The Challenge to Acceptance and Certification of New Welding Methods

<span style=”border-width: 0px 10pt 1pt 11pt; font-size: small; height: 14.1pt; top: 26.4pt; width: 506.1pt;”>We live in a remarkable time of constantly emerging technological advancements.  There are many </span><span style=”border-width: 0px 44pt 0px 11pt; font-size: small; height: 14.1pt; top: 40.5pt; width: 471.7pt;”>challenges to the acceptance and certification of mechanized welding methods that can vary </span><span style=”border-width: 0px 40pt 1pt 11pt; font-size: small; height: 14.1pt; top: 54.5pt; width: 476.4pt;”>widely between specific industries. Acceptance can be a subjective factor as in the case of the </span><span style=”border-width: 0px 17pt 0px 11pt; font-size: small; height: 14.1pt; top: 68.6pt; width: 499.3pt;”>cliché “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. Many of the most experienced, skilled welders may </span><span style=”border-width: 0px 44pt 1pt 11pt; font-size: small; height: 14.1pt; top: 82.6pt; width: 471.9pt;”>not require or appreciate the operational advantages that automated welding systems offer. </span><span style=”border-width: 0px 35pt 1pt 11pt; font-size: small; height: 14.1pt; top: 96.8pt; width: 480.7pt;”>Another consideration is that a large number of professional welders may not be aware of the </span><span style=”border-width: 0px 108pt 11pt 11pt; font-size: small; height: 14.1pt; top: 110.9pt; width: 408pt;”>underlying practical and economical influences driving these new technologies.</span>

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<span style=”border-width: 0px 108pt 11pt 11pt; font-size: small; height: 14.1pt; top: 110.9pt; width: 408pt;”><span style=”border-width: 0px 47pt 1pt 11pt; height: 14.1pt; top: 134.9pt; width: 469.4pt;”>Acceptance of new mechanized welding methods can be affected by long-established codes, </span><span style=”border-width: 0px 13pt 0px 11pt; height: 14.1pt; top: 149pt; width: 503.6pt;”>certifications, and prevailing methods that have been used successfully for a long time. Sometimes </span><span style=”border-width: 0px 39pt 1pt 11pt; height: 14.1pt; top: 163pt; width: 477.3pt;”>individual welders would prefer to utilize a welding process that has been widely adopted by </span><span style=”border-width: 0px 24pt 11pt 11pt; height: 14.1pt; top: 177.2pt; width: 491.7pt;”>other industries, but the process has not found favor or has been fully adopted in their industry.</span></span>
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</span><span style=”border-width: 0px 108pt 11pt 11pt; font-size: small; height: 14.1pt; top: 110.9pt; width: 408pt;”><span style=”border-width: 0px 24pt 11pt 11pt; height: 14.1pt; top: 177.2pt; width: 491.7pt;”><span style=”border-width: 0px 12pt 1pt 11pt; height: 14.1pt; top: 201.2pt; width: 504.3pt;”>A classic example of this is the resistance of utilizing the GMAW-S process in some segments of the </span><span style=”border-width: 0px 75pt 14pt 11pt; height: 14.1pt; top: 215.3pt; width: 441.1pt;”>petroleum industry, a situation compounded by a lack of corresponding certifications.</span></span></span>
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</span><span style=”border-width: 0px 108pt 11pt 11pt; font-size: small; height: 14.1pt; top: 110.9pt; width: 408pt;”><span style=”border-width: 0px 24pt 11pt 11pt; height: 14.1pt; top: 177.2pt; width: 491.7pt;”><span style=”border-width: 0px 75pt 14pt 11pt; height: 14.1pt; top: 215.3pt; width: 441.1pt;”><span style=”border-width: 0px 28pt 4pt 11pt; height: 10.8pt; top: 242pt; width: 487.8pt;”>Many years ago when the wire feed process was in its infancy it was limited to short-arc (GMAW-S) </span><span style=”border-width: 0px 28pt 4pt 11pt; height: 10.8pt; top: 255.9pt; width: 487.7pt;”>using solid wire in a constant voltage (CV) mode. This process was starting to gain acceptance to the </span><span style=”border-width: 0px 15pt 4pt 11pt; height: 10.8pt; top: 269.6pt; width: 501pt;”>point that it was just starting to be used in refineries. Apparently, some workplace accidents occurred in </span><span style=”border-width: 0px 22pt 4pt 11pt; height: 10.8pt; top: 283.5pt; width: 493.7pt;”>which people were hurt and investigations placed the blame on this process of welding. That was all it </span><span style=”border-width: 0px 34pt 0px 11pt; height: 10.8pt; top: 297.2pt; width: 481.7pt;”>took to negatively influence many individuals responsible for specifying welding procedures in that </span><span style=”border-width: 3pt 0px 14pt 11pt; height: 10.8pt; top: 307.8pt; width: 449.6pt;”>segment of the petroleum industry. GMAW-S was subsequently banned from most refineries.</span></span></span></span>
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</span><span style=”border-width: 0px 108pt 11pt 11pt; font-size: small; height: 14.1pt; top: 110.9pt; width: 408pt;”><span style=”border-width: 0px 24pt 11pt 11pt; height: 14.1pt; top: 177.2pt; width: 491.7pt;”><span style=”border-width: 0px 75pt 14pt 11pt; height: 14.1pt; top: 215.3pt; width: 441.1pt;”><span style=”border-width: 3pt 0px 14pt 11pt; height: 10.8pt; top: 307.8pt; width: 449.6pt;”><span style=”border-width: 0px 14pt 4pt 11pt; height: 10.8pt; top: 334.9pt; width: 501.8pt;”>What could have been the causes of these welding incidents? Most likely they were attributable to basic </span><span style=”border-width: 0px 48pt 4pt 11pt; height: 10.8pt; top: 348.6pt; width: 468.4pt;”>operator error and the failure or inability to perform proper NDT in those days. Many flaws went </span><span style=”border-width: 0px 41pt 1pt 11pt; height: 10.8pt; top: 362.5pt; width: 475.4pt;”>undetected and catastrophic failures did occur. For the most part, the only type of inspection in the </span><span style=”border-width: 0px 0px 11pt 11pt; height: 13.3pt; letter-spacing: 0.04pt; top: 373.8pt; width: 321.7pt; word-spacing: -0.04pt;”>earlier days of welding was “visual”. Even earlier attempts at radio</span><span style=”border-width: 2pt 24pt 11pt 0px; height: 10.8pt; left: 331.7pt; letter-spacing: 0.02pt; top: 373.8pt; width: 169.9pt; word-spacing: -0.02pt;”>-graphical testing did not detect all </span><span style=”border-width: 3pt 0px 14pt 11pt; height: 10.8pt; width: 71pt;”>lack-of-fusion.</span></span></span></span></span>
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</span><span style=”border-width: 0px 108pt 11pt 11pt; font-size: small; height: 14.1pt; top: 110.9pt; width: 408pt;”><span style=”border-width: 0px 24pt 11pt 11pt; height: 14.1pt; top: 177.2pt; width: 491.7pt;”><span style=”border-width: 0px 75pt 14pt 11pt; height: 14.1pt; top: 215.3pt; width: 441.1pt;”><span style=”border-width: 3pt 0px 14pt 11pt; height: 10.8pt; top: 307.8pt; width: 449.6pt;”><span style=”border-width: 3pt 0px 14pt 11pt; height: 10.8pt; width: 71pt;”><span style=”border-width: 0px 29pt 4pt 11pt; height: 10.8pt; top: 27.1pt; width: 486pt;”>Strangely, this series of events went less noticed by other branches of the petroleum industry. Others </span><span style=”border-width: 0px 12pt 4pt 11pt; height: 10.8pt; top: 40.8pt; width: 502.6pt;”>continued studying, using and enhancing the GMAW-S process until it worked so well that it became in </span><span style=”border-width: 0px 26pt 12pt 11pt; height: 10.8pt; top: 54.6pt; width: 488.8pt;”>later years the primary method for countless welds in the oil field, including cross-country pipelines.</span></span></span></span></span></span>
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</span><span style=”border-width: 0px 108pt 11pt 11pt; font-size: small; height: 14.1pt; top: 110.9pt; width: 408pt;”><span style=”border-width: 0px 24pt 11pt 11pt; height: 14.1pt; top: 177.2pt; width: 491.7pt;”><span style=”border-width: 0px 75pt 14pt 11pt; height: 14.1pt; top: 215.3pt; width: 441.1pt;”><span style=”border-width: 3pt 0px 14pt 11pt; height: 10.8pt; top: 307.8pt; width: 449.6pt;”><span style=”border-width: 3pt 0px 14pt 11pt; height: 10.8pt; width: 71pt;”><span style=”border-width: 0px 26pt 12pt 11pt; height: 10.8pt; top: 54.6pt; width: 488.8pt;”><span style=”border-width: 0px 26pt 1pt 11pt; height: 13.3pt; top: 76pt; width: 488.6pt;”>Needless to say, the selection of the best process for an application can seriously enhance the success </span><span style=”border-width: 0px 42pt 1pt 11pt; height: 13.3pt; top: 89.7pt; width: 473pt;”>and the speed with which a project can be performed. The old “tried and true” processes that have </span><span style=”border-width: 0px 40pt 2pt 11pt; height: 13.3pt; top: 103.5pt; width: 474.2pt;”>limited us in the past; do not provide the level of productivity that can be safely achieved by using </span><span style=”border-width: 0px 0px 11pt 11pt; height: 13.3pt; top: 117.4pt; width: 435.7pt;”>today’s advanced process control, combined with modern mechanized welding equipment.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span>
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</span><span style=”border-width: 0 108pt 11pt 11pt; height: 14.1pt; top: 110.9pt; width: 408pt;”><span style=”border-width: 0 24pt 11pt 11pt; height: 14.1pt; top: 177.2pt; width: 491.7pt;”><span style=”border-width: 0 75pt 14pt 11pt; height: 14.1pt; top: 215.3pt; width: 441.1pt;”><span style=”border-width: 3pt 0 14pt 11pt; height: 10.8pt; top: 307.8pt; width: 449.6pt;”><span style=”border-width: 3pt 0 14pt 11pt; height: 10.8pt; width: 71pt;”><span style=”border-width: 0px 26pt 12pt 11pt; font-size: small; height: 10.8pt; top: 54.6pt; width: 488.8pt;”><span style=”border-width: 2pt 0px 4pt 11pt; height: 10.8pt; top: 141.1pt; width: 82.2pt; word-spacing: 0.02pt;”>You can chalk it </span><span style=”border-width: 0px 0px 4pt; height: 13.3pt; left: 92.2pt; top: 141.1pt; width: 367pt;”>up to difficulty teaching people “new tricks” or the tendency for some ideas </span><span style=”border-width: 2pt 10pt 4pt 0px; height: 10.8pt; left: 459.1pt; letter-spacing: 0.02pt; top: 141.1pt; width: 55.6pt; word-spacing: -0.13pt;”>to just take </span><span style=”border-width: 0px 64pt 4pt 11pt; height: 10.8pt; top: 157.4pt; width: 450.8pt;”>longer to adopt than others. A reluctance to change due to long established familiar processes </span><span style=”border-width: 0px 24pt 0px 11pt; height: 10.8pt; top: 171.2pt; width: 490.3pt;”>notwithstanding, changes in welding technology will eventually occur, driven by the demand for cost-</span><span style=”border-width: 3pt 0px 11pt 11pt; height: 10.8pt; top: 181.8pt; width: 283.3pt;”>effective, safe, and repeatable field proven welding results.</span>  </span> </span></span></span></span></span>

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