Recently, Western Precast conducted their annual third-party, unannounced plant inspection. Sebastian Winkler of Hanson Professional Services, an engineering firm, arrived early on April 4th, 2019 and spent the entire day going through the checklist of items that comprise an NPCA plant inspection. Items such as pre- and post-pour inspections, reinforcement placement and documentation such as mill certifications, mix design documentation, form release application, form inspections for tolerance and maintenance, safety meeting documentation, inventory control and shipping procedures, as well as equipment and lifting device maintenance and documentation, are just a few of the items that are checked and documented during a plant certification inspection.
While the entire staff should be complimented on their efforts, it’s important that we recognize Alain Acosta, who headed-up the inspection process under the supervision of Daniel Quezada. Great job, guys! This year the grading system was changed and a score of 92 has now become the so-called “perfect score,” without points for continuing education and adherence to the adoption of the NPCA reporting portal. With only one item noted for correction, our plant scored nearly perfect!
This is a great time to reflect on why plant certification is so important here at Western. First and foremost, Western has long believed in the certification process—this process keeps us all on our toes, and ahead of the safety and quality curve. In addition, being a certified plant assures our clients and end-users of the quality of our products, and the fact that our production line meets national standards for quality and intended use. As you travel the country, you can rely on the fact that if you see a project where precast concrete is being used and the product is marked ‘NPCA Certified Plant,’ that it meets our nation’s ASTM standards for adherence to quality and specifications. This is like knowing that anywhere in the world where you see the McDonald’s Golden Arches, you’ll get the same standard of quality and taste in your “Big Mac” as you would anywhere else.
Currently, TxDOT requires that all precast concrete products installed on any Texas highway project be manufactured in a certified plant. This is clearly spelled out in TxDOT’s DSM7305 specification. We look forward to the City of El Paso moving toward adopting such a specification, thus relieving our government entities from having to wonder if these products meet standards, or not. We have so much to be proud of when we deliver a precast concrete product to our clients and knowing they are getting a quality product that meets national standards.
As always, thanks and appreciation go out to each and every staff member—great job! Thanks also to all our loyal customers! Let’s have a great summer and exercise caution as the heat cranks up!