2. ACTIVITIES FOR APPPROVED FACTORY OR FACILITY FOR MANUFACTURING SHIP EQUIPMENT
Many pieces of legally designated ship equipment are manufactured by approved factories or facilities which have acquired type approval for their products from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
The legally designated ship equipment requires specified inspections when the equipment is first installed on board a ship. However, if the legally specified ship equipment has received type approval from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and has been manufactured according to the conditions of the type approval, the inspection may be simplified.
This system is beneficial to the users of the ship equipment in that the quality of the ship equipment is guaranteed.
This system is also beneficial to the manufacturer in that the manufacturer can enjoy social recognition because of the manufacturer being factory and facility for manufacturing products approved by the government. In response to such social recognition, these factories or facilities are supposed to improve quality and performance of the ship equipment commensurate with the advancement of technologies.
SQCA conducts the following activities for these factories or facilities.
 Research and Study on Approved Ship Equipment
(1) Research and Study on Improvement of Performance of Ship Equipment
The legally designated ship equipment has to maintain its performance up to the legally designated level throughout its usable life. SQCA therefore various studies and researches of the performances of given pieces of ship equipment and their materials so that measures for preventing aged deterioration and improving their durability.SQCA thus has contributed to determination of durability period of the legally designated ship equipment and preparation of manuals for inspections.
(2) Research and Study for Internationalization
If the international treaties concerning ship equipment, namely, the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS Convention) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and treaties on prevention of marine pollution, are amended, the legal requirements of the presently used ship equipment may be affected. SQCA conducts research and studies to help the member companies become able to adequately cope with situations that may arise from the international treaties becoming effective. The research and studies include evaluation of the existing ship equipment by the new standards.
SQCA is not studying conditions of manufacturing, the system of quality control in particular, of imported ship equipment which is now becoming increasingly popular, as an effort to cope with internationalization of ship equipment. The results of this study are being effectively utilized for preparation of the basic materials for quality control guideline for the Japanese legally designated ship equipment. Besides, SQCA is collecting information and materials about standards of various countries on ship equipment, inspections and maintenance of ship equipment overseas.