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Posts Tagged ‘ASME Welding’

Precision Pipe & Vessel, is a Denver based ASME welding and equipment fabrication business with ‘NB’ ‘U’ & ‘R’ Stamps and certification. Precision Pipe  designs and builds individual components and complete turnkey skid packages. Precision Pipe has successfully completed more than 4500 jobs since 2000 which include small piping jobs, repairs of pressure vessels, TEMA Type Heat Exchangers, Pressure Vessels, and complete turn key skid packages.

Precision Pipe has a long history of providing cost competitive turnkey packages complete with electrical, instrumentation, controls, and complete engineering packaging. Precision has designed and built many components for installation including: Natural Gas Processing Plants (JT & Refrigeration), Separation, Refrigeration Packages, Dehydration, Compression, Chillers, Line Heaters, Production Units, Cabin Heaters, Tanks, Towers, Stacks, Flares, Boilers, Land Fill Methane Collection.

Although Precision Pipe specializes in Chemical, Oil & Gas processing equipment and facilities, Precision Pipe also has significant domain experience in Renewables, Co2, Prototyping and other process equipment. Precision is staffed with a team of professionals with diverse backgrounds, ingenuity, and the willingness to take risk. We find satisfaction in developing new products and building prototypes. Precision Pipe has helped dozens of companies (including ourselves) develop new products, build fully functional demonstration facilities, and seek patent protection for these innovations. Our product development experience includes gas processing equipment, catalyst, fixed and mobile laboratories, reactors, gasification, alternative fuels, cellulosic biofuels, clean tech, directional drilling, fracking, textiles, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, oder & emissions elimination, distillation, traditional and renewable energy related developments.

At Precision Pipe 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.IMG_3019

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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.

TIG Cover Pass

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As a business owner it is painful when your customers say “I didn’t know you did that”.  During this great recessions our business has scaled back and although each year seems to get a little better we are nowhere near the production we had in 2007 and 2008.  So when some of your best and longest customers aren’t aware of products or services we offer it is extremely frustrating on the road of fiscal recovery.  I guess this is painful because it shows that our message is getting lost in the product offering we make to certain customers.

One such customer has had us hydrostatically pressure test valves for them for years.  They have been in our fabrication facility hundreds of times and they had no idea that we could weld and fabricate stainless steel piping.  This happens to be one of our many specialities as many other fabrication shops subcontract with us to provide stainless steel piping runs.  Our quality and value is higher and better than other shops can do in house.  Another customer had no idea we could build all types of pressure vessels and heat exchangers.  They had only ordered inlet separators from us thus, that’s all they thought we made.  Yet, we build refrigeration packages, cabin heaters, gas processing plants, distillation towers, chillers, filters, and just about anything else that has a midstream application.  In addition we build specialized skid mounted packages for prototyping and product development.

Precision Pipe is learning that we just because we offer many products it doesn’t mean that anyone knows about them.  Thus, we have started a new campaign of a quarterly news letter highlighting products we have built in the previous months.  Likewise we are supplementing our webpage with a link to our line card.  This will allow every email, quote, inquiry to have a direct link to our products and services.  We are hopeful we never hear “I didn’t know you did that” ever again.

http://www.precision-pipe.com

High Quality Welding

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 A fantastic Article found on: http://www.csb.gov/newsroom/detail.aspx?nid=293

November 09, 2009

Without appropriate safeguards, pressure vessels can pose lethal dangers.
Washington, DC, November 9, 2009 – CSB Chairman John Bresland released a new video safety message today asking jurisdictions across the country to adopt the ASME Pressure Vessel Code to reduce the number of accidents involving catastrophic pressure vessel failures in process industries.
The safety message can be viewed on CSB.gov and on the CSB’s safety message channel,www.youtube.com/safetymessages.
In the safety message, Chairman Bresland warned that without appropriate safeguards, pressure vessels can pose lethal dangers. Chairman Bresland said, “Pressure vessels store tremendous amounts of energy and you should never become complacent about the risks.”
Particular danger exists when vessels are improperly installed, welded, or modified, or when they lack effective pressure relief systems. Mr. Bresland refers to several incidents investigated by the CSB including an explosion at a Louisiana natural gas well that killed four workers when a tank rated only for atmospheric pressure was exposed to gas pressure up to 800 pounds per square inch.
In April 2003, an 8-foot tank used to heat sugar caramel exploded when the vent line became blocked, killing an overnight operator, releasing large amounts of ammonia, and forcing a community evacuation. The vessel had no pressure-relief system.
Additionally, in 2004 a pressure vessel weighing 50,000-pounds exploded at a chemical plant in Houston, Texas, throwing heavy fragments into the community, which damaged a church and businesses.  The CSB found that the company improperly modified and welded the vessel.
Chairman Bresland stated that these accidents can be avoided if states implement long-established codes for safe use. He said, “There are only eleven states that do not require companies to follow the Pressure Vessel Code of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). I ask all jurisdictions to adopt the Pressure Vessel Code and related boiler standards. Lives will be saved as a result.”
The ASME Code provides the fundamental safeguards for pressure vessels, including design, welding procedures and fabrication, testing, and pressure relief. In 2006, the CSB called upon the City of Houston to adopt the Code to protect residents and industrial facilities from these incidents. However, Houston has failed to implement this recommendation despite reoccurring pressure vessel failures such as a summer of 2008 heat exchanger explosion in a resin-production facility that killed a veteran supervisor.
The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents. The agency’s board members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems.
The Board does not issue citations or fines but does make safety recommendations to plants, industry organizations, labor groups, and regulatory agencies such as OSHA and EPA.
A powerful reminder about the purpose of the ASME code and the dangers of not using a qualified and certified ASME code shop for repairs and alterations.  The nominal costs of making proper repairs to ASME pressure vessels is insignificant to the potential loss of human life. Likewise, the risk of installing non-code vessels is equally dangerous and potentially deadly.

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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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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.

 

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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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