Interview with Thomas Furrer about the LEISTER Quality System – LQS for short
Thomas Furrer is our "geo-star". He has worked at Leister Technologies AG in Kägiswil, Switzerland for over ten years and is in charge of the GEO Business Line. Whenever Leister is tasked with sealing a substrate with plastic membranes – known as geomembranes – as part of a civil engineering project anywhere in the world, Thomas Furrer and his team are called upon to provide specialist expertise.
So what might need to be sealed with plastic membranes in the field of civil engineering? There are all sorts of possibilities: mines, landfills, artificial lakes, tunnel walls. For example, Switzerland's famous Gotthard Tunnel was sealed with geomembranes which were welded to a watertight state using the LEISTER TWINNY.
LQS provides proof of safety and quality
As a GEO specialist, Thomas Furrer is confronted with all kinds of issues and requirements on the part of our customers. A recurring requirement is the need for documentation to prove the quality of welds. The golden rule is that quality is only quality if it is documented. For many years, there has been a legal requirement in Germany stipulating that the quality of welds in landfills of all kinds must be documented in a printed and signed welding report. The report is checked by an independent body for every project.
The work involved in producing this documentation manually proved to be too much of a burden, so a better solution was required. This is where the LEISTER Quality System, or LQS, comes in. Thomas Furrer discusses the system in an interview with Silke Landtwing.
What is LQS?
LQS is essentially a system for producing quality documentation in combination with our tried-and-tested LEISTER GEOSTAR G7 LQS.
The GEOSTAR has been on the market since 2015, and has been equipped with LQS since January 2017. There are currently over 1,000 GEOSTAR devices in use around the world.
Sounds great, but how does LQS work on the GEOSTAR?
During welding, the GEOSTAR G7 LQS documents all welding parameters including GPS coordinates. This happens automatically in the background. The data is then transferred to the myLeister app via WiFi and the reports can be created directly via the app.
How do our customers benefit when they use the GEOSTAR with LQS for welding?
With LQS, piles of paper and illegible handwriting are a thing of the past. The reports are created via a quick, tidy, electronic process, and the data is backed up via the cloud.
Anyone who lays geomembranes will find that the combination of GEOSTAR and LQS makes them more productive and saves them money, giving them a competitive advantage. And, of course, having documentation as evidence of quality underpins their expertise and is good for their image.
With LQS, the owner of a landfill, lake or mine can ensure that welding work has been executed correctly. As a result, investments are protected.
And it contributes to other kinds of protection too. Environmental protection, for example. Regulations issued by the government or the relevant public authority ensure that a structure has been built in line with environmental protection standards.
And in the case of mines and landfills, groundwater protection is a key priority. With LQS, the quality of the weld seam is documented. And, of course, Leister also offers various testing instruments so that the strength and tightness of the weld seam can be checked directly on site. In this way, we ensure that nothing seeps into the substrate or into the groundwater.
Do you know which countries currently have legal requirements stipulating that quality documentation must be produced?
It has been legally required in Germany for around 20 years. Other countries such as Chile, Finland, Mexico, South Africa, and the USA are following suit. But LQS is also used in lots of countries where there are no legal stipulations.
I'm trying to imagine the situation on the construction site – how does it work?
I think the best thing to do is watch the following film on YouTube. It explains everything in detail. Play the film!
Can you reveal whether other LEISTER devices or automatic welders are going to be equipped with LQS? If so, which ones?
The plan is for all future LEISTER automatic welders to be equipped with LQS. The new TWINNY with LQS will be launched soon. Just wait and see!
Sounds exciting! Good luck with your projects in the future, and thank you for taking the time to talk to me!
If you have any questions about civil engineering, LQS, and GEOSTAR, please get in touch with us. E-mail.