Mr. Satish Keskar,
International Welding Technologist, AWS-Certified Welding Inspector,
Welding Trainer, ISO 3834 Trainer / Consultant / Auditor, Pune, INDIA.
Welding is the most important process in fabrication industry and also called as a “Special Process”. Traditionally, welding was looked in a limited way and covered qualifying welding procedures and certifying welders. Besides this, no much more attention was given in fabrication industry. It was resulting into increase in rework cost to fabricators and third party inspection cost to clients.
ISO (International Organization for Standardization) introduced first revision of ISO 3834 in the year 1994 and laid down Quality requirements for fusion welding of metallic materials. The current revision of this ISO 3834:2005 and contains six parts providing complete set of requirements of welding quality and helping fabrication industry many ways.
ISO 3834 is complimentary to ISO 9001 requirements and brings together a complete solution of Quality requirements related with welding in addition to Quality Management System. Some of the European Standards like EN 1090 & EN 15085 are recommending ISO 3834 as their prerequisite to their sector specific quality requirements.
The need, necessity, advantages and application of ISO 3834 is discussed in this paper taking into consideration fabrication industry at large.
Introduction of ISO 3834:
American Welding Society (AWS) defines fusion as “a materials joining process which produces coalescence of materials by heating them to suitable temperatures with or without the application of pressure or by the application of pressure alone and with or without the use of filler material”.
According to ISO 9001: 2008, section 7.5.2, the validation of any processes for production is necessary in which the conformity to the requirement of the resulting product cannot beverified by subsequent monitoring or measurements and as a consequence the deficiencies become apparent only after the product is in use. Such processes are generally called as “Special Process”
When Special processes like Welding and Heat Treatment are used in the product manufacturing, it is difficult to ensure the quality of finished products only through final inspection. ISO 3834 helps in validation of Welding process and specifies down the quality requirements for welding. However, ISO 3834 is not replacing to ISO 9001.
ISO 3834 series of standards:
ISO 3834: 2005 “Quality requirements for fusion welding of metallic materials” consists of 6 parts:
- ISO 3834-1:2005- Criteria for the selection of the appropriate level of quality requirements
- ISO 3834-2:2005 : Comprehensive quality requirements
- ISO 3834-3:2005 : Standard quality requirements
- ISO 3834-4:2005 : Elementary quality requirements
- ISO 3834-5:2015 : Documentations to claim part ISO 3834-2 or ISO3834-3 or ISO 3834-4
- ISO/TR 3834-6:2007 : Guidelines on implementing ISO 3834
Advantages of ISO 3834 to Fabricators :
- Less rework hence job completion on time
- Local & international recognition as a competent organization
- More efficient coordination of welding activities
- More pro-active and responsible workforce
- Increased opportunities and capability to bid on jobs
- Cost savings – more efficient technology
- Reduced surveillance audits and inspections by purchasers
Advantages of ISO 3834 to Purchasers:
- More assurance of contract delivery dates
- Greater assurance of the quality of welded products
- Greater reliability and performance of products
- Reduction in maintenance costs after installation
- Reduction or elimination of third party inspection costs
- More competent suppliers of welded products
Applications of ISO 3834:
- In Fabrication Industries
- In Construction companies i.e. on-site work
- In Repair and maintenance contractors
- For Manufacturers of products
- Perquisite for other standards e.g. EN 1090, EN 15085 (Railway applications) etc.
Uses of ISO 3834 in following situations:
- In contractual situations – specification of welding quality requirements
- By manufacturers – establishing and maintenance of welding quality requirements
- By committees drafting manufacturing codes or application standards – by specification of welding quality requirements
- By organizations assessing welding quality performance, e.g. third parties,
Steps for obtaining ISO 3834 Certification :
- Appointment of Responsible Welding Coordinator (RWC)
- Gap analysis by RWC or Certification body,
- Training to Welding related staff, Welders, including suppliers if needed
- Documentation of all welding related activities
- Review, upgrade & approve existing / new suppliers
- Own welding related personnel: Welding Coordinator, Inspectors, Supervisors, NDT personnel etc.
- Qualification of WPS, Certification of welders/ Welding Operators
- Review, audit & upgrade present welding related requirements
- Appointment of Certification Body
- 1st Stage Certification Audit by Certification Body
- 2nd Stage Certificationaudit by Certification Body
- Award of Certificate (Validity : 5 years)
- Surveillance audits (every year)
The fabrication industry needs to upgrade their Welding Processes in line with the requirements of ISO 3834 and get benefited.
- ISO 9001 : 2008
- ISO 3834 : 2005