Effective Repairs. Safe Welders. Simple to Manage.

Mining Welder Competency

The Mining Welder Competency program provides mine sites with a means to ensure that Welders have the necessary knowledge and proficiency to safely carry out effective weld repairs of cracking in mining equipment.

The Mining Welder Competency is for all Welders working in the mining industry - FTE's on mine sites and Contractors.

It can also be used by off-site repair workshops and OEM's

Industry Recognised


Benefits for Mine Sites

  • Improved Crack Repair Outcomes

  • Better safety management

  • Improved weld repair planning and management

  • Improved WHS and Regulatory Compliance

  • Upskill your workforce

Find out more about the benefits


Benefits for Contractors and OEM's

  • Demonstrate your welder's competency to your clients

  • Single certificate rather than many separate qualifications

  • Upskill your workforce

Find out more about the benefits


The MWC Competency Program

Competent - having appropriate experience, knowledge, proficiency and skills

The Mining Welder Competency consists of a combination of theory training to increase a welder's knowledge, and practical assessment whereby the welder must demonstrate their proficiency and safety in using the welding processes, and apply their knowledge and repair welding skills via a test coupon.

Click on the headings below to find out more about the elements of the competency assessment process

Knowledge

Welders need to have understanding of the fundamental principles necessary to apply when carrying out weld repairs

  • Identify the material type and thereby apply the correct working temperature and consumable selection.

  • Understand the causes of fatigue cracking and know what they can do to minimise re-cracking

  • Know how to minimise Residual Stresses

  • Know the causes and how to prevent common weld defects

  • Know the importance of keeping Hydrogen content to a minimum

  • Understand the role of susceptible microstructures, residual tensile stress and hydrogen on "cold cracking"

In addition to these fundamental principles, Welder also need to know what methodologies to employ for various Repair Scenarios.

  • There are many considerations that need to be considered depending on the nature and features of the cracking that is to be repaired.

  • By training the Welders to recognise the key factors that need to be considered and best practice approaches to be used for various Repair Scenarios, the Welders can be more autonomous and there can be greater confidence in achieving good repair outcomes.

Lastly, Welders also need to appreciate the importance of weld quality, and demonstrate ability to self-inspect and objectively assess their welds in order to meet basic Quality Assurance requirements.

  • Not every weld can be inspected by an NDT technician or Welding Inspector/Supervisor

  • Don't lose efficiency by needing to rework after inspection.

  • It is not possible to inspect quality into a weld after completion - many defects cannot be identified by post-weld inspection.

Proficiency and Safety

  • A welder must demonstrate the technical and safety aspects for the following processes which are needed for on-site weld repairs

    • Carbon Arc Gouging

    • GMAW (MIG)

    • FCAW

    • MMAW (Stick)

    • Oxy-Acetylene cutting

    • LPG heating

Skills

For effective repairs of cracking, a Welder must have the skill to produce quality welds in the types of joints that are commonly encountered in repair situations. Furthermore, Welders must be able to do welds that have good fatigue properties.

  • Open root single sided welds, with complete penetration and smooth root profile with minimal notches, have much better fatigue life than repairs made with backing strip

  • Weld caps and toes must have a good profile, without sharp valleys or transitions that act as stress raisers

Perhaps most importantly, a Welder must be able to gouge out a crack and do the right preparation to achieve an effective weld repair.

  • Confirm the cracking has been fully removed

  • Properly prepare the weld root without "blowing through" and making an excessive root gap

  • Correct prep shape and angles and fully removing all carbon residue from gouging to ensure the weld is defect free.

Furthermore, Welders also need to know how to "dial in" the correct welding parameters necessary to produce a good weld without needing to refer to a welding procedure or requiring close supervision

  • Voltage and Current

  • Wire feed rate

  • Travel speed

  • Stick out

  • Consumable size and type

  • Shielding gas type, flow rate and shroud type.

  • Adjust the above as appropriate for the welding position, working temperate and material thickness

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How does it work?

3 Competency Levels to cater for varying ability and experience

Level 1 can do most repairs, but they cannot do single sided open root welds

Level 2 can do open root single sided welds, as well as repairs of alloy steels

Level 3 is an extension on Level 2, and enables the Welder to do Temper Bead type welding, and build-up of open root gaps.

Easy to use for repair management

Minimal welding expertise required to supervise a welding crew.

  • Have confidence that the welders know what to do and how to achieve an effective repair.

Simple basis for determining which welder to assign to a repair

  • Based on the nature of the cracking and the material type. This is made even easier through the use of the Crack Data System.

Each Welder has a unique Welder ID, that also indicates their competency level

  • First and Last initials, with a sequential number for that set of initials.

  • Level Prefix once full competency is gained

  • For example - 2EC01

The Mining Welder Competency Portal provides a simple way to quickly check a Welder's Competency and skills.

      • Mine sites can see their FTE's and all contractor Welders that are inducted at their site

      • Contractors can see their Welders and which sites they are inducted at.

Easy to administrate and maintain

There is a clearly defined process for gaining the Mining Welder Competency, which does not affect site or contractor operations

  • Welders have the opportunity to be trained and upskilled to meet the required competency level, rather than simply being tested as pass or fail.

  • A "Provisional" Level 2 is assigned based on a simple skill test of being able to do an open root GMAW weld in the overhead position. If they can't, then they are automatically a "Provisional" Level 1

  • The Provisional levels may be applied until such time as the welder completes the required training and full competency assessment

Minimal administration time and costs

  • The Mining Welder Competency is issued by WQMS. All records are maintained and freely available via the WMC Portal.

  • WQMS issue a single certificate on completion. This is all that is required within a site induction management system, without need for complexity of managing multiple records and having to determine whether a Welder meets the competency requirements

  • No complex or costly verification or validation system - Employers simply verify that their Welders are still in their employment and have been actively welding.

  • Valid for 3 years. Default is to go through a refresher training and redo the competency assessment. However, a Welder can have their Competency revalidated for a further 3 years if it is possible to show NDT records for welds of same type as used in the Competency Assessment.