Superior Tube achieves Nadcap certification for welding
Nadcap is an accreditation system for aerospace and defence contractors, covering a range of manufacturing activities. It is administered by PRI, Performance Review Institute, who follow very strict guidelines to make sure that the infrastructure, the systems, and the staff training procedures are in place to ensure consistent product quality that meets customer requirements at all times.
To prepare for its welding certification, Superior Tube performed an extensive review of its welding process and created an over-arching welding manual to consolidate and govern the specific welding procedures. This project took several months and, when the Nadcap audit took place in October 2016, the company was approved with no issues or non-conformities identified – a relatively rare and highly impressive achievement in such cases.
Superior Tube has three weld mills and a small team of operators who have undergone a rigorous qualification program. Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding is used to create as-welded products which are then subjected to a series of cold drawing stages, reducing the size of the tube and conditioning the weld zone to the point where it is fully homogenized.
William Keohane, Director of Quality and New Product Development, commented: “This new Nadcap certification complements the accreditations we already have for Non-Destructive Testing and Heat Treating. It will help us to strengthen our relationship with existing customers and will undoubtedly help us to win new business from other aerospace companies. Essentially, it will give potential customers an even higher level of confidence in our capabilities and the quality of our tubes.”
Superior Tube’s Director of Process Engineering, Ken Richards, added: “Preparing for this accreditation was an important learning experience for us. It gave us the opportunity to stand back from the mature welding processes we already had and ask questions about what we were doing and how we could improve on them.”
Superior Tube is a business unit of AMETEK Specialty Metal Products along with its UK-based sister company Fine Tubes, Hamilton Precision Metals, AMETEK Wallingford, AMETEK Eighty Four, and Reading Alloys.