ASME established the Certificate Holder program in 1916. This program gives formal recognition to a company that can fabricate to relevant ASME standards, and permits application of an ASME owned stamp. There are over 6500 Certificate Holders. The Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code Section I has 5 categories:
- S – Power Boilers
- A – Assembly of Power Boilers
- E – Electric Boilers
- M – Miniature Boiler
- PP – Pressure Piping
- V – Boiler Pressure Relief Valves
The National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors (NB) offers a similar program to certify companies to repair and/or alter boilers, pressure vessels, and other pressure-retaining items. This Certificate of Authorization is known as the “R” stamp, with the requirements laid out in NB-415, Accreditation of R Repair Organizations.
In December 2014, Questtec Solutions applied for the Pressure Piping (PP) and “R” stamp.
It is a common practice to receive the “R” stamp concurrently with any ASME Certificate, as the requirements coincide, and the review process can be performed simultaneously.
To attain the PP and R stamps, Questtec has appointed OneCIS, a subsidiary of BVQI as their Authorized Inspector (AI), which is the first step in the process. Both applications, to ASME and the NB, were submitted in early January, accepted and the Texas Department of Labor and Regulation has been assigned to conduct a formal review/audit in May, 2015.
Questtec Solutions will be adopting an additional Quality Control (QC) manual that will apply only to jobs where either stamp will be used. The primary difference between the new manual and the current ISO 9001 QMS is that processes are more specifically defined, and drill deeper into the way Questtec handles engineering, design, purchasing and material traceability.
Questtec Solutions current systems comply with nearly all requirements, and most additional requirements will be adopted as standard operating procedure.
Questtec will also be required show that the requisite ASME and NB standards are owned and accessible to relevant employees. This has been accomplished by utilizing the Techstreet subscription service for the following standards:
- BPVC Section I-Rules for Construction of Power Boilers
- BPVC Section II-Materials-Part A-Ferrous Materials Specifications (2 Volumes)
- BPVC Section II-Materials-Part B-Nonferrous Material Specifications
- BPVC Section II-Materials Part C-Specifications for Welding Rods Electrodes and Filler Metals
- BPVC Section II-Materials-Part D-Properties-(Customary)
- BPVC Section V-Nondestructive Examination
- BPVC Section IX- Welding, Brazing, and Fusing Qualifications
- B31.1 Power Piping
- NB-415, Accreditation of R Repair Organizations.
To comply with the requirements regarding Non-Destructive Testing, Questtec has appointed Terry Torgerson (GCT) as our Level III Inspector. Questtec Currently has 3 Level II Visual Inspectors, 3 Level II Penetrant Testing Inspectors, and 2 Level II Radiography Film Inspectors on staff. Our procedures, although on Questtec letterhead, are synchronized with GCT procedures to enable us to freely sub-contract service to GCT as our work load dictates. In a nutshell:
- Level I Inspectors can assist a Level II inspector in activities such as applying chemicals for Penetrant Testing.
- Level II Inspectors can conduct and interpret tests and sign the reports
- Level III Inspectors can write procedures
The TDLR review/audit will be similar to the annual ISO audit, with one significant exception. Questtec Solutions will be required to actually fabricate an item to demonstrate that the procedures in place are functional and effective. This review will be valid for three years of operation.
At the end of the day, the primary difference between jobs utilizing the stamps and standard jobs will be the involvement of the Authorized Inspector and the requisite Manufacturer’s Data Report, typically Form P4-A. The AI acts as a third party inspector and OneCIS will accept liability for the product being manufactured to code.
Questtec Solutions stands to benefit from this program in several ways. There is added prestige and recognition of our fabrication abilities by simply being a stamp holder when the work does not actually require the certification. New opportunities may arise that were “no-bids” due to stamp requirements.
Lastly, the process of obtaining the certificates forces an overall improvement of quality and knowledge.