Who is the Welding Inspector ?

Who is the Welding Inspector?

- Before turning our discussion to the technical subjects, let us talk about the welding inspector as
an individual and the typical responsibilities that accompany the position.

The welding inspector is a responsible person, involved in the determination of weld quality according to applicable codes and/or specifications. In the performance of inspection tasks, welding inspectors operate in many different circumstances, depending primarily for whom they are working.

Thus, there is a special need for job specifications due to the complexity of some components and structures.

The inspection workforce may include destructive testing specialists, nondestructive examination
(NDE) specialists, code inspectors, military or government inspectors, owner representatives, in-house
inspectors, and others.

 These individuals may, at times, consider themselves “welding inspectors,”since they inspect welds as part of their job responsibility.

The three general categories into which the welding inspectors’ work-functions can be grouped are:

- Overseer
- Specialist
- Combination Overseer-Specialist

An overseer can be one individual or many individuals whose skills vary such that any amount or
type of workmanship may be inspected.

Both economics and technical requirements will decide the extent to which these types of inspectors will group themselves and function in various areas of expertise.

The specialist, on the other hand, is an individual who does some specific task(s) in the inspection
process. A specialist may or may not act independently of an overseer. The nondestructive xamination
(NDE) specialist is an example of this category of inspector.

This individual has limited responsibilities in the welding inspection process.

It is common to see inspectors serving as both overseer and specialist. Such an individual may be
responsible for general weld quality judgments in each of the various fabrication steps, and be
required to perform any nondestructive testing that is necessary.

Fabricators may employ several overseer type inspectors, each having their own area of
general weld inspection responsibility.

Because inspection responsibility is divided in these cases, inspectors may have to rely on others for specific aspects of the total inspection program.

For the purposes of this course, we will refer to the welding inspector in general, without regard to
how each individual will be used by an employer.

It is impractical to address each individual’s situation in the scope of this discussion. To emphasize the differences in job requirements, let’s look at some industries using welding inspectors. We see  elding inspection being done in the construction of buildings, bridges and other structural units. Energy  lated applications include power generation facilities, pressure vessels and pipelines, and other distribution equipment requiring pressure containment. The chemical industry also uses welding extensively in the fabrication of pressure-containing processing facilities and equipment.

The transportation industry requires assurance of accurate weld quality in such areas as aerospace, automotive, shipbuilding, railroad apparatus and off-road equipment. Finally, the manufacturing of consumer goods often requires specific weld quality requirements. With the diversity shown by
this listing, various situations will clearly require different types and degrees of inspection.



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