Standards help weld reliability safety and quality for SPIIND case study

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Issue 51 – July 2013

South Pacific Industrial Limited (SPIIND) provides maintenance services, light to heavy fabrication, and specialist welding to a wide range of industries. The company meets certified welding standards and has inspectors on site.

General Manager Paul Hebberd says SPIIND carries out welding in hazardous environments, for example at oil refinery Refining NZ.

'Meeting New Zealand, international, and Certified Board for Inspection Personnel welding standards is essential to demonstrate that our staff and our weld integrity are reliable and safe.'

SPIIND is accredited to ISO 9001 Quality management systems – Requirements. Paul says customers – large corporates like Fonterra and Carter Holt Harvey – and smaller businesses like to see that there are ISO 9001 management systems in place.

'They need reliable, high quality, and consistent products and services, so our processes must be robust.

'Under ISO 9001 we have documented processes in every area of our business that reflect what we do and deliver consistency of services and products to our customers.

'A large amount of our work requires full traceability, enabling us when necessary to trace back to source, for example, the raw materials used, weld procedures applied, who the welder was, and the quality checks that were made.'

SPIIND was founded in 1975 and is expanding from being mainly Northland-based to setting up an operation in Auckland and looking at establishing itself in the central North Island, Christchurch, and Australia. SPIIND is also extending into the health sector. Paul says the health sector is a good fit.

'We already have experience in this sector: for example, we made the mortuary fit out at Whangarei Hospital including refrigerators and stainless worktops. In the health sector, we must meet the required standards; it is not a choice.

'Meeting standards in all areas of the business is a requirement on us. We see value in this – it gives the company credibility and it has a marketing value. It helps us to demonstrate that we are a solid, well-managed company, and customers can have confidence that we will meet their requirements and deliver.'

Paul says entering new markets like Australia is not easy and 'you must go in with some credentials'.

'Standardisation means that our products here compare equally to overseas products.

'Customers know that when they specify a particular standard, that's what they're getting – it's about comparing apples with apples, consistency, and benchmarking. For example, a piece of health equipment must be safe electrically and must not harm the patient. Whether it's bought from overseas or in New Zealand, everyone is actually supplying to the same standard.'

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Published in consumer and occupational safety.

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