As a leading supplier of innovative infrastructure products to the construction and mining industries in Southern Africa, the Infrastructure Specialist Group (ISG), which represents precast concrete product specialists Rocla and Technicrete, believes that Concrete Manufacturers Association (CMA) membership offers three significant advantages, including technical benefits, marketing assistance and quality assurance.
ISG engineer Justin Kretzmar says the CMA ensures that all the South African National Standard (SANS) codes that are relevant to CMA members are maintained and continuously updated to incorporate international norms. “This is essential to ensure that CMA members are able to comply with the highest standards both locally and internationally and also that they can be measured accordingly,” he notes.
The CMA also assists with effectively marketing precast concrete products to the public and the industry in general. “Every year there are new developments of products serving a similar purpose as precast concrete, manufactured from materials other than concrete. As such, the CMA takes the responsibility to market the benefits of specifying and using precast concrete rather than products made from other materials, such as plastic or steel.”
Kretzmar notes that another benefit for members and end-users is the assurance that the quality of the final product is of the highest standard.
CMA members are required to attain certain quality standards, including ISO certification, in order to keep their CMA status. Producers could face cancellation of membership if they do not comply with these strict quality management requirements.
Kretzmar explains that the CMA’s recent introduction of its quality accreditation system, Certified Services (CMACS) is an example of how seriously the association enforces quality systems.
“CMACS offers its own SANS certification, which is similar to the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) certification. The main difference between the two accreditation systems is that CMACS incorporates a more stringent assessment and monitoring process than the SABS, requiring biannual inspections rather than the annual inspection required by the SABS.
“We have found that CMACS offers a high level of service, as expected in the industry, by performing assessments timeously and issuing documentation without delay and in a shorter lead time of four to six weeks.”
Rocla and Technicrete are both fully committed to total quality management, with onsite laboratories performing daily tests on concrete samples or full-scale products at its factories. “We have an in-house concrete technologist responsible for constant monitoring of concrete strengths throughout the group and instant redesign of concrete mixes as and when required,” states Kretzmar.