46 CFR 160.170-15 - Production inspections, tests, quality control, and conformance of release mechanisms.
(a) Unless the Commandant directs otherwise, an independent laboratory must perform or witness, as appropriate, inspections, tests, and oversight required by this section. Production inspections and tests of release mechanisms must be carried out in accordance with the procedures for independent laboratory inspection in 46 CFR part 159, subpart 159.007 and in this section unless the Commandant authorizes alternative tests and inspections. The Commandant may prescribe additional production tests and inspections necessary to maintain quality control and to monitor compliance with the requirements of this subpart.
(b) Manufacturer's responsibility. The manufacturer must -
(1) Institute a quality control procedure to ensure that all production release mechanisms are produced to the same standard, and in the same manner, as the prototype release mechanism approved by the Commandant. The manufacturer's quality control personnel must not work directly under the department or person responsible for either production or sales;
(2) Schedule and coordinate with the independent laboratory (or Coast Guard inspector if required under paragraph (a) of this section) to ensure that all tests are performed as described in this section;
(3) Submit to the Commandant, a yearly report that contains the following -
(i) Serial number and date of final assembly of each release mechanism constructed;
(ii) The name of the representative of the independent laboratory (or Coast Guard inspector if required under paragraph (a) of this section); and
(iii) Serial number and model name of the liferaft or rescue boat with which the release hook is to be used, if known;
(4) Ensure that the arrangement and materials entering into the construction of the release mechanism are in accordance with plans approved under § 160.170-13(h) of this subpart;
(5) Allow an independent laboratory (or Coast Guard inspector if required under paragraph (a) of this section) access to any place where materials are stored for the release mechanism, work or testing is performed on release mechanisms or their component parts and materials, or records are retained to meet the requirements of paragraph (c) of this section, for the purpose of -
(i) Assuring that the quality control program of the manufacturer is satisfactory;
(ii) Witnessing tests; or
(iii) Taking samples of parts or materials for additional inspections or tests; and
(6) Ensure that the independent laboratory (or Coast Guard inspector if required under paragraph (a) of this section) conducts the inspections and witnesses the tests required by paragraph (e) of this section, and further conducts a visual inspection to verify that the release mechanisms are being made in accordance with the plans approved under § 160.170-13(h) of this subpart and the requirements of this subpart.
(c) Recordkeeping. The manufacturer must maintain records in accordance with 46 CFR 159.007-13. The manufacturer must keep records of all items listed in this section for at least 5 years from the date of termination of approval of each release mechanism. The records must include -
(1) A copy of this subpart, other CFR sections referenced in this subpart, and each document listed in § 160.170-5 of this subpart;
(2) A copy of the approved plans and documentation;
(3) A current certificate of approval for each approved release mechanism;
(4) Affidavits, certificates, or invoices from the suppliers identifying all essential materials used in the production of approved release mechanisms, together with records identifying the serial numbers of the release mechanisms in which such materials were used;
(5) Records of all structural welding and name of operator(s);
(6) Records of welder certificates, training, and qualifications;
(7) Date and results of calibration of test equipment and the name and address of the company or agency that performed the calibration;
(8) The serial number of each production release gear, along with records of its inspections and tests carried out under this section; and
(9) The original purchaser of each release gear and the vessel on which it was installed, if known.
(d) Independent laboratory responsibility. The independent laboratory must perform or witness, as appropriate, the inspections and tests under paragraph (e) of this section for each Coast Guard-approved release mechanism to be installed on a U.S.-flagged vessel. If the manufacturer also produces release mechanisms for approval by other maritime safety administrations, the inspections may be coordinated with inspection visits for those administrations.
(e) Production inspections and tests. Each finished release mechanism must be visually inspected. The manufacturer must develop and maintain a visual inspection checklist designed to ensure that all applicable requirements have been met. Each approved release mechanism constructed with non-corrosion resistant steel must be confirmed to have met the coating mass and bend tests requirement specified under ASTM A 653 (incorporated by reference, see § 160.170-5 of this subpart) after galvanizing or other anti-corrosion treatment has been applied. This compliance can be ascertained through a supplier's certification papers or through conducting actual tests.
(f) Each approved release mechanism must pass each of the tests described in IMO Revised recommendation on testing, part 2, paragraph 6.2 (incorporated by reference, see § 160.170-5 of this subpart). However, each approved release mechanism for installation of a single-fall rescue boat must pass each of the tests described in IMO Revised recommendation on testing, part 2, paragraph 5.3.1 and 5.3.4.