First of all let me preface that weld tracking or weld mapping is only necessary for a certain type of structures. So if you’re welding gates at a residential neighbourhood, you do not need these kind of records, but if you’re welding super austenitic stainless steel piping for a nuclear plant, you probably do.

Alright, so what is Weld Tracking?

There are varying degrees, and usually depends on the requirements at your company. For most situations, weld tracking is the record keeping of information related to the welds that are/were fabricated in your company.

For some companies and construction codes this will mean keeping track of each and every weld, associate base and filler metals and their MTR’s with each weld, and do the same with NDT reports,

PWHT reports, Welders, Welder Qualifications, WPS’, PQR’s, etc, while for other types of companies, the only information required are the materials used, some NDT reports, list of welders and their qualifications.

You as a reader might be thinking: Well, I’ve had projects that had hundreds of welds, keeping track of all that information would be too much to keep track of. While other readers might be thinking: My projects usually have tens of thousands of welds, and I have a dedicated quality team for this purpose.

Regardless, the reason why this is becoming a more pressing issue, is because of news like these:

pipeline-blast-news-weld-tracking

In 2010, a pipeline blew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. According to an article on the LA Times, prosecutors claim that Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) were violating pipeline safety laws by ignoring shoddy record-keeping and failing to identify threats to its larger natural gas pipelines. The company did not subject the pipelines to appropriate testing, choosing a cheaper method to save money.

In the end, PG&E only had to pay $6 million, as the judges ruled that there were too many variables to keep track of, and the methods available at the time of construction were limited in capacity.

Regardless, this is a serious issue that should be taken into consideration. Companies may be liable to damages like these if they do not keep solid record keeping. In these types of jobs it’s very common to have registries with each and every weld that was completed, and all the WPS’, Base Metals, Filler Metals, NDT reports, etc that were used.

So how will your company register all this information and avoid liabilities? Fear not, for we at WeldNote will provide you with a spreadsheet with the most commonly required information for such projects. We won’t even ask you to give us your email, just click on the link and download it!

WeldNote’s Spreadsheet for Weld Tracking

If you’ve never done weld tracking before, then this spreadsheet will probably be enough for you. If you want to be able to attach all the correct documents to each weld, and include Welder Qualifications in your company’s final project data books, having a dedicated tool for it might be a good investment for your company.

In the end, your company’s project data book should look something like this:

project-data-book-sample

Disclaimer: This Project Data Book was fully generated inside WeldNote

To summarize: Weld Tracking is important to have an assurance for your clients that your work flawless (with documented evidence). Having a Weld Tracking Software is not mandatory, but it will improve your productivity

WeldNote is a Welding Management Software that will allow you to keep a database of PQR and WPQ, and write compliant WPS’ for ASME IX, ISO 15614-1 and AWS D1.1. In addition to that, it has a weld tracking function compliant with the current editions of most popular construction standards (EN 1090-2, ASME B31.3, ASME B31.1, etc). If you’d like to know more, just click on the following link: WeldNote, Welding Management Software

Referenced Article (LA Times): http://lat.ms/2oKDuxB

Tiago Pereira
CEO at WeldNote, Welding Management Software