The “ASME boiler and pressure vessel code” entails an individual quality assurance system which is based on compliance with the regulations set out in the code. This means that a manufacturer with an ASME Stamp is permitted to perform a large amount of the inspections himself without interference from a third party, which is required according to other codes.
Welding procedure- and welder specifications qualified by ASME IX do not have to be attended to by a third party. A manufacturer can qualify the welding procedures and welders himself according to the code’s regulations. This is not permitted for European PED (Pressure Equipment Directives) category 2 and higher, in which all welding procedures and welders must be approved by a NoBo (Notified Body).
Although the ASME code permits welding procedures and welders to be qualified even though the manufacturer does not employ an ASME quality system, the approval of a third party is recommended.
The advantage of ASME IX is that this code is extremely practical and comprehensible. Answers to questions can almost certainly be found in the code, while the same cannot be said for its European equivalent, EN-ISO 15641-1 (formerly EN 288-3).
ASME IX welding procedure- and welder qualifications are for use with the ASME boiler and pressure vessel code or the ASME pipework codes. For use with any other code or standard, agreements will have to be reached between all parties involved in the contract.
At first glance, the ASME Code will seem complex and legalistic, but once you are familiar with its basic regulations, it will be easier to apply in practice. Its greatest advantage is that few welding procedures are necessary when compared to EN-ISO 15614-1, which requires numerous welding procedures when applied correctly.