this happens.
How can you avoid this altogether?
You should work towards having a populated database of all your Procedure Qualification Records (PQR), Welding Procedure Specifications (WPS) and Welder Certificates, with all the essential variables that are relevant to the codes you work to in a spreadsheet or a dedicated welding management software. You can find the most important variables to keep track of here.
All in all, you should improve your ability to search for your documents, this will allow you to respond to any auditing inspector’s requests easily and quickly.
WeldNote is a welding management software that allows you to quikcly search for your Procedure Qualification Records, Welding Procedure Specifications and Welder Certificates in bulk – search for everything you have qualified for every different weld you’ll make in a project. It also writes welding procedure specifications and welding books easily and based on your qualified PQR.