ACCREDITATION & CE MARKING
Quality Management – ISO 9001
GEOfabrics is certified to ISO 9001:2015 which sets out the criteria for a quality management system. This standard is based on a number of quality management principles including a strong customer focus, the motivation and implication of top management, the process approach and continual improvement. GEOfabrics is periodically audited by an independent body to ensure that the company complies with those principles of the standard.
Since the late 1980’s the CEN TC 189 committee has standardised testing methods and procedures to encourage continuity and consistency across the industry. Since the early part of 2002 it has become a mandatory requirement to CE mark geotextile and geotextile-related products to demonstrate compliance with the European Construction Products Directive (Council directive 89/106/EEC) (CPD). The CPD has now been superseded by the CPR (Construction Products Regulation) which means that it is now a mandatory requirement for all geosynthetics used in the EU to bear the CE mark.
The main objective of the CPR is to break down barriers to trade in construction products between member states of the European Economic Area. To achieve this it provides four main elements:
- a system of harmonised technical specifications
- an agreed system of attestation of conformity for each product family
- a framework of notified bodies
- the CE marking of products
CE marking is a passport that enables a product to be legally placed on the market within any member state. CE marking does not mean that the product is suitable for an end use. It simply means that the manufacturer has complied with the regulations set out within the CPR and that it must report on the harmonised declared values set out within the standards.
For geosynthetics, there are several standards published by CEN TC 189 for CE marking based on product applications. These are:
- EN 13249: Geotextiles for roads and other trafficked areas
- EN 13250: Geotextiles for railways
- EN 13251: Geotextiles for earthworks, foundations and retaining structures
- EN 13252: Geotextiles for drainage systems
- EN 13253: Geotextiles for erosion control works
- EN 13254: Geotextiles for reservoirs and dams
- EN 13255: Geotextiles for canals – Intended uses
- EN 13256: Geotextiles for tunnels and underground structures
- EN 13257: Geotextiles for solid waste disposal
- EN 13265: Geotextiles for liquid waste disposal
The testing that needs to be performed on a product depends on the function that the product is required to perform within the application. The five functions are set out within ISO 10318.
An accrediting body audits the levels of control within the manufacturing process – GEOfabrics use BTTG. The manufacturer is then issued with a certificate of factory production control under the guidelines identified within the EN application standards. The accrediting body should then perform regular checks on the manufacturer to ensure that the system is functioning adequately.
A manufacturer is required to publish a CE declaration once a product has been CE marked. The declaration identifies properties and 95% confidence limits relevant to the areas of application and functions highlighted. It also contains a durability statement based on testing performed which indicates the predicted lifetime of the product in a specific environment.