Posted on February 23, 2021 by Rick Ostgard
The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (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, research and development, education, codes and standards initiatives, and integrated programs and relations throughout the industry. As the creator of industry standards and design guides, PCI understands the motives behind its requirements, and this awareness is reflected in the PCI Certification program. PCI was founded by the pioneers and titans of the precast, prestressed concrete industry and that legacy lives on through its unique and accredited programs.
What are the benefits of specifying PCI Certification?
Specifying products from a PCI Certified plant ensures that precast producers have an ongoing quality system in place, the experience necessary to deliver a quality product and a history of quality assurance. PCI Certified plants are required to develop and maintain a detailed Quality System Manual (QSM) compiled according to industry standards, approved by PCI, and available for review by project owners. Avoid surprises during the construction process by requiring certification in project specifications.
PCI Certified precast concrete plants bring to each job a host of skills and efficiencies that can aid the construction process, especially if the precaster is brought into the design process early. The precaster can provide input on dramatic architectural effects, efficient sizes and shapes, value-engineering options, state-of-the-art connection systems, and other aspects that produce aesthetically pleasing, functional, and cost-effective projects.
PCI Certification is one of the industry’s only programs that randomly checks that precast concrete products are being produced in accordance with project specifications, not just a quality control manual.
PCI’s standards for quality precast concrete production and erection are difficult to achieve. Once attained and practiced consistently, these standards contribute to improved and continued customer satisfaction not only by ensuring that the manufacturing and installation processes are high quality, but by making the construction process faster and smoother for all parties involved.
The standards ensure that plants consistently maintain high-quality operations and output through daily internal-control processes and inspections of operations, materials, equipment, products, and processes.
All PCI Producer Members are required to maintain PCI Certification for their plants. Producers are not required, however, to join PCI to participate in the PCI Certification Program, ensuring objectivity for the entire process. Owners, architects, engineers, and contractors all benefit when precast concrete components, products, and erection services are provided by PCI Certified companies.
Knowledgeable specifiers choose PCI Certified companies because they know the PCI Certification process confirms the ability to manufacture and install quality components according to national, published industry standards.
Doing the job right the first time saves material and labor costs while preventing schedule delays. PCI Certified plants are capable of producing uniform, consistent products that eliminate many potential problems.
Using quality products leads to more efficient field operations, which in turn prevents schedule delays. Quality-control systems ensure that components are properly identified and delivered in the appropriate number and order and then fit together quickly, often resulting in reduced on-site labor and scheduling costs.
There is no cost to the owner or specifier for using a PCI Certified plant. In fact, the efficiencies and processes inherent in a PCI Certified plant often cut waste and reduce costs associated with repairs, rejected products, and delays.
Owners, architects, engineers, and contractors all benefit by working with precast concrete plants and erectors that employ PCI Certified quality-control personnel and auditors. These professionals can effectively and efficiently develop and implement a quality-control program, and in many other ways help improve the quality component of the precaster. Their input can help companies cut costs even as they produce better and more efficient precast concrete components and building systems.
Demand for qualified personnel continues to grow. Plant Quality Personnel Certification is required by over one third of state departments of transportation. These agencies require PCI Certification not only for plant personnel but also for their own materials inspectors and quality-assurance personnel.
Achieving Plant Quality Personnel Certification status is a demanding task, but those who rise to the challenge improve their proficiency and provide better service to the precast concrete structures industry. PCI Certification is a reliable means for ensuring that the precaster working on your project meets the highest possible industry standards.
Learn more about PCI's new Architectural Certification Program