Value of IIW ISO 3834 Certification

31 May 2012

SAIW Certification is authorised by the IIW to operate its Manufacturer Certification Scheme in South Africa.

SAIW is the first organisation outside of Europe to receive such authorisation.

Locally, the scheme, which is suitable for both manufacturing workshop and construction site activities, is known as the SAIW Welding Fabricator Certification Scheme. It is based on the ISO 3834 standard, directing quality requirements for fusion welding of metallic materials.

The benefits of becoming ISO certified with the SAIW scheme, is certification with the added value of being included on the top international welding body’s list of certified companies and knowing that you have been assessed by real welding experts.

Certification ensures that welding activities are being conducted in a manner as to produce safe welded products at a high quality. Not only does certification provide peace of mind to clients, it also provides companies with the opportunity to benchmark themselves against global standards. Increasingly, certification is a prerequisite to supply products or services to end-users. Adhering to ISO standards will increase productivity and efficiency, while cutting the costs of re-work, cleaning and fettling.

New business opportunities will open up as many end-users, such as EPCM organisations, will require ISO 3834 certification. Certification through expert, independent assessment of suppliers provides an in-depth, authoritative evaluation of fabricator capability and overall competence leading to assurance of built-in quality with reduced inspection costs.

There are 3 levels of certification; comprehensive, standard and elementary. Comprehensive is the ideal level for specialist welding fabricators where the welding technology, materials and contractual requirements are technically demanding and vary from contract to contract. Typically this could include large steel fabrication projects involving pressure vessels, boilers and rotating equipment. Standard level is ideal for fabricators where the welding technology and materials are technically demanding, but the variety and range of product are limited. This could include specialist manufacturers of stadiums, shopping centres and steel supporting structures. Elementary level is ideal for fabricators where both technology and materials are relatively simple and would include steel safes, gates, household furniture, vehicle exhausts and tow bars.

Certification is a must for fabricators who realise that quality must be built, and not be inspected, into the weld.

To date, SAIW has certified 37 companies with a further 6 companies that are in the process of finalising their certification. Thirty more are actively involved at various stages of achieving certification. “Our objective is to add value to the client and improve their welding processes to such an extent that quality and productivity are improved,” says Sean Blake, technical services manager of SAIW. “Generally speaking, SAIW met this objective at the majority of companies that we have certified to date and continue to achieve this through the annual surveillance audits. Our auditing staff are highly skilled and experienced. Clients have garnered additional business as a result of certification, making certification a win-win situation for all. The end user is assured of a better quality product, manufactured to the highest standards and the fabricator can improve productivity and reduce rework while competing for lucrative contracts both nationally and internationally. Industry as a whole is improved with a positive effect on the economy,” concludes Blake.

“Certification comes highly recommended for any company that wants to achieve success in an incredibly competitive environment,” contends Jim Guild, executive director of SAIW. SAIW will continue to find ways in which to enhance the industry, increase skill and standardise delivery.”