TÜV is short for “Technischer Überwachungsverein” or, translating into English, “Technical Inspection Association.” WikiPedia describes them as “internationally active, independent service companies from Germany and Austria that test, inspect and certify technical systems, facilities and objects of all kinds in order to minimise hazards and prevent damages.”
The certification is internationally recognised and accepted as minimum standards for structural and electrical product safety.
TÜV certification of staging-related products applies structural standards according to EN 1090-1-3 under the Eurocode. Requirements include:
- The factory must be ISO 9001 accredited (ie GB/T 19001-2016/ISO 9001 : 2015).
- The factory is TÜV certified to manufacture “structural components and kits for aluminium structures” and must have set procedures, policies, and methodologies for their fabrication from which they must not diverge. The TÜV body must approve any significant changes being considered by the factory before any are implemented. They are strict on this, and can immediately revoke the certification of the factory and all the products they produce across the board if changes are made without approval.
- All welders are tested at six-monthly intervals by the welding supervisor and by an independent assessor from the TÜV company (in Global Truss’ case, TÜV Nord), every 24 months. They must pass regular testing to maintain their certification for welding truss components.
- The factory must have substantial internal quality control procedures under which it operates, including checking dimensional accuracy, visually inspecting welds and weld positioning, regular testing of material samples to verify content and temper. The raw materials suppliers must provide certificates must be provided with every consignment, which renders each batch traceable. The welding rod manufacturer, in particular, must also be a TÜV certified manufacturer.
- All materials suppliers must be able to provide certificates for materials supplied to the factory. These include welding rods, extruded aluminium alloy tube and RHS (rectangular hollow section), aluminium plate, machined solid billet aluminium sockets and spigots, steel pins and R-clips.
- TÜV Certificates are issued with load calculations that only TÜV approved engineers prepare. These appropriate TÜV company checks and authorises the prepared calculations. Safety factors stipulated under the Eurocode Standards are taken into consideration for all static structural calculations.
- With the development of a new product range, or whenever a change in standards is applied (such as the recent move to the Eurocode), sample test pieces must be supplied and tested to 1.5x the static calculation’s loads. The testing must be carried out using approved testing equipment under the supervision of a TÜV representative. As for couplers and accessories, multiple samples are sent to Germany for destructive testing and certification.
- Only when all the above requirements are met will the TÜV company issue full TÜV Certificates, endorsing load tables for each of the different truss types.
Why is TÜV Certification important?
Up until then, DQ was manufacturing MEC Truss under licence through a sub-contractor. We had much greater control over the product manufacture, being locally made, than we could have with an imported truss product.
Global Truss was borne out of Harasco in Holland, which shifted production to China in 2003. The company had backing from five shareholders from Holland, Germany, France, Taiwan and the U.S. Regardless of its pedigree, DQ needed to have stringent independent certification of the truss to satisfy our prerequisite in taking on the distribution of Global Truss. We wouldn’t accept engineering from the manufacturer’s engineer, nor could we accept a simple load test of a few product samples here referencing someone else’s load tables. Independent engineering and certification were our imperative. It gave us confidence in the brand and the products therein. It still does now. It will continue to do so in the future.