From July last year a new EU regulation came into force which means there is now a legal requirement for all structural steel fabricators to have an accreditation in place that enables them to CE Mark (C.E. are the abbreviations of the French phrase ‘Conformite Europeen‘ which literally means European Conformity )any of the 71 products covered by the regulation that they sell for structural purposes.
This standard is known as ISO 1090
If steel manufacturers don’t have this accreditation they are now “technically” selling any steel for structural use illegally. Although All Metal Solutions are applying for this mark, explained in more detail below, we have a Letter of Intent from the Auditor of the scheme that covers us “legally” to sell our customers all the products covered.
The industry has been very slow on the uptake with this regulation, most seemed to hope it would just fizzle out but the larger fabricators are now putting this system in place and as one of the smaller steel manufacturers we must follow.
There are around 9,000 fabricators in the UK , less than 5% currently have this accreditation and even less are actively putting it in as the cost is around £10,000. Therefore trading standards have agreed that there will have to be an additional period of grace allowed for steel fabricators to get this accreditation in place.
The main areas concerned with achieving accreditation are: all welders have the correct qualifications, the company appoints a “responsible welding coordinator” to monitor and sign off the quality of the welding on a regular basis and that welding consumables are themselves CE marked. The idea being that all aspects of the production of a structural component are traceable and controlled.
In parallel with ISO 1090, All Metal Solutions are also going for ISO 9001 accreditation.
What is CE Marking?
CE Marking of construction products was introduced in the Construction Products Directive (CPD) in 1988. The CPD is a European Directive that seeks to remove barriers to trade and applies to all construction products permanently incorporated in ‘construction works’. This includes steel products such as steel sections, structural bolts, welding consumables and fabricated steel components that are used in buildings, bridges, highways and other civil engineering structures.
On 1st July 2013 the Construction Products Directive (CPD) was replaced by another piece of EU legislation called the Construction Products Regulation (CPR). The main change is that unlike a European directive a European regulation is mandatory in all member states including the UK.
What are All Metal doing to get ISO 1090; CE Marking?
1. ISO 9001 – the organisation will have implemented quality management system requirements for all areas of the business including:
2. Welding Qualifications – all welders who weld structural steel will need to have the qualification BS EN 287-1 or ISO 9601-1. And the company will have its own in house Responsible Welding Coordinator (RWC).
3. UKAS Certification – finally, an examining body registered with UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) audits the standard, which involves three main stages:-
- An audit of the Factory Production Control (FPC) System.
- A design evaluation – carried out as a desktop assessment & involves assessment of the mfrs. design protocol and associated calculations by a structural engineer.
- The assessment of welding and welding requirements (usually carried out at the same time as the FPC audit).
On successfully passing the audit we will be issued with the acreditation. We can then Certificate our packaging and products.
4. Surveillance audits (only applicable once CE certified). An initial audit in the first year then a surveillance visit the following year, then 2 years later, then three years later.
All Metal Solutions have signed with ISOQAR who have issued All Metal Solutions a letter of intent , which Trading Standards are accepting as a stop gap until full accreditation; it shows that All Metal Solutions are one of the “few” smaller steel manufacturers who are actually being proactive and trying to fullfill their commitments to the law and put the system in place before being fined or threated with closure.
So if you want to ensure your steel is fully covered by this new regulation contact us here.