Robert K. Nichols, PE Thermatool Corp INTRODUCTION TO API SPEC Q1 API Specification Q1 outlines the requirements for a quality system that facilitates the consistent and reliable manufacture of API products. An API License is issued only after a quality manual has been submitted and approved and an on-site audit has confirmed that the applicant adheres to the requirements ofboth Q1 and the appropriate API product specifications. Spec Q1 is consistent with ISO 9000 and API now offers dual registration. While it is necessary to have a valid API license to apply the API Monogram, a manufacturer can produce product which meets the API requirements without the license and mark the product only with the specification designation (for example “5CT” for casing). However,many users require the use of the monogram to ensure that API is auditing the manufacturer on a regular basis. The following is the API Monogram:
AN OVERVIEW OF API SPEC Q1 API Spec Q1 has four main parts: Section 1 is the scope of the specification; Section 2 is the reference to ISO 8402 for definitions; Section 3 defines the terms unique to Specification Q1; and Section 4 defines the qualitysystem. Generally, Sections 1 through 4 are self-explanatory. Section 4 has 20 topics that will be discussed in greater detail. Please note that Thermatool Corp. does not represent the API and the following discussion is offered only as an introduction to the requirements. The API should be consulted for complete details.
SECTION 4 4.1 MANAGEMENTS RESPONSIBILITIES This section directs thecorporate management to create a quality policy consistent with API Q1 and places the responsibility for proper implementation on management. Quality is not the responsibility of only the Quality Department. It must be understood and supported at all levels of the organization. 4.1.2 ORGANIZATION Section 188.8.131.52 through 4.1.3 requires that the organizational responsibilities be defined and documented.Of paramount importance is the freedom of each individual to perform the duties of his or her job as defined by Spec Q1 and the corporate quality policy. For example, a production foreman cannot arbitrarily overturn the disposition of an inspector relating to a product rejected for failing to meet the API specifications. The authority to overturn a reject disposition must be defined in the qualityprogram and must be consistent with the Q1 requirements. This section also requires verification (inspection and test) activities be documented. This is readily accomplished with an “Inspection and Test Check List” that defines for every manufacturing station all tests and inspections, the correct procedures, the frequency of testing, the acceptance criteria, and procedures for rejection for everyAPI product produced at each facility. Section 4.1.2 also directs the corporate management to evaluate the quality system for effectiveness via internal and external audits and to document such reviews. SECTION 4.2 QUALITY SYSTEM Sections 4.2.1 through 4.1.4 define the quality system required by Spec Q1. It requires the manufacturer to document his quality system (i.e., the Quality Manual).Control features must be created for ensuring that the proper instructions, drawings, etc., are issued. All controls, processes, equipment, and special training necessary to produce the product to the appropriate API specifications must be documented. Procedures, technology, and equipment must be reviewed and evaluated for applicability to and compatibility with the processes.
SECTION 4.3 ORDERREVIEW Section 4.3.1 through 4.3.3 specifies that the manufacture review all orders for API products to ensure that the requirements are within the scope of the API specifications, that differences are resolves, that the manufacturer is capable of producing the product and that the review is documented. In short, to make sure that each order can be produced properly before accepting it. SECTION 4.4...