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Jon Labrador & Paul Lang

ASME Perspective & Benefits
September 2016

What Is ASME Conformity Assessment?

The recognition of a company’s or
individual’s capability to fulfill the
requirements of an ASME standard in
order to advance public safety and
facilitate international commerce.
ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code
Construction Service Nuclear
Sections Sections Sections

12 Sections
32 volumes
16,500 pages
Updated every 2 years

Why ASME Conformity Assessment?
Understanding the need for oversight
1914 Code – “The inspector representing the
purchaser shall have free entry, at all times
while work on the contract of the purchase is
being performed… All tests and inspection
shall be made at the place of manufacture
prior to shipment, unless otherwise specified.
Part I Section I para. 61, (1914)

Though the Standard incorporates quality at its core it is a Safety Code

Why ASME Conformity Assessment?
The meaning behind Part I Section I para. 61
• Even in 1914, the Society, Code Committee
Developers and Engineers determined the need
for oversight of the manufacturing process

• oversight ensures that guiding principles of the

code: high quality and commitment to public
safety are met.
Evolution of Conformity Assessment
• As the industry grew, insurance companies with a stake in
insuring manufactured boiler and pressure vessels
assumed the role of inspection along with jurisdictional

• Beginning of Third Party Inspection: an inspector

independent of the manufacturer and the end purchaser.

• Objective: compliance to the code - Safety

Conformity Assessment Today

• Pre-1968 – ASME grants certification based on

verified agreements between manufacturers &
insurance companies

• Post-1968 – ASME grants certification based on an

established quality assurance program surveyed by
ASME to ensure compliance.
Authorized Inspection Agencies
• Third-party inspection has been required by the ASME
Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code since its inception

• Requirements defined in the ASME QAI-1 Standard for

Authorized Inspection and RCI-1, Rules for
Commissioned Inspectors

• AIAs required to be accredited by ASME since 1992 for

nuclear applications and 1997 for boilers and pressure
“While protecting life and property is always the priority,
from a quality standpoint, the ASME Code provides a
framework for an organization to build consistent
processes. It also provides a level playing field for all
manufacturers, suppliers, and installers.”
ASME Certificate Holder
Boilers and pressure vessels are used all over the world
in many different industries:

7,350 ASME Certified Companies

13,000 ASME Certificates Issued
75 Countries

In order to ensure safety, quality, & operational efficiency of this

equipment, regulations & codes have been developed, some
of which require independent inspection & certification to
achieve compliance.
The International Mark of Safety
and Quality: What to Look for
Certification Mark

Certified by
Name of Manufacturer

Pressure ___ at temperature ___

Max allowable working pressure
Pressure ___ at temperature ___
Designator Max allowable external working pressure
[if specified; see Note (1)]

U2 Temperature ___ at pressure ___

Min. design metal temperature
W (if arc or
gas welded)
RT (if ___________________________
radiographed) Manufacturer’s serial number
HT (if postweld
heat treated) ___________________________
Year built
The ASME Advantage
• The maturity of our Standards – over 100 yrs. of
consensus developed content that advances with
technology and ensures high quality products and a
commitment to overall public safety

• Globally recognized and Accepted – Conformity

Assessment requirements that aid manufacturers in
the development and implementation of the Standard
through a Quality System in the manufacturing of
boilers, pressure vessels, and pressure piping, etc.
The ASME Advantage
• Third Party Oversight (Authorized Inspection
Agencies) – An inspection force, qualified through
the National Board, ensuring compliance to the
Standard and supporting the manufacturer’s public
commitment to quality and safety. There are
currently 20 AIAs providing global services and 12
Jurisdictional Agencies.

• Expert Auditors – Our qualified auditing force has

over 22 years experience on average (per auditor)
focusing on the auditing of ASME certification and
accreditation programs.
ASME Committee Support System
Board on



27 ASME Conformity Assessment Committees

250+ ASME Committee Volunteers across all

All participating in the vigorous

protection of the ASME Mark!
Why Become an
ASME Certificate Holder?
How the assessment of conformity, and by whom, can
have a significant impact on the level of confidence of
purchasers and regulators on the results.

ASME Conformity Assessment has done and will continue

to provide regulators (jurisdictions) and purchasers of
products a high level of confidence that the item meet the
requirements of the applicable standard, regardless of
where in the world they were manufactured.

*Item – product, component, part, service

Why Become an
ASME Certificate Holder?
• ASME is responsible for all assessments
- Responsible for qualifying & certifying auditors
- Procedures on conduct & annual training encourages
that all assessments are performed in a consistent
• Uniform implementation of ASME Conformity
Assessment Programs & integrity of ASME brand has
resulted in wide acceptance by regulators and industry
Why Become an
ASME Certificate Holder?
• Provides a means of remedy when a problem
arises – Due Process and Investigations
• Third party oversight of construction and are members
of the ASME team performing the assessment
- May entail additional program audits if CI performs
• Regulators/National Board are actively involved in
ASME’s conformity assessment scheme and
standards development activities
Why Become an
ASME Certificate Holder?

• ASME Standards have a proven reliability

• ASME Standards are consensus standards

• Products/Services are supplied to internationally

known standards
Why Become an P

ASME Certificate Holder

• Should not be viewed as a cost burden but rather a tool to:
‒ Cut cost through improved processes
‒ Aid or facilitate clear understanding of the requirements
between Supplier, Purchaser, Government, Public
‒ Create a company culture centered around the
achievement of quality
‒ Demonstrate compliance/conformity to a
‒ Advance public safety
‒ Access new markets
Benefits ASME Certification


Protects Public ASME Supply chain management:

Safety & Welfare CONFORMITY Increase Choices


PUBLIC SAFETY A trusted worldwide brand

Supports policies on FACILITATING TRADE allowing access to a
public safety & fair trade OPEN/TRANSPARENT global market
Why Become an
ASME Certificate Holder?
• Demonstrates your commitment to best
practices, efficiency, and sustainability

• Provides confidence to owners and

suppliers of the quality and safety of your

• Achieves universally-recognized ASME

conformity vs. self-declared conformity
Why Conformity Assessment?
Conforming to the ASME Conformity
Standard Assessment
Suppliers Self- Accreditation and
Declaration of Conformity Certification
“We bought the standard “Our company went
and follow it.” through a rigorous
certification process
designed to validate that
we meet the standard.”
Why Conformity Assessment?
Conforming to the ASME Conformity
Standard Assessment
Suppliers Self- Accreditation and
Declaration of Conformity Certification
“We stand by the quality “Through the Conformity
of our products” Assessment process:
ASME, the National
Board, Jurisdictions and
AIA’s stand behind the
ASME Mark”
ASME Enforcement


Shared protection BOARD
of the ASME Mark
What if you don’t Stamp?
Why Certify? –

• The ASME Code is clear and specific regarding

requirements for equipment certified in accordance with
the standard.

• In contrast, there is no clear definition of what is

intended when equipment is specified as “fabricated or
constructed to or in accordance with the ASME Code
without stamping.*

*”To Stamp or Not to Stamp” – NB Bulletin Summer 2012

What if you don’t Stamp?
Implications for unstamped products

• No third-party inspection by an Authorized Inspector(s)

• ASME Code may be used for design, but fabrication

requirements are not verified

• ASME Code may be used for only some of the fabrication


• Manufacturer has not demonstrated implementation

of an ASME-compliant Quality Control System
What if you don’t Stamp?
Implications for unstamped products

• Inferior materials may be substituted for those required by

the ASME BPV Code

• Procedures/Personnel used for NDE and/or welding may

not be qualified to the requirements of the ASME Code

The end user accepts and in most cases, unknowingly

accepts, all the risk of the manufactured pressure retaining
item for an unstamped product.
Reasons why companies don’t stamp
• The Code’s inspection requirements add unnecessary cost.
Response: Third party inspection of critical pressure
equipment is unavoidable. Ongoing Inspection
improves the value of the product produced and
reduces your risk. Critical to countering costs of
employee turnover & revisions to the Code.

• It’s difficult to find local certified manufacturers.

Response: Over 7,350 accredited and authorized
manufacturers listed on website. 54%
outside of the U.S. and growing!
Reasons why companies don’t stamp
• Materials required by the ASME Code aren’t available

Response: The code allows certified manufacturers to

re-certify material to an ASME Code specification,
provided that the minimum chemical and mechanical
properties are met.
However, materials specified in the Code have been
proven in service. Substitution of inferior materials
have serious implications on joining, FFS and useful
life of pressure equipment assets.
Reasons why companies don’t stamp
• “There’s no real difference between equipment that is
stamped and equipment that isn’t.”
• Ongoing 3rd Party verification assures consistency in
manufacturing and control of processes
• Verified design of welded joints and qualification of
welding procedures and personnel (weld quality often
sacrificed when stamping is waived)
• Records retained for a stamped product are
indispensable for future asset repair, alteration or sale
• Assurance that your vessel fully complies with
You will ultimately get what you pay for!
• If you’re being promised equipment that’s the same as
“certified,” but at significant savings, you need to take a
closer look at what you are purchasing

• Understanding the methods manufacturers use to cut

costs is critical to understanding the importance of
• Knowing these methods enable an end user to determine
in advance which substitutions/sacrifices are acceptable.
Misuse of the Certification Mark:
Case Study I
Company – Purchased vessel and requested from the National Board the
Manufacturer Data Report (MDR). Supplying the NB number on the pressure
vessel nameplate.

National Board Response – There is no such NB number listed in our system.

Company – Supplies photo image of the nameplate to assist in obtaining the

Misuse of the Certification Mark
Misuse of the Certification Mark
ASME Certification in Iran
• ASME currently does not issue Certifications to companies inside Iran.
• ASME is currently working with the US Government to be able to conduct
business in Iran.
• ASME certification Holders outside Iran are not under constraint from ASME in
providing stamped vessels to Iran
• ASME’s current position is that the Certificate Holder is under their
jurisdictional Laws in conducting business with Iran.
• Once ASME receives approval from US Government to conduct business in
Iran, we will begin offering our Certification Programs to companies located
within their jurisdictional borders.
Manufacturers want that Global recognition of their commitment to
public safety and high quality.

The best way is to certify your process

For End Users the best overall value for the life of your purchased
pressure retaining item is to purchase items bearing the ASME
Certification Mark.

Jon Labrador / Paul Lang /