ABS Type Approval relates to the Type Approval Program and a Type Approved Product. The program is the all encompassing process of evaluations, audits and maintenance of the database.
A Type Approved Product has satisfied the processes of:
- An engineer's evaluation of a design to determine conformance with specifications. The manufacturer should submit sufficient information to allow ABS to determine if the product meets specification. This results in a Product Design Assessment Certificate (PDA).
- Witnessing manufacture and testing of a type of the product to determine compliance with the specification
- A surveyor's evaluation of the manufacturing arrangements to confirm that the product can be consistently produced in accordance with the specification. This results in the issue of a Manufacturing Assessment Certificate.
Basically a PDA is the pre-approval of a product for use on a variety of ABS class ships. The PDA reduces the turn around time for approval on a specific ship. When a specific ship is chosen, the technical staff would then verify that the product, as already approved, is suitable for the intended use. This can be done with a simple review of the PDA and not require submittal of further documentation from the manufacturer. In the situation of a product that does not require Unit Certification; the manufacturer may be served by having a PDA only. Note that this PDA normally would have a five-year validity, subject to Rule changes, design changes, etc.
Any manufacturer may apply for a Type Approved Product. However, a Type Approved Product is of more benefit to the manufacturer when there is a requirement for Unit Certification and an ABS surveyor attends for material testing and other tests during manufacturer. Being a Type Approved Product, expedites the Unit Certification process.