The Five Crowns of Quality Tank Construction

AUTHOR T Bailey, Inc.

PUBLISHED Aug 12, 2021

From oil refineries to manufacturing facilities and even hospitals, quality tank construction is a vital need for every American industry. But how do you determine which tank manufacturer is most reliable?

This blog post will introduce you to the five crowns of quality tank construction to help you find the best tank manufacturing company for your project.


1. High-Quality Tank Design & Engineering

The first indicator of superior tank construction is a fabrication company that invests in high-quality design and engineering.

As our Director of Quality Assurance likes to say, “You can’t inspect quality into the part.”

Instead, quality begins when a pen hits the paper and an experienced and qualified engineer designs the tank according to code, client, and jurisdiction requirements.

2. A Tank Manufacturer With Extensive Experience

Having a long track record in building the high-quality tanks you need is one of the most vital indicators in determining that you have found a tankage company worth partnering with.

For example, if you need a field-erected, floating-roof tank, ensure that the contractor you select has years of experience building that exact tank.

3. Qualified Processes

The next crown of quality tank construction is a tank manufacturer that qualifies all their processes.

One of the most important kinds of processes to qualify is welding procedures. Each tankage construction company must demonstrate that the welding procedures are reliable for the type of tank being created.

Welding procedures (also known as the “recipe of the weld”) are proven methods for creating welds. Each procedure lists all the essential variables that go into creating a high-quality weld.

Qualifying a welding process involves welding up a sample plate according to the essential variables and doing destructive and non-destructive examinations to it — bends, tensile pulls, etc. This ensures that the process in question can effectively create the desired tank.

For example, if a tank manufacturer qualifies the SMAW stick-welding process for a tank project, they cannot switch to the GMAW wire-feed welding process without qualifying that process for this type.

4. Qualified Personnel

Just because a tank manufacturer has qualified welding procedures doesn’t mean their crews know how to apply them properly — this is where qualifying personnel comes in.

For welding procedures to be relied on, they must be performed in accordance with all the essential variables. Deviate from any of these, and the quality of the weld is no longer guaranteed.

Qualifying a welder involves nondestructive examination and physical destruction of a weld test plate, with an inspector verifying that the welder can follow all the essential variables of the weld procedure.

For example, if a welder is only qualified for fillet welds, it would jeopardize tank quality to ask them to perform an x-ray weld on a vertical tank seam. The welder must first be qualified to prove they can perform the desired weld.

5. Multiple Layers of Inspections

Steel tank manufacturers worth their salt ensure tank quality by having multiple layers of inspections in place. Inspections are crucial to maintaining dependable tank construction because they confirm that fabricators and welders correctly follow qualified processes.

Inspections are necessary because human error can occur.

For example, a welder may be welding in the rain without the proper protection, thus allowing rivulets of water to run through his weld joint. Or he may be welding in the wind without realizing it’s blowing away the shielding gas. Whatever the situation, human error can introduce weaknesses to a tank, so layers of inspection must be in place to mitigate this risk.

What does this look like in practice?

When we’re building tanks, we have several types of inspectors monitoring the process. This includes foremen and an onsite CWI who monitors welding as it’s taking place and ensures all the essential variables are being followed precisely. We also perform NDE while the tank is being built.

But of course, it’s important to remember that the act of inspection does not instill quality. Quality comes through preparation.

And this is why it’s crucial to work with a tank fabricator who invests in accurate engineering, has proven experience creating your kind of tank, qualifies their processes and personnel, and, yes, who also has multiple layers of inspection in place.

T BAILEY INC. — A Leading Tank Manufacturer in the Northwest

If you are looking for quality tank construction, consider partnering with T BAILEY INC., contact us today! Since 1991, we’ve served clients in nearly every industry, providing diversified general contracting and fabricating thousands of shop-built and field-erected tanks and pressure vessels.

No matter how ambitious your project, our integrity-driven personnel have the qualifications and experience necessary to get the job done right.