The CE Marking for Structural Steelwork under the Construction Products Regulations will be implemented in 1st July 2014, which is about a years away. It is a major concern for many Structural Steelwork Fabricators, because after the implementation date, most Structural Steelwork will require CE Marking.
As part of the Factory Production Control, there is a requirement for each company to nominate a Responsible Welding Co-ordinator. In the UK, Responsible Welding Co-ordinators are a new concept for most Fabricators. There is confusion concerning the qualification requirements of the RWC. Certain providers of Qualifications are promoting their qualifications, which range from graduate Technologists and qualified IWS to specific RWC training, which has only recently started. Two Trade bodies are starting RWC Courses but this leaves those Companies, who are not members in a difficult situation. Therefore there are few trained RWCs combined with a lack of Public courses.
However in the Standard, the proof is on the Company to satisfy themselves
6.1 General knowledge requirements of all welding coordination personnel
For all tasks assigned, welding coordinators shall be able to demonstrate adequate technical knowledge to ensure satisfactory performance of these tasks.
The following factors shall be considered:
general technical knowledge;
specialized technical knowledge in welding and allied processes relevant to the assigned tasks, which shall be attained by a combination of theoretical knowledge, training and/or experience.
The extent of required manufacturing experience, education and technical knowledge shall be decided by the manufacturing organization, and shall depend on the assigned tasks and responsibilities.
However Annex A then provides
Recommendations for technical knowledge in welding
The International Institute of Welding (IIW) has, on a voluntary basis, prepared recommendations for minimum requirements for education, examination and qualification of welding coordination personnel.
The recommendations are stated in the following documents:
International Welding Engineer (IWE), Doc. IAB-002-2000/EWF-409;
International Welding Technologist (IWT), Doc. IAB-003-2000/EWF-410;
International Welding Specialist (IWS), Doc. IAB-004-2000/EWF-411.
Welding coordination personnel fulfilling the requirements of these documents, or holding acceptable national qualifications, may be considered to satisfy the relevant requirements of 6.2.
The standard format for the RWC courses, which are being developed, are a 2 day residential course and exam combined with onsite Implementation review of the operation of RWC. Additionally the existing quoted qualifications and RWC are aimed at covering all the Execution Classes from high risk Road Bridges to single storey factory units. This means that the Courses are not easy to pass. Traditionally there have been a few IWS, IWT and IWE trained, which has been required for high risk applications.
Most Structural Steelwork Fabricators use maybe 2 steel grades for most of welding and are Execution Class 2, so relatively low risk. This results in only a few generic Weld Procedures required. There are 2 aspects of the RWC’s responsibilities
The technical aspects of the Weld Procedure specification
The management and control of the welding operations ; inspection, control of welders, equipment and consumables
The alternative is splitting the roles between outsourced Welding expert and the in-house management. Regrettably we are not aware of any publically available RWC related training courses aimed at the Execution Class 2 nor RWC management responsibilities (when using external Welding expert)
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