Realizing the need for advancements in process controls due to compressed project schedules and a shortage of skilled labor, Graycor recently established workshops designed to help employees stay up to date on changes in quality, productivity and safety in welding, nondestructive testing (NDT) and heat treatment. Led by Brian Boseo, manager of quality systems, and Larry Miller, welding engineer at Graycor Services, the workshops include a mix of classroom instruction, physical demonstrations and hands-on applications at partner company Lincoln Electric’s welding training facility in Bolingbrook, Illinois.
During the most recent workshops, held this summer, a diverse group of Graycor employees including estimators, engineers, superintendents, project managers and others shared field experiences related to welding, and provided new ideas for standardizing quality management processes. Representatives from specialty contractors were also present to demonstrate proper techniques for onsite material preparation (Mactech), NDT of weldments (Acuren) and pre- and post-weld heat treatment applications (Superheat FGH) that are often required by project specifications. Attendees were able to experience firsthand the basic mechanics of welding while under the hood and in protective gear.
“A key emphasis during these seminars surrounded proper administration of welder performance qualification and continued welder continuity in order to maintain the high level of craftsmanship that Graycor has built its name upon,” says Boseo. “Welding skills requirements, which often vary by region, are an important part of the quality control process because they ensure that workers are prepared and able to meet the quality expectations on our projects,” explains Boseo.
To keep up with more stringent welding requirements that often come with complex industrial projects, Graycor has remained focused on developing solutions that maximize welder efficiency and avoid rework. Proper selection and storage of welding materials, effective heat treatment and systematic evaluation of weldments using fast NDT methods are proven and effective ways to maintain project schedule and control costs. During the seminars, job-specific planning and preparation of welding processes including equipment selection and setup, welder training and testing were noted as being especially important to a successful project. In an effort to accurately depict the best ways to improve schedule compliance and reduce costs, Lincoln Electric’s M-85, automated welding equipment using FCAW spray transfer, was demonstrated, followed by Acuren’s demonstration of Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing to show the advantages of new technology and how it can help reduce labor costs while maintaining a consistent level of quality.
At the conclusion of the workshops, participants left equipped with a deeper understanding of welding-related processes and a “toolbox” of quality management knowledge to apply to work at their own job sites. “We at Graycor want to thank our partner companies for helping make this possible,” says Boseo. “We look forward to presenting other seminars that reflect our commitment to quality, collaboration and innovation.”