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Plant and Truck Certification Program

 

Industry Background

 

The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA) is an internationally recognized trade association representing ready mixed concrete producers in the United States. The association was chartered on December 26, 1930. A cornerstone purpose of the initial charter was “to render services of an educational nature with respect to the use of ready-mixed concrete with a view to promoting and extending such use.” The association’s 700-plus member companies produce more than 70% of ready mixed concrete used in the US. Working together, the association and its members actively promote quality and uniform concrete production in a safe, environmentally friendly manner.

 

Raising the professionalism

of the industry, through both

a knowledgeable workforce and production facilities that comply with industry standards, is a primary objective in the NRMCA strategic vision. NRMCA has developed educational and certification programs designed to accomplish these goals. The NRMCA research laboratory facilitates the development of technical data to affect changes to industry standards and enhance the knowledge of its workforce, ensuring that quality concrete is provided to customers. Furthermore, NRMCA believes that in order to meet a high standard for concrete quality, the same rules must apply to all RMC producers.

 

NRMCA actively participates on committees of the American Concrete Institute (ACI), the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM), and other standard-setting organizations. As a member of these organizations, NRMCA works to ensure that concrete’s ingredient materials, mix designs, production, and delivery conform to the quality standards necessary in our nation’s infrastructure. NRMCA also participates in technical committees at the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the Transportation Research Board (TRB), and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).


NRMCA manages three affiliated independent organizations, the Concrete Plant Manufacturers Bureau (CPMB), the Truck Mixer Manufacturers Bureau (TMMB), and the Volumetric Mixer Manufacturers Bureau (VMMB). The membership of these Bureaus includes the respective equipment manufacturers. The primary function of the Bureaus is to establish minimum standards for the manufacture and performance of various equipment components. These standards provide assurance to the user of the equipment that the plated components conform to set standards, and are capable of delivering quality concrete. Provisions of the CPMB and TMMB standards are incorporated in the NRMCA Program for Certification of Ready Mixed Concrete Facilities.

 

 

Plant Certification: The Rising Need

 

Since concrete is a manufactured product, its quality and uniformity depends on the control over its manufacture. It must be produced with suitable ingredients accurately combined to specific proportions. These must be thoroughly blended and the finished product delivered according to the requirements of the purchaser. Although success depends upon several factors, a vital prerequisite is the availability of proper, well-maintained equipment and an efficient production facility.

 

In the early 1960’s, numerous failures of concrete were hurting the reputation of concrete as a building material. A national joint committee representing the American Concrete Institute, American Institute of Architects, and the American Society of Civil Engineers was established to outline in detail the specific responsibilities of all the principals in concrete construction.
 
Even before this initiative, the formulation of a plant certification system by NRMCA had begun. NRMCA’s initiative was intended to establish a fair and equitable system, and to set forth the quality standard of the physical facilities used to produce concrete.

 

The NRMCA Checklist for Ready Mixed Concrete Production Facilities was approved at the 1965 Annual meeting of the NRMCA Board of Directors. The program was put into operation in 1966, initially for members only, but then extended to non-members of NRMCA to facilitate adoption of the program by specifying agencies. NRMCA’s Plant Certification Program has evolved over the years and has seen greater acceptance by concrete producers and specifying agencies.

 

Today, Plant Certification is widely recognized as an important part of

comprehensive project specifications.

 

NRMCA certification of concrete production facilities provides a system for establishing that production facilities of ready mixed concrete plants are satisfactory. It reflects, and in many cases exceeds, the requirements of standard specifications for ready mixed concrete, such as ASTM C 94, AASHTO M 157, and the Concrete Plant Standards of the Concrete Plant Manufacturers Bureau, CPMB 100. A certified plant is permitted to display a Certificate of Conformance that assures the purchaser that the facility is physically capable of furnishing good quality concrete.

 

Certification may be obtained by any producer of ready mixed concrete with the procedures and limitations addressed in the Check List document. Certification is issued only when the facility complies with all the pertinent requirements in the Check List.

 

The following process is in place to ensure that the NRMCA certification program maintains a high level of credibility and is of value to the company’s customer:

  • A plant certification task group comprised of members of the industry meets at least twice a year to ensure that the requirements comply with current standards.
     

  • Revisions are balloted and passed by the NRMCA Research, Engineering & Standards Committee.
     

  • Policies to the program and revisions to the checklist are approved by the NRMCA Board of Directors.
     

  • The production facility is inspected by a NRMCA approved inspector who is knowledgeable on concrete production facilities and of the requirements of this certification program.
     

  • The check list is signed by a licensed professional engineer who stakes his professional reputation that the inspection was objective and thorough and that the facility met the requirements when it was inspected.
     

  • An official of the company signs an agreement to maintain the equipment in compliance for the duration of the certification.
     

  • NRMCA staff reviews the completed check list to ensure that all the requirements have been met prior to issuing a Certificate of Conformance.
     

  • A valid Certificate of Conformance should include the signature and seal of the inspecting engineer and be signed by the company’s principal executive.

Certification of production facilities is valid for two years from the date of inspection. Certification of delivery vehicles is valid for 12 months from the date of inspection. NRMCA certifies 1,000 plants every year; 2,600 concrete plants hold valid certification currently, including several outside the US. NRMCA also has about 20,000 trucks certified through its program. The certification is required (or recognized) by several state highway agencies and engineering firms that write specifications for a wide variety of construction projects. It is also recognized in reference specification documents published by the American Institute of Architects and the American Concrete Institute. Quality conscious concrete producers use certification as an audit of their concrete production facilities, even if specifications in that area do not need the certification.

 

 

 

 


 

 

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