News Item:
6 Jul '12 - IFPA ensures Quality Installations

Welder Identification System allows for a welder to be traced back to every weld he has ever done.

Johannesburg, July 2012. In a move to ensure consistent high quality of welding and introduce transparency and accountability in the industry, the Installation and Fabrication Plastics Pipe Association (IFPA) has issued all of its welders with identification stamps.

According to IFPA Chairman, Mike Smart, its welders were required to be recertificated before they were issued with their unique stamps.

“The annual recertification of welders was instituted by the Plastics Federation (now Plastics|SA) in 2000 in an effort to better ensure quality of practical work. However, in September 2010 it has been decided that IFPA members would have the benefit of only having to recertify their welders once in a three year renewal cycle, while non-IFPA members would be required to certify their welders annually”, says Smart.

As part of IFPA’s mandate and mission to ensure that its members adhere to the Association’s objectives of ensuring consistently high standards of plastic pipe fabrication and installation, they felt it necessary to also develop a mechanism whereby a welder could be traced back to every weld he has ever done. A Welder Identification System was implemented by Plastics|SA and IFPA in 2010.

“Since then, every IFPA welder has been issued with a unique number, printed on an identification card, along with his photograph. Each IFPA Member Company is expected to compliment the system of traceability with the use of a stamp on each weld, displaying the IFPA company number, the unique welder number and the IFPA logo”, Smart explains. The stamp is made of special hardened steel and can be used next to a weld if the weld surface is too small.

Members are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring the stamps made for their welders are kept up to date; to verify the specific discipline that the welder has been qualified for and control employee activities such as moonlighting. These are not the responsibility of IFPA.

Concludes Jan Venter, CEO of SAPPMA: “IFPA is an initiative of SAPPMA and was formed with the view to expand regulation of the Plastic Pipe Industry in Southern Africa. We fully support and endorse this programme that proves our commitment to go further on the quality value chain. This move has also been welcomed and applauded by customers who appreciate the level of transparency and accountability we try to introduce and maintain in this highly specialised industry”.