Who Is The AICIP?

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To begin with, AICIP or Australian Institute for Certification of Inspection Personnel, is a non-profit organisation associated with the Department of Fair Trading under Associations Incorporations Act of 1984. The organisation also possesses the status of an Australian Registered Body with Australian Securities Commission.

History

Earlier, because of Government policies, all manufacturing industries had to regulate quality on their own through manufacture, setup and operation of any engineered plant. But due to National Standard for Plant, the owners of these plants in particular wanted to make sure that only competent people inspect the in-service plants. That’s why AICIP was established by several industry organisations with extensive support from State Regulatory Authorities for providing certification programmes to competent inspection personnel. And those programmes, though voluntary, offered greater confidence to employers in efficiency of inspectors.

Constitution

The Committee of Management of AICIP is constituted by different office bearers – Chairman, Treasurer, Vice-Chairman and Public Officer/Secretary, along with other members. The quotidian administrative and secretarial functions of the organisation are performed by the Welding Technology Institute of Australia (WTIA). Relevant organisations qualified for obtaining membership of the AICIP are invited every now and then. The body also publishes advertisements and press releases from time-to-time to welcome membership applications.

Situation With The Welding Inspectors

Between the WTIA and the AICIP, there exists an agreement for introducing, administering and conducting programmes to train personnel of welding inspection. These programmes offer certification across a wide variety of engineering plant. And at present, the training is offered by TAFE system.

Plant Covered

The kinds of plant or equipment which can be envisaged for being covered by AICIP in case of demand, consist of pressure equipment, lifts, pipelines and amusement devices. In the beginning also, AICIP provided certification to in-service & welding inspectors and design verifiers for plants.

First Examinations

The very first examinations of AICIP were completed successfully on 10th July, 1997. They were held specifically for certifying inspection personnel – In-Service and Senior In-Service Inspector – for Pressure Equipment. Currently, the exams of the organisation are held in Sydney, Melbourne, Darwin, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

AICIP normally prepares reports for highlighting those areas of exams where improvements have to be made by employers, trainers and applicants. The experience of AICIP gained through arrangement of examinations can be utilised for certification of the inspection personnel in different fields like welding fabrication & inspection, cranes, amusement devices, lifts, as necessitated by the industry.

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Why Is Visual Welding Inspection Important?

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From time to time, scientists and the welding industry have devised several methods for inspecting the quality of welds after their completion, such as ultrasonic testing, radiography, magnetic particle testing, liquid penetration and so on. Despite of the fact that these techniques are highly advanced and substantially effective at detecting flaws, there are still plenty of manufacturing firms throughout Victoria (and also Australia) that rely heavily on the traditional visual welding inspection technique.

Even in the modern times, the significance of a good old visual welding inspection cannot be ignored. In order to carry out the analysis, a qualified welding inspector usually remains present during the operation. It is his responsibility to make sure that standard quality welds are achieved, particularly by investigating condition of the electrodes, relevant certificates, weather condition, joint preparation, tools & machines used, slag cleaning, current, incomplete welds, etc. These steps cannot be assessed properly without thorough scrutiny by the human eye.

A typical visual welding inspection in Melbourne can help to save a lot when conducted properly, by nullifying the need for re-radiography and repairs. But in order to make that happen, the inspector taking care of the process requires to pay careful attention to every aspect. However, that is generally not a problem because most reputed welding inspectors possess the required qualifications and certification issued by the relevant authority. They are also aware of the necessary international & national standards and codes that they need to observe. For instance, pipeline welds are generally inspected as per API 1104 and so on.

Another vital reason why visual welding inspection has such substantial significance in the manufacturing industry is due to the fact that not all joints are picked for radiography once they have been completed. And any joint not inspected by radiography may have a flaw, which can cause a pipeline or plant operation to fail, ultimately spelling disaster. A faulty joint is incapable of handling the stress triggered by high temperature and pressure of the fluid inside it. But a joint that has been inspected visually is already flawless and can therefore, pose no threat even if not selected for radiographic testing.

Thus, it is clearly evident from the above mentioned information why visual welding inspection is given so much importance even today. Its efficacy cannot be championed even by uber-modern techniques like magnetic particle testing or dye penetration. It can stop weld defects even before they occur.