Advancement in the offshore oil and gas industry depends on equipment and its increasing ability to tolerate extreme temperatures, high pressures and demanding operating conditions.
ABS approves equipment used for offshore drilling and production, including drilling equipment, hydrocarbon processing equipment, safety-related equipment, general machinery, electrical components, main components of offshore engines and their safety devices, and other equipment, material and components used in offshore operations.
There are three ways for equipment manufacturers to meet Rule requirements:
- Unit Certification: The equipment, either a complete assembly unit or subassembly unit, must undergo design review to verify compliance with the Rule requirements and is to be tested at the manufacturing facility in the presence of the surveyor to verify the tests required by the Rules can be completed satisfactorily. This process normally is used for engineered equipment, equipment that is designed to comply with specific operational characteristics or specialized equipment that will be used on a limited number of vessels. The procedure to obtain Unit Certification is found here.
- Product Design Assessment (PDA): PDA is a generic assessment of materials, components, products or systems for a specific use in compliance with ABS Rules, Guides and recognized standards. These items are not approved fully before they are installed on a facility. PDA provides clients and ABS with pre-approvals that expedite final approval, which is awarded when the PDA is accepted for a specific user or installation. This option is recommended when manufacturers want to obtain pre-approvals of their products to be used on a variety of ABS-classed vessels.
- Product Type Approval: Products that receive Type Approval are those approved by ABS for use on board an ABS-classed vessel. Because this approval is for a “type” of product, there is no need for individual approvals or for unit certification. Type Approval is recommended for any product, material, component or systems that is supplied to multiple ABS-classed vessels, or products that are designed for a fixed range of operational conditions.
ABS also publishes approved lists for a broad spectrum of products required by ABS Rules for classification, such as welding consumables and filler materials. Lists also are available for ABS-approved manufacturing facilities, such as steel and pipe mills, anchor and mooring chains, aluminum producers, and casting and forging facilities. Approved products and facilities are listed in the Approved Products & Manufacturers database.
Through its structured approval process, ABS supports technical innovation and improved operational efficiency across the offshore energy industry.