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ASME's qualification certification system establishes procedures to certify companies that are qualified to engage in various activities such as design, manufacturing, and construction in accordance with the requirements of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code. A company with this qualification must design, manufacture, and install equipment in accordance with the requirements of the ASME Code, and after undergoing a prescribed audit by an Authorized Inspection Agency, the ASME Symbol Stamp must be engraved on the product (indicates that all requirements of the ASME Code have been met). This ultimately proves objectively that the equipment maintains a certain level of quality.
ASME strives to maintain the authority of the ASME Code Symbol Stamp for the benefit of users of boilers and pressure vessels, the supervisory authority, and the holder of these certificates.
Given the fact that it satisfies the management requirements such as the technical requirements of the ASME Code and the quality program, which feature technologies accumulated through long experience, and also the fact that quality has been confirmed by an independent audit by an accredited audit body, the quality assurance system is an unprecedented system with extremely stringent standards.


Types of certifications related to the ASME CODE

1) Relevant organizations
Organizations directly involved in each stage of a series of flows for achieving the purpose of planning, designing, purchasing, manufacturing, installing, and operating equipment to which the ASME Code is applied can be classified as follows:
  1. 1) Plant owner or operator who installed the equipment and its agency (referred to as the “Owner” in nuclear power and “Owner” or “User” in non-nuclear power).
  2. 2) Manufacturer or installer of the material (referred to as the “Material Manufacturer”).
  3. 3) Material storage, supplier (referred to as the “Material Supplier”).
  4. 4) Manufacturer of the device (referred to as the “Manufacturer,” “Constructor,” “Certificate Holder,” “Holder of Certificate of Authorization”)
  5. 5) Service subcontractors (service providers for services such as non-destructive testing, heat treatment, bending processing, repair, etc.)
  6. 6) Designer (in Section III, Division 2, referred to as the “Designer”; in other cases, can be classified as the above service subcontractor)
An organization is divided to respond to changes in product shape, and the authority in charge of each organization is clearly stipulated in the ASME Code. Each organization should establish a quality program that fully imposes its responsibilities and guarantees it. ASME's certification system is to certify each organization by evaluating the adequacy and implementation capability of the quality program and to grant qualifications to work within the scope of its responsibilities.
2) ASME certification eligibility
As for nuclear power, the owner of a nuclear plant, manufacturer of equipment (N), and assembly and installer (NPT, NA) are required to establish a quality program according to the ASME Code and obtain an ASME Certificate. Moreover, the requirements for quality programs for manufacturers and suppliers of materials are predetermined, and they are eligible for ASME's Certificate. However, if the ASME does not approve its Certificate, certification must be acquired upon undergoing a qualification examination by the purchaser of the material.
Service subcontractors are only required to have their qualifications certified by the client, and there is no certification system by ASME. Furthermore, although there was an ASME certification system as an Engineering Organization for designers, it was abolished and treated the same as service subcontractors.
Except for nuclear power, only the device manufacturer and assembly installer are subject to certification, There are no special requirements for other organizations. This qualification grants a specific stamp and permits it to be displayed on a product, and there is no specific stamp. However, it is divided into the following by granting specific responsibility authority and indicating it according to the proof of documents, etc.
Items eligible for specific stamps:
  1. 1) Section I, applicable equipment (A, E, M, PP, S, V)
  2. 2) Section II, applicable equipment (N, NPT, NV, NA)
  3. 3) Section X, applicable equipment (RP, UV)
  4. 4) Section IV, applicable equipment (H, HLW, HV)
  5. 5) Section VIII, applicable equipment (U, U2, UM, UV)
  6. 6) Items granted by the National Board (RP, UV)
Items ineligible for specific stamps:
  1. 1) Section III, materials for applicable equipment (QSC: Applicable to Material Manufacturers and Material Suppliers)
  2. 2) Owners Certificate of Authorization: Applied to owners of nuclear power plants

ASME qualification

1) Restriction on place
ASME qualification is given to each place of manufacture or installation. Even in the same company, if the address of the manufacturing plant is different, a separate certificate must be acquired.
However, if the manufacturing department and the design and purchasing department are separated from each other in the same company and have separate addresses, the certificate may be acquired at the factory where the manufacturing department is located.
A nuclear power plant owner qualification must be obtained by submitting a construction permit (CP) application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and applying to the ASME at the time of its approval. In the case of on-site installers of nuclear power plants, approval must be obtained for each site. However, it is also possible to take a method in which only the entire quality program is evaluated without fixing a specific installation site at first, and then have each installation site inspected or monitored again to receive an official stamp. In such a case, if approval is obtained based on the examination of the quality program only, a certificate called the Interim Letter, valid for one year, is issued.
2) Scope of qualification
As for nuclear power, the types of equipment and materials to be produced must be specified on the certificate separately, and the scope of service for each item must also be specified in detail.
Items and tasks outside the scope of certification shown on the certificate cannot be handled. Thus, when receiving and reviewing the certificate, this should be taken into account. In addition, in the case of materials, the shape of products such as plates, forgings, pipes, and manual welding rods, and chemical composition such as carbon steel, low alloy steel, and Ni alloy, in particular, the existence of an accreditation system for the place of purchase is also a factor limiting the scope of accreditation. If the scope of the accreditation is not accurately described, the scope of the accreditation and the contract may be different when a production contract is concluded. Such a situation may cause a significant delay in the execution of the contract. This is because the application for accreditation, changes to the QA program, and due diligence require considerable time and resources.
3) Key tasks for ASME STAMP acquisition
  1. 1. Inspection agreement with HSB(A.I.A).
  2. 2.
    Request ASME audit
    • Prepare and send the application form (using ASME Form)
    • Remit deposit and send confirmation letter
    • Check the audit schedule
  3. 3.
    Purchase the code book
    • Apply for code book required for ASME and receive invoice
    • 2. Pay for code book
    • 3. Pay for code book
  4. 4. Preliminary screening (HSB-AIS, AI) (2 persons, 1~2 days)
  5. 5. Main audit (HSB-AI, AIS, ASME Rep.) (3 persons, 2 days)
  6. 6. Receive certificate and stamp (within about 6 weeks after audit)
A system that grants ASME CERTIFICATE by ASME and AIA (AIS, AI) examining the quality management system established by manufacturers in accordance with the laws and regulations related to pressure vessel and boiler design, manufacturing, and audit published by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
Advantages of the ASME STAMP
  1. 1. Approximately 80% of pressure vessels exported to foreign countries require the ASME STAMP as MANADTORY (especially, a statutory requirement in the US).
  2. 2. A drastic improvement of the quality control system can be expected.
  3. 3. In terms of sales, a STAMP can guarantee the reliability of product quality to customers compared to products that do not have the STAMP.

Follow-up management

Each ASME Certificate is valid for three years. Application to renew a certificate must be submitted to ASME six months prior to the certificate’s expiration date. The procedure and degree of the renewal survey are the same as those of the initial survey.

1. Renewal survey
Renewal survey refers to an examination in which the JOINT AUDIT TEAM, composed of ASME and AIA, determines whether the qualification is extended by examining the suitability and effectiveness of the quality assurance system of the acquiring company when the expiration date lapses (three years).
2. Follow-up survey
In case of actual production of a pressure vessel and boiler with an ASME CODE every year after acquiring and renewing the qualification, a follow-up survey refers to an audit conducted on behalf of ASME by an AUTHORIZED INSPECTION AGENCY (AIA) to regularly conduct quality assurance system implementation of companies that have acquired the ASME STAMP.
3. Renewal survey
  1. 1) AUTHORIZED INSPECTOR (AI) quality document review and official audit
    In compliance with the ASME pressure vessel and boiler quality assurance system - from order to design, purchase, production plan, production and audit test, etc. - a renewal survey is carried out in accordance with the company's quality manual and quality procedure before the joint review audit and pre-audit.
  2. 2) Preliminary Audit (PRE-AUDIT)
    Prior to the ASME joint review audit, the quality assurance system of the applicant company is preliminarily audited by an AIA. A pre-audit refers to an examination to respond to the joint review audit by supplementing nonconformities before the joint review audit. The audit schedule can be adjusted in consultation with the AIA.
    ASME joint review audit is conducted by ASME dispatched TEAM LEADER and JOINT AUDIT TEAM composed of AIS and AI affiliated with AIA. Upon receiving the application and audit expenses from the applicant company at the ASME ACCREDITATION & CERTIFICATION DEP'T, the team leader and the audit schedule are set and notified to the applicant company and AIA.

ASME STAMP types and expiration date

ASME STAMP types and expiration date

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