Pressure vessels must be designed and manufactured to operate safely at a specified pressure and
temperature, as the risks of poor design are significant. Pressure vessels that are unable to
withstand the stresses caused by pressure and temperature extremes could fail, causing them to
rupture or explode. For this reason, pressure vessel manufacturers are bound by the European
Union’s Pressure Equipment Directive – still a legal requirement in the UK post-Brexit – and must
ensure that all work, including that carried out by subcontractors, is completed to the highest
If you are trying to select from between several pressure vessel manufacturers, you need
reassurance that the finished product will comply with industry safety standards. However, you also
need to be confident that the build quality will meet the specific needs of your business, as problems
such as insufficient capacity, pressurisation incompatibility, or pressure vessel fatigue will cause
operational delays that could be costly in terms of your profits.
Essential questions to ask large pressure vessel manufacturers
Every pressure vessel manufacturer should have excellent knowledge of their ability to design and
build to your custom requirements, so the following questions can help you assess their suitability to
undertake your project:
What are your size limitations for fabricating vessels?
A key advantage to a custom-built pressure vessel is that it can be designed and manufactured
precisely to your requirements, rather than trying to fulfil a ‘one size fits all’ approach. However,
your chosen manufacturer must be able to fabricate a pressure vessel that meets your business’s
needs, rather than lacking the necessary capacity, or having excess capacity.
Are your fabricators certified and qualified to meet my requirements?
There are several international standards that apply to fabricators and welders, such as ISO, EN,
ASME and AWS, and evidence that your chosen manufacturer employs professionals who have been
accredited by an approved body should offer reassurance that they are competent to undertake
your project. Welding is a vital element of the fabrication process that must be carried out correctly,
as poor welding could lead to weakness in the pressure vessel. Check whether the certification has
been completed by an external examiner or by someone appointed within the company.
What materials do you work with?
The materials used to manufacture a pressure vessel must be high-quality and able to withstand
extremes of pressure and temperature; second-rate metals are likely to cause premature fatigue,
elevating the risk of serious equipment failure.
Do you have an in-house quality control system?
A manufacturer which continually checks and assesses the quality of its fabrication is more likely to
spot when flaws are developing or standards of production are not being met, so that remedial
action can be taken. Manufacturers may use an in-house quality control system that meets the
demands of international standards, such as ASME. This will also ensure that the completed pressure
vessel complies with industry standards, guaranteeing a product that is fit for purpose and unlikely
to experience premature fatigue or failure.
Choosing the right manufacturer for your pressure vessel is important to ensure your plant can
operate safely and efficiently, without the risk of it failing – protecting your staff, your property and
the public, while ensuring your business operation runs smoothly. To discuss your requirements or
find out more about our approach to design and fabrication, please call +44 (0)1656 750 262.