New Zealand structural steel fabricators have created a certification scheme to distinguish themselves from imported prefabricated steelwork.
It’s based on the package the locals can offer, of fabrication, appropriate personnel & quality management systems.
Steel Construction NZ manager Alistair Fussell said yesterday the steel fabricator certification scheme, launched last week, would ensure participating fabricators not only manufacture product to the specified quality standard, but that they have the rest of the package – staff & management systems – in place & demonstrating international best practice.
Mr Fussell said structural steel fabrication in New Zealand “is pretty much a value-add industry because we don’t have steel-making”, but some fabricated steelwork – drilled, punched & cut to length – had appeared on some Christchurch projects.
“As with other construction materials, the current compliance regime for structural steelwork relies, for the most part, on self-inspection & self-certification. We’re saying we’ll give our clients a mark of quality. This new scheme raises the bar by providing independent, expert certification of New Zealand fabrication companies.
“The recent boom in construction activity, centred on Christchurch & Auckland, has seen an increase in the amount of imported prefabricated steelwork entering New Zealand. However, there have been cases where paperwork has been missing or the steelwork does not meet the required specification, leading to costly project delays.
“The certification scheme, on the other hand, provides procurers & specifiers such as engineers, architects & contractors with certainty of product quality and significantly reduced compliance risk.”
Steel Construction NZ and the Heavy Engineering Research Association developed the scheme. They based it on the European system, which is part of the CE marking regulatory environment for products sold in the European economic area and represents international best practice.
The initial group of steel fabricators certified under the scheme are: Chapman Engineering, Christchurch; D&H Steel Construction, Auckland; Eastbridge, Napier; Jensen Steel Fabricators, Mt Maunganui; John Jones Steel, Christchurch; MJH Engineering, Lower Hutt; Red Steel, Napier; and Whakatiki Engineering, Upper Hutt.
Attribution: Steel Construction NZ release, phone interview.