Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘ASME qualified ASME certified Welding Denver Fabrication Code ASME code’

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 a National Board “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

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Tonight we have the opportunity to go into a major sporting arena and perform a weld repair on a pressure vessel. After being in the pressure vessel industry for almost 12 years I sometimes forget that not everyone understands what is involved in this type of undertaking. The repair itself is very simple. The unit has been in service for the last fourteen years and after years of vibration a pinhole or crack has promulgated through the heat effected zone around one of the welds. So the repair will consist of grinding out the defect and welding in new material. Simple enough. It’s the paperwork side of things that most people are not familiar with. ASME does not actually have a “Code” for the repair of Section VIII, Division 1 pressure vessels. Repairs fall under the Nation Board of Inspectors Code (NBIC). The National Board is the agency that contends with the requirements for repairs and alterations. The following list is typical of the process for a repair:

  • Investigate the repair that is required
  • Procure or purchase a copy of the original U1-A report from either the manufacturer or The National Board
  • Review the original U1-A to verify materials of construction, Fabrication requirements, Examination requirements, and Testing requirements
  • Prepare a repair plan that includes a field traveler with hold points for the Authorized Inspector (AI)
    • Identify the weld procedure to be used
    • Identify the welder to be used and verify his/her qualifications
    • Prepare any drawings, calculations, and or engineering data
    • Procure and review documentation of any new material that must be utilized
    • Specify and non-destructive testing that is required
    • Specify any final inspection requirements
    • Specify any Post Weld Heat Treat requirements
    • Specify the type and range of any pressure test that is required
    • Prepare a nameplate
    • Prepare applicable R Form
    • All of the above information must be available for the AI to review
    • Perform the repair as stated in the repair plan
    • Perform testing as required by the NBIC
    • Sign off on the appropriate documentation

As you can see there is more to a “Code” repair the simply fixing the weld. Depending on the vessel the testing portion of the repair plan may take a substantial amount of time. Keep all of these items in mind when you call a company asking that a repair be made the same day as same day service tends to cost a little more. Here at Precision Pipe we jump at these opportunities to start new relationships that hopefully last a life time.

 

Read Full Post »

We recently avoided a costly mistake.  Our vendor had issued a quote on materials for a job that our customer needed expedited.  Throughout the chaos of organizing resources, work space, and reading through material quotes, it would have been somewhat understandable for us to award the materials to the lowest bidder and tell them to get them coming.  Fortunately for us, we have a few procedures in place that keep us from turning something around that quickly.   We stayed true to our practices and within a few minutes of going through our purchase review, we uncovered discrepancies within material and quantities, navigating ourselves out of an impending storm.

Procedures and Policies are good as long as they allow you to work efficiently.  Conversely, when Policies and Procedures are cumbersome and do not allow your organization to be nimble, it is time to examine the reasons behind the P&P and come up with better alternatives or more streamlined versions.

What Policies and Procedures hold you back from becoming better?

 

Read Full Post »

It wasn’t too long ago that I walked onto a refinery job site that Precision Pipe was supply equipment to.  At this site I saw an interesting event about to transpire.  A welder who was not associated with our company was getting ready to light a torch next to a vessel we had just delivered the day before. It appeared to me that he intended to cut into the vessel. Surprised to be seeing this, I quickly made my way over to him to see what he was doing.  He informed me that the construction manager (from a well respected and large engineering firm) instructed him to make a modification to the pressure vessel as a solution to a piping problem.  I asked him to stand by for a second so that we could discuss with plant manger the implications his modifications might have.

The welder became rather irritated with me and informed me he had his directions and he intended to follow them.  For those of you that are unfamiliar with the ASME code, let me explain the implications of this kind of modification in the ASME code world. First, if the welder had actually brought his torch to the shell of the vessel he would have undone the ASME certification on that vessel.  In other words the vessel would have no longer been a certified ASME pressure vessel and the customer would have wasted several thousands of dollars on that pressure vessel.  As the manufacturer I would have been required to remove the name plate from that vessel the moment I saw the flame come into contact with it. Second, that vessel would have no longer been acceptable to use on the job site as it was being implemented at a refinery in an ASME mandatory site and State.  Lastly, Precision would have likely had to of retaken possession of that vessel, repair it according to ASME standards, re-certify and qualify the vessel as meeting the ASME code.  The vessel would have also required a second name plate identifying it as an “R” or “Repaired” pressure vessel.

The reality of the situation was, the construction manager was under immense pressure to complete the project and at that point he was willing to cut corners.  What he didn’t anticipate was getting caught in a major blunder which would have added greater delays and expense to his project.  Anything worth doing is worth doing right and this is especially true for engineered products like ASME vessels. Knowing what the proper proceeders are for welding and modifying an ASME pressure vessel is imperative.  In this situation, the only way to modify the vessel is following the ASME code by using a qualified ASME shop with an “R” stamp.  Any welding or cutting on an ASME pressure vessel must be performed by a qualified shop that is in good standing with the National Board.  The pressure vessel will have to be reinspected by a third party authorized inspector and may need to have X-ray and hydrostatic testing to keep the ASME certification and name plate.

As an ASME qualified shop we encourage anyone to use us or another code shop as a resource to answer any question you may have on qualifications, modifications, and inspection of ASME pressure vessels, Heat Exchanger, or Boiler’s.  We would rather take a few minutes to understand and explain what your options are according to the code then risk an accident or injury .  In addition, if we can simply answer your question this a a free service we offer to any prospective customer.  If you are a plant manager and you are unsure if you can use any certified welder?  Give us a call and we can walk you though what it takes to maintain your ASME certifications.  If you have an ASME pressure vessel, Heat Exchanger, or Boiler that needs work or an addition of a nozzle or coupling.  Call us we can tell you what you must do to add the new components in a safe and code qualified manner.

As it turns out I was able to get the welder to wait a minute.  Explaining to him the consequences of his modification calmed him down long enough to bring in the decision makers.  The plant manager, the construction manager (having tucked his tail between his legs), and I all discussed the changes that were necessary and it was ultimately decided a ‘T’ in the process piping was the most effective work around for the problem.  Having an ASME specialist onsite that day saved thousands of dollars, countless hours, and potentially the integrity of the plants operational safety in the future.  Don’t be shy to email or call us or any other ASME qualified shop to discuss your project or equipment with ASME name plates. Your local rig welder or fabrication shop may be good, they may be able, they may even have a piece of paper that  say’s they are certified to make a weld. However, it is imperative you at least speak with a shop that is ASME qualified before you make any welds on a certified ASME pressure vessel.

http://www.Precision-Pipe.com

Read Full Post »

Interestingly enough, I have not noticed requirements of regulations in customer specifications regarding the concept of welder continuity. Welder continuity is the idea that a welder must continue to weld using a given process within a six month period to remain a “qualified welder” (See ASME Sec. IX, QW-322). ASME Section IX states that if a welder “has not welded with a process during a period of six months or more” he must be re-qualified. So just because a welder has passed a GMAW weld procedure qualification in the past does not mean he is qualified for the rest of his life. For example, if a shop makes a welder pass welding tests for GMAW and GTAW in order to be hired but then only uses the welder for GMAW for the next eight months the welder’s GTAW qualification has expired and he must be re-qualified. You’re probably thinking, “what a pain” and you could be right! If you do not have a continuity log for your welders showing the welding processes they have used within a six month period since they qualified it could get very difficult to remember who is still qualified for what! Continuity Log. This is a simple spread sheet that records the date and procedure a welder passed the qualification test and then maintains a running log recording that a welder has used the welding process every six months. I underline process because if you have multiple welding procedures for the same process (GMAW for carbon steel and stainless steel, etc.) then the welder remains qualified for every weld procedure he has successfully tested for within the same PROCESS by welding any of the weld procedures within that process. Every six months you simply review the log and record a date and a reference number (to either a job, a part, a test) that the welder was working on for a given process. If the welder has not used a process in the six month period you simply grab a couple of pieces of scrap material and have him weld it for you. Then record the job number and move to the next welder. It seems very simple and it is. Even if you use rig welders or a mobile welding service you can call and have them stop in for an hour to make a weld or two then record it on the log. The nice thing about the log is you always have a reference to review for which welders are qualified for your welding procedures if you keep it up to date. The bad thing is it only comes around every six months which makes it really easy to put on the back burner and forget about. When it comes time for a quality audit and someone asks to see it or asks how you keep track of your welder qualifications it can become a simple check mark or a sticking point. Feel free to stop by Precision Pipe & Vessel and ask to see our welder continuity log. We like check marks!

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »