The heart of our quality commitment to our clients is the never ending pursuit of perfection. With this commitment, Century Group Inc. has maintained its position as the leading manufacturer of concrete railroad grade crossings in North America.
The Century Quality Team:
The Century Group Quality Assurance program begins with the most important asset, its highly skilled and qualified staff. Being involved in the precast concrete industry for over 60 years, gives Century Group Inc. an immense pool of experience and talent from which to draw when it comes to manufacturing precast concrete products.
Concrete Crossing Mold Preparation
The Century Quality Assurance program involves each and every employee in the company. Management recognizes that every person must be totally committed to quality in order to achieve perfection. Whether it’s the batch plant operator, welder, forklift operator, truck driver or clerical person, all have a very important role in Century’s Quality Assurance program and the success of the company. Century Group has on staff American Concrete Institute (ACI) Certified Concrete Field Testing Technicians. Staff members regularly attend continuing education seminars and training sponsored by the Portland Cement Association (PCA), the National Precast Concrete Association (NPCA) and other industry organizations. The Century Quality Assurance program also follows those applicable guidelines set forth by the American Society For Testing and Materials (ASTM) and the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (ASSHTO). Century Group also retains a staff of civil and structural engineers which assist with the design and development of our products, a very important part of our quality assurance program.
Quality Assurance Testing
Having been involved in the railroad construction industry for over three decades, Century Group has a wealth of railroad knowledge from which to draw when designing, developing and producing concrete grade crossings. It is from this reservoir of knowledge that Century Group makes sure that all grade crossings manufactured meet railroad industry standards. All Century railroad grade crossings meet or exceed standards of the (AREA) American Railway Engineering Association.
Raw Material Control
We start our Quality Assurance program by procuring raw materials for our concrete railroad grade crossing panels from only the most reliable suppliers in the industry. From aggregates and cement to reinforcing steel, Century Group demands only the highest quality materials in the production of its concrete grade crossings. All raw materials used in Century Group’s manufacturing process is closely monitored to assure that all meet the required specifications and tolerances.
Both fine and course aggregates used by Century Group must meet stringent guidelines. All shipments of aggregates are visually inspected upon delivery for gradation and contamination. Routine inspections are made to insure that raw materials are properly stored and handled. Random samplings of material are taken and tested in the company’s certified lab. Routine analysis of aggregate materials are sampled and tested by independent labs. All aggregates used in the production of Century’s precast concrete grade crossing panels must meet ASTM C33. This specification insures that the aggregates do not contain any materials which are deleteriously reactive with the alkalizes in the cement which cause excessive expansion in the concrete called alkali silica reaction (ASR).
Century’s Company Owned
Concrete Batch Plants
Portland cement is delivered to our company network of certified batch plants with mill tests. Mill tests are checked against the mix design specifications of the concrete used in manufacturing Century’s railroad grade crossings. One of the most important items in batching quality concrete is making sure that the Portland cement used has a low alkali content. This is important to prevent the possibility of damage to the concrete railroad crossing panels from excessive expansion of the concrete due to alkali silica reaction (ASR).
Concrete Cylinder Compression Testing
Total Production Control
As mentioned above, Century Group batches all of its own concrete and therefore maintains total control of the concrete batching process. The Century batch plants meet ACI specifications and are approved by various federal and state entities. Century Group’s manufacturing facilities are also certified by NPCA-National Precast Concrete Association which requires annual inspections and evaluations to maintain plant certification. Century Group batch plants undergo random internal inspections to insure compliance with company procedures and policies.
In-House Steel Fabrication
for Crossing Panels
Century Group maintains its own steel fabrication facilities which allows for total control over all steel reinforcement fabrication for concrete railroad grade crossings. Mill tests are received on all steel used in the construction of the reinforcement systems. The Century Quality Assurance program mandates inspection of all welding procedures and dimensional tolerances before the steel frames and cages leave the fabrication area. All steel reinforcing is again checked for tolerances after they are moved to the concrete railroad crossing panel production area. Any reinforcement material not meeting specifications is returned to the steel fabrication department for correction and re-inspection.
Checking Air Entrainment of Concrete Mix
Each day, our mix design is checked and evaluated based on environmental factors. The mix design may vary according to temperature, moisture content of aggregates, wind, etc… Concrete forms are checked daily for proper tolerances, oiling and proper placement of reinforcement before production begins. Each railroad crossing mold has an ID number for tracking all products produced in a particular mold.
During the concrete casting process, the fresh concrete is randomly sampled for slump, air entrainment and compressive strength. All testing is performed by ACI certified personnel and testing conforms to ACI and ASTM standards. After finishing the top surface of the grade crossing panels, the product is cured by applying an approved curing membrane. If environmental conditions warrant, additional curing procedures are performed. All concrete crossing panels are monitored between the time it is removed from the mold until the time it is shipped. All material is rechecked for dimensional tolerances, proper finish and curing when being loaded for shipment.
Tracking Quality Control
All product can be traced back to test and inspection data based on Century Group’s unique ID system. Each mold has a unique ID number which is imprinted into the panel each time it is cast. Each panel has an ID which indicates the date, mold and plant where the panel was produced. Should the quality of any product ever come into question, this ID system allows Century Group immediate access to testing and manufacturing data.
Concrete Railroad Crossing Panel I.D.
Final Product Inspection
When loading grade crossings for shipment to various jobsites, each panel is visually inspected and dimensional tolerances rechecked. Century Group has its own preformed elastomeric flangeway filler manufactured and therefore delivers crossing panels and filler complete on the same shipment. This allows Century Group to inspect the flangeway filler and crossing panels for quality before they leave for your jobsite.
Loading Concrete Railroad
All installation components including elastomeric bearing pads, timber screws, washers, lifting units, slings, nails, installation directions and torx head bits (if required) are placed in special boxes for shipment with the crossing surface. These components are double checked and verified by means of a signed packing list to assure all components are shipped to the installation site.
Quality Control Check of Hardware Boxes
For Railroad Crossing Panels
At Century Group our projects do not end when the product leaves the manufacturing plant. One of the most important aspects of the Century Quality Assurance Program is to make sure that our product is installed as per specifications installation instructions in the hardware boxes to assist those installing the crossing panels. Century Group Inc. also has technical staff members available 24 hours a day to answer any questions regarding the installation of the concrete crossing panels.
Whether it’s leveling the crossties or measuring for proper spacing, our highly trained staff understands the importance and direct correlation of a proper installation to maximum service life of the Century concrete grade crossings.
Century Group Field Technician
After the installation of a Century crossing, the Century Quality Assurance Program continues. From time to time Century Group personnel monitor installations in the field and follow-up with the client accordingly. Project follow-up insures that every grade crossing we provide lives up to our reputation of providing excellent products, quality and service.
By establishing excellent, reliable suppliers and maintaining the most stringent quality standards, our company’s Quality Assurance program and our employees’ total commitment have made Century Group and its concrete grade crossings the standard by which others are measured. For more information click on the link to email the Century Group Railroad Products Division or call 1-800-527-5232, Ext. 118