Over the last 5 years there have been a large number of transmission pipelines installed with much of the pipe procured and manufactured outside of North America — many from non-integrated pipe manufacturers. Over this same period there have been a significant number of pre-operation field hydrostatic testing pipe failures as a consequence of low and variable pipe strength, and chemical composition variations. A strong, structured and effective pipe procurement and manufacturing process following the proven “plan–do–check–act” quality assurance model can minimize such issues. Further, such a process can properly manage the inevitable process and product deviations ultimately minimizing project timeline disruptions and reducing project costs. A practical outline of the key features of such a system are discussed from the specification and bid package development through vendor qualification, bid contract review, slab, plate and pipe manufacturing (and the process control documentation and verification), manufacturing surveillance, and follow-up activities.

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