Project Practitioners > Vendor Data Requirements (continued)

Vendor Data Requirements (continued)

By Morley Selver, P.Eng IPMA B

This article is the final article of the series on Vendor Data Requirements and their importance to your project. This is the vendor data that you require with their proposal and data required later in the project should they be the successful bidder. In review, this document is typically used when purchasing equipment and outlines to the vendor exactly what information you expect him to include with his proposal / quote. As I started in last months article, this is a continuation of the section on 'Performance Required by the Successful Bidder' which outlines the conditions the successful bidder will be required to perform to. In this article I will complete that section. 


If you don’t have a mechanical fabrication and installation standard / guideline then you should make up one to protect yourself. It covers items such as any base plates should be of rigid construction and have grout / vent holes to ensure the plate can be properly grouted, how to manufacture machine bases, shimming allowances, etc.

One issue that happened to me was the motor mounting blocks not being within alignment tolerances and having to bring in a portable milling machine to fix the problem. This involved about 20 different size pumps from the same vendor. Analysis of the problem revealed the manufacturer did not finish and assemble the base components in the correct order. You need a statement that says equipment and drive mounting blocks shall be welded to the baseplate and machined as an integral unit to assure the mounting surfaces are level with one another.

What some companies will do is finish machining the motor mounting blocks separate from the equipment (pump) base. These finished mounting blocks are then welded to the supports on the equipment frame. When this weld takes place it warps the machined mounting blocks putting them out of level. If it’s really bad, shims can not correct the problem. What the manufacture should do is weld the mounting blocks to the support frames then do the finish machining of the complete unit. This results with a motor mounting block level within acceptable tolerances, The mounting blocks should be completely welded, not stitched welded as you do not want moisture to get between the support and the mounting block causing rusting.

With all equipment there should be an 1/8” allowance for shims under the feet to allow for adjustment up and down. With pumps you want to be able to install the largest impeller in it so you need the motor supports to be able to take the next size larger frame.


Most companies have pipe specifications that should be spelled out on the drawings and issued with any drawing package. The specifications should describe all the pipe, fittings, valves, trim, material specifications, etc to be used. There should be a corresponding piping standard outlining how the pipe is to be fabricated. You expect the vendor to follow these specifications and standards.


You should have a specification outlining how you want the end of the tubing terminated, typically at a manifold. You want everything to fit and don’t want to  be piecing the tubing together out in the field. Same for wiring, it should be terminated at terminal stops. Control panels should be wired, plumb and checked out before they leave the factory.

Drawing Requirements

You need to tell the vendor how or what format you want your drawings in. You require a format that will work with the program you are using in your office. Need to advise the vendor of how drawings are to be transmitted. When receiving vendor drawings always send them to your drawing control people, if you have such a department. It is important that you know what drawing have been received, when, for what reason, and where are they. 

Manuals, Parts Lists, and Spare Parts Quotations

You need to advise the vendor as to the number of copies of installation, operation, and maintenance manuals. Sometimes these will be electronic and other times hardcopy. Electronic you can print off yourself. You will need their parts lists; and spare parts recommendations and quotations. These should be furnished with their quote or at least 60 days before shipment of equipment. The maintenance manuals must contain full lubrication instructions, and the parts list should stipulate the manufacture’s name and model number of all purchased components. There will come a point where, if you know the spare component model number, you can purchase it for less than the vendor will sell it to you for. Don’t forget if equipment is delivered to the site in component pieces, the vendor  should supply installation instructions which should contain drawings detailing erection marking, etc.


There is always a statement included to the effect that the workmanship and material used in the equipment offered must be new and of the highest quality in every respect, and proper regard must be paid to duplication and interchangeably of parts. 

Shop Testing, Inspection, and Progress Reporting

If at all possible, the goods you are purchasing should be shop tested. For items that you consider to be important there should be a witness present during the testing. With some equipment, and working with the manufacturer, inspection hold points are set to take place during the manufacture. When a hold point is reached in the manufacturing, the assembly is inspected by the purchaser or his representative, then manufacturing continues on. Whether you witness a final test or not, a certificate of the shop test shall be furnished to the purchaser in any event.

At all times, you or your authorized representative shall be allowed access to the vendor's shops during manufacture to inspect the testing of the goods or parts and to obtain information as to the progress of the work.

Major Equipment

Again if it is a major piece of equipment, such as a compressor, you should request from the vendor a planned program detailing when the manufacturing functions, including engineering, procurement, etc., are expected to start and end for the various equipment components. You want this within six weeks from the order date. Thereafter, you will require monthly reports showing the actual progress and these reports are to be furnished until the equipment is shipped complete. Always be prepared to send an inspector in to keep track of what is going on with your purchase.

Project Committed Equipment

A lot of times equipment is purchased that is made up of multiple components the vendor acquires and assembles into a working piece of equipment. In these cases, where multiple items are generally committed for the project and thereafter ordered individually as the exact needs become known, the vendor should furnish you, within six weeks of the first item ordered, a report organized by PO number and listing the purchaser's identification number, date received, and expected shipping schedule for the major items. The report should be updated monthly adding new ordered items and indicating shipping dates or revised schedules as applicable. This form should be formatted to your needs. Any inspector that goes into the manufacturing facility should review this report.

Tagging of Equipment

It is important that the equipment be tagged the way you want it. If you don’t ask for tagging you won’t get it, so ask for it. For shipping you want each item tagged with the equipment number and other information, which will be shown in the purchase order. The tagging materials should be weatherproof and securely attached to each item. If not tagged, the equipment will be delivered and your stores receiving people won’t know what it is or who it belongs to. Following is a generic shipping tag: 

 The shipping tag should have, as a minimum, the following:



(Generic name of item)

Equipment No.


PO Item No.


PO No.


In addition, the equipment needs to be tagged with a stainless steel nameplate, stamped or engraved, with the equipment number and attached with rivets or screws directly to the piece of equipment. Electric motors are to have the plant maintenance number on a separate stainless steel plate. Instrumentation items, like small valves, etc. will have the stainless steel plate securely wired to the item.

 This is the last of the vendor data requirements and 'Performance Required by the Successful Bidder’. You need this type of document to minimize your risk of getting something you have to fix and getting rid of the uncertainty of not knowing completely what you are purchasing. Next month I will talk about another form outlining the vendor information you should be looking for.


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