Bill Burg, DECCO's Corporate QA/QC Manager, recently returned from the ASME Bioprocessing Equipment (BPE) meetings held in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Bill is currently a member of the ASME BPE serving on the Material Joining (MJ) and General Requirements (GR) Subcommittees. At this latest meeting there was much work finalizing the 2012 edition due out this fall.
Many changes coming in the new edition are intended to make the BPE more user friendly and up to date with the latest information. Users will immediately notice the layout and numbering system used. One of the BPE's goals with the new edition is to make each section of the Standard read the same by making the purpose and scopes, and numbering systems used the same throughout the book.
Documentation requirements in past editions, which are determined by the section they pertained to, were located in each of the different sections. This lead to repeated requirements, in some cases different requirements for the similar items or processes. In the 2012 edition, the documentation requirements have been moved to the GR section. Each section will still retain responsibility for the documents they feel are needed but can now be found in one place.
One of the bigger items 2012 BPE users will notice is the new weld color acceptance charts. This item has been a long time coming and will be welcomed by contractors and end users alike. In years past the BPE has used the AWS D-18 color chart as its basis for determining weld and weld heat affected zone (HAZ) acceptance. The problem was that though this chart did represent color levels well, the BPE felt that it needed something that was an actual representative of the material used to construct the piping systems in the industry.
An added benefit users will find from this new chart is the data that backs up the color acceptance. Now there is concrete data that confirms at what level of color the base metal fails to meet is design criteria. The background data for this work and the chart can be found in the new Nonmandatory Appendix L located in the back of the Standard. Over the past several years, great inroads have been made by the BPE in countries around the globe.
Professionals and government regulating agencies have been working together to make sure that what is being required by the Standard is applicable to what is required in the different countries it is used. This can be seen not only by some of the information and data now being included, but also in the increased international participation in developing the standard.
This January marked a new calendar year as well as a new school year at "DECCO Tech" as a new group of future welders began their first year of pipe-welding training. Our welders are being trained in Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) and Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Welding by a couple of DECCO's very best welders—Bryon Hedley and Merritt McCray—who combined have over 20 years of experience at DECCO, hold over 10 DECCO weld certifications, and have over 40 years in pipe welding! The welding classes are designed for the beginner, with little or no experience, to learn the process at their own pace and ultimately getting their ASME welding certification.
True to the Merit Shop philosophy, we believe and promote in the power of the individual to care for their own personal careers as a way for them to positively impact our business. "DECCO Tech" is the place for them to work in a structured school environment to obtain new skills. Additionally, DECCO Tech is always open for our licensed and certified welders who would like to come in and use the equipment to maintain their skills. With six dedicated welding benches and hoods there is plenty of room for the freshman class as well as the alumni! (The synergy of the new welders learning side by side with our senior partners doesn't hurt either.)
Did you know that DECCO Site Supervisor Dan Daigle also retrofits "Track Conversion" vehicles? These vehicles groom snowmobile trails in the rough and rugged terrain of the Maine woods. Dan has been doing this for about 5 years. He started with snowmobiles and wooden drags but they just didn’t seem to hold up to the rigors of the landscape. Dan decided to go bigger and stronger and as you can see "bigger and stronger" was an understatement. The improved track conversion vehicles are no match for the grueling conditions they encounter plus each vehicle undergoes a rigorous gravel pit test.
If you happen to be up in Maine enjoying a day of snowmobiling on a beautifully groomed trail, DECCO's Dan Daigle may have blazed that trail first!