I disagree on the x-ray/ultrasound to a degree. No NDT process is a catch-all. Linear lack of fusion will slide right by an x-ray. There's a newer type of ultrasound that I'm not familiar with that does away with the angle problem. Just like welding, the NDT is only as good as the tech, but is generally the only option for an independent 3rd party.
I agree the more competent welders get the more critical work. There is no test for competence. That takes time.
We could bicker endlessly as far as the tig welder thing goes. They are generally too busy crying or polishing their golden arm to get much done. I don't care for "shoulder to the holder" prima-donna welders. Once orbital or a fusion tig head has been set-up, then yes, that rules.
Lastly, how did you arrive at the conclusion mig welding isn't a qulified procedure? The term "mig" is very vague and we may only be disagreeing on details, but dual shield and pulsed solid wire are used in our R/S-stamp shop for ASME work, and I know pulsed mig is good with NACE too. I do think short-circuit (solid wire) is out, but everything else is ok once all the necessary hoops have been jumped through. Miller's RMD is garnering a lot of attention, but I've never used it. Never used sub arc either.
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