What does it mean to be a Continental STAR Distributor? The title “STAR Distributor” may seem like a sales gimmick, but in this case, it is a title that is earned by undergoing what could be interpreted as a “white-glove” inspection where no stone is left unturned. The audit is conducted by Underwriters Laboratories, LLC., also known as UL. Once the rigorous requirements of fabricating high-integrity hose assemblies have been met, the STAR status is earned. Want to know more about the process? Keep reading below.
The audit begins by verifying our business credentials and ability to supply customers throughout the United States of America. We then furnish proof of access to the members-only section of NAHAD (National Association of Hose and Accessories Distributors). The last requisite that we undergo at this time is to provide proof and history of being a ContiTech authorized distributor.
Now that our credentials have been vetted, we can move forward to the shop portion of the audit. First, we demonstrate that our Hydrostatic Test Machine is within the calibration time range and that it is in optimal working condition, along with our ability to conduct Electrical Conductivity testing. After those two mediums have been checked, we are then able to let our hose specialists exhibit their craft by doing what they do best – manufacture custom hose assemblies. Here they showcase proper material selection by matching a designated hose type with its corresponding fittings - in this case it will be the materials needed to fabricate three industrial hose assemblies. After organizing our materials, our quality and attention to fine details are examined by viewing our ability to use the specialized tools and equipment safely and accurately. Once this is performed, what began as several individual raw elements, then becomes an item that meets tight tolerances such as exact measurements, with fittings that are secured to the hose according to their crimp dimensions – voila! Your chemical hose assembly has officially been formed.
After the three industrial hose assemblies have been fabricated according to the specifications given, we can proceed with the final part of the audit. This section begins by conducting a hydrostatic pressure test and an electrical conductivity test on one of the three assemblies, according to the guidelines outlined in the NAHAD Hose Safety Institute Handbook. Once the assembly passes each series of tests, we can record the newly inspected hose assembly by creating a new customer record in a specialized software system. Now that the credentials have been verified, hoses have been fabricated, tested, and logged, we are able submit our work for the auditors to review.
Fast forward a few days, and we are notified of our results and can proudly say that our company has excelled and been granted the Continental STAR Distributor status for the second year in a row.