Welding design and fabrication questions and problems affecting welding quality can come up when least expected.  Welding quality can determine the success or failure of weldments.  Therefore having a welding consultant available who has the right answers and solutions, practical certified welder experience, and a real welding engineering degree are essential to avoid welding mistakes, and ensure welding quality.


    There is a widespread lack of welding knowledge in industry because welding is not generally taught at the four year university or college level to engineers, except to those in a welding engineering degree program. This lack of welding knowledge shows up in the work place as welding mistakes that cause welding problems when the untrained engineers must establish and specify welding design and fabrication requirements.  The fact is, no other engineering discipline understands the depth and breath of the science of welding and joining materials, and the complex microstructure and property changes taking place in the weld and heat-affected zones more than a person with a welding engineering degree.

    Weldments must meet increasingly strict requirements.  The economic and human costs of failure during service in today's litigious society puts a lot of responsibility on the weldment designer whose goal is correct weldment performance, and the welding engineer, whose goal is to integrate welding processes and materials to successfully fabricate the weldment.  Both goals are achieved when the best material for the weldment is selected based on design requirements, and properties of all candidate materials, including weldability and fabricability.  This takes a team effort using both the design's and welding engineer's unique knowledge and experience. 

    When used correctly, the science and technology of welding are enabling disciplines that make high quality, low cost weldments possible.  Therefore, to get the maximum economic and technical benefits, you must have the welding knowledge necessary to properly select and apply the science and technology, not as an afterthought, but during the weldment design, procurement, and fabrication phase without making mistakes.


    The problem is, most firms that design or fabricate weldments typically have no one on their staff with a welding engineering degree to establish and specify welding requirements.  This limits their ability to answer welding questions, prevent and solve welding problems, and interpret and apply the welding and fabrication requirements in applicable welding codes, standards and specification, which can be especially challenging to the layman user or specifier.  The firms therefore mistakenly rely too heavily on welding inspection, often as an afterthought to control and improve welding quality.  You cannot inspect in welding quality.  Welding inspection is necessary but it's not enough, because even when welding inspection is done correctly, it typically occurs after the weldment has already been designed or built.  Therefore welding quality or lack of welding quality has already been designed or built-in the weldment.  Therefore welding inspection can only confirm or verify the welding quality that's already there, good or bad.  To ensure good welding quality, you must first design in welding quality before you can build in welding quality.  Welding quality must become inherent in the design, procurement and fabrication process by avoiding mistakes.  Neither can welding inspection be substituted for welding engineering.  The welding inspection function does not establish welding requirements.  The welding engineering function does.  The role of welding inspection is to confirm or verify that the welding requirements established and specified by welding engineering is implemented without making mistakes.  One welding mistake can cost millions. Three cases in point: (1) The attempts of some engineers and designers to specify SA 335, Grade P91, 9Cr-1Mo-V steel pipe, because of its long term high temperature properties.  And as a result having the material fail prematurely in service due to improper fabrication, welding, and heat treating procedures.  (2) The improper weld joint, and weld, causing the cracked pipe weld, gas leak, explosion, and fire in San Bruno, California, resulting in several deaths and extensive property damage.  (3) The weld cracking problem on the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.  Typical mistakes leading to these types of problems include: 

  • No one with a welding engineering degree to support the weldment design function...
  • Using someone who does not have a welding engineering degree to make welding decisions...
  • Assuming metallurgical and materials engineering are equivalent to welding engineering...
  • Relying solely on text books and handbooks to select welding filler metals and electrodes...
  • Relying solely on welders for information affecting engineering and design decisions...
  • Relying on welding inspection to control and improve welding quality...
  • Not considering, or understanding the changes occurring in the base material, and weld heat affected zones during welding...
  • Assuming a certified welder will always make good welds...
  • And others... see a complete explanation of these mistakes and others by clicking on COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID in the left side frame.


    The firm performs or provides assistance with welding activities, establishes and specifies welding requirements, answers technical questions and advise designers, engineers, fabrication and quality personnel on matters of welding during the design, procurement, and fabrication phase  needed to design and build in welding quality, by avoiding mistakes, and thereby ensure weldments are suitable for the intended purpose.  This service can also be provided to your contractors, subcontractors, vendors or suppliers.

$    It's most costly to correct mistakes found in the finished weldment.

$    It's less costly to correct mistakes found when making the weldment.

   It's least costly to prevent mistakes during research, development and design of the weldment.



Welding consulting will allow you to:

  1. Prevent common welding mistakes that reduce quality, lower productivity, increase costs, and jeopardize safety.

  2. Improve your technical capability in welding.

  3. Eliminate the expense and commitment of hiring and maintaining a full time welding engineering support staff.

  4. Get the practical hands-on experience and knowledge required for the success of your project.

  5. Get solutions to problems or an independent opinion when needed.

  6. Profit from your project investment through improved quality, cost reductions, and on time performance within budget.  In other words you receive the best value for your investment dollar.

  7. Prevent unnecessary lawsuits resulting from mistakes, failure or safety incidents.

  8. Design and build in welding quality.

    For your convenience some of the welding consulting services can be performed remotely saving you the time and cost associated with having an engineer travel to your location. If you prefer to have an engineer visit your location, or the location of a vendor, supplier, contractor or subcontractor, an hourly rate, travel time, mileage and associated expenses will be charged.

    To get a cost estimate for welding consulting, or location visits, click on CONTACT METHODS in the left side frame, and use any of the listed methods to contact McWane and Associates.