Nearly 100 specialists gathered in Seoul, South Korea, to participate in a quality and technical forum, the first of its kind in Asia. Titled “Aramco Asia Piping & Valve Suppliers Technical and Quality Forum.”
The event was arranged by Aramco Asia Quality Management and hosted by Aramco Asia-Korea, attracting participants from 30 approved pipe and valve suppliers, seven inspection firms, as well as delegates from Dhahran central engineering and the Asia procurement team.
Under the theme “Together We Improve,” the event established a knowledge sharing platform to identify opportunities for optimizing piping and valve specifications by enhancing alignment with international standards and improving product quality, safety, and reliability. The forum also provided an opportunity to exchange new technologies and best practices in the piping and valves manufacturing process.
Collaborating toward success
The event started with remarks by Tareq Al Sabti, director of Aramco Asia Engineering and Technical Services. Al Sabti noted that a key enabler to success is collaboration between Aramco and suppliers, and redefining the concept of quality in manufacturing through quality process improvements, value engineering, and operations research and development, which will provide a great contribution to the overall industry.
Moalla Al Omari, Quality Management head in Asia, presented an overview of the performance of inspection services in Asia. All performance gaps were identified and required actions to bridge gaps and prepare for forecasted service demands were agreed upon with delegates from contacted inspection firms.
The event took advantage of this Asian industry leaders' gathering to promote the In-Kingdom Total Value Add (IKTVA) Program, with the Asia procurement team highlighting value add opportunities in the Kingdom.
During the presentation, the Aramco Asia Quality Management Division shared the company's quality philosophy that by adopting ISO 9001:2015 certification, Aramco seeks unique improvement of plant manufacturing assessment, procurement monitoring, and process controls. And with respect to the industry, markets for new technologies were evaluated and identified.
It was noted that reorienting the word “quality” brings different outcomes, referring to a range of results where quality means excellence, value, conformance to specifications and requirements, as well as user-friendliness and customer satisfaction.
The forum organized focus sessions for piping and valves with presentations of general interest, new technology and materials, which were presented by subject matter experts from Saudi Aramco and major manufacturers.
These sessions focused on topics of applicable inspection requirements, best practices in inspection, and specification reviews.
The central engineering Consulting Services Department (CSD) members assessed all comments, and enhancements will be incorporated in a new revision of the standards accordingly.
Saad Al-Mauili, chairman of the Material Engineering committee, shared his opinion of the event, noting: “The outcome of the two-day event was a true reflection of the dedication to achieve common goals. It was a great opportunity to exchange experience, address challenges, achieve results, and improve relations between the different organizations”
Javed Hawa from HAWA Valves praised Aramco's positive value to streamline the suppliers' requirement and consider manufacturers as partners. “It was an excellent event with focus on the theme, and it created an open and direct dialog with Aramco's stakeholders on important issues for the future,” he said.
Technical and quality insights
A well-rounded number of presentations were delivered by CSD engineering professionals and quality management teams sharing information on the latest changes in specifications, recurring deviations, and requirement misinterpretations, as well as lessons learned. Presentations included:
“Aramco Valve Manufacturing Acceptable Models,” where Mousa Al-Harbi of CSD llustrated the assembler acceptable API 6-D model and associated Saudi Aramco requirements. This was followed by an open question-and-answer session.
Saad Al-Mauili of CSD presented “Piping & Fitting Defects and Quality Issues, and How to Mitigate,” reviewing various applications, pipe limitations, and pipe failure causes. This, too, was followed by an open question-and-answer session.
Abdullah Al-Amri of the Aramco Asia Shanghai office presented an “Overview of the Asia Quality Management Division,” showcasing the various functions within the division and commenting on the latest published ISO 9001:2015 requirements.
Hussain Al-Binali of Aramco Asia-Korea presented “Lessons Learned in Fittings,” reviewing in detail the nonconforming fittings for the past six years and how they can be prevented.
Abdulaziz Al-Zahrani of the Aramco Asia-Singapore office presented “Valves Lessons Learned,” highlighting the nonconforming valves manufactured and supplied by vendors over the past five years.
Wathilan Al-Hajri of Aramco Asia-India presented on “Handling and Preservation of Valves” to illustrate the deterioration factors created by poor preservation and how to prevent that through alignment with international practices.