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Posts Tagged ‘S stamp’

An interesting project has come to our shop that is leading to a new welding procedure. The project is a simple stainless steel pressure vessel, 6” diameter pipe, 0.432” wall approximately 18” long. While this seems overly simple it has led me to investigate the welding options we have qualified for stainless in our shop. We have stainless hardwire, flux core, stick, and TIG procedures but which one to use? Flux core fills very fast, hardwire is clean and neat, TIG has an artistic look when done right but is slower then hardwire and flux core. Stick welding is smoky and unless the welder is REALLY good it just doesn’t look as nice as the others. I’m beginning to think multiple processes. If we hardwire the root then no backing gas is required (meaning we don’t have to purge the inside of the vessel to remove any oxygen exposure on the back side of the weld) then we can fill the majority of the weld joint with either spray arc hardwire or flux core and finish with TIG. We get a solid, quick welded joint that looks like art! But I don’t have a weld procedure that includes three different welding processes. Do I need to break out some stainless steel scrap and weld up a coupon using the three selected processes and have it tested? Conveniently, I do not. Because I have Procedure Qualification Reports (PQR’s) for all three processes I can write a new procedure using the existing PQR’s. I can take the information from each PQR and implement a new procedure that includes all three processes. Each process must be noted on the new weld procedure and the essential variables must also be noted. One other item to be sure to review, the thickness of the additive PQR’s must yield the thickness range required for the intended joint. Maintaining documentation of all our welding processes and procedures makes this an easy accomplishment, an accomplishment that allows us to utilize our knowledge and history to go forward. If you like the way a certain welding process looks but have been told it costs too much or takes too much time, give us a call. We’ll help you find a happy medium that yields beautiful welding and cost effectiveness.

Denver Stainless Steel Welding

TIG Cover Pass

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I once had a friend that ask me how I could possibly make a living by making pressure vessels, implying there can’t be any demand for such products.  From an outsiders view he didn’t really know what a pressure vessel was or what it really did. I was amused by his comment because I knowingly realize that Pressure Vessel’s certainly lack any kind understanding by the general public, but the need, and application for pressure vessels is certainly in high demand.  I imagine most people must think this is really a quirky business but don’t really know what pressure vessels are, what they are used for, and how their application is important to our daily lives.  As long as there is a need for petroleum products, natural gas, heat, and cooling there are a network of pressure vessels that are necessary to keep our infrastructure safe and operational.  Likewise, pressure vessels are used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, breweries (yeah beer), food processing, water treatment, and countless other applications that enhance our daily lives. In fact, any component, piping, or tank that is designed to hold 15 psi or more is subject the guidelines and compliance of the ASME code for boilers and pressure vessels.

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has set the standards for pressure vessel design and manufacturing that has enabled our country’s infrastructure to become a complex and vast network.  While this is nothing short of a modern marvel it is truly remarkable how the ASME guidelines have kept workers and the public safe from the explosive high pressure gases.  In fact, the ASME standards have proven to be completely effective as long as the code is followed by everyone who has ASME certified components.

Likewise, it is scary to hear about explosions, fires, and other catastrophic events in the oil and gas industry as well as commercial boilers.  These failures almost always occur when an operator of the equipment is either too lazy to follow code or is ignorant about the effects of not following ASME guidelines.  Recently, I heard about a repair on a Government owned and operated boiler (in an ASME compliant state) that had overlooked using an ASME qualified shop for more than an decade.  This repair required an “S” stamp to perform the work, but upon inspection there had been no less than ten previous repairs performed by a non-qualified company.  This was alarming for a few reasons.  First, the state was failing to oblige by their own guidelines.  This was a public hazard and a huge liability for the State, the licensed boiler operator, and for the welder who did the repairs.  It is imperative to any repair on an ASME component (boiler, pressure vessel, heat exchanger)  that such repairs are performed by a certified welder by a qualified shop.  In other words, the company performing such repairs, at a minimum, must have an ASME “R” stamp in good standing.  Further, the repairs must be performed in compliance of the applicable code as designated by the ASME and NBIC code guidelines.  It is alarming to see States that designate compliance to code construction fail to recognize the necessary steps to keep their own equipment in compliance.

What does this mean to the average person? Not much to be truthful. However, to anyone that has process equipment it is absolutely imperative to recognize the importance code compliance has on the safety of those aruond us.

The ASME helps the global engineering community develop solutions to real world challenges. Founded in 1880 as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASME is a not-for-profit professional organization that enables collaboration, knowledge sharing and skill development across all engineering disciplines, while promoting the vital role of the engineer in society. ASME codes and standards, publications, conferences, continuing education and professional development programs provide a foundation for advancing technical knowledge and a safer world.

Therefore, the next time you fire up your gas grill (you can verify your propane tank is ASME / NBIC certified) remember that countless hours of engineering, design, review, materials and code compliance, nondestructive testing, and third party inspection have gone into keeping you and your loved ones safe, even if you don’t know what a pressure vessel is.

http://www.Precision-Pipe.com

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Driving into work today, I was intentionally cut off by a truck with a trailer attached.  As I was running into the shoulder of the highway and figuring out what kind of “Bo Duke“ move I was going to make, I was able to get a good look at company name on the side of the truck.  It was a company that our business has used in the past and will think twice about using in the future.

The difference between future business and closing your business could be a simple as courteous driving.

Recently a salesperson came in selling uniforms.  I politely told him that we already have a vendor that we are pleased with, but in a few months I will be evaluating the service and obtaining quotes.  He told me a little about his company and their values and we exchanged business cards.  I chuckled at the difference between our company cards.  My company has square cards, his company cards are circular.  As we chatted each other’s cards up – I made the suggestion that his card would be better served as a coaster…a few weeks later, I received a card in the mail with a coaster enclosed.

Effort creates opportunity.

What I love about working for Precision is that hustle, courtesy, and going the extra-mile is second nature to us.  We are always looking for ways to save our customers money, improve lead-time, and deliver an excellent product.  If you haven’t had a chance to work with us, give us a call.  We would love the opportunity to partner with you.

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Did you know that there are a few simple steps you can take to save quite a bit of money on your insurance?  No, it’s NOT switching to GEICO®!   Certifying your company with the State Cost Containment Board (Name varies from state to state) can make a big difference in the amount of Workman’s Compensation Insurance that your company pays out.  (And, it is so easy, even a Ca…you get the point.)  It is amazing that every company doesn’t go through the steps of cost containment to keep that money within their organization.

More importantly, cost containment is more than saving money – it is a commitment within your organization to provide a safe working environment for all.  This ethos can only be achieved through the constant effort of top leadership to promote safety within the organization.  Safety programs and open lines of communication are effective tools in keeping a safe work environment but without a constant push from the top, employees often become complacent which can lead to accidents.

If you haven’t already, begin a cost containment program within your organization.  Usually, a company needs to have a cost containment program in effect for one year prior to submitting to the certifying entity.  Though this process may seem tedious, it is worth creating an environment of safety and care as a core value.

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How do you feel when a project is due to ship in two-weeks time?  Now how about one-week?  Is there a sense of confidence or sheer panic?  When it’s crunch time who/what do you turn to make your deadline?  There are only two choices:  One, ramp up with resources to get the job done. OR, Two, go to your customer and explain why you won’t make your deadline.  (Side note:  When it comes to excuses, I always think of John Belushi in the movie, Blues Brothers, giving Carrie Fisher a long list of why he couldn’t make it to their wedding.)

We know that the two options have serious problems.  If we ramp up resources, our margins slip away fast.  When we go to our customer with a list of why we can’t, we look incompetent and incapable of completing a task we said we could do.  Neither of the two options sound very appealing to me, yet businesses engage in them countless times, usually, with no shame.

How then, do we carry our project through on time and on budget and mitigate the risks and unknown problems that may arise during the project lifespan?  Two words: Hard Work.

It takes hard work to plan out resourcing and stay on task.  It takes hard work to stay motivated to see a project to its completion, but the payoff – well, it’s usually worth the hard work.   Usually, there are simple steps that we can take to make sure we stay on task and that our hard work is not in vain.

Years ago, a mentor of mine encouraged me to write on a 3×5 note card the three most important things I had to do the next day.  (At the end of my day, everyday)  That way, when you come in the next day, you know exactly where to start and what is important to accomplish.  The great thing about this advice is that it keeps you on track in the midst of a chaotic day.

Another great tip from my mentor is to hold a 10 minute meeting at the beginning of each day with various leads and managers of the project that is in progress.  This gives you as project manager  the forum to ask of your leads:  “What are your priorities for the day?”  This in turn, leads to greater communication and accountability within the team.

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When it comes to kicking off a project we usually focus most of our attention and energies in moving the project from beginning to end.   For some of us, there is excitement in the start of a new project and a sigh of relief when the project ends (with a whole lot of hope and nail biting in between).  Not long into the life of a project there comes a sobering reality of the tedious tasks that are required to make a project successful.  Our follow through with these tasks are principal to the outcome and overall success of the project and ultimately how customers perceive us.  Follow through is best achieved within a team environment where every member of the team is using their strengths to maximize the effort given towards the project.   Within a team there is a greater level of accountability and creativity that leads to effective communication and clear direction.  Clear direction leads to efficient work flow and easy identification of bottle necks and other potential problems making your project economical and creating greater margin within your business.

Don’t forget to conduct follow up meetings regularly to track progress.  These brief meeting should be done at the beginning of the day, be brief, and cover what top tasks each team member has to accomplish that day.  Above all, have fun!  The more you enjoy your team and project, the greater strength you have to complete the tasks you have throughout your day.

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Does your company fabricate or market boilers?  Do you need to have your boilers certified in accordance with the standards for Power Boilers from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)?  Well then, an S-Stamp is for you. In this case, the S-stamp is for Power Boilers and applies to two types of boilers under Section I of the latest copy of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code.   First, it applies to boilers in which steam or other vapor is produced at a pressure greater than 15 psig (100 kPa) external to itself.  Second, it applies to high temperature water boilers intended for use with operating pressures greater than 160 psig (1.1 MPa) and/or has temperatures exceeding 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).

Getting the S-stamp is not easy as there are many things a company needs before ASME will issue the stamp.  These “things” include but are not limited to:  A Quality Control (QC) System, initial investments and personnel to maintain.  These subjects are covered in more detail under  sections  PG-104 through 109, and PG-111 of Section I of the most recent revision of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code.  These sections cover general information, types of stamps relative to Section I, applications, agreements, quality control systems required, and stamping of boilers and associated power piping as well as field-assembled boilers.   Once a company has satisfied the ASME requirements, it will receive the S-Stamp (and thus use it to stamp boilers) and a Certificate of Authorization from ASME to enable them to start code construction.  Additionally, although a company may have an S-stamp, it is also “good business practice” that the company has product liability insurance on the boiler prior to delivery.

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