4 Questions About Welding Codes and Qualifying Wire Processes for the Jobsite
Using more productive welding processes can greatly improve efficiency. Learn how easy it is to gain better results — while still meeting welding codes.
Changing welding procedures
Investing in newer welding technologies and more productive processes can significantly improve efficiency and save money. But organizations too often see these investments as a financial risk. Or, decision-makers mistakenly believe that more productive wire processes can’t be qualified for the jobsite, whether it’s construction, pipelines, power generation or shipbuilding.
Looking beyond the standard procedures and processes you’ve always used can yield big returns for efficiency, productivity and savings while helping improve jobsite safety. We’ve tackled four frequently asked questions about qualifying wire or advanced wire welding processes for the jobsite. Learn more about how easy it is to make changes and get results.
Can wire processes be approved for the jobsite?
You can get a wire welding process approved for structural applications more easily than you might think. Seattle-area contractor Apex Steel switched from stick to self-shielded flux-cored welding with complete control of process and parameter changes at the wire feeder — and saved up to two hours per welder per day. And for pipe field welding, you can approve highly efficient wire welding like pulsed MIG and Regulated Metal Deposition (RMD®), a modified short-circuit MIG process. It requires qualifying the process to the welding procedure specifications (WPS). While this may involve an investment of time and money, it offers significant payback. Welding operations can quality a short-circuit process under ASME and API codes when you write your procedure, as long as you denote heat inputs and all other weld procedure requirements along with the necessary nondestructive testing evaluation.
Can the same welding processes be used in the shop and the field?
Many operations want use the same processes both in the shop and on the jobsite. This eliminates the need to qualify different procedures for each location. Wire welding and advanced processes like pulsed MIG and RMD provide that versatility. You can use them in the shop to save time and produce high-quality welds. Then, pair an engine-driven welder/generator or a plug-in welder with a feeder accessory to get the same capabilities and increase efficiency in the field.
Is it difficult or expensive to change welding procedures?
Making the switch in the welding procedure to qualify more productive processes is an investment. But it’s one that can quickly pay off through significantly improved productivity, enhanced safety, reduced rework, and less wasted material and consumables. For example, global energy infrastructure leader Enbridge reduced weld time by 40% after converting from stick welding to pulsed MIG and RMD processes for pipeline repair and tie-ins.
Does a welding process change require extensive training?
Some training is required, especially for welders who are less familiar with wire processes. But MIG, RMD and pulsed MIG welding have shorter learning curves compared to traditional stick and TIG. The advanced wire processes are more forgiving to variations in stickout. They also deliver a calm, stable arc, which is easier for operators to control.
Welding codes and new processes
Resisting change is human nature, but change doesn’t have to be difficult. Qualifying different procedures and wire processes such as MIG, pulsed MIG or RMD welding for your jobsite is much easier than you may think. It’s a smart investment that can significantly improve productivity and save you money. Learn more about the benefits of a welding procedure change in construction and fabrication applications.