Technology Qualification is the process of verification that the novel technology meets the specified requirements for its intended service (i.e. it is ‘fit for service’), through a systematic and documented process of qualification, that will include examination of the design, analyses and testing programs. It is to be remarked that ‘fitness for service’ entails not only safety, but also performance and availability.
This certification service is important because novel technology is generally not adequately covered by established codes and procedures, and it may therefore be required to be qualified through a specific approach.
Why Technology Qualification?
- The main reason are the banks. In the current credit crisis, the new technology or new uses of existing technology is seen as an high risk for project financing
- It can be useful to speed up the permitting process of new installations by the authorities in charge
- Technology Qualification provided by an independent third party company guarantees an objective and holistic review of the design, aimed at demonstrating the ‘fitness for service’.
WHY RINA SERVICES?
RINA SERVICES has gathered a remarkable experience in Technology Qualification, which started with the qualification of the Cryogenic Loading Arms, vaporizers and side-by-side mooring of the FSRU ‘OLT TOSCANA’.
Subsequently, Technology Qualification has been increasingly applied in various projects and equipment, ranging from Compressed Natural Gas ships and pressure vessels to innovative environmental equipment and new types of liquid gas transfer.
SERVICE STEPS AND TEAM
Technology Qualification is to be based on safety, availability and reliability criteria, boundary conditions and interface requirements defined in the TQ basis among the stakeholders up front.Technology Qualification is to be based on a systematic approach, usually including:
- a risk assessment, to identify, rank and control failure modes affecting the fitness for service of the novel technology;
- engineering analyses, to demonstrate that the design fulfils the specified requirements for the intended service;
- measurements and tests.
Alternative methods to demonstrate the fitness for service may be used, provided that they are supported by proper justification.
How does Technology Qualification differ from traditional third-party services?
Standard third-party services are aimed at confirming that a design is in compliance with specified rules, codes and standards. In addition to that, Technology Qualification is aimed at providing the evidence that the technology will ‘do what it says’, i.e. will function as promised within the specified conditions.
How is Technology Qualification approached in novel systems, characterized by unusual size and complexity?
The main approach consists in subdividing it into manageable elements, at the level of detail, that enable to focus on the novel or uncertain aspects that subsequently will be subjected to the Technology Qualification process.
What are the main benefits of Technology Qualification?
With a Technology Qualification certificate, the technology provider will be able to exhibit a convincing proof that its technology will function as promised, with an acceptable level of confidence, to clients and authorities.
What is the typical budget required for a Technology Qualification?
Technology Qualification can be in principle applied to any novel design, irrespective of size and complexity; thus, a budget estimation can be only made through an appraisal of the actual design to be qualified. It is recommended to contact RINA Services for such specific questions, as soon as the design is outlined.