Shufflebottom has become the first UK company to achieve CE marking for the manufacture of agricultural steel frames, after gaining certification through BM TRADA Certification.
CE marking for structural steel in not currently compulsory in the UK but after 2014 it will be and non-compliance will become a criminal offence.
CE marking is essentially a ‘passport’ that allows goods to pass freely throughout Europe without manufacturers having to carry out further testing or certification in order to prove that their products meet the legal requirements in each member state.
As a market leader in the manufacture and erection of steel-framed agricultural and industrial buildings, the Llanelli-based company wanted to be the first to successfully gain the standard.
“We are very proud of our achievement,” said director Alex Shufflebottom. “We are seen as the market leader in the agricultural market and the CE Mark reinforces these credentials. It will enable us to move into markets that we haven’t previously operated.”
BM TRADA has been working closely with membership organisation RIDBA (Rural and Industrial Design and Build Association), to develop a factory production control manual and design protocol members require to comply with CE marking.
The manual and protocol help RIDBA members demonstrate both compliance with the Construction Products Regulation - which is mandatory - and that the buildings are fit for purpose under BS EN 1090 ‘Execution of Steel Structures and Aluminium Structures’.
It was through RIDBA that Shufflebottom was introduced to the certification body. “We were very impressed with the professionalism of BM TRADA in all their dealings with us.”
She said that it took Shufflebottom around a year to gain the CE Mark. “However, for the last six years we have been working hard to improve the levels of our welding, getting individuals tested and in 2008, we gained ISO 9001 certification. Although these weren’t specifically towards CE marking, the combination of all these initiatives contributed heavily towards it.”
Gaining the standard is an important step for Shufflebottom. “In order to gain the CE mark, there were a few areas that we needed to fine-tune. But we knew that it was important for us to be able to gain the certification as official recognition of the levels to which we were working.”