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Funded Certification Support for Tees Valley Businesses

Wed, 22 December, 2021

Small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Tees Valley region who carry out welding fabrication and/or the manufacture of steel and/or aluminium products can now take advantage of funded support – through the Materials Integrity Technology Transfer (MITT) scheme – from TWI Certification Ltd (TWI CL), Company Certification Group, to assist them with preparing their company to undertake certification in compliance with British Standards such as, ISO 3834 or EN 1090.

ISO 3834 is increasingly becoming a requirement for approved suppliers, specifications and standards, while EN 1090 is a regulatory requirement for structural steel and aluminium when sold on European and UK markets. This enables manufacturers to UKCA, CE UKNI or CE mark, steel and aluminium products or a kit of products in the UK or EU.

TWI CL, Company Certification works with companies to achieve certification to ISO 3834: Quality Requirements for Welding through its Welding Fabricator Certification Scheme (WFCS), which provides independent verification of a company's welding and fabricating capabilities and competence, and compliance with European and international standards. TWI CL is accredited to deliver WFCS by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).

Certification to EN 1090, the harmonising standard that sets the requirements for conformity assessment of steel and aluminium structures, is undertaken through TWI CL’s, Company Certification, Conformity Assessment of the Execution of Steel and Aluminium Structures (CAESAS) scheme. TWI CL, Company Certification certifies against EN 1090-1: Requirements for conformity assessment for structural components (CE-Marking).

This means that in order for a manufacturer to add a UK Conformity Assessment (UKCA) mark to their structural products, they must be able to demonstrate conformity assessment of the performance characteristics of their products and, where appropriate, structural design characteristics that meet the product quality specifications of EN 1090-1. In turn, application of these marks are only possible if a manufacturer has undergone Factory Production Control (FPC) certification. TWI CL, Company Certification offers FPC conformity assessment and certification to its customers for UKCA, CE UKNI and CE marking through its European partnerships.

The funding available through MITT enables a company to undergo a preliminary evaluation, similar to a gap analysis, and a document review by TWI CL. These will provide evidence of any shortfalls in compliance in a report and subsequently enable the customer to determine how ready for certification they are, and consequently explain the actions needed, leading to the certification assessment. Certification to a recognised industry standard encompasses all areas of a company’s operations including its facilities, processes, materials and personnel, and demonstrates that the business has been independently confirmed as competent in a defined scope of activity.

MITT, now in its third year, was setup specifically to assist manufacturers in the Tees Valley area and is delivered by TWI Ltd. Through the scheme, companies receive tailored, practical advice on best practices in tackling their fabrication and welding challenges. The support covers welding, joining, surface engineering, additive manufacture (AM), inspection and more, as well as engineering materials such as metals, composites, plastics and so on, and is provided by TWI’s welding engineers and other technology experts.

If you are interested in finding out more about undertaking a preliminary evaluation and document review, with accompanying report, towards certification to ISO 3834 or EN 1090, please contact sarah.mccarthy@twi.co.uk or telephone TWI Technology and Training Centre North East, Middlesbrough on 01642 216320.

The Materials Integrity Technology Transfer (MITT) project is part of the Tees Valley Centre for Materials Integrity Programme, which is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020) and Tees Valley Combined Authority.

Sarah McCarty, MITT Scheme Manager said “MITT aims to assist Tees Valley manufacturing SMEs to achieve sustainable business growth that can contribute to improved competitiveness and, as a result, increase profitability. By accessing this funding to undergo a preliminary evaluation and document review, with a view to starting the full certification process subsequently, this is another way, in today’s highly dynamic environment, in which Tees Valley companies can look to utilise MITT to enhance both their overall operations and their market position.”

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