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Archive for January, 2010

At Precision Pipe we have built a variety of vessels configured in every way one could possibly imagine.  Yet, we are always surprised by new ideas that come through our doors.  As a company that strives to exceed our customers expectations we are always looking for new ways to save money and bring value to our clients projects.  Recently, we were asked to bid on stainless steel vessels that are ASME rated above 1000 PSIG.  We returned a bid as requested but we also supplied an alternative bid using carbon steel that still meet the needs of the project but had the potential to save several thousand dollars off each pressure vessel.

How do you make a stainless steel vessel out of carbon steel?  There is the age old technique of cladding a vessel with stainless steel welding wire.  However, it is ugly, time consuming, and even distribution is unlikely.  In this particular case the esthetics of the vessels (inside and out) were equally important as the function.  Thus, we needed to supply quality, function, and appealing form to the project. What we have accomplished is Precision Clad.  We have effectively used seal welded stainless steel liners with stainless head and nozzles.  Using this methodology we have made the entire inside surface a stainless steel ASME pressure vessels while replacing the expensive, thick, and  high pressure shells with less expensive carbon steel.  In times like these Precision Pipe knows our clients need ways to get their projects finished in economically feasible ways.  However, this is not a new trend for Precision Pipe but an ethos of our company with 30 years of practice.

The results of these vessels have been well received and the savings have been remarkable.  In addition the vessels look great inside and out, they are 100% functional as corrosion resistant, this is Precision Clad.

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It seems that no one has been immune to the effects of a depressed economy.  Reports of people losing their jobs, pay cuts, and uncertainty about what the future holds, are huge causes of stress for most of us.  Unfortunately, we bring these stresses from work to our homes and then back to work again – causing a build-up of frustration that will eventually boil over.

The building of pressure, desperation, frustration, and stresses have a deep impact on our ability to make the good decisions we need to make in our business and impact our effectiveness in dealing with our colleagues and those we manage.  More importantly, they deeply affect our relationships and our ability to give of ourselves the way we need to those most important to us.

So, here are just a few things we can do to help coach and lead ourselves into a better state of mind.

1.  Prospective:  Whether you need some, or have lost it – find it!  What can/are you (be) grateful for right now?  Recall a tough time in your life and how you overcame.  Seek out people in your life that have more life experience and that are wiser than you and ask their opinion…allow them to speak deep truths into your life.

2.  Honesty:  Either with yourself, a co-worker, or a loved one; this could be a perfect time to enter into what Bill Hybles calls, “The tunnel of chaos” but only if the other person is willing to go through it as well.  The tunnel’s purpose is to come out the other side with stronger relationships than before entering.

3.  Service:  How can you serve others better than you ever have?  The power of shifting focus off of ourselves and onto others in service is an amazing thing.  It causes us to have eyes for those in need and gives us the attitude victories we need to keep us going.

4.  Desire:  To make things better, to win and never give up…whatever it may be, desire for good things and strive for them with undying passion to never, never, never, give up.

My hopes and prayers for you in this new year!

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Last month I went to an AWS meeting and had a very interesting conversation with a rig welder who owned his own business. We were discussing the work available in the Colorado region and he mentioned that he was doing some repairs on pressure vessels. Curiously I asked if he had a current R stamp or if the company he was working for had a current R stamp. He replied, “I’m just working on some nozzles so they told me I don’t need an R Stamp”. This caught me by surprise. I had understood that any weld on a pressure vessel was part of the ASME code boundary and would require a procedure along with several other items to be approved by an Authorized Inspector prior to work beginning. Not wanting to sound foolish I decided to hold my tongue and do some research within ASME Section VIII, Division 1. Although my definition was somewhat simplified the mind set was correct. Here’s an excerpt from the 2007 edition/2009b addenda of the code:

“U-1(e) In relation to geometry of pressure containing parts, the scope of this Division shall include the following:

U-1(e)(1) where external piping; other pressure vessels including heat exchangers; or mechanical devices, such as pumps, mixers, or compressors, are to be connected to the vessel:

(a) the welding end connection for the first circumferential joint for welded connections [see UW-13(h);

(b) the first threaded joint for screwed connections;

(c) the face of the first flange for bolted, flanged connections;

(d) the first sealing surface for proprietary connections or fitting;”

The list goes on and for the sake of losing whoever might be reading this I’ll leave it to the reader to look up the rest. Let me summarize U-1(e): The code boundary includes any weld joining a nozzle to the main vessel body, the coupling for threaded connections, the weld connecting a weld neck flange AND the flange connected to the piping connected to the main vessel body. Further in U-1(e) the blind flanges or “pressure retaining covers” are also included in the code boundary. Does this impact the way work is performed on vessels here at Precision Pipe & Vessel, LLC? No. We have a current R Stamp issued by the Nation Board of Boiler & Pressure Vessel Inspectors. But for those of you welders and welding companies that are working on ASME certified and registered pressure vessels without an R Stamp I would recommend you stop until you get one. You are accepting the liability of the pressure vessel repair without a qualified Quality System and are by-passing the systems put in place to protect the public from catastrophic failures. If you have a minute check out the 2004 reference on the US Chemical Safety Board website (there’s a link at the end of this blog). The ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) and the NBIC (National Board Inspection Code) codes were written in response to failures of boilers and pressure vessels over the years. They are for the safety of the public. Beware of people and businesses that go around the proper steps of repairing boilers and pressure vessels.

http://www.csb.gov/newsroom/detail.aspx?nid=293

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