Sources: National Concrete Masonry Association, Herdon, Va.; CP staff
Basalite Concrete Products’ recently upgraded Tracy, Calif., block and paver operation is the first mover in the NCMA/ICPI Plant Certification Program. Initially good for one year, plant certification indicates that an NCMA or Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute producer has implemented a quality control system whose sampling, testing and recordkeeping measures equal or exceed program baselines and clear a third party auditor.
A good plan will ensure that quality masonry units are produced and errors minimized, and should prove to be “a cost effective business investment … An effective quality control program requires a commitment from all employees involved in production,” according to the certification guide. “[It] starts with the support of management in providing the necessary tools, personnel and guidance required to successfully implement an effective program.”
A designated quality manager, the document stipulates, shall have “defined authority for ensuring that the management system related to quality is implemented and followed at all times” and “direct access to the highest level of management at which decisions are made regarding plant policy or resources.”
NCMA and ICPI developed the program to provide members the ability to a) independently control their production process; and, b) deliver on a timely basis block, brick, paver, slab and segmental retaining wall units consistently produced at an acceptable quality level. The program is oriented to units complying with ASTM C55, C90, C129, C744, C936, C1319, C1372, C1491, C1634, C1790 and D6684, plus CSA A165.2, A165.1, A165.3, A231.1 andA231.2 standards. Additional NCMA/ICPI Plant Certification details are posted here.