Accountability Requires TraceabilityDecember 1, 2017
API 20E has raised the bolting standard industry-wide, bringing bolt integrity into the 21st century to confront the newest challenges that face drilling and refining operations. It does this through a thorough audit of fastener companies’ production and testing processes, as well as a customer-driven rating system to report and review specification compliance. These tools give customers more ways to evaluate bolts before they purchase them, and help the industry hold vendors accountable to safer, cost effective, and more reliably consistent processes.
One of the ways API 20E achieves this is through its commitment to maintaining records of qualification. Companies complying with API 20E are required to keep records that document every step of production, from overarching standards such as ASTM specification numbers to minute details like personnel qualifications. API knows that a high performing process doesn’t cut corners and maintains high standards for quality in every part of production. That’s why they make sure to audit a company holistically before granting it an API 20E license.
Dedication to documentation doesn’t stop when a company receives its license. To maintain API 20E compliance, fastener companies must produce and keep records from each batch of fasteners for a minimum of 10 years. This way, if there is ever a problem with its field performance, a bolt can be traced to its origins and the production process can be re-audited to detect any issues that may have caused the failure.
This level of reporting also helps fastener companies supply their customers with documentation relating to every part of their bolting. Fasteners backed up by records can be traced at a glance to the Material Test Report (MTR) that corresponds to their production batch. This helps customers target and address potential issues before they become catastrophic failures.
Before API 20E, facilities had no way to evaluate the origins of their bolts once they left the box. Now, if a fastener fails, an API 20E compliant vendor has the resources to better protect the team in the field and everyone’s bottom line. In critical operations, an API 20E compliant nut and bolt can make the difference between a minor problem and a major disaster.