Inspecting Equipment for Life-Saving Research

News Lead In Photo Is Inspection01

The team at Central States Industrial (CSI) is taking on an extensive project for a company dedicated to finding alternative methods of administering life-saving medicine. The experts at CSI will be hand-crafting 19 single tank clean-in-place (CIP) skids, as well as supplying super alloy equipment and heat exchangers.

This is the first article in a five-part series chronicling the project’s journey in the shop, from start to finish. Each article will describe the inspection, welding, polishing, and machining processes. This week's edition focuses on one of the most essential processes: inspection. Inspection ensures that components meet standards for quality. This is a continuous process that occurs from the moment a project comes into inception, all until the very end, once the project is complete.

The quality inspection process at CSI is broken into three parts:
  1. Receiving Inspection
  2. In-Process Inspection
  3. FAT Inspection

After a component is pulled out of inventory or provided by a supplier, the required documentation is gathered and the inspector creates a material examination log (MEL). Each component is checked for surface finish, ovality, wall thickness, and compliance to ASME Bioprocessing Equipment (BPE) standards. The inspection process can vary, depending on the individual documentation requirements. For example, valves require added material test reports, elastomer test reports, welding documents, and COCs for compliancy, along with wall thickness and surface finish verifications.

CSI's process requires that 20% of every production lot is inspected and cleared. If every piece passes inspection, then the lot is approved and the MEL is closed out. To give an idea of the scope of this process, 271 MELs have been created so far for this project alone. Each MEL includes hundreds of components; for example, the inspection of 100 three-inch elbows can be included on one MEL.