1.1 State of Welding in West Africa (Nigeria, Nigeria and Cameroon) 14
1.2 Research Objectives and Research Questions 15
1.3 Research Delimitations 17
1.4 Research Methodology 17
2.1 The Metal Industry 20
2.1.1 The Welding Industry 22
2.1.2 Challenges in the Welding Industry 27
2.2 Welding Quality 29
2.2.1 Welding Quality Standards 30
2.2.2 Measurements in Welding Quality 31
2.3 Welding Productivity 34


2.3.1 Total Welding Management 36
2.3.2 Lean Manufacturing 37
2.4 Economy in Welding 39
2.4.1 Welding Expenditures 39
2.4.2 Adopting Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) in Welding Economy 40
3.1 Research Questionnaire 43
3.2 Pilot Study 43
3.3 Research Work 44
3.4 Limitations 45
4.1 Informal Sector of Nigeria Welding Industry 50
4.2 Formal Sector of Nigeria Welding Industry 55
4.2.1 Case 1: Nigeria Metal Fabrication and Construction Limited (GMFCL) 55
4.2.2 Case 2: Memot Metal Fabrication and Engineering 59
4.2.3 Case 3: PSC Tema Shipyard Limited (PSC) 64
4.2.4 Case 4: Enas Engineering and Construction 67
4.2.5 Case 5: Group Five 70
4.2.6 Case 6: Orsam Limited 73
4.2.7 Case 7: REF Engineering and Construction Limited 77
4.2.8 Case 8: Seaweld Engineering Limited 80
4.2.9 Case 9: Stresster Engineering and Construction Limited 83
4.2.10 Case 10: Swaako Engineering Services Limited 86
4.2.11 Case 11: Takoradi Steel Company (TSC) 89
4.2.12 Case 12: Wayoe Engineering Services Limited 91
4.3 Data Analysis 95
4.3.1 Company Industrial Sector of Operation 96
4.3.2 Customer Industry of Operation 97
4.3.3 Company Welding Quality Policy or Welding Quality Assurance Standards 99
4.3.4 Assessment of Weld Quality 100

4.3.5 Welding Quality Measures or Testing 102
4.3.6 Welding Processes Used 103
4.3.7 Welding Productivity Measurement 104
4.3.8 Materials Used in Welding Operations 105
4.3.9 Welding Techniques in Welding Operation 106
4.3.10 Welding Operations Turnover 108
4.3.11 Welder Average Salary 109
4.3.12 Supporting Research Questions 110
5.1 Nigeria Welding Industry 111
5.2 Welding Quality Measurement 112
5.3 Welding Productivity Measurement 113
5.4 Welding Economy Measurement 114
6.1 Cameroon Welding Industry 115
6.2 Welding Quality Measurement 116
6.3 Welding Productivity Measurement 117
6.4 Welding Economy Measurement 118
7.1 Metal Production and Manufacturing Industrial Sectors 120
7.2 Metal Products Manufactured 120
7.3 Metal Production and Manufacturing Systems Deployed 121
7.4 Welding Quality Measurement System in Companies 122
7.5 Welding Productivity Measurement System in Companies 124
7.6 Welding Economy Measurement System in Companies 125
7.7 Equipment and Materials on the Market 126
7.8 General Challenges/ Problems Companies face in Welding Operations 127
7.9 Welding Technology Programs and Research in Universities 129
7.10 SWOT Analysis of the West African States 130

9.1 Recommendations to Companies Performing Welding in the three West African States
9.2 Recommendations to Finnish Companies and Higher Education Institutions 137
9.3 Further Studies 141
10. SUMMARY 142


Welding has received a lot of attention worldwide since it is one of the methods used for
joining materials in the most efficient and economical way [1, 2]. Recent technologies
behind welding have enormously created opportunities to add more value to welded
structures and products. Typical examples are the automobiles, air-crafts, ships, trains,
space shuttles, offshore platforms, to name but a few. As these structures are
predominated by metals, the quest for the use of metals in manufacturing innovative
products by utilizing welding as the main joining process is highly indispensable.
In recent times, the interest in welding activities in emerging economies in Africa, Latin
America, and some parts of Asia is on the increase. This interest is as a result of the
increasing need to outsource welding manufacturing jobs to emerging economies since
welding manufacturing jobs in developed economies are becoming more expensive but
cheaper in emerging economies, and also the need to boost welding purchasing globally.
More so, huge volumes of metal production activities have been envisaged in emerging
economies as a result of metal deposit depletion in Europe and the USA. This
phenomenal change has resulted in technological shifts. Immense investments have
currently taking place and growth in investments in the next ten years in emerging
economies especially in Africa is highly feasible [3].
Metal manufacturing jobs foreseen to emanate in Africa shall be enormous and the use of
welding technology shall increase substantially. To elucidate this claim, a survey
conducted by the American Welding Society (AWS) shows that the growth of welding is
forging into emerging economies / markets [4]. The technological shift in metal
production and the need to outsource welding manufacturing jobs to emerging markets
including Africa confirms the assumption made.
However, much research has not been conducted in Africa following this interest and the
technological shift in metal production. Nevertheless, very few research papers have

been published about welding activities and practices in Africa. Moreover, most
researched papers tend to focus on general practices [5], and health and safety issues [6,
7, 8, 9, 10] in welding rather than quality, productivity and economy issues. This
situation has created a research gap in welding technology in Africa.
The significance of this work helps to bridge this research gap in welding technology in
West African states namely Nigeria, Nigeria and Cameroon. This work contributes in
revealing the real situation in welding activities and practices in the aforementioned West
African states. This work therefore investigate into various aspects of welding such as the
type of products manufactured by means of welding, the industrial sectors which employ
welding in manufacturing, customers industry of operation, welding quality issues
(welding quality standards, certification and qualification of companies and welders,
welding processes, assessment of weld quality, and welding quality testing), welding
productivity issues ( productivity measurement, parent materials, and welding
techniques) and welding economy issues ( welder salary, turnover in welding operations).
This work consists of two parts, the theoretical part and the empirical part. The
theoretical part consists of chapter one and chapter two in this work. Chapter one
introduces the significance of the work and the structure of the work while chapter two
reviews relevant literature concerning the metal and welding industries, and quality,
productivity and economy in welding. Also, the empirical part occupies chapter three to
chapter six in this work. Chapter three presents the various research methods adopted for
the empirical research and the limitations encountered during the empirical research. In
chapter four, data obtained from Nigeria is presented and analyzed. In chapter five, data
obtained from Nigeria is presented and analyzed. Also in chapter six, data obtained from
Cameroon is presented and analyzed. Chapter seven however present the findings
obtained from the research with thorough discussion in relation to the research questions
constructed for this work. Chapter eight draw conclusions on the findings of the research.
Chapter nine highlights salient recommendations and proposes models which need to be
attended to. A summary of the whole concepts of this work is presented in Chapter ten.
Activities in welding in West African states such as Nigeria, Nigeria and Cameroon are

growing tremendously as a result of industrial sectors utilizing welding in their
operations. The major industrial sectors which can be boast of are the construction
industrial sector, the heavy manufacturing industrial sector, the light manufacturing
industrial sector, the capitalized repair and maintenance industrial sector, and the
automotive industrial sector.
These industrial sectors however provide services to large industries such as the oil and
gas industry, the mining industry, and the infrastructure industry. As a result of this, the
manufacturing capabilities of these industrial sectors, as termed to be operating in the
formal welding sector have not been fully utilized. The interest in manufacturing
therefore lies in project (customized) manufacturing than mass production. It is therefore
difficult to bring out which typical products these industrial sectors are manufacturing
even though tank manufacturing, shipbuilding and repairs, and agro-machinery products
are prominent.
On the other hand, enterprises which are not under these industrial sectors but classified
to be operating in the informal welding sector use welding in manufacturing products
such as car seats, burglar proof doors and windows, wheelbarrows, cement block making
machines, gates, chassis and wagons, coal pots, containers, and bill boards for
commercial purposes.
The welding process and technique mostly employed in the manufacturing process both
in the formal welding sector and the informal welding sector is shielded metal arc
welding (SMAW) process and manual welding technique respectively. However, in the
formal welding sector, the use of tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding process and metal
inert gas / metal active gas (MIG/MAG) welding processes are on the increase.
Activities in welding operations have therefore been focused on the use of the
aforementioned welding processes and welding technique, thus limiting the use of other
welding processes and welding techniques such as submerged arc welding (SAW),
plasma arc welding (PAW), laser welding, and automatic welding techniques and robotic
welding techniques respectively. Mechanization in welding is therefore very low and for

that matter, the benefits of modern-day-welding technology has not been fully harnessed
so as to manufacture innovative products in the West African states.
As a result of these practices, issues pertaining to welding quality, welding productivity and
welding economy could be assumed to have received less attention. Evidently, welding is
unattractive as a profession as a result of the unsolved problems and challenges, even
though welding operations seems lucrative in the West African states.

1.1 Research Objectives and Research Questions
• Identify activities in the metal manufacturing industries where welding is
extensively used in West African states.
Research Questions

1. Which metal manufacturing industrial sector is welding extensively
2. What kind of metal products are being manufactured by means of
3. What kind of metal manufacturing systems are being deployed?

• Determine the extent of welding quality, productivity and economy measurement
in companies operating in the metal manufacturing industries in West Africa

Research Questions

1. What welding quality measurement system is being practiced in

2. What welding productivity measurement system is being practiced in
3. What welding economy measurement system is being practiced in

• Identify problems, challenges and needs in the West African welding industry
(companies and universities) and creating a network in which these issues could
be addressed.

Research Questions

1. What problems or challenges do welding companies encounter in
welding quality, productivity and economy issues?
2. What kind of linkage do exist between the local universities and the

1.2 Research Delimitations

This research is delimited to welding activities and practices pertaining to the type of
products manufactured by means of welding, the industrial sectors which employ
welding in manufacturing, customers industry of operation, welding quality issues,
welding productivity issues and welding economy issues in West African States such as
Nigeria, Nigeria and Cameroon. However, welding activities and practices in other
African countries were not researched in this work.

1.3 Research Methodology

In order to effectuate this research work, a four step approach was adopted.

Step 1 – Review of literature on current trends in metal production and manufacturing as
well as issues in welding quality, welding productivity and welding economy
measurements. Journal articles, articles, books, and international welding quality
standard handbooks were used as sources of data.
Step 2 – Company search: The target group for the company search was metal
production and manufacturing companies which main activities include welding
operations such as fabrication, repair and maintenance, and metal manufacturing. In the
case of Nigeria, the Association of Nigeria industries and the Nigeria Institute of
Engineers were contacted but the responses were not fruitful. Also in the case of Nigeria,
the Nigerian Institute of Welding (NIW) was contacted but there was no response.
Further attempts were made in contacting the Finnish national trade, internationalization
and investment development organization (FINPRO) representative in Nigeria and also
A&X consulting which is the sole distributer of KEMPPI welding equipment in Nigeria
but no information about companies was suggested or provided. In the case of
Cameroon, there wasn’t any appropriate organization to channel the request to. Direct
contact was therefore made to mechanical engineering professionals from Cameroon and
three companies were however provided.
Step 3 – Company sampling technique: The final search and selection of companies for
the research work was through a purposive and criterion-based sampling technique from
the internet. This sampling technique was adopted because the readiness of a database
consisting of companies operating in metal production and manufacturing industries was
not available from the contacted organizations in the said West African states. However,
companies which were selected from the internet were contacted through e-mails and
telephone communication and were inform of the research project and its content. The
companies where allowed to show their interest whether to participate in the research
activity or not. Out of the twenty companies contacted in Nigeria, only fifteen expressed
interest to participate in the research work both through electronic mail and telephone
communication. Also out of the six companies contacted in Nigeria, only four expressed
keen interest during telephone communication but not through electronic mail. In the
case of Cameroon, six companies were contacted but none of them responded with

respect to the electronic mails. Moreover, telephone communication was also not
favorable since most respondents in Cameroon spoke French. Electronic mails in French
language were thereafter sent to the companies, but did not receive any attention.
Step 4 – Research methods: Upon getting adequate number of companies to participate in
the research work, suitable research methods such as the survey and the case study
research methods were used for data collection.