Final Report - Welding Supervisor Training and Certification

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    Sponsor National Shipbuilding Research Program

    Sponsoring Committee SP-7 Welding Panel

    Project Period: September 2002 July 2003 Project Value: $79,742

    Prepared by

    Jeffrey R. Hufsey, Deputy Executive Director, (Technical Representative) American Welding Society

    550 N.W. LeJeune Road Miami, FL 33126

    Phone: 305-443-9353 ext 264 Fax: 305-443-7559


    Project Partners Bender Shipbuilding and Repair Company, Inc.

    Barckhoff and Associates, Inc. American Welding Society

    Key Personnel

    Jeffrey R. Hufsey (Technical Representative) Jack R. Barckhoff, P.E., Barckhoff and Associates, Inc.

    Don L. Lynn, P.E., Barckhoff and Associates, Inc. Kenneth Kerluke, P. Eng., Barckhoff and Associates, Inc. Jackie Morris, Bender Shipbuilding and Repair Co., Inc.

    July 31, 2003

    Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited

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    Table of Contents 1.0 Abstract 3 2.0 Survey of Shipyard Welding Practices (Pre-Training Evaluation) 3 2.1 Overview 3 2.2 Potential Savings 3 2.3 Management Considerations 5 2.4 Prioritized Goals and Potential Savings 6 2.4.1 Goal #1 Reduce weld metal volume 6 2.4.2 Goal #2 Reduce arc time per weldment 10 2.4.3 Goal #3 Reduce rework and scrap 12 2.4.4 Goal #4 Reduce work effort 16 2.4.5 Goal #5 Reduce motion and delay time 19 3.0 Design, Content, and Conduct of Welding Supervisor Training Course 24 3.1 Welding Supervisor Training Curriculum 25 3.2 Welding Supervisor Course References 26 4.0 Design, Content, and Conduct of the Welding Supervisor Certification Examination 27 4.1 Welding Supervisor Certification Examination Composition 27 4.2 Sample Welding Supervisor Examination Questions 28 5.0 Evaluation of Certification Results and Testing Improvements 31 5.1 AWS Certified Welding Supervisor Certification Results 31 6.0 Post-Training Evaluation 32 6.1 Post-Training Conclusions 35 7.0 Metrics for Verification of Effectiveness 35 8.0 Conclusions 36

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    1.0 Abstract The front line supervisor plays a critical role in the improvement of welding productivity through direct interaction with the welders. A training program that focuses on critical variables of welding performance, with discipline and learning incentives stimulated through the recognition of a national certification program will empower welding supervisors to learn and apply the necessary knowledge within the production setting. The scope of this project is limited to the training and certification of individual supervisors, and the observation of improvements made by way of individual initiatives. Systemic improvements resulting from changes in manufacturing practices that are beyond the normal scope of a supervisors job duties are not covered by this project, but represent fertile grounds for additional productivity improvements and research. 2.0 Survey of Shipyard Welding Practices (Pre-Training Evaluation) 2.1 Overview: A survey was conducted at the partner shipyard to ascertain the existing welding manufacturing processes and where significant improvements could be suggested. The survey covered the four critical functions of product design, process engineering, production and quality assurance as they relate to shipbuilding operations. Only those areas within these critical functions that are keys to quality, productivity and through-put improvements were covered in detail in the recommendations arising from this survey. This survey was conducted by the following Barckhoff and Associates engineers: Jack Barckhoff, P.E. Donald Lynn, P.E. Kenneth Kerluke, P.Eng. They worked closely with key Bender Shipbuilding and Repair Company personnel representing each of the four critical functions, and were very encouraged with the cooperation and positive attitude of people interviewed throughout the Companys facility. 2.2 Potential Savings: This survey identified several areas of Key Results and, for each area, resulted in recommendations that were judged to have the most return on investment. The objective of the survey is to help shipyards recognize where, and how much, welding operations can be improved with respect to quality, productivity, through-put, or safety. In the survey, it is expected that full implementation of all recommendations will result in the actualization of annual savings of approximately $17,044 per welder. The potential hour and dollar savings estimates used in this survey are based on the assumption that a shipyard will implement all Key Results Areas and projects identified for each of the five goals during subsequent implementation phases. Actual improvements and cost savings will depend largely on the quality of implementation, the effort expended, and management support. Increasing welding productivity, improving quality and process control are vital tasks for personnel at all levels. To do so requires the identification of factors that adversely affect flow and cost, separating the "vital few" from the "trivial many" items of detail, and implementing and maintaining controls to obtain planned results. To evaluate these factors effectively, the following five goals were examined: 1) reduce weld metal volume 2) reduce arc time per weldment 3) reduce rework and scrap 4) reduce work effort 5) reduce motion and delay time

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    The survey covered in detail each of these goals for the five Key Results Areas within each of the four cri-tical functions of product design, process engineering, production and quality assurance. By evaluating the resulting 100 cell areas, it is possible to identify and report on those vital few items that will provide the greatest return on investment. Although the emphasis of this work is technical, the people involved with the planning and implementation of the various projects really determine the success. Virtually any cost improvement project involves change. Even when people believe change will be beneficial, there is a reluctance to adopt new methods. Ignoring this very real human response to change often results in the failure of a project to achieve its goal. To implement change in the way people do things, it is not enough to show them how to do it - they must understand the why, so theyll want to do it. Further, effective change requires teamwork, clear communications and proper follow-through. To obtain the productivity, quality, and cost improvements highlighted in this report, both the technical and motivation issues must be addressed. The following illustrates the breakdown of the cost savings per welder that was determined by this survey. Through the observations and findings compiled with information obtained from the shipbuilding company personnel at various levels across the four critical functions, it is estimated there is a total potential annual savings of $17,044 per welder in labor hours and welding materials based on the 2002 fiscal year projections at the subject shipyard. This potential savings is realistic and obtainable, but caution must be exercised that it will take full support by management and a cooperative team effort and attitude across the critical functions for maximum results. Potential savings, through-put, and weld quality improvements that can result from the following five welding goals are: $3,319 per welder through the reduction of weld metal volume. Savings in welding materials and associated arc time from specifying and controlling welds to the minimum practical number and length, and by eliminating excessive volume in fillet welds. $4,281 per welder through the reduction of arc time. Reduction of arc time per weldment by developing and ensuring the use of proper work-area layouts, setups, methods and welding procedures; for manual and semi-automatic welding operations that will increase productivity. $3,244 per welder through the reduction of rework, scrap and rejects. Reduction in documented, undocumented and integrated rework costs through the enforcement of weld sequence and placement; the use of meaningful welding procedures and quality workmanship performance standards to reduce weld defects; training with regard to the essential welding variables; good communications; correct input parts; an effective feedback program; and recognition of the fact that welding is an engineered science. $6,200 per welder through the reduction of work effort, motion and delay time. Reduction of work effort through better use of fixtures and tooling with quick change characteristics to reduce fatigue and time for assembly and welding of parts; the elimination and reduction of welds as well as their repositioning; and by empowering people through implementing sound welding management concepts of: a) managing one's own area b) taking responsibility and being accountable at all levels, and c) guaranteeing one's own work. Also by properly training and qualifying people, which will reduce start-up time and produce a more effective and efficient worker.

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    2.3 Management Considerations: The following discussion includes suggestions for systemic improvements that are beyond the scope of this project, but are included here for the benefit of the reader. Two of the goals where significant savings can be achieved are to reduce welder fatigue and to reduce motion and delay. The savings are described in Section 2.4. Achieving these reductions will require the efforts of a strong manufacturing engineering function. There is a concern that the manufacturing engineering function may not be able to meet the challenges that must be