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ECE Global, LLC
Your Global Partner in Engineering, Quality and Safety Compliance
Design - Fabrication - Welding - Inspection - Certification

Inspections & Approvals of the design, construction and installation of pressure equipment is a key to the success of any process system. We perform these services while considering design and purchasing requirements, process specifications and codes of construction.  Assets must be compliant with both regulatory and operational requirements, and in most cases mandatory inspection and reporting is required to satisfy them.

Because of the many unique requirements for each project, our clients rely on our expertise during the design, purchase, construction, testing and commissioning of their pressure equipment and piping.  The cost of ownership related to plant safety, efficiency, reliability, predictable periodic inspections, clean-ability and general maintenance makes the benefits of Inspections and Approvals real.

Detailed Design Review

Code & Standard Compliance Review of non-destructive and destructive examination requirements for each project should be performed. The minimum requirement established by the code may not be the optimal requirement for operations. For example, we try to reduce costly examination requirements by applying the codes and standards in an appropriate manner to satisfy plant safety and reliability.
Design & Drawings Review Reviewing Maximum Allowable Working Pressure (MAWP) while considering material properties, corrosion allowances and design details for such items as nozzles or pipe line components is very important. We encourage our clients to use these review results as a basis for setting the design baselines and establishing in-process inspections protocols to assess Fitness For Service (FFS) at predefined intervals or in the event of changing process parameters.

Manufacturer Audit & Contract Review

Vendor Capabilities We audit pressure equipment fabricators and mechanical contractors to ensure quality and production controls are suitable for the project.
Purchasing Specifications Review Purchasing specifications often benefit from third party review to ensure requirements, responsibilities and liabilities are included in these contracts. The purchasing contract defines deliverables, and we review it to verify the requirements meet the project specifications.

Welding & Fabrication Inspection

Welding Procedures It can not be assumed that a company has welding controls established, and more importantly, that they are being executed. Auditing welding procedures and related controls is good practice and can validate a vendor’s qualification. We perform welding specific program reviews to assess conformity and compliance to applicable Standards.
Pre-production Test Samples Are the welders qualified or capable of joining two pieces together today? We believe that pre-production weld samples are in some cases a good practice, but in many situations they could be mandatory.
In-Process Inspection During most projects there are numerous instances where visual, or other, examination must be performed before subsequent operations. We help identify these “hold points” and then perform the prescribed examination or inspection.
Final Inspection Is final inspection all that is required? Development of final inspection protocols is the most effective way to manage these activities. We take full advantage of engineering and manufacturing data to prepare final inspection requirements and then execute.

Performance Testing & Documentation Approval

Factory Performance Testing Conducting tests such as Hydrostatic or Head Loss performance testing is usually mandatory on pressure equipment and piping built according to a code of construction. We provide the expertise to develop protocols and then witness and report on these testing activities.
Documentation Reviews Reviews for content and completeness should be conducted. Documentation turnover and its management are important for current validation and future operability needs. We provide documentation programs that support requirements and management.

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Pressure Vessel Project Example

Scope

ECE conducted pressure equipment design reviews, inspections and approvals for a Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM) BioTech project. The vessels were build in North America and placed into service in Europe. ECE supported the Owner, A&E firm, and contracted suppliers with  sound approval strategies, fabrication requirements and component compliance to codes and specifications. The management of the third party approval agencies (e.g. European Notified Body, National Authorities) was a major aspect of the project.

Challenge

A consistent review of pressure vessel (tanks) drawings and calculations while supporting the development of weld maps and inspection hold points, based on ASME and European Norm (EN 13445) Requirements. Consistency in methods between suppliers to support elimination of surprises in terms of:

  • Accessibility and safety
  • Acceptance by the national and international authorities
  • Risk Assessment
  • Safety Compliance
  • Operating Requirements (e.g. Cleaning / Draining Ability)
  • Maintenance
  • Repair
  • In-Service Inspections (Mandatory review by national authorities in Europe)

Improvement

  • Overall project approval procedures were reviewed and changes implemented, which resulted in significant cost savings throughout the project
  • Product compliance procedures were updated and implemented as part of the review.
  • Welding requirements were confirmed and welding performance procedures improved and tested.
  • Welder performance requirements were implemented and executed according to European Norms.
  • Factory Acceptance Test protocol and other testing procedure suitability was challenged and confirmed.
  • Cost savings for non-conformity prevention have been realized.
  • Turn Over Package (Documentation) requirements and organization was reviewed and modified to support FDA, CE Marking, and owner requirements.

Result

  • Pre-approvals and confirmation by various parties were granted before fabrication.
  • Pre-preparation of turnover packages content requirements was in place reducing owner and supplier concerns and questions.
  • Consistent protocols and methods were enforced and maintained throughout the project.
  • Frequent and expedient exchanges and updates supported the project.

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