The Q-Mark Difference – an overview of the Oak Frames Direct manufacturing process
Oak Frames Direct takes pride in supplying the highest quality oak frames and is committed to demonstrating to customers that its products are a cut above the rest. As well as being a member of TRADA – the industry’s leading timber authority – we are proud to say we supply BM TRADA Q-Marked products.
Our commitment to quality and this Q-Mark certification testifies that the methods that our frames go through in the manufacturing process meet approved standards – 22 industry standards to be exact. For you – the customer – our Q-Marked frames give you peace of mind and reassurance that the product you’re ordering is approved by one of the leading authorities in timber.
Here’s a taster of the check-point journey our frames go through before they are despatched to you:
Delivery of Timber
For our frames we source Quercus Robur or Quercus Petraea species of oak, as they consistently deliver the best quality of timber for the purpose of manufacturing. They are also more competitively priced due to the sustainable way they are farmed. These species are renowned for producing longer, straighter oaks, meaning there is a bigger volume of oak available. This, again, enable us to offer a more competitive price to customers.
Visual Checks & Grading
Once your project’s timbers are received, each piece is inspected by the manufacturer and checked for any defects that could compromise the frame’s stability or strength. If a piece shows any sign of weakness, it is rejected by a certified timber grader. These graders are fully qualified and re-train yearly to ensure their skills are always up to date.
If all timber has passed visual checks, they are then paired with your dedicated file which includes a timber order cutting list, route card and project drawings – everything the manufacturer could possibly need to successfully create the components of your frame.
Using state-of-the-art technology, machinists produce high quality beams consistently and accurately. Renowned for its speed and precision, the top-of-the-range Hundegger CNC machine is put through a comprehensive calibration test prior to each job. Throughout production, the calibration of the machine is monitored and components are checked for accuracy on average every 30 minutes. This reduces the risk of both inaccuracies and waste resulting from any human or data processing errors.
Once machined, each piece of timber goes through further checks to ensure that it meets quality standards and the machine hasn’t uncovered any deeper defects.
Final Checks Before Despatch
The engineered timbers are packed for delivery. Again, each project’s timbers are checked visually and cross-referenced against its respective file to ensure all parts of the kit are present and correct.
The Finished Product
Whether you are using a builder or assembling the frame yourself, each Q-Marked kit is geared towards easy assembly. All kits come complete with clear instructions and all beams are pre-drilled for fixings and pre-cut for birdsmouth jointed rafters. Cut softwood ends are retreated to validate frame guarantee and all components are coded to assist in the assembly process.
To find out more about our manufacturing process and the Oak Frames Direct difference, download our leaflet here.
The BM TRADA Q-MARK
WHAT IS THE Q-MARK?
The BM TRADA Q-Mark is a quality assurance scheme that confirms our products are designed and manufactured to an agreed standard. The Q-Mark is a recognised standard certified by industry experts BM TRADA. This division certifies that a company’s manufacturing processes and the quality of its timber meet a complex set of criteria.
IS THE Q-MARK A LEGAL REQUIREMENT FOR MANUFACTURERS?
The Q-Mark isn’t compulsory for timber-frame manufacturers; however we decided to offer our customers a Q-Mark product so that we could demonstrate our commitment to providing high-quality frames on a consistent basis. The BM TRADA Q-Mark is the only quality scheme that enabled us to have this confirmed by industry-specific experts and goes beyond ISO9001. It not only applies to a company’s procedures and quality systems, but also the specification of materials, manufacture and assembly of buildings. No other quality mark could give us this all-embracing mark of approval.
WHY HAVEN’T OUR COMPETITORS GOT THIS MARK OF QUALITY?
Many have tried to obtain this certification but have failed, which we feel just emphasises the high level of quality checks entailed to achieve the Q-Mark status.
WHAT DO THESE MANUFACTURING STANDARDS MEAN FOR THE CUSTOMER?
By purchasing a frame from Oak Frames Direct, you will have the reassurance that you are buying a Q-Marked product. The processes which go to make your frame have been independently audited and the frames meet quality standards. Overall it demonstrates we are committed to ensuring its customers are completely satisfied with their product –upon delivery and in many years to come.
SO WHAT IS COVERED BY THE Q-MARK?
The green oak building system is formally approved by BM TRADA for residential, public and commercial use. This covers all elements of the oak frame as well as the studwork, external cladding, wall insulation, wall boards, flooring and ceiling construction.In order to achieve this mark of quality, companies have to demonstrate that they can consistently achieve 22 different harmonised British and European standards.
- Structural Competence
- Quality Management
- Visual Strength
- Building Components
WHAT QUALITY CONTROL CHECKS DOES THE PRODUCT GO THROUGH?
Our 5 quality control stages are fully documented and auditable as follows:
- At point of delivery all timbers are checked against cutting lists to ensure they are correct in size and quantity and an initial visual quality check is carried out.
- When the frame is going into production each timber is individually checked for structural suitability and visual impact by in-house BM TRADA-qualified graders during the racking process.
- When the frame is being routed through production each timber is once again visually checked after planning to ensure suitability.
- Prior to each job being machined, machines are put through a comprehensive calibration test. The calibration of the machine is monitored throughout production by performing measurement tests for accuracy on components on average every 30 minutes.
- Finally, once buildings are made and packed all jobs are checked off against cutting list to ensure quality standard is appropriate and to ensure that all components needed to assemble the building are supplied.