Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘R stamp’

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 »

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 »

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

Read Full Post »

The economy has certainly effected work loads and the kind of work many shops are doing this year. In previous years it wasn’t unusual to have a back log of 6 or more months on new products. This year a back log of 2 to 3 is normal for most ASME fabricators. Although the work isn’t coming to us as in years past there are still plenty of opportunities. We have found that there has been a steep increase in repair, recertification, and rerate work for ASME vessels. As one of the few shops with a “S”, “U”, “NB” & “R” stamp we have been able to pursue a broad range of work with clients looking to make due with current equipment. This is a great way to finish projects and keep the bottom line as low as possible. Rerating a vessel can keep a project moving forward using equipment that has already been paid for. Comparatively, rerating or re-certifying a pressure vessel is a mere fraction in price and time but the results are the same. Another great option is finding and reimplementing used equipment. Let’s face it a used tank or vessel will be useful long after any of us are around to care. As a practice in good stewardship not just during tough times using used tanks and vessels can save substantial capital and bring more projects to our companies and to an ultimate completion. In the meantime companies looking for good deals on new equipment have a lot of buying power at this time too. Many shops will be able to provide the same equipment quicker than previous years at reduced rates. End users that have not seen price reductions on equipment should shop around and see if your vendor has become complacent in providing the best deal possible.

Read Full Post »