TWI has joined the recently started European Union, FP7 funded WELD-IT project. Aimed primarily at Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), the project will develop a software system that will enable welding and fabrication companies to more reliably cost welding operations.
The WELD-IT software will 'read' CAD drawings to identify welds in structures and components in order to provide a welding cost. The costing will include other aspects such as pre and post weld heat treatment, manipulation and handling. Furthermore, it will use data entered by the user to generate provisional Welding Procedure Specifications suitable for the welds identified in the CAD drawing. As the system gathers more input data it will be able to 'learn&' in order to generate more numerous and accurate pWPS's.
The project meets a long held need of fabrication companies to automate and optimise these processes in order to provide quicker and more accurate costings. Currently, there is no system that combines calculation of manufacturing costs and optimisation of welding processes. WELD-IT aims to meet these requirements.
TWI is acting as Research Technology and Development (RTD) partner and is responsible for all welding related development, including defining the parameters of the costing tool, managing the database development effort and defining reporting requirements for the software.
Other partners in the project include PRVA ZVARACSKA, a. s. (First Welding Company Inc.) (Slovakia), Nemetschek (Bulgaria), Infotron (Turkey), GI-Flex (Hungary), Sudotim (Romania) and MFKK (Hungary and Project Coordinators).
The project commenced in November 2010 and runs for two years. The specification for the software was recently finalized and work has commenced on the database design. Further articles will be published as the project progresses and more information is available on the project website at http://www.weldit.eu