It was a premiere that no one could have imagined a year ago. LESER proves the functionality of its safety valves to the inspector of the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors (NBBI) without him being on site at the test lab in Hamburg. The regulations of the National Board actually stipulate that the inspector is onsite during the test in order to get a comprehensive picture of the acceptance. But due to the special circumstances, LESER entered new territory. Because it was the first time that a safety valve manufacturer were able to re-certify its products with the help of a remote inspection. With this re-certification, LESER is also celebrating an anniversary. LESER has now been certified according to ASME for 30 years and is allowed to mark its products with the ASME-UV and NB stamps.
The preparations for the tests took about half a year. Both LESER and the National Board had to create the conditions for the tests to be carried out as remote inspections.
Now the time had come, cameras were installed on the LESER test lab in such a way that the National Board inspector could follow and understand every test step. From the Ohio location in the USA, he had a view of both the safety valve to be tested and the associated measurement results in the control room at all times.
A total of six LESER employees accompanied the tests at the Hamburg site so that they could be carried out smoothly and transferred to the USA.
The safety valves were tested on the test lab with air and water. For LESER, the task was to prove the function with regards to overpressure and set pressure on one hand and the capacity on the other. After a total of five hours, the tests of the two product groups were successfully completed. Only the tests of the safety valves with the medium steam could not be carried out in Hamburg, but passed the tests simultaneously on a test bench in the USA.
"I am pleased that we were able to carry out the tests so smoothly and successfully," said Nikolaj Harder, Certification Manager at LESER. But the National Board was also satisfied "As always, LESER prepared and carried out all the tests very professionally," said Inspector Thomas P. Beirne, Technical Manager, Pressure Relief Department of the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors. "Because of LESER's investment in state of the art test equipment and video conferencing technology, we were able perform the required inspection and carry out the recertification remotely."
This prerequisite that this inspection could be carried out in this way was laid by LESER years ago. This is because the test stand was built five years ago according to the latest standards and is one of only three ASME-certified test labs outside the USA. LESER also provides so-called "Authorised Observers". These are trained employees who are approved by the ASME and are allowed to carry out tests.
The component tests that now took place on the LESER test lab were the last part of the re-certification of LESER itself as well as the product approval for the product groups API and High Efficiency.
Prior to this, inspections of the production facilities had already taken place in October. Here, the National Board checked whether the production meets the requirements of the National Board for quality systems and test procedures, such as hydrostatic testing.
At the same time, the first part of the product group approval was carried out. The inspectors inspected the production of the individual products. These were then sealed and used for the tests that have now taken place.With the successful completion of the tests, LESER as a company is certified for a further three years according to ASME. The two product groups API and High Efficiency are approved for a further six years according to ASME.