Redefining Welding Profiles for Industry 4.0

The WELD 4.0 project was pioneer in creating a new Industry 4.0-specific Competence Unit that includes digital technologies as part of the European Welder profile and that can be broadly disseminated to other industries
PORTO SALVO, Portugal - June 12, 2020 - PRLog -- Industry 4.0 is transforming manufacturing today. Digital and physical systems are intertwined and, to operate effectively on this new environment, a new skillset is required, one where digital technologies are a critical component. In spite of the industry's increased automation and ICT pervasiveness, manual processes such as welding still play a large role in manufacturing. And welders represent a traditional group where ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) training is seldom implemented. Address that shortcoming was the task of the WELD4.0's project, which set the ambitious goal of revising the traditional professional profile of the European Welder to include ICT technologies on the context of Industry 4.0. As a result, a new Competence Unit (CU) entitled "Introduction to Industry 4.0", was developed, based on a modular approach with clearly defined Learning Outcomes and with the particularity of being transversal to all modules of the European Welder Guideline, focusing on subjects such as the 4th Industrial Revolution, Equipment 4.0, Digital Competences, Information digitally stored and Tracking & Monitoring.

In addition to the "Introduction to Industry 4.0" CU, WELD 4.0 has also developed an innovative ICT training tool, consisting on a Game-Based learning solution which is an interactive support of welding training of entry level personnel, meant to be used as part of the European Welder curriculum  to strengthen the link between theoretical and practical learning. The solution is based on two real weld working scenarios, depending on the type of welder (Fillet, Tube or Pipe) and the respective EQF (European Qualifications Framework) levels. It is expected that this new approach can lead to its adoption by trainees and  empower them to acquire knowledge and digital skills through a practical and accessible tool adapted to the context of welding, while enticing new professionals to manufacturing.

WELD 4.0 project also aimed at other industries by developing a guide focused on the impact of Industry 4.0 on areas such as construction, automotive, manufacturing, logistics and education. This guide describes the impact the new Digital Age has on each area, which are the skills required to address it and an explanation on how to apply the WELD 4.0 methodology and its results to address those challenges.

Working closely with the industry

As part of the project, a first assessment was made to understand the current needs to address and the shortcomings of existing solutions. A survey conducted with business leaders in Germany singled out education and training of qualified professionals as one of the key areas that required improvement. That was the main driver that led to the WELD 4.0 project. The  consortium carried out a number of activities taking into consideration the European Systems for Qualification to redefine the European Welder profile in line with the European Common Tools for transparency of qualifications, EQF and ECVET.

As a result, the training curriculum has been updated to account for the inclusion of content that would foster the acquisition of digital skills and competences. The main recipients of this renovated professional profile were Welding professionals  in search for reskilling, trainees who consider to enrol (or are already enrolled) in the European Welder training course and VET teachers and trainers who need to deal with different kinds of target groups.

The project focused on the realities of the three countries that composed the partnership – United Kingdom, Germany and Portugal – and all its results, which were tested and developed to ensure a broad development and were informed by relevant stakeholders and target groups, will be available at national and European levels.

Project partners

The main goal of the project's partners is to create a pathway that can lead to the transformation of the traditional workforce qualifications, starting with the European Welder profile. The project partners include Highskillz (Highly Personalized Learning Experiences (, ISQ (, BIBA - Bremer Institut für Produktion und Logistik GmbH -, and EWF (

Weld 4.0 Project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union-

About the European Federation for Welding, Joining and Cutting

EWF is a pioneer in implementing a harmonized qualification and certification system for joining professionals. Through European projects EWF has been innovating in training methodologies and involved in the development of new technologies and uses for joining and additive manufacturing. Through its member organisations, EWF has established a firm link to the local industry, providing knowledge and training as well as participating in research initiatives that address the most pressing questions and challenges in the field of joining technologies.

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