Abstract: Facilitating Technology Service: Welding Standards and the Shaping of a Danish Technology Service Provider, 1939–2005

Lars Heide


This paper discusses how standardization regimes in the twentieth century facilitated technology service based on the history of the Danish welding inspection company, Svejsecentralen (the welding center), renamed FORCE Technology in 2003. This company was established in 1940 to facilitate X-ray inspection in Denmark. The rationale for this establishment was the competitive advantage of German industry already having X-ray inspection of welding. The German inspection was based on national industry standards written in the mid-1930s. Subsequently other European industries laid down similar standards varying among countries. In the 1970s, the Danish government established government authorization of companies to certify inspection. This regime distinguished by facilitating challenging service providers. The third regime of European standards grew out of the building of the single European market between 1987 and 1992. Common European welding standards simplified welding inspection across borders. Additional international standards were constructed for company organizations. FORCE used the two complementary sets of standards to expand into neighboring countries and became an international service provider.