Overview of BIS Labs

Product certification scheme introduced in 1956 called for reliable testing of a wide variety of products and raw materials for evaluating their conformity to the requirements laid down in Indian Standards as required for continuous surveillance of the scheme. Initially services of several independent laboratories in India were availed for the purpose. With rapid expansion of the certification scheme, the need  for expeditious testing of samples and for ensuring close conformity to the testing procedures laid down in various Indian Standards was strongly felt and the organization decided to have its own chain of laboratories mainly to cater to the needs of Certification Marks Scheme.

 

In-house testing of samples under Certification Marks Scheme started in 1963 in BIS HQ in Delhi. Subsequently with the number & variety of samples going up progressively, systematic expansion of lab activities had to be planned with a view to ensure availability of testing facilities close to its users, that is, BIS licensees. It was therefore decided to set up labs at various Regional Offices as well. To assist the organization  in this task, industry, Central and State Governments contributed generously. Today BIS has four Regional  Laboratories situated in different parts of the country. Simultaneously with the completion of these projects, the laboratory at HQ was shifted to its present premises near Delhi at Sahibabad(U.P.). All these five labs were commissioned with requisite test facilities under central assistance and were fully operational in their own premises by 1982.

 

Because of financial constraints with the organization at that time certain State Govts. came forward for funding the cost of land, building and the laboratory equipments for setting up Laboratory-cum-Office buildings in state capitals. Under this scheme laboratories were commissioned at Patna in Bihar and Bangaluru in Karnataka. 

 

To meet the special requirements of the North-Eastern Region, plywood testing lab was set up at Tinsukia in Assam state. Subsequently office and lab were shifted to Guwahati.

 

BIS Laboratories mainly cater to the needs of BIS certification Marks Scheme and accordingly tests are carried out on samples generated from the applicants, licensees operating under the Scheme. Out of more than 1000 products under Certification Marks Scheme, BIS Laboratories have test facilities for more than 700 products in electrical, mechanical, chemical & microbiological areas.

 

Percentage share of testing by individual labs for the year 2009-10 is as below:

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                           

 

 

Major Areas of Testing Activities

 

Central Laboratory -  BIS Central Lab at Sahibabad is the largest amongst BIS labs and has facilities for diversified products. Details of test facilities of BIS  Central Lab are as under :

 

Electrical Lab:

i)                    Domestic Electrical Appliances

ii)                   Cables & Conductors

iii)                 Wiring accessories & MCB

iv)                 Electrical motors and fans

v)                  GLS lamps

 

Mechanical Lab :

i)                    Physical testing and measurements

ii)                   Gas cylinders, valves & regulators

iii)                 Gas and oil burning appliances

iv)                 Builder’s hardware

v)                  Sanitary wares

vi)                 Metallic & non-metallic pipes & fittings

vii)               Water supply fittings

viii)              Timber & timber products

ix)                 Safety glass & safety helmets

x)                  Containers

xi)                 Fire fighting equipments

xii)               Plant protection equipments( sprayers)

xiii)              Automotive mechanical components

xiv)             Steel & steel products

xv)               Steel wires, wire ropes, chain pulley blocks

xvi)             Cement & Concrete

xvii)            Medical  instruments and accessories

xviii)          Leather and rubber products

xix)             Jute and textile products

xx)               Clinical thermometers

xxi)             Pressures  cookers and utensils

 

Chemical Lab :

i)                    Agricultural ,food and dairy products

ii)                   Microbiology

iii)                 Paints and pigments

iv)                 Stationary and packaging materials

v)                  Jute & Textile products

vi)                 Pesticide formulations

vii)               Miscellaneous Organic/ Inorganic chemicals

viii)              Petroleum products

ix)                 Packaged Drinking Water (PDW) & Packaged Natural Mineral Water(PNMW)

x)                  Soap, Detergent & Toiletries

xi)                 Food colours & Dyes

xii)               Ferrous & Non Ferrous Metals & Alloys

xiii)              Cement

xiv)             Paper & Allied products

 

Major facilities available in Bureau’s other labs are :

                                            

TESTING FACILITIES

NROL

EROL

WROL

SROL

BNBOL

PBOL

GBOL

ELECTRICAL LAB

i)  Domestic Electrical Appliances

ii) Cables & Conductors

iii)Wiring accessories & switchgear

iv)Electrical motors and fans

v)GLS lamps

 

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MECHANICAL LAB

i) Physical testing and measurements

ii) Gas cylinders, valves & regulators

iii) Gas & oil burning appliances

iv) Builder’s hardware

v) Sanitary wares

vi) Metallic Pipes & Fittings

vii) Non-metallic Pipes & Fittings

 viii)Water supply fittings & water meters

ix)Timber & timber products

x) Drum & Tin Containers

xi) Fire fighting equipment

xii) Plant protection equipment(sprayers)

xiii) Pumps

xiv) Hand pumps

xv) Steel  & Steel products

xvi) Cement & concrete

xvii) Medical instruments and accessories

xviii) Leather and rubber products

xix) Irrigation Equipments

xx) Jute & Textile products

xxi) Solar Devices

xxii) Pressure cookers & utensils

xxiii) Diesel Engines

 

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CHEMICAL LAB

i) Agricultural, food & dairy products

ii) Microbiology lab

iii)  Stationary & packaging materials

v) Jute & Textile products

vi) Pesticides formulations

vii) Miscellaneous organic/inorganic

       chemicals

viii) Petroleum products

ix) Packaged drinking water & Packaged

natural mineral water

x) Soap, Detergent and toiletries

xi) Food colours and dyes

xii) Ferrous & non ferrous Metals & Alloys

xiii) Cement

xiv) Animal feed

 

 

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Calibration Facilities

 

Testing of different variety of products involve the use of many kinds of measuring instruments and equipment.  Calibration of all these instruments/equipment at regular periodicity is part of the Lab Quality System followed by BIS laboratories.

 

In view of the large quantum of calibration work involved, in-house calibration facility has been created at Central Laboratory for the calibration of some of the instruments.  This facility also helps BIS laboratories to verify the test results without loss of time by repeat in-house calibration as and when required.

 

Training of Manpower

                         

From the very beginning of the establishment of BIS laboratories, training is being provided in testing techniques to the testing persons of BIS licensees, Applicants, Industries and to the foreign nationals under various International Training Programmes, besides training to its own testing personnel.

 

All the testing personnel selected for employment with BIS laboratories undergo extensive Induction Training Programme covering various aspects of training including on job training. This training programme covers both theory and practical aspects of testing and other activities of BIS.

 

The officials engaged in testing are given regular exposure and training.  Regular interaction at senior management level also takes place with reputed laboratories.

 

Refresher courses are also arranged at regular interval for laboratory testing personnel and officers in-house as well as outside specialized laboratories.

 

Based on request from BIS licensees and applicants, and State & Central Government laboratories training programmes are arranged by BIS laboratories on testing of various products as per Indian Standards.

 

BIS Central laboratory has been providing training to the students of various colleges/institutions in the month of May / June every year, thus fulfilling its social responsibility.

 

Quality Assurance Activities

 

Documented procedures are maintained for each important activity of BIS laboratories.  However, to fall in line with the practice recommended by ISO/IEC Guide 25 and EN 45000 series of standards, BIS Central Laboratory formulated a Quality Manual as early as 1990.  This quality manual has been revised from time to time considering various requirements of ISO/IEC 17025 including specific provision for complaints investigations and corrective and preventive measures to be initiated.

 

For effective implementation of  Quality System, a separate full fledged Corporate Quality Assurance and Policy Department (CQAPD) headed by a senior officer and supported by a team of  officers to take care of the various elements of good quality lab practices is functioning at Central Lab under DDGL/Sc.G (Labs) Secretariat. Appropriate set up has also been established at individual labs level.

 

Realizing the importance of precision of test methods, BIS labs have been participating and organizing proficiency test programmes. Inter-laboratory as well as intra-laboratory test comparison is very much on the agenda of work of BIS labs. Guidance for such tests is taken from various established and internationally accepted documents in the area.

 

Accreditation of BIS labs

 

At present five BIS labs are accredited from NABL a Department of Science and Technology, Govt of India.  Details of accreditation can be had from NABL website (www.nabl-india.org).

 

BIS Lab Recognition Scheme

 

BIS is required to take assistance from outside labs to cope with the increasing work load for which either BIS labs are not equipped or not able to undertake tasks due to excessive work load.

 

So far around 129 labs have been recognized under this scheme. This scheme is purely from the point of view of use for BIS product testing needs for certification purpose.

 

BIS  laboratory  recognition  scheme is  in  line  with IS/ISO/IEC 17025:2005 ‘General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories.’  Laboratories are initially assessed for their competence in the areas of approval sought and subsequently surveillance audits are organized to ensure their continued suitability.

 

Future Plans

 

BIS labs are on the path of modernization. Plans have been drawn up to modernize existing laboratories and also to set up new modern labs base on needs of the region. Financial allocation for these programmes are available from BIS own funds. As per direction of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, a referral lab for Assaying of Gold jewellery is being set up at SROL.

 

 

Chennai.

 

 

 


© Computer Center BIS 2001-2002