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The Newsletter of the National Certified Pipe Welding Bureau


UA and NCPWB Welder Certification Database

The Bureau completed its development of the new database, which will be presented at the upcoming Technical Committee meeting in Amelia Island. The new program offers search capabilities that enable each chapter to query the database in many different ways and obtain the desired reports. It also provides a tool that enables users to track and update continuity records. Chapters can look at the database and determine if a welder is qualified in other locations. Local chapters often develop nonstandard welder performance qualification records and the new database will allow chapters to share these forms. Every time a nonstandard form is developed, it will be available to all users. This will save time in developing those records. We need to develop a uniform method of numbering. This subject will be discussed at the upcoming meeting. The welder database has been developed and tested for some time now. At its Board meeting, the Bureau established a task force to review A look at the online portion of the database. the UA web site prior to its distribution to the chapter. The task force recently completed its review. Chapters soon will be informed of the address where they can access the UA welder database.

2001 Technical Committee Meeting

The 2001 Technical Committee meeting will be held at the Amelia Island Plantation. For the past several years, the Bureau has been experiencing a substantial increase in the number of attendees at its annual meeting, which has resulted in budget overruns. Beginning this year, the Board has moved to charge participants a registration fee of $120 to partially cover meal expenses. This is the first time since its inception in 1947 that the Bureau is forced to charge participants for attending the meeting. This is also indicative of greater recognition and interest in the Bureau.

What Is Happening with Construction Metrication?

According to the recent Construction Metrication Newsletter, Volume 9, Issue 4, all new federally funded buildingsincluding offices, courthouses, medical, space and military facilities, and prisonsare being designed and constructed using the metric system. Metric projects account for about $10 to $15 billion annually. Some federally funded constructions, such as most repair work and minor improvements, are still performed in inch-pound measures. Buildings and structures built with federal grant money such as water treatment and sewer plants constructed with EPA funds are usually not metricated.

March 2001

I am pleased to report that the membership in the National Certified Pipe Welding Bureau has grown substantially. We ended the year 2000 with 42 new Members. This growth can partly be attributed to the success of the joint UA/NCPWB Welder Certification Program. We experienced a substantial increase in membership in 2000, and our aim is to attract 63 new members in 2001. For a one-year period, the initiation fee for membership in the Bureau is reduced from $750 to $100. We made this move due to many local executives requests. In some local executives opinions, the initiation fee for membership in the Bureau has been a major obstacle for some contractors Robert B. Waddy who have wanted to join the Bureau. We are looking forward to seeing the result of our action by the end of 2001. To realize the full benefit of the joint UA/NCPWB Welder Certification Program, the Bureau needs to provide contractors to witness test events at every UA Authorized Testing Facility (ATF). This, however, is problematic for the Bureau since we do not have local The Newsletter of the National Cer tified Pipe Welding Bureau associations in every location where there are ATFs. The only way to accomplish this is to ask chapters to is published periodically by the National Certified offer membership to contractors who are not within Pipe Welding Bureau at its national office. their territories. This will increase our pool of available B OA R D O F T R U S T E E S contractors who can witness test events. We will disRobert B. Waddy cuss this issue further at our upcoming Technical Chairman Committee meeting in Florida.



Russell I. Mullican Vice Chairman

The Search Is On To Find Skilled Welders

Close to a half-million people held a job as a welder, cutter, or welding machine operator last year, three-fourths of them in manufacturing and services. Include other trades, such as ironworkers, boilermakers, and pipefitters, and the total surges to about 2 million. Thats 10 percent of the workforce, according to the Department of Labors Bureau of Labor Statistics ( In an industry valued at more than $5.5 billion, the need to replace aging, skilled welders is acute. The need for skilled workers will become more of a problem in the next three to five years as 50 percent of the welders in North America retire, said Dave Manning, president of the Hobart Institute of Welding Technology.Where the new generation will come from is a grave problem.

James J. Brigss, Jr. Treasurer George B. Kearney Mark Jarnot James Sekely Robert J. Durr, Sr. Chairman Emeritus Steve Kelly UA Representative Robert Silvia G.W. Spohn, III Rick Taylor Dariush Nikpourfard Executive Director Walter J. Sperko, P.E. Consultant

1385 Piccard Drive Rockville, MD 20850-4340 (301) 869-5800 Fax (301) 990-9690


Philadelphia Chapter 9 Raises The Bar With Its Educational Offerings

NCPWB Philadelphia Chapter 9 hosted a second, filled-to-capacity Level II Visual Inspection Course on November 28, 2000 in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania. The Welder Training and Testing Institute (WTTI) designed this special eight-hour course specifically for Chapter 9 members. It covered the requirements for visual inspection as outlined by ASNT in the Recommended Practice No. SNT-TC-1A. The course prepared each participant for the written examination administered on December 6, 2000. The purpose of offering this course, stated Chapter President Philip J. Guerrieri was to expand the knowledge of our existing pool of highly skilled welders. Furthermore, we were able to provide our customers more cost-effective services by having a Level II Visual Inspector on site to sign off on the quality of individual welds, as required by B31 Code. Guerrieri expects to develop a program by mid-January, 2001 that will allow participating contractors to integrate the additional training necessary for each welder to become fully certified. He is working closely with Bob Wiswesser, a Level III certified member of WTTI. Once this program is implemented, certification will be reflected on the Chapters monthly weldermatrix. According to Chapter Treasurer James E. Quinn,The benefits of offering courses such as these are endless. Primarily, we are proud to strengthen our relationship with the United Association and LU 420. The majority of our members are actually card-holding union members. Additionally, we are sharing in the cost to educate the valuable employees who are critical to todays ever-demanding industry.


The Board has approved the following organizations as new members of the Bureau. We welcome their membership into the Bureau. Connecticut
Kendland Company, Inc

St. Louis
Allens Mechanical Utility Resources, Inc./Union Resources

Williams Power Corp.

Advance Mechanical Contractors Inc. Midwest HVAC, Inc. Performance Mechanical Contractors, Inc Pro/Fit Mechanical Temp. Control, Inc.

Pioneer Pipe, Inc.

New England
Thomson Mechanical Contractors, Inc.

New York Greater New York

Southern Mechanical Corp Timbil Mechanical, Inc.

Pace Mechanical Services, Inc. Weiss Construction Co.

B&H Piping Michael A Ferrauilo Plumbing & Heating

Fry Mechanical Inc Grindall & White, Inc. Gunthorpe Plumbing & Heating, Inc. Kebler Plumbing & Heating Company Paul Bengel Mechanical Company Shaw-Winkler, Inc. Smith-Hammond Piping Company T.H. Eifert, Inc.

Modular Systems, Inc.

Pennsylvania Philadelphia
Accord Mechanical & Mgmt Svcs. Inc.

Western, PA
Dasco, Inc.

Missouri Kansas City

B&D Industrial Construction, inc.

Harold Nave Company, Inc

Shinn Mechanical, Inc.

Future Meetings
March 25-28 October 14-16 Technical Committee Meeting Amelia Island Plantation, FL Board Meeting Hollywood, FL Technical Committee Meeting Charleston, SC Board Meeting Pinehurst, NC

Bureau Has a New Administrative Assistant

Sharon Glenn joined the MCAA in late October of 2000 as the NCPWBs administrative assistant. Sharon recently relocated from Columbia, South Carolina. She has several years of experience as an administrative assistant. She possesses a wide range of knowledge in the administrative field.

April 14-17 October 13-15

March 2001


hen a contractor is installing piping under the B31 Code Sections, welders who have been qualified under the joint UA/NCPWB Welder Qualification Program may work for a contractor other than the contractor who originally qualified the welder by transferring the appropriate qualification records. The NCPWB local chapter office facilitates this process by maintaining the appropriate records and making the required paperwork available locally.

Walter Sperko NCPWB Technical Consultant

Basis of the Joint United Association/NCPWB Welder Qualification Program The joint welder qualification program between the United Association and the NCPWB is based on the welder qualification requirements of ASME B31 Code for Pressure Piping. The following are the code requirements under which this program meets the requirements of ASME B31.1; the requirements listed below are very similar in the other B31 Code Sections (i.e., B31.3, B31.5 and B31.9). Code Basis for the Program Original Qualification of a Welder B31.1, paragraph 127.5.1, requires that welders be qualified in accordance with the requirements of ASME Section IX except as allowed by paragraph 127.5.3 (B). Each contractor is required by ASME Section IX to qualify each welder who works for him. When a contractor gives a welder a test, Section IX, paragraph QW300.2, requires that the contractor supervise and control the welder while he is welding his test coupon. Supervision and control may not be provided by another organization such as a test lab, a customer, a Code Inspector, or the UA ATR. After performing the required visual examination and testing or radiography of the coupon, the contractor completes the welder performance qualification record, including signing of the record. Code Basis for the Program Transferring of Qualifications B31.1, paragraph 127.5.3 (B), permits welders who have been qualified by an employer as required by Section IX to go to work for a second employer without being retested under the limitations listed below. It makes no difference if the welder is actually on the payroll of the original qualifying contractor or not NCPWB BULLETIN

since B31.1 defines an employer as the owner, manufacturer, fabricator, contractor, assembler, or installer who is responsible for the welding performed by his organization, including procedure and performance qualifications. The welder was qualified on a pipe test coupon. The WPS used by the second contractor was the same or an equivalent WPS in which the essential variables of the second contractors WPS are within the limits established by Section IX. The first contractor provides a copy of the welder qualification record to the second contractor. The first contractor provides the second contractor with evidence that the welder has maintained his qualifications in accordance with QW-322 of Section IX (i.e., the six-month rule). The second contractor signs the welder qualification record accepting responsibility for the ability of the welder. Welder Qualification Testing Under the Joint Program The primary function of the joint welder testing program is to make compliance with the above requirements as simple and painless as possible. The primary function of the UA in this program is to train welders and pipefitters in the craft. One of the key steps of training is for the craftsman to demonstrate his welding skill by taking a qualification test. The joint testing program melds the UAs training program and the need for welders to be qualified under the Code into a single event, reducing the testing (and stress!) that a welder has to go through to be employed as a welder.
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The first step in making the joint testing program successful was to make administering a welder test and completing the records as simple and accurate as possible. To achieve that end, a series of standard welder tests were developed. These standard welder tests describe the specific details of a test, such as the WPS followed, the pipe material, size and wall thickness, filler metal to be used, welding position, etc., and also the required inspection and testing. Along with the standard tests are corresponding welder performance qualification records (i.e., QW-484 forms) that have been completed in all technical aspects and comply with the requirements of Section IX. Only the welders name, stamp, date of test, and other administrative data specific to the test have to be added to the form. These standard welder tests are known as Joint Performance Qualification Tests (JPQT). The JPQTs allow the welder to follow either NCPWB or United Association Welding Procedure Specifications (WPS) when he is welding his test coupon. The WPSs shown on the JPQTs have been reviewed and are equivalent. The welder may use either WPS during welding of his test coupon without affecting the validity of the qualification test. Whenever a welder takes a test, a contractor must be present to provide supervision and control over the welder while he is welding the test coupon. As described above, this is an ASME Section IX requirement. If a contractor is not present while the welder is welding his test coupon, the contractor will have no way of knowing that the welder welded the test coupon in accordance with the Standard Test Description and cannot truthfully sign the certification statement on the qualification record. Unless a welder is qualified in accordance with the requirements of Section IX to begin with, there is no value in being able to transfer his qualifications since his qualifications will not be valid. Once the welder has successfully completed a test, the contractor and the ATR complete the qualification record. If the UA testing facility is using the old testing program, the ATR completes the records required by the old program (i.e., a WPQR and a CWQR) and the contractor completes the corresponding NCPWB qualification record. Transfer of Qualification Records Once a welder is qualified, his qualification records may be transferred from the original qualifying contractor to another contractor without the welder taking an additional test. The local NCPWB chapter facilitates the

transfer of qualification records from one contractor to another contractor; this is one of the primary services provided by the local NCPWB chapters. Once a welder is qualified, his qualification records are sent to the local NCPWB chapter. The chapter should verify that the name of the original qualifying contractor, signature and date (i.e., the information in the lower right corner of the form) are on all records that it receives. These original qualification records are the starting point for transfer of records between contractors, so it is important that they be filled out properly and completely. The NCPWB technical consultant is available for assistance with these reviews. The local chapter will send a copy of each record to the National NCPWB office to be added into the national database. When a welder goes to work for a new contractor, that contractor contacts the local NCPWB chapter with the name and Social Security number of the welder. The local office determines the qualification status of the welder. If the local chapter has copies of the welder qualification record in its files and the welders qualifications are current (i.e., continuity of qualification has been maintained in accordance with QW-322), a copy of the welder qualification records is sent to the new contractor. The qualification records that are sent to the new contractor are copies of the original qualification records, except that the original qualifying contractors name and signature at the certification statement have been deleted. The new contractor enters his company name and signs and dates the record in the lower right-hand corner; at this point the welder may begin welding for the new contractor. Since the name of the contractor who originally qualified the welder remains on the record on the line Contractor/Fabricator Supervisor, the connection to the original qualification will not be lost as a result of the transfer of the record to another contractor. It should be noted that Section IX, QW-300.3, permits simultaneous (mass) qualification of welders by more than one contractor. When simultaneous qualification is done, it is necessary for all the contractors for whom the welder may work to be present during qualification testing. The presence of all contractors is not necessary when qualification testing is being done under B31 Code Sections; B31 permits welders who have been qualified by one contractor to transfer to another contractor without further qualification simply by transferring and signing the qualification records as described above. Since transferring qualification records between contractors who compete with each other is not a spontaneous event, the NCPWB local chapter plays a key role in enabling the transfer of qualifications.
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March 2001

Connecticut Hosts Joint UA/NCPWB Meeting

Robert Sylvia, NCPWB Board of Trustees member, and Randy Ward, UA Special Representative, recently traveled to Connecticut for an educational session on the joint welding program on January 23rd and 24th. A dinner meeting was held for UA representatives, contractors, and customers. Randy and Bob discussed the benefits of the joint program and answered any questions or concerns the attendees had. A breakfast meeting was held the next morning. This meeting was held for those ATRs and contractors already involved in the joint welding program. Connecticut was pleased to have Phillip Martin from HSB Registration Services discuss welding codes with the attendees. This meeting was a more in depth look at the program, paperwork, and codes that affect our industry. In addtion, Randy Ward presented an online look at the UAs welding database. This meeting resulted in Metal Specialties,Inc.,becoming Connecticuts 10th contractor member with other interested contractors on the horizon.In the past year,Connecticut's membership has gone from 5 to 10 contractor members and from 3 to 27 welders qualified in multiple procedures.

WPSs and WPQTs on the Internet

In 2001, the Bureau will be working on a project which will result in placing every available Welding Performance Specification (WPS) and Welder Performance Qualification Test (WPQT)on the Internet. Once the project is complete, the national office will no longer provide the procedures to new members. Each local association will have access to the WPSs and WPQTs and will in turn provide a set of the most widely used procedures to new members. The national office has selected those procedures, which are being offered to new members in 2001. During its last meeting, the Board reached the conclusion that every new member who joins the Bureau is not utilizing a full set of procedures. The Board, therefore, decided to offer only those procedures that are most widely used by contractors. Contractors who need additional procedures can obtain copies from their local chapters.

Election of Board Members

The MCAA Board has reelected George Kearney of Northwestern Industrial Piping, Inc., and Mark Jarnot of Joseph Davis, Inc., for another term.


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George Kearney

Mark Jarnot

Maintaining Welder Continuity of Qualification Section IX, QW-322, requires that welders use each welding process at least once every six months in order for their qualifications to continue to be valid. Another key role of the local NCPWB chapter is to maintain this continuity record. Staff at the local NCPWB office contacts each contractor periodically to determine if the welders who are working there have used any welding process during the previous six months. The chapter then documents use of each welding process for each welder in a log or computer database. It is this record that the NCPWB chapter office checks to be sure that welders who are being transferred from one contractor to another contractor are still qualified. The UA also tracks continuity in some locations and may assist chapters with this activity.