New 2017 Chairman; 50-Year Certified Plant in Wells
In conjunction with The Precast Show, the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) recently held their annual convention in Cleveland, Ohio – in conjunction with the Canadian Precast Prestressed Concrete Institute (CPCI) and the National Precast Concrete Association (NPCA). Wells employees from various offices attended the event to network with colleagues and vendors, and learn more about the state of and trends in the precast industry. Opportunities involved an expanded tradeshow and the chance to learn from NPCA’s offered training. There were 825 PCI attendees alone at committee meetings, education sessions, and the annual business meeting.
2017 PCI Chairman
During the Convention, Dan Juntunen, our president and CEO, was named the 2017 PCI chairman. During one of the luncheons, Dan presented his platform and goals for the coming year, which are centered on a theme of growing the industry through communication and collaboration. As that is accomplished, however, it cannot be at the expense of PCI’s reputation as a world class technical institute.
In getting more involved with the industry throughout the country, Dan had noticed that knowledge of what precast can really do is very inconsistent. There are those in the design and construction communities who are very knowledgeable of the features and benefits of precast, but there is also a large segment who haven’t had exposure to simple things such as color availability, much less finish options, structural integrity benefits, panel configuration, etc. What he had also discovered through our own mock-up building project is that the design and construction communities are very open to learning more about precast when given the opportunity.
To address the issues described above, Dan’s platform has largely been centered on restructuring the PCI Board to provide better communication and a stronger relationship in general with the regional affiliates. In simple terms, PCI Zone Representative Board positions will be replaced with representatives from the regional affiliates. Additionally, PCI will add a staff position focused on facilitating communication between PCI and the regional affiliates, as well as communication amongst the affiliates themselves. The thought is that this restructuring will allow PCI national to continue focusing on being a world class technical institute but will now have a structured means of passing research information to the regional affiliates who in turn are charged with educating the marketplace.
50-Year Certified Plant
Wells Concrete’s plant located in Wells, Minnesota has reached a milestone: it is now a 50-year PCI Certified Plant. But what does this mean? What qualifications are involved in becoming a PCI Certified Plant, and what does it take to continue as one? Let’s take a look.
PCI offers a stringent quality assurance program, not just a marketplace credential. The PCI Certification program was developed and is updated by a team representing all industry stakeholders. Furthermore, the program is backed by PCI and its network of committees, codes and standards initiatives, and integrated programs and relations throughout the industry. PCI understands the reasons behind its requirements, not just the words, and this understanding is reflected in the PCI Certification program.
PCI’s Plant Certification Program ensures that each plant has developed and documented an in-depth, in-house quality system based on time-tested, national industry standards. To become PCI Certified, plants must demonstrate they have appropriate experience and training in manufacturing precast concrete, quality systems and procedures in place, and a commitment to quality throughout their organization.
Once a year, each plant undergoes two thorough, unannounced audits. They are conducted by third-party engineers who audit the plant according to requirements specifically targeted to the products being manufactured at that location. PCI Certified plants are audited in accordance with standards published in three PCI quality-control manuals:
- MNL-116,Quality Control for Plants and Production of Structural Precast Concrete Products
- MNL-117,Quality Control for Plants and Production of Architectural Precast Concrete Products
- MNL-130,Quality Control for Plants and Production of Glass Fiber-Reinforced Concrete Products
Inspectors also randomly inspect products to their project specifications to ensure that products meet their design intent and criteria.
Since the various precast concrete product lines require different levels of expertise and production techniques to produce, PCI Certification provides a system of categories. This system ensures that producers are qualified to produce the products that you are specifying. Wells Concrete in Wells, Minnesota is certified in groups A and C, more specifically:
A1: Architectural Precast Concrete Products
Includes exterior cladding, loadbearing and non-load-bearing wall panels, spandrels, beams, columns, and all products covered in AT.
C4: Prestressed Deflected-Strand Structural Members
Precast concrete structural members made with deflected pretensioning or post-tensioning strands for roofs and floors, beams, joists, and all products in C1, C2, and C3.
C4A: Commercial Products with an Architectural Finish
These products are the same as those in the categories within Group C, but they are produced with an architectural finish. They will have a form, machine, or special finish. Certification for Group CA production supersedes Group C in the same category.
PCI Certification | Plant Certification