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1st Training Course Certified Welding Inspector (CWI-AWS) 2013 in Indonesia have been held by 16th to 24th April 2013. This event made ​​possible with the cooperation of Politeknik Perkapalan Negeri Surabaya (PPNS), Indonesian Welding Society and American Welding Society (AWS).

IWS Course Calendar 2013 - For further information please visit http://www.iws.org.in

Operating  procedures for the Common Welder Certification Scheme (CWCS), which has been under development since the Asian Welding Federation (AWF) was established, were finalized at the 11th AWF Task Force Meeting held November 21 at Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre (BITEC) in Bangna, a suburb of Bangkok, Thailand. The CWCS agreement marks the culmination of four years of debate and deliberation between all AWF member countries on the rules and detailed operating procedures for the scheme.

The establishment of a common certification scheme for welders has been a common goal since the conception and founding of the AWF and is an integral part of the federation’s aim of providing knowledge, skills, and qualifications to people of Asia, as well as supporting the economic development of the countries of Asia.

In its work up to now, the task force has engaged in extended discussions about the CWCS, taking into account the various circumstances and views of each member country. The new agreement encompasses Rules A0001 (Rules on the Implementation of AWF Guidelines Concerning the Examination and Certification of Welders in Fusion Welding), which define the requirements of an Authorized Testing Centre (ATC). In addition, all operational procedures, OP01 to OP02, were approved (with the exception of OP02).

Under this new agreement, AWF auditors, working under the newly established CWCS rules and operational procedures, will audit and approve an ACB in each country. Each approved ACB will then, in turn, audit the ATCs in that country. Once an ATC is approved, it can then proceed to conduct skills testing of welders in that country. This set of procedures, which has now been approved, is currently being prepared for implementation.

The Task Force Meeting itself began with a message by AWF Secretary General Dr. Ang Chee Pheng of the Singapore Welding Society and self-introductions by the attending member representative: 8 from Japan, 2 from China, 21 from Indonesia, 1 from Mongolia, 7 from Malaysia, 2 from Myanmar, 3 from Philippines, 3 from Singapore, and 5 from the host country, Thailand. In all, 52 representatives from nine different countries attended the event.

Once underway, the proceeding undertook the work of approving the formulated CWCS rules and detailed operating procedures, which were followed by presentations on CWCS activity plans in each country. In Japan, for example, the Japan Welding Engineering Society (JWES) has already started working to establish and implement the CWCS within two years. This year it conducted its first test trial at nine JWES examination centers in order to compare and identify any differences between ISO 9606 and Japan’s national JIS welding skill qualifications, as well as to collect data for implementing ISO 9606 testing. A second test trial will be conducted within the current financial year. Through these trials, detailed operating procedures for skills testing will be formulated. It was also reported that, as an AWF member, Japan will report to the JWES Board that it will introduce ISO 9606.

In addition, at the standardization task force meeting, JWES Welding Consumable Division director Naoshi Suzuki (a representative of Kobe Steel, Ltd.) gave presentations entitled “Establishing Common Welding Standards for AWF Members by the Adoption of ISO Standards” and “Summary of 2012 Welding Materials Survey”. Furthermore, the group agreed to work under the name “AWF Task Force on Standardization” for the purpose of providing a forum for sharing information on welding-related standards, as well as for putting together Asian views for proposals to the ISO.

In terms of concrete objectives, in order to address the challenge of introducing ISO provisions into the domestic standards of each country, the meeting identified the need to fully comprehend the details of ISO standards. As a result, it was decided that the next standardization task force meeting would begin work on examining specific examples of the ISO 2560:2009 (covered electrodes for arc welding) standards, and that individual countries would make presentations regarding their current national welding-related standards.

The 18th AWF General Assembly was held on the day following the Task Force Meeting. The gathering kicked off with an address by Suchin Katavut, President of the Thai Welding Society, representing the host country, who remarked on the CWCS agreement, saying, “It is necessary to proceed smoothly with realizing the CWCS in order to fulfill the AWF’s aim of working step-by-step towards enabling Asian countries to help each other by sharing information and other resources.”

Following the inaugural remarks, AWF President Achdiat Armawinata, President of the Indonesian Welding Society (IWS), spoke a few words of thanks to all the attendees representing their respective AWF member countries, after which assembly work proceeded with reports in the task force meeting, on the management of the AWF website, and on progress towards producing a glossary of welding terminology in English.

Opinions were heard from various countries regarding the prospect of developing a relationship between the American Welding Society (AWS) and the AWF. In addition, there was an open discussion on the differences between the AWF’s CWCS and the International Welding Engineer (IWE) certification of the International Institute of Welding (IIW).

On November 23, the 4th Auditor’s Seminar was held. A total of 29 participants representing seven different countries joined this event, including 1 from China, 18 from Indonesia, 4 from Japan, 2 from Malaysia, 2 from Philippines, 1 from Singapore, and 1 from Thailand. Heng Keng Wah (Singapore Welding Society) gave a lecture covering CWCS-related procedures and operating procedures, including those related to auditing ATCs and authorizing ACB auditors, and those related to the authorization of assessors, NDT testers, and machine testers.

The ACB auditor and assessor examinations were conducted after the lecture. Once the results of the examination are finalized, implementation of the CWCS will begin.

Over a five-day period from June 27 to July 1, a party of three Japanese welding specialist – Takashi Miyata, president of the Japan Welding Engineering Society (JWES), Hirosada Irie, former chairman of the JWES’s International Activity Committee, and Masaharu Sato, a JWES Supervising Manager – visited Indonesia. During their stay, they observed a WES training course for welding coordination personnel that was in progress at the Politeknik Negeri Jakarta (PNJ), which is affiliated with the University of Indonesia. They also visited the Department of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering of the university, engaged in informal talks with Japanese government officials at the Japanese Embassy, and visited the Jakarta offices of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to report on overseas developments of the JWES and its activities in Indonesia.

The aim of the recent visit was to observe the results and current status of certification activities for welding coordination personnel that was implemented as part of a current JICA project, as well as to visit organizations affiliated with Japan, and to exchange opinions on ways to support improving the level of welding technology in Indonesia.

The background to the visit goes back to the Japan-Indonesia Economic Partnership Agreement (JI-EPA), concluded between the governments of the two countries in 2007. This agreement included a commitment to cooperate on support for the improvement of welding technology. On investigating the matter of welding-related technical cooperation, the Japanese government sought advice from the JWES welding technology, equipment, and materials. In November of the same year, the JWES worked out an agreement with its Indonesian counterpart, the Indonesian Welding Society (IWS), which defined the respective roles of the two societies in the introduction of a certification system for welding coordination personnel in Indonesia. Initially in 2007, the JWES became involved with Indonesia in two ways. It acted directly on the basis of the memorandum of understanding with the IWS (focusing on exchange), and it provided technical advice to the Japanese government. However, since the Indonesian’s desire to introduce a personnel certification system as soon as possible matched the Japanese government’s desire for concrete action and results from the JI-EPA, the JWES was contracted by the Japanese government to execute a basic survey in Indonesia to explore the best approaches to technical cooperation. As part of this survey project, it was decided to go ahead with the introduction of a certification system for welding coordination personnel within the framework of the JI-EPA (within the ODA budget).

In March 2008, the JWES began its certification activities in Indonesia by sending a delegation to implements its first welding coordination personnel training course/examination in the country, and to conduct a survey of existing welding personnel training courses/examinations and education and training institute in Indonesia. Then, in fiscal 2008 and fiscal 2009, JWES received further contracts from the Japanese government to conduct basic surveys in Indonesia, and continued to work on training and certification of welding coordination personnel and the establishment of a certification system.

Since the Japanese government initiatives were implemented strictly as survey projects to examine approaches to technical cooperation, the implementation of this technical cooperation project was taken over by JICA from 2011.

As increasing numbers of course were held in Indonesia, it became possible to appoint local teachers to conduct training course. This development enabled JWES to implement multiple training courses/examinations simultaneously in different cities.

However, technical cooperation with Indonesia based on the JI-EPA is defined within a comprehensive framework as an initiative of the Manufacturing Industrial Development Centre (MIDEC), with welding technology falling under “interdisciplinary cooperation on fundamental technology and its promotion” within MIDEC. This MIDEC initiative was to be in effect for five years after the termination on the JI-EPA agreement. This year is the fifth year of MIDEC’s five-year term.

Thus, JWES president Miyata and the others visited the Japanese Embassy and JICA’s Jakarta offices for discussions aimed at assessing the results and status of certification system initiatives in Indonesia, and to examine future approaches to cooperation.

On June 28, they observed the 10th training course that was in progress at PNJ at the University of Indonesia (Depok campus). This training course was held as part of a welding technology improvement project by JICA. Hiroyuki Nakashima and Hideaki Harasawa, both technical advisers from JWES, were conducting a class for senior welding engineer (SWE) certification, as JICA experts.

At the Depok campus, there was also a class for associate welding engineer (AWE) certification that was conducted by local teachers, while training courses for AWE and welding engineer (WE) certification were held simultaneously in Serang in Banten province as well.

The party of three also paid a visit to the Department of Metallurgy and Material Engineering, where they spoke with Bambang Suharno, the chairman of the department, and Winarto, a professor. They also toured the new “welding center” that the university is developing. At the time of their visit, the center building was still under construction.

As the authorized testing body (ATB) of Indonesian’s authorized national body (ANB), the department is currently preparing to launch a course for the International Institute of Welding (IIW) qualification of international welding engineers (IWE). The department is also proceeding to establish an exchange partnership with the Joining and Welding Research Institute, Osaka University.

Masaharu Sato, the JWES Supervising Manager, had the following to say about the recent visit. “Through the activities of JICA’s five-year technical cooperation project, the WES certification system for welding coordination personnel has progressed and spread considerably in Indonesia. Already, some 300 engineers have earned certification, and more than 500 people have joined training courses. Now that we are seeing solid results, we hope to see a cooperation system built on a new framework with revised targets in the following year or so.”

Sato added, “If this same certification system for welding coordination personnel were adopted as a common system for all of Southeast Asia, it would be possible to find welding professionals with the same level of training and certification in any country in the region. This would be a great benefit, both a local and Japanese companies.” Hopefully, a new cooperation scheme can be set up between the two countries after the current on expires.

As previously reported, the implementation method of the Common Welder Certification Scheme (CWCS) for Asia, which has been a longstanding goal of the Asian Welding Federation (AWF) since its formation, was decided at the 11th AWF Task Force Meeting and General Assembly held in Bangkok, Thailand on November 12 of last year.

As part of this project, the AWF has worked continuously towards the establishment of a common certification system for welding professionals in Asia and has aimed at providing welding-related knowledge, skills, and qualifications to people in Asia in order to support Asian countries and help them to develop. The task force concerned with the CWCS has examined the prevailing conditions and viewpoints of each member country and has conducted extensive discussions taking these into consideration. In this report, we examine the progress of the CWCS implementation scheme in various individual countries (as of December 2012).

Malaysia (Institute of Materials Malaysia: IMM)
In Malaysia, a manpower optimization system (MOS) is already in effect. A total of eight organizations serving as authorized testing centers (ATCs) have entered into contracts with the national oil company, Petronas, in relation to the scheme. Currently, a quality manual for external auditing created by an authorized certification body (ACB) has been submitted and is now being examined by the AWF.

Indonesia (Indonesian Welding Society: IWS)
In addition to implementing training of auditors and evaluators, the IWS is preparing to establish an ACB and ATCs. The next step will be promoting the scheme to companies.

Mongolia (Mongolian Materials Science and Welding Society: MMSWS)
CWCS documentation is being translated into the Mongolian language, and the MMSWS is now ascertaining what Mongolia needs to do while simultaneously forming alliances with other countries. The translation is expected to take one to two years.

Thailand (Thai Welding Society: TWS)
The implementation scheme is being introduce through various meetings with stakeholders. An explanatory meeting regarding the CWCS and MOS with joint participation of the Singapore Welding Society (SWS), TWS, and government officials is planed.

China (Fundamental Industry Training Centre of Tsinghua University, Beijing University of Technology)
China has adopted the International Institute of Welding (IIW) system, so the situation is complex. Although its current skills certification system is different, there is also interest in the CWCS because it offers the promise of lower costs. There is a desire to start the CWCS n a trial basis with small-scale examination centers and training centers.

The Philippines (Philippines Welding Society: PWS)
While the PWS has recently undergone a personnel restructuring, it is also studying the adoption and operation of this scheme. There is a particularly acute need for welders on the island of Mandanao.

Japan (Japan Welding Engineering Society: JWES)
Work has already begun to establish the CWCS within the next two years, if possible. In order to compare and comprehend the differences between the CWCS and Japan’s Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) welding skill examination, which has been used to implement International Organization for Standardization (ISO)9606-1 testing, as well as collect data for implementing ISO9606-1, testing, the certification committees of nine JWES districts conducted their first test trial last year. Within the same fiscal year, a second test trial was conducted. Through these trials, a skills examination is expected to be worked out in detail.

Myanmar (Myanmar Engineering Society: MES)
While the development of welding technology is still immature, there is a large amount of welding-related work ongoing within the country, for example in pipeline laying projects. Currently, the skill level of welders is a problem, so the Ministry of Industry has set up the National Skill Development Authority (NSDA) and has launched a training and certification system for welders. The country has been slow to take up the CWCS initiative, but it is now looking towards creating a plan to promote the CWCS and it is seeking assistance from other countries on the matter.

Singapore (Singapore Welding Society: SWS)
Currently, Singapore has already established examination centers where it conducts welding skill examinations, and the SWS is now looking at the possibility of transitioning welders to the CWCS qualification by means of a transition arrangement (TA). In addition, it is creating a quality manual, and preparing to establish an ACB. It is also encouraging companies to participate in the scheme.

Apart from the CWCS task force, the first meeting of standardization task force was also held at the last Task Force Meeting and General Assembly. The head of the JWES Welding Consumables Division, Tadashi Suzuki, conducted presentations on “establishing common welding standards for AWF members through the introduction of ISO standard” and on “a summary of a welding materials survey in 2012.” In addition, it was officially decided that the task force would be named the “AWF Task Force on Standardization,” with the purpose of providing a forum for jointly holding and managing information on welding-related standards along with the mission of compiling the views of Asia and submitting them to the ISO. Other concrete task force goals include understanding the contents of ISO standards and clarifying any differences between these and the standards of each AWF member country, as well as indentifying issues that may arise when incorporating ISO standards into the domestic standards of each country.

At the next Task Force Meeting and General Assembly (July, 2013), the AWF Task Force in standardization plans to commence the specific examination of ISO 20560:2009 (coated electrodes) and to present reports on the current situation of participating countries with respect to domestic standards for welding materials.

In any case, we can  say that we have taken a solid first step towards fulfilling the AWF mission of (1) establishing and spreading a certification system for welders, welding engineers, welding inspectors, and other welding professionals that is unified and consistent throughout Asia; and (2) towards formulating unified, consistent welding standards throughout Asia that reflect the viewpoints of Asia towards international standards.

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