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Posts Tagged ‘boilers’

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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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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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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