ASME publishes a roadmap for maintaining the integrity of pressure equipment
at all stages of its life. By Steven J. Rossi
Pressure equipment keeps our civilization run- ning, and a vast wealth of information, codes, and standards has accumulated concerning the best way to manage pressure vessels, piping, and related products from beginning to end of
their service lives. There are standards and best practices
for constructing them, for operating and monitoring
them, and for repairing and replacing them.
Pressure equipment manufacturers, owners, users, regulatory personnel, and other stakeholders have often raised
questions regarding what fixed equipment standards and
guidelines are applicable to design, fabrication, examination, purchase, installation, operation, in-service inspection, repair, continued service, and replacement. The life
cycle of pressure equipment from new construction to
decommissioning requires that the management system
flow in a consistent, organized, logical sequence without
gaps or, at least, with known gaps identified. However, it
can be a daunting task for anyone to be aware of all the
standards and guidelines that are applicable.
Keeping track of all this information is the purpose of
a new ASME publication, PTB-2-2009 Guide to Life Cycle
Management of Pressure Equipment Integrity prepared by J.
R. Sims, Jr., a senior engineering fellow at Becht Engineering Co. and vice chair of the ASME Pressure Technology Post Construction Committee.
Need for a Roadmap
The book grew out of a workshop held by ASME in March
2009 that considered the need for an integrated approach
to the standards for managing the life cycle of pressure
equipment. The transition from new construction to post
construction was an essential part of this discussion. New
construction standards address issues of inspectability and
pressure relief, and provide a baseline critical to any post-construction assessment.
ASME also has issued a number of post-construction
engineering standards for the inspection and maintenance of pressure equipment after it has been placed
in service. The work began in 1993, when the ASME
Joint API/ASME Committee on Fitness for Ser-
An excerpt from Appendix A in the new Guide:
The appendix summarizes all documents referenced
in the text.