By Ron Applehans, RK Steel Shop Operations Manager
Testing Welding Candidates Before Hiring is Key
Quality and safety are top priorities when it comes to steel fabrication. In order to produce high quality products, it is important that steel fabricators test welding candidates before they are hired. Some companies will even retest certified candidates to ensure they meet company requirements.
The most efficient way to test welders is to have the capabilities to do so in-house. That said, there are few steel shops in Colorado that test in-house. The majority of shops send their tests to an outside source; results can take over a week to get back and can cost around $20,000-30,000 a year.
Companies that test in-house save time and money with certified weld testers that can review four to five tests a week. On average, two out of five candidates pass and move onto the interview process.
Tests and Standards for Welding Candidates
A 6G test consists of a 2” pipe weld. The test takes an hour and is examined with side bends. Some companies perform an industrial radiography test to examine the internal structure and integrity of the weld.
The structural steel tests are the 3G, vertical position, and 4G, overhead position. These tests go through a four-hour process starting with the visual test. During this test, the inspector looks for any discrepancies or holes that would compromise the end product. The coupon then goes through a root bend and cap bend test. If the candidate passes the bend tests, they are certified, and deemed a good candidate for hire.
Inspecting Steel Before It’s Installed on a Project is Required
Even with a team of certified welders fabricating steel projects; on-going special inspection requirements are necessary for all projects. These inspections are done by an outside party unless you are an AISC certified fabricator and erector, which employee certified testers to perform in-house inspections.
RK Steel is a premier shop for end-to-end design, fabrication and erection of structural steel and miscellaneous metals. RK Steel abides by the AWS Structural Steel and ASME certification standards. We pride ourselves on weld testing candidates before interviewing. Contact us at RKSteel@rkmi.com to discuss your steel needs.