Per Linden, CEO of Scandic Sourcing was recently interviewed by a Swedish welding magazine. Here is a transcript of the interview.
Can Chinese welders follow EN 1090 and ISO 3834?
Many of the bigger and export-driven companies have experience of that. But you should keep in mind that the Chinese welders have their own standards that they are trained to follow. Using foreign standards with your blueprints is not automatically going to ensure a good result – in fact it's rather the opposite. It would be better to define the correct Chinese standard; then you can have a greater assurance of compliance to the standards throughout the supply chain.
A CE-certification can mean an expense in the $10 000 range. If that's calculated into the budget, then there's no problem. All international certification-companies are here in China and can arrange that.
How is the status with Chinese WPS and welding certifications EN 287/9606?
Certified welders are required to do tests every year according to Chinese standards. It is possible to get European standards at some suppliers who are certified or are willing to do that. The tests are similar.
How does it work with the oversight with welding? How does the self-monitoring work?
It varies and you have to control how the supplier works. Self-monitoring is more unusual; the standard is to still have separate monitoring departments.
Are there certain businesses or products that are more interesting than others?
Welded products are suitable for production in China if it contains a minimum of welding that offsets the extra cost inferred by transports and monitoring. You have to keep in mind that a Chinese welder costs $500 – $1000 per month. Lately, the steel prices have been very favorable; the steel industry in China will have overcapacity for a long time ahead.
What do you think will happen in the long run?
I hope that we one day can get a harmonization of EU and Chinese standards. It would greatly facilitate communication for International orders. Meanwhile, my recommendation is that it is both easier and more responsible to have a Western engineer understand what Chinese standards are applicable rather than sending blueprints to a Chinese supplier knowing that but a few Chinese welders will have ever come across Western standards before – most of them have no access to it. Western companies should keep in mind that there's so much construction going on in China today that most new bridges, railroads, cars and machines in the world are made using Chinese welding-standards, not Western.