Safeguarding Excellence in Precast Concrete
The Concrete Manufacturers Association (CMA) is the primary representative of the precast concrete industry. Now in its 44th year, it initiates standards in close cooperation with StanSA and collaborates with its members in developing new products and services.
Precast concrete is a building material which slots very comfortably into the modern world of fast track and modular construction, in many instances leading the way with innovative technologies and applications.
The CMA’s promotional activities target architects, engineers, developers, contractors and property owners and the pooled knowledge and expertise of its members fosters an environment which encourages the development of innovative, environmentally and community-friendly products.
The Association’s prime focus is to ensure that its members’ products are applied correctly. A CMA mark serves as a guarantee of quality and the CMA takes responsibility should a problem arise.
Members are encouraged to hold accredited product certification such as the relevant SANS standard or to manufacture to specifications laid down by the CMA. Should a problem arise the CMA carries out an investigation, and, if the product does not conform to the required standard, the member company is obliged to rectify the situation.
Down the years the CMA has published numerous manuals, brochures and audio visuals on the practical application of precast concrete and this material is available at a nominal charge. It also runs refresher courses and holds seminars to introduce new technology and methodology, often featuring overseas experts.
The Association was recently restructured into three operating divisions (insert division visual) Infrastructure, Building and Quality.
Setting the Standards
Over the past 15 years the CMA has virtually re-written, amended or upgraded nearly all the national standards on precast concrete which focus on the manufacture and application of precast concrete. The most recent examples of standards revision include: SANS 1058 Concrete Paving Blocks; SANS 541 Concrete Paving Slabs; and SANS 927 Concrete Kerbs and Channels.
The preparation of new and the revision of existing standards is undertaken in collaboration with bodies such as The South African Bureau of Standards and Agrément South Africa. In addition, the Association has its own mark of approval and accreditation systems.
The CMA mark and accreditation systems
Open to all members, CMA Mark and Accreditation systems are voluntary and comprise:
CMA Accreditation is aimed at producer members who don’t require a mark or national product certification. Associate, non-producer, contractor and cement-producer members are also eligible for accreditation. Accreditation certificates are issued after successful assessments.
Accreditation requirements include:
Compliance with the Occupational, Health and Safety Act and a fully implemented Quality Management System.
An annual compliance audit.
The CMA Mark
Requrements include basic compliance with the Occupational, Health and Safety Act, a fully implemented quality management system, and applicable quality specifications based on random product analysis. Products are tested on site with the manufacturer’s own calibrated equipment. Independent analysis at accredited laboratories is also initiated from time-to-time.
Qualifying members are issued with a certificate of compliance and are allowed to display the mark on their websites, documentation and products.
Accreditation and mark holders are audited by CMA-approved auditors. Audits occur twice annually, and in addition, random construction site-based audits are also initiated from time-to-time.
Accreditation and mark holders are listed on the CMA website.
The CMA is the custodian of the accreditation and mark programs. They fall under the CMA’s third SANAS-accredited operational division. Accreditation and mark certification is issued by the CMA only after final vetting by an independent approvals board.