Arc Welding 101: Updating WPSs and PQRs
Q: We weld sheet metal to D1.3 requirements. Our current welding procedure specification needs to be updated. Our customers are asking for a separate WPS/ PQR [procedure qualification record] for fillet and groove welds. Until now I believe we had both fillets and grooves covered by one WPS/PQR.
A: Communicating welding requirements company-to-company can be challenging regardless of size, but sticking to the requirements of the code is one way to make that communication easier. A while back a mentor taught me that when answering code questions, the CWI needs to open the book and “put his finger on it.”
You want to know if a WPS/PQR for groove welding also qualifies fillet welding, and if a single WPS qualifies all grooves. You can qualify a WPS per AWS D1.3 in two ways. First, you can use information in Clause 3 and develop prequalified procedures, or second, you can perform actual qualification testing per Clause 4. Either option is perfectly acceptable.
If you can use prequalified procedures, you will need to write separate documents for each configuration that you use in production (3.1A, 3.1B, 3.2A, 3.2B, 3.2C, etc.). Some of those configurations will require you to write more than one WPS. If you had written weld procedures for all the prequalified joints in AWS D1.3, you would have a minimum of 16 different documents. They all could contain the same welding parameters, but each would need to be written separately.
As for qualified WPSs, Clause 4.1 keeps it simple: “A welding procedure specification shall be written for each type of weld as shown in Table 4.1…” As for the PQR: “A procedure qualification record that records the actual values used to qualify a WPS shall be written.”
Here at McNeilus Truck we have a total of 133 WPSs and 58 PQRs in our records. Each was required because some variable was different just enough to require another document. We have a lot of customers inquire about our welding documentation, and we’ve not let them down yet.
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