ISO 3834:2021 Quality requirements for fusion welding of metallic materials – everything you need to know.
ISO 3834:2021 is the international standard for the quality requirements for fusion welding of metallic materials. The ISO 9001:2015 standards state that, where necessary, special processes shall be identified, therefore the ISO 3834:2021 standard is an excellent way to meet these requirements. This is generally applied to the manufacturing of a variety of products that can range from simple to complex. Examples hereof include pressure vessels, domestic and agricultural equipment, bridges, cranes, and transport vehicles.
These processes have a profound effect on the cost of manufacturing as well as the quality of the product. Therefore, it is important to ensure that these processes and procedures are carried out in the most effective way possible and that suitable control is exercised over all aspects of the operation or manufacturing.
It is emphasised that ISO 3834:2021 is not a Quality Management System standard replacing ISO 9001:2015, however, it was developed to complement it and can be a useful tool when ISO 9001:2015 is applied by manufacturers. The required quality specifications for welding processes are important, as the quality of these processes cannot be readily verified or inspected.
Poor design may create serious and costly difficulties in the workshop, on-site, or in service, thus it is necessary to provide controls – from the design phase, through material selection, into the manufacturing and subsequent inspection phases. Cracking in welded joints is one of the many examples that can result from the incorrect selection of materials.
ISO 3834:2021 consists of the following parts under the general title Quality requirements for fusion welding of metallic materials:
- Part 1: Criteria for the selection of the appropriate level of quality requirements
- Part 2: Comprehensive quality requirements
- Part 3: Standard quality requirements
- Part 4: Elementary quality requirements
- Part 5: Documents that are necessary to conform to the quality requirements of ISO 3834-2, ISO 3834-3, or ISO 3834-4
How does the ISO 3834:2021 certification process work?
The ISO 3834:2021 certification process follows five steps:
System examination: An examination of the organisation’s welding Quality Management System helps identify areas that require attention and correction.
Questionnaire: The scheme requires you to complete a detailed questionnaire about the capabilities of your facility. This includes the qualifications and experience of the nominated welding coordination personnel.
Self-audit: In the third step, you conduct a self-audit against the ISO 3834-2 audit checklist.
Implementation and confirmation: The audit has a two-stage process:
- Stage 1 identifies the areas within the welding Quality Management System which require attention.
- Stage 2 is implementation confirmation, where the assessment team will examine specific contracts to assess conformance with customers’ expectations.
Validity: Once issued, the ISO 3834:2021 certificate is valid for five years. An annual surveillance audit by a qualified assessor is required to maintain the approval.
Welding processes are used in various industries – in engineering (i.e., vehicles, agricultural equipment, pressure vessels), in construction (i.e., steel structures, bridges, etc.), and partly in other industries (i.e., metallurgy, energy, manufacturing).
What are the Benefits?
Similar to investing in staff, training, or new equipment, the implementation of ISO 3834:2021 is the perfect solution for welding fabricators and manufacturers in search of a quality system in their organisations that reflects what they do and allows them recognition for their quality. This will not only expand their businesses but also increase their competitiveness within the industry while opening up new markets.
Benefits for certified fabricators, to name a few:
- Confirmation of welding and fabricating capability and staff competence;
- Improved client confidence;
- Entry of the organisation’s details on well-publicised registers;
- Increased national and international business potential;
- ISO 3834:2021 certification can be achieved alongside ISO 9001:2015 certification.
Benefits for clients of certified fabricators:
- Independent assessment of suppliers by industry experts;
- In-depth, authoritative evaluation of fabricator capability;
- Consistent assessment;
- Uniform presentation of information and data.
What documents are required for ISO 3834:2021?
To be successful in this profession, you have to conform to a range of requirements that seem to change almost daily. Many organisations have achieved certification to ISO 9001:2015 concerning their Quality Management Systems but other certifications are required to demonstrate the capability of the organisation to manufacture products of the required quality.
ISO 3834:2021 can overcome this shortfall and boost the manufacturing organisation’s ability to sell its products in both local and international markets. The following documents, to only name a few, are required to conform to ISO 3834:2021:
- Assessment report of sub-contractors
- Sub-contractor monitoring checklist
- Welder/welding operator qualification certificates
- Welding coordination personnel qualification records and authorisations
- Chart of welding coordination interactions
- NDT personnel qualification certificates
- Report of qualification for visual testing and report of ability of near vision acuity and colour vision
- Essential equipment list as well as the equipment maintenance records thereof
- Parental metal test certificates
- Heat treatment records; and
- Traceability records (when required).
Conforming to the ISO 3834:2021 standard is important because it provides a framework for delivering a safe and effective product to customers continually. ISO certification is validation for potential consumers that your organisation has dedicated time, effort, as well as resources into a process of quality to ensure your service or product is reliable and can be dependent on repeatedly.
Contact WWISE today on 0861 099 473 or (021) 525 9159 (Cape Town) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, to assist you and your organisation with implementing ISO 3834:2021.