During a recent cell tower modification for a new customer, I received what seems to be common feedback for our company about how helpful our Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) was. I can’t help but think there must be hundreds of CWIs out there who have the CWI certification, but aren’t working to their full potential. If you’re paying a CWI market rate, and their not handling the attributes below, you may not be getting your money’s worth!

When I took my first CWI prep class almost 10 years ago, the instructor had a printout of all of the responsibilities the welding inspector had. Coming from a welding engineering background, I knew the inspector had an important job, but I did not realize how much they were responsible for, it was a real eye opener. Today, I am one of the three CWIs working for our company, and we make a conscious effort to hit every attribute for every job. Some of these are billable, but a lot are not. As the CWI on the project, paid or not, they need to get done. The list below is not inclusive, but covers the primary services your CWI should be providing;

Document Review

  • Contract review, including owner, engineer, and contractor requirements
  • Drawing review and interpretation
  • Weld symbol interpretation (i.e. weld size, lengths, and locations)
  • Welder qualification record review
  • Welder continuity records review
  • NDT operator and procedure qualifications

Technical Conformance

  • Base material compatibility
  • Filler material requirements
  • Weld joint configuration and prep requirements
  • Non Destructive Testing (NDT) requirements
  • Welder assignment including process, thickness limitations, and position requirements
  • Welding Procedure Specification (WPS) conformance

Field Implementation

  • Environmental considerations including weather and potential contaminates
  • Conformance to all document and technical requirements reviewed
  • Preheat verification
  • Fit-up inspections
  • Final visual inspections
  • Performance or oversight of NDT
  • Record keeping and report writing
  • Repair and/or rework guidance

Like I said above, this list is not exhaustive, but completing all these tasks at a minimum is essential to a successful project. If your CWI is simply inspecting the finished weld, or saying “that ain’t my job”, it may be time to call FinishLine Certified Welding and Inspection or another qualified inspection company.