Welding is one of the only jobs that’s always inspected to ensure procedure and quality standards are adhered to, no matter how much experience a welder has.
It’s fundamental to any marine engineering company that processes are not only in place but strictly followed, ensuring the safety and quality of any welding job.
Hythe Marine Services (HMS) are investing in their staff to give customers, and the internal team, an extra layer of confidence that the in-house work being carried out is meeting the highest of standards.
Senior Welding Inspector, Paul Stone, explained, “Our plan is to put all our welders, welding apprentices and anyone who’s doing welding for the company through a Visual Weld Inspectors course.”
We spoke to Paul about the reasons behind this push on inspection training, and why it’s so significant for HMS as providers of marine engineering services in Portsmouth and the UK.
Paul told us, “Being a qualified Visual Weld Inspector means that you’ve completed a welding inspection course which teaches visual inspection procedures, relevant codes of practice and terms and definitions. Our staff will also learn about welding processes and defects, weld measurements, practical inspection and reporting, and the typical welding inspection documentation and requirements. As a result of this training, we can be confident that our workforce are carrying out procedures correctly and that the finished works are always to the highest of standards for our customers.”
By having this knowledge, a welder can carry out an initial visual inspection to catch potential issues before passing it on to the Weld Inspector. HMS welders won’t ever sign off their own work, however, this adds an extra layer of in-house confidence in the quality of the weld.
Paul said, “There’s a lot more to welding than just going in and doing the job. It’s a process worth taking seriously and investing in the quality of the job, which is what’s done at Hythe Marine. This extra investment in our welders shows potential customers what welding means to us as a business.”
Welders always have to re-qualify and their work is constantly inspected, whether it’s tested visually or using Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) like radiography. Continuous training ensures welding operators are sufficient in the job they’re going to do.
Following British Standards and requirements laid out by Lloyds Coded Welding, HMS’ welders are prolongated every 6 months and retested every 3 years.
Read more about the importance of coded welding at Hythe Marine Services here.
The purpose of inspection in welding is to ensure that the quality systems that HMS are working to are met. It doesn’t just mean you’re inspecting the weld itself, but staff are ensuring that the right materials are being used, the right personnel are working on the job and that the welding consumables are the same as what’s in the procedures.
Once the team has their Visual Weld Inspector status, HMS know that their welders have the knowledge to make sure the welds are acceptable.
Identifying defects, like slag and weld splatter or gas pores, is part of the course. After completing their training, the welder will know that these defects need to be removed before handing over to a welding inspector for sign-off.
Welders removing defects before the final visual inspection reduces the amount of rejected welds that need to be redone, which additionally saves time for the team.
Paul Stone told us, “These qualifications are an investment, but HMS is committed to investing in the workforce and the quality of their welds, to give customers confidence in what we’re doing as a company.”
Josh Mathias, Managing Director Hythe Group, and Luke Fitzgerald, Director of Value Engineering of Hythe Marine Services, encourage and facilitate employee training at all levels within the company.
Paul commented, “At Hythe Group we’re constantly developing weld procedures and qualifying our welders. It’s not a cheap thing, but customers require quality standards and traceability. People don’t just want it done, they want it done right – with full traceability and all the paperwork in place. Josh Mathias has never got any issues releasing funds to be able to do that.”
When working for clients like BAE Systems, Babcock and the Royal Navy where fully-certified traders are a priority, it’s imperative that all staff have up to date training.
Paul Stone said, “You’re proving to customers that you can do the job by obtaining the relevant qualifications and taking the right training courses. It’s always better to set the standards than just adhere to them”
Click the button below to find out about our coded welding services, and how our team can help with your next project.