Steel Tube Institute Launches HSS Certified Producer Program

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CHICAGO, May 23, 2011 /CNW/ -- The Steel Tube Institute of North America (STINA) announced today that, with the completion and distribution of its structural steel tubing Certified Producer Program Procedural Guide, it is officially launching an industry-wide, Hollow Structural Section (HSS) product certification program. The program, called the STINA Certified Producer Program, is designed to provide assurance that HSS, that is identified with the Certified Producer's Mark, has been manufactured by producers who meet nationally recognized manufacturing standards, and who have passed the program's audits and product testing.

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    (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110523/NE07246LOGO)

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The Procedural Guide, which has been distributed to STINA's HSS Committee members, covers the rules and guidelines of the program, including: program eligibility, the application and qualification process, and procedures for verification.

The STINA Certified Producer Program is a voluntary program, administered by Intertek one of the world's largest product testing and certification companies. The Program provides an identification mark for producers who pass the program's audits and product tests.

"The STINA Certified Producer Program is a very positive development for our industry," said Bill Wolfe, STINA's executive director. "HSS manufacturers who obtain and use the STINA Certified Producer Program Mark will build confidence and trust in their products with new and existing customers alike."

Previously, it was nearly impossible to track the chain of supply of structural steel tubing (HSS), which may be produced anywhere in the world and travel through a series of distribution channels before it reaches the project site. In addition, the documentation and standards were often self-certified.

To improve the process, the Steel Tube Institute of North America and its HSS producers decided to create a system to authenticate and certify the testing procedures and documentation that accompany the product. The STI's HSS members wanted to assure their customers that the HSS they were specifying and buying was made to the various standards, such as ASTM, that they expected.

The HSS certification process will include an engineering evaluation of each of the participating companies' manufacturing locations and the testing at Intertek's Verification Center of sample tubes that have been produced at the participating companies' mills.

According to Mark Menzer, Intertek's regional vice president, a participating company will receive certification after it successfully completes Intertek's initial assessment of its facilities and product testing. "After a company receives Production Certification, Intertek will visit each of their facilities up to twice a year to review receiving records of steel coils, production processes, post production test reports and to obtain samples of manufactured tubes for testing by Intertek," explained Menzer.

STINA's HSS Committee members participating in the development of the certification program include most of the leading U.S. and Canadian producers of HSS: Allied Tube and Conduit, Bull Moose Tube, Evraz, Hannibal Industries, Independence Tube, JMC Steel Group, Leavitt Tube, Maruichi Steel Tube, Searing Industries, Southland Tube, Valmont Tubing and Vest.

Intertek (www.intertek.com) is a leading provider of quality and safety solutions serving a wide range of industries around the world. From auditing and inspection, to testing, quality assurance and certification, Intertek people are dedicated to adding value to customers' products and processes, and to supporting their success in the global marketplace. Intertek has the expertise, resources and global reach to support its customers through its network of more than 1,000 laboratories and offices and over 30,000 people in more than 100 countries around the world.

The Steel Tube Institute of North America was formed in 1930 when a group of manufacturers joined forces to promote and market steel tubing. Their goal was to mount a cooperative effort that would: improve manufacturing techniques and inform customers about their products' utility, versatility and competitive advantages. This, along with providing a forum for the discussion of issues impacting the industry, remains the basic motivation for the Institute's efforts.

STI's membership consists both of Active Members - producers of steel tube and pipe - and Associate Members - companies that supply raw materials, equipment and support services. Members obtain information about new products and production techniques; develop a rapport and exchange information with companies in the industry, and work to support and advance the steel tubing industry.

The STI's website is located at www.steeltubeinstitute.org. Bill Wolfe, Executive Director, may be contacted by emailing STINA@steeltubeinstitute.org.

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SOURCE Steel Tube Institute of North America

For further information: Bill Wolfe, STINA, +1-847-461-1701 Web Site: http://www.steeltubeinstitute.org

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