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Marking of heat number vs. traceability code

Marking of heat number vs. traceability code

Marking of heat number vs. traceability code

Hi everybody,

We just had a Aramco inspector reject a bunch of our fittings (acc. to ASTM A234) because he wants the heat number (as issued by the steel mill) instead of our traceability code number marked on the fittings.

ASTM A234 requires "and the heat number or the manufacturer's heat identification". Our code number falls under manufacturer's heat identification.

Our production and test lots are definately smaller than a heat lot from the steel mill. Therefore we can not use the heat number from the steel mill and still maintain the required level of traceability to a test lot. Our electronic traceability system maintains the relationships between starting material, starting material CMTRs, production lots, test lots, product marking and finished material CMTRs.

Now my question:
Have you experienced similar discussions with Aramco or a different customer?
How were you able to resolve it?

Thanks for your tips!

RE: Marking of heat number vs. traceability code

You are correct based on the clause below from A234.
However, how do you guarantee traceability between the fitting and the MTR if you do not have the link between the raw material and the MTR (heat number marked on fitting) ?

NOTE ?-For purposes of identification marking. the manufacturer is
considered the organization that certifies the piping component complies with this specification.


RE: Marking of heat number vs. traceability code

Hi Kiwi,

thanks for your reply.

On the finished material we have our code number.
On the finished material MTRs we have our code number as well as the heat number from the starting material. This allows the customer to trace the fitting back to our MTR and from our MTR to the starting material and its MTR.

This whole traceability system is managed my our ERP programs/ databases. At the point when the specific starting material is allocated from the starting material warehouse the code number is assigned and the starting material information (MTR plus additional internal information) is permanently attached to the production order. When the finished material is shipped, the MTR is automatically issued for the specific piece(s) ordered and includes all the relevant information.

We have been using this method now for many years. It is especially helpful for small pieces (e.g. 1/2" 30° elbows) where it is nearly impossible to legibly and permanently mark the ASTM required information including a lengthy (up to 12 characters) heat number. It is also very useful when we spilt a production lot (e.g. more than one heat treatment lot) and simply add digits to the code.

In my eyes our system goes beyond the requirements of ASTM and is only hindered by a rather limited interpretation by the inspector. How can I persuade the inspector to accept this tried and true method?

Are there any interpretations or code cases that support my position?


RE: Marking of heat number vs. traceability code

If you can establish traceability for the material used in manufacturing the fittings, there is no need for the original heat number to be stamped on the supplied fittings.

Establishing traceability means this - I use your identification number to get me to a paper or electronic file at your facility that has the original MTR with heat number(s). Multiple fittings can be produced from a single heat number and MTR.

RE: Marking of heat number vs. traceability code

We use lot numbers on aerospace tubing.  We may make 50 lots of tubing out of one heat number.  On out MTRs we put the Ht#-lot#.
On some products we use Ht-coil-lot.
Yes the numbers get long, but you can verify easily.

In this case you are in the right.  You are allowed to re-id material.  It sounds like you have a stick in the mud for an inspector.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Plymouth Tube

RE: Marking of heat number vs. traceability code

In our process we always refer to the heat number of the materials and reference them all though our systems, along with the certificate number of each material cert, all of which are cross referenced for each item assigned - stick in the mud inspector  but then what was in the contract? , perhaps that offers a way around the issue.

online weld & material tracking system

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