Over 70 delegates from the UK, Europe, India and Australia gathered at The Welding Institute, Cambridge, for the Annual WJS Conference from 29-30 May 2012. Twelve invited speakers, introduced by Sayee Raghunathan, TWI, focused their presentations on the Importance of Welding Advances, Skills and Quality Management.
At a time when demand for welding skills is increasing alongside new technologies and materials development, the two-day 2012 Annual WJS Conference took the lead in reviewing the challenges faced by the industry and demonstrating routes to achieve a motivated, highly skilled and competent workforce.
Day one examined Quality in Fabrications and Technological Challenges, with Paul Craddock, Consultant, making the keynote address. Paul highlighted the worth of the welding community in terms of skill, expertise and quality and its impact on project value and industry achievements.
'There is no use in developing technologies and materials if we cannot develop skills in parallel.' Steve Jones, Rolls-Royce plc, who spoke of the need for new welding skills in a progressively designed and automated environment. Using the Rolls-Royce examples of Capability Acquisition (development and confirmation of manufacturing capability - a system originally developed by NASA) and Skills Development strategies, Steve illustrated how a phased approach to technology and skills assessment benefits evaluation, development and build stages of modern project work.
The theme of developing welding skills continued into day two of the event with discussion of skills shortages and the race to keep pace with technology advances while continuing to improve productivity and maintain quality. �
'For me, ISO 3834 is one of the best standards written in modern times.' Chris Eady, TWI Certification Ltd. Compliance through demonstration of competence was the emphasis of the presentation by Chris Eady when he cited ISO 9001 guidance on competence, and the industry benefits of complying with ISO 3834, particularly in the advantages gained through competent welding co-ordination.
Finally, Andrew Low, IntecSea UK Ltd, gave an overview of a number of mechanisms in place to engage young welding engineers. Andrew noted graduate paths, and welding apprentice and technician initiatives - pointing to the importance of the groups such as the WJS Younger Members Committee and how its activities can encourage and support the professional development of technicians and engineers.
For further information about the 2012 Annual WJS Conference please contact us