Turnkey ship repair solutions provider DCD Marine Cape Town tells Engineering News that its range of international accreditations has cemented the company’s reputation for sound safety and quality compliance and highlighted its industry- specific skills sets.
The company, which services the maritime and oil and gas sectors, has worked hard to ensure that it complies with the highest industry standards.
DCD Marine Cape Town has been ISO 9001-, ISO 14 001- and ISO 18 001-certified for its quality management since June 3, 1999, environmental systems since July 14, 2013, and its safety management since November 23, 2011. It was also ISO 3834-2-certifified for welding in February 2014. All accreditations are certified by Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance.
“ISO 3834 is a supplementary certification to ISO 9001,” explains DCD Marine Cape Town health, safety and environmental manager Abdullah Elmie.
“We were audited by an independent international welding engineer who scrutinised our welding processes, including our welding management and control systems,” he adds.
Elmie highlights that some of the major challenges that DCD Marine faced in complying with the highest industry standards included limited labour resources, a lack of experience and aligning its sub- contractors to ensure that they operate in a manner that complies with the accreditations.
He adds that, while ISO 3834-2 outlines the requirements a company needs to comply with, the right people with the required competences are still required to manage the system.
Overcoming these challenges included extensive subcontractor development and selection to ensure that all subcontractors which a company partners with have the required skills to meet the relevant standards.
“Our systems have evolved over the years and we are focused on continuous improvement to ensure that we are aligned with the highest industry standards. However, since a significant percentage of the work is outsourced, it was important for us to educate and empower our subcontractors to be able to operate at the same level,” says Elmie.
Elmie highlights welding as one of the most mission-critical activities when it comes to ship repair in the oil and gas sector. “The different processes involved make it a complex skill that demands high levels of accuracy and attention to detail.”
He tells Engineering News that DCD Marine Cape Town has a strong focus on training, specifically in specialist welding techniques. It also has its own Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority-accredited in-house welding assessment centre.
Further, the company deals with an increasing demand for the high levels of accuracy and skills required in welding activities by conducting a quality-kick-off meeting to discuss project-specific requirements before the company starts on a project.
It also initiates a welding induction programme that all welding fabrication employees undergo before they start on a project. This induction includes a brief overview of the applicable welding codes, welding acceptance criteria, an overview of the project quality plan and the welding inspection and test plan intervention points. The company also ensures that, during all projects, an adequate number of quality inspectors with the necessary qualifications and experience are appointed.
“While training and upskilling are an important part of our strategy, it is equally important for us to be able to benchmark our standards against local and international accreditation bodies that have significant experience in our industry,” says Elmie.
Safety and quality practices, supported by strong leadership and established systems, are embedded in all processes at DCD Marine Cape Town, says Elmie.
“Our goal is to ensure that we maintain our accreditations and continuously improve our system to be aligned with the highest international industry standards,” he concludes.