Certifications and Qualifications to Look for in Large Bore Pipe Fabricators

July 15, 2015

The successful relationship a fabricator forms with one of their clients specifically those that manufacture large bore pipe, is generally long-term. It is worth the investment of careful research at the beginning of a relationship to make sure that the choice of fabricator is strong. The best three areas to investigate include past performance and experience, certifications, and qualifications. Doing homework in these three areas maximizes the chances of a successful, long-term relationship.


Some of the essential certifications of a large bore pipe manufacturer include the following:

  • ASME, Code and Standards, Welding Procedure Specifications, Welder Procedure Qualifications
  • Pressure Vessel Inspection Code Stamps U, S
  • NBIC- National Board Inspection Code Stamp R

Certifications are generally issued in the state where the work is performed but can include nationwide and international acceptance. These certifications and sometimes state specific licensing are issued by governing boards, including the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.


A highly-qualified fabrication facility will have one or more chief engineers with significant design skills and a qualified support group with the ability and experience to implement engineering designs, to perform installations, and to service on-site systems. Some specific qualifications will include:

  • Selecting the appropriate materials for carrying out large bore pipe fabrication in the fab facility.
  • Implementation of an established, proven quality control system to ensure client project compliance.
  • Quality assurance of in process and completed fabricated items including specified NDE, pressure testing of pipes and pipework assemblies. All according to a recognized quality standard.

Equipment Qualifications

Most large bore pipe fabricators will have the necessary equipment to meet a wide variety of project specifications. However, there will be a large difference in efficiency between various manufacturers. High efficiency generally translates into lower costs, faster turnaround, and a lower risk of schedule slippage. Often, the newness of equipment implies a higher manufacturing efficiency. Other times, the quality or capacity of the equipment is the key factor. For many clients, this is the most important factor to use when choosing the right fabricator, and the area most worthy of the time and expense of doing research.

A reliable production system will generally include specific post-processing stations of quality control, NDE (non-destructive examination), and pressure testing. Final stages often include a finishing shop responsible for apply a protective coating to the manufactured and welded parts. These stages comprise a complete large bore manufacturing system.

When choosing a large bore pipe fabricator, the strongest factors for a viable candidate are experience, certifications, personnel qualifications, and high-efficiency fabrication methods and equipment. STI Group is proud to offer large bore pipe fabrication as part of our core fabrication services.