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XML for Exchange of Weld Inspection Results



William G. Rippey, Timothy P. Quinn, John L. Michaloski


TECHNICAL SUMMARYIntroduction/Background SectionA system to demonstrate the transfer of weld inspection data between computer programs is described in this paper. The goal is effortless flow of the data between multi-vendor welding software applications. Though manufacturing industries such as electronics and machining have defined standard formats for much of their computerized process data, there are no such specifications for welding. This demonstration is a first step to validating the use of standard formats for storing and conveying welding data. Anticipated benefits are better management of data, better searching, more extensive sharing, and eventually improvement of welding operations and processes.Procedure SectionA commercially available software tool was used to structure the extensible markup language (XML) schema for the welding inspection data defined in AWS Standard B4.0 Standard Methods for Mechanical Testing of Welds. The tool was also used to build data-entry window templates and to translate data into a format compatible with automated input to a data base program. The software tool made it possible to manipulate XML data without generating a custom computer program. These techniques are typical of the ease of data manipulation that is facilitated by current XML tools.Results and Discussion SectionThe basic questions are: Can welding data be effectively encoded in a standard format? What is the software overhead for a user in entering data, displaying it, encoding it for conveying to other software programs, and converting it to a format compatible with commercial software products?The flow of welding inspection data using the prototype methods was without difficulty. Once the XML schema and data display forms were defined, input of test results into neutral computer data was straightforward, through windows built with the XML tool. The XML based windows checked the data integrity and presented the data to a user in familiar AWS-defined formats for hardcopy printing. Much of the work of logically defining the welding data has already been done in the AWS B4.0 specification and other documents such as the Welding Handbook, and AWS 3.0 Standard Welding Terms and Definitions. The commercial tool translates the encoded data for automatic input to common databases where inspection test results are stored and can be searched. There is no manual manipulation of data to enter it into the database, as there would be if data were conveyed from the testing lab to customer using paper or spreadsheet files.To date, welding process data has not been encoded into a vendor-neutral format. Figure 1 shows the information flow of legacy methods and of a new approach using a standard data format. Anticipated benefits are that testing labs and their customers have the option of conveying data electronically instead of by fax or paper, and results go effortlessly into a database where they can be stored and searched.Conclusion SectionStandard AWS inspection data was encoded into XML format and conveyed using the Internet and e-mail. The XML encoding of the data allowed commercially available computer programs to display and store the results without difficulty. The existence of XML tools and their compatibility with common database formats allowed for the development of the data translation system with minimal effort. Next steps include surveying the industry interest/need for exchange of this data and possible expansion of the scope to include PQRs, WPSs, Welder Qualification Data, and product data for eBusiness.
Proceedings Title
American Welding Society Annual Convention and Exposition | | |
Conference Dates
April 8-10, 2003
Conference Title
American Welding Society




Rippey, W. , Quinn, T. and Michaloski, J. (2003), XML for Exchange of Weld Inspection Results, American Welding Society Annual Convention and Exposition | | | (Accessed April 24, 2024)
Created April 1, 2003, Updated February 17, 2017