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What is the new Zurich Engineering Technical Centre?

At a glance

  • The Zurich Engineering Technical Centre is a state of the art, multifunctional building covering a number of different bases
  • The new facility helps to provide material testing including failure investigation, training to clients and surveyors
  • The Technical Centre is UKAS accredited for both testing (ISO 17025) and inspection (ISO 17020)

The Zurich Engineering Technical Centre is a state of the art, multifunctional building covering a number of different bases. The new facility helps to provide welding procedures, welder approvals, material testing including failure investigation, pressure systems consultancy, Non Destructive Testing, training to clients and surveyors, and can host team meetings and external business meetings.

As well as housing a vast array of machinery designed to test various materials, the Technical Centre also is the base from which over 550 surveyors carry out inspections across the UK, with individual specialties in certain areas helping to provide a rounded service.

“We spotted a gap, it wasn’t something where customers had said ‘you need to be doing this’, but we spotted a gap where we could offer more to our customers and this Technical Centre provides that”, Miles Gardner, Consultancy Services Manager for Zurich Engineering, says. “Having everything in one place, with a technical focus going forward, really helps that”.

What can be done onsite vs offsite?

Whilst the expertise is based at the Centre, the large scale nature of machinery and samples means that the vast majority of inspections needs to be carried out offsite, something aided by the spread of Zurich Surveyors across the UK.

The Technical Centre, however, has its own area for material testing and failure investigation services. The lab houses an array of equipment built to test, and look for defects in, metal. Samples, such as pieces of metal that have broken or that are due to be used in the construction of a machine, can be sent to the Centre with tests carried out to find the different limits it has or reasons for failure.

A Zurich engineer testing the impact strength of a piece of metal onsite at the new Zurich Engineering Technical Centre.

Why this location?

Whilst Zurich Engineering has always been based in the midlands, the new Centre has moved slightly with the old premises being in Birmingham. “Being in the middle of the country is a bonus, and the building plans were put together alongside our specialists – it’s not like anything else Zurich has so it’s all been built to spec with various requirements included” explains Gardner.

“It’s very much a UK wide service” continues Gardner, “We have over 550 surveyors around the country, and 700 people in total including support functions and this is the Technical Centre where they are being trained to industry standards.”

What is the benefit to customers and brokers?

Customers now have the ability to communicate directly with the Technical Centre, even when insurance is supplied through a broker. “Brokers can provide their customers with a whole package, with everything in one place from insurance to consultancy and training. Providing this means we’re making it easier for customers to access us” says Gardner.

Accreditation and Training

In terms of accreditation and ongoing continuous professional development (CPD), the technical centre is UKAS accredited for both testing (ISO 17025) and inspection (ISO 17020). Welders, in particular, undergo constant CPD work and have to prove their competency every two or three years – something which can be facilitated at the Centre.

Welding Qualification Services constitutes a significant percentage of the work done in the Technical Centre. As a perishable skill (something that can diminish over time), welders are tested on a two year basis with different materials, processes and under different testing standards (typically European and American) to confirm their competence.

For more information on The Zurich Engineering Technical Centre, please get in touch with your local Zurich contact. Alternatively you can contact Alan Clements, Senior Engineer, Zurich UK Engineering or Miles Gardner, Consultancy Services Manager, Zurich UK Engineering.

Image © Getty

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