API 20E: Industry Rating System6:14 PM | February 18th, 2018
API 20E: The Industry Rating System That Makes Bolting Better
The rise of the Information Age has changed the way we interact with goods and services. From restaurants and cab rides to consumer products and shipping solutions, we are armed with the tools to instantly report on our experiences from day to day. These extensive rating systems are the consumer’s best friend. Where before we relied on word of mouth and news sources to be our troubleshooters, we now have access to countless peer-generated reviews in the space of seconds on devices that fit in the palm of our hand. These rating systems provide services with instant feedback and empower them to constantly improve both quality and efficiency. With such powerful tools at our disposal in daily life, it was inevitable that these systems would enter the oil and gas industry.
Catastrophic bolting failures have cost facilities billions of dollars in recent years. As a result, the industry has called for new specifications to reduce the risk of bolt failure and improve worker safety. Enter API Specification 20E.
API 20E is the standard that will define bolting for the 21st century. Originally written in 2012 and expanded earlier this year to include specifications for coating systems, API 20E creates better oversight of the fastener manufacturing process. It provides a third party auditor so that fastener companies can prove to their customers that they have properly adhered to industry specifications without cutting any corners in their process. All fastener companies that comply with API 20E receive a license and are entered into a freely searchable database called the API Composite List, giving procurement professionals a second set of eyes to share the risk of fastener evaluation.
Along with this audit comes the ability for customers to report when API 20E fasteners fail. Each reported failure is investigated to determine its likely cause. If API determines that the fastener company was not in compliance with API 20E specifications, the company must address the issue or risk losing its license.
API non-conformance reporting is the industry’s path to better bolting. Rather than pointing fingers and assigning blame, feedback on bolt performance goes directly to the manufacturer so they are empowered to improve their product. The API Composite List shows a company’s entire history of licensed compliance, including which licenses have been lost or are under review. This way, procurement professionals can evaluate the track record of a fastener company to make an informed decision when purchasing fasteners. This peer rating and review system, like its counterparts in other industries, puts the power of quality assurance in the hands of the consumer. When it comes to precise operations that determine the wellbeing of a facility and its employees, API 20E’s third party peer-reviewed auditing system is critical to success in today’s bolting environment.