Obtaining the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) certification is an significant requirement when using portable accommodation modules to vessels. Working offshore involves a range of certifications, both personal and equipment-related, to ensure safety and suitability for the harsh marine environment. Despite the familiarity of the ABS certification name, many people may not know the exact criteria that a portable accommodation module must meet to receive it.
As a leading manufacturer of offshore portable accommodations, offices, and workshop modules, TLS has experience constructing modules that meet certifications for regulatory agencies worldwide. In this article, we will explain the process of obtaining ABS certification for a portable accommodation module.
To obtain ABS certification, manufacturers must follow guidelines provided by the ABS for designing and manufacturing equipment that meets their certification requirements. These guidelines are updated periodically to keep up with industry developments and improve clarity.
The certification process for a portable accommodation module involves four steps: Design Review of Module, Survey During Fabrication, Review for Installation Approval, and Survey Onboard Host Vessel. These steps cover the module's life cycle, from initial design and engineering to final installation and approval on a vessel or installation.
ABS Certification Step 1 – Design Review of Module
Within the design review of the module section of the guide, the ABS categorizes the requirements for portable accommodation modules into twelve areas:
After the engineering team has completed detailed plans, drawings, and data that meet the ABS requirements, the manufacturer submits them to the ABS technical office for review. Once the review is finished, the drawings are returned to the manufacturer and then sent to the ABS surveyor for further inspection. If the product design meets the requirements, the manufacturer will receive a Product Design Assessment (PDA) certificate, and the product status will be updated to "Design Assessed." With this certification in hand, the manufacturer can proceed to the next step of the process.
ABS Certification Step 2 – Survey During Fabrication
The manufacturer begins fabrication of the module following the drawings and designs approved by the ABS technical office. Within the drawings that the technical office sent over to the surveyor are:
During the fabrication process, the ABS surveyor conducts periodic inspections of the portable accommodation module, verifying its compliance with the design plans and data package. The surveyor conducts various inspections such as visual inspections, insulation, and non-destructive testing (NDT), as well as tests of systems such as general alarms and fire detection. Upon completion of fabrication, the module is marked for identification purposes, including details like the manufacturer's name and address, the manufacturer's serial number, the number of persons to be accommodated, and the ABS approval letter. This marking enables ABS surveyors to locate all the necessary information on a module to ensure it meets the requirements of the vessel or installation it is being installed on.
Subsequently, the manufacturer requests a manufacturer assessment (MA) to confirm that the ABS surveyor has verified compliance with the PDA and to audit the quality control system and manufacturing process. Upon successful completion of the audit, the module is issued an MA certificate, and its product status is updated to "Type Approved."
ABS Certification Step 3 – Design Review for Installation Approval
Once the product status of the module has been changed to "Type Approved," it is ready to be deployed for use on a vessel or installation. However, there are specific technical requirements that must be met when installing a portable accommodation module onto a host vessel.
This information is packaged together and sent to the ABS technical office, where ABS engineers will determine if the proposed location on the vessel is suitable for the module. When the package is approved, stamped drawings are returned to the submitter and to the ABS survey office.
ABS Certification Step 4 – Host Survey Onboard
The final step in obtaining ABS certification involves the Host Survey Onboard, where an ABS surveyor checks the installation of the module on the vessel to confirm that it follows the approved drawings submitted in the previous steps. Once the surveyor approves the installation, the module is considered "ABS Certified" and ready for use.
Since modules can remain in service on vessels for several years, the ABS mandates annual surveys to ensure that the module remains compliant with the necessary requirements for maintaining its certification.
This explanation provides a brief overview of the process for obtaining ABS certification for offshore modules. For further information on offshore module, please contact us.
More information about accommodation modulars, offshore accommodation cabins, gallery module, mess module, etc. Please download TLS accommodation modular brochure , TLS ABS approved offshore accommodation module brochure for reference.
#Portable accommodation modules #Offshore accommodations #ABS certification #Marine safety #Modular construction
Written by Oliver