New Zealand’s structural steel fabricators are showing strong support for the industry’s recently launched quality assurance scheme, the Steel Fabricator Certification (SFC), an initiative designed to ensure safety of fabricated structural steelwork.

Developed jointly by industry bodies HERA and Steel Construction NZ (SCNZ), the SFC scheme is based on the European system, which is part of the CE-marking regulatory environment and represents international best-practice. Four construction categories – CC1-CC4 – are recognised in the SFC framework. It enables specifies to select a level of quality management appropriate to how safety critical the component will be in the construction.

Weld quality is at the centre of the SFC scheme, and the International Institute of Welding’s Manufacturer Certification Scheme IIW MCS ISO 3834 is a key certification plank.

The number of firms who have achieved SFC certification has doubled to 16, with five more companies are going to be certified soon. The expectation is that more than two-third of the New Zealand constructional steel work capacity will be covered by the scheme already this year.

After one and a half year since the introduction, the SFC has become a state of the art compliance scheme for New Zealand structural steelwork. SCNZ and HERA have worked with the Australian Steel Institute to develop a Code of Practice in the hope that it is adopted as an AS/NZS quality standard and integrate the SFC’s technical and quality requirements into a regulatory framework.

A significant milestone has been achieved with the recent release for public comment of the draft standard AS/NZS 5131 Structural Steelwork Fabrication and Erection. The draft standard can be downloaded following this link.

An important stage in the development of an AS/NZS standard is the public comment period. Industry is invited to review the draft and submit public comments using this online form.

All comments need to be submitted by the comment close date 25 May 2016.

Update shared by our General Manager Welding Centre Dr Michail Karpenko