NZTA’s type certification plan
In breaking news as we went to press, the New Zealand Transport Agency is proposing changes to the Low Volume Vehicle certification process to make it easier for commercial modifiers to obtain approval where they produce a series of identical vehicles –also known as “type certification”.
Essentially what the NZTA is saying is that approval must be obtained for the first vehicle – the blueprint, if you like – in the same way as currently, with an approved certifier watching every step of the way, then provided he has approved the process, subsequent vehicles can be built on a “production line” using the same process, with checks and balances in the form of production records of checks at each stage. The benefits include: Increased efficiency as production can carry on continuously – there is no down-time in production while waiting for an LVV certifier to inspect each vehicle in stages. Stage inspections will be completed by the modifier. The cost of producing modified vehicles will be reduced as less LVV certifier involvement will be required. LVV plates will be able to be preissued to the modifier and fitted on-site, allowing vehicles to get on the road more quickly. At the same time, to ensure safety is maintained, the proposed process includes a number of criteria and checks. Commercial modifiers must meet a strict set of criteria, including the Transport Agency’s standard “fit and proper person” requirements. Commercial modifiers must be appointed by the Transport Agency and be required to perform to a high standard. Modifications will be made in a factory-like setting, with structured processes and quality controls. An externally-audited QMS system will ensure the production process has rigour and that good processes are being used. Modifiers must sign off the build of each vehicle at key points so that rigorous production records are, in turn ensuring inconsistencies can be picked up early and corrected.
Overview of the proposed process for commercial, production-based vehicle modifications.