Since 1880, ASME, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, has presented a continuously evolving portfolio of standards and codes in a broad range of engineering disciplines and practices, with welded materials and structures prominent among them. ASME welding certification is among the portfolio, but it is designed specifically for welder and welding procedure qualifications that focus on the structural integrity of welded products.
Welding certification programs are, in general, performance-based programs that test welders to procedures used in applications like structural steel, petroleum pipelines, sheet metal, chemical refinery welding industries, and so on. There are many different types of professional welding certifications, with each certification designed for a specific practice, procedure, and code. Certifications ensure that welders possess skills to perform up to the code they will be working under, as well as a document that the welder is qualified to practice his or her trade under that particular welding code.
ASME Welding Codes
ASME welding codes vary depending on the type of welding being done. They are among over 600 codes that set standards covering technical areas, and procedures and processes ranging from plumbing fixtures, elevators, piping and pipelines to power plant systems, nuclear components, and welding practices. It should be noted that, though adhering to the standards is considered voluntary except those encoded by law and regulatory agencies (as many ASME codes are), ASME serves as the leading international developer of standards and codes that is used to regulate the mechanical engineering industry.
ASME’s standards are developed by committees whose members are experts in the subject matter. ASME itself is a non-profit organization that promotes art, science and multidisciplinary engineering while encouraging collaboration across all engineering disciplines. The codes established are through an open, consensus-based process.
For qualifying welders, the most commonly used codes are those developed by ASME Section IX of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, the BPVC. Section IX relates to the qualification of welders, welding operators, brazers, and brazing operators, and the procedures that they employ in welding and brazing. Thus, the section is specifically for welder and welding procedure qualifications. This is an important distinction. ASME does not certify welders. It certifies welded products from boilers to bioprocessing equipment and nuclear components.
Benefits of ASME Certification
Welders need to be educated and trained from an accredited school to work on certified products. However, companies have to demonstrate they meet ASME’s certification standards in designing, fabricating, assembling and inspecting their welded products. In that regard, An ASME certification benefits consumers, employees, and business owners. As ASME is the leading body developing standards of quality and safety in manufacturing and fabrication, it requires welding and manufacturing companies to meet the highest standards of quality and safety.
Certified ASME products are stamped with the Society’s certification symbol, referred to simply as, “the mark.” Companies that meet ASME’s certification standards employ the mark to signify and ensure consumers that products meet local and state codes, and have satisfied any governmental regulatory requirements where applicable. As ASME standards are recognized in over 140 countries, companies with ASME welding certification can transport and install those products anywhere.
Throughout the US, Canada, and around the globe, the ASME welding certification also ensures skilled welds and quality metal fabrication processes meet nationally and internationally recognized standards. It means that the welds have met criteria with regard to thickness, application, and code standards, and that material passes BPVC, BPE, and RTP-1 compliance.
Finally, ASME-certified companies signify that that facility, plant, or fabrication shop has met ASME’s stringent Quality Standards, Safety Standards, and Continuing Quality criteria. ASME certification documents audits that companies adhere to quality over time. Though regulatory codes and requirements differ from state to state and from country to country, ASME certification ensures that no matter where the facility operates, it has met the highest quality and safety standards in the industry. It also signifies the ongoing commitment to safety and quality standards.
At Quest-Tech our welders have a wide range of ASME certifications to ensure that we are able to meet customers’ expectations. Contact us today to learn more!