TWI is a partner in the European Union, FP7 funded WELD-IT project. Aimed primarily at Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), the project is developing 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 bevelling, weld repair costs (based on a recent TWI survey of average repair rates), as well as pre and post weld heat treatment. It will also provide the user with the option to add the costs of further operations (eg cutting, pressure/hydro testing, painting, pickling/passivating etc). Furthermore, it will use data entered by the user to generate preliminary Welding Procedure Specifications (pWPS) suitable for estimating the fabrication costs of the welds identified in the CAD drawings. These will be fully-customable by the user and, as the system gathers more input data, it will be able to 'learn' in order to generate more pWPSs, hence providing increasingly more accurate cost estimates.
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 welding and fabrication costs. 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 finishes in October 2012, with system testing scheduled from May.. More information is available on the project website at http://www.weldit.eu