Quality Assurance Program Offered To Steel Mills By American Bureau Of Shipping

A Quality Assurance Program for massproduced rolled-steel products is being o f - fered to steel mills worldwide by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS). The steel products covered in the program are those used in the construction of ABS-classed merchant vessels and other marine structures.

The program is based on ABS monitoring of procedures and processes used by steel mills in manufacturing rolled-steel products. The monitoring of procedures and processes replaces the traditional witnessing by an ABS Surveyor of the mill's mechanical tests of finished products.

The Quality Assurance Program, administered by the ABS Metallurgy Department, consists of an initial plant survey, scheduled periodic quality reviews, and an annual plant survey. Steel mills participating in the program must provide the local ABS office with the test reports, as well as shipping statements regarding all ABS steels for which certification is ordered by a shipyard. The initial steel plant survey will be conducted by the Metallurgy Department staff and an ABS Field Surveyor. Among the mill functions to be audited in the survey are general quality control procedures, primary manufacturing and heat treatment processes, testing facilities, reporting procedures, and final inspection procedures.

Results of the audit by ABS will determine if a steel mill is accepted into the Quality Assurance Program.

Scheduled quality reviews will be made by an ABS Surveyor between annual surveys. For large steel mills, periodic visits may be made weekly; for small specialty mills, the periodic visits may be made less frequently. The periodic surveys will focus on final operations, such as inspection and marking, and also on the testing laboratory. In addition, Surveyors will review mechanical test results and chemical analyses of steels on a continuing basis.

Annual resurvey of mill procedures and processes will be conducted each year in order for a mill to continue its participation in the program.

Inquiries concerning the Quality Assurance Program should be sent to the ABS, 45 Broad Street, New York, N.Y. 10004. The American Bureau of Shipping is an international ship classification society that establishes standards, called Rules, for the design, construction, and periodic survey of merchant vessels and other marine structures.

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