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Post Seismic Certification: What Do Manufacturers Do to Keep Their Products TRU Listed?

Certification of products to withstand extreme event loading can open many opportunities for manufacturers to sell high value products when others have a barrier to entry, but certification is not a one-and-done effort. TRU Compliance (TRU) exists to provide certification
services and ongoing support to ensure that our manufacturers remain competitive and compliant with demanding code requirements and project specifications.

In the Spring of 2019, TRU Compliance, a division of Structural Integrity Associates, achieved International Accreditation Service (IAS) accreditation to ISO 17065 as a product certification agency for seismic, wind, and physical security. By our certification scheme, approved products are issued a Compliance Report (CR) which details a listing of certified products and levels. Compliance Reports are valid for up to 6 years but require annual maintenance to avoid suspension.

How does TRU or the public know the manufacturer is continuing to produce a product that complies with the certified construction and configuration without retesting periodically?

The answer is an annual product surveillance. In order for a certification to remain active and TRU Listed, the manufacturer must submit to annual surveillance activities so that TRU may verify that the product that was evaluated as the basis of the certification is still representative of the product being produced. Over the validity period of the certificate, annual surveillance may be conducted remotely, but must be performed at least once in-person either at the manufacturer’s facility or at a point of sale in order to be eligible for renewal. Surveillance activities look for Product, Process, and Management.

Product Surveillance examines the newly produced certified product for physical characteristics that are important to its structural performance, such as materials and connections.

Process Surveillance examines how the product is made, including the factory and machinery used and the suppliers contracted for subcomponents.

Management Surveillance examines the quality programs in place and the corporate system that protects a manufacturer from shipping defective product or making undocumented changes.

Certifications issued by TRU Compliance are tracked within the TRU Compliance Certification Database, which is visible to the public. Near the anniversary of the certification issue date, a remote surveillance interview is initiated between a TRU Certification Engineer and the manufacturer. A surveillance can also be triggered at any time within the certification cycle if a manufacturer requests a modification to their certification. If any deviation is noted from the original certification, the TRU Engineer documents the finding and presents it to the Certification Decision Maker (CDM) who evaluates the deviations to determine if they fall within the acceptable limits of the certification standard. Based on these finding, the manufacturer’s certification either remains active or is suspended until they provide a satisfactory resolution to address the noncompliance. A client can appeal a noncompliance assessment by filing a formal complaint or appeal to SI’s QA Department (CorporateServiceQA@structint. com). Structural Integrity Associates, Inc. Director of Quality Management (DQM) determines if the appeal relates to the certification activities. If the DQM decides the appeal has merit, an internal review takes place to facilitate a resolution to the appeal with personnel independent of the certification.

Continued certification takes diligence on the part of the manufacturer and is required by building codes. These requirements allow certifying bodies to ensure the safest possible products are being installed in facilities with a high consequence of failure. TRU’s accredited product certification program is designed to do just that.

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