Best in the ready mixed industry recognised

NZRMCA Honorary Life Member Maurie Hooper presents Sabina Sekerovic of Atlas Concrete with the 2016 Plant Audit Scheme Supreme Award.

NZRMCA Honorary Life Member Maurie Hooper presents Sabina Sekerovic of Atlas Concrete with the 2016 Plant Audit Scheme Supreme Award.

nzrmca-cmyk-tallThe best of the best have been named at the New Zealand Ready Mixed Concrete Association’s (NZRMCA) 2016 Awards, which were presented at the Concrete Industry Conference.

Atlas Concrete’s Takapuna plant has won the Plant Audit Scheme Supreme Award for its consistent excellence over an extended period of time, producing large quantities of concrete to a reliably high standard in line with NZS 3104 Specification for Concrete Production.

The judges commended the plant on receiving Excellence Awards in each of the last five years, which is indicative of the attention to detail shown by its concrete production management team.

“The plant is an example to all other ready mixed concrete producers across New Zealand,” they said.

Firth Industries took out the Technical Excellence Award for the University of Canterbury Structural Engineering Laboratory project which posed some considerable challenges.

These included extremely congested reinforcement, high strengths, very tight tolerances, significant thicknesses and large volume pours requiring the Firth team to deliver precise technical concrete solutions.

The judges acknowledged Firth Industries’ technical achievement in delivering a layered concrete solution for the floor of this project.

The Extra Distance Award went to Allied Concrete for the Curvey Basin Chairlift and Remarkables Ski Field Base project.

Over two years in the off season, Allied Concrete supplied 2,900 cubic metres of concrete for this demanding project. It included a 50km round trip with the last 13km up a steep unsealed climb to the existing Base Building. Access further up the mountain was on an even steeper 1.6km climb.

John Benn and James Mackechnie with the 2016 NZRMCA Extra Distance Award.

John Benn and James Mackechnie with the 2016 NZRMCA Extra Distance Award.

Innovative mix design and delivery solutions in combination with sheer determination helped overcome distance, terrain and adverse weather conditions to ensure the ski field operators could open for the upcoming season.

The judges were impressed by the tenacity of Allied Concrete in supplying a product with a short shelf life to a remote location high amongst the Southern Alps.

Carl Hay of Eastern Bay Concrete in Opotiki was named the Concrete Industry Apprentice of the Year at the Concrete Industry Conference.

NZRMCA executive officer Adam Leach says the Plant Audit Scheme is an ongoing focus of the Association, that provides a stamp of excellence for ready mixed concrete plants.

“Ensuring our members achieve and maintain a high standard of quality control has been at the heart of NZRMCA since it was founded in the early 1960s and the Plant Audit Scheme was established. We are proud that all these decades later this quality assurance scheme continues to provide a stamp of excellence for ready mixed concrete plants in New Zealand.”

NZRMCA was founded in the early 1960s, a decade after the first New Zealand concrete standards were written, and nearly 25 years after the first ready mixed concrete plant in New Zealand was erected in Wellington in 1938.

Based on the American Association’s model, the New Zealand equivalent intended to advance the industry across technical and business management fields.

Carl Hay was named Concrete Apprentice of the Year.

Carl Hay was named Concrete Apprentice of the Year.

The proud point of difference, however, was the adoption of a grading scheme designed to classify ready mixed concrete plants based on the quality of their output.

Around this time the Ministry of Works and Development (MWD) also had an inspection programme for concrete production facilities.  After discussion the two classification systems merged. The NZRMCA Plant Audit Scheme still operates today. Adam says there are a number of reasons why specifiers should ask for ready mixed concrete from an audited plant.

“The Scheme provides a rigorous audit of the quality systems in place at a NZRMCA member’s ready mixed plant, which gives specifiers confidence when ordering concrete for their next construction project.”

Dene Cook proudly holds the 2016 NZRMCA Technical Excellence Award.

Dene Cook proudly holds the 2016 NZRMCA Technical Excellence Award.

Compliance with NZS 3104 Specification for Concrete Production is mandatory under the Scheme, with each plant required to have an appropriately qualified concrete tester and plant engineer.

Once a ready mixed concrete plant has met the performance data benchmarks required to achieve the Audit Certificate, regular monitoring is undertaken by the Plant Audit Committee, a group of experienced engineers, to ensure these standards are being maintained.

“This includes a detailed annual review of data and a formal on-site audit every second year. Random site audits may also be carried out at any time,” says Adam.

Among performance criteria audited under the scheme are mean concrete strengths, aggregate quality, equipment calibration, production and testing record keeping, as well as technician training. Test frequency must also be demonstrated.

The NZRMCA has been ‘mixing it up’ for more than 50 years and continues to research, develop, promote and protect the interests of the ready mixed concrete industry by implementing a range of targeted initiatives.

Its other areas of activity include ensuring members achieve and maintain a high standard of quality control, representing the industry before Government and its agencies, procuring and disseminating technical information, as well as participating in Standards development.

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