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The complexity of weld management processes in Turnarounds

22 May

Blog by Jordy Palit

Turnarounds are critical periods where assets undergo maintenance, upgrades or overhauls to uphold operational integrity and prolong their lifespan. A critical element of turnarounds is the welding process, which plays a role in structural repairs, modifications, and enhancements. Effective weld management within turnarounds demands careful planning, skilled execution, and strict quality control measures. In this blog post, we delve into the complexities of weld management within turnarounds, highlighting key strategies to optimize efficiency and productivity. 

Pre-Turnaround Planning for Welding Activities

Prior to the execution of a turnaround, planning is essential to streamline welding activities. During this phase the following is important: 

  • Assessing welding requirements: Conduct a thorough inspection to identify all the works (repairs, upgrades, or modifications) that require welding.   
  • Resource allocation: Make sure to get certified and skilled workers, tools, equipment, and materials required for welding operations.  
  • Safety protocols: Develop safety protocols in compliance with regulatory standards to mitigate risks associated with welding activities.   

Weld Procedure Qualifications & Specifications (PQR & WPS)

To ensure the integrity and quality of welds during turnaround operations the following documents are crucial:   

  • A Procedure Qualification Record (PQR) is like a detailed report card for a specific welding procedure. The PQR records all the important details of the testing process, such as the materials, the welding technique, the welding machine settings, and the test results.  
  • The Welding Procedure Specifications (WPS) are a set of instructions for each specific welding job. Once the welding procedure is qualified and recorded in the PQR, a WPS is created for each welding job. The WPS includes all the important information required for the welder to carry out the job, such as the type of welding process, the type and size of welding electrodes or filler wire, the welding position, and any pre or post-weld heat treatment requirements.  

Welder Qualification Test (WQT) and Training

Skilled welders are the backbone of successful welding operations during turnarounds. To ensure competency and consistency, focus on: 

  • Qualification assessments: Assess welders’ skills and certifications to verify their proficiency in executing welding procedures.  
  • Training programs: Provide comprehensive training programs to enhance welders’ proficiency in various welding techniques, safety practices, and equipment operation.  

Real-time Monitoring and Quality Control

Continuous monitoring and quality control measures are essential to detect and rectify welding defects promptly. Therefore, implement the following: 

  • Inspection protocols: Conduct periodic inspections using non-destructive testing (NDT) techniques to identify weld defects such as porosity, cracks, and discontinuities.  
  • Quality assurance checks: Employ strict quality control measures throughout the welding process to ensure specified parameters and standards.  
  • Real-time data analytics: Utilize advanced monitoring systems and data analytics tools to track welding work. Have dashboarding and parameters in place to quickly act on the progress during the prefab and field works.   
  • Maintain a good relationship and clear communication protocols with the NDT contractor to minimize the time between finished welds and test report completion.   

Post-Turnaround Evaluation and Documentation

Upon completion of turnaround activities, evaluation and documentation are essential to assess the efficiency of the weld management processes. This involves: 

  • Post-turnaround assessment: Conduct a comprehensive evaluation of welding activities to identify areas of improvement, lessons learned, and best practices.  
  • Documentation and reporting: Document all welding-related activities, including weld logs, inspection reports, and compliance documentation, for future reference and regulatory compliance purposes.  
  • Continuous improvement initiatives: Implement corrective actions and improvement initiatives based on post-turnaround evaluations to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of weld management processes in subsequent turnaround projects. 


Effective weld management within turnarounds is crucial for ensuring the integrity, safety, and operational reliability of industrial assets. By adopting a systematic approach encompassing pre-turnaround planning, weld procedure qualifications, welder training, real-time monitoring, and post-turnaround evaluation, organizations can optimize efficiency, minimize downtime, and achieve superior welding outcomes. Embracing technological advancements and fostering a culture of continuous improvement is key for successful weld management processes.   

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