Dresser Consolidated, a co-brand of Dresser, Inc., is a global leading provider of pressure relief valves for the petroleum, power, nuclear and process industries. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Dresser Consolidated serves customers in countries around the world. As an industry leader, the company designs and manufactures its products in accordance with globally recognized standards such as those published by API, ISO and ASME. It also operates one of only three test centers in the world certified for steam, air and water certification testing by the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors.
The Dresser Consolidated plant located in Alexandria, Louisiana, holds several ASME Code Symbol Stamps. By stamping its products with one of these stamps, the company demonstrates its compliance with the latest edition of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code. With stamps for equipment such as boiler safety valves, pressure vessel safety valves, nuclear power plant components, nuclear power plant component partials and nuclear power plant safety valves, Dresser Consolidated's Alexandria-based facility is required to have a copy of the Code on the premises.
Dresser Consolidated upholds the highest standards of safety and product quality. Consequently, approximately 35 employees in three different departments— engineering, quality and technical services—reference the Code on a daily basis.
"We want to make sure we're in compliance with the Code, so we're always looking through it for information," says Erik Heck, manager of quality assurance, Dresser Consolidated. "We also align our quality manual with the Code. When a question arises about a requirement in the quality manual, we refer to the Code to make certain we are following it closely and continually staying informed of new versions and changes."
When only a paper copy of the Code was available, employees had to search through multiple binders, each containing various sections of the Code. This made finding a specific piece of information difficult and time consuming.
Moving from Binders to Instant Electronic Access
In its search to improve operational efficiency, Dresser Consolidated's Alexandria plant began subscribing to IHS Markit ASME BPVC Advantage, an HTML-based version of the Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code. With IHS Markit ASME BPVC Advantage, users now have the Code at their fingertips.
Dresser's culture strongly encourages lean operational excellence practices. IHS Markit ASME BPVC Advantage provides electronic access to the ASME Code. It enables us to drive a whole new level of efficiency. More importantly, it allows us to respond with greater speed to customer inquirers.
One of the biggest benefits of IHS Markit ASME BPVC Advantage has been how easy it is to find information "Now when we receive a question about welding, hydro testing or functional testing, for example, we can perform a search on the word 'test' or 'welding' and find all of the relevant locations and information. That is something you obviously can't do with a paper copy. In the past, we had to rely on employees that had specific knowledge of particular sections. The electronic version makes it a lot easier for all employees to find critical information," says Heck.
Another benefit is how easy it is for IHS Markit ASME BPVC Advantage users to respond to questions about the Code. Instead of citing a specific section, they can copy and paste the text into emails as they answer questions.
"It's a lot easier," Heck says. "You can take a small excerpt and place it into an email. If an engineer is doing a contract review for a customer, for instance, the engineer can include a small clip of a section as an explanation for the customer."
Eliminating Lengthy Code Reviews
A feature Heck looks forward to using is the product's version comparison capability. This allows users to see in an instant the differences between two versions of the Code. Heck expects to use this feature frequently when the next edition of the Code is released in 2010.
Whenever a new version of the Code is released, the Dresser Consolidated engineering and quality departments go through a Code review in which they determine what has changed in the new edition. They then use this information to update the plant's quality manual and procedures. In the past, the Code review— not including the time spent updating all the relevant materials—would take approximately a month. With the version comparison feature in IHS Markit ASME BPVC Advantage, time spent reviewing the new Code will be virtually eliminated.
Overall, reactions to IHS Markit ASME BPVC Advantage have been positive. The Alexandria plant still has its hard copy of the Code in the library, but it's not being used.
"In today's working environment it is critical to continue driving efficiency and productivity," Heck says. "IHS Markit ASME BPVC Advantage has freed up time that our engineers can use on high-value activities."
- Employees can quickly find ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code information.
- Engineers can copy and paste relevant text from the Code when responding to inquiries from coworkers or customers.
- Users can quickly access the Code from their desktops.
- Reviewing new versions of the Code, an activity that used to take approximately one month to complete, is no longer necessary