CHICAGO, Sept. 26, 2011 /CNW/ -- The Steel Tube Institute of North America (STINA) announced today that six companies who produce steel tubular products have passed its audit process and earned the right to display the coveted STINA Certified Producer mark on their products.
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These six companies are the first to have successfully passed the rigorous audits and product testing administered by Intertek, one of the world's largest providers of auditing, inspections, testing, quality assurance and certification of companies' products and processes.
All of the facilities certified are producers of steel hollow structural sections, also known as HSS. Two of the companies were able to qualify more than one manufacturing location, Atlas Tube (3) and Bull Moose Tube (2).
The certified facilities are:
-- Allied Tube
-- Morrisville, PA
-- Atlas Tube
-- Chicago, IL
-- Harrow, Ont.
-- Plymouth, MI
-- Bull Moose Tube
-- Trenton, GA
-- Elkhart, IN
-- Searing Industries
-- Rancho Cucamonga, CA
-- Southland Tube
-- Birmingham, AL
-- Vest, Inc.
-- Los Angeles, CA
For the past three months, these six companies have been undergoing a series of internal audits and product testing to assure their processes, manufacturing procedures and products adhere to ASTM and other nationally recognized manufacturing standards.
The Steel Tube Institute's Producer Certification Program is an ongoing process. Once a company has passed the initial assessment, it is subjected to up to two visits a year by Intertek, who will audit and test the company's raw materials, production processes and post production test reports, and obtain samples of manufactured tubes for testing at their Verification Center.
Bill Wolfe, STINA's Executive Director, said that the testing procedures were as demanding as any he has experienced in the steel industry. "Intertek's years of experience were evident during the process, and their comments and suggestions to our member companies were insightful," Mr. Wolfe stressed. "It was not only the testing procedures, but the additional information and recommendations they provided that made their audit processes so valuable," he said.
Achieving producer certification gives the recipient the right to use STINA's Producer Certification Mark on, not only its products, but on its website, annual reports, advertising and marketing materials, company letterhead, signage and emails.
Currently a second group of companies are applying for, or are currently going through, the process of certification.
Mark Bula, STINA's HSS Director, discussed the program's initial goal. "Bill Wolfe and the leadership of STINA set out to establish a higher standard of integrity for the products our industry produces," he said.
Mr. Bula went on to discuss how the Producer Certification Program does just that. "ASTM specifications set the primary standards for our industry," he explained. "But until now, they have been voluntary standards, and they've been self-certified. The STINA Certified Producer Program adds an independent, third-party certification. That's a significant difference. It raises the bar to a new level."
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.
STINA's HSS Committee includes the majority of the leading producers of HSS in the U.S. and Canada. The group has been active as a STINA committee for more than 20 years, providing technical and design help for the industry, and promoting the features, benefits and uses of steel hollow structural sections (HSS) to specifiers, users and others in a wide variety of end markets, including: the construction, highway, bridge, equipment and transportation markets.
SOURCE The Steel Tube Institute of North America
For further information: Bill Wolfe, +1-847-461-1701, or Mark Bula, +1-901-287-9859, both of Steel Tube Institute; or Aimee Gelston, Strategic Images, +1-412-391-1494