Interview with the managing director of Quality Assurance Association for pipe supports

Established as a cross-vendor centre of competence

RAL Quality Assurance Association for pipe supports looks back on a successful record

"The RAL Quality Assurance Association for pipe supports has become established as a cross-vendor centre of competence and has successfully completed its start-up phase", states Holger Mietzner, managing director of the quality assurance association in an interim assessment. The RAL Quality Assurance Association for pipe supports is an amalgamation of leading companies offering fixing technology, which have set a goal of offering planners and tradesmen and women high-quality products and services for pipe supports that are subject to continuous monitoring and inspections by impartial institutes.

This worldwide unique institution enables users to verify quality in combination with comparable technical data. Institutes like the renowned materials testing institute (Materialprüfungsanstalt (MPA)) in Braunschweig Germany will guarantee compliance with the guidelines. As a consequence, pipe support systems awarded the seal of approval by the quality assurance association create certainty for planners and contractors. The international operating member companies of the RAL Gütegemeinschaft Rohrbefestigung, ERICO, Flamco, Hilti, MÜPRO, Mefa, Sikla, Tyco, Walraven and WUS are present in more than 50 countries worldwide. They are represented all over Europe, and enjoy a powerful position in the German market.

The Quality Assurance Association for pipe supports recently began using the term "...for safe connections". "That clearly expresses our most important objective: to make transparent the safety and quality of pipe supports for the benefit of all other market participants and, as a result, increase application safety in this sector", Herr Mietzner explains. "An English language term was chosen because a substantial number of quality mark users are active in international markets. That makes the work across international borders significantly easier."

At the same time this demonstrates that the quality assurance association does not have to restrict its work to the German market, but that it is perfectly possible for it to operate meaningfully and successfully in other European countries.

"We are interested in creating reputable assessment standards across the whole of Europe that will allow the customer – and in particular the planners – to be able to make sense of product claims and make technical data transparent", Mr Mietzner explains the work of the association. We are not endeavouring to restrict product variety, for example by introducing a product standard. There is no intention to interfere with regional customs that are usual in construction and especially in installation technology. "We are interested in", Mr Mietzner continues, "creating test procedures that make the technical standard and reliability of the products transparent for the user and planner – and to impartially monitor these above and beyond market standards." That is the real core of the work of the association. At the same time we are unquestionably ready and also interested in working together with foreign institutions and organisations in order to establish corresponding standards in other European markets.

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