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Posts Tagged ‘ASME Section VIII’

Since this summer Precision Pipe and Vessel, A Denver ASME welding and fabrication shop has built and delivered two 80 foot plus deethanizor and depropoanizer towers.  By all standards these are not the largest towers on the market, but are a large enough to serve a major sector in gas processing plants.  These towers were built in Denver and will be shipped all the way to Pennsylvania for their final installation.  This project was conducted with a Nationwide RFP process and it was discovered the Precision Pipe had a competitive price (even with expensive trucking costs) and even better delivery schedule.

As the gas boom seems to be gaining traction, it seems many ASME shops are becoming back logged with large vessels such as these.  Many gas processing companies turn to the same fabricators over and over again and are willing to wait months for delivery at the expense of production and revenue.  As project managers become familiar with companies they tend to turn to the same companies time and time again.  This is probably a safe bet with long established business relationships, but the petroleum is a high risk high reward kind of business.  From the early stages of drilling, installation, permitting, and well stimulation this is in all reality a high stakes business.

Any company that is seeking a competitive edge should be looking for energetic and motivated businesses qualified to provide the same products on a better delivery date (any ASME code vessel will require the same QA QC and inspection).  The cost of lost production is much more expensive than a few thousand dollars in added cost or even shipping, yet procurement specialist and project managers turn to the same companies over and over again without looking at the competitive advantage they may have by using a new vendor with better delivery times.  As dollars are wasted waiting for equipment it seems more logical to strike up new business relationships based on better delivery schedules. Give us a call and see if we can get you to revenue quicker than your go to guy, you might be surprised!

http://www.precision-pipe.com

Natural Gas Processing Equipment

304 Stainless deethanizer tower

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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

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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!

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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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Having a market advantage is a huge goal for most companies especially during market down turns.  Often times a company may have such an advantage and not know it, or at least not know how to capitalize on such opportunities.  One market segment that Precision Pipe excels at and enjoys is building Dew Point Processing Plants also know as refrigeration plants, NGL, or Natural Gas Liquids Plants.  What sets Precision Pipe & Vessel aside from our competitors is we have many different approaches to building gas processing equipment that other fabricators don’t consider or offer to their customers.

Our approaches include remanufacturing used equipment in a quality manner giving the appearance the equipment is new (often times it is as good as new).  We also painstakingly examine and inspect each mechanical component to ensure reliability and give estimated time before component overhaul.  We also build complete brand new plants from the skid up.  All of our products are turn key with complete instrumentation and piping interconnect as specified by each customer.  As soon as the plant has been connected to utilities and the associated site piping our systems are ready to be started up and turned over to operations.

Our most recent gas plants have taken yet another approach that provide the longevity  and the associated technology of new and modern Gas Plants yet maintain the cost savings of remanufactured equipment.  Recently we have assembled a plant that used brand new wear components such as a refrigeration compressor, glycol pumps, instrumentation, heat exchangers, and other moving components.  However, we created substantial saving to our client by using ASME pressure vessels and a glycol re-boiler off of used equipment.  We simply identified vessels in our inventory and evaluated condition and specification according to the refrigeration plant.  Next, we transplanted the vessels onto the new skid and re-registered the vessels with the National Board.  This process cut months out of the fabrication schedule and reduced the cost of the plant by nearly 30% for our customer.

When it was all said and done we shipped a modern gas plant to our customer complete with computerized controls and modern instrumentation at a greatly  reduced cost.  We were also informed by our customer that our delivery was several months quicker then the next best offer.  As it stands today the plant has operated for nearly a year with no shut downs and only routine maintenance performed.  This has become a good case study for cutting costs and improving our customers ROI by using creative and alternative fabrication techniques.

Precision Pipe and it’s staff has fabricated nearly 100 NGL plants over the last 30 years that are operating in various locations in North and South America.  We have developed a reputation for finding good quality used equipment, rebuilding our customers antiquated systems, and building brand new equipment to operate in todays modern gas fields.  Precision Pipe

NGL Plant

Precision Pipe uses new and used equipment to build great products

is a fully qualified ASME code shop (U,R,S, & NB stamps) that specializes in gas processing equipment, gasification, alternative energy, and product development engineering and fabrication.

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Yesterday marked a first for me in my eleven years of working in the ASME world; a welder who stated he could pass a 6G weld test on 2” Schedule 80 carbon steel pipe using the GMAW welding process actually showed me he could do it. It’s amazing to me how many welders come into our shop boasting about their accomplishments and certifications only to completely discredit themselves when it comes time to perform an actual weld. A couple of years ago I had a welder come in and apply for work that had every welding process and material I could ever imagine welding at our facility listed on his resume. His resume looked fantastic! He even had lead man experience and design experience listed on the resume. When I was reading through his certifications and came across ASME 6G MIG certified I was ecstatic! So I asked the question, “Can you pass a 6G MIG test today”? “Of course I can” he boasted.  6G is a one test fits all approach to qualifying welders. If a welder can pass the 6G test he or she is qualified to weld in any position (Vertical, Horizontal, Flat, and Overhead). As such it’s a pretty tough test. The welder must tack weld two pieces of pipe together then secure the two pieces to a jig that holds the pipe to be welded 45 degrees off the horizontal. The welder cannot move the pipe once the welder has started. When in this position the welder is forced to weld vertically, flat, and overhead on the same piece of pipe. Now back to the welder… I set him up in the shop with a welder and some pipe and said “GO”! I went back to my office to let the man work in peace. Twenty minutes later he came through the office with all his tools extremely frustrated and simply said he was leaving. Shocked I went out to see what happened. I found his weld test stuffed way under the table he was working on. It looked HORRIBLE! It had to be (and still is) the worst coupon I had ever seen. Unbelievable! I chocked it up to the fact that no matter what the paper says the caliber of a welder can only be known through testing. The saying you get what you pay for certainly applies to welding. We at Precision Pipe & Vessel have had some extremely high end welding and if we let people who THINK they can weld anything without testing them in the door we will be closing the doors permanently all too soon. In today’s market place we have found that diversity is what works for keeping our doors open and our employees enjoy having a variety of work including the high end stainless steel and other alloy work come in the door. May I suggest if you are a buyer or a purchaser in today’s market that before you go with the least expensive bid you ask for a weld sample along with welder qualifications before you issue the purchase order. Sometimes the “you get what you pay for” can end up costing so much more then expected the cheapest manufacturer is not worth it.

As a follow up, this weld was just made by one of the welders in our shop:

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As an ASME code shop it has been very beneficial to our business having the added segment of renewable energy projects.  Throughout our 30 year history as a company most of our success and failure has coincided with the success and failures of the oil and gas industry.  As it stands today we are still very dependent on our traditional energy clients and their projects, as this makes up at least half of our overall business each year.  However, it is great to have another segment that is not dependent on the price of oil and gas to keep our fabrication shop afloat while gas and oil prices are down.  Last year the lions share of our work was in alternative fuels, clean energy, and clean-tech segments.  Not having this industry 10 years ago (not to say it didn’t exist it just wasn’t as lucrative at that time) this recession would have been much worse than it is even now. During the downturn we saw big decreases in our back log but we were able to secure and build several projects and skidded packages for clients that are trying to bring new clean technologies to market.  Some of these technologies improve pollution and energy consumption while others aim and finding a competitive replacement to petroleum products.

As we look to the future in this new energy economy Precision Pipe is excited to be at the cross roads.  We are very optimistic about the continued and successful use of fossil fuels and their associated projects and we are thrill to see these projects getting back on their feet again.  All the while we are also embracing new companies that are developing technology to change the way the world uses energy and fuels itself.  In the near future we hope to be building NGL refrigeration plants and gas separators alongside catalyst beds and gasification plants to power our nation and world.  As it is clearly a new world for fabrication, Precision Pipe  is well positioned as a leader in developing new technologies.  We strive to help our clients build prototypes of their own proprietary technologies for this new segment of the US economy in addition to building components for established petrochemical processes.

http://www.Precision-Pipe.com

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