EN ISO 3834 – Quality assurance in welding technology

Table of Contents

Since quality management standards such as EN ISO 9001 only deal with definable processes, additional standards are written down for individual “special processes”. In the course of this process, ISO in Geneva developed EN ISO 3834. The term “special process” describes a process that cannot be adequately verified by mere process monitoring in the sense of ISO 9000ff. Nobody can tell me with certainty what happens inside the seam during welding, “you can’t see inside”. So a welding supervisor or a weld seam inspector can’t prove perfect quality without destructive material testing. However, since a destructive test would render a welded component unusable, the process of inspecting welds on metallic materials requires a separate procedure.

To obtain proof of quality and conformity for components made of steel or aluminum and their alloys in connection with EN 1090, etc., documentation obligations and quality requirements of the respective level of ISO 3834 must be complied.

Components of the standard

The standard DIN EN ISO 3834ff is divided into five parts and deals with quality requirements in welding technology.

  • To be able to select a suitable level of the scope of documentation (levels 2-4, 2 is the highest level, 4 is the lowest), DIN EN ISO 3834-1 is provided.
  • The following sheets DIN EN ISO 3834 2-4 define quality requirements and documentation obligations. The second level describes comprehensive requirements, the third standard requirements and the fourth elementary requirements. A “first” level therefore does not exist.
  • The sheet EN ISO 3834-5 describes documents whose requirements must be proven for the respective level.

Possibility of certification according to EN ISO 3834

Various certification companies offer an audit and issuing of a certificate in connection with EN ISO 3834ff. However, there are no legal requirements for welding companies. The certification is therefore voluntary for everyone.

However, advantages can arise for supplier companies if customers prefer companies with such certificates. The supplier has already proven that it can work according to defined quality standards. Customers can count on a higher quality standard because a QM system adapted to the company is established. Furthermore, some industrial customers only order from manufacturers with a successful 3834 audit. Therefore a certification can be worthwhile and should be considered in each individual case.

EN ISO 3834 and EN 1090 – Relations

A welding manufacturer certified according to EN 1090 is obliged to operate quality assurance in the sense of DIN EN 3834 and to document it if necessary. A recommendation for selecting the appropriate level is written down in EN 1090. This is based on the required execution classes (EXC) of the product to be manufactured.

  • EXC 1 -> ISO 3834-4 -> Simple structures on private ground
  • EXC 2 -> ISO 3834-3 -> Structures not to be classified in EXC 1, 3 or 4
  • EXC 3-4 -> ISO 3834-2 -> Complex structures and those on public ground

Summary

  • DIN EN ISO 3834ff builds on DIN EN ISO 9001 and deals with special processes that cannot be easily verified qualitatively.
  • Certification possible but no legal basis.
  • Certification, however, makes sense in individual cases.
  • A suitable level can be determined in other standards
  • The first part of the standard can also indicate which level is applied.

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal advice, but only the personal opinion of the author. Please discuss assignments in advance with your lawyer.

Photo by Rob Lambert on Unsplash

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