Difference between Code, Standard and Specification:

Knowing the difference between Code, Standard and Specification is very important if you are working in Oil & Gas Industries. In this post,We will learn about code, standard and specification. 

What is Standard?  

Standard can define as a set of technical definitions and guidelines – or simply a “how to” instructions for designers and manufacturers. It gives all the necessary requirements for the product, service, and operation.

A designer will use the standard to design the product, and a manufacturer will use the standard for the manufacturing of the product.

Standard serves as a common language for defining quality and establishing safety criteria for the product. ASTM, API, ISO are some examples of the standard. ASTM has more than 12000 standards they cover all most everything. If you visit ASTM website, they said that they have a standard form toys to aircraft.

Why standard required?

let’s take an example of a mobile phone charger. If you are in the USA and traveling to India, you need an adapter to use your charger. This is because both the country follows the different standard for power sockets. But your USB cables will work anywhere in the world because it is manufactured as per globally accepted standard.

In the case of process industry, piping components are sourced from around the world; we want all these materials, irrespective of their country of origin should fit perfectly with each other at the site. Standard help to achieve these;

§  By establishing common engineering or technical requirements for products, practices, methods or operations that manufacturer has to follow while manufacturing piping components.

§  Standard Built confidence about product quality in the users and

§  With standardization cost of production will reduce as you can produce in bulk for global markets.

What is Code?

When governmental bodies adopt the standard and become legally enforceable, or when it has been incorporated into a business contract, the standard will become a code.

ASME Codes are legally enforceable in many US state. Whereas, in the other part of the world they are not legally enforceable, but such countries have their own similar codes.

Please note that requirements mentioned in the code will only be mandatory requirements if

§  The Code is adopted as law by a regulatory body

§  It is a part of the business contract

Otherwise, Code will serve as generally accepted guidelines for design, fabrication, construction, and installation,

However, all most all process facility follows various American code and Standard in addition to their national standard.

§  Examples of the codes are ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, BS, DIN, etc.

Why Code required?

§  Code Provides a set of rules that specify the minimum acceptable level of safety & Quality for manufactured, fabricated or constructed goods.

§  Codes also refer out to standards or specifications for the specific details on additional requirements that are not specified in the Code

What is Specification?

Specifications provide specific/additional requirements for the materials, components or services that are beyond the code or standard requirements

§  For Example, if you want A106 Gr B pipe with Maximum carbon of 0.23% against standard requirements of 0.3% Max, you have to specify your requirement in your specification or Purchase Order.

§  Specification is generated by private companies to address additional requirements applicable to a specific product or application

Why Specification required?

§  It allows purchaser to include special requirements as per design and service condition

§  It allows customizing your product.

§  Please note requirement in specification are Must meet requirements

§  Examples- Product specification, Shell DEP & EIL Specification

Difference Between Code, Standard and Specification in Piping.

Enforceable by Law or by contractGlobally accepted “how to instruction”Must meet requirements by Contracts
Written by government or government approved bodyWritten by public organization or by government bodyWritten by private companies
Guidelines for design, fabrication, construction and installationSet of technical definitions and guidelines for manufacturingAdditional requirements, beyond code & standard

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