An integrated approach for the development of welding, inspection, and alternative weld flaw acceptance criteria, as used for girth welds during pipeline construction is presented. Welding is typically the pace limiting step during pipeline construction and is critical element of pipeline integrity. As such it is vital that it be completed efficiently and with high quality. Each of these three elements is vitally important to welding productivity and quality. At the core of the approach is the coordination of the three elements such that they are developed in concert. By this coordinated effort, all design options are considered leading to optimization of the final outcome. The approach is described by providing an example alternative weld flaw acceptance criteria, and giving the logic pertaining to choices of welding setup, AUT setup, the standard used for design and construction, and the impact of choices within these three elements on the final outcome. The paper illustrates the importance of a unified approach on weld productivity and quality.

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