Contracting authorities expect high standards in terms of quality from all their partners, especially for major sites. The project, the specifications, the quality assurance plans, the products used, the execution, et cetera, are all important parameters which contribute to the expectation of a high-quality end result. COPRO focuses in particular on the quality and conformity of the products delivered. It does so by means of inspection and certification of these products.
In view of the fact that certification consists – in particular – of a random inspection, there is no guarantee that the products (of a specific site) are subject to an external inspection. During inspections within the framework of the certification, the standard specifications are usually referred to and there are consequently no compliance inspections with regard to the provisions of specific specifications. What is more, in this particular case there is no direct communication between the inspection body and the contracting authority concerning the observations made during the inspection. Nor is there any special monitoring of the products intended for site.
It is possible to firm up the quality control system by linking the certification inspections to ‘a specific site’ and synchronising these with inspections carried out by the contracting authority. This is why COPRO is able to plan enhanced production control for a given site on the basis of a clear-cut agreement with the contracting authority and at the request of the contracting authority.
In this case, the advantages for the different parties are clear:
- The contracting authority receives the requested products, manufactured as required and with the desired raw materials. If any shortcomings become apparent, the contracting authority is notified and the possible impact on quality is addressed.
- The contractor receives the appropriate product, with the required quality.
- The manufacturer knows that the quality of the product has been demonstrated.
The ‘Wegenbouwkunde’ (Road Engineering) department of the Flemish Region, the AWV (‘Agentschap Wegen en Verkeer’ [Roads and Traffic Agency]), is aware of the advantage of these additional inspections and prepared an additional article to that effect during 2011. This additional article can be included in every set of specific specifications. The inspections carried out in this context are complementary to those of the certification. The inspections differ from the certification in the following way:
- For a given site, the compliance inspections are established in line with the specific specifications. These inspections begin even before the start of work, so as to ensure certainty that the products provided by the contractor comply with the specific specifications
- The external inspections are carried out more frequently and specifically for the requested site. The inspection visits are planned with the contracting authority, so that the inspections occur at times the authority believes to be important.
- Direct communication is planned between the inspection body and the contracting authority in order to be able to respond properly to any shortcomings observed at the place of production. In this way, the certification inspection perfectly complements the site inspection and the quality control system is reinforced
- After the execution of the work, the contracting authority receives a final report from the certification body, in which all the observations are clearly summarised.
It is clear that these inspections constitute an extension of the existing certification and that, as such, they can only be carried out by the inspection body that conducts the traditional certification inspections.
The option exists for an enhanced external production control for the following products:
- stone-lined foundations treated with continuously graded cement;
- tarry asphalt foundations;
- bituminous mixtures (bituminous asphalt and/or mastic asphalt);
- hydraulically bound mixtures.
- W15/12 AWV Flanders West E17: slip roads for autoroute 4 (Deerlijk) and A19 Moorsele complex: structural maintenance
- W15/13 AWV Anvers N16: redevelopment of the surface course on N16 at Bornem and Puurs
- W16/01 AWV Flanders West A19: Menen – structural maintenance part 2 and 3 – A14 (E17) Menen bridge repair
- W12/09 SPW Couvin: Couvin bypass
- W16/02 AWV Flanders West E40 + E403: structural maintenance E403: Torhout – Lichtervelde section; E40 Oostkamp; E403 central bridge interchange Bruges
- W16/03 AWV Anvers E19: structural maintenance of the E19 direction Anvers from Netebruggen to the Kontich exit
- W16/08 AWV Flanders East A10/E40: repair of asphalt between Vlekkem and Merelbeke direction Ghent
- W16/05 Brussels Airport Company Runway 01-19 Zaventem: renovation work on the take-off runway
- W16/04 Brussels Airport Company: quality control of concrete on Apron 40 Zaventem
- W16/07 Brussels Airport Company: quality control of asphalt and concrete on TWY Sierra-Tango and November 6 + Whiskey 2 Zaventem